If you file share In the United States and many other countries, you are at risk of getting in trouble with copyright censors, viruses and hackers all of the time. Moreover, many of the popular torrent sites have been blocked. However, there is a way out, and it’s in the form of a VPN.
A great VPN service will allow you to seamlessly torrent safely and at the same time grant you access to all of the torrening sites.
Our top recommend service is ExpressVPN, its the fastest VPN for torrents and will keep you safe and anonymous while torrenting.
The Problem with Torrenting
With the introduction of Napster back in the 1990s, we saw file sharing become a worldwide phenomenon, adopted by people all over the globe. Needless to say, torrenting has truly changed entertainment and although media producers have tried their very best to stop file-sharing, it has turned the entertainment industry on its head.
File-sharing, believe it or not, is actually not illegal. Technically you are transferring a file between yourself and another user who might have an interest in that same file.
However, file-sharing is mostly done with video or audio files, which are copyrighted materials, of which you have no ownership over, and sharing them without the owner’s permission is illegal.
Copyright Laws Around the World
Depending on where you live in the world, there are different laws regarding copyright, so let’s take a look at which ones might apply to you.
|United States||Downloading copyrighted materials is illegal in the US. There is a three strike rule, which might end up seeing you in court.|
|United Kingdom||Downloading copyrighted material is illegal in the UK. Here you can be issued a cease and desist as well as being sued by the copyright holder.|
|Canada||Downloading copyrighted material is illegal. If caught, your information will be stored on file for six months and ISPs will notify the violator. ISPs also hold the right to throttle your bandwidth.|
|Australia||Downloading copyrighted material is illegal here, but it’s down to the copyright holder to take any legal action.|
|Germany||Downloading copyrighted material is illegal. If you get caught law firms can pursue you, with help from copyright trolls for fines up to €1000.|
|India||Downloading copyrighted material is illegal in India. If you get caught, you can end up getting large fines or even receive jail time.|
In 2010 there were 16,200 lawsuits filed with regards to copyright infringement, suing BitTorrent users and offering settlements from $1,000 and $3,000.
Recently, 82 websites were shut down which were accused of sharing products infringing copyright laws, with commissioners stating:
“We are cutting off funds to those looking to profit from the sale of illegal goods and exploit the ingenuity of others… We can no longer sit on the sidelines while American intellectual property is stolen and sold online using our own infrastructure. This costs American jobs, hurts our economy, and puts consumers at risk.”
Many countries have been blocking access to torrenting sites.
Some of the most popular torrenting sites that may need to get unblocked include:
- The Pirate Bay
- Kickass Torrents
How a VPN Can Save the Day
A VPN will be able to secure your connection by changing your IP address and creating a tunnel through which your data travels, undetected. This means that you can connect to any torrenting site without anyone being able to trace it back to your IP address.
If you connect through a VPN, you will also be secured through an AES encryption. Your connection will not only be invisible, but private as well. If nobody is able to see your connection then that means they are unable to piggyback off of it and sneakily gather information about your or track your internet activity.
Some ISPs will try to stop you from torrenting by throttling BitTorrenting traffic or maybe even your complete internet connection, if they believe you to be sharing files. However this is something that also affects people who are downloading legal torrents.
Remember, not all VPNs are created equally and so not all of them allow for torrenting and P2P activities.
Choosing the right VPN is crucial for torrenting safety and securely. We have it all laid out for you below.
|VPN Client||Blocks P2P||# of Servers||Starting From|
|ExpressVPN||No||+2000||$ 6.67||Get Now|
|PureVPN||Some*||+2000||$ 2.49||Get Now|
The Best VPNs For Torrenting
#1 ExpressVPN – The Ultra Fast VPN Service
ExpressVPN takes the number one spot for the best torrenting VPN. An extensive encryption makes sure your data is being kept safe and no usage logs will ensure that the company cannot share your personal browsing data. With servers in 148 countries and stealth servers this is definitely a fantastic option for all torrent users out there. They might be a little pricey, but the peace of mind you’ll get will be worth it.
