4 Best VPNs for Torrenting in 2020
Finding the best VPNs for torrenting may not be as easy as it sounds. Many VPNs have limitations that they may not state outright in their marketing material, so it's up to you to do your homework and make sure that you are using a VPN that enables safe torrenting.
But before we get into which VPN you should use to torrent, it's worthwhile to look into what torrenting, why people do it, and whether it's legal.
What is Torrenting?
Torrenting is a wonder of modern times. It is the free exchange of files between faceless entities online. There is no tacit agreement about what files they are going to share, or who will share them or about anything at all. These users “understand” what files others might like to download or torrent, and they make them available in a safe and accessible way.
Torrenting is different from downloading. When you download a file, you are getting it from a specific location somewhere online. You get the whole file.
A torrent is different because it doesn't give you a complete file from a single location. Instead, files are chopped into little bits which are called packets. These packets are saved on a server, but that's not where you torrent them from.
They are then shared between many different users, and when you torrent a file, you download the little bits from each user until you have a complete file.
The little files on each device are called seeds. Users who download these files are called leechers. When you torrent, you are getting little bits of the file you are looking for from both seeders and leechers.
If a torrent is popular it will have lots of seeds and leechers, so you'll be able to download it much faster because there are so many different sources. Some torrents are harder to download because they sit on only a few computers.
Why would anyone choose to torrent a file from unknown sources when they can download it from a specific location?
That's an excellent question, and the answer lies in how the whole thing works. There are a couple of reasons why so many users would rather torrent files than download them.
- The first is that for most connections, the download speed is faster than the download speed. A user might have a file sitting on their computer, but if you try to download it the excruciatingly slow speeds mean that you have to wait a long time for the file to come down. Torrenting gets around this by splitting a file into many small bits so that the upload speed of the person who has the file on their computer becomes irrelevant – you are only downloading a few megabytes from each user.
- Torrenting can overcome regional speed problems. In some parts of the world internet speeds are slow, which means that downloading a file from a user from such a location would take a very long time. When you torrent, even users from typically slow-internet regions can share files with you as they upload very small portions.
- Torrenting gives you many different files you can download, and you can choose which ones you want to download. Files are uploaded in different formats and different sizes, so it's up to you to decide which ones are ideal for you to torrent.
- You can torrent very large files very fast because they are split into little packets that sit on different computers.
- Torrenting is considered safer than downloading when it comes to viruses and other malware that may infect your computer. If a torrent has threats, users leave comments beneath it warning other users.
Torrenting, or peer to peer, or P2P, is all about like-minded users sharing files. As I mentioned, it's an agreement between faceless entities to share files safely and reliably. It's in the interest of everyone, or peer, to do the right thing or the whole system will collapse.
Is Torrenting Legal?
The answer is yes and no. Torrenting is a method of sharing files, so in itself is not illegal.
Remember Napster? Or LimeWire? These were services that allowed P2P sharing of files. Before long, music and movie companies caught on and started suing people who were using these services.
A lot of the content that users torrent is copyrighted, and sharing it is therefore illegal.
Most users torrent music, TV series and movies. If, for example, a user watches a show on Netflix they can upload it to their computer and share it with millions of users worldwide by torrenting it.
This is illegal. Netflix doesn't want people who haven't paid for their content to watch it, so if you are caught, you'll be charged with copyright offenses. The same goes for other streaming sites.
Users also torrent books, courses and much more, all which is copyrighted, which makes it illegal. Hence the need for VPNs for torrenting.
How do VPNs Help With Torrenting?
When you use a VPN several things happen.
- You are assigned a different IP address from your real one, which means that no one can track you down. You are safe from any lawsuits that may arise from the illegal use of copyright.
- Every time you torrent through a VPN all the data that comes in and leaves your computer is encrypted, and no one can see what you are doing. You can torrent in anonymity so long as you are using a VPN.
- When most ISPs see that a user is torrenting they throttle speeds, which is extremely frustrating. When you use a VPN your ISP cannot see what you are doing, so they will not slow down your speeds.
How to Choose a VPN for Torrenting
- It should not keep a log of your online activity. A lot of VPNs say that they do not keep logs, but a closer look at their privacy policies reveals that they retain user information in one way or another. The best VPNs are very keen about never keeping user logs.
- Choose a VPN that has many servers that support torrent. Some VPNs have thousands of servers, but only a few of them are set aside for torrenting. Some allow users to download torrents from any server.
- The best VPNs for torrenting are in countries that are not part of any agreement that can force them to share user information. Some of the best VPNs are in America, which is a signatory to many data-sharing agreements. If a court demands that the company provide user information they'll have no choice but to comply.
- A good VPN for torrenting is fast. A VPN will slow down your normal ISP speeds. If, for example, your usual speed is 10 Mbps and you install a VPN, this may slow down to 7 Mbps or less. A good VPN doesn't affect your speeds much.
- The best VPNs for torrenting come with a kill-switch so that in case your connection drops it automatically shuts down your internet connection to avoid data leaks.
- Because you want a VPN you can use in the long-term you should choose one that's pocket-friendly.
What is a Torrent Client?
A torrent client is a must when you are torrenting files.
Each file you torrent is split into small bits for faster and more efficient torrenting, and when these bits arrive on your computer they have to be stitched back together into one complete file.
