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Best VPN for BitTorrent: 6 VPN Services for Downloading Files

Downloading a copyrighted file could drag you into a copyright lawsuit, not to mention the fact that hackers could infiltrate your device when you use BitTorrent unprotected. Read on to find the best VPN for BitTorrent to keep you out of trouble.

Samson Max
By Samson Max (Writer, Linking Editor)
— Last Updated: 2022-07-18T20:00:00+00:00 Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska

If you have a penchant for downloading music, movies and video games on BitTorrent, we have a word of advice for you: Never torrent without VPN protection. Otherwise, you run the risk of exposing your data and leaving yourself open to hacking, malware attacks and even legal disputes.

To sidestep these risks, always use the best VPN for BitTorrent.

Key Takeaways:

  • NordVPN is the best VPN for torrenting, followed closely by ExpressVPN.
  • A good torrenting VPN provider should offer a P2P-optimized server network, fast speeds, and excellent privacy and security.
  • Not all VPNs support torrenting, and free VPNs aren’t the best option because they often fail to protect you or come with use restrictions.

Not all VPNs support torrenting, so we did the legwork for you and narrowed the options down to six VPNs for BitTorrent. NordVPN — one of the best VPNs — is our top pick thanks to its top-notch security and excellent speeds. ExpressVPN is also an excellent option, and the other four VPNs are worth a look, too. 

  • Yes, BitTorrent works seamlessly with VPNs for torrenting.

  • Yes, you need to use a VPN with BitTorrent to conceal your digital tracks from your ISP and keep your personal information away from hackers and malicious snoopers.

  • VPNs support torrenting, though not all providers do. This list comprises the six best torrenting VPNs that work with BitTorrent.

The Top VPNs for BitTorrent

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What Makes the Best VPN for BitTorrent?

A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts your internet traffic, keeping you safe, private and anonymous online. The ideal BitTorrent VPN prioritizes speed, security and privacy. However, one feature remains paramount, and that’s support for peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing. 

We’ll get into the details in a bit, but first, here’s a sneak peek at our best BitTorrent VPNs:

  1. NordVPN — Fast and secure VPN with double VPN servers and custom P2P servers
  2. ExpressVPN — Fast VPN with 100% P2P-optimized network
  3. Private Internet Access — Affordable VPN with 100% P2P-optimized network
  4. CyberGhost — Budget-friendly VPN with always-on protection
  5. Surfshark — Pocket-friendly torrenting VPN with unlimited connections
  6. ProtonVPN — Cheap torrenting VPN with port forwarding

P2P Servers

All the VPNs on our list support P2P sharing, but there are variations among them. Some VPNs allow torrenting on the entire server network, whereas others permit it only on select servers. The disadvantage to the latter is that the servers can potentially get overcrowded.

Strong Protocols & Encryption

The VPN should offer secure VPN protocols and encryption to shield you from the internet service provider and malicious actors. 

Kill Switch & Leak Protection

It needs to have essential security features, including a kill switch — to cut your internet traffic when the VPN connection drops — and full protection against IP, WebRTC and DNS leaks. A malware blocker is also a great addition as it stops you from accessing torrent websites known to host malware, spyware or other malicious files.

Fast VPN Speeds

Fast speeds are also of the essence, because you want a VPN to upload or download torrent files without delays. Split tunneling comes in handy here, so you can route BitTorrent traffic via the VPN tunnel while letting other apps use the internet connection directly. 

The 6 Best VPNs for BitTorrent

Even though the six VPN providers cut it for torrenting, their capabilities differ, as does their pricing. We’ll analyze all the facts to help you find a service with the VPN features you need at an affordable price. Let’s get into it, starting with NordVPN — the best VPN for torrenting and our number one BitTorrent VPN. 

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Threat Protection
NordVPN is one of the best torrenting VPN services, thanks to robust security features, custom P2P servers and fast speeds.

More details about NordVPN:

Pros:

  • Custom P2P servers
  • Very fast connection speeds
  • Robust threat protection

Cons:

  • 2019 data breach 

NordVPN is our best VPN for torrenting, and it’s no surprise that it earns the first spot on our list of the best VPNs for BitTorrent. 

NordVPN supports torrenting in its entire server network. However, it also offers specialty torrenting servers in 48 out of the 59 countries in its network. Its P2P network is extensive enough to prevent server overcrowding, and during our testing the P2P servers delivered a fast download experience.

Beyond that, threat protection offers two lines of defense against malicious torrent files. It blocks access to malware-ridden torrent sites, so you don’t access malicious torrents in the first place. If a malicious torrent file evades the first line of defense and you download it, threat protection will still catch and get rid of it during the post-download scan. 

It suffered a server breach in 2019, but it was limited in nature and the provider remedied it swiftly to keep its privacy status intact. Plus, the fact that no user information was exposed is further proof that NordVPN keeps no user logs

Enjoy Incredibly Fast File Download and Upload Speeds

NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs in the industry. What stood out for us during our testing is its unmatched consistency in the U.S. and excellent download speeds worldwide. Plus, even if you connect six simultaneous devices (the maximum NordVPN permits), torrenting speed won’t drop, thanks to unlimited bandwidth.

