Though opinions on the legality and morality of torrenting differ depending on who you ask, most will agree on the fact that the only safe way to torrent is to use a VPN. To make sure you stay safe out there, we here at Cloudwards.net have gone through our best VPN picks and selected the five very best VPN for torrenting, plus one honorable mention.
The VPNs below will not just allow you to unblock torrent sites, they will also mask your IP while you surf the web or download files. This erasing of your digital footprint won’t just hide you from copyright agencies; governments as well as ISPs won’t be able to find a shred of data on you.
For those who want to torrent, but don’t want to have to go through the trouble of constantly finding alternative torrent sites when this government or that has closed down The Pirate Bay or Kickass Torrents, we recommend checking out our best cloud torrent clients. Cloud torrenting is fast and safe, though comes with (manageable) monthly costs.
$ 8.33 per month 3 Devices All Plans
|Visit ExpressVPNExpressVPN Review|
$ 6.67 per month 2 Devices All Plans
|Visit BolehVPNBolehVPN Review|
$ 5.75 per month 6 Devices All Plans
|Visit NordVPNNordVPN Review|
$ 3.17 per month 5 Devices All Plans
|Visit CyberghostCyberghost Review|
Private Internet Access
$ 6.95 per month 5 Devices All Plans
|Visit Private Internet AccessPrivate Internet Access Review|
What Makes a VPN Best for Torrenting?
To hide your Internet activity, a VPN encrypts your signal in a so-called tunnel. Anyone that wants to see what’s going on when you download a file with a VPN active will only see the IP address of the server you’re using.
For example, you could download the latest Game of Thrones episode in the U.S. while making it look like you’re in Russia. The problem is, though, that, should your VPN connection drop suddenly, anyone monitoring that particular torrent will see exactly where you are and most likely who you are, as well.
To keep this from happening any good VPN for torrenting needs to have a “killswitch”. A killswitch will terminate your Internet connection if a secure VPN tunnel fails by keeping track of any changes in a connection and terminating it whenever something unexpected happens. All five of the services we’ve picked have a killswitch in place, with the one offered by ExpressVPN being one of the best thanks to its high sensitivity, with NordVPN as a close second.
Another important criterion is bandwidth limits, or rather a lack of them. Torrenters generally eat up plenty of bandwidth, so using a VPN provider that imposes a ceiling on these is a huge no-no. None of our top VPN picks for torrenting impose caps, of course, but we always feel like giving a shout out to CyberGhost in privacy-friendly Romania for its unlimited bandwidth.
Stability is another major concern for torrenters and if you place a priority on having a constant, steady connection, Private Internet Access is your best bet. Since many torrenters are also fans of open-source software, we’ve of course thought of Linux users. Almost all the VPNs in this article cater to Team Penguin, with ExpressVPN and BolehVPN taking the cake in this respect.
Best VPN for Torrenting
With the introductions out of the way, let’s take a look at our five picks in detail, starting with the cream of the crop, ExpressVPN.
Offering some of the best VPN encryption out there as well as a state-of-the-art killswitch, ExpressVPN is a powerhouse for torrenters. On top of this security, it’s also one of the fastest VPNs out there, making it a double whammy as far as we are concerned.
ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands, meaning that neither government agencies nor copyright bloodhounds will be able to get anywhere near your data as these crown colonies exist outside the reach of both the U.S. and EU.
As a cherry on top of this privacy cake, ExpressVPN is also a no-logs providers, so even if someone were able to access the service’s logs, all they would find are blank pages. For more information on these features, make sure to check out our updated ExpressVPN review.
Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
Did we mention that ExpressVPN is fast, yet? During several tests run by several reviewers from several different places around the globe, Internet speeds with the VPN enabled drop by just a fraction of the unsecured total each and every time; there are few competitors that can rival that.
It also has one of the best server networks we’ve seen, with locations on all continents and plenty of choice per country, to boot. This spread is one of the main reasons why ExpressVPN is also our top pick for best VPN for Netflix, as not other provider will let you view the site of so many different countries.
To top it all off, ExpressVPN also has great security with 254-bit encryption, four security protocols (OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and SSTP) and the no-logs policy we mentioned earlier. Besides a killswitch, there is also DNS leak prevention in place so your anonymity while torrenting is guaranteed.
ExpressVPN has clients for all major OSes (both mobile and desktop) as well as Linux.
Though we wish price plans were a little cheaper, at least customers have plenty of payment options: ExpressVPN accepts Paypal, all major credit cards, as well as a wide array of cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin and its ilk).
- Servers in 94 countries
- SmartDNS & Network Lock
- Great mobile & desktop apps
- Collects non-identifiable metadata
- Rather expensive
- Only connects 3 devices
BolehVPN is a great choice for privacy-conscious users (that group should always include torrenters) as the service utilizes perfect forward secrecy alongside 256-bit encryption and public key infrastructure (PKI) build with a 4096-bit key size. Technobabble aside, all this means BolehVPN is pretty much uncrackable.
BolehVPN is secure, but also private: the service does not keep any user logs, nor does it track Internet usage. As an added layer of privacy protection, the service also supports VPN over Tor, meaning you can connect to the Tor network after logging onto your VPN connection.
The only thing keeping BolehVPN off the top spot in this list is that it’s not as fast as ExpressVPN and it has nowhere near the server network (35 servers in 13 countries). Besides these two niggles, BolehVPN is a good pick for torrenters.
Other Reasons Why We Like BolehVPN
Outside of providing excellent privacy support, BolehVPN is also one of the few VPNs that supports Linux, besides the usual suspects of Windows, MacOS, Android. It also supports DD-WRT routers, so securing your home network is a piece of cake.
