54Mbps same city speed
Based on a 100Mbps test connection
Torrenting without a secure VPN service puts your privacy at significant risk, but very few trustworthy free VPNs allow P2P traffic on their servers.
Using a VPN is crucial if you want to torrent safely and anonymously. The problem is that many free VPNs just don’t cut it:
- Many free VPNs are not fast enough
- Some free VPNs don’t allow torrenting
- Not all free VPNs hide your IP address
- Some free VPNs keep user activity logs
After testing hundreds of free VPNs, we’ve found just three free VPNs that we recommend for torrenting. Right now, the best free VPNs for torrenting are:
- Windscribe Free: The overall best free VPN for torrenting with a 10GB monthly data cap.
- Hide.me Free: The fastest free VPN for P2P traffic with also 10GB monthly data allowance.
- TunnelBear Free: Popular free VPN that allows torrenting across 23 free server locations.
The three free VPNs above will hide your torrent IP address. This way your ISP won’t see what you download and it can’t throttle your speeds when you torrent large files. You’ll also be able to unblock many torrent websites blocked by ISPs (an estimated 4,000 file sharing sites are blocked around the world).
Let’s be clear, free VPNs are nowhere near as good as the best paid VPNs for torrenting, especially our top pick ExpressVPN. However, the best free VPNs will protect your privacy without compromising too much on speed. Just beware of the limited data caps in place.
Wondering why you should trust our reviews?
See How We Review VPNs.
Best Free VPNs for Torrenting & P2P in 2020
72Mbps same city speed
Based on a 100Mbps test connection
4 countries, Not disclosed servers
52Mbps same city speed
Based on a 100Mbps test connection
Free Torrent VPN FAQs
What's the Best Free VPN for Torrenting?
Currently, the best free VPN for torrenting is Windscribe. It provides the best all-round P2P experience without too many major compromises. It’s fast, secure and will hide your torrent IP address.
The main downside of Windscribe is that it has a 10GB monthly data cap. This is the most generous allowance we’ve seen from a free VPN that allows torrenting, though. You won’t get more than that from a safe free VPN.
If you don’t need to torrent large files, but need a diverse server network, then a good alternative is TunnelBear VPN. It has in fact P2P-enabled servers in 23 countries.
However, TunnelBear limits data transfers to 500MB per month, which isn’t much at all, let alone for torrenting.
On the whole, it’s definitely worth paying for a top torrent VPN to experience fast and unrestricted torrenting. The best paid VPNs for torrenting have a wider range of P2P-friendly servers with no data usage restrictions whatsoever.
As of September 2020, our current top five paid VPNs for torrenting are:
Do I Really Need a Free VPN for Torrenting?
You absolutely need a VPN for torrenting, as torrenting without a secure VPN service leaves you exposed to all sorts of privacy risks.
Firstly, if you don’t use a VPN while torrenting, your IP address, along with that of everyone taking part in that file transfer, is exposed. This means that your ISP, as well as any other potential snoopers or hackers, is able to see exactly what you’re doing online.
Some ISPs have also been known to detect users taking part in high-bandwidth activities (such as throttling) and intentionally reduce their connection speeds to even out bandwidth usage across the rest of the network. This could bring your torrenting to a halt.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to install a trusted VPN service to the device that you intend to use for torrenting – our recommendations above are a good place to start.
Generally, though, you will get a better torrenting experience with a paid VPN that guarantees your privacy, has no data cap and is well optimized for P2P traffic.
How a Free VPN Protects Your Privacy While Torrenting
A trusted free VPN protects your privacy while you torrent in three different ways:
Hides your torrenting activity from your ISP
Using a VPN means that your ISP is unable to see what you’re doing online, whether that be torrenting or anything else.
This will prevent them from monitoring or throttling your internet traffic, meaning your speeds won’t suffer as a result of what you’ve chosen to do online.
Prevents other torrenters from seeing your IP address
If you use a site like BitTorrent, everyone using the same torrent file is connected in a ‘swarm’, meaning each user can see the IP addresses of all the other devices that are also connected.
