Best Free VPN for Torrenting & P2P (2022): Tried and Tested!

Trophy, Free VPN shield icon, laptop and a download icon on a dark background
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Summary: Best Free VPNs for Torrenting & P2P

It’s essential to use a VPN for torrenting. When you join a P2P (peer-to-peer) network, other users in the network can see your IP address. Your IP address is tied to your location and identity, so you don’t want to be broadcasting it to strangers.

However, by using a free VPN for torrenting, you’ll cloak your IP address and protect your online privacy. Our pick of the best free VPNs for torrenting are:

  1. ProtonVPN: Best truly free VPN for torrenting & P2P
  2. PrivadoVPN: Secure free VPN for torrenting with 10 GB monthly data
  3. hide.me: Free, P2P-friendly VPN with decent security
  4. Atlas VPN: Free VPN for torrenting, from the company behind NordVPN
  5. Windscribe: Free VPN for torrenting in high-censorship nations

Just bear in mind that free VPNs impose data and speed limitations. Not to mention, it’ll severely limit your server choice. That’s why we recommend choosing an unlimited VPN provider with advanced security features, such as NordVPN.

Keep reading to see more detailed reviews of these VPNs.

The best free VPNs for torrenting and P2P will hide your real IP address from exposure to hackers and government authorities. Security measures like VPNs prove essential in countries where torrenting is frowned upon. By hiding your IP address and encrypting your internet activity, these VPNs help you from being recognized.

We tested 50+ VPNs to shortlist the best free torrenting VPNs. There’s only one caveat: these free VPNs can be limited. Some offer only a few servers, while others limit how much data you can use per month. To help you narrow your search, we also listed the best VPNs with free trials. These let you use a premium VPN service for free for 30 days.

Read on to get to know our list of the best free VPNs for torrenting and P2P file sharing.

The Best Free VPNs for Torrenting

Free VPN shield icon with trophy next to itAfter extensive testing, we recommend ProtonVPN as the best free VPN for torrenting and P2P file sharing. You get unlimited data and speeds, as well as dedicated P2P servers, for completely free.

Check out the table below for a quick comparison of our favorite torrenting VPNs. You’ll find our full research below the table.

ProviderProtonVPNPrivadoVPNhide.meAtlasVPNWindscribe
Unlimited speeds (1 Mbps if you exceed data limit)
Free data per monthUnlimited10 GB/mo10 GB/mo2 GB/day2 GB/mo (or 10 GB/mo if you provide an email address)
Number of free servers locations385310
Countries with free serversUS, Netherlands, and JapanCanada, France, UK, US, and moreUS, Canada, Netherlands, and GermanyNetherlands and USHong Kong, Norway, Turkey, UK, US, and more
ProtocolsWireGuard, OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), IKEv2, L2TP, PPTPOpenVPN (UDP/TCP), IKEv2OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), IPsec (IKEv1 and IKEv2), SoftEther, SSTP, PPTP, L2TP/IPsecIKEv2, WireGuardOpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
Zero-logs
Available fromGet ProtonVPNGet PrivadoVPNGet hide.meGet AtlasVPNGet Windscribe

Note: A VPN doesn’t give you online impunity. Even if you cloak your real IP address to cover your tracks, you’re not untraceable. Law enforcement agencies with sufficient time, motivation, and resources can still track you down if you break the law. Torrenting isn’t illegal, but downloading copyright-protected data or files, or illegal media, is punishable by law.

Ready to dive in? Let’s take a closer look at these VPNs for torrenting and P2P.


1. ProtonVPN: Best truly free VPN for torrenting & P2P

Screenshot of ProtonVPN, website homepage

Features:

  • Unlimited bandwidth that won’t hold you back when torrenting
  • Offers P2P-friendly VPN servers
  • Access to 163 servers in three countries
  • Tor Over VPN and Secure Core servers for additional safety

ProtonVPN is the best choice for users who want to torrent over VPN for free. Not only does it offer unlimited monthly data, but it also includes P2P-friendly VPN servers.

This VPN provider also bundles your free VPN with security features that you only see with premium services. ProtonVPN comes with an automatic kill switch and DNS leak prevention. Your internet traffic is also secured with the OpenVPN protocol and AES-256 encryption.

Security and privacy-wise, you’re in safe hands with ProtonVPN, too. This free VPN is an audited, no-logs provider and is headquartered in Switzerland, away from the Fourteen Eyes alliance.

