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Best VPN for Torrenting

Simon Migliano
By Simon MiglianoUpdated
Illustration of a laptop streaming via VPN

If you want to torrent safely in 2019, you need to use a VPN.

Without a secure VPN, your ISP can:

  • See everything you do online
  • Throttle your download speeds
  • Block torrenting & file sharing websites (an estimated 4,000 torrenting sites are in fact blocked by ISPs)

But not all VPNs allow torrenting and P2P traffic.

Don’t worry, though – we tested 99 VPN services and our picks are fast VPNs for torrenting and P2P traffic.

They will hide your IP address and encrypt your web traffic, saving you from bandwidth throttling and protecting your privacy.

There are also three free VPNs for torrenting that you could also consider, but they all have speed and/or data caps that you’re sure to use up very quickly.

Before we go into more detail below, here’s a sneak peek at the top three VPNs for torrenting:

The Most Important Factors When We Review a VPN for Torrenting

  1. Torrenting & P2P allowed on most servers
  2. Fast download & upload speeds
  3. Privacy-focused logging policies & no IP/DNS leaks
  4. VPN kill switch & DNS leak protection
  5. Jurisdiction (where is it based?)
  6. No download data caps

Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs

Read More About the 5 Best VPN Services for Torrenting

Ranked #1 out of 99 VPNs for Torrenting

Works with

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, SlingTV, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. No torrenting restrictions
  2. The fastest overall VPN we've tested
  3. P2P-friendly privacy policy
  4. Unlocks Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  5. Loads of privacy extras
  6. Instant setup on all devices
  1. Monthly plan is expensive
  2. No kill switch for iOS
The Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is the best VPN service for anonymous torrenting, as well as being our highest-scoring VPN overall, thanks to its excellent features and rock-solid privacy.

ExpressVPN’s consistently fast speeds combined with super low latency across its VPN server network make it the ideal combination for torrenting, which is permitted in all locations.

The VPN kill switch is an essential feature for torrenters while ExpressVPN’s minimal logging policy will keep you safe online, too.

You can download ExpressVPN’s custom apps onto loads of devices, including routers, and they all use top-class encryption (AES-256) and our preferred connection protocol, OpenVPN.

What’s more, ExpressVPN works with both Netflix & BBC iPlayer, which is an added bonus for streaming fans. You can also contact the friendly customer support team 24/7, too.

True, ExpressVPN is expensive compared to some of its rivals, but it’s the best VPN for torrenting without a doubt.

Ranked #2 out of 99 VPNs for Torrenting

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Torrenting permitted on many servers
  2. Quick same-country speeds
  3. Totally zero-logs policy
  4. Works for Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  5. Tons of security features
  6. User-friendly apps for all devices
  1. Desktop apps are OpenVPN-only
  2. Email support can be slow
The Bottom Line

NordVPN is a good VPN service for torrenting if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to our all-rounder ExpressVPN.

It’s also a very quick VPN, regardless of which server you connect to, which is ideal for torrenting – especially if you connect to one of NordVPN’s optimized P2P servers.

What’s more, NordVPN is totally zero-logs and encrypts your data with top cipher AES-256, meaning your personal information is well and truly anonymized and protected while you torrent.

NordVPN provides custom VPN apps for a wide range of devices and each of these uses the most secure connection protocol, OpenVPN – changing it requires manual configuration.

Just like our top pick ExpressVPN, NordVPN also works well with both Netflix and BBC iPlayer, for those looking to stream as well as torrent.

Don’t let NordVPN’s slow customer support put you off – chances are you won’t need it, anyway. This VPN is excellent value, fast and highly effective for torrenting.

Ranked #3 out of 99 VPNs for Torrenting

Works with

Netflix, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. P2P permitted on all servers
  2. Top class speeds and latency
  3. Strict zero-logs policy
  4. Works for Netflix
  5. Huge VPN server network
  6. Simple setup on most devices
  1. Short seven-day refund window
  2. Doesn't work with BBC iPlayer
The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a super-secure VPN for torrenting, IPVanish is hard to beat. It’s a true zero-logs VPN service with a ton of privacy extras.

Not only is IPVanish incredibly fast, it also operates over 40,000 individual IP addresses, which is ideal for high bandwidth activities like torrenting.

IPVanish’s custom VPN apps aren’t the most user-friendly but make up for it with powerful security features, including a VPN kill switch and DNS leak protection.