Choose ExpressVPN for:
- P2P possibility
- An easy setup
- Consistently fast streaming speeds
- Ping times that are minimally affected
- ExpressVPN works extremely well in high censorship countries
- Military grade encryption
- Large international server network
- 30-Day money back guarantee
- Outstanding customer service
- 99% uptime guarantee
- $12.95 a month
- $9.99 a month for a six-month plan
- $6.67 a month for a 15-month plan
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Save 49% with an annual subscription – plus, enjoy three free months and an extended money-back period of 45 days
Try Now ExpressVPN – Risk Free – 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
For more information on ExpressVPN features, read our extensive ExpressVPN review.
#2 NordVPN – Optimal Speed and Security Mix
NordVPN have shown to be a great all-rounder, especially when it comes to torrenting and file sharing. They have an incredibly strong focus on privacy and have shown that they are willing to keep upgrading their service for optimal performance. They offer six connections at the one time, meaning that all your family members can use the VPN without interrupting one another.
NordVPN permits torrenting and works with all the major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon instant video. privacy features start. Based in Panama, they won’t keep any of your data logs.
NordVPN gives you access to a double VPN which means your traffic will get diverted through two servers and you also have Tor support as well as a kill switch option. Also, if you decide to sign up with their longest plan, it actually turns out to be the cheapest out there.
Choose NordVPN for:
- 1500+ servers
- Impressive security measures
- Strict zero-logging policy
- Netflix access
- Performance speeds of up to 400Mbps
- 24 hour live chat customer service
- $11.95 per month
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Save 52% with an annual subscription
Try Now NordVPN – Risk Free – 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
For more information on NordVPN features, read our extensive NordVPN review.
#3 Cyberghost – Surprising Performance and Free Trial
Connect easily with CyberGhost using their Torrent Anonymously tool. Adding your download client to the VPN launch options can ensure that the software will automatically use an optimized server. You also have the option of choosing your connection manually, however it is vital to remember to choose locations that torrenting is legal.
The cool thing about CyberGhost is that they like to stick up for their customers, even going to court on a few occasions in order to protect their customers’ rights. Their extensive server network boasts 5,944 servers across 90 countries, but only allows torrenting on P2P compatible servers.
A great price point sold us on CyberGhost, but no bandwidth and the ability to have 7 simultaneous connections definitely sealed the deal with this VPN company.
Choose CyberGhost for:
- Great speeds up to 230Mbps
- Netflix access
- Additional security features
- Live chat support from 9am – 5pm
- No email required
- Great for first time users
- $2.75 per month, for 3 yr subscription
- $3.79 per month, for 2 yr subscription
- $4.99 per month, for 1 yr subscription
- $11.99 per month, for a monthly subscription
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Try Now CyberGhost – 7 Days Free Trial, No Credit Card Needed
For more information on IPVanish features, read our extensive CyberGhost review.
#4 Surfskark – Affordable and Fast
Granted, Surfshark hasn’t been around for a long time, but they have made their presence felt in the industry. Offering customers over 800 servers in around 50 countries, there’s also a plethora of features including double hop connections as well as Netflix compatibility in 11 countries. There is also a built-in ad tracker as well as malware blocking. With jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands and protocols like IKEv2 and OpenVPN as well as military-grade protection, you can be sure your online movements will never be tracked.
The server infrastructure previously supported countries in Europe and North America, but this VPN company has now expanded server locations to countries like India, Singapore, Turkey, Israel, South Africa, Canada, Chile, and Costa Rica. Surfshark supports torrenting and will also find you the best torrenting server available whenever you connect. The best part about this VPN is that you can hook up Surfshark to as many of your devices as you wish.
Choose Surfshark for:
- Great download speeds
- Zero logging
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited platform protection
- Unlimited server switching
- Strong encryption
- Torrenting allowed
- Cheap two-year plan
- Unblocks Netflix
- 24-hour live chat support
- Lightweight software
- Broad device compatibility
- Easy to use
- $1.99 a month with the two-year plan
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Try Now Surfshark – Risk Free – 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
For more information on Surfshark features, read our extensive Surfshark review.
