The 10 Best Tips to Fix Torrents Not Downloading with VPN

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Quick Summary: The Best Tips to Fix Torrents Not Downloading with VPN

Using a VPN while torrenting has many benefits. It encrypts your online activity and hides it from other parties, including the government and even your ISP. However, you may face some issues with torrents not downloading while using a VPN.

Luckily, there are a few simple fixes you can adopt to resolve these issues. These are:

  1. Choose a safe and reliable VPN service provider.
  2. Use a dedicated P2P server when torrenting.
  3. Choose an obfuscated server to overcome VPN blocking from your ISP.
  4. Disable IPv6 and use IPv4 instead.
  5. Enable the VPN kill switch to prevent any information leaks.
  6. Disable your firewall.
  7. Try a different torrent file or magnet link.
  8. Check your client’s download and upload restrictions.
  9. Change the ports in your torrent client’s settings.
  10. Temporarily turn off your antivirus.

In our opinion, NordVPN is the best VPN for torrenting as it offers great speeds, P2P servers as well as great security features.

Be sure to read the rest of the article as it explains the benefits of using a VPN while torrenting and also provides more information and tips to fix torrents not downloading.

Using a virtual private network when torrenting is a great way to maintain your security and safety online. While torrenting is mostly safe, it can sometimes negatively impact your privacy and security.

For instance, an IP leak while torrenting would make your IP address visible to the entire torrent network, allowing others to track your location. Moreover, the government and your internet service provider (ISP) can often monitor your internet traffic and may punish you for torrenting.

A VPN helps hide your activity from them, and that’s why most people prefer using VPNs when downloading torrents in the first place.

However, using a VPN can sometimes cause torrents to not work. In this article, we go over some easy fixes if your torrent’s not downloading with a VPN.

We also cover some other general tips to overcome problems with torrents not downloading.

The 10 Best Ways to Fix Torrents Not Downloading with VPN

Before we jump into the fixes, let’s quickly understand how you can tell if your torrent isn’t working. There are a few telltale signs, including the download not starting at all, torrent downloading slow, or peers not showing up at all.

If you’re experiencing these problems, then try the following solutions:

1. Switch to a reliable and safe VPN provider

Screenshot of NordVPN provider website with added logo in the corner

This may seem fairly obvious, but the VPN provider you’re using can significantly impact your torrent downloads. This is especially true if you’re using a free VPN. These often have bandwidth and speed limits, which can result in your torrent not downloading.

Instead, choose a reliable and premium VPN with unlimited bandwidth and great speeds. You should also check whether your VPN client offers dedicated P2P servers, as these are often the best VPN servers for torrenting. Of course, attention must also be paid to the VPN’s security and privacy features, such as its no-logs policy and encryption standards.

It’s not easy picking the right VPN for torrenting, given the sheer number of options. But we’ve done the hard work for you and listed the three best VPNs for torrenting in a previous article. Choose the one which works best for you, though we strongly recommend NordVPN.

Why? NordVPN has dedicated P2P servers, secure tunneling, a kill switch, and above all, speeds aren’t majorly affected when you download torrents while connected to NordVPN. This makes it by and large the best option out there.

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2. Use a dedicated P2P server

Torrents work by allowing users to download bits of a file from all other users who’ve already downloaded or are downloading the same file. Therefore, it works on a peer-to-peer or P2P basis.

While there are several legal uses for P2P downloads, some countries restrict P2P traffic. To get around these restrictions, VPN providers have created dedicated P2P servers which offer fast downloads and torrenting.

So, if you’re torrent’s not downloading with a VPN, try switching to a dedicated P2P server. In most cases, you’ll be able to select dedicated P2P servers using the dropdown in the NordVPN software:

NordVPN software showing the protocol selection screen with the "P2P" option highlighted

3. Opt for an obfuscated server

ISPs have developed methods that they use to determine when a user is connected to a VPN. It is not uncommon for them to block any connection that is using a VPN. If this happens, your torrent won’t download while you’re connected to a VPN.

Luckily, there’s an easy way around this: use an obfuscated server (only available on TCP/IP protocol). An obfuscated server is a specialized server that hides the fact that you’re using a VPN connection. To your ISP, and any other prying eyes, it appears as if you’re using a regular connection.

Obfuscated servers hide information about VPN protocols in data packets. Since it’s such little information spread over billions of data packets, it’s impossible to trace. A manual inspection is necessary to identify deeply-hidden VPN protocols in data packets.

Most ISPs also use Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to sift through your online traffic. When you connect to a VPN, it automatically encrypts data packets, but not its own presence.

With obfuscation active, any suspicious metadata is also hidden in the encrypted data packets, allowing firewalls to let them pass easily.

While using NordVPN, you can connect to an obfuscated server by going to Settings -> Auto Connect and selecting Obfuscated Servers from the “Connect To” drop-down menu, as pictured below.

Screenshot of Obfuscated Servers, Auto connect option window

4. Disable IPv6

IPv6 is the latest iteration of the Internet Protocol which routes traffic across the internet. It was developed to overcome the limited number of addresses available on the previous version of the Internet Protocol, IPv4.

While it’s a step in the right direction, several VPN servers are yet to reorient themselves to work with IPv6.

There is a chance that your connection could end up leaking unprotected IPv6 data, causing your ISP to restrict traffic in the process.

To avoid this, you should disable IPv6 connections.

