In recent years, risks and regulations related to torrenting have been on a rise. While you download torrents, your IP address and its P2P activity can be easily tracked, letting online criminals and other interested parties target you and your data.
If your ISP spots that you do P2P downloads, they may even slow down your connection or prohibit you from using P2P sharing altogether. Therefore, using a VPN for downloading torrents is now essential. And finding the best VPN will keep will keep your data private, and your online activity safe – while maintaining fast and reliable download speeds.
We do not condone online piracy – but we support online privacy and security. To help you out with that, here we cover some of the best VPNs for torrenting. Fast, secure, and easy to use, they're all perfect companions for your P2P downloads.
Best torrenting VPNs – our shortlist:
- NordVPN – best all-round VPN for torrenting
- Surfshark – great low-cost VPN for torrents
- Atlas VPN – cheap VPN for P2P downloads
- PrivateVPN – a VPN for fast torrenting
- IPVanish – affordable torrenting VPN
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What makes a great torrenting VPN?
If you're looking for a VPN for torrenting, your search criteria must adjust accordingly. Here are a few things that you should pay extra attention to when choosing:
- Speed. Whenever torrenting we expect to download chosen files fast. That’s the whole point of it. For this reason, it is important to look for a VPN that won’t slow down your connection and might even improve the speed.
- Privacy and security. While torrenting, you’re simply downloading files from some user’s computer. This means that your real IP address lands on the seeders list. Simply put, you are giving out your real location. A VPN can not only fix that, but it also adds an additional level of security.
- P2P-compatible server network. While a P2P connection can be less secure for your personal data, it is the fastest way for sharing files or torrents. So VPNs with dedicated P2P servers will provide you with high speeds and solid security of your information.
- Additional features. While features like split tunneling, port forwarding, or independently audited apps are not mandatory, they are a nice addition to a full-rounded VPN service. Even better if your chosen VPN can unblock popular streaming sites like Netflix and more.
- Price. Getting the best price-to-quality ratio is very important. All our shortlisted VPNs offer very reasonable prices as well as include standard money-back guarantees. Some even have free trials for your convenience.
The best VPNs for torrenting – our detailed list
All VPNs claim to hide your identity, but not all will work with P2P networks. This makes finding a good VPN for torrenting a head-scratcher. However, to make this task easier on you, we have shortlisted the 6 best options. So if you wonder what VPN to use for torrenting, check out our top picks below.
1. NordVPN – all-around best torrenting VPN
|Split tunneling:||Yes (Windows, Android)|
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NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for torrenting. It has P2P support on its specialized servers and offers some of the best connection speeds out of all providers on this list.
Specialized servers: With more than 5500+ servers in 59 countries, you'll have plenty of countries to choose from. Additionally, NordVPN supports P2P on their specialized servers.
Speed: NordVPN works on the next-gen NordLynx tunneling protocol. In our tests, it is one of the fastest, with the download speeds reaching up to 29MB/s, which is perfect for torrenting. There's also a SOCKS5 proxy for those who don't care about the encryption and favor better speeds.
Additional features: This provider has a kill switch that will shut down your Internet connection to prevent unwanted IP leaks. Additionally, the split tunneling feature will allow you to add your torrenting client to a tunneling list, and only your P2P traffic will be encrypted, which makes this provider a compelling VPN for torrenting.
All of this makes NordVPN a superb choice for torrents. You can get it for $3.09/month, cover up to 6 simultaneous connections, and for additional appeal, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. So you can enjoy strong data encryption and blazing fast speeds even while torrenting.
To learn more check out our NordVPN review.
- SOCKS5 proxy
- Specialized P2P servers
- No DNS leaks
- Split tunneling for apps/webpages
- Audited no-logs policy
- Discounts are only for longer subscriptions
2. Surfshark – one of the cheapest VPNs that allow torrenting
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Split tunneling:||Yes (Windows, Android)|
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Surfshark is one of the most affordable options in this list. Additionally, it’s also one of the best VPNs for torrenting.