So, what’s the catch? ProtonVPN only has free servers in Japan, the US, and the Netherlands. If you live far from these countries, your download and upload speeds might suffer. If you want access to more server locations, you’ll need to upgrade to ProtonVPN’s premium plan ($3.99 per month).

However, we still recommend you give ProtonVPN a try. If you have fast enough internet or if you’re near the server locations above, then ProtonVPN is still the best free torrenting VPN in the market.

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2. PrivadoVPN: Secure free VPN for torrenting with 10 GB monthly data

Screenshot of PrivadoVPN website homepage

Features:

  • 10 GB monthly data allowance, with slower speeds when used up
  • Free servers in 10 countries, including the US, the UK, and Mexico
  • Offers the super-secure OpenVPN protocol, plus IKEv2
  • No logs, and strong 256-bit AES encryption

If you need more server locations than ProtonVPN can offer, then PrivadoVPN is your best bet. With free servers in 10 countries, you’re more likely to find a server near you. That means faster connection times and better download speeds.

PrivadoVPN has a monthly data limit of 10 GB, though you can keep using PrivadoVPN even when you’ve used up your data. Just note that your connection speed will be capped at 1 Mbps once your data allowance is used up, so it won’t be useful for anything other than light browsing.

Like ProtonVPN, PrivadoVPN is based in Switzerland, where privacy laws are strict. PrivadoVPN also protects your anonymity with 256-bit encryption, an ironclad no-logs policy, and a kill switch. You’re also secured by top VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, and a SOCKS5 proxy.

Paid users gain access to 200 servers in 44 countries, so it’s a good idea to upgrade your subscription (from $2.50 a month) if you want more locations. Otherwise, PrivadoVPN is a top-tier free torrenting VPN.

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3. hide.me: Free P2P-friendly VPN with decent security

Screenshot of HIDEme VPN website homepage

Features:

  • 10 GB monthly data allowance
  • Choice of five VPN protocols, including best-in-class WireGuard and OpenVPN
  • Tried, tested, and works with uTorrent, BitTorrent, and qBittorrent
  • Strict no-logs policy

An excellent free VPN in its own right, hide.me offers torrent-friendly VPN servers in five locations, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands, and Germany. With a free subscription, you get 10 GB data per month.

If you run out of data, hide.me doesn’t prevent you from using the VPN. Instead, it just doesn’t let you select a preferred VPN server. It randomly assigns you an IP, so depending on where you are, downloading speeds might suffer.

This provider offers many of the same security and privacy features as the above two. This includes 256-bit AES encryption and a kill switch. Uniquely, you can also choose your VPN protocol, such as IKEv2, SSTP, OpenVPN, and SoftEtherVPN.

This VPN has been independently audited by security analysts and promises not to log your data. If you’re not opposed to randomized IP addresses and a 10 GB monthly data cap, then hide.me is the free torrent VPN for you. You can also pay to get a premium plan for only $2.88/month.

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4. AtlasVPN: Free VPN for torrenting from the company behind NordVPN

Screenshot of AtlasVPN website homepage with added logo in the corner

Features:

  • Free 5 GB data per month
  • Doesn’t keep logs of personally-identifiable data
  • Features a kill switch
  • Protocols include IKEv2 and WireGuard
  • Supports extensive devices, including smart TVs

With a slick user interface, good speeds, and excellent security options, AtlasVPN is a rising star among free VPNs. It comes with WireGuard protocol, a kill switch, and split tunneling. Free users get 5 GB data per month for their torrenting needs.

While Atlas VPN was only launched in 2019, it was acquired by Nord Security in 2021. This is the same group that owns some of our best VPNs, NordVPN and Surfshark.

Atlas VPN offers a range of other useful features, including a tracker blocker and dedicated IP addresses. However, most features are exclusive to paying customers. Upgrades to the premium plan go as low as $1.70/month. You can even use Atlas VPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee.

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5. Windscribe: Free VPN for torrenting in high-censorship nations

Screenshot of Windscribe, website homepage with added logo in the corner

Features:

  • Free 10 GB data per month
  • Uses “military-grade” 256-bit AES encryption
  • Includes a built-in firewall
  • Supports torrenting on all servers
  • Pay with bitcoin to further secure your privacy

Windscribe doesn’t specify the number of servers it has, but the software supports 60+ countries. For a provider that offers a free tier, Windscribe is a fairly feature-stuffed VPN. When we tested it, we determined that it’s more suited to advanced users than people looking for their first VPN.

