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Let’s be honest. At one point or another, we have all downloaded a torrent. Over the years torrent has been in the spotlight for all the bad reasons. While some of that is deserving of its nature, it isn’t fair. Torrenting on its own isn’t that bad a thing. In fact the peer to peer communication model that it uses is a really impressive model of tech. It manages to overcome almost all the limitations of traditional file sharing methods. A traditional file sharing service would get bottlenecked if a large number of people use it at the same time. Torrents on the other hand have an opposite mechanism. The more people download a torrent, the faster it is. It does this by distributing the downloaded pieces of the torrent file to every other downloader. This also makes it a decentralized system which means no server would get choked with the influx of high traffic.
However, it’s this very decentralized nature of torrents that is its biggest disadvantage. Due to the absence of the main server, a torrent is a perfect place to share illegal and copyrighted content. This has given torrent the title of being a pirate’s favorite tool. In turn, ISPs and governments have begun crackdowns on different torrent sites. Downloading a torrent is asking for trouble in many places. Wile illegal torrenting, we understand this can be a gray area where protection is recommended. While it’s not illegal to torrent everywhere, having some extra protection is highly recommended. Using a VPN will provide you with that extra cushion. It will encrypt and secure your traffic and prevent anyone from tracking you.
But there’s a catch. Not every VPN allows torrenting on their servers. Even if they do, some of them leak the very same information that you wanted to be protected. And some VPNs are so slow that you would be better off without them. So in this article we will find out the best VPNs for torrenting. We will list a few free VPNs as well. But before that let’s see what makes a VPN ideal for torrenting.
Criteria for Best P2P VPN
What are the few things that a VPN should have so that it could be considered as a good VPN for torrenting? So let’s take a look at those criteria.
This is the most essential aspect of a VPN. To be considered as a viable option, a VPN should have a secure enough encryption that ensures that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other third parties won’t be able to spy on the online activity of the user. It helps keep the Internet Service Providers from snooping around your back. There are a few must-haves for a VPN to ensure no identifying data leaves your device. These must-haves include features such as:
- Level of encryption: To be able to efficiently download torrents a VPN must use military-grade encryption like Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256). This is the most common type of encryption used by VPNs and is very effective in protecting your information. This ensures that no one gets to know your activities and decrypting that becomes impossible.
- DNS leak protection: Most networks use a Domain Name System (DNS) to identify an entity online. This can be considered someone’s online identity. In case of a DNS leakage your identity can be compromised. So the VPN should provide you protection from such DNS leaks.
- Kill Switch: Another feature that most good VPNs should have. It prevents your traffic from leaving in case your connection is interrupted. So if you are in the middle of downloading a torrent, this will prevent you from getting exposed.
A VPN provider still has access to information regarding your activity. They can still log and record your data and activity and nothing is stopping them from selling these personal data to the highest third-party bidder. Another thing to note is that if the VPN provider is based out of one of the member countries of the 14 eyes, then there is a chance government surveillance officials might ask for these data in the guise of national security.
So a good VPN for torrenting should not log any of these user activities and. It should not be recording and saving the users’ browsing activity as well as make sure their IP address is also not logged. If a VPN provider doesn’t collect and record any of this information, then there is no way that it could be hacked or coerced by the government officials to give up the users’ data. If you don’t have anything stored, then there is nothing to be shared. That’s how an ideal VPN should be.
Downloading torrents requires a lot of bandwidth. In addition to downloading it, you can also seed a torrent while downloading it. And it is also considered good practice to seed torrents even after downloading the torrent. So as you can see, the whole process of torrenting requires a huge amount of bandwidth. However some VPNs have limited bandwidth and they throttle or halt downloads after that certain limit. So we should opt for a VPN that has no data cap and allows unlimited bandwidth.
When dealing with torrents, having a high-speed connection is very important. This enables you to take advantage of the higher number of seeds. If the VPN provider doesn’t have a high speed then it becomes a pain to download torrents. So a good torrent VPNs should have a good and higher than average download speed.
Shared IPS means that the Internet Protocol (IP) address that is assigned to you is assigned to multiple other users as well. When you share your IP address with many other people, the chances of you being exposed is largely reduced. So a VPN that uses Shared IP addresses for torrenting ensures that an extra layer of anonymity is added to the connection. As a result, it becomes even harder for anyone to trace your activities back to you.
