What is Torrenting?
Torrenting is a very popular method of sharing files through peer-to-peer (P2P) technology. Users can download torrent files (.torrent) from various website locations which will likely contain a media file. These media files can be anything from films, games, applications, etc.
There are absolutely thousands of torrent files available; like most things on the internet, some are safe, and some aren’t. In order to download a torrent file for it to become accessible, a user will need a torrent application program like uTorrent.
Why should I be anonymous when torrenting?
Torrenting is a bit of a mystery unto itself. The act of torrenting is not illegal, as you are simply sharing files with other people. However, certain things people do and share whilst torrenting are considered illegal. For example, a lot of torrents contain copyright material, making them illegal.
It’s quite common for users to accidentally download an illegal torrent. Until you actually download a torrent, you won’t be able to know for sure what the file contains. It’s a risk, but it’s up to you whether you’re willing to take it or not.
The consequences of downloading illegal material can be very serious. Because torrenting is so popular, the entertainment industry (in particular) are very hot on catching those sharing files that contain copyright material.
Activity is constantly monitored, and because of this, your IP address is very easily tracked. Once authorities have access to your IP address, they can identify all of your torrenting activities. Because of this, you’ll want to torrent anonymously in order to protect yourself from incurring a hefty fine, or possibly even harsher punishments.
Why use a VPN?
Virtual private networks (VPN), just as torrenting, are becoming more and more popular by the day. As we’ve seen, it’s important to keep your torrenting activities anonymous in order to avoid being caught. If you’re keen on torrenting, a VPN could be your new best friend!
Depending on where you live, your region could invoke harsher data collection and copyright laws. Countries like the U.K., U.S.A., Canada, etc. may strike users with a punishable offence if they’re caught. A VPN can not only hide your IP address, it can also mask your location and encrypt your data so that you can’t be monitored.
When choosing a VPN, one of the main things you’ll want to look for (as a torrenter) is a zero logs policy. This means that your VPN will not log any of your data or activity, ensuring complete privacy, which is what you’re after. If any authorities or government officials ever broached your VPN provider, they legally wouldn’t be able to offer any customer data because they don’t hold it.
When connected to a VPN, your traffic will be encrypted, and your IP address will be masked. If someone attempts to find out your IP address, they’ll only be able to see the virtual IP used which is provided by your VPN.
Torrenting can be made very easy, despite the constant battle with authorities and internet service providers (ISPs). If you partake in torrenting without a VPN, your IP address is available to view by anyone. However, before choosing a VPN, you must make sure that they support P2P. Not all VPN providers do, which is why I’ve put a list together of the best torrenting and P2P VPNs.
I’ve tested and evaluated the below best VPN’s for torrenting purposes.
#1 | ExpressVPN (Best VPN for Torrenting Purposes)
ExpressVPN is my all time and all-round best VPN, even for torrenting! It’s performance really outweighs that of it’s competitors, placing it in our number one spot. ExpressVPN has over 2000 servers in nearly 100 countries, making it a great choice wherever you are in the world.
Their security and encryption methods mean they don’t log any activity. Whilst you’re connected to the ExpressVPN service, your data will not be recorded, giving you an advantage whilst torrenting. ExpressVPN has a split tunneling feature for Windows and Mac, meaning you can protect your torrenting activity whilst not affecting other internet activity like browsing, streaming, etc.
- Fast servers in almost 100 countries
- Anonymous VPN with no logging
- Split tunneling on Windows and Mac
- Costs slightly more than other VPN’s
(You can also check out an in-depth review of ExpressVPN)
#2 | IPVanish
IPVanish has over 1000 servers in over 60 countries. This VPN provider allows up to 10 simultaneous connections across multiple devices. IPVanish regularly display great download speeds and unlimited P2P traffic, making them a great option for torrenting.
If you’re looking for a VPN that can provide you with a real private and secure experience, IPVanish can give you just that. Their no logs policy means your activity will remain truly private. Their automatic kill switch and encryption methods such as OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec protocols are particularly impressive.
- No logging at all
- Fast download speeds
- Strong encryption methods
- Reports of unreliable servers
(You can also check out an in-depth review of IPVanish)
#3 | NordVPN
NordVPN is well known for it’s heightened security measures. You’ll see from my in-depth review of NordVPN that they boast double VPN servers. This means that your internet data and activity will go through two VPN servers.
NordVPN offers plenty of features which are beneficial to users who are keen on torrenting. They even have specific servers you can choose for the purpose of torrenting only. Their performance and speed history is great too, with a no-logging policy, it’s almost a no brainer!
- Double VPN servers available
- P2P specific servers
- Located in Panama with no logging
- Some servers are unreliable
(You can also check out an in-depth review of NordVPN)
#4 | Buffered VPN
Buffered VPN, based in Hungary, is a notoriously fast VPN service. Their speeds often match those without the VPN turned on, which is certainly a benefit whilst torrenting. Security wise, you’ll experience 256-bit Blowfish encryption, and be reassured that no activity is logged.
