5 Best VPNs For Torrenting in 2020
What's The Best VPN for Downloading Torrents?
Despite Canada’s ban on illegally downloading content (something we’ll talk about below), the fact is that no government has been able to successfully block the downloading copyrighted content. Internet service providers in league with music, film and video game producers as well as sellers have not had much success with any sort of ban owing to the existence of torrents.
Torrenting is perfectly legal and incredibly popular. However, some ISPs have blocked torrent clients and ports, which can easily be bypassed by using a VPN. The use of VPNs is legal to the extent where you can share files that you own or have the copyright to share. But sharing copyrighted material for which you don’t own the rights to is illegal and so is downloading it.
Now we don’t condone the downloading of copyrighted content. However, if an ISP has blocked your access to P2P sharing networks like torrents, then you can use a VPN like one of the five we’ve listed below to bypass that ban to share and download free, uncopyrighted or content for which you own the copyright. Below we walk through how to set up a VPN for torrenting and which are the best VPNs out there for this purpose.
Most Popular Torrent VPNs
Torrenting In Canada – What Does The Law Say?
To start with, it is crucial to understand that Canada has not banned torrenting. Though some ISPs tend to monitor torrent networks and ports. So, if you connect to a torrent network, there is a good chance that your ISP knows about it.
We have seen very few cases where people have been arrested for infringing upon copyrights in Canada. Though the copyright holder of the content that you download can sue you in a civil court under the present Copyright Modernization Act.
People who download movies, games, and software from torrent websites will often receive a warning from their ISP. The ISP does this to let those who are downloading copyrighted content know that they are watching and possible action can be taken. In most cases that action is a financial penalty anywhere from $100 to $5000, with $5K being the statutory limit.
The best way to avoid being sued and having to go through all that trouble is to use a VPN. A VPN masks your identity, and you’ll never receive any notification from your ISP, to begin with regardless of what you download. So, Canadiens who want to download content from torrent peers should invest in one of the VPNs we’ve listed below. You can also learn more about Canadian torrent law here.
How We Chose the Best VPNs for Torrenting?
Not every VPN supports torrents or P2P downloading that’s why you can’t just choose a VPN service and assume that you can download torrents. Then there are also services that limit how much you can torrent after which your speed is capped.
You will also want to choose a VPN that does not throttle your speed to the extent where it takes days to download a gigabyte from the torrent network. Furthermore, privacy and security are obviously going to be on the top of anyone’s list; after all, there is a reason why you’re spending money on a VPN in the first place.
The top five we chose are the fastest and most feature-rich VPNs for torrenting. Not only that they do a great job of protecting your identity. Plus they are very easy to use and cost effective, offering the best value for money.
How to Torrent Using a VPN
Torrenting using a VPN is insanely simple. However, for those who have never torrented before our brief guide should help them get started in a few minutes. We assume that you’ve downloaded, installed, and subscribed to one of our top five VPNs listed above before doing anything discussed below.
Download a Torrent Client
A torrent client is a piece of software that connects you to the torrent network to start downloading the file you want. The two most popular torrent clients are uTorrent and BitTorrent. Both software is easy and free to download. They are free to use and are supported by ads. However, the ads aren’t intrusive or bog down your download speed. Once you’ve installed any one of the torrent clients above, it is time to move to the next step, i.e. optimizing your VPN for torrents.
Optimize Your VPN for Torrents
Our top picks of the best VPNs for torrenting have dedicated servers and settings for people who want to download stuff via their torrent client. NordVPN, for instance, has a separate set of servers for torrents termed P2P file sharing. All you need is to click on the “P2P” feature under the ‘Specialty Servers” category below. Doing so will automatically connect you to the best server in terms of speed based on your location. You can then proceed with finding the file you want to download.
Choose Your Preferred Torrent Site
The most popular torrent site for downloading all types of software, games, tutorials from the torrent network is Piratebay. Other websites include Torrentz2, YTS, etc. we have a complete list of the best torrent sites here. You use the search bar on the website to find what you want to download.
For instance, if you want to download “Game of Thrones” you’ll search for it. You will then see a list of all the torrents or networks where these files are being shared. On the right, you’ll see the number of seeders and lechers. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a network with the most seeders and the least leechers, as that will offer the best speed.
