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The Best VPNs for Torrenting

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

Torrenting is a risky form of file sharing. Downloading copyrighted material can lead to fines or even jail time. Plus, internet service providers (ISPs) are known to throttle internet connections during file transfers.

A good virtual private network (VPN) will securely encrypt your torrent activity and hide your real IP address.

It’s important to choose the right VPN, though. Not all VPNs will protect your anonymity — many leak identifying data like your IP address, and some have even been caught sharing user information with ISPs.

Summary: The Best VPN for Torrenting

Based on our tests, the three best VPNs for torrenting are:

  1. Private Internet Access: Best VPN for Torrenting Overall
  2. Astrill VPN: Fastest VPN for Torrenting
  3. ExpressVPN: Best Torrenting VPN for Beginners

The best VPN for torrenting is Private Internet Access, with an exceptional P2P-specific rating of 9.7/10. Its no-logs policy, fast torrenting speeds, and excellent security features (including an effective kill switch) surpassed our expectations.

These recommended VPNs are all available via paid subscriptions. While there are a handful of good free VPNs for torrenting, their limitations will affect you file sharing experience.

The Best VPNs for Torrenting Compared

Use the table below to see how the best VPNs for torrenting compare based on their stance towards torrenting, average file-sharing speed, 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.

VPNs Tested for Torrenting65
Safe P2P VPNs20
IP & DNS Leak Tests Performed9,500+

Our Recommended VPNs for Torrenting Analyzed

  1. 1. Private Internet Access: Best VPN for Torrenting

    The best and most private torrenting VPN with fast file-sharing speeds, no-logs policy & advanced security features.

    Ranked #1 out of 65 VPNs for Torrenting
    Private Internet AccessVisit PIA VPN

    • Fast bitrate speed for file-sharing
    • Verified no-logs policy, regular transparency reports & diskless servers
    • Effective kill switch & in-built IPv4/IPv6 leak protection
    • Port forwarding support & custom malware blocker
    • Torrenting permitted on all 18,651 servers
    • Cheap on long-terms plans

    • Port forwarding isn’t allowed on US servers
    • Can be confusing for beginners
    • Port number randomly assigned
    • Headquartered in the US (FVEY jurisdiction)

    Overall Torrenting Rating: 9.7/10

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

    • 9.6/10
    • 9.3/10
    • 9.7/10
    • 10/10
    • 10/10

    Private Internet Access (PIA) is the best torrenting VPN in 2024 due to its verified no-logs policy, fast 9.6MiB/s file-sharing download bitrate, and excellent security features including IP leak blocking and customizable encryption.

    It has port forwarding for faster upload speeds, and it protects your personal data with the best VPN kill switch we’ve tested.

    At $2.03 per month, PIA is also the cheapest VPN for torrenting, offering excellent value for money.

    The only drawbacks to torrenting with PIA are its randomly assigned port numbers and the inability to port forward on US servers.

    Private Internet Access' VPN app for Windows

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

    • For US East Coast: Canada, Montreal
    • For US West Coast: Canada, Vancouver
    Cheapest Price$2.03/mo over 28 months See all plans
    Average Bitrate9.6MiB/s
    Torrenting FeaturesKill Switch, Port Forwarding, SOCKS5
    Data LeaksNo
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    JurisdictionUS (Five Eyes Member)
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosmacOS
    3. linuxLinux

    Excellent Privacy & Security Features for Safe Torrenting

    As a no-logs VPN, PIA does not store any user data or connection logs. This ensures that the files you download cannot be shared with anyone else, preventing possible DMCA requests.

    This was confirmed by an independent audit and PIA’s regularly updated transparency reports. For added privacy, PIA also uses a diskless server network — making it impossible to extract your torrenting activity.

    PIA encrypts your network traffic with AES-256 or ChaCha20 encryption and tunnels it using OpenVPN or WireGuard.

    We used Wireshark, a data packet analyzer, and verified that PIA securely encrypted our web traffic while torrenting:

    PIA Wireshark results

    PIA encrypted our P2P traffic with WireGuard.