One issue I do have with Buffered VPN is that they have no native mobile clients. So, if you want to use your mobile or tablet, you’ll need to set this up manually. A bit of a pain for some users, but this may not be a deal breaker if you’re torrenting. If for some reason you’re not happy with Buffered VPN’s services, you can get a refund of up to 10 hours usage, 100 sessions, or 10GB bandwidth – very generous I’d say!
- Fast speeds
- Decent security measures
- Generous refund policy
- No native mobile clients
- Quite expensive
#5 | VyprVPN
With VyprVPN you can enjoy connecting to over 700 servers worldwide. This VPN actually manages it’s own network so you can be reassured you’ll receive amazing speeds all of the time. When you’re torrenting, this is especially important given how large some files can be.
Their advanced encryption means you can choose from OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP and Chameleon. Once connected to VyprVPN, you’ll be connecting to VyprDNS at the same time. Your data and activity will go through an encrypted tunnel so that you don’t experience any DNS leaks. However, VyprVPN does log some information for a period of 30 days, which is why they aren’t at the top of our list.
- Super fast performance
- Very affordable pricing plans
- Powerful security methods
- Some logging for 30 days
(You can also check out an in-depth review of VyprVPN)
#6 | CyberGhost
CyberGhost is a Romanian-based VPN service that allows P2P sharing across all servers, apart from those located in the U.S. and Russia. Users outside of these areas can enjoy torrenting to their hearts content, but this may put some people off (especially if you live in the U.S. or Russia).
Once connected to CyberGhost, you can chose their ‘torrent anonymously’ profile. This will connect you to the best torrenting server available. Alongside this, CyberGhost adheres to a strict no logging policy and promotes 256-bit AES encryption for their security. Their kill switch is available on desktop, with an app-specific kill switch when used on mobile. CyberGhost would make it higher up in our rankings if it wasn’t for their restriction in certain areas.
- Reliable servers
- Anonymous torrent profiles
- High level of security and privacy
- Cannot torrent in U.S. or Russia
- Not all streaming services are unblocked
#7 | PrivateVPN
PrivateVPN is a relatively new VPN on the market, so probably isn’t as well known. Due to this, they don’t have as many servers as other popular VPN’s like ExpressVPN. However, it doesn’t mean they’re not worth a mention. PrivateVPN still offer great speeds and high-level security, making it a worth candidate for torrenting.
PrivateVPN uses 256-bit encryption and operates a no traffic/connection log policy. An optional kill switch is available too, as well as entirely anonymous torrenting. If you’re keen on unblocking geo-locked content like streaming services, you’ll no longer have that issue!
- Connect up to 6 devices
- Anonymous torrenting
- No logs policy
- Not many servers to connect to
#8 | StrongVPN
After a recent review of their features, StrongVPN has provided some new improvements to their services. They provide a zero logs policy on data, traffic contents, and connection details. This is especially important if you intend to use your VPN for torrenting purposes.
You can connect securely to StrongVPN on up to 5 devices. There’s an ‘obfuscate traffic’ option which scrambles and disguises OpenVPN connections. You’ll be protected from DNS leaks and they have a built-in kill switch feature. StrongVPN is a good contender, so I hope that their recent upgrade will allow them to reach a wider audience and become more popular.
- Zero logs policy
- Connect up to 5 devices
- Strong 256-bit encryption
- Slow connections
- Based in U.S. jurisdiction
#9 | SaferVPN
With SaferVPN you can enjoy unlimited bandwidth which is great for torrenting. This VPN offers super fast download speeds, so you’ll be able to watch your favourite films and download the latest games in no time at all.
SaferVPN doesn’t keep any logs and allows you to fileshare across Netherlands, Canada, and Spain. But, there’s not anything to stop you from connecting and torrenting on other servers! I’ve even tested access to U.S. and U.K. Netflix, both of which are unblocked and easily accessible through their easy to use interface.
- No logging
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Fast download speeds
- Can’t be used in China
- ‘Official’ P2P only available in certain countries
#10 | Windscribe
Windscribe is a solid VPN that’s great for torrenting. It’s fast download speeds offer great potential, but it’s lack of a kill switch could put some users off. On the flip side, Windscribe use a firewall to prevent leaks and they don’t store any logs regarding your personal or browsing data.
You can use Windscribe in China (which is a bonus), allowing you to torrent privately from anywhere in the world. It may not have as many features packed into it as other VPN’s, but you will be secured with 256-bit AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy. These things are ideal if you’re looking to torrent.
- Fast download speeds
- Anonymous torrenting
- No logs
- Based in the U.S.
- Not a lot of features