IPv6 with redacted IPv4, subnet mask and router IP address

On a Mac, you can disable IPv6 by following these steps:

  1. Go to System Preferences
  2. Click on Network
  3. Select your active connection i.e. WiFi or Ethernet
  4. Click on Advanced
  5. Choose TCP/IP
  6. Select “Link-local only” from the drop-down menu that appears beside “Configure IPv6” (pictured above)

On Windows, IPv6 can be disabled using the following steps:

  1. Open the Network and Sharing Centre from the Control Panel
  2. Click on Change Adapter Settings
  3. Right-click on the internet connection you’re using
  4. Click on Properties
  5. Uncheck the box next to “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IP v6)

5. Enable the VPN kill switch

Using a VPN when torrenting helps keep your IP address and other personal details safe from other peers on the network as well as monitoring platforms. However, if your VPN connection is disrupted, the torrent will continue to download and put your personal information at risk.

To avoid this, you should enable the kill switch provided by your VPN service. A kill switch immediately terminates your internet connection if your VPN connection falters. This helps ensure that your personal information never leaks out.

Screenshot of Kill Switch option window
Moreover, enabling the kill switch has fixed the problem of torrents not downloading or torrents downloading slow for several users, simply because ISPs can no longer track data.

If you’ve tried out the above steps and your torrent still isn’t downloading, then the problem probably isn’t with your VPN. We’ve listed some other general fixes you can try to get your torrents up and running in the next section.

Other Fixes for Torrents Not Downloading

This section provides a brief overview of some of the most common solutions that should fix issues like torrents downloading slow or not connecting to peers which don’t relate to tweaking your VPN settings.

6. Disable firewall

Your device’s firewall blocks incoming connections that it thinks are potentially harmful. This can often include connections from peers or torrent clients. To get around this, you may need to disable the firewall or whitelist your torrent client and allow connections.

iOS Firewall window screenshot

However, please bear in mind that the firewall is there for a reason, and disabling it can make you vulnerable to viruses, worms, and other kinds of malware. We would suggest you disable the firewall only as a last resort.
To do this on a Mac, simply search for “firewall” in Spotlight, click on the relevant result, and turn it off (as shown above).

For Windows, open Firewall & network protection, and you can then disable your firewall on the public and private network.

Several torrent files you find online can be outdated or dead. Such torrents usually don’t have enough seeders to support further downloads. If this is the case, torrent clients like uTorrent won’t download the file.
If your torrent’s not connecting to peers, you should visit a different torrent website and see if you can get a different magnet link for the same torrent. You can check out some of the most popular torrent hosting websites here.

8. Check your client’s download and upload restrictions

The settings of most torrent clients allow you to set limits on download and upload speeds. Sometimes, these speeds are set by default and can be lower than what your internet connection actually provides.

You should check whether any such speed restrictions are active on your client by going to its Settings/Preferences.

uTorrent interface screenshot, speed

9. Change your port

The listening port is used by your torrent client to communicate with the larger network. If the wrong port is selected or there are issues with port forwarding, then your torrent may not download.

You can fix this by changing ports in your torrent client’s settings/preference. For example, BitTorrent primarily uses TCP ports 6881-6889. This should help with torrents not downloading at all, or torrents downloading relatively slow.

10. Temporarily turn off your antivirus

Torrent files downloaded from the internet are not always reliable, which is why many antivirus software block downloads immediately. If you’ve tried all the steps above and your torrents not downloading, then you could try temporarily turning off your antivirus before starting your download.

Please note that turning off your antivirus is generally not advisable and can be quite harmful to your device if the torrent files contain malware. It’s important that you only download torrents from trusted sources, which is obviously difficult.

Final Thoughts on Torrenting with a VPN

As we mentioned earlier, a VPN is essential when you start torrenting, as a VPN protects your identity from restrictive authorities on the internet, which often view torrenting with suspicion. If torrents aren’t downloading with a VPN, you should try the fixes listed above. These should resolve your problems in almost all cases.

Read our comprehensive guide on torrenting securely and safely to ensure that you don’t get into any trouble. While torrenting is legal, do note that downloading copyrighted material is illegal and could result in a hefty fine.

The Best Tips to Fix Torrents Not Downloading with VPN: Frequently Asked Questions

Check out the FAQ section below for short and crisp answers to some common questions regarding torrents not downloading with a VPN.

A VPN encrypts your internet activity and hides it from others, including the government and your ISP. They often use monitoring tools to identify torrenting traffic and block it. A VPN prevents that from happening as it encrypts your data.

Here are some steps you use to fix torrents not downloading on uTorrent or any other torrent client:

  1. Try a different file with more seeders.
  2. Check for restrictions on upload and download speed in your client’s settings.
  3. Correctly configure the listening port and use one that’s not blocked.
  4. If none of these work, disable your firewall and try downloading.
  5. Finally, try disabling your antivirus.

We don’t recommend disabling your firewall or antivirus.

There could be a few reasons why you’re torrent isn’t downloading with a VPN. For instance, your ISP could have detected your torrenting activity and blocked such activity. Some fixes you can try are:

  1. Choose a reliable and safe VPN
  2. Use a P2P server
  3. Opt for an obfuscated server
  4. Turn on the VPN kill switch
  5. Disable IPv6

You can read more tips and tricks on downloading torrents here.

Tech journalist
Mohit is a legal and public policy researcher whose work focuses largely on technology regulation. At VPNOverview, he writes about cybersecurity, cryptocurrencies and sports events.