To download you can click on the “magnet link” which will automatically open up your default torrent client and start downloading. However, if you want to send the torrent to a friend, you can click on “download torrent” and save the file to your computer. This file is usually around 30kbs and can be emailed to friends and family who also want to download the same file.
Once the torrent download is complete, you stop it and enjoy the file.
Note: You will want to make sure that the VPN is constantly running when you are downloading. Also, turn on the “kill switch” feature to ensure that if there is a temporary lapse in your internet connection, it does not expose your real IP address to the ISP.
ExpressVPN – The Best VPN For Downloading Torrents
ExpressVPN has some of the best speeds we’ve tested across VPNs in general and shined in our torrenting tests. All of which makes it an excellent choice for people who want to download large files.
The P2P servers offer unlimited downloads across all of their servers. Users are also treated to features like split tunneling which works perfectly on both Windows and Mac. The software also allows users to choose if they only want to protect their torrent clients via the VPN and leave all other activities like online gaming, web browsing and chatting at the default setting via their ISP. Using this feature ensures that ISPs don’t become suspicious of users using a VPN which is perfect for people in countries like China, where VPNs are banned.
Users also get excellent encryption and 24/7 support. Plus the company does not keep any activity logs or connection logs for that matter.
The only drawbacks is that ExpressVPN is slightly expensive when paying on monthly basis. For some, the extra expense may be worth it, especially if they use a couple of exclusive features that the service has to offer. But if you’re only torrenting, then the only special feature you might use is split tunneling.
The other drawback is that there is no free plan, but that’s offset with a 30-day money back guarantee. So, you still get to check out the service and if it does not work as you expected ask for your money back. Though we doubt that anybody will not be satisfied with the service.
NordVPN – Making Torrents an Easy Affair
NordVPN is our top choices for torrenting for two main reasons. The first being that it is very easy to use. You don’t have to search for a P2P enabled server manually. You can click on the “P2P” feature under the “Specialty Servers” category, and the software will connect you to the best VPN for torrenting. So, it does not require any special tweaking apart from manually turning on the “Kill Switch” feature from the “settings” menu.
The other reason why we recommend NordVPN for torrenting is that even if the ISP has blocked torrenting ports or banned all torrent clients/websites, the software still allows you to torrent. You can turn on the VPN and have access to all the torrent clients’ websites and torrenting websites. Plus, it supports other features like Onion over VPN for an extra layer of privacy.
While all servers don’t support P2P aka torrenting, but there are more than enough servers with P2P support. We tested the VPN across multiple files and at many different times of the day to find that the overall speed was excellent. Yes! There was some speed throttling as you might expect with any VPN, but at just an average of 4% reduction in speed, to us, it is not a high price to pay for privacy.
NordVPN has also made it to our no. 2 spot because of the reasonable pricing. Plus, you can pay for the service using crypto like Ripple, Ethereum and Bitcoin which if anything ensures that you remain anonymous even to the company.
The only drawback if you can even call it that is that you can’t choose an individual P2P server for torrenting. For instance, if you wanted to select a server in China to download your torrents, that’s not very easy to do. Though not impossible either, the general idea is that NordVPN perhaps does not think that people care about the location from where they connect to the torrent network.
The important thing to keep in mind is to make sure to turn on the “kill switch” feature in NordVPN as it is turned off by default.
Private Internet Access – The Budget Friendly Option
Private Internet Access or PIA as it is called is an excellent VPN in general, but it also does great as a VPN for those who want to use P2P or download torrents for many reasons. PIA has made it to our no. 3 spot for one big reason, i.e. it has a whole bunch of VPN servers with each supporting P2P. That means regardless of the server you connect to it is possible to download and seed files to the torrent network.
PIA also supports port forwarding a feature which we tested and found to optimize torrent downloads and uploads. Plus, the VPN client is easy to use, and mobile friendly so you can even download torrent files on your mobile device. However, during our testing, we found that downloading torrents on mobile devices was slower than that on a computer, the reason for which is unknown to us.
During our testing, we found that PIA throttles internet speeds to some extent. It was hard to measure, but the drop in speed varied from 5% to 10%. We suspect that the varying drop in speeds is down to the distance of the server from our location. Perhaps the company should develop a more accurate auto-connect feature which connects to the fastest and nearest server automatically. That’s a feature which should ensure constant speeds and make the results more conclusive.