Security measures: Surfshark allows switching between AES-256-GCM and Chacha20Poly1305 encryption ciphers, unbreakable even with the most powerful modern hardware. All of their servers run on RAM-only memory, which means that no logs can be saved to be retrieved later. There's also advanced DNS leak protection added on top. Also, Surfshark has an audited no-logs policy, making your torrenting experience even more secure.
Dedicated servers: You can choose from their fleet of 3200+ servers across 99 countries. This provides enough variety for different use cases. Surfshark allows torrenting on any of their servers, the ports won't be closed. They also have dedicated P2P servers, which are optimized specifically to use with a torrent client.
Speed: This VPN service is one of the fastest we've tested, so the speeds shouldn't be an issue. They have one of the fastest WireGuard tunneling protocol, with which your torrenting speed will remain quite solid.
Additional features: Surfshark has a kill switch that turns off your connection as soon as the link between your device and VPN servers is disrupted. If you need a VPN only for torrenting, there's a Whitelister feature. With it, you can use a VPN connection only for torrenting websites and apps. That way, the rest of your traffic gets untouched.
You can get Surfshark for as cheap as $2.30/month and it will give you unlimited simultaneous connections. Also, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our full Surfshark review for more great features.
- Low price
- Dedicated P2P servers
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Split tunneling
- Customisable encryption methods
- No SOCKS5 proxy
3. Atlas VPN – cheap torrent friendly VPN
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Even though Atlas VPN doesn’t have specialized P2P servers, this doesn’t mean it's not suitable for torrenting. Quite the contrary.
Security measures: Atlas VPN uses the AES-256 cipher, additionally, it has the ChaCha20 cipher with the Poly1305 authenticator for even better data security, which is especially important while torrenting. And the strict and audited no-logs policy ensures that your information is not collected.
Dedicated servers: Atlas VPN offers 750 servers in 37 countries, which is a bit less than what you might expect from your usual VPN service. And while there are no P2P dedicated servers, Atlas VPN allows torrenting on many of its servers.
Speed: This provider employs the WireGuard protocol, which offers some great speeds. But with torrenting, it will always be slightly slower. And during our tests, the download speed was pretty good, but not extremely fast – 4-6MB/s.
Additional features: The VPN also has a lot of features like a malware blocker, a data breach checker, and a kill switch. On its Android and Windows apps, it even offers IP address rotation. It’s the fact that you can use its free version for P2P connections, which is pretty rare in the world of VPNs.
Now, the best thing about Atlas VPN is its price. With all the unlimited bandwidth and exciting features, you can pay as little as $2.05 a month – but only if you invest in its longest subscription, that is. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t find yourself enjoying this VPN.
For more information, check out our Atlas VPN review.
- Free version supports torrenting
- Affordable price
- Malicious page blocker
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Based in a Five-Eyes country
- Not many servers
4. PrivateVPN – fast VPN to use for torrenting
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PrivateVPN is truly one of the best VPNs you can choose if you use torrenting clients often. Thanks to its good speeds, you’ll be able to download files much faster.
Security measures: PrivateVPN offers you military-grade 256-bit AES encryption with customization possibilities, so your information will be protected while torrenting. Additionally, the service includes HTTP and SOCKS5 proxies. This provider has a no-logs policy, but since it’s based in a 14 Eyes intelligence surveillance company, the claims are a bit questionable. And there haven’t been any independent audits to either confirm or deny.
Dedicated servers: You’ll have to pick a specialized P2P server if you want to use the VPN with a torrenting client. PrivateVPN doesn’t support it with all of their servers. And, overall, this provider doesn’t offer too many servers in total, just 200 servers in 63 countries.
Speed: Overall, PrivateVPN never had very impressive speeds, since there’s no WireGuard protocol. During our tests, we reached 15MB/s download speed when testing the Windows application of PrivateVPN, which is rather impressive.