Best VPN for Torrenting
1. NordVPN – Best Overall VPN For Torrenting 2020
The first torrenting VPN on our list is NordVPN. It has been known as one of the best VPN for a few years now. It is secure, has a transparent logging policy and a great speed. And most importantly, all its servers support P2P/Torrents. So lets us check how it performs in the above criteria.
NordVPN is based out of Panama. It doesn’t have any data retention laws so your data won’t be reaching any of the authorities or government agencies. So that’s a plus. Moreover, NordVPN has multiple protocols that will secure your connection. It supports the following protocols:
NordVPN also has many other features that ensure you are always protected.
Before connecting to the VPN, we did a speed test, and these were the results:
A download speed of 44.38 Mbps and an upload speed of 47.80 Mbps. The ping we got was 5 ms. Now that we established our connection speed, we connected to NordVPN. Throughout this article, we will only connect to the US server for the speed test. This will make it uniform. So the speed test results after being connected to NordVPN was:
The download speed was just a little more than half of the original speed whereas the upload speed was a little less than half of the original upload speed. the ping also increased by 10 times to 52.
Other Security Features
- Kill Switch: If your VPN connection is ever interrupted or if the connection fails, NordVPN will make sure to immediately stop any kind of traffic from either entering or leaving your device. So your personal information including your IP address will not be exposed to your ISP or any other prying eyes.
- Private DNS: NordVPN uses its own private Domain Names System(DNS). This means all the DNS queries of the users will go through an encrypted tunnel. These queries are then resolved on the same VPN server the user is connected to. So there will be no activity logs, no connection logs, no DNS blocking and no third parties.
- Advanced Encryption Standard (AES): NordVPN uses AES encryption in all their connections. They use 256-bit key encryption along with AES. They also use a 4096-bit RSA key to privately communicate with all your devices.
- Double VPN: NordVPN will pass your data through multiple servers. It will encrypt your data at every server. So all your data is protected with an extra layer of encryption which makes it even harder to decrypt.
Strict No Log Policy
NordVPN claims that they don’t log any of your online activities. They do not store connection timestamps, session information, used bandwidth, traffic data, IP addresses, or other data.
NordVPN currently has a total of 5679 servers spread across 59 countries. Each of these servers has a dedicated IP address. They also have, what they call, Obfuscated servers. So if you’re located in a country that has a strict restriction on Internet access, you can use these servers. All of these servers have a high-speed bandwidth, so streaming on Kodi won’t be a problem.
NordVPN has a few quite affordable plans. They have 4 different plans:
- Monthly: This is the shortest and the most expensive of all its plans. It costs $ 11.95 for one month.
- 1 Year plan: The subscription for this plan is priced at $ 83.88. This comes with a 41 % discount which saves a total of $ 59.52. The per month cost for this plan is $ 6.99.
- 2 Year Plan: The subscription for this plan is priced at $ 119.76. This comes with a 58 % discount which takes the savings to a total of $ 167.04. The per month cost for this plan is $ 4.99.
- 3 Year Plan: This is the best plan that NordVPN has to offer. The subscription for this plan is priced at $ 125.64. This plan comes with a 70 % discount which takes the savings to a total of $ 304.56.
- It doesn’t have a free trial. However it makes up for it with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- It doesn’t have any live chat support.
2. ExpressVPN – Best & Most Powerful VPN For Torrenting
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ExpressVPN is the second VPN on our list of best VPNs for Torrent. Like NordVPN they also have all the features a torrenting VPN should have. Here is what ExpressVPN has to offer.
ExpressVPN is based in British Virgin Islands which has no data retention laws. ExpressVPN supports the following protocols:
- OpenVPN with UDP
- OpenVPN with TCP
For this we connected to ExpreesVPN’s US server and performed a speed test. These were the results:
Just like NordVPN the download speed was just a little more than half of the original speed. However here the upload speed was also more than half of the original upload speed. the ping also increased by 11 times to 58.
Other Security Features
- IP address Masking: ExpressVPN uses an encrypted tunnel to connect your device and the internet. During this it masks your IP address with its IP address. This makes it impossible to trace your internet activity back to you.
