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The Best Free VPNs for Torrenting & P2P

Podium Rankings for Best VPN

Callum Tennent oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his VPN advice has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society.

Fact-checked by JP JonesAdditional Testing by Harry Ferrigno

EXPERT ADVICE: Even the best free torrent VPNs have serious usage limitations. Premium torrent VPNs like PIA VPN are fast and private with no P2P file sharing restrictions. Try PIA VPN risk-free for 30 days.

Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is essential for staying safe and anonymous while torrenting. If you don’t use a VPN, anything you download and share will be visible to your ISP.

Most free VPNs have serious limitations that may put your torrenting activity at risk. However, there are a handful of safe free VPNs that allow P2P connections. These VPNs don’t require any payment details to be used and make no attempt to block torrenting.

What Is the Best Free VPN for Torrenting in 2024?

Our P2P tests reveal that the best free VPNs for torrenting are:

  1. Windscribe Free: Best Free VPN for Torrenting Overall
  2. PrivadoVPN Free: Best Free VPN for P2P servers

The best free VPN for torrenting is Windscribe Free. It allows P2P traffic on all of its free servers and secures your connection with AES-256 encryption and fast tunneling protocols. Since our testing began, Windscribe has never leaked our real IP address thanks to its in-built IP leak protection and kill switch.

We’ve compiled this list of the best free torrenting VPNs based on our tests of 65 VPN services.

By encrypting your torrenting activity, they’ll ensure your downloads remain safe and anonymous, and will prevent data leaks that may expose your identity to other P2P users.

However, free VPNs are known to come with limitations, such as restrictive data caps, slow file-sharing speeds, and small P2P server networks. If you want fast and unlimited torrenting, we recommend subscribing to one of the best paid VPNs for torrenting, instead.

The Best Free VPNs for Torrenting Compared

You can use the table below to compare the best free torrenting VPNs based on their average download bitrate, policy towards torrenting, security features, and more:

Why Trust Us?

We’re fully independent and have been reviewing VPNs since 2016. Our ratings are based on our own testing results and are unaffected by financial incentives. Learn who we are and how we test VPNs

Free VPNs Tested for Torrenting25
IP & DNS Leak Tests Performed9,500+
Total Hours of Testing30,000+

How to Choose a Free VPN for Torrenting

It’s important to conduct your own research before you begin torrenting with a VPN.

Torrenting with a free VPN can be risky and result in serious legal repercussions.

In the table below we’ve highlighted the most important features you should look for when choosing a free VPN for torrenting:

Our Full Analysis: Best Free VPNs for Torrenting & P2P

  1. 1. Windscribe Free: Best Free VPN for Torrenting

    The best overall free VPN for torrenting with excellent security features, 11 free servers, and a P2P-friendly privacy policy.

    Ranked #1 out of 65 VPNs
    The Windscribe VPN app running on two mobiles; one displaying connection options, the other connected to a New York server.Visit Windscribe

    • Torrenting allowed on all 11 free servers
    • No payment details required on signup
    • Faster average bitrate than other free VPNs
    • Strong encryption & open-sourced protocols
    • Reliable ‘Firewall’ kill switch & in-built leak protection
    • Minimal logging policy & diskless VPN servers

    • 10GB monthly data cap
    • Port forwarding, multi-hop, and malware blocker only available on paid plans
    • Based in Canada (Five Eyes member)
    • Logging policy hasn’t been audited
    • No SOCKS5 proxy
    • No human live chat

    Overall Rating : 7.7/10

    This overall rating is calculated based on the following category ratings. To learn more, read our free torrenting VPN testing methodology.

    • 7.2/10
    • 8.1/10
    • 8.9/10
    • 8.0/10
    • 5.0/10

    Windscribe Free is the best free VPN for anonymous torrenting. It conceals your P2P activity with AES-256 encryption and secure tunneling protocols.

    It’s also a trustworthy VPN service with a private logging policy and torrenting support on all free servers.

    Although it’s free to use, you’re limited by a 10GB monthly data cap and can’t port forward.