Additional features: PrivateVPN allows port forwarding (not many VPNs do!), which can also be useful with P2P connections. And a reliable kill switch will protect your data from leaking in case of a connection drop.
The prices for PrivateVPN start from $2.00 a month, and you’ll get up to 10 simultaneous connections. Additionally, you can have a 7-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee.
Learn more at our PrivateVPN review.
- Supports torrenting
- Port forwarding
- HTTP and SOCKS5 proxies
- Customizable encryption
- Limited tunneling protocol selection
- Modest server fleet
5. IPVanish – solid VPN for fast torrenting
|Split tunneling:||Yes (for Android users only)|
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Sure, IPVanish doesn’t have dedicated servers for torrenting, however, it isn’t a big limitation. The provider offers great speeds because of the implemented WireGuard protocol, making it a good choice for torrenting.
Security measures. In addition to the currently most popular 256-bit AES encryption, IPVanish also offers a variety of tunneling protocols, like WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP/UDP), IKEv2/IPSec, and more. In addition, a useful kill switch functionality guarantees a secure torrenting experience.
Server fleet. IPVanish offers over 2000 servers in 50 countries. While the fleet isn’t the broadest, they support torrenting on all of their servers. Most of the servers are located in North America and Europe. However, you’ll find quite a few in Asia and all other continents.
Speed. When we tested IPVanish, the downloading speed was around 7-8MB/s, which is a solid result for torrenting. And, to improve the speed even more, you can make use of the free SOCKS5 proxy.
Additional features. The provider also supports split tunneling, which is helpful when you want only the torrenting app to be going through a VPN. IPVanish is even capable of hiding the fact that you’re using a VPN service with their traffic obfuscation feature.
The cost of IPVanish is surely one of the more affordable ones. The prices start from $3.99/month when purchasing the long-term plan and you get a 30-day money-back guarantee. Generally, the speeds and the prices of IPVanish make the provider a good choice for torrenting.
Here’s our full IPVanish review for more information.
- Good P2P speeds
- Customizable kill switch
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Free SOCKS5 proxy
- Split-tunneling on Android
- Based in the US, which isn’t privacy-friendly
- No Linux app
6. PureVPN – decent torrenting VPN
|Based in:||the British Virgin Islands|
|Split tunneling:||Yes (for Android users only)|
|Current deal:||🔥Get PureVPN 82% OFF + 3 months FREE🔥|
PureVPN is a good option for regular torrenting. Even though not all of the servers support P2P, you can still find enough specialized servers to download your preferred content.
Security tools. The provider does not play around when it comes to security. It uses military-grade AES-256 encryption, as well as reliable tunneling protocols like WireGuard and OpenVPN. Additionally, features like a kill switch guarantee a safe torrenting experience.
Large server fleet. PureVPN offers a rather extraordinary server fleet of 6500 servers in 78 countries, which is great for torrenting. And P2P is only unavailable in selected server locations (those that have banned torrenting, to be exact).
Speed. Even though the speeds are stable they aren’t the fastest ones you could get. Using the WireGuard tunnel, the average download speed was 11-12MB/s, clearly identifying space for improvement.
Additional features. PureVPN has a split tunneling feature that allows you to choose the traffic which would go through a VPN (keep in mind that split tunneling doesn’t work with the WireGuard). And you can also enable an obfuscation feature with an additional layer of multiport (only for OpenVPN tunneling protocol) for staying unseen while using a VPN and changing servers without disconnecting.
Finally, the price of PureVPN is pretty much exciting as you would pay for a 2-year subscription as low as $1.99 per month and with a 31-day money-back guarantee. And having all the features in mind, the price gets even nicer!
Get to know more from our PureVPN review.