It’s one of the few major VPNs that’s based in Asia — Malaysia, to be exact — and enjoys the full protection of that country’s privacy laws. BolehVPN also makes use of its proprietary xCloak technology, keeping you hidden in yet another way while your browse along.
Between its generous feature set as well as it’s reasonable pricing, we feel confident in recommending BolehVPN to anyone, not just torrenters. For a full picture, make sure to read our BolehVPN review.
- Great privacy & security
- BolehGeo service is handy
- Software is excellent
- Relatively few servers
- No live or phone support
- Not much else
NordVPN is an excellent choice for torrenters as this provider has 29 servers optimized for it, scattered across the globe. They also have four dedicated IP servers and another four anti-DDoS servers.
To further optimize anonymity and security while torrenting, the service also features measures such as a killswitch, DNS leak prevention, 256-bit encryption and all the major VPN protocols (L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN TCP and OpenVPN UDP). A few nifty extras, such as Socks5 and HTTP proxies, seal the deal.
Downsides to using NordVPN for torrenting is that speeds may drop by as much as 30 percent, though the lack of a bandwidth cap should lessen that pain somewhat. Copyright crusaders will, of course, have a tough time tracking you as NordVPN keeps no logs whatsoever.
Other Reasons Why We Like NordVPN
As you can read in our NordVPN review, the service boasts over 1085 servers spread across 61 countries and also allows up to six connections per account — though each device must use a different protocol — making it ideal for families.
The service offers a free three-day trial, which is backed up by a 30-day money back guarantee. Users can either pay with Bitcoin for anonymity, or use more conventional methods including PayPal, Braintree and Paymentwall.
NordVPN is also one of our best VPN for BBC iPlayer and is able to circumvent the geoblocks put in place by pretty much all major players. It is also a fairly eclectic service and will run on all major mobile and desktop OSes, though there is no love for Linux here, sadly.
- Streaming-optimized servers
- 821 servers in 57 countries
- P2P (torrenting) allowed
- Not very fast
- No native Linux app
- Manual setup for Linux & routers
CyberGhost prides itself on providing a speedy connection without compromising on security. It has specific servers set aside for torrenting, which are configured to start automatically when you open the CyberGhost VPN app.
These servers come with a hidden IP address, 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, IPV6 leak protection (something that, for example, NordVPN lacks) and IP sharing. Better yet, the VPN’s desktop app also shows your download speed, maximum speed and amount of data downloaded for all torrenting sessions.
Another cool and very handy CyberGhost feature is that their server load is transparent. You can see how many users are active at any given time, plus the total amount of active servers and the total sum of bandwidth provided.
Other Reasons Why We Like CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost is likely the most feature-packed of all the services in our list of VPN reviews, making it ideal for people that like their bells and whistles. For example, CyberGhost automatically protects your computer network when it connects to new hotspots, ideal for people that often make use of public WiFi.
There is also a built-in malware blocker, an anti-browser fingerprinting system, automatic protection locks; the list goes on (make sure to read our CyberGhost review if you’d like a full overview). One problem worth noting though, is that the service’s “free proxy” feature always seems to be undergoing maintenance, rendering it virtually useless.
- Great free service
- Servers in 26 countries
- Desktop client is rubbish
- Inconsistent speeds
- Few servers outside of the U.S. & EU
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access, or PIA for short, is our final pick for torrenters thanks to its advanced security, sensitive killswitch and decent server spread (3253 servers in 25 countries). PIA is highly secure thanks to AES-256 data encryption with an SHA256 data authentication level, which in turn is coupled with a RSA-4096 handshake, all of which means there’s no worry of anyone seeing what you’re up to.
As for protocol support, PIA sports PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec, complimented by an SOCKS5 proxy. This allows users to choose between a faster or more secure connection, depending on their preference (torrenters should opt for security over speed, though).
The major drawback to using PIA is that it’s based in the U.S. and thus falls under the jurisdiction of the NSA, FBI and all the other alphabet agencies empowered by the Patriot Act. As the service is strictly no-log, this should be fine, but may turn some potential customers off.
Other Reasons We Like PIA
PIA supports Linux alongside Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and even an extension for Chrome. It also provides five simultaneous connections, alongside a tracking and malware blocker as well as a host of other features detailed in our PIA review.
PIA is one of the fastest and also one of the most stable services we’ve reviewed at Cloudwards.net and it always stacks up well against the competition in our VPN comparison chart.
PIA is priced at the below average end at the market and accepts almost every payment method imaginable, including Bitcoin, Paypal, Amazon, CashU, Google Wallet, OKPay and Ripple. Of course, all major credit cards work just as well.
- Clients for all major platforms
- Zero logging policy
- Built-in blocker for adware & malware
- No trial version (PIA offers a 7-day refund policy)
- Doesn’t work with Netflix
- Can only select servers by region
Honorable Mention: IPVanish
Though we feel the above five VPNs are the bee’s knees when it comes to torrenting, we feel we’d be doing readers a disservice if we didn’t at least mention IPVanish. This service has great security, offers plenty of anonymity, but suffers from speed issues from time to time.
However, torrenters who are also Kodi fans will love IPVanish thanks to its excellent integration with that service (check out our best VPN for Kodi article for more information). If you’d like to know more, check out our IPVanish review.
The above VPN services all offer unlimited bandwidth, specialized P2P servers, strong privacy protection and additional features such as killswitches and DNS leak prevention. They also all have money-back guarantees, with some even offering free trials, allowing you to test all of them at your leisure.
Though ExpressVPN is by far our favorite, any of the other four should stand you in good stead while file-sharing.
As staying safe should be your top priority when torrenting, make sure to have something in place when you venture out into The Pirate Bay or other, less well-known corners of the Internet. Thank you for reading and let us know if you have any suggestions in the comments below.