    Here are the best Windscribe Free server(s) for torrenting in the US:

    • For US East Coast: Canada, Toronto – “Comfort Zone” (1Gbps)
    • For US West Coast: Canada, Vancouver – “Granville”

    Windscribe Free's VPN app for Windows

    Data Cap10GB
    Average Bitrate6.3MiB/s
    Data LeaksNo
    Torrenting FeaturesKill Switch
    Logging PolicyNo Identifying Data
    Free P2P Servers11
    JurisdictionCanada (Five Eyes Member)
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosmacOS
    3. linuxLinux
    4. iosiOS
    5. androidAndroid

    Private VPN Service with a P2P-Friendly Stance

    Windscribe Free allows torrenting on all 11 free servers, with its only limit being a 10GB data cap.

    We recorded a respectable average bitrate of 6.3MiB/s. This is the fastest bitrate on this list and indicates Windscribe doesn’t throttle P2P traffic.

    Testing Windscribe Free's file-sharing bitrate

    For the best possible bitrate, connect to a 1Gbps server.

    The VPN does log some data, but it isn’t enough to generate a DMCA request. In fact, Windscribe’s transparency report shows, in real-time, that exactly zero DMCA requests have been complied with.

    Windscribe also uses a diskless server network which makes it impossible to extract data from a server. As such, your torrenting activity can’t be shared.

    Robust Security Features for Safe Torrenting

    Windscribe Free encrypts your BitTorrent traffic with AES-256 encryption and tunnels it using trusted protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard.

    We used Wireshark, a packet-sniffing tool, and verified that Windscribe Free securely encrypted our P2P traffic:

    Windscribe Free's Wireshark results

    Windscribe encrypted our torrenting traffic with WireGuard.

    Windscribe also comes with a ‘Firewall’ kill switch to disconnect your device from the internet if your VPN connection drops. Crucially for torrenters, this protects your anonymity and hides your downloads.

    To test this, we downloaded a torrent while connected to a Windscribe Free server and induced several VPN disconnections. In each instance, the kill switch activated and we didn’t detect any IP leaks on our kill switch test tool.

    Before You Torrent with Windscribe Free:

    1. Check you have enough data. You can see how much data you have left in the bottom-left of the Windscribe app.
    2. Check the kill switch is turned on. Go to Settings > Connection and set Firewall Mode to Always On.
    3. Check you’re using the best available VPN protocol. In the Connection settings, change Connect Mode to Manual and choose either WireGuard or OpenVPN.
    4. Check malware protection is enabled. Select R.O.B.E.R.T within Settings and toggle malware blocking to on.
    5. Check you’ve chosen the optimal server. Click the arrow next to Locations to see the full server list and select the location nearest to you.
    6. Check your VPN connection is active. A green ring will appear around the ‘connect power’ when the VPN connection is active and will disappear once you disconnect.
  2. 2. PrivadoVPN Free: Best VPN for Free P2P Servers

    A secure torrenting VPN with the most free P2P server locations.

    PrivadoVPNVisit PrivadoVPN

    • No restrictions on torrenting traffic
    • 14 VPN P2P servers in 11 countries
    • Privacy-friendly Swiss jurisdiction
    • AES-256 encryption & safe VPN protocols
    • No payment info required
    • Recently patched kill switch

    • 10GB per month data cap
    • No port forwarding & paywalled SOCKS5 proxy
    • Uses IKEv2 by default
    • WireGuard has to be manually installed on macOS
    • Slow average bitrate
    • Logging policy isn’t proven by an audit, court case, or warrant canary

    Overall Rating : 6.2/10

    This overall rating is calculated based on the following category ratings. To learn more, read our free torrenting VPN testing methodology.

    • 5.7/10
    • 6.9/10
    • 6.4/10
    • 6.5/10
    • 5.0/10

    PrivadoVPN Free is a great choice for torrenting in different regions. It has 14 free P2P servers and all of the necessary security features for file-sharing.

    However, PrivadoVPN Free has a below average bitrate and an unverified logging policy. It’s still safe to use, but requires some improvements.

    Here are the best PrivadoVPN Free server(s) for torrenting in the US:

    • For US East Coast: Canada, Montreal
    • For US West Coast: Mexico, Mexico City

    PrivadoVPN Free's VPN app for Windows

    Data Cap10GB
    Average Bitrate5.7MiB/s
    Data LeaksNo
    Torrenting FeaturesKill Switch
    Logging PolicyNo Identifying Data
    Free P2P Servers13
    JurisdictionSwitzerland (Privacy Haven)
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosmacOS
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid

    Torrenting Allowed on All 14 Free Servers

    Aside from a 10GB data cap, Privado VPN Free places no restrictions on torrenting. You can torrent on 14 servers in 11 countries, more than any other free torrenting VPN.