- Dedicated P2P servers
- WireGuard tunnel
- Supports port forwarding
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No DNS leaks
- Some features don’t work with WireGuard
- No free version
How we selected and tested these torrenting VPNs
When choosing the best VPN for torrenting, we prioritized specific features that are the most relevant for P2P downloads. So, if a VPN service is ranked higher, it's because the service excels in these key areas:
- Stance on torrenting. P2P connections consume plenty of bandwidth by design, which can be pretty hard to maintain if you have a large pool of users. If every one of them decided to download something simultaneously, this could quickly bring the infrastructure to its knees. So, many providers don't allow torrenting traffic at all. I chose only services that don't restrict P2P traffic.
- Security. When downloading torrents, you're making your IP address available for everyone to see. This puts it out there for cybercriminals, tempted to test your home network's strength or the government. The better security the service has, the better are your chances of remaining anonymous.
- Performance. The whole premise of torrenting is the ability to exchange files rapidly. So, the faster your VPN is, the better download speeds you can expect. Better performing services get ranked higher.
- Logging. All VPN service providers claim to be anonymous, but you have to take their word for it most times. If a service has been tested "in the wild" or went through a third-party audit, it's much easier to trust. It also means that your privacy will be respected no matter what.
- Value. Most top-shelf VPNs offer a very comparable level of quality. If a service charge above the average price tag but isn't offering that much, it's a hard pass from me. Always look for a healthy balance between the price and the features you get.
How can I use a VPN while torrenting?
Using a VPN while torrenting is simple – just set it up before starting to download torrents. However, it’s essential that it would provide decent speeds, have strong security features and servers optimized for torrenting. Here is a quick guide showing how to use a torrenting VPN:
- Download and install a torrenting VPN, like NordVPN
- Connect to a specialized P2P server
- Go to one of the torrenting sites and download your chosen torrent client
- Start downloading torrents!
If you’re having issues or need more help with setting up a VPN, check out our complete guide on how to torrent safely in 2022.
Why should I use a VPN for torrenting?
Torrenting without a VPN is associated with many dangers. Here are a couple of examples, which might make you reconsider whether you should use torrent clients without a VPN.
- The connection itself. When you’re downloading files via a torrent client, you’re downloading from another user’s computer. Everyone who checks the seeders list can find your real IP address. Which is almost like disclosing your home address in public.
- Copyrighted materials. It may not be your intention to steal, but files in torrent websites won’t always be adequately named. Most likely, copyright holders and your ISP won’t care about the circumstances and treat you as just another pirate.
- Social engineering attacks. Scammers can be impersonating copyright holders to make a profit for themselves. Since your P2P connection reveals quite a lot of data, this could be a starting point to gather intel on you for an attack.
- Activity monitoring by ISP. If your ISP detects torrenting activity, there might be damaging consequences. It can range from slowing down your connection speeds to taking legal action.
Best VPN countries for torrenting and P2P traffic
Some countries have looser laws concerning Internet downloads. Naturally, those will be the countries that are great for torrenting.
In general, Switzerland is one of the most privacy-friendly locations. Your right to privacy is protected, limiting what your Internet Service Provider can monitor about you. Moreover, downloading copyrighted materials for personal use is legal as long as you don't intend to sell them. However, it is illegal to share content if you don't own copyright rights. So, as long as you're downloading, you're in the clear, but seeding is another thing.
Spain is a torrenter's safe heaven because their law emphasizes the intent to profit over breaching copyright laws. There, you can share any data that you want as long as you don't intend to make a profit. This means that torrenting for your own use is perfectly fine. Like in Switzerland, it's still illegal to share copyrighted materials, so if you're uploading, you're committing a crime.
In Poland, downloading copyrighted materials is neither legal nor illegal. Generally, without permission, you cannot use copyrighted works. However, there are some exceptions, like private use cases, which fall outside of copyright law. You can write this off as a loophole in their judicial system, but it doesn't make Poland a new Tortuga for digital pirates.