#5 ZenMate – A Great VPN for Beginners
Supporting all of the major platforms like Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux as well as routers, this VPN service provider will also provide you with browser apps for Opera, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. A one-click connection and a very simple-to-use interface makes this the perfect choice for any of you who are less than confident in your tech skills. With hundreds of locations in as many as thirty countries, this new VPN company is quickly expanding its service and also offers other online security options on its website including a ZenMate Web Firewall, ZenMate SafeSearch as well as ZenMate Identity Shield.
Choose ZenMate for:
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices
- IP masking
- Censorship bypass
- Malware blocker
- Tracking blocker
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Use on up to 5 devices
- Identity shield
- Dedicated streaming and download servers
- Favorite locations filter
- $2.05 a month with the two-year plan
- $9.99 a month on the monthly plan
Try Now ZenMate – Risk Free – 30 Days Money Back Guarantee
For more information on ZenMate features, read our extensive ZenMate review.
What Makes a VPN Great for Torrenting?
There are several things you need to keep in mind when it comes to picking out a great VPN for torrenting:
Your encryption needs to be fantastic when you’re planning on torrenting. The better your encryption, the less likely you are to be stopped or discovered by third parties.
When torrenting, you rely on a good internet connection with great speeds. A bad VPN will slow your download speeds completely which defeats the purpose.
- Data Caps
You might want to check whether your chosen VPN company imposes data caps on their premium services. Most of them do not, but there are always exceptions to the rule.
You know you have your hands on a great VPN if it provides you with features like a kill switch and port forwarding.
What Extra Features Should my VPN Have for Torrenting?
There are a few extra measures that you can take which can take you the extra mile when it comes to torrenting.
- Shared IPs
Using a shared IP for torrenting is important, it means that you and thousands of other users can use the same IP address, making it much harder to track your activity.
- Port Forwarding
You might experience slow P2P downloading speeds. By using port forwarding, you can reroute your incoming P2P traffic through a firewall.
- Kill Switches
If it happens that your VPN connection fails, it is a likely possibility that your real IP address is shown. A kill switch can come to the rescue and disconnect you entirely from the internet if your VPN fails. Halting all internet traffic in the event of your VPN dropping is vital, as it could otherwise expose your activity to your ISP, hackers or copyright trolls.
Kill switches will be featured in the best VPN service providers on their desktop versions, but they may not be activated by default. Always make sure that you enable your kill switch in the settings. On top of that, mobile VPN apps are less likely to have kill switches at all.
Whether you’re into gaming, want to watch your favorite TV shows, or need to stream top movies, having the fastest VPN service matters.
Delays and buffer time in downloads and streaming are irritating and interfere with a smooth browsing experience, so there’s no reason not to choose a VPN that delivers both speed and security.
Which is Better – VPN or Proxy
Proxy services are often marketed and used for torrenting anonymously. Like a VPN, they replace the IP address of the user.
However, proxies provide a considerably reduced service, lacking any encryption or additional privacy features. Similarly, a proxy service only works for a specific piece of software, whereas VPNs disguise all web traffic.
Other benefits of using a VPN over a proxy service include:
- VPN Protocol Encryption. VPNs use military-grade encryption to secure the initial data tunnel. Proxies, on the other hand, leave this connection visible to onlookers.
- Downtime Contingencies. Unlike proxies, VPN providers offer automatic features that kill any web activity that slips through the encryption.
- Comprehensive Cover. VPNs protect your browser, torrent client, email and any other third-party apps.
- Government & ISP Protection. Although proxies hide your IP address, snooping authorities can still see your traffic and identify file-sharing activity. VPN encryption stops the issue, and many providers offer additional features to disguise the VPN traffic, for further security!
Can I Torrent with a Free VPN?