    Its P2P server coverage is excellent, especially for US residents. There’s four US server locations covering both coasts, as well as VPN servers in neighboring Canada and Mexico.

    Magnified image of PrivadoVPN Free's server list

    To maximize P2P speeds in the US, sort by latency and connect to the Canada server location.

    Connecting to these servers, we recorded an average bitrate of 5.7MiB/s. This is poor compared to most premium VPNs, but fast enough for torrenting small files.

    Private & Secure VPN Service, but Missing Features

    PrivadoVPN doesn’t log enough data to identify you, but this hasn’t been proven by an audit or real-world court case. Thankfully, it’s based in Switzerland which has no data retention laws.

    The VPN uses AES-256 encryption to protect your torrenting traffic, alongside OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols.

    To verify this, we ran our P2P traffic through Wireshark and found no data leaks:

    PrivadoVPN Free Wireshark results

    PrivadoVPN Free encrypted our network traffic on Windows.

    Sadly, PrivadoVPN Free uses the outdated IKEv2 protocol by default. We recommend you switch to OpenVPN or WireGuard before opening your torrent client, to prevent any data breaches.

    EXPERT ADVICE: Frustratingly, PrivadoVPN requires you to manually install and authorize WireGuard on its macOS app — ensure you do this before torrenting.

    Before You Torrent with PrivadoVPN Free:

    1. Check you have enough data. PrivadoVPN displays your remaining data in a banner at the bottom of its app.
    2. Check the kill switch is turned on. You can select the toggle from the homescreen or go to Settings > VPN and tick the kill switch box.

      Make sure you click Save in the bottom-right corner before exiting.

    3. Check you’re using the best available VPN protocol. In Settings, click VPN Protocols and untick the Automatic box. Then, choose either WireGuard or OpenVPN.

      Make sure you click Save in the bottom-right corner before exiting.

    4. Check you’ve chosen the optimal server. Click the arrow next to your selected location to access the full server list. We recommend sorting by Latency (Low to High) to maximize your torrenting speeds.
    5. Check your VPN connection is active. The central connect button will turn green and display your new IP address once the VPN is connected.

The Best Free Torrenting VPNs: Performance Comparison

NOTE: All of our torrenting testing has been conducted in a controlled environment over several years, to ensure the utmost accuracy in our test results.

We’ve carefully evaluated 65 VPNs using six testing categories, as outlined in our torrenting VPN testing methodology.

We then assigned an overall torrenting rating to each VPN based on their performance in these categories, and ranked them accordingly.

This gives you an insight into the VPN’s general torrenting performance, as well as specific areas of relevance, such as privacy or security.

You can use the table below to see how the top-rated free VPNs for torrenting compare in each of these key testing categories:

You can also see a visualization of our findings in the chart below:

A radar chart comparing Windscribe Free and PrivadoVPN Free on P2P aspects; Windscribe generally scores higher.

As shown above, Windscribe Free performs much better than PrivadoVPN Free in all areas of our torrenting methodology. Although, there may be some use cases where PrivadoVPN Free may be the better choice.

To find the VPN service best suited to your needs, we’ve outlined the strengths and weaknesses of each free P2P VPN below:

P2P Speed Test Results: Which Free VPN Is Fastest for Torrenting?

We test the torrenting speeds of every VPN we review using a standardized P2P speed test.

Every test is conducted on a Windows virtual machine, using a private torrent tracker, to ensure a clean testing environment. Plus, we always use the qBittorrent v4.5.5 client along with a fixed 10MiB/s internet connection.

To minimize the impact of anomalous results, P2P speed tests are conducted weekly and then aggregated into an average bitrate.

The bar chart below shows how the best free VPNs for torrenting compared against other free VPNs in our P2P speed tests:

Bar chart comparing the average bitrates of free torrenting VPNs

As shown above, Windscribe is the fastest free VPN for torrenting in our testing. Although we can’t guarantee identical results, Windscribe Free will generally outperform most free VPNs for file-sharing speed.

Other Free Torrenting VPNs We Considered

Many of the free VPNs we’ve tested performed well in other categories, but fell short when it came to torrenting.