    To prevent any IP leaks while file-sharing, PIA comes with built-in IPv4/IPv6 leak protection and a customizable kill switch. In fact, PIA has never leaked our data in over seven years of testing.

    Fast File-Sharing Speeds Across Its Server Network

    PIA allows BitTorrent traffic on all 18,651 servers across 91 countries. As a result, PIA has the most P2P servers of any VPN we’ve tested.

    Torrenting with PIA on macOS

    We used PIA to safely torrent movies, TV series, software, and more.

    While connected to a nearby US server, we recorded a fast average bitrate of 9.6MiB/s. We found this fast enough to quickly download any content type and file size, including 4K movie torrents.

    You can also use the VPN’s port forwarding feature to maximize your P2P speeds. Although this is useful for torrenters, we discovered that PIA blocks port forwarding on its US servers.

    EXPERT ADVICE: As PIA randomly assigns port numbers, make sure you add the new port to your torrent client before you begin file-sharing.

    In the video below, we demonstrate how to torrent safely with PIA:

    How to torrent safely with Private Internet Access.

    Before You Torrent with Private Internet Access:

    1. Check the kill switch is turned on. Click the three dots in the top-right of the app, then go to Settings > Privacy and then tick Advanced Kill Switch.
    2. Check malware protection is enabled. In the same menu as the kill switch, tick PIA MACE.
    3. Check you’re using the best available VPN protocol. Go to Settings > Protocols and choose either OpenVPN or WireGuard.
    4. Check you’re using the correct encryption. As PIA uses AES-128 by default, ensure you select AES-256 from the Data Encryption drop-down menu next to the protocols.
    5. Check you’ve turned on port forwarding. From Settings, go to Network and tick Request Port Forwarding.
    6. Check you’ve chosen the optimal server. Click the widget on the homescreen labeled VPN Server to access the full server list.

      Click Choose automatically if you want the fastest file-sharing speeds.

    7. Check your VPN connection is active. The central power button will change from yellow to green once the connection is active.
    8. Check port forwarding is configured properly. Once connected to a server, your port number will be displayed on the app’s homescreen below your VPN IP address.

      You can then follow our PIA port forwarding instructions to add the port number to your torrent client.

  2. 2. Astrill VPN: Fastest VPN for Torrenting

    A fully-featured and secure VPN with the fastest file-sharing speeds we’ve tested.

    Astrill mobile screenshotsVisit Astrill

    • Recorded the fastest download bitrate
    • Minimal logging policy & anonymous payment methods
    • Supports port forwarding for faster P2P speeds
    • Advanced kill switch & built-in leak protection
    • P2P-optimized servers
    • Strong encryption and open-sourced protocols

    • The most expensive VPN we're reviewed
    • Port forwarding requires manual configuration
    • Limited server network
    • Unverified logging policy
    • VPN apps are difficult to set up for torrenting
    • Changed jurisdiction from Seychelles to Liechtenstein

    Overall Torrenting Rating: 9.3/10

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

    • 10/10
    • 9.4/10
    • 8.3/10
    • 9.0/10
    • 10/10

    Astrill is the fastest VPN we tested for torrenting thanks to its port forwarding feature and P2P-optimized servers.

    It protects your torrenting traffic with advanced security features including AES-256 encryption, a customizable kill switch, and IP leak protection.

    However, Astrill requires some technical knowledge to use and we found its port forwarding feature especially difficult to set up.

    Astrill VPN's desktop app

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

    • For US East Coast: Canada, Toronto 10G
    • For US West Coast: Canada, Vancouver
    Cheapest Price$12.50/mo over two years See all plans
    Average Bitrate10.0MiB/s
    Torrenting FeaturesKill Switch, Port Forwarding, SOCKS5
    Data LeaksNo
    Logging PolicySome User Logs
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosmacOS
    3. linuxLinux

    Astrill Had No Impact on Our Torrenting Download Speeds

    In our latest tests, Astrill did not decrease our torrenting speeds at all. We recorded an exceptional average bitrate of 10.0MiB/s.

