Popcorn Time is a great way to stream the latest movies and shows for free. But did you know that this app is essentially a peer-to-peer (P2P) torrent client?
Using Popcorn Time creates risks for users - just like torrenting, it exposes your IP and can get you in trouble for copyright infringement. That’s why you should get a good VPN that supports P2P traffic.
Luckily, we've already done the hard work and compiled a shortlist of the best VPNs for Popcorn Time. Read on to find out more about our top picks.
Best VPNs for Popcorn Time – our shortlist:
- NordVPN - Best VPN for Popcorn Time
- Surfshark - Popcorn Time VPN for all your devices
- Atlas VPN - Free VPN for Popcorn Time
- IPVanish - versatile and affordable Popcorn Time VPN
- PureVPN - decent VPN choice for Popcorn Time
How to use a VPN with Popcorn Time:
- Pick a VPN from our recommended list. NordVPN is our favourite.
- Download the VPN and install it on your device
- Launch your VPN and connect to a server
- Open up Popcorn Time and start streaming!
The best VPNs for Popcorn Time - our detailed list:
VPNs hide your IP address and many equip you with security features - but not all VPNs work with P2P and have good speeds. If you want to watch Popcorn Time, you’ll need a VPN that offers the complete package. Let’s delve into the details of the best VPNs for Popcorn Time.
- Baseline testing speed: 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
Editor's disclosure: We are aware of and concerned about the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) recently released by the US Department of Justice. It names Express VPN’s CIO Daniel Gericke among the persons who received monetary penalties and agreed to “full cooperation with the relevant Department and FBI components” due to their past misuse of covert surveillance tools, targeting US citizens, as well as journalists and political parties.
At the moment, there are no direct connections established between the misuse of such tools and ExpressVPN. However, in order to offer our readers only the most reliable and safest VPN solutions available, we are temporarily removing ExpressVPN from our lists until further privacy, data security, and ethical evaluations are completed. You can read our full story about the agreement here.
1. NordVPN - Best VPN for Popcorn Time
|Servers/countries:||5500+ servers in 60 countries|
|Current deal:||Get NordVPN with 63% OFF|
NordVPN has over 5500 servers in 60 countries, with optimized servers especially for use with P2P, so it’s ideal for watching Popcorn Time.
You can look forward to excellent speeds. We averaged 249 Mbps off a 300 Mbps baseline when using NordLynx (NordVPN’s version of the cutting-edge WireGuard tunneling protocol).
NordVPN is packed with features to help you get the best out of Popcorn Time safely. Split tunneling is especially useful as it enables you to direct specific apps through the VPN while keeping others on your regular connection. Essentially, this is a way to protect yourself on Popcorn Time but keep your other activities as fast as they normally would be.
The many security features of NordVPN include a kill switch that will kill your connection instantly if the VPN drops out. Your IP address will never be exposed - not even for a second.
Based in Panama, NordVPN is one of the most-privacy focussed VPNs you can find. With a strict no-log policy that’s been independently audited by the international agency PwC, you can be certain that none of your data or usage info is ever stored. Even if they wanted to store it, NordVPN’s servers are predominantly RAM-based - they wipe all the data with each restart.
NordVPN subscriptions start at just $3.49/month with a 30-day money-back guarantee. For such a good VPN, this is a bargain.
- P2P optimized servers
- Very fast with NordLynx protocol
- Independently audited no-logs policy
- Unblocks major streaming sites, including Netflix
- Great apps for most devices
- Interface is optimized for Android TV
- 24/7 live chat support
- Feature-rich, includes Smart DNS, dark web monitoring, and more
- No split tunneling for MacOS
2. Surfshark - Popcorn Time VPN for all your devices
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Servers/countries:||3200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Current deal:||Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE|
One of Surfshark’s best features is that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections. So not only can you use it on all of your devices, you can share it with your family and friends.
It has over 3200 servers in 100 different countries to choose from, with plenty that support P2P, so Surfshark is definitely suited for watching Popcorn Time. These servers are not just for show - they can deliver very good speeds, so your streams won't be laggy or buffer-y. When using the WireGuard protocol, we averaged speeds of 263 Mbps! It’s one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested.
Surfshark offers the split tunneling feature and has great apps for all your devices - Windows to Mac, iOS to Android, and more. So whether you’re watching Popcorn Time on your laptop or your tablet, you can always use Surfshark too.
The company behind Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Isles - a very privacy-friendly location. More importantly, Surfshark's no-log policy ensures your data is never stored.