Other VPNs excelled in specific areas of our torrenting methodology, but were let down by a slow bitrate or an intrusive logging policy.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular free VPNs that failed to meet our requirements, and their reasons for doing so:

Atlas VPN Free

Atlas VPN Free running out of data

Atlas VPN offers far less data than other free VPNs.

Atlas VPN limits its free users to 5GB of monthly data and just 4 servers to connect to. Its logging policy hasn’t been audited yet and the VPN is headquartered in the US, a Five Eyes Member.

Proton VPN Free

Proton VPN Free blocks P2P traffic

You can’t torrent on any of Proton VPN Free’s servers.

Although Proton VPN is an excellent service, it blocks all P2P traffic on its free plan.

Hide.me Free

Contacting Hide.me's live chat about its torrenting policy

Hide.me blocks P2P traffic on all of its free servers.

As of November 2023, Hide.me no longer supports torrenting on its free plan. This is disappointing as we previously recommended Hide.me as a free torrenting VPN due to its excellent privacy features and minimal logging policy.

TunnelBear VPN Free

Stalled download on qBitorrent while connected to TunnelBear.

We often weren’t able to download our test file while connected to TunnelBear servers.

TunnelBear Free is heavily restricted by a 500MB monthly data allowance. Plus, torrenting only works if you connect to a Sweden server while using the OpenVPN protocol.

Free Torrenting VPNs to Avoid

Although widely recommended by other websites, there are many free VPNs that are too dangerous to torrent with.

Throughout our testing, we came across free VPNs that logged enough data to de-anonymise your activity and generate a DMCA request.

We also encountered VPNs with weak encryption and unsafe protocols that leaked our IP address and personal data.

Below we’ve listed some of the worst VPNs from our testing and why we strongly recommend avoiding them:

Hola Free VPN

Hola VPN causing a torrent client to crash

Hola VPN crashed our qBittorrent client immediately.

Hola VPN blocks all BitTorrent traffic. Even if it didn’t, Hola is a dangerous peer-to-peer service that logs your IP address and sells your bandwidth.

Avira Phantom Free VPN

Avira Phantom Free running out of data

We used up Avira Phantom’s data cap within a single download.

Avira’s free VPN is limited by a 500MB monthly data cap. It also logs your real IP address, is based in privacy-unfriendly Germany, and doesn’t have a kill switch.

The Risks of Torrenting with a Free VPN

While the VPNs we’ve recommended are safe for torrenting, all free VPNs still carry some risk.

Crucially, the vast majority of free VPNs impose a data cap to limit your usage. This is particularly important for torrenting as file-sharing consumes a lot of bandwidth.

Torrenting without a VPN

You can see the IP addresses of other peers at all times while torrenting.

If you exceed your data cap while torrenting, your real IP address and web activity will be exposed to other peers and your ISP.

In the video below we demonstrate what happens if your data cap runs out while torrenting:

Our torrent downloads and IP address were exposed once we exceeded Atlas VPN Free's data cap.

To avoid this happening to you, we strongly recommend subscribing to a paid torrenting VPN. Paid VPN services do not impose data caps, eliminating any unexpected connection drops or IP leaks. They often have additional privacy and security features, too.

How We Test Free VPNs for Torrenting

To determine the best free VPNs for torrenting, we’ve created a stringent testing methodology.

Our methodology is based on five key testing categories which all contribute to an overall torrenting rating.

We’ve outlined the categories and their respective weightings in the chart below:

Pie chart showing the breakdown of our free torrenting methodology, which calculated using 5 metrics. Free-sharing bitrate is allocated 30%, security and technical features 20%, privacy and logging policy 20%, p2p servers 20% and additional torrenting features 10%

We’ve assessed every free VPN on how well they perform in the above categories and then ranked them accordingly.

In the sections below, we’ll detail exactly how we calculate a VPN’s rating for each torrenting testing category.

1. File-Sharing Bitrate: 30%

To test file-sharing bitrate, we always use:

  • qBittorrent v4.5.5 Client
  • Fixed 10MiB/s connection
  • Bespoke 1GB Torrent File
  • Windows 10 Virtual Machine

A fast bitrate is important for quickly downloading large torrent files, such as movies or video games. As such, we test every VPN’s torrenting speeds, record its average bitrate, and then calculate a speed score.

