Torrenters download BILLIONS of files every year. Unfortunately, most of them get into it unprotected and unaware of all the dangers associated with P2P file sharing.
Our advice? Always maximize your online anonymity and security with a good VPN. Here’s our list of the best VPNs for torrenting:
- NordVPN: Best overall VPN for torrenting
- CyberGhost: Most affordable and user-friendly
- Surfshark: Best torrenting VPN with unlimited connections
CyberGhost is the best option for torrenters on a limited budget. It’s ultra-secure, fast, and offers some of the most user-friendly apps out there.
In the wake of 2020, torrenting has become more popular than ever. People around the world are downloading millions of files every month, from movies and tv shows to productivity software and games. Most torrenters, however, may not be aware of the dangers that lurk even on the best torrent sites — which is why we wrote this guide to finding out the best VPNs for torrenting.
Why You Need a VPN for Torrenting
Hackers and malicious uploaders are always trying to steal your data. Spy organizations are tracking your every move. Governments are clamping down on torrenting with fines and domain seizures. With so many risks involved, it’s important to keep your location hidden; your data encrypted; and your IP address masked.
In short, using a good Virtual Private Network (VPN) has become a necessity. VPNs work by hiding your IP address, allowing your network to redirect through a remote server in a different location. If you’re in the US, you can connect to a server based in Canada, therefore masking your real IP address behind a Canadian IP address.
Of course, VPNs do more than just change your location. They also offer increased security — if you know what features to look for.
But which VPN is the best choice for you? With so many providers out there, doing your own research might take months. That’s why we listed our top 3 VPNs for torrenting right here.
Best VPN for Torrenting – Our Recommendations
We’e tested dozens of VPNs to find the best options for your peer-to-peer (P2P) needs. A good torrenting VPN should be fast, secure, and user-friendly. If you live in a country where torrenting is banned, the ability to bypass online censorship is also a must. These were some of the main ranking factors during our tests.
The result? We discovered the very best VPNs for torrenting. Read more about them below.
1. NordVPN – Lightning-fast, ultra-secure
In our opinion, NordVPN is the best VPN for torrenting. We’d also say it’s one of the overall best VPNs currently out there. It makes anonymous downloading easy with its stability, blazing speed, and bulletproof security.
On top of its vast server network, NordVPN also offers servers optimized for P2P file sharing. Its unique protocol ensures top-level security, quick downloads, and seamless P2P streaming.
NordVPN easily unblocks torrent sites in countries with heavy internet censorship, all while hiding P2P activity from your ISP and malicious third parties. Unlike other VPNs, NordVPN can actually block malware! It also removes annoying ads from torrent sites.
With double encryption, a firm no-log policy, and an auto-kill switch-to-boot, it’s no wonder NordVPN is among our top VPNs of this moment. It’s an amazing P2P tool for experienced torrenters and beginners alike.
You can use the 30-day money-back guarantee as a free NordVPN trial. Alternatively, take a look at our next two picks.
- Excellent protection and a large network of servers
- Nice and pleasing application
- No logs
2. CyberGhost – Affordable and beginner-friendly
CyberGhost is cheaper than NordVPN but also a bit slower when routing through distant servers. However, the service offers around 2,000 more server locations, so you can almost always find a server close to you. CyberGhost is a VPN with a strict no-logging policy, solid security, and airtight leak protection.
In our opinion, CyberGhost is the best VPN for beginners, thanks to its user-friendly apps. Even avid torrenters will enjoy its P2P-optimized servers. These servers are all secure and located in countries with favorable torrenting legislation. You’ll have zero problems accessing torrent sites anywhere on the globe.
CyberGhost also includes an effective ad-blocker to remove ads from your favorite sites. Although slower than NordVPN over long distances, CyberGhost is still an incredibly fast VPN. This ensures quick downloads and streams without any buffering. Military-grade encryption and a kill switch make sure the security follows suit.
Have you decided to become a “Ghostie?” You can use its 45-money-back guarantee to test CyberGhost free of charge.
- Very user-friendly
- High quality for a low price
- Torrents and Netflix possible
3. Surfshark – Fast torrenting with unlimited connections
Surfshark can protect an unlimited number of devices at the same time, making it ideal for large households with a lot of torrenters. That’s something not even NordVPN or ExpressVPN can match. It has fewer servers than our top two picks, but it’s on par with them in terms of speed and online security.
People usually view Surfshark as a “streaming VPN,” but it’s also an excellent torrenting tool. Its amazing speed will make short work of any file and guarantee smooth P2P streams. Privacy-wise, we have solid encryption, zero privacy leaks, and a strict no-log policy.
Surfshark can also help you bypass censorship anywhere in the world. Can’t access torrents in China? This VPN will get your downloads going in no time. You don’t even have to worry about ads, trackers, or malware thanks to its neat “CleanWeb” feature.
The software comes with a full 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you can test Surfshark for free and see if it works for you.
- Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
- 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked!
- Cheap with many extra options
What to Look For When Choosing a VPN for Torrenting
In a nutshell, a good torrenting VPN should be fast, secure, and easy to use. It should also make torrent sites cleaner and safer. With that in mind, here’s an overview of the things we were looking for when making this list:
- Speed: We needed VPNs that won’t slow your downloads to a crawl. If you enjoy P2P streaming, the experience needs to be smooth and buffer-free, as well. So, we were looking for ultra-fast VPNs with zero speed-throttling.