With all these features in mind, as well as the fact that you can connect as many devices as you want, you’ll be amazed to hear that Surfshark is also one of the cheapest VPNs on the market. Prices start at just $2.30/month, with a 30-day money-back guarantee included.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Really cheap
- Unblocks all the big streaming sites
- Fast servers that support P2P
- Cutting-edge WireGuard protocol
- Apps for all your devices
- 24/7 live chat
- Strict no-log policy, but hasn’t been audited
3. Atlas VPN - a free VPN for Popcorn Time
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||750+ servers in 38 countries|
|Current deal:||Get Atlas VPN, now 81% OFF!|
Atlas VPN has one huge advantage over other VPNs for Popcorn Time: it offers a free version that actually supports torrenting. Even though the speeds with the free plan aren’t that great, it’s still a good solution for those who don’t have any money to spare.
If you take a look at the paid version of Atlas VPN, you’ll find even more features. For example, the tool offers a web filter, a data breach checker, and IP address rotation.
The service is incredibly secure, as it uses AES-256 encryption, has a no-logs policy, and offers a kill switch. And even though the VPN has only 700 servers across 28 countries, you’ll always find a server with great speeds thanks to the IKEv2 tunneling protocol.
You have a few different choices when it comes to subscribing to the Atlas VPN. You can simply download the free version, but there’s also the option to pay only $2.05/month for the full version if you are ready to commit for the longest subscription plan.
- Unblocks streaming sites
- Free version supports torrenting
- Really inexpensive
- Malware blocker
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Based in a Five-Eyes country
4. IPVanish - Versatile and cheap VPN service
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||2000+ servers in 50 countries|
|Current deal:||Get 72% OFF IPVanish!|
Fast and perfect for P2P, IPVanish is a VPN service that’s worth a look if you want to use Popcorn Time safely.
IPVanish offers P2P compatibility on all of its 2000 servers, which are dotted around 50 countries. You won’t find WireGuard on IPVanish, but we still got great download speeds using the IKEv2 protocol - 261 Mbps from a 300 Mbps baseline. The catch is that upload speeds suffer quite a bit, but then again, you don't need that much upload for Popcorn Time.
This service is not quite as feature-rich as some of the other VPNs on the list, but what IPVanish does, it does well. Split tunneling is available, as well as a feature called On Demand. Using On Demand, you can set the VPN to connect automatically in certain situations - for instance, when you’re using the wifi at your local cafe.
Don’t worry about your VPN connection dropping out, either. The kill switch will make sure your IP address isn’t suddenly out in the open.
While IPVanish does have a no-logs policy, it’s based in the US which is not the most privacy-friendly location.
On the plus side, IPVanish is cheap! You can sign up for as little as $3.33 a month. Although, your price will increase once your first billing period is up (regardless of whether you got it for a month or a year).
- Great suite of security features
- Fast and reliable speeds
- Good value for money
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Encrypted file storage
- Good customer support
- Based in a non privacy-friendly country (US)
5. PureVPN - solid VPN option for torrenting
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||6500+ servers in 78 countries|
|Current deal:||Get PureVPN, now 81% OFF + 3 months FREE!|
PureVPN is an excellent VPN for torrenting, including a massive server fleet of 6500 servers in 78 countries. And while not all of these options allow torrenting, the provider specifically shows which servers are meant for P2P, so you can confidently pick the option that’s going to seamlessly work with IPVanish.
This provider also offers the super fast and safe WireGuard protocol, offering solid all-round speed and performance. With the average speed of 200 Mbps on a 300 Mbps baseline connection, it keeps around two-thirds of your original speed, which is enough for streaming Popcorn Time in high definition.
PureVPN offers the industry standard AES-256 connection, an Always-On audit testing of its watertight no-logs policy, a kill switch, and the split tunneling feature. The latter is perfect if you want to use a VPN for Popcorn Time only and regular online connection for everything else.
If you want to go all the way, you can also install PureVPN on your router – this way, all of your connections are fully encrypted and torrenting-safe.
PureVPN starts at $2.08/month and comes with a 31-day money back guarantee, letting you test the service out without instant long-term commitments.
- AES-256 encryption
- No DNS leaks
- Supports port forwarding
- 31-day money-back guarantee
- Huge server fleet
- Unblocks Netflix
- Connection issues
- Linux app is limited
6. VyprVPN - Cheapest VPN for Popcorn Time
|Servers/countries:||700 servers in 64 countries|
|Current deal:||Get VyprVPN, now 50% OFF the 1-year plan!|
While shark fans enjoy pretty good deals, VyprVPN offers the best deals on this list. It’s got a lot of great features that make it ideal for streaming Popcorn Time and doing various other things.
