Torrenting is a P2P or Peer-to-Peer method of file sharing on the internet. Torrenting isn’t inherently illegal, however, most files found on torrenting sites are pirated, copyrighted content. Torrenting copyrighted material is illegal. While we obviously recommend you don’t torrent illegal content, there are legitimate uses for torrent services.
Using a VPN hides your internet activity, including torrenting, from your ISP. While it is possible to use a free VPN to torrent, it’s not recommended, as free VPNs always have some sort of catch. For example, free VPNs regularly apply download caps, download throttling, or even track and sell your usage data. This article will recommend a few paid VPN services that work well with torrenting.
NordVPN is a top-quality all-round VPN. Almost all of the countries NordVPN has VPN servers in, offer specifically designated peer-to-peer servers, that it has optimised for filesharing and torrenting. Other features that are useful to users wishing to use torrents are the unlimited downloads, unthrottled connection, VPN kill switch, no-log policy, and top-of-the-line encryption ciphers.
The unlimited and unthrottled downloads mean that there are no speed or overall limits on the amount of data you can torrent. The VPN kill switch is designed to block any network communications if your VPN connection drops, protecting you from revealing your torrenting activity to your ISP.
NordVPN’s independently audited no-log policy and top-of-the-line 256-bit AES encryption can give you confidence in the fact that no-one can track what you’re doing online, and your browsing activity is truly private.
NordVPN’s prices start from just $3.49 a month for a three-year plan.
PIA or Private Internet Access offers peer-to-peer VPN servers specifically designed for torrenting use, although all of its servers are suitable for torrenting. PIA also offers a VPN kill switch to ensure that no requests are leaked if your VPN is disconnected.
PIA defaults to using 128-bit AES encryption to protect your connection which is secure, but doesn’t provide as much protection as the 256-bit AES option, which can be manually selected. PIA’s no-log policy was proven in 2016, when they were unable to provide log details to the FBI when ordered to do so with a subpoena.
Tip: A subpoena is a legal court document with which the recipient is required to comply. Not complying with a subpoena has strict legal repercussions. So PIA not being able to hand over any logs when ordered, proves that they don’t keep any logs to submit.
PIA’s prices start from $3.33 a month for a year-long plan.
Windscribe VPN servers generally support torrenting, the servers that don’t support it have a P2P icon with a strikethrough to indicate this. Windscribe uses top-of-the-line 256-bit AES encryption to secure your data connection to its servers, and offers a VPN kill switch (unhelpfully titled “Firewall”) to ensure that none of your data can leak if you disconnect from the VPN.
Windscribe offers a setup guide for a range of different torrenting clients on their guide page. These guides will walk you through the process of configuring the torrenting clients to work properly over the VPN.
Windscribe’s paid plans offer unlimited downloads and unthrottled connections, but they also offer a generous 10GB of data a month to free tier users who have confirmed their email address.
VPN plans from Windscribe start from $4.08 a month for a year-long plan. However, you can build a custom plan for a specified region including unlimited data for as little as $2 a month.
CyberGhost has a dedicated list of torrenting servers in its VPN server list, which include servers around the world. While 256-bit AES encryption is the default option, CyberGhost may default to using the IKEv2 VPN protocol which is weaker and less well supported than the OpenVPN protocol that is also offered.
Their strict no-logs policy states that CyberGhost does not log any browsing data, including history, access times, IP address, or DNS queries. A VPN kill switch is enabled by default, but it can only block all network communications, it can’t be configured to only restrict the communications of certain apps like some other providers offer.
Plans from CyberGhost start form £2.75 a month for a three-year plan. Plans that last a year or longer, include a 45-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re not satisfied with the product you can refund your purchase with no questions asked.