NordVPN for BiTorrent
NordVPN offers the fastest connection speeds, making it the best service for quick file sharing on BitTorrent. 

NordVPN is cheaper than ExpressVPN, our next BitTorrent VPN suggestion, at least on the extended plans — it’s actually the best cheap VPN option. Each plan also comes with an industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our full NordVPN review to learn more. 

2. ExpressVPN

expressvpn
ExpressVPN is another great VPN for torrenting, thanks to its all-around performance. 

More details about ExpressVPN:

Pros:

  • Fully P2P-optimized network
  • Fast speeds
  • Solid security & privacy

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • No malware & ad blocker

ExpressVPN is one of the two VPNs on our list with a 100% P2P-compatible VPN server network. The servers are spread across 94 countries, so it’s easy to find a nearby server for faster torrent download or upload.

Moreover, each server boasts obfuscation technology, which scrambles VPN traffic, making it look like regular web traffic. Doing so lets you securely download torrents in countries where VPNs are banned, like China, Russia and Turkey. You also get the usual security suite: secure VPN protocols, AES-256 encryption, a kill switch and IP, WebRTC and DNS leak protection. 

If you download copyrighted files and the authorities knock on ExpressVPN’s door, they’ll come up empty-handed. This is because ExpressVPN adheres to a strict no-logs policy, meaning it keeps no connection logs or records of your online activity. Plus, with TrustedServer technology, BitTorrent traffic history is wiped with every server reboot.

Enjoy Lightning-Fast Download Speeds

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs, beat out slightly by NordVPN (see our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN article). Still, the VPN service is incredibly fast and consistent, thanks to its proprietary Lightway protocol. Regardless of the size of the file you’re uploading or downloading on BitTorrent, ExpressVPN delivers a seamless, lag-free performance. 

ExpressVPN for privacy
ExpressVPN doesn’t collect IP addresses, connection logs or history about your online or torrenting activities. 

Unfortunately ExpressVPN is relatively expensive, but you can bring the price down when you subscribe to the one-year plan. Plus, each plan has a 30-day money-back guarantee and supports five simultaneous connections (read our ExpressVPN review or our guide on how to use ExpressVPN for torrenting to learn more).

3. Private Internet Access

pia
Private Internet Access has an extensive network of P2P-optimized servers.

More details about Private Internet Access:

Pros:

  • Fully P2P-optimized network
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Good malware & ad blocker

Cons:

  • Decent connection speeds

Private Internet Access is another VPN service that offers a 100% P2P-optimized server network. In fact, PIA has a fleet of VPN servers in 84 countries. It also offers a comprehensive suite of security features, including a kill switch and leak protection, to keep you safe as you use BitTorrent.

Another arrow in PIA’s quiver is the port forwarding feature. When you switch on port forwarding, incoming torrenting traffic skirts the router’s built-in NAT firewall. Doing so improves torrent speeds, letting you download and upload large files on BitTorrent faster.

As far as the speed goes, Private Internet Access isn’t as fast as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, but it still gets the job done. 

Torrent Safely With PIA MACE

PIA’s standout tool is MACE, a reliable malware and ad blocker. Like NordVPN’s threat protection, it stops you from landing on torrent sites known to harbor malware, spyware and other malicious software. Although it doesn’t scan the files you download, that’s possible with PIA antivirus, although it comes at an extra cost. 

PIA for BitTorrent
PIA VPN protects you against online dangers, thanks to secure protocols and encryption standards. 

Private Internet Access is very affordable, especially on the three-year plan. Each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and supports 10 simultaneous connections. Read our comprehensive Private Internet Access review to learn more.

4. CyberGhost

cyberghost vpn server
CyberGhost’s P2P-sharing servers are optimized to keep your torrent traffic secure and private.  

More details about CyberGhost:

Pros:

  • Extensive torrenting servers
  • Always-on protection
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Relatively slow speeds

Even though CyberGhost doesn’t offer a 100% P2P-optimized server network, it does offer torrenting servers in 68 countries. In addition to the torrenting servers, it also has servers dedicated to streaming and gaming. Plus, you get a built-in ad blocker that blocks malicious sites at the DNS level. 

The P2P server locations are listed alongside their distance from your location. This way you can pick the closest server, which is a plus considering CyberGhost has some of the slowest download speeds, per our latest testing. Remember: The closer the VPN server, the better the torrenting performance (usually). 

Beyond the basics, CyberGhost stands out for its easy-to-use VPN apps. The features are intuitively placed, whereas advanced tools offer brief descriptions of how they work. This makes it pretty easy for all users, including newbies, to figure out which features to turn on such as content blocker (a malware and ad blocker) for efficient BitTorrent performance.

Always-On Protection with Smart Rules

There will always be a day when the excitement of downloading a free game or movie on BitTorrent makes you forget to turn on the VPN. The smart rules feature is built purposely for such days, as it lets you configure CyberGhost to launch and connect to a server of choice every time you open a torrent client.

CyberGhost for BitTorrent
CyberGhost smart rules ensure you use a virtual private network every time you download torrents on BitTorrent.