Although VyprVPN offers a modest 700 servers in 64 countries, they all support P2P, so whichever one you choose will be primed for Popcorn Time. You’ll also get high-speed connections through the WireGuard protocol. We saw an average of 242 Mbps download speed, which translates to super-smooth streaming.
VyprVPN offers split tunnelling, and unlike with many other VPNs, you can even use this feature on macOS devices.
Based in Switzerland and with a no-log policy that’s been independently audited, you can be safe in the knowledge that your data won’t be stored anywhere. That vital kill switch feature is there too, so your IP won't leak either. This, plus the Chameleon 2.0 stealth protocol, makes VyprVPN one of the best choices for users in countries like China, Russia, or Saudi Arabia.
The service has solid apps for most of your devices, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, allowing you to stream safely no matter what you prefer to watch Popcorn Time on.
VyprVPN offers great value. Its cheapest price plan is only $5.00 a month, so it’s easily the most affordable VPN on this list. And you can pretty much try it out for free too, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- All servers support P2P
- Cheapest VPN on this list
- Split tunneling works on macOS
- Fast connection with WireGuard protocol
- Audited no-logs policy
- Unblocks streaming sites like Netflix
- iOS app is limited compared to others
- Limited Linux support
How we selected and tested these VPNs
There are a few important features to look out for when selecting a VPN that will work with Popcorn Time. Here’s what your VPN will need.
- How good is it for Popcorn Time, torrenting, and other P2P? Not all VPNs are suited for P2P, streaming, and torrenting. We made sure each VPN we selected will get you connected to Popcorn Time.
- Speed. Streaming is best with a fast connection. You don’t want annoying buffering while you’re watching a movie. The best VPNs offer fast speeds with many servers to choose from and efficient tunneling protocols.
- Security. You have to stay secure when streaming content online. These VPNs all offer high-level security features such as kill switches and bank-grade encryption.
- Privacy. Privacy is essential when you’re P2P streaming. You don’t want your ISP finding out, especially if you’re watching copyrighted content. We’ve suggested VPNs based in privacy-friendly locations, offering full anonymity and no log policies.
- Customer support. Good tech support is vital. Our selected VPNs all offer 24/7 live chat so that you can get in touch with queries no matter the time.
- Price. A good service should have a fair price. You don’t want to overspend unnecessarily. We’ve chosen VPNs that offer value for money, as well as top features.
How to choose the best VPN for Popcorn Time?
When you’re choosing a VPN for Popcorn Time, you have a few things to consider. Entertainment studios are always on the lookout for torrents of their movies, and they are known to monitor torrent and P2P sites like Popcorn Time. If you're watching copyrighted content, and you’re not protected, you could run into some trouble.
What is more, you’ll need a compatible VPN - not every VPN will work with Popcorn Time. Here are some features to look out for:
- Compatibility. You need a VPN with servers that support P2P file sharing and torrenting.
- Privacy. Anonymity is key. You need to be able to hide your activity from your ISP, movie producers, and anyone else that might be snooping. Look out for VPNs that are in privacy-friendly locations with no-logs policies.
- Security. You need to stay safe from online threats too. The best VPNs offer features like kill switches, military-grade encryption, and malware blockers.
- Performance. Find a VPN with a range of servers that help you get fast, stable connections. Preferably with a cutting-edge tunneling protocol like WireGuard. This will keep your streams smooth and buffer-free.
Why do I need a VPN for watching Popcorn Time?
You need to use a VPN when watching Popcorn Time for a few major reasons, including privacy and anonymity. Let’s take a look at the main factors:
Avoiding ISP bandwidth throttling. When you use P2P services like Popcorn Time, ISP’s have been known to throttle your bandwidth. This slows down your connection and puts the brakes on your streaming. Fortunately, with a VPN disguising all of your traffic, your ISP won’t have a clue about what you’re doing online, so it will have no reason to put any restrictions on your service.
Anonymity when viewing copyrighted content. You might be using Popcorn Time to watch movies and shows that have been uploaded before their release or ripped from other sites and channels. That’s entirely up to you. However, torrenting is very transparent, which means copyright owners can easily track the IP addresses of people watching their content on Popcorn Time. This can result in warning letters and even fines. With a VPN hiding your IP address from everyone, you’ll be able to watch whatever you want with no worries.