- Network Lock: Network Lock is to ExpressVPN what Kill Switch is to NordVPN. So whenever your VPN connection is disturbed, Network Lock comes into act. It blocks all internet traffic. This prevents your IP from being exposed.
- Zero-knowledge DNS: ExpressVPN has its DNS that it runs on each of its servers. That means that your activities are private. This is because your personally identifiable data is never stored on any server. So there will be no activity logs, no connection logs, no DNS blocking and no third parties.
- VPN split tunneling: This is a feature using which ExpressVPN excludes certain traffic from the protection of its VPN encryption. According to their official website, with a split-tunneling VPN, you can do things like Stream foreign movies while using web services from local IP addresses. Also download safely without slowing down your other web activity. Access your network printer while surfing the internet securely. So using Split Tunneling you protect only that traffic that you need to protect.
- Best-in-class Protection: ExpressVPN uses AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256-bit keys to encrypt your information. Also known as AES-256, it is used by security experts worldwide to protect classified information. This means that your data is safe with ExpressVPN
- Bypass ISP throttling: ExpressVPN also lets you bypass the throttling that your ISPs impose. It lets you use the full bandwidth no matter how many times your ISP throttles your speed.
ExpressVPN has around 3,000+ VPN servers in 160 VPN server locations in 94 countries. ExpressVPN is the only VPN that has a server in 90+ countries. All their servers have a pretty high speed that lets you stream Kodi, buffer-free.
ExpressVPN has three different plans.
- Monthly: This is priced at $12.95 and is the most expensive among all its plans
- 6-month plan: This plan costs $59.95 and is billed once per 6 months. The per month cost for this plan is $9.99
- 15-month plan: This is their most popular plan. It costs $99.5 and is billed once in 15 months. The per month cost for this plan is $6.67.
- No free trial. But like NordVPN it also has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- A little on the expensive side.
3. Surfshark – Best Cheap VPN For Torrenting
Surfshark, the third VPN in our list is Based out of the British Virgin Islands and is a relatively new VPN. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t as effective as the other known VPNs. In fact Surfshark performs surprisingly well as compared to those other VPNs. Let us see what it has to offer
Strict logging policy
Surfshark has a really strict logging policy. Here’s what’s written on their official website:
Surfshark does not keep track of your online whereabouts or actions in any way. This includes:
- IP address
- Browsing history
- Used bandwidth
- Session information
- Network traffic
- Connection timestamps
Personal information that we collect
- Email address and encrypted password
- Basic billing information and order history
None of the data that Surfshark collects can be used to identify and track you.
Surfshark also supports the following protocols. Here’s what their official website says about these protocols :
- IKEv2: IKEv2 (short for Internet Key Exchange version 2) is a fast and secure protocol that tends to work best when the server you’re connecting to is physically nearby. It was developed by Cisco and Microsoft security engineers and it is very popular among mobile users.
- OpenVPN: OpenVPN is an open-source protocol, which means that it is constantly being developed and improved by security professionals around the world. It’s fast, secure, and often works best for long-distance connections or desktop operating systems.
- Shadowsocks: Shadowsocks is an encrypted proxy that was designed specifically to help people overcome the restrictions of the so-called Great Firewall of China. It works great for that purpose, but if you are not in a restricted country, you’re better off using either OpenVPN or IKEv2.
Surfshark uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption to encrypt all user’s connections. They use a 256-bit key for this. they also use a 2048-bit RSA key to privately communicate with all your devices.
For this we connected to Surfshark and chose its US server and performed a speed test. These were the results:
For some reason we got the lowest download speed of all. We got a download speed of 18.86 Mbps and an upload speed of 21.69 Mbps. The ping we got was 65 ms which is 13 times the original.
Other Security features:
- Private DNS: Surfshark also uses a private Domain Name System(DNS). This means the DNS queries of the users go through an encrypted tunnel. This is then resolved on the same VPN server the user is connected to.
- VPN Kill Switch: Surfshark has a VPN Kill Switch that blocks all traffic from going in and out of the network. This takes place every time the VPN connection is interrupted.