Your IP address can be used to determine your ISP and approximate physical location, which is often how torrenters end up receiving copyright violation letters from online trolls.
Using a VPN will mask your IP address so that the other users in the swarm can only see the IP address of the P2P server. If your VPN uses shared IP addresses, as most do, it would be virtually impossible to trace torrenting activity back to a single user.
Protects you from any potential hackers
The fact that a VPN hides your true IP address will also protect you from any hackers that could otherwise use it as a backdoor into your system to find out your confidential personal information.
Because all of your traffic is routed through the VPN’s servers, rather than those owned by your ISP, all of your data is encrypted to a high standard and impossible for anyone else to view.
How To Use a Free VPN for Torrenting
Using a free VPN for torrenting is incredibly easy.
Choose a free VPN service that allows torrenting
Simply choose the VPN service you’re going to use, install it onto the device that you’re going to torrent on and enter your login information.
Check the privacy settings and kill switch
Before you connect, check that the VPN kill switch and any leak protection is enabled on your VPN. This will keep your personal information out of the wrong hands should the VPN connection fail for any reason.
Choose a VPN server location
Now connect to the closest VPN server to your physical location for the best speeds, and begin torrenting securely. Keep an eye on the data cap, if applicable, to ensure you don’t run out unexpectedly.
Are Free VPNs Safe for Torrenting?
You’re using a VPN to keep you safe and private online, and that’s no different when you’re torrenting. Using a secure VPN is perhaps the most effective way to protect yourself while torrenting: it masks your true IP address and it encrypts all your web traffic.
To keep yourself as safe as possible while torrenting, make sure to choose a free VPN with:
Worst Free VPNs for Torrenting
Not all free VPN services are safe for torrenting. Here’s our top three free VPNs to avoid, although this is by no means an exhaustive list.
Hola Free VPN
Hola Free VPN claims to be a ‘VPN service,’ but it is in fact an insecure peer-to-peer proxy network that doesn’t provide any encryption whatsoever.
Hola is no good for torrenting as it monitors absolutely everything you do online, including all the websites you visit, and has even been known to sell user bandwidth without consent.
Sadly, it’s one of the most popular free VPN services out there, but we’d advise you to avoid Hola at all costs.
VPN Proxy Master
VPN Proxy Master is an incredibly unsafe free VPN for torrenting as the company has a sketchy history of sending confidential user information across to China.
Not only this, but your IP address is collected and stored for an indefinite amount of time, plus there’s no way of telling how VPN Proxy Master is encrypted.
The apps are full of pop-up ads, too – VPN Proxy Master is definitely a free VPN to stay away from.
No question about it, Thunder VPN is one of the worst free VPN services you could possible use for torrenting.
Not to mention it’s only available on Android, Thunder VPN uses an insecure connection protocol, lacks any security features whatsoever, and ignored our questions about encryption.
ThunderVPN also claims to be no-logs but actually collects a ton of information, such as your IP address, ISP, server location, and loads more.
Are Free VPNs Legal?
Using a free VPN service to protect your privacy is 100% legal in almost every country around the world. There is a small number, however, where unauthorized VPN use is restricted or banned. These are:
- UAE (United Arab Emirates)
Using an unauthorized VPN service in any of these countries could result in a heavy fine, or in some cases, even a prison sentence.
There’s also a handful of countries where all VPN services are completely banned:
- North Korea
Being caught using a VPN service in any of these locations could lead to an unspecified fine and land you in some serious trouble.
Take a look at our guide Are VPNs Legal? for more information on countries with VPN restrictions and advice on using a VPN service safely.
You can also check out our best VPNs for China (and other high-censorship countries) here.
Is Torrenting Illegal?
Torrenting itself is completely legal, but it’s copyright restrictions that you have to be careful with. The act of torrenting, however, is in itself legal. In fact, you can torrent legally in countries like the US, UK, Australia, Canada and India.
But, if you download content that is in breach of any copyright rules, you are breaking the law, regardless of how you do it. For example, downloading or sharing copyrighted content is illegal in Australia, Canada, the US, and the UK.
If you’re concerned about the legality of torrenting certain files, familiarize yourself with the copyright laws in your country.