    Coupled with its unlimited data, Astrill is an excellent VPN for downloading large torrents. We downloaded a 23GB movie torrent from a popular torrenting site in just 35 minutes with Astrill.

    Conducting a P2P speed test with Astrill VPN

    Our tests confirm that Astrill is the fastest VPN for torrenting.

    You can connect to a P2P-optimized server, marked by a star, for the best possible file-sharing speeds. Frustratingly, Astrill only has 70 P2P server locations though, and these are the only servers that support port forwarding.

    Its server coverage is still serviceable, with P2P servers in the US, Europe, South America, and Asia. If you can’t find one near you, we suggest subscribing to PIA VPN for a larger server network.

    P2P-Friendly VPN with Advanced Security Features

    Astrill deletes any identifiable data once the VPN session ends, ensuring your torrent downloads can’t be traced back to you.

    Although its privacy policy hasn’t been verified by an audit, Astrill has avoided any controversy since its launch in 2009. It has also recently moved its jurisdiction from the Seychelles, a privacy haven, to Liechtenstein. While this isn’t ideal, Liechtenstein is still a privacy-friendly country with lenient data laws.

    Astrill VPN P2P Servers on Android

    Astrill has a number of P2P servers across its apps.

    To protect your network traffic, Astrill encrypts it with AES-256 or ChaCha20 encryption and tunnels it with the OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols.

    Using Wireshark, a packet analyzer, we tested our VPN connection and found that Astrill safely encrypted our traffic while torrenting.

    You can also enable Astrill’s “App Guard” kill switch for added protection. It lets you block specific apps, like torrent clients, from accessing the internet if the VPN unexpectedly disconnects. Sadly, we learned that this feature is a Windows exclusive, leaving iOS and Mac torrenters less secure.

    In the section below we show all the necessary steps to torrenting safely with Astrill:

    Before You Torrent with Astrill:

    1. Check the kill switch is turned on. Click the hamburger menu in the top-left of the app and then App Guard. Select the + symbol to add your torrent client and then OK to confirm.
    2. Check the advanced security features are enabled. Open Astrill’s menu and click Privacy > Internet kill switch. Then tick Fix DNS Leak and Fix IPv6 Leak and click OK to confirm.
    3. Check you’re using the best available VPN protocol. On the home screen click the arrow next to OpenWeb in the top-right corner and select OpenVPN from the drop down menu. Unlike most VPNs, Astrill records faster P2P speeds with OpenVPN than with WireGuard.
    4. Check you’ve chosen the optimal server. Search for a P2P server near your real location. P2P-optimized servers are marked by a star and can be filtered by typing an asterisk into the search bar.
    5. Check you’ve turned on port forwarding. Within the hamburger menu, click Settings > Port Forward > Enable Port Forwarding and type in your desired port number. Press OK to confirm.
    6. Check your VPN connection is active. The central switch will move from left to right with the word ON appearing to indicate an active connection.
    7. Check port forwarding is configured properly. Ensure you correctly add your new port number to your torrent client before you begin file-sharing.
  3. 3. ExpressVPN: Best Torrenting VPN for Beginners

    A versatile and highly-secure torrenting VPN with user-friendly apps.

    ExpressVPN's new app on mobile devicesVisit ExpressVPN

    • Fast file-sharing speeds
    • 3,000 P2P-optimized servers
    • Verified private logging policy & diskless server network
    • Intuitive apps for all platforms
    • Robust encryption & open-sourced proprietary protocol
    • IPv4/IPv6 leak protection and effective kill switch

    • No port forwarding
    • More expensive than competitors
    • Lacks some advanced security features
    • No transparency reports
    • Slower P2P speeds than PIA & Astrill
    • Minor kill switch issues on macOS

    Overall Torrenting Rating: 9.3/10

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

    • 9.4/10
    • 9.6/10
    • 9.2/10
    • 10/10
    • 7.5/10

    ExpressVPN is a beginner-friendly torrenting VPN with intuitive apps that require no additional setup for file-sharing. As our top-rated VPN overall, it scores highly in privacy, security, and file-sharing speed.