Surfshark has around 1040+ servers in 61+ countries. All these servers are encrypted and provide you with a secure and protected connection. The speeds of these servers are also very good. We never encountered any buffering issues while testing it out.
Surfshark has one of the most affordable plans by any VPN.
- Monthly: This plan costs $ 11.95. It is billed monthly and costs $ 143.40 for a full year.
- 1 Year Plan: The plan costs a total of $ 71.88. The per month cost for this plan is $ 5.99. This plan accounts for a 50 % saving which is a total of $ 71.52. This plan is billed once every year.
- 2 Year Plan: At $ 47.76 for 2 years this is the best deal anyone can ever get. The per month cost for this plan is an unbelievable $ 1.99. The plan is billed once in 2 years.
- They have a Weak social media presence
4. IPVanish – Best P2P VPN That Promotes Torrenting
IPVanish is the forth VPN in this list and is the only one based out of the United States. It also had most features that a torrenting VPN requires. Let us see a bit more about the VPN.
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IPVanish supports all of the industry stand protocols ensuring the users’ connection is secure.
Again we connected to IPVanish VPN’s US server and performed a speed test. These were the results:
We got a download speed of 25.11 Mbps which was similar to that of NordVPN. The upload speed was 20.42 Mbps. The ping we got was 75 ms which is 15 times the original ping.
Other Security Features
- SOCKS5 web proxy: IPVanish provides a SOCKS5 proxy to mask the users’ private IP addresses while making P2p and VOIP connections.
- 256-bit AES encryption: It provides a 256-bit AES encryption that makes it very hard for anyone to decrypt the users’ data.
- Strict no-logs policy: IPVanish doesn’t store any of the users’ metadata. None of the activities of a user is tracked.
IPVanish has a total of 40,000+ shared IPs and more than 1,300 VPN servers in around 60 countries. Each of the servers is fully encrypted and serves high-speed bandwidth. Like the other VPNs, IPVanish provides a high-speed buffer-free streaming experience.
IPVanish has the following subscription plans:
- Monthly: At the time of writing this, there is a 59% discount on this plan. At $5.00 per month, this is the cheapest monthly plan out there.
- 3-month Plan: With a discount of 63%, the total cost for this plan is $13.50. At $4.50 per month, this is yet another great deal and makes it very affordable.
- 1-year Plan: This is the most affordable plan among all its plans. It costs $39.00. The per month cost for this is $3.25 per month which is also one of the cheapest plans out there.
- The Windows client encountered a few bugs
- Complex User Interface
- No trial. There is a 7-day money-back guarantee available in case someone wants a refund.
5. PureVPN – Great Budget VPN For Torrenting
PureVPN is the fifth and final VPN of our list. It is based in Hong Kong and is one of the most affordable VPN providers. It has a widespread server coverage and provides a good enough bandwidth speed. All these make it a great VPN for torrenting. Let us see what its highlights are.
PureVPN has many features that provide users with a secure connection. It supports the following protocols:
- OpenVPN TCP
- OpenVPN UDP
We connected to the US server of PureVPN and performed a speed test. These were the results:
Surprisingly this gave us the highest download speed among all the other VPNs. However the speed difference was negligible. We got a download speed of 28.20 Mbps and an upload speed of 31.54 Mbps. The ping we got was 57 ms which is 11 times the originating speed.
Other Security Features
- No Browsing Logs: PureVPN does not store any of your online activities, period. This means that whatever you do online is only known to you.
- Hide Your Online Identity: Keep your physical identity off the radar at all times.
- Encryption: PureVPN secures your all online activities by using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption. This makes sure that all your data is encrypted and that no third party can decrypt that data.
- Internet Kill Switch: If your VPN connection is ever interrupted or if the connection fails, the VPN will make sure to immediately stop any kind of traffic from either entering or leaving your device. So your personal information including your IP address will not be exposed to your ISP or any other prying eyes.
- Split Tunneling: PureVPN has a split tunneling functionality. It lets you route some of your device or app traffic through the encrypted VPN tunnel. The other devices or apps access the internet directly. So only those apps that require protection will have access to the VPN connection. You can choose which app you want to exclude from using the secure VPN connection.