To do this you need a torrent client. Popular torrent clients include uTorrent, Vuze, Deluge, qBittorrent and BitTorrent.
Torrent clients are normally freemium software and you can find them in Google Play Store and the Apple app store.
What Are The Best VPNs for Torrenting?
Now that you have an idea of how torrenting works, why people do it, how VPNs help and how to choose one, let's look at the best VPNs for torrenting. They are not in any particular order; all these VPNs will help you torrent safely.
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IPVanish is one of the most popular VPNs. It has more than 1,400 servers in more than 75 locations, which means you can use it to torrent from almost anywhere in the world.
IPVanish for Torrenting
There are several reasons why IPVanish is one of the best VPNs for torrenting:
- It doesn't keep user logs. Their user policy clearly states that they have a zero-logs policy. Your identity, as well as your torrents are never recorded and can never be shared with authorities.
- You can torrent from any of the 1400+ servers.
- It has a kill switch, so if your VPN connection drops you are automatically disconnected from the net. This prevents data leaks.
- It has unlimited bandwidth. You can torrent large files at reasonably fast speeds.
- It encrypts every file, so your ISP will never see that you are torrenting.
- You get up to 10 simultaneous connections, so you can secure multiple devices at the same time.
- Although the parent company is based out of the United States, it doesn't keep any user logs. Even if they are compelled to provide user information there is nothing to share.
How Much is IPVanish?
The monthly subscription is $10, and for 3 months you'll pay $8.99/month. If you would like to save through an annual subscription it costs $6.49/month.
Read a full IPVanish review here.
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ExpressVPN is also a very popular choice for torrenting. Although it's a bit more expensive than some of the best VPNs for torrenting, a lot of people use it because it's reliable and offers excellent security features.
ExpressVPN for Torrenting
- It has more than 2,000 servers in 148 locations and you can use any of them for torrenting.
- The company does not keep user logs, so there is no risk that your torrent data may leak.
- You can connect up to 5 devices at the same time.
- It doesn't come with bandwidth restrictions, so it's perfect for downloading large files.
- ExpressVPN has all the necessary security features in place to ensure that you need to torrent in anonymity.
- The servers are very fast, so you can download large files quickly.
- All data is encrypted; no one can see that you are torrenting files.
- It's very easy to use.
How Much is ExpressVPN?
The one-month plan is $12.95, while the 6-month plan costs $9.99/month. You can buy the 15-month package for $6.67/month.
Read a full ExpressVPN review here.
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CyberGhost is a good VPN for torrenting because it comes with in-built security features. This software has been around for 15 years, and it continues to get better and better all the time. Now, there is a special feature that ensures that you can torrent in complete privacy.
CyberGhost for Torrenting
- The NAT-firewall ensures that you are protected from malicious hacks. If someone tries to access your computer to see whether or not you are torrenting they are blocked.
- CyberGhost has more than 6500 servers in 89+ countries. Servers in 80 of these locations are optimized for torrenting, so you are assured of a server near your location. Once you install the software you'll see a “For Torrenting” tab, and any time you want to torrent you can select any of the servers listed in that tab.
- You can see how far each server is from your location, the number of the users that are currently using it and the load percentage. With this information, you can choose the best server for torrenting (the nearest one with the least number of users and the lowest load percentage).
- The company has a strict no-logs policy, so your information will never be recorded and shared.
- There are strict security protocols in place to prevent data leaks.
- The servers offer good speeds so torrenting big files is easy.
How Much is CyberGhost?
A one-month subscription will cost you $12.99 and for a year's protection you'll pay $5.99/month. If you want a 2-year subscription you'll pay $3.69/month. The best value deal is a three-year subscription that costs $2.75/month.
Read a full CyberGhost review here.
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NordVPN for Torrenting
- It has a strict no-logs policy – your activity will never be recorded or shared with a third party.
- The parent company is in Panama, which is not a signatory to any data-sharing agreements.
- The VPN has more than 5,000 servers in 59 countries, so you'll be able to torrent from most places around the globe.
- Some of their serves have been set aside for P2P traffic. They are optimized for speed, which means you can torrent large files with ease. You can choose the best server for torrenting using the Server Picker tool.
- It has strong encryption in place so you'll not experience any data leaks.
- The servers are fast.
- You can connect up to 6 devices at a time.
How Much Does NordVPN Cost?
A one-month plan will set you back $11.95. For a one-year plan you'll pay $6.99/month, while a three-year plan costs $3.49/month.
Read a full NordVPN review here.
Are Free VPNs Good for Torrenting?
A quick online search reveals a lot of free VPNs and you may be tempted to pick one because it doesn't cost any money. What you should know about almost every free VPN out there is that although they claim not to collect user information, they do, and they sell it to third parties.
This beats the point of having a VPN in the first place.
The best VPNs for torrenting do a lot more than help with file downloads. They protect your devices and your data, and everything that you do online is anonymous.
Finding the best VPN for torrenting is not very hard if you know what you are looking for. Fortunately, most of the big VPNs do an excellent job with torrents and they come with security in place to ensure that you are safe at all times.
These are not the only VPNs for torrenting. There are 4 or 5 others that qualify for the category of best VPNs for torrenting, and you can find them in our summary of Top 14 VPNs.