Our experts rate every VPN based on its performance in a number of key categories. When combined, these ratings allow us to calculate an overall torrenting rating based on our research.
This process makes sure our recommendations are always backed up by raw data, and allows you to compare each VPN based on the performance factors that are important to you.
Here’s a summary of our exact testing process when reviewing the top torrenting VPNs.
For torrenting specifically, we test for:
- Average torrenting speeds and bitrate on a local server.
- OpenVPN functionality and AES-256 encryption.
- IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection.
- Fast P2P servers located in privacy-friendly jurisdictions.
- Additional features including port-forwarding, customer support, and compatibility.
Here’s a more detailed list of all the factors we assess when looking for the best torrenting VPN, along with how much of our overall rating they make up:
1. P2P Speed: 20%
Minimum Requirement: An average bitrate of less than 9.0MiB/s.
We Recommend: An average bitrate of 15.0MiB/s or faster.
We’ve developed a simple test to measure the average download bitrate of every VPN and rank each one by P2P speed.
Here’s how we test every VPN for torrenting speed:
- We have a private tracker for a 1GB torrent file.
- We host a torrent client on a local server with a fixed connection speed to seed that torrent.
- We configure the torrent client not to use DHT or communicate with other peers.
- From a test computer, we run a VPN and torrent the file on a fixed 150Mbps connection.
- We measure the file transfer duration to find the average bitrate.
Every VPN included in this list has been tested and rated using this standardized process.
VPN speeds are especially important when it comes to torrenting large files. P2P traffic also requires specific network optimization, which means that even the fastest VPNs don’t always perform well for torrenting traffic.
The torrenting VPNs we recommend all measure an average bitrate of at least 9.0MiB/s. This means they’ll provide fast upload and download speeds so you can torrent large files smoothly.
2. Encryption & Security: 30%
Minimum Requirement: AES-256 cipher, OpenVPN support, leak protection, and a VPN kill switch.
We Recommend: AES-256 cipher, multiple protocols, leak protection, and a VPN kill switch using firewall rules.
Strong AES-256 encryption and DNS leak protection are essential for any good torrenting VPN. A single leaked data packet can be enough for your ISP to identify you.
A kill switch is also an absolutely necessary feature if you plan to torrent with your VPN.
This blocks your internet connection and protects your IP address from being exposed if your VPN cuts out.
We use packet-inspection technology to test every VPN for AES-256 encryption, OpenVPN functionality, and leak protection.
We reward the VPNs that reliably protect your P2P traffic, hide your IP address, and mask your real location so you can stay safe while torrenting.
We Recommend: A strict zero-logs policy with absolutely no activity or connection logs.
Some VPN services keep user activity logs, which can be used to trace your downloads back to you.
A good P2P VPN service will not record your IP address or internet activity. This means that if copyright holders approach the VPN service, it will have no information to hand over about your activity.
The services that record the least amount data are rewarded, while the services that log your activity or connection data are rated lower.
4. P2P Servers and Support: 15%
Minimum Requirement: Servers that support torrenting traffic.
We Recommend: P2P-optimized servers in a wide range of privacy-friendly jurisdictions.
Some popular VPNs ban P2P traffic outright, and others are more vague about their torrenting policy.
We only recommend VPNs that openly allow torrenting on the majority of their servers.
We also look for a copyright and DMCA policy in every VPN provider’s terms of service, and reward the VPNs that offer P2P-optimized servers.
Our experts also test for servers in countries without legal penalties for P2P activity, like Romania, Spain, and Switzerland.
A large network of P2P-friendly worldwide servers will reduce server congestion and improve download speeds, so we factor this into our rating.
5. Additional Features: 15%
Minimum Requirement: The ability to customise security settings in-app.
We Recommend: Multiple additional features including port forwarding, split tunnelling, customer support, and SOCKS5.
Every VPN comes with its own selection of tools and advanced features. Some of these features are useful for torrenting, and some are absolutely necessary.
We test every VPN for extra configuration options and additional features, and reward the services that provide the best tools for torrenters.
For example, a good P2P VPN needs unlimited bandwidth, so you can torrent without worrying about data caps.
We also recommend VPNs that use shared IP addresses, which means you’ll share an IP address with dozens or even hundreds of other people. This adds a significant layer of anonymity.
Port forwarding is another feature we reward when testing the best VPNs for torrenting. This allows you to set your VPN connection to flow through a specific port on your router, bypassing the NAT firewall.
You’ll need port forwarding if you want to seed torrents, because P2P activity is sometimes blocked by the NAT firewall.