In terms of speed, other providers have done better. Our Windscribe VPN review includes a speed test, where we saw varying results. Download speeds dropped to around 80 to 90% of normal speeds on nearby servers, but as low as 6% on distant servers. So, it’s not ideal for torrenting, especially if you’re nowhere near your server of choice.

However, security is a strong point for Windscribe. The software supports five VPN protocols, including OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) and WireGuard. On top of that, Windscribe has a built-in, always-on firewall and kill switch.

There’s an additional protocol called “Stealth” that’ll help you to get around more stringent online censorship. This protocol uses an open-source algorithm called “Stunnel.” Already protected by VPN encryption, your data is further “wrapped” within an SSL encryption layer, making your online activity even harder to detect.

Try Windscribe for free today, or upgrade to its premium plan for only $5.75/month.

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How to Choose the Best Free VPN for Torrenting

What to Look for When Choosing a VPN iconIn recommending these free VPNs for torrenting, we considered numerous factors. You should consider these same points when deciding on which VPN to use.

  • Data and speed limits: Free VPNs often offer very small data allowances and limited speeds. We picked the VPNs with the best offers in this aspect, so you can make the most out of their services.
  • Security: A torrenting VPN should have security features that prevent your information and activity from being leaked. We looked for VPNs with AES-256 encryption and multiple secure protocol options. VPNs get plus points if they have a kill switch and DNS leak protection.
  • Privacy: We require VPNs to have strict a privacy policy and a verified no-logs policy before we recommend them to users. Otherwise, your data might be in danger of being handed over to advertisers and the government.
  • Servers and server locations: The more servers and server locations, the better. Understandably, free VPNs have a very limited offering when it comes to servers.

The Disadvantages of a Free VPN for Torrenting

Free VPNs to avoid iconWe can’t expect free VPNs to compete with premium VPNs. Think of mobile apps, for example, where free usage commonly means putting up with tons of ads. Free VPNs are no different — you’ll have to contend with several drawbacks if you choose one of the above free VPNs for torrenting.

There are typically three main disadvantages of free VPNs:

  • A limit on how much data you can use each day or each month that you’re a subscriber
  • A cap on your connection and download speeds, which can make downloads slower and reduce video quality
  • Fewer VPN server locations to choose from when you connect to the VPN

If you wanted to use a VPN connection to watch US Netflix, speed limits can be a dealbreaker. If you’re using a VPN for torrenting, data limits are your enemy. Even torrenting a single large file can make you hit your limit very quickly.

While premium VPNs aren’t perfect either, they offer greater control, flexibility, and above all, privacy and security.

The Best VPN Free Trials for Torrenting and P2P

Not happy with the data and speed caps on free VPNs? One alternative is to use the free trial offers of premium VPNs.

We’ve highlighted our picks of the best premium VPNs for torrenting and P2P, with instructions on how you can take advantage of their free trials or money-back guarantees.


1. NordVPN: #1 Top-rated VPN with Premium Speed and Security (Free Trial)

Screenshot of NordVPN website homepage with added logo in the corner

Features:

  • Over 5,500 VPN servers in 59 countries
  • Super-secure, custom-built NordLynx VPN protocol
  • Accepts cryptocurrency payment for anonymity
  • Offers dedicated IP addresses

NordVPN is our top-rated VPN, bar none. With lightning-fast servers, its own VPN protocol called NordLynx, and built-in Threat Protection that alerts you about malware, no other VPN matches its specs at the price tag it has.

Based in Panama, away from international data-sharing alliances, NordVPN offers some of the best VPN security you can find. This premium VPN comes with a kill switch, DNS and WebRTC leak protection, dedicated P2P servers, and AES 256-bit encryption.

How to get a NordVPN free trial

You can take advantage of NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee to get a whole month’s service for free! If you don’t want to continue your subscription after that, you’ll get a full refund.