Even though the Netherlands was once the most torrenting-friendly country, the regulations have changed since 2017. Despite that, it’s still a relatively good option for torrenting as users can download torrents for their personal use – only sharing them is prohibited.
From 2019, Mexico has no active laws or regulations that specifically prohibit file-sharing. While ISPs in other countries take measures to detect and ban torrenting traffic, internet service providers in Mexico don’t. In fact, file-sharing is not monitored in any other official capacity, so this is a great country for torrenting.
Is torrenting with a VPN legal?
Yes, torrenting with a VPN is entirely legal except in the countries where torrenting is banned. The issue is not the torrenting technology itself, but the content that you're downloading. Open-source software or a movie that's in the public domain is entirely fine. However, if you're sharing or downloading a video of the latest Ryan Gosling flick that you filmed on your phone, it's mostly likely against the law.
Also, some things that seem legal fall in the gray area – and different government authorities or courts are bound to treat each case differently.
VPNs we do not recommend for torrenting
Many services that we didn't include in this list can still be used for torrenting. However, that doesn't apply to those VPNs with severe loopholes. They can be both free and paid so you should be cautious.
Betternet – another poor choice for torrenting. This VPN is priced quite steeply but lacks essential security features. You won't get a kill switch, meaning that your anonymity will depend on Betternet's server fleet always working without issues. Even then, their server network is too small to consider this option for consistently great download speeds.
This shows that not all VPNs are made equal, and you should always do your research before committing to a long-term service.
Can I use a free VPN for torrenting?
Most free VPNs that would be safe enough for regular use don't allow you to torrent. As I've said, P2P connections can use up a lot of bandwidth, making other user experience worse. For this reason, it's usually treated as a premium feature and reserved for paid users.
However, it's not unheard of to find a free VPN that works with torrenting connections. In such cases, you should tread carefully. Torrenting is a resource-intensive task, especially in cases when it's offered for free. So, it's possible that your data is being logged and sold. If some offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Always double-check whether the software that you're installing is safe.
Does VPN affect torrenting speed?
Yes, a VPN you use might have an impact on your internet connection speed. However, a VPN could also increase your torrenting speed if your ISP is using speed throttling to limit you.
Otherwise, be mindful that a VPN adds an additional stop in your connection's bus route, plus, encryption and decryption take time. This all together might slightly slow down your Internet connection. However, with providers like NordVPN and Surfshark, the slowdowns are very minimal and simply not felt on the user end.
Whatever you're planning to download through torrents, don't forget to exercise caution. Although it may seem harmless, if you're not careful, you can end up in more trouble than you could have ever imagined. This ranges from legal attention to the files themselves, which are often a source of malware. Not to mention that your real IP address is exposed, so you're making yourself an easier target.
A VPN can minimize the number of potential risks to your online activity, but it should be a service you can trust. Otherwise, you're just going out of the frying pan into the fire. So do your research and pick a service that will protect you even when on P2P network. For example, NordVPN has dedicated P2P servers and strong security features, such as an automatic kill switch among others.
More VPN guides from Cybernews
Is torrenting safe with a VPN?
Yes, torrenting with a VPN makes you a lot safer. Your identity is hidden and untraceable, so it's much less likely for you to receive a fine, or for someone to attempt to hack into your device.
Can you be caught torrenting with a VPN?
If your VPN's kill switch is faulty, your IP address can leak. This could be enough to build a case against you. The sanctions vary, but you could expect everything from connection throttling to fines.
Can you go to jail for torrenting?
It depends on your country and other details. If you download a song, that won't land you in jail. However, if you're supervising one of the biggest public torrent trackers, that's a punishable offense (as Peter Sunde and other founders of The Pirate Bay learned in 2009).
What is the best VPN for torrenting in 2022
NordVPN is the best VPN for torrenting. With purpose-built servers, created specifically for torrenting, this VPN offers fast and stable downloading experience.