Bypassing Popcorn Time bans. Since people do indeed use Popcorn Time to watch copyrighted content, some countries and ISPs have outright banned its use. With a VPN set up, you can mask your IP address and connect to a server in another country to get around restrictions that might be getting in the way of you watching that latest movie.
What free VPN works with Popcorn Time?
Technically, almost any free VPN that allows P2P will work with Popcorn Time - but that doesn’t mean you should use one.
Free VPNs aren’t the bargain they might seem for a few big reasons. VPNs that are completely free lack quality - they certainly won’t be suitable for P2P streaming. These tools often have limited server lists, bad performance, and may block P2P traffic altogether.
Free VPNs still need to make money. Since they’re not charging you a subscription fee, their apps will no doubt be filled with irritating ads that will get on your nerves. Free VPNs are also known to sell their users’ personal info. Worst of all, some free VPNs have been caught hiding malware that will infect your devices.
Another option is the freemium VPN. This is when a regular VPN offers a limited free version. However, these will usually have minimal features compared to the paid version. They’ll also have data caps and bandwidth restrictions - which completely rules them out for P2P streaming.
You know what they say. You get what you pay for. Your best bet is to choose one of our recommended VPNs. The majority of them have very affordable price plans - some are even outright cheap!
VPNs to avoid with Popcorn Time
While we’ve given you a list of great VPNs, we think it’s also important to suggest VPNs that you really shouldn't use with Popcorn Time. The following VPNs are all free, and even though you might think you’ve got nothing to lose with a free product - you’d be wrong.
Here is a selection of VPNs to avoid:
- HolaVPN. HolaVPN is a free VPN that lets other people use your idle bandwidth. This can lead to various issues if these other people are doing shady things.
- TurboVPN. This VPN is hugely popular, but it collects and stores a lot of data about you, including your IP address and even the devices you use.
- CrossVPN. CrossVPN has been known to infect devices with malware.
- Betternet. Betternet is yet another free VPN whose real cost is your privacy. They keep a lot of data about you, which is ideal if you're seeking anonymity.
- SuperVPN. Another tool that's been known to inject malicious code in the past. It also stores your logs which is terrible for privacy.
Alternatives to Popcorn Time
If you’re looking for an alternative to Popcorn Time, you have plenty of options. Kodi offers a similar service. It’s a free piece of software that you can download onto your computer or smartphone, or tablet and search for content to stream. If the movie you want to watch is online in any form, it’s likely you’ll find it through one of the unofficial Kodi addons.
As such, you might use Kodi to watch copyrighted material - so it’s recommended that you use a VPN with this streaming service too.
There are also many paid streaming services to try out too. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, ESPN - there’s a huge selection of streaming entertainment to suit all tastes.
But not all streaming services will necessarily be available in your country, or they may have different content libraries in different regions that will be geo-blocked. In this case, once again, a VPN is your best friend. VPNs can unblock restricted content, and open up practically every streaming service you can think of.
Popcorn Time is a great way to watch your favorite movies and shows for free. But since some of it might be copyrighted content, you could be at risk. The last thing you want is a Hollywood lawyer sending you an angry letter just because you watched a movie online, let alone have your ISP throttling your service, or even worse - law enforcement issuing fines.
A VPN is the easy solution to bypass all of that hassle. From hiding your IP address to avoiding slowdowns from your ISP, you’ll always be streaming safely with one of our recommended VPNs.
Not only that, with an optimized VPN server and speedy protocols in place, your HD streams will be smoother than ever before. Simply put, VPNs make streaming better.
More VPN guides from CyberNews:
Best VPNs for Netflix: refresh your old library with these service providers
Best VPNs for Hulu: don't miss out on the latest episodes of their exclusives
Best VPNs for Kodi: don't risk anything when watching content with these providers
Which VPN is best for Popcorn Time?
There is a selection of VPNs that are perfect for use with Popcorn Time. NordVPN is the best, but you can also try any of the other tools on this list.
Does Popcorn Time have a built-in VPN?
Popcorn Time does offer its own VPN, but it’s very expensive. You’re better off getting a VPN independently. All of the VPNs on our list are excellent choices, with great features and reasonable prices.
Is it dangerous to use Popcorn Time without VPN?
If you don’t use a VPN with Popcorn Time, your IP address could expose you to copyright infringement warning letters, fines, or even prosecution. With a VPN hiding your usage, these are risks you won’t have to take.
How can I watch Popcorn Time without buffering?
If Popcorn Time is buffering, your connection may be slow or your ISP may be throttling your speeds. With a VPN, you can avoid this issue. However, a VPN will generally slow your connection (if there's no throttling), so make sure you get a fast one.