- WebRTC Leak Protection: PureVPN masks your real IP address. Instead, it uses one of its dedicated IP addresses. This protects your real IP from leaking at websites and web services. No one will be able to trace your activities back to your real IP address.
PureVPN has a total of 2000+ VPN servers in 180+ spread across 140+ countries. Yes 140+ countries. PureVPN is one of the few VPNs with the most no of servers. All its servers are encrypted and have a dedicated IP address. It claims it has state-of-the-art servers engineered for an optimum mix of performance and speed. It also has Dedicated Streaming Servers which offer insane streaming speeds. This helps in watching online content without buffering.
This is where PureVPN shines. The following are its offerings.
- 1 Month Plan: Like most other VPNs, this is its most expensive plan. It costs $10.95 which is still cheaper than what the other VPNs offer.
- 1 Year Plan: This is the more affordable plan. It costs a total of $69.96 for its yearly plan. The cost per month for this plan is $5.83. This plan is billed once every year.
- 2 Year Plan: This is the most affordable plan from PureVPN. At $3.33 per month, it costs $79.92 for 24 months. This plan is billed once every 2 years.
- Needs to have better customer support
- It doesn’t have a free trial. However it makes up for it with its 31-day money-back guarantee.
Best P2P VPN For Torrenting Verdict
So these were our top 5 picks for the best VPNs for torrenting. All these VPNs were more than capable of downloading torrents. They were all secure and had strong encryption. They also had a strict no-logs policy. So your identity is completely safe. In terms of speed they were all satisfactory. They could perform even better if there weren’t any connection bottlenecks, like those in our limited connection. The only thing that differs is the pricing. Some went for the premium sector while some chose the affordable and budget section. You can choose these depending on your requirements and use cases. Whichever you choose, be assured that you will get a safe and secure torrenting experience.
But before going we have a bonus for you. A few best free VPNs for torrenting. While these may not be as good as the paid ones, they will serve your purpose if you aren’t inclined towards privacy.
Bets Free VPNs For Torrenting
Here are a few free VPNs for torrenting that you can give a try. Most of them have a limited free tier plan. You can opt for their premium plan by paying a little extra, which is generally cheaper than the other VPNs we listed. This revenue model makes it possible for these VPNs to not compromise the users’ privacy by selling their data. However, you can never be sure of this. We don’t recommend using a free VPN but here you go.
Hide.me: Hide.me VPN offers both Free and Premium VPN plans. Their premium plan has better features which include unlimited bandwidth and also a Socks5 proxy service as well. Hide.me claims that they are the ‘fastest’ VPN but we don’t need to do much to debunk their claim. They also state that they don’t keep any logs for both their free as well as premium plans. The free VPN plan comes with the following limitations
● 2GB bandwidth limitation
● Only 2 server locations as compared to 23 of the premium plan
● Slower speeds as compared to the unlimited speed of the premium plan
● Only protocols such as PPTP, SSTP or L2TP. OpenVPN protocol is only available for the premium plans.
Windscribe VPN: Windscribe VPN is one of the best free VPN providers for torrenting. It offers both Free and Premium VPN plans. The free plan has limited traffic from 2 to 15 Gb per month. You can choose from one of the 10 countries available. They also make claims of not recording and logs of any of the users’ activity. This claim has stood firm as of now.
During our tests we found that the speeds weren’t that good even on the paid plans. This could be because of the large number of users who opted for their ‘lifetime VPN plans’ and ended up congesting the servers. Bonus: It is one of the only free VPNs that is compatible with Netflix. This is because of the feature they call WindFlix, which is nothing but a built-in SmartDNS. Free Plan Limitations:
● Has access to only 10 server locations
● A very mediocre speed which can be annoying
● Limited traffic up to 12 to 15 Gb per month
TunnelBear: TunnelBear is another great free VPN for torrenting. It has apps that offer free to use VPN on every platform. Registering is very easy as it doesn’t require any credit cards for free plans.Free Plan Limitations:
● The speeds are very unstable
● Only 500 Mb per month for free
● The traffic is unprotected and can be leaked
● Has a fewer number of servers
So these were the 3 best free VPNs for torrenting. However, you should be wary of the limitations and privacy concerns these VPNs have and if possible use one of the paid VPNs that we listed in our article.