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
- Torrenting & P2P allowed on most servers
- Fast download & upload speeds
- Privacy-focused logging policies & no IP/DNS leaks
- VPN kill switch & DNS leak protection
- Jurisdiction (where is it based?)
- 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
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 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:
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.
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.
Check the privacy settings
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?
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.
Is VPN Legal?
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:
- North Korea
- 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?
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.
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).
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.
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