    ExpressVPN’s main disadvantages for torrenting are its lack of a port forwarding feature and a customizable kill switch. It also has a marginally slower average bitrate than the other VPNs on this list.

    ExpressVPN's app for Windows

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

    • For US East Coast: Canada, Montreal
    • For US West Coast: Canada, Vancouver
    Cheapest Price$6.67/mo over 15 Months See all plans
    Average Bitrate9.4MiB/s
    Torrenting FeaturesKill Switch
    Data LeaksNo
    Logging PolicyNo Identifying Data
    JurisdictionBritish Virgin Islands (Privacy Haven)
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosmacOS
    3. linuxLinux

    Easy-to-Use Apps, but Missing P2P Features

    ExpressVPN’s apps are intuitive to use and come with built-in P2P-optimized servers. To begin torrenting with it, you simply connect to a server and start your download.

    Using ExpressVPN with the qBittorrent torrent client

    ExpressVPN is fully compatible with BitTorrent clients.

    Its kill switch and secure Lightway protocol are enabled by default, removing any unnecessary setup. We found this to be particularly helpful when conducting our P2P speed tests.

    For added convenience, you can also install ExpressVPN’s router app on your WiFi router to permanently protect all of your devices while torrenting.

    Despite its excellent usability, ExpressVPN’s apps are missing some key torrenting features, which prevents it from placing higher on this list. Crucially, ExpressVPN doesn’t have a port forwarding feature or a customizable VPN kill switch.

    Although lacking these features, we still recorded an impressive 9.4MiB/s file-sharing download speed while connected to a local ExpressVPN server.

    Anonymous & Secure Torrenting in Over 106 Locations

    ExpressVPN does not collect enough data to de-anonymize you, as confirmed by an independent audit.

    It’s also based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), a privacy haven, and operates with a diskless server network. This makes it virtually impossible for anyone to access your torrenting activity.

    ExpressVPN encrypts your internet connection with strong AES-256 encryption along with its proprietary protocol Lightway. To test this, we ran our connection through a packet analyzer and confirmed that ExpressVPN securely encrypted our P2P traffic:

    Analyzing ExpressVPN's encryption using Wireshark

    ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol securely tunnelled our P2P traffic.

    ExpressVPN also comes with IPv4, IPv6, and DNS leak protection. We tested the VPN with our leak test tool and detected no data leaks.

    Watch the video below to learn how to torrent safely with ExpressVPN:

    How to use ExpressVPN to torrent files safely.

    Before You Torrent with ExpressVPN:

    1. Check the kill switch is turned on. Click the hamburger menu in the top-left of the app and then Options > General. Ensure the box beneath Network Lock is ticked and press OK to confirm.
    2. Check malware protection is enabled. Within Options, go to the Threat Manager tab and tick the box. Press OK to confirm.
    3. Check you’re using the best available VPN protocol. Go to Options > Protocol and select Lightway – UDP. Press OK to confirm.
    4. Check you’ve chosen the optimal server. Select the three horizontal dots on the homescreen to open the server list. Click Smart Location if you want to maximize P2P speeds.
    5. Check your VPN connection is active. The central power button and background will turn green to show that the connection is active.

The Best Torrenting VPNs: Performance Comparison

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

We’ve evaluated the P2P performance of 65 VPNs using five testing categories, as detailed in our testing methodology.

Each VPN is then assigned an overall torrenting rating based on how well it performed in these categories, and ranked accordingly.

Our aim is to give you an understanding of each VPN’s general torrenting performance, broken down into specific relevant areas, such as file-sharing, speed, or security.

The table below shows how the best VPNs for torrenting compare in each of the five testing categories:

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

Bar chart comparing the best torrenting VPNs in 5 different test categories

Astrill has the fastest file-sharing speeds, but PIA excels in every area of our methodology.

As the data shows, our recommended VPNs all have their own specializations and shortcomings for torrenting. PIA scored highly in every category, while ExpressVPN performed especially well for P2P servers and Astrill excelled in bitrate speed.