You can use IPVanish on all popular devices, including routers, and it uses the OpenVPN protocol in all of its apps, which provides the best balance of speed, anonymity, and security.

IPVanish works with Netflix, too, although it hasn’t worked for BBC iPlayer in a long time. The refund window is pretty short, however, at just seven days.

Disregarding this, though, IPVanish really is an excellent all-round VPN service for torrenting and anything else you want to do online.

Ranked #4 out of 99 VPNs for Torrenting

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Servers optimized for torrenting
  2. Reliable same-country speeds
  3. Totally zero-logs VPN
  4. Quick, easy access to Netflix
  5. Strong privacy features
  6. Easy to set up and install
  1. No torrenting in the US or Australia
  2. Not recommended for Kodi
The Bottom Line

CyberGhost is a reliable VPN service for torrenting thanks to its strong privacy features and very good speeds.

Torrenting is only permitted on CyberGhost’s optimized servers, and limited to the Windows and MacOS apps. You also can’t torrent while connected to CyberGhost’s US servers, although it is permitted in nearby Canada.

CyberGhost’s zero-logs policy means no data exists to identify you, while privacy features like the VPN kill switch are ideal to keep you safe and anonymous while torrenting.

You can install CyberGhost on all popular devices, including routers, and all of the apps use the most secure VPN connection protocol, OpenVPN, to protect your data.

CyberGhost’s dedicated streaming servers mean quick, easy access to Netflix, although it’s not one of our recommended VPN services to use with Kodi.

We highly recommend CyberGhost VPN service for torrenting on desktop devices, but we’d advise checking the website to make sure torrenting is permitted in your location or one nearby.

Ranked #5 out of 99 VPNs for Torrenting

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. P2P allowed on all servers
  2. Super fast uploads & downloads
  3. Strict zero-logs policy
  4. Works for Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  5. Loads of privacy extras
  6. Simple setup on a range of devices
  1. Small number of individual servers
  2. Not many privacy settings on mobile
  3. Based in privacy-unfriendly Sweden
The Bottom Line

PrivateVPN is a smart VPN pick for heavy torrenters on a budget who can live without instant access to customer support.

Not only is PrivateVPN incredibly secure, it also offers some of the fastest speeds on the market – ideal for P2P activity, including Kodi.

A zero-logs policy and first-party DNS servers are great news for privacy and anonymity, even if PrivateVPN is based in privacy-unfriendly Sweden.

All of PrivateVPN’s custom apps come with a VPN kill switch and are encrypted with the industry-leading cipher AES-256. PrivateVPN uses the most secure VPN protocol, OpenVPN, too.

Streaming fans will be pleased to hear that PrivateVPN’s US and UK servers are also currently working to unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer without any issues.

PrivateVPN’s server network is smaller than most of the other options on this page, but it’s still a very reliable VPN service for torrenting.

Do I Really Need a VPN for Torrenting?

If you want to keep yourself safe while torrenting, you absolutely need to use a VPN.

As soon as you open up a torrent client and begin downloading or uploading files, your IP address is exposed and you’re vulnerable to potential hackers and snoopers.

A VPN protects you from this by masking your IP address and encrypting your online activity. This means that nobody, including your ISP, is able to see what you’re doing online.

A diagram taken from IPVanish's website explaining how a VPN works

A good VPN service will also allow you to stream content that wouldn’t otherwise be available in your country, which could be particularly useful for Kodi users.

How to Use a VPN for Torrenting

Using a VPN for torrenting is easy. All you have to do is:

  1. Find a VPN service that supports torrenting

    Our top five VPN recommendations are a good start, but if you decide to stray from these, make sure your chosen VPN service permits torrenting on all, if not most, of its servers.

    You should also only go for a VPN service with a minimal logging (or preferably no logging) policy, as this means no data exists to identify you.

    Sign up to a VPN subscription and download the software onto the device that you’re going to be torrenting on.

  2. Select your VPN server location

    Unless you need to access content from a specific country, you should connect to a VPN server as close as possible to your true physical location.

    This means that you’ll get the fastest available speeds and lowest latency, making your torrenting experience as smooth as it can be.

  3. Check the privacy settings

    Screenshot of the settings menu on ExpressVPN's desktop app
    The last thing to do before you connect to the VPN is check its security settings. If it has a VPN kill switch, make sure this is turned on, so your IP address will be protected if the connection drops.
    You should also keep an eye out for features such as DNS leak protection, and if your chosen VPN service has its own DNS servers, you should make sure that your traffic is always routed through these.