You have been tempted to use a free VPN for torrenting. While the low price tag may seem attractive, it actually poses a whole host of risks. Free providers can’t invest as much in development, which often leaves them lacking in the crucial areas.
Free VPNs often drop their connection and fail to provide consistent speeds. Some also have a bandwidth and time limits, so you could reach your usability allowance before your download is complete. Furthermore, free VPN providers are known for collecting and selling customer logs to advertising companies, to generate revenue for the company.
If you don’t want to commit to a paid subscription, we recommend taking advantage of the money-back guarantees and free trials offered by premium services.
Get Additional Protection When Torrenting
We’ve already covered how a VPN can provide provider security while torrenting. However, it doesn’t stamp out every threat you face when file-sharing. Often torrent files are infected with malware, which infiltrates your computer once downloaded.
For example, several torrent sites have recently installed cryptocurrency miners into their domains, which put users’ computers to work when they have downloaded a file. This latest revelation is just one in a long history of P2P-spread malware.
To avoid falling victim to threats of this kind, always use a high-quality antivirus service to flag and resolve problems before they cause serious damage.
Torrent Safely with a VPN
Torrenting has afforded web users around the world the ability to enjoy more content than ever, for lower prices. The popular practice has changed the world of media distribution, but its future is under threat!
As an increasing number of government bodies and copyright enforcement agencies continue to crack down and prosecute P2P file-sharers, web users must take extra caution.
Using a VPN when torrenting is essential to ensure your safety and privacy while downloading your favorite media. We recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN torrenting, due to its unmatched speeds and reliability.
CyberGhost kill switch is great feature. Helped me a few times.
Are any of these better at protecting me from the crypto mining scam?
PureVPN should be at the top. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and the ability to choose the right server helps download speeds. Better than the others.
Really a must have for anyone torrenting a lot. Thanks!
ExpressVPN works well. You still have to be careful that you aren’t accidentally sharing with a shill though.
Do any of these options store my information offline?
Which of these is the best to protect myself against viruses when torrenting?
Thanks for all this comprehensive information. Very helpful. Cheers.
Ahahahahahhaa Napster!!! I completely forget that that existed!! thanks for the blast from the past…
PureVPN is incredibly underrated….only $2.95 a year..provides a quality service…AND optimized servers for P2P.. IMO it should get way more hype than it does
I used a VPN to torrent every time and still recently received a letter from my ISP. How can they tell?
I don’t understand why VPNs wouldn’t allows p2p? Surely, if the company is actually doing what it promises then it shouldn’t be at risk from users activity? Makes me question the legitimacy of VPN providers who ban it…
Torrent sites are confusing. Which is the easiest one to use?
Never trust a free VPN to torrent. Just trust me on that.
Never trust a free VPN to torrent. Just trust me.
Thank you for clearly explaining that seeding the copyrighted file is what causes the most trouble.
Why did you include choices on here that aren’t your top recommendations for torrenting??
Wow, VyprVPN and PureVPN are really lacking on the trial period. I wonder if there is a reason why.
Do more server options make one torrenting service safer than another? Does the locations of the servers matter at all?
Logging is a big issue with VPNs, especially when torrenting. What is the logging policy of each of these brands??
Any chance we can get you to give more inforamtion about torrenting with these services? What’s the speed, how many servers are available and if any particular torrent apps are blocked? That would be helpful.
VyprVPN not being a top choice for torrenting is an understatement. The speeds are inconsistent at best in my personal experience. I ended up going with ExpressVPN and I haven’t looked back. Yes, it costs more, but if you want to torrent, spend the extra money and stop being so danged cheap.
CyberGhost Pro has been my choice now for a little over a year. Yes, the number of servers are limited, but I never have ANY significant speed issues. I spend more per month on a Big Mac combo than I do on my VPN, so that’s pretty sweet.
I use ExpressVPN for torrenting and can confirm it works well. I was forced to get a VPN after my ISP banned me for torrenting. After getting a new ISP, I got ExpressVPN and never had a problem.