We didn’t think that PIA was good for torrenting and it almost didn’t make it to our top picks since there is no mention of its torrenting capabilities on the website. Also, there is little to no supporting literature in the support forums about using the VPN for torrents.
On the upside, subscribers can pay via Bitcoin in addition to all the regular payment methods. PIA does not maintain logs and uses high-level encryption algorithms to ensure your anonymity.
The only drawback is that PIA does not have a free trial. Though all plans are highly affordable.
CyberGhost VPN – Easy to Use Torrenting VPN
CyberGhost does not talk much about its ability to make torrenting easier, more secure, and accessible to everyone. However, one reason for that we assume that the company does not want to be targeted by large corporations who see torrenting and torrents as being a threat to their copyrighted material. That said during our time testing CyberGhost VPN, we found that it was an excellent VPN client for torrenting
Now for starters, CyberGhost automatically connects to the best most compatible P2P server and turns on the best settings, which are a balance of excellent protection and speed. You can also set it so that it automatically boots up your torrent clients when connected to a P2P server. All of which means that you don’t have to automatically adjust the settings and assume that you’re anonymous. The “Torrent Anonymously” button clearly tells you that the connection is anonymous. So, there is no room for doubt or suspicion.
The company also supports Bitcoin transitions so you can buy the service packages using cryptocurrencies to stay truly anonymous. The other good thing about CyberGhost is that it abstains HTTPs requests which allow it to remain compatible with downloading using download managers which don’t necessarily support a dedicated protocol.
CyberGhost has a clear no-logging policy something which has been proven over the years. So, you don’t have to worry about your activity being monitored when connected to a VPN server or downloading torrents.
CyberGhost also supports iOS and Android device as well as their respective apps, which can be used for torrenting. The service is rounded off by some excellent live support, which seems to be improving each year.
The only drawback to using CyberGhost for torrents is the fact that finding a fast server can be challenging. Over the course of connecting and downloading small files from the torrent network, we were not able to get sustainable speeds. The drops in speed varied from 5% to 20%. Plus it seems as though the software at times does not automatically connect you to the best torrenting server, in that case, you’ll have to disconnect and try your luck by reconnecting.
PureVPN – Decent Average Download Speeds
PureVPN is one of the leading VPN service providers with their network spanning a whopping 140 countries, over 200 servers and 2000 proxy servers. They have well over 300,000 unique IP addresses, all of which guarantees anonymity. However, unknown to many people, PureVPN offers some of the best torrenting capabilities out there compared to the competition.
PureVPN makes no secret of the fact that the service supports and enables torrenting and torrent clients. Torrents are so ingrained into PureVPN’s DNA that it is even mentioned in the ‘Terms of Service,’ of course, they don’t want people to misuse the service and download copyrighted content for free, but they are not stopping you from doing it either.
PureVPN has what they call a ‘File-Sharing’ mode which enables P2P file sharing while hiding your real IP address and computer’s MAC address. That way, even the torrent network is unable to decipher who you are and where you are located.
Other features that torrent users will find useful is the use of IPv6 & DNS Leak Protection, 256-bit encryption, and a Kill Switch. Kill Switches ensure that your private or real IP address isn’t leaked in the event of a temporary lapse of the internet connection.
During our testing, we found that torrent speed, in general, was pretty consistent across all the files we downloaded. PureVPN makes connecting to a torrent server easy, all you need is to click on the P2P file sharing feature, and you’re automatically connected to the best server. That said there were times when we lost speed in which case our downloading went down to ‘0’ and then back up to ‘1’ Mbps. We suspect that PureVPN may be jumping through various servers in a bid to ensure that you’re connected to the fastest one.
In terms of speed throttling, we didn’t notice anything unusual. When we downloaded the same files without using PureVPN, our speed was on average 7% better. So, the total speed throttling is around 7%, which is pretty decent.
Kill switches, spilt tunneling, and port forwarding are three of the most important features for people who want to use torrents. The above mentioned top five picks all offer these features, but what makes one better than the other is speed, ease of use, and the fact that it keeps your identity a secret.
While ExpressVPN offers the best value for money for torrent users if you are doing more than just torrenting you might want to consider other VPNs too. Perhaps read our full review of each VPN before you choose one. Ideally, your choice of a VPN service should easily fit everything you do after all who wants to juggle multiple VPN services?