- Large server network: When it comes to servers, ‘the more, the better’ is our golden rule. Having more locations reduces server loads, which translates to faster torrenting. It also ups your odds of bypassing online censorship.
- Security: We wanted to see AES-256 encryption, paired with a reliable kill switch. A strict no-logging policy and zero data leaks were also a must.
- Ad-blocking: Not really a necessity but definitely a quality-of-life improvement. Torrent sites bombard you with pop-ups, and we wanted to eliminate those ads if possible.
- Ease of use: We were looking for apps that anyone could use without any difficulties. Nobody wants to deal with complicated software and a bunch of cryptic options and menus.
- Price/quality ratio: Saving some money is always nice. So, we have the utmost respect for VPNs that offer top-notch service with lower price tags.
Finding all this in a single VPN, though, is basically impossible. So, your best VPN for torrenting will hinge on your personal preferences. Do you want better speed or higher security? Saving some money or blocking ads? Whichever option you choose, you will have to make some sacrifices.
You can read much more about our top 3 VPNs for torrenting in our individual reviews. Our hands-on test results should help you make a fully informed choice.
Can I Use a Free VPN for Torrenting?
Free VPNs come in two forms:
- Free limited versions of renowned premium VPNs
- Manipulative and dangerous services that offer zero protection
Some VPN providers like ProtonVPN offer free versions of their software. Naturally, you’ll have to deal with some limitations, compared to the premium options. With Proton, free users have access only to three servers, which is awful for torrenting. PrivadoVPN and Hide.me, on the other hand, impose a 10GB data limit on their free users.
Providers also have to support their free versions financially. Since they’re not stealing and selling your data, they have to do this with in-app ads and pop-ups. If you don’t like these limitations, you can always buy one of the premium plans. Free versions give you a unique opportunity to test the software completely cost-free.
Having said all that, these are legitimate VPNs that actually provide solid protection.
Dangerous free VPNs
The other side of the “free VPN” coin is far more sinister. We have malicious VPN providers whose products offer little to no protection. They’re usually just trying to steal and sell your personal data or use your system to secretly mine crypto. Hola VPN was a perfect example of a malicious free VPN.
Instead of protecting you, they will expose your data to hackers and spy organizations. This includes logs about your activity, i.e. the sites you visit and your interaction with them. On top of that, you’ll be defenseless against all threats associated with torrenting.
If your budget is limited, we recommend services from our list of truly free VPNs. They will keep your P2P activity away from prying eyes at zero cost. Bear in mind, however, that these VPNs come with some serious limitations. Even so, we caution you against using the dangerous VPNs from the latter category, no matter how great the deal sounds.
Why Use a VPN for Torrenting?
VPN benefits for torrenters are almost too many to count. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Increased online privacy: VPNs replace your IP address with a fake one. This prevents malicious third parties, your ISP, and even your favorite torrent sites from tracking your activity. Your P2P traffic can never be traced back to your computer or you as a person. If you’re creating an account on a torrent site, remember to use an anonymous email and none of your real-life information.
- No ISP throttling: your ISP can detect torrenting. If they do, they will severely throttle your speed. With VPN protection, your traffic is encrypted and no one can see what you’re doing online. So, good VPNs for torrenting can actually boost your download speed.
- Increased online security: As mentioned, VPNs encrypt your traffic to protect you from data theft and other attacks. You can even torrent safely on unprotected networks. Two of our top 3 picks can also protect you from malware infections.
- Bypassing geo-restrictions: VPNs will unblock torrenting sites for you anywhere on the globe. They can bypass censorship in the US, China, Russia, etc. Simply, pick a local IP address and enjoy your favorite content hassle-free.
How Do I Install a VPN to Download Torrents?
The installation process will largely depend on your VPN provider and chosen devices. For example, installing a VPN on your Windows computer is a walk in the park compared to setting it up on a router.
Here are the steps that apply to most cases:
- Sign up on your provider’s official website. You can usually find the button at the top of the homepage.
- Download the VPN app for your device. Once you subscribe, you’ll be redirected to the download page.
- Install the VPN client. This should only take a couple of minutes.
- Log into the client. Usually, with the same credentials used to create an account.
- Open the “server locations” menu and pick a server.
- Click the “Connect” button on the home screen. Your VPN will connect you to the chosen location within seconds.
If you need more help, our VPN setup page offers in-depth setup guides for the most challenging devices.
With our best VPNs for torrenting, you can risk-proof all of your downloads. You can stay anonymous, prevent ISP throttling, and even bypass online censorship.
For the best overall package, we recommend going with NordVPN. If you’re on a tight budget and struggle with technology, CyberGhost is the P2P tool for you. If you want protection for unlimited devices, Surfshark is what you need.
For more top-level options, you should check our list of the best VPNs for this year.
Have more questions about the best VPNs for torrenting? Below, we covered some of the most frequently asked questions.
NordVPN is the best overall VPN for torrenting. It offers solid security, airtight privacy, and dedicated P2P servers. On top of that, you’ll have a giant server network, excellent geo-unblocking capabilities, and even an ad-blocker. In short, NordVPN is everything a safety-conscious torrenter will ever need.
Yes! A VPN will hide your IP address and encrypt your traffic, making you invisible to online threats. Two of our top 3 best VPNs for torrenting will even block malware. However, we strongly advise against illegal downloads and copyright infringements.
However, we also have malicious operations posing as VPNs (like Hola). They provide zero protection and will steal and sell your data to the highest bidder. You should never use free VPNs from the latter category.