To determine the average bitrate of a VPN, we use a bespoke P2P speed test:

  1. Set up a private tracker for a 1GB data file on a Windows virtual machine.
  2. Configure the client not to use DHT or otherwise communicate with any other peers.
  3. While connected to a nearby VPN server, torrent the 1GB file on a fixed 10MiB/s connection.
  4. Measure the duration of the 1GB download to determine the average bitrate.

This value, on a scale of 0 to 10, is then divided by 3.33 to account for its 30% weighting.

2. Security & Technical Features: 20%

To test security & technical features, we always use:

  • Bespoke IP, WebRTC & DNS leak test tool
  • In-house kill switch tool
  • Wireshark network analyzer

Strong VPN encryption is essential for hiding your torrenting activity from malicious third-parties. It also conceals your torrenting activity from your ISP and safeguards against bandwidth throttling.

Testing Windscribe Free Encryption on macOS

We test each VPN’s encryption using Wireshark.

Connecting to a remote VPN server also conceals your real IP address from other peers and copyright trolls.

To test for this, we run every VPN through our proprietary security tools and third-party software like Wireshark.

To calculate this rating, we take it directly from the Security & Technical Features section of the VPN review. We then divide it by 5 to reflect its 20% weighting.

3. Privacy & Logging Policy: 20%

To test privacy & logging policy, we always use:

  • Custom-built logging policy calculator

A VPN’s logging policy determines how much of your data is monitored and stored by the service. For torrenting, it’s essential to choose a VPN service that doesn’t log enough user activity to generate a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) request.

We also take into account the VPN’s jurisdiction and any additional measures implemented by the service to protect your privacy, such as diskless servers.

VPNs that have a verified no-logs privacy policy, whether through audits or real-world court cases, score the highest in this category.

To calculate this rating, we take it from the Privacy & Logging Policy section of the VPN review. We then divide it by five to accommodate its 20% weighting.

Analyzing PrivadoVPN's Privacy Policy on macOS

We run every VPN through our logging policy calculator.

4. P2P Servers: 20%

VPN services vary in their policy towards P2P traffic. VPNs can block all P2P connections, limit it to specific regions, or impose no restrictions whatsoever.

Too few P2P servers can result in slow torrenting speeds due to server congestion, lack of nearby servers, or both.

Ideally, a VPN will have multiple P2P servers in your country, but as a minimum you need to be able to connect to a server in your region.

To account for a range of torrenting policies, we assign a rating from 0.0 to 10:

  1. Rating of 10: All servers permit P2P traffic.
  2. Rating of 7.5: P2P servers in almost every country.
  3. Rating of 5.0: Only regional P2P servers, e.g. one or two servers for the entirety of Asia.
  4. Rating below 2.5: Few P2P servers across the network, or an absence of servers in a particular region, e.g. Europe.

We then divide its rating by five to accommodate its 20% weighting.

5. Additional Torrenting Features: 10%

A kill switch blocks your internet in the event of a sudden VPN disconnection, preventing you from torrenting until your VPN connection resumes.

As a result, your real IP address remains concealed from other users in the torrent swarm, as well as those looking to file a DMCA request.

Port forwarding is another feature we look for when testing the best free VPNs for torrenting. This feature allows you to direct inbound traffic to your torrenting client, thereby increasing your torrenting speed.

A VPN can score up to 10 points in this category depending on the availability of features:

  1. Rating of 10: VPN provides both a kill switch and port forwarding.
  2. Rating of 5: VPN offers one of the two features.
  3. Rating of 0: VPN lacks both a kill switch and port forwarding.

We then divide its rating by 10 to account for its 10% weighting.

What Is the Best Free P2P VPN for Windows

Windscribe Free is the best free VPN for P2P file-sharing on Windows.

Its Windows app is easy to use and we had no issues torrenting with it.

Which Free VPNs Allow P2P?

Windscribe Free, PrivadoVPN Free, and Hide.me Free are all free VPNs that allow P2P connections.

If you’re unsure if a free VPN allows torrenting you can contact us at hello@top10vpn.com and we’ll find out for you.

What Is the Best Free VPN for Downloading?

Based on our recent tests, Windscribe Free is the best free VPN for downloading torrents.

Its average download bitrate is fast enough for most file sizes and you can increase its data cap to 15GB to accommodate larger file transfers.

It’s also completely free to use and requires no payment details upon sign-up.