After reviewing ExpressVPN, we found that it’s one of the best VPNs for torrenting.
It doesn’t throttle download speeds and you can torrent using any server in the network.
The VPN is also very fast and has an impressive suite of security features, including OpenVPN and AES-256 encryption, built-in IP leak protection, and a reliable kill switch.
The main issue we found testing ExpressVPN for torrenting was that it doesn’t allow port forwarding.
Therefore, uploading (or ‘seeding’) files is extremely slow unless the VPN is running at router level.
|P2P traffic supported on all servers
||No port forwarding
|Excellent file-sharing speeds
|Verified private logging policy
||No transparency reports
|Effective kill switch & IPv4/IPv6 leak protection
|Simple setup & intuitive app design
ExpressVPN is fully compatible with BitTorrent clients.
Here’s an in-depth look at torrenting with ExpressVPN:
Does ExpressVPN Allow Torrenting?
ExpressVPN allows unrestricted torrenting and P2P file-sharing across all of its servers. You can connect to any server and download torrents without restrictions.
The company’s website openly endorses P2P activity, however it recently took down a page giving users instructions on how to use a VPN with uTorrent.
We’ve seen no indication the company is moving away from supporting torrenting, but we’ll update this page accordingly if anything changes.
ExpressVPN doesn’t offer any P2P-optimized servers, like a number of competitors do. But, ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers in 106 countries, and server congestion has never been a problem for us.
EXPERT ADVICE: Connect to the VPN server nearest to your location to enjoy the fastest download speeds.
Are There Data Caps or Bandwidth Restrictions?
ExpressVPN doesn’t impose a monthly data limit or restrict your bandwidth in any way. In our tests, we enjoyed unlimited torrenting with no limits on speed.
Many VPN services, especially the free ones, restrict the amount of data you can use each month. This makes them unsuitable for torrenting since P2P traffic tends to require a lot of data usage.
Other VPNs will throttle their users’ speeds, particularly if they are engaging in bandwidth-heavy activity like P2P file-sharing. For the best torrenting experience, you need a VPN that offers unlimited bandwidth like ExpressVPN.
Be aware, though, that your ISP might start asking questions if you’re downloading hundreds of gigabytes per month.
How Strong Is ExpressVPN’s Encryption?
ExpressVPN uses the leading VPN protocol OpenVPN, and the extremely secure AES-256 encryption cipher to protect your data. The US Department of Defense protects sensitive information with the same encryption technology, so you know you’re in safe hands. With 1077 possible combinations, it’s simply not feasible that this level of security can be broken.
Most torrent clients, such as BitTorrent and µTorrent, use their own encryption to protect user privacy and prevent throttling and blocking from ISPs. However, this doesn’t encrypt the actual files included in the torrent you’re downloading, which means a third party may be able to find out what you’re downloading.
That’s why ExpressVPN’s ultra-secure encryption is so great for torrenting. It will keep your activity completely hidden from onlookers so that you can torrent anonymously.
Learn more about VPN encryption in our beginner’s introduction to how VPNs work
What Additional Security Features Does ExpressVPN Offer?
As well as securely encrypting your data and hiding your IP address, ExpressVPN provides an impressive suite of additional security and privacy features.
Below is a selection of ExpressVPN’s most useful features for torrenting:
- Kill Switch: ExpressVPN uses a kill switch, known as ‘Network Lock’, that automatically blocks all internet traffic if the VPN connection is lost. This is an essential tool for torrenting as it prevents your IP address from being leaked if there is an issue with the VPN.
- VPN Split Tunneling: This feature lets you control which traffic you route through the VPN server and which you don’t. This is great for protecting your privacy when torrenting while still keeping access to local network devices open.
- Leak Protection: If your VPN is leaking IP or DNS information, then it is useless for torrenting. ExpressVPN protects your privacy by keeping your DNS queries obscured even in situations where they might otherwise leak. This prevents eavesdroppers from seeing which websites you’re visiting.
You can control security options from ExpressVPN’s advanced settings menu.
One downside to using ExpressVPN for torrenting is that it doesn’t have a port forwarding feature. We discuss this in greater detail below.
Is ExpressVPN Fast Enough for Torrenting?
You need fast connection speeds to download torrents effectively and ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPN services we’ve tested.
All VPNs reduce speed to some degree, because data is encrypted and it has a longer round-trip to complete, being routed through a remote server.
However, with the right VPN service, the speed loss is mostly unnoticeable. We found that ExpressVPN has an average speed reduction of only 3% when connecting to a local server.
Using our 10MiB/s internet connection, we recorded average torrenting speeds of 9.4MiB/s using ExpressVPN.
This makes ExpressVPN one of the fastest VPNs on the market. In fact, ExpressVPN even outperforms PIA for torrenting speeds, which is usually one of the fastest VPNs available.
ExpressVPN has servers in 106 countries and territories, so you should always be able to find a nearby server that delivers fast torrent speeds.
Does ExpressVPN Support Port Forwarding?
The only major issue we found was that ExpressVPN does not support VPN port forwarding. That means uploading, or ‘seeding’, torrent files is extremely slow.
For a good-quality P2P VPN with the ability to port forward, read our PrivateVPN review or learn about using PIA for port forwarding.
How Privacy-Friendly Is ExpressVPN?
The main reason for torrenting with a VPN is to protect your privacy and anonymity from third parties such as ISPs and copyright trolls.
However, some VPN services track and log your activity themselves, which negates the reason for using them in the first place.
ExpressVPN makes it perfectly clear what information it does and does not log.
Fortunately, ExpressVPN has a strict no-logging policy. It doesn’t retain any records of which websites you visit or which torrents you download. It also keeps your DNS queries safe with leak protection.
The only information ExpressVPN records is:
- The date you connect to the VPN
- The location of the server you connect to
- The total amount of data that gets transferred in the session
None of this information is personally identifiable. It’s only collected to provide technical support and troubleshoot any issues across the network.
ExpressVPN’s zero-logs policy has even been independently verified by two separate third-party audits.
In 2018 and 2019, both PwC and Cure53 tested the VPN service and confirmed that its logging claims were trustworthy.
ExpressVPN is also based in the British Virgin Islands, which is known globally for being a privacy haven. It is far away from international surveillance operations such as the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance and the country doesn’t enforce any data-retention laws. This means ExpressVPN isn’t legally required to retain an archive of its users’ information.