To choose a torrenting VPN tailored to your needs, we’ve outlined the strengths and weaknesses of each VPN service below:

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

Using a standardized P2P speed test, we test the file-sharing speeds of every VPN we review.

To create a clean testing environment, we conduct our speed tests on a private torrent tracker while connected to a Windows virtual machine. Every test file is downloaded using the qBittorrent v4.5.5 client on a fixed 10MiB/s internet connection.

We conduct multiple P2P speed tests weekly and calculate an average bitrate to minimize the influence of anomalous results.

You can use the bar chart below to see how the best VPNs for torrenting compared in the latest set of P2P speed tests:

Bar chart comparing the average bitrates of the best torrenting VPNs

As you can see, Astrill VPN is the fastest VPN for torrenting. In each instance of testing Astrill, the torrent file opened immediately and began downloading onto our virtual machine.

We’ve never experienced any disruptions torrenting with Astrill, and it maintained its fast speeds with torrent files as large as 50GB.

In the video below, we demonstrate how much faster for torrenting Astrill is than ExpressVPN, in real-time:

Astrill VPN has faster P2P speeds than any VPN we've tested.

We can’t guarantee that Astrill will output the same results for you, but it will outperform the vast majority of VPNs for file-sharing speed.

Torrenting VPN Cost Analysis: Does Price Affect P2P Performance?

In the chart below, you can see the cheapest monthly price of each P2P VPN compared to its overall rating for torrenting. VPNs situated near the top-left of the chart provide the worst value, whilst the VPNs towards the bottom-right represent best value:

Scatter graph comparing 10 VPNs price against their overall torrenting rating. PIA VPN is highlighted as the best value, offering the highest rating at the lowest cost. Astrill is labeled as the worst value, with a high cost and lower rating. Other VPNs like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and ProtonVPN are in the mid-range for both price and rating.

Our test findings indicate that there isn’t a correlation between the price of a VPN and its torrenting performance. PIA achieved the highest rating in our torrenting methodology, but it also offers one of the most affordable pricing plans at just $2.03/mo.

As a result, Private Internet Access offers exceptional value for torrenting.

If you only want to torrent a specific piece of media, like a new TV series or e-book, you can also take advantage of a VPN’s free trial or money-back guarantee.

For instance, you can use ExpressVPN to download a new TV show, and then request a refund within the 30 day money-back guarantee period.

If you want to torrent smaller files infrequently, you can also try one of the best free VPNs for torrenting. They come with many more limitations than paid VPNs, but require no payment whatsoever.

Other Torrenting VPNs We Considered

During our testing process, we evaluated popular VPNs that perform well for other purposes, but weren’t good enough for torrenting.

Some VPNs performed well in specific areas of our torrenting methodology, but were undermined by inadequate security features or average file-sharing speeds.

For example, NordVPN is a good VPN for torrenting, but it doesn’t have port forwarding and it blocks BitTorrent traffic on 15% of its servers.

In the section below, we’ve listed the most well-known VPN services which just fell short of inclusion into our list, and their reasons for doing so:


Magnified image of torrenting on a restricted NordVPN server

NordVPN routed our US-Argentina P2P traffic via the Netherlands.

With its recently improved download bitrate, NordVPN is a good P2P VPN. However, it blocks BitTorrent traffic in 14 countries and it lacks a port forwarding feature. If you try to torrent while connected to a restricted server location, NordVPN routes your traffic through an alternate, and often distant, server location.


Mullvad's server list

Mullvad has a limited number of P2P-enabled servers.

Mullvad is a secure and private VPN but is limited by its removal of port forwarding and its modest amount of P2P servers.


Testing IPVanish's VPN kill switch on macOS

We only detected a minor issue with IPVanish’s macOS kill switch.

IPVanish is an excellent torrenting VPN but falls short of the very best due to its lack of port forwarding and US jurisdiction. We also experienced some issues with its kill switch on macOS.


Enabling the Kill Switch in Surfshark's Windows client

Enabling the Kill Switch in Surfshark’s Windows client.

