Best VPNs for Torrenting

Torrents, P2P (peer-to-peer) and file sharing all mean practically the same thing: acquiring content through the BitTorrent protocol. And if you want to get content securely, using a VPN service is really a must.

BitTorrent is a very powerful way to download files. It does not require centralized servers, which makes it particularly popular with downloaders concerned about copyright infringement. Copyright owners, on the other hand, are very indignant about BitTorrent.

As the above terms (P2P and file sharing) suggest, downloading a torrent also means sharing it with other downloaders.

There is one downside to this feature: all uploaders can see the IP addresses of other uploaders.
It’s no surprise that copyright owners regularly monitor the flow of content they own on the Torrent network. This allows them to prey on the IP addresses of the uploaders. However, a VPN protects against this type of predation if your service provider allows P2P downloading. Not all service providers do that.

Best VPNs for Torrenting and Peer-to-peer loading

NordVPN logo
5/5
  • Compatible with Netflix, BBC & Disney
  • Free 30 day trial
  • Unlimited Torrents
  • Over 55 countries
ExpressVPN logo
5/5
  • Compatible with Netflix, BBC & Disney
  • Free 30 day trial
  • Unlimited Torrents
  • Over 90 countries
  • No-log policy
CyberGhostVPN logo
5/5
  • Compatible with Netflix, BBC & Disney
  • Free 45 day trial
  • Unlimited Torrents
  • Over 90 countries
  • No-log policy
PureVPN logo
5/5
  • Fast and secure VPN connection
  • Free 31 day trial
  • Unlimited Torrents
  • Over 2000 servers
  • Dedicated IP

What things to consider when using VPN with Torrents?

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) cannot see the user’s network traffic because all traffic between the VPN server and the user’s computer is encrypted. Thus, the ISP cannot detect the download of torrents.
Anyone trying to spy, such as copyright owners, will only see the IP address of the VPN server, not the user’s IP address. Admittedly, this means that, instead of users, copyright owners are charing VPN providers.
By connecting to servers in countries where websites are not monitored for copyright purposes, the user can access normally blocked torrent pages.

Choosing a good VPN service for torrent downloading

In terms of technology, any service provider could provide good protection from copyright holders. However, this is not done by many service providers.

There can be two reasons. The morale of the service provider is first. Another, more common reason is the domicile of the service provider and its law, which can be too harsh for copyright infringers. For the same reason, many service providers allow downloading on some servers, but not all.

One thing worth mentioning is that free VPN services for download are virtually non-existent. It would be far too messy to fight copyright owners if customers don’t even pay for the service.

However, paid services are mainly very reliable options for P2P downloaders. The reputation of the service provider is also often dependent on whether it is able to deliver on its promise of allowed torrent downloads.

Therefore, you should always check first if your service provider allows P2P downloading. If this is not the case, the service provider can pass on his customer’s information to the ISP, which can then send nasty letters to the customer. The service provider may also disclose the information directly to the lawyers of the copyright holders.

Dangers and problems with torrent downloads

Some countries, such as the UK and India, are toughening penalties for copyright infringement. In most countries, however, piracy is a civil matter rather than a criminal matter. Even if a pirate does not end up in prison, he may not get away with it.

The most common punishment is warnings sent by the ISP. If the warnings are ignored, the ISP may suspend or terminate the user’s service altogether. Copyright owners can also, in theory, sue downloaders for personal injury lawsuits, which can result in thousands of euros in damages.

In reality, judgments are really seldom given. For this reason, copyright owners recruit “copyright trolls” to fund piracy. Funding is done through “speculative billing,” which means threatening legal action unless the uploader pays a certain amount of money.

In the case of speculative invoicing, it is worth consulting, for example, the British government’s official guide online. The information is mainly related to the United Kingdom, but it is also useful all over the world.

However, you don’t have to face these issues if you use a VPN connection to download.

How to check my VPN is ok with torrenting?

It is easy to check whether your IP address is displayed when using the VPN service. After connecting to the VPN, visit IPLeak.com. If the page doesn’t show your real IP address or your ISP’s IP address, you’re safe.

There is no real need to do anything else. On the other hand, if a user is paranoid about their privacy, they can also test the reliability of the version of BitTorrent they are using.

This is done by browsing down to “Torrent Address detection” on the IPLeak.com page and attaching a magnetic link to your own torrent program.

In this case, IPLeak sets in motion a unique torrent file created for testing and tracks the IP addresses of all those who share it. After a few minutes, the results will appear on the page.

All is well as long as the IP address of the user or the user’s ISP does not appear in the results.

You should always use the kill switch when downloading. Otherwise, possible VPN disconnections could expose the downloader’s IP address to the world. The risk is greatest if the charge is left alone in the background for hours.

Port Forwarding

Some VPNs that allow P2P downloading also support port forwarding. The feature is, at least in theory, convenient for file splitters, as it allows you to bypass e.g. Problems with NAT firewalls. Most VPN providers use NAT firewalls to protect their users from traffic from the Internet.

In addition to an individual user, a NAT firewall on a VPN can slow down an entire P2P network, causing all network users to suffer. The solution to the problem is port forwarding, which allows a user to open a port in a NAT firewall to allow P2P traffic to pass through it.

This should speed up personal download speeds and make the entire P2P network more efficient. The torrent program needs to know which port is open to get the most out of the forwarding. Then it can listen to any future connections.

In some programs, the forwarding must be configured manually. However, some programs support special technologies such as NAT Port Mapping or UPnP. With the help of these technologies, the process can be facilitated comfortably.

Did you know this?

In Switzerland, it is legal to download copyrighted material for personal use. In a few countries outside the West, no one even cares what people download. The situation is completely different if you live in a country where copyright really matters. In these countries, P2P downloading without the protection of a VPN connection is melted madness.