  1. Get NordVPN by picking one of its subscriptions. The 30-day money-back guarantee works on all their plans.
  2. Within 30 days, visit NordVPN and go to the Help section.
  3. Launch a live chat by clicking the speech bubble button in the lower right corner.
  4. Ask the chatbot for a payment refund. You will be transferred to an agent in the process.
  5. Tell support that you want to cancel and request a refund. Expect to provide information about your payment method.
  6. Wait for five to ten business days for the money to return to your account.
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2. ExpressVPN: Best VPN for Ultra-High Speed Torrenting (Free Trial)

Screenshot of ExpressVPN website page with added logo in the bottom right corner

Features:

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Alternatively, three months for free with an annual plan
  • Speeds of 80 to 90 Mbps on both near and distant servers
  • Around 3,000 servers in 94 countries

If you need a broad selection of countries to choose from, ExpressVPN is your go-to VPN for torrenting. Only Surfshark rivals its vast coverage of almost 100 countries. However, ExpressVPN is typically faster, which is ideal for torrenting. In our review, linked above, we’ve also proven ExpressVPN’s success with both uTorrent and BitTorrent.

ExpressVPN supports up to five simultaneous connections, with compatibility for Windows and Mac, plus Android and iOS. Their software is particularly easy to use, even for VPN beginners. But don’t let that fool you; it’s secured by AES 256-bit encryption and VPN protocols that include OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec.

How to get an ExpressVPN free trial

ExpressVPN allows you to get a full refund after 30 days if you don’t want to carry on with your subscription. That means you can get an entire month for free by following these steps!

  1. Get ExpressVPN by choosing any subscription option on their website.
  2. Before the 30 days expire, visit ExpressVPN and go to the “Support” section.
  3. Search for “How to cancel” in the search bar.
  4. Click on “How to cancel your ExpressVPN subscription” for detailed instructions.
  5. Follow the instructions that apply to your payment method. They differ depending on how you subscribed.
  6. As long as you cancel more than 24 hours before the billing date, you’ll receive a refund to your payment method. You can follow up with Support if you have any trouble.
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3. Surfshark: Best VPN for Torrenting on Unlimited Devices (Free Trial)

Screenshot of Surfshark VPN provider website homepage

Features:

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No device limit: Protect unlimited computers or mobile devices
  • NoBorders mode can unblock the internet in the strictest countries
  • Around 3,200 servers in 60+ countries

Surfshark’s 30-day money-back guarantee means you can effectively use the service for free, for a month. If you’re not happy to carry on with your subscription, you won’t have paid a cent. Meanwhile, you’ll benefit from a super-fast, secure VPN service with servers in 60+ countries.

Surfshark allows torrenting through its VPN servers, and it won’t log your activity. Meanwhile, your data is secured by AES 256-bit encryption, and you can choose protocols including OpenVPN (TCP/UDP), IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard, and Shadowsocks.

How to get a Surfshark free trial

With Surfshark, you can enjoy a month’s protected browsing without paying a cent! If you want to cancel your subscription after 30 days, you’ll get your money back:

  1. Get Surfshark by signing up on the website. You can choose any plan, since they’re all covered by the money-back guarantee.
  2. Within 30 days, send an email to [email protected].
  3. Alternatively, go to the Help Center on the Surfshark website. Scroll down and click “Chat With Us.”
  4. Complete the refund request form. You will then be transferred to an agent.
  5. Tell support that you’d like to cancel and receive a refund. Expect to provide information about your payment method.
  6. Wait for five to ten business days for the money to return to your account.
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What is Torrenting?

Torrenting and P2P iconTorrenting is the process of downloading and uploading a file through a peer-to-peer network known as BitTorrent. It is just one kind of file sharing that relies on a peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

If you download torrents from a centralized server, you suffer from other people also downloading from that server. This can result in a slowdown or even a crash. People who download and upload through a torrent network are known as “peers”, and as a whole, they’re part of a “torrent swarm.”

Using torrents can have benefits over using a centralized server. If many people download from a single server, the server could slow down or even crash. However, sharing the burden among numerous user devices removes this risk. It can even result in faster downloads.

If you’re interested in finding out more about downloading torrent files, check out our guide to torrenting.

Why Do You Need a VPN for Torrenting?

Why You Need a VPN iconIf you aren’t using a VPN, your identity can be exposed. This doesn’t just apply to torrenting, either. Websites see your IP address whenever you visit a page. With this information, law enforcement agencies, your ISP (internet service provider), and even complete strangers can determine your location and identity.

The trouble is, when torrenting, your real IP address is visible to everyone within your torrent swarm. Download a popular enough file, and you could be exposed to a very large number of people. Hackers often trawl torrent clients looking for victims, so you really don’t want your IP address on display.