Although Surfshark is a great VPN overall, its file-sharing speeds aren’t as fast as the best P2P VPNs. It also doesn’t have a port forwarding feature and you have to enable its kill switch manually.


CyberGhost blocks P2P traffic in Hong Kong

CyberGhost slowed our P2P traffic while connected to a Hong Kong server.

CyberGhost blocks torrenting on servers in 3 countries, doesn’t support port forwarding, and takes around 81 minutes to download a 20GB torrent file.

Torrenting VPNs to Avoid

As part of our testing process, we encountered many VPNs that are too dangerous to torrent with.

Several of these VPNs used weak encryption and outdated protocols that leaked our torrent downloads and real IP address.

We also came across VPNs that logged enough data to de-anonymize your torrenting activity and respond to DMCA requests.

Below we’ve listed some of the worst performing VPNs from our testing and our reasons for avoiding them:

Avira Phantom VPN

Avira Phantom VPN's intrusive logging policy

Avira Phantom VPN logs your IP address, device information, and bandwidth usage.

Avira collects your real IP address and openly states it will comply with data requests in its privacy policy. It’s also based in Germany making it a part of 14 Eyes, an intelligence-sharing alliance, and subject to EU data retention laws.

AVG Secure VPN

AVG VPN's protocol options

AVG doesn’t use OpenVPN on all platforms.

AVG Secure VPN collects enough data to de-anonymize your activity and it uses outdated VPN protocols on its macOS and iOS apps.

Norton Secure VPN

Norton VPN blocking P2P traffic

Norton Secure VPN blocks torrenting outside of the Netherlands.

Norton Secure VPN logs your real IP address and is based in the US, a Five Eyes member. The VPN also blocks P2P traffic on every server other than the Netherlands.

How to Choose a VPN for Anonymous Torrenting

It’s important you conduct your own research, alongside our independent findings, before purchasing a VPN.

If you choose the wrong VPN to torrent with, you run the risk of slow file-sharing speeds, malware, and even legal troubles.

To prevent this, we’ve listed the most important features you should look for when purchasing a torrenting VPN:

What Is the Best Country for Torrenting?

Although torrenting itself is not illegal, it is against the law in most countries to download copyrighted material.

As such, it’s possible you can receive a fine, or even jail time, for torrenting a piece of copyrighted material.

The exact laws on digital copyright infringement vary significantly depending on the country you’re based in.

Ideally, you should connect to a VPN server in a country with less restrictive copyright laws to mitigate the risk of accidentally downloading copyrighted material. You also need the server to be close to your real location to minimize the impact to your file-sharing speeds.

Therefore, the best country for torrenting depends on where you’re based.

You can use the table below to see which countries punish torrenting, and suggested alternatives if you live in one of them:

Restricted Country P2P-Friendly Alternative
United States Mexico
United Kingdom The Netherlands
Germany Switzerland
France The Netherlands

How We Test VPNs for Torrenting

We’ve created a bespoke testing methodology to determine the best VPNs for torrenting.

VPNs are assessed on how well they perform in five key testing categories, with the results contributing to an overall torrenting rating.

You can find the categories and their respective weightings in the chart below:

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

Every paid VPN we review has been evaluated and ranked based on how well they performed in the above categories.

In the following sections, we’ll explain how we calculate a VPN’s rating for each torrenting test 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.

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.

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 VPN Protocol Should I Use for Torrenting?

Our test findings indicate that WireGuard is the best protocol for torrenting as it offers the best balance of speed and security.

All of our recommended VPNs registered their fastest file-sharing speeds using WireGuard, especially Astrill VPN. We also never detected any data leaks while torrenting with the WireGuard protocol.

If your VPN doesn’t have WireGuard, it’s still safe to torrent with OpenVPN.

Does a VPN Slow Down Torrenting?

Using a VPN will always slow down your torrenting speeds as your internet connection is being routed through a remote server. Although, the best VPNs for torrenting are designed to minimize this speed loss as much as possible.

In fact, we experienced close to zero slowdown in our file-sharing speeds while connected to Astrill.