CyberGhost is budget-friendly, though its monthly plan is expensive and it only offers a 14-day money-back guarantee. To have a taste of CyberGhost affordability, you have to subscribe to an extended plan — which comes with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. The plans support up to seven simultaneous connections (read our comprehensive CyberGhost review to learn more).

5. Surfshark

surfshark vpn desktop app
Surfshark’s lean P2P server network is a strike against the service.

More details about Surfshark:

Pros:

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Top-notch security & privacy
  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • Lean network of VPN servers
  • Can’t pick ideal P2P server

Surfshark made it onto this list because of its affordability and unlimited simultaneous connections. Its P2P server network is limited — only 58 locations (including all U.S. locations) are optimized for torrenting. 

Another thing is that Surfshark doesn’t list its P2P servers, and that leaves no room to pick your preferred server. If you open BitTorrent on a regular server, Surfshark automatically reroutes your traffic through a P2P server. Unfortunately, it doesn’t notify you about the redirection, so you won’t necessarily know about the change. 

As far as speed goes, it’s one of the fastest VPNs, up there with NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Plus, Surfshark has the security tools you need: a malware blocker (called CleanWeb) and camouflage mode (obfuscation mode) that lets you use the VPN in restrictive countries.  

Unlimited Simultaneous Connections

Surfshark’s biggest perk is that it supports unlimited simultaneous connections. You also get unlimited bandwidth and data, meaning that even if everyone in the house is connected, the download speed won’t take a dip.

Surfshark for BitTorrent
Surfshark’s unlimited connections make it the best torrenting VPN for large families. 

As usual, the monthly plan is on the higher side of the pricing spectrum, but long-term plans offer significant discounts. Each plan has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you have ample time to take it for a spin and make a decision. Read our full Surfshark review to learn more.

6. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN app
ProtonVPN offers free anti-malware protection. 

More details about ProtonVPN:

Pros:

  • Free plan has unlimited data
  • Excellent download speeds
  • Supports port forwarding 

Cons:

  • Not all servers support P2P sharing
  • No torrenting on iOS

ProtonVPN is a free VPN for torrenting with a limited P2P server network. To be precise, the VPN service has P2P servers in 17 of 63 countries. While the P2P server network is limited, the servers are specifically optimized for BitTorrent and rarely get overcrowded. Unfortunately, ProtonVPN doesn’t support torrenting on iOS — or on its free plan.

That aside, ProtonVPN has some of the best download speeds in the industry. Regardless of the size of the torrent files you want to download on BitTorrent, you will do so without any lags. However, the free plan limits your speed by placing you on more crowded servers, and it doesn’t have the P2P servers.

Like PIA, ProtonVPN supports port forwarding on Windows. As mentioned, port forwarding helps bypass the router firewall to speed up torrent downloading on BitTorrent. However, skirting the router firewall can create leeway for hackers to infiltrate your system.

To counter that danger, ProtonVPN implements a secure firewall in place of the NAT firewall to block any suspicious incoming connection while you use port forwarding.

Avoid Ads and Malware With ProtonVPN’s NetShield

ProtonVPN has NetShield, a reliable malware, ad and tracker blocker. This feature acts as your first line of defense, ensuring no torrent website known to host malware, spyware or malicious software loads on your browser. 

It also blocks ads to facilitate a faster and more private torrent download (when you upgrade to Plus or Visionary plan) and may come in handy for mobile users because ads consume data.

ProtonVPN for BitTorrent
ProtonVPN is a good VPN for torrenting, but it doesn’t offer torrenting support on the free plan. 

ProtonVPN’s monthly plan is still on the higher side of the pricing spectrum. Longer-term plans are heavily discounted and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The free plan supports one simultaneous connection, whereas paid plans support 10 (read our ProtonVPN review to learn more).

Can You Use a Free VPN Service for BitTorrent? 

Unfortunately, we can’t really recommend the best free VPN for BitTorrent. You shouldn’t rely on free VPN services for BitTorrent for various reasons. Most free VPNs don’t have the features you need to remain safe and private when torrenting. Some free VPN apps even steal your personal information as you torrent and sell it to third parties.

Additionally, some secure free VPNs don’t support torrenting; ProtonVPN is a good example. Those that do set data limits may also restrict download speeds. For example, Windscribe — our best free VPN service — supports torrenting on all 10 free VPN servers. However, you only get 10GB of data per month. 

Final Thoughts: Best VPN for Torrenting With BitTorrent

BitTorrent is an incredible platform to share and download large files. Many people use it to download free movies, music and games, but it has a big catch. Using it without a VPN exposes you to online dangers. It also makes it easy for authorities to find the evidence they need to put you in jail if you download copyrighted or illegal materials.

For these reasons, it’s prudent to use one of the best VPNs for torrenting with BitTorrent. We recommend getting started with NordVPN because it’s the fastest VPN and it offers top-notch security and privacy. ExpressVPN measures up to NordVPN, though it’s more expensive. 

Have you downloaded a file on BitTorrent? Did you do it with a VPN? Which VPN did you use and why? What torrent client did you use? We’d like to hear about your experience in the comment section below. As always, thanks for reading.   

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