When you connect to a VPN server, your IP address is cloaked. Anybody who snoops on your IP will instead see the address of the VPN server that you’re connected to. And if that server happens to be several hundred or thousand miles away, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that they can’t work out your location and identity.

Free VPNs to Avoid

Not all VPNs have your best interests in mind. Some want to turn a profit by selling your data to advertisers. During our VPN tests, we determined that the following VPNs are dangerous to use.

Free VPNWhy you should avoid it
HolaHola sells your bandwidth to paying users. This enables paying users to use your internet connection to access the web. As a result, your IP address could end up being connected to suspicious activities.
SuperVPNSuperVPN keeps track of your data to fulfill DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) requests. If you’re looking for a way to download anonymously, you’ll be better off with a different VPN.
Psiphon ProPsiphon Pro allows partner companies to track users. It also shares data with commercial partners, other partners, and the Psiphon Pro parent company. In other words, you’ll have a hard time staying anonymous with this VPN.
Touch VPNTouch VPN can load various tracking software onto your device’s browser, which will share your data with third parties.
BetternetBetternet compromises your personal data by making it accessible to advertisers and other third parties.
AnonyTunAnonyTun is another VPN that allows advertisers to gather personal information about you.
Turbo VPNTurbo VPN offers a free tier of subscription, which poses an adware and tracker risk to your device.
Tuxler VPNTuxler VPN‘s free version isn’t just slow, but it’ll also gather your personal information to sell to marketing agencies.

Bear in mind that this isn’t an exhaustive list; there are sure to be other unsafe VPNs out there. If in doubt, reach out to the VPNOverview team for our opinion. You can leave a comment below this article.

Conclusion: The Best Free VPNs for Torrenting and P2P

Free VPNs for torrenting can cover small file downloads and torrent website browsing. VPNs cloak your IP address so no one can know your real IP — not even the other people in your P2P network. Having a VPN is essential if torrenting is frowned upon in your country.

Here are the best free VPNs for torrenting you can choose from:

  1. ProtonVPN: Best truly free VPN for torrenting & P2P
  2. PrivadoVPN: Secure free VPN for torrenting with 10 GB monthly data
  3. hide.me: Free, P2P-friendly VPN with decent security
  4. Atlas VPN: Free VPN for torrenting, from the company behind NordVPN
  5. Windscribe: Free VPN for torrenting in high-censorship nations

But while free stuff is great, there’s almost always a catch. Companies will typically push you toward a purchase by serving you with adverts or locking down features. Free VPNs are no different. You’ll likely hit your data allowance quickly.

For the best privacy and security features when torrenting, plus unlimited data and speed, NordVPN wins hands down. Whether we’re talking data allowances, connection speeds, server choice, or security, NordVPN covers all the bases.

Click the button below to snag 67% off a two-year plan, while safe in the knowledge that you have 30 days to decide if it’s for you. The price of unbridled security might surprise you.

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Best Free VPNs for Torrenting & P2P: Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions about torrenting with a free VPN? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, drop a comment below the article, and we’ll come back to you soon!

We’ve tried and tested numerous free VPNs for torrenting, and our favorite is ProtonVPN. It’s one of the few VPN providers to offer a free version with unlimited data.

Just bear in mind that torrenting is a data-intensive activity. Once you’ve spent your allowance, your connection speed will be limited to a maximum of 1mbps. To avoid this, it’s better to try a free trial with a premium provider, like NordVPN.

There are many free VPNs for torrenting, but some don’t support P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing. That’s why we’ve tested numerous free VPNs to find the best among the bunch. ProtonVPN offers unlimited data, and has a “truly free” VPN option. Connection speeds are only capped once you run out. Alternatively, consider NordVPN’s free trial for unlimited data.

Torrenting is a legal way to download and share files over the internet. However, it is the specific files and data that you share that could land you in trouble. Torrenting copyrighted material is illegal in the vast majority of countries around the world. While not an exhaustive list, this includes movies, video games, and software. Using a VPN anonymizes you and your connection, though it doesn’t guarantee you impunity from prosecution, so tread carefully.

Cybersecurity journalist
Chris is a tech journalist with many years' experience covering the latest news in online privacy and cybersecurity. He's also a published author and works as a Product Manager for some of the most innovative software development companies.