We've chosen the best VPNs for torrenting based on our trial and analysis of over 50 leading options on the market.
Read on for all of the info, or scroll down just a ways to find out the names of the torrent friendly VPNs.
Torrenting Like A Boss
Ahhhh… torrenting. P2P filesharing. Downloading.
Whatever you want to call it, it's a massive part of the internet, for both legal and copyright infringing uses.
So it's no wonder that many people wonder what the best VPN for torrenting is.
The BitTorrent protocol really has been a game-changer when it comes to sharing files.
So while torrenting can be legal, let's call a spade a spade. More often than not it is used for sharing movies, TV shows, music etc without the copyright owner's consent.
The problem with this is, because it is peer-to-peer (or P2P) it means that every person downloading the same file as you can see your IP address.
Not a problem most of the time, unless of course the copyright holders are listening in.
Now let's be clear. We don't advocate breaking copyright laws here, but we do advocate internet privacy and security.
The fact of the matter is, if you're using BitTorrent then anyone can listen in to anything you're doing, whether legal or not.
And we certainly do not agree with that.
The use of a VPN for torrenting is a very effective way to keep the copyright owners attentions away from whatever it is you're up to.
Why would you use a VPN when torrenting?
For two reasons mainly:
- If there is someone tracking the torrent file (like a pesky movie studio or music company for example) they will see the IP address of the VPN server, not your actual IP address. You know how you hear of people being busted for torrenting? It's usually because they haven't masked their IP address properly.
- Your ISP has no idea what you're up to either. This is because with a good VPN your connection is encrypted. This means all the data transferred between your computer and the VPN server cannot be intercepted. This protects you in cases where the copyright holder attempts to sue the ISP for customer data, like in the case of Dallas Buyers Club vs iiNet in Australia.
So with the above in mind, using a VPN for torrenting is a two-pronged security measure to make sure your activity is your business only.
The problem is that not every VPN service out there is good for torrenting.
Far from it in fact.
Many of the smaller services or the ones based in the USA are pretty much dominated by the various copyright holders.
They willing cooperate, with some of them handing over customer details to them.
Not all go that far, but many will opt instead to just disconnect you from their service.
Kind of defeats the purpose if you can't use your VPN for torrenting right?
The good news is, the reputable, quality VPN services all allow their users to torrent files, and what's more, go out of their way to make sure your identity and privacy is secure in the process.
As always, we've crunched the numbers and come up with a list of the top VPN services for torrenting. Here's the good guys:
Best VPNs for Torrenting
Torrenting – Is it Illegal?
Downloading legal content is lawful through BitTorrent. On the other hand, it's illegal to download copyrighted content in lots of places although downloading the same material for personal usage is not a criminal offence but a civil one.
In a number of jurisdictions, being caught downloading copyrighted content will attract punitive measures from either the ISP you're using, for instance, the Six strikes scheme within the United States, or the government, such as the Hadopi law of France.
Downloaders could be legally prosecuted by the holders or owners of the copyright directly or copyright trolls (legal firms) specialised in the prosecution of piracy cases for damages.
One of the pernicious tactics mostly used is known as ‘speculative invoicing’ where anyone accused of piracy or infringing on copyright receives a letter demanding cash settlement for a legal prosecution to be forfeited.
While none of the mentioned is encouraging, downloaders hardly get charged criminally, particularly if downloading was for personal use. Those who download heavily with profit in mind could face serious criminal prosecution punitive in nature.
A number of nations like Switzerland have continually resisted the ever-rising pressure from the entertainment industry, which is influential and well-funded, to declare as illegal copyright piracy. A huge number of countries particularly non-native speakers of English and outside Europe do not give a hoot about copyright piracy.
VPNs with zero logs
Keeping logs mean copyright police could have something on you if they come calling. As a result, the best VPN providers for P2P users are those that keep zero logs.
Port forwarding and NAT firewalls
To block incoming connections from around the web, NAT firewall is now being used extensively today by most VPN services. Users are protected against attacks although P2P users might find it problematic; it makes sure all kinds of unsolicited connections coming in are prevented.
NAT firewalls do have an effect on P2P connections. They slow down the process of downloading as well as lowering the efficiency of P2P for virtually every user. Since most people are using VPN for protection during downloading, it's possible for the problem to continue worsening.
This is where port forwarding comes in. Port forwarding refers to the opening up of a port by a VPN provider within the NAT firewall allowing P2P traffic to flow. With this feature mostly activated manually, P2P performance is enhanced.
A number of BitTorrent providers actually require the downloader to specify the open port where the incoming connections will be listened. Other BitTorrent clients have made the work much easier through the use of diverse automated tech, such as UPnP type of port mapping or NAT-PMP (Port Mapping Protocol).
Torrenting and free VPNs
VPN services are expensive to run. At the same time, keeping DMCA notices off your back and grappling with diverse legal demands as customers engage in copyright piracy could be really costly for most VPN providers. This is why most providers hardly do it for free. If the VPN is free there won't be P2P downloading.
While it's not well known, the only service that's an exception is Betternet.
Kill switch usage
Downloaders have a chance to bolster their safety and privacy through kill switch and using it habitually than VPN users, especially downloaders with a habit of always leaving downloads to take place for hours unattended.
In case the VPN connection has gone down even as a client is still downloading, your IP is left exposed and everyone interested could see it.
Kill switch refers to an inbuilt feature in a number of VPN clients, custom made to prevent specific programs or a whole system from accessing or connecting to the web in case there's zero VPN connection. Since even a solid VPN connection is capable of dropping frequently, the feature is very important.
Anyone not using kill switch exposes his web activity to any prying eye. It’s referred to as kill switch although that’s not a standardised term; it can be referred to as network lock, internet block, secure IP or anything creative.
It's possible that your provider doesn't offer VPN network lock or internet block and the availability of options from third party providers comes in handy. It's also possible to use custom firewall settings to build a unique kill switch of your own.
Is your downloading private?
Once you've parted with money for a great VPN service the next step is ensuring protection is guaranteed. Check whether your IP has been exposed by the BitTorrent you're using to download via IPLeak.net by activating the feature for detection of a Torrent Address.
As a result, the only IP address you should see is the one your VPN provider owns.
A fake file is downloaded on your PC through a magnet link the BitTorrent opens and easily tracked by the one running the website or AirVPN. To ensure everything is as it should, your specific IP address should never be seen or any ISP owned IP address except the VPN provider's IP address.
Not every VPN allows safe and private downloading. Check with your BitTorrent client just to make sure.