You need to be 100% sure that your VPN is running before you open your torrent client – if you don’t then your true IP could be exposed, even if you turn your VPN on before you actually start a download.

Is Torrenting Safe With a VPN?

Using a good VPN service makes torrenting super safe.

Not only will a VPN service prevent your ISP from being able to see what you’re doing online, it can also protect you from any potential legal ramifications that can so often occur when file sharing.

Torrenting is only safe if you use a secure VPN service, though. Whichever VPN you choose, make sure it has a kill switch, so you’ll still be protected even if your connection drops.

It’s also best to opt for a VPN with a zero-logs policy and first-party DNS servers, to ensure the highest possible level of privacy while torrenting.

Is Torrenting Illegal?

No, torrenting isn’t illegal. Torrenting is 100% legal, it’s just copyright restrictions that you have to be wary of.

If you share any content that is in breach of copyright restrictions, you are breaking the law, regardless of how you do it.

Always remember the golden rule: never do anything with a VPN that you wouldn’t do without one. Even the world’s most advanced suites of security software can’t 100% guarantee total anonymity.

Which Free VPN is Best for Torrenting?

Screenshot of the free VPN advertisement on Windscribe's website

There aren’t many free VPN services that permit torrenting, as many of them only allow users to connect to a restricted number of VPN servers.

We’ve rounded up the top three free VPNs for torrenting, though, if you want to try some out before committing to a paid subscription – you can read the review of our current top pick Windscribe here.

The main issue with free VPNs is that they often come with speed and/or data caps, meaning even if they do permit torrenting, you won’t be able to do much before hitting your data limit.

Most free VPN services will also throttle your speeds to make file sharing almost impossible. For the best torrenting experience, you’re better off opting for a premium VPN service.

What’s the Best VPN for Torrenting on Android?

Our overall best VPN for torrenting, ExpressVPN, is also the best VPN service for torrenting on your Android phone or tablet.

Its sleek, user-friendly Android app and excellent speeds are its main selling points, along with a minimal logging policy and tons of extra security features.

In fact, all of our VPN recommendations listed above have got custom apps for Android, meaning all of them would be well-suited to a torrenter using that device.

Will a VPN Hide Torrenting?

Using a VPN service will encrypt all of your online traffic, meaning nobody will be able to see that you’re torrenting when you’re connected to a VPN server.

Be careful about which VPN service you choose, however, as some of them are able to detect P2P activity using your total bandwidth consumed while connected to the VPN server.

This is always disclosed in their logging policies, though, which is why it’s best to choose a VPN service that doesn’t keep any logs whatsoever.

The odds are that using a VPN is 100% legal where you live, whether you’re using it to torrent, stream, or just browse securely.

There are, however, some countries around the world that restrict VPN use, and a few nations have even made it outright illegal. These countries are:

  • Belarus
  • Turkmenistan
  • Iraq
  • North Korea
  • China
  • Russia
  • Turkey
  • Iran
  • Oman
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)

It is still possible to use VPNs in all of these countries, you just have to be very careful about which one you choose, as not all of them will work.

If a VPN service works reliably in China, that’s usually a sign that it will work well in other high-censorship countries, including those listed above. Take a look at our recommended VPN services for China here.

For more information on which countries place restrictions on VPNs, check out our guide to ‘Are VPNs Legal?’.

What is the Safest Torrenting Program?

Screenshot of the BitTorrent logo

The most popular torrent site on the current market is qBittorrent, which is totally free to use and doesn’t feature any annoying ads. It’s also encrypted and open-source, which is great news for security.

Other popular torrenting programs are Vuze and Deluge, although these both contain ads.

uTorrent has decreased in popularity since it was discovered to contain a ton of security flaws, the most recent of which allowed hackers to spy on users’ downloads (this has since been fixed).

The once-popular Transmission has been hit by similar controversies in recent years, too.

Will a VPN Slow Down Torrenting?

No matter which VPN service you choose, it will have some kind of negative impact on your device’s performance.

Our top VPN recommendations on this page all provide good enough speeds that you shouldn’t notice too much of a difference, even when torrenting.

About the Author

  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon leads our investigations into VPN safety and internet freedom research. His work has been featured on the BBC, CNet, Wired and The Financial Times. Read full bio