Best VPNs for torrenting and P2P file sharing-white

Using a VPN when torrenting should mean your information stays private. But not every VPN is ideal for use with BitTorrent clients such as Vuze and uTorrent. Read on to find out about the best VPNs for torrenting.

Some torrenting VPNs lack performance, while others put your privacy at risk by leaking your information. The latter can expose your identity to snoopers including your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and hackers.

I’ve done the heavy lifting in terms of researching and testing torrent VPNs to find out which services really are suitable for P2P file sharing. You can find out more details below, but at a glance, here are the best VPNs for torrenting:

  1. ExpressVPN: My top VPN for torrenting. Fast, secure, and keeps no logs of personal information.
  2. NordVPN: The best budget VPN for torrenters. Huge network of fast servers and some advanced security features.
  3. CyberGhost: A user-friendly VPN with excellent speeds, no logs, and strong security.
  4. IPVanish: A privacy-focused provider that owns its servers and never logs any data.
  5. PrivateVPN: Boasts fast speeds, permits torrenting, and keeps no logs whatsoever.
  6. Surfshark: A secure, fast VPN that has no limits on bandwidth or device connections.

Note that many VPN providers discourage torrenting, with some banning the practice and penalizing torrenters. Others allow and encourage torrenting, but of these, many aren’t worth your time.

Here’s what you need to look out for in the best torrenting VPNs:

  • Allows torrenting: Doesn’t have anti-torrenting language in its terms of service
  • True no-logs policy: Doesn’t log any personally identifiable information
  • Strong security: Provides leak protection and uses effectively uncrackable encryption
  • Fast speeds: Enables you to quickly download large files
  • Unlimited bandwidth: Doesn’t impose data caps, bandwidth limits, or download throttling
  • Shared IP addresses: Multiple users share the same IP address to boost anonymity

Best VPNs for torrenting safely and anonymously

Based on my extensive testing, these are the best VPNs for torrenting:

1. ExpressVPN –  Fastest VPN for torrenting/P2P

ExpressVPN torrenting screen.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for torrenting and indeed for most use cases. It’s easy to use and has the fastest speeds I’ve seen across the industry, so you won’t have to worry about your torrent client taking forever to download large files.

Security is top-notch, with 256-bit AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy. My tests found that ExpressVPN protects against WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks, as claimed.

A kill switch (called a “network lock” in ExpressVPN lingo) ensures your information remains protected in case the VPN connection drops unexpectedly.

ExpressVPN keeps very minimal metadata logs, but these don’t contain any information that could identify you. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands, a country with no data retention laws.

You’re assigned the same IP address as others connecting to the same server, which helps mask your identity further.

While some VPNs single out certain servers for P2P file sharing, ExpressVPN supports the practice on all servers. It even provides a tutorial for getting set up with uTorrent.

ExpressVPN uTorrent instructions.

There are no bandwidth limits or data caps, and ExpressVPN won’t throttle speeds on downloads of any size.

This provider has desktop clients for Windows, MacOS, and Linux, and mobile apps for iOS and Android. It can be configured to your home router to protect all devices in your home network. Five devices can connect at a time under one plan.

Pros

  • Very fast speeds
  • Protects against leaks
  • Doesn’t log personal information
  • Provides support for torrenters
  • No bandwidth limits

Cons

  • Price is a little higher than some competitors

BEST VPN FOR TORRENTS: ExpressVPN is my top VPN for torrenting. It has blazing fast speeds and excellent security and privacy features, and is risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. NordVPN – Best cheap torrent VPN

NordVPN torrent page.

NordVPN is a great budget alternative that comes with all the features you need for a seamless torrenting experience.

While its speeds aren’t as reliable as ExpressVPN’s, they’re fast enough for downloading large files and NordVPN doesn’t impose any limits.

This service is known for its security features, including strong encryption, protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks, and a kill switch. Additional features include double VPN and Tor over VPN.

It uses shared IP addresses and doesn’t keep any logs whatsoever. NordVPN has a massive server network with many servers optimized (and labeled as such) for P2P file sharing.

NordVPN server list showing P2P servers.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. NordVPN can be configured with home routers. Each plan allows for six simultaneous connections.

Pros

  • Logs no user data
  • Labels servers suitable for torrenting
  • No bandwidth restrictions
  • Protects against leaks

Cons

  • Some servers can be slow

BEST BUDGET VPN: NordVPN is a solid budget VPN for torrenting. It has a huge server network, offers advanced security features, and welcomes torrenters. Plans come with a 30-day guarantee.

3. CyberGhost – Highly-secure VPN for torrenting

CyberGhost torrent server screen.

CyberGhost has come a long way in the last few years, focusing on expanding its server network and providing the best service possible to its growing customer base.

You are limited in terms of which servers you can use—CyberGhost has succumbed to legal pressure and blocked torrenting on servers located in the US, Russia, Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong.

CyberGhost explanation of P2P.

It also blocks P2P on certain servers to prevent traffic slowdowns for other users.

That being said, other servers work great. CyberGhost provides a list of torrenting servers within the app to help you choose the best one.

CyberGhost torrenting screen.

This service gives you fast speeds, and there’s no bandwidth limit or throttling on large downloads.

Security and privacy are strong focuses for this provider. It uses 256-bit encryption, protects against leaks, and keeps no logs. IP addresses are shared with others connecting to the same server.

An app-specific kill switch (look for the “app protection” setting) is ideal for making sure you protect traffic flowing to and from your torrent client.

CyberGhost allows you to connect up to seven devices at a time and has apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. It can be installed on Linux and home routers.

Pros

  • Fast speeds
  • Strong security features
  • Doesn’t keep logs
  • App-specific kill switch

Cons

  • Disallows torrenting on some servers

USER-FRIENDLY: CyberGhost has easy-to-navigate apps and great speeds, making it an ideal torrent VPN for beginners. You can test it out with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

4. IPVanish – Very torrent friendly P2P VPN

IPVanish torrenting page.

IPVanish was built with a focus on providing torrenters with the means to download in privacy. It offers excellent speeds and unlimited bandwidth, allowing you to torrent as much as you like.

This provider never keeps any logs and secures your data with 256-bit encryption and leak protection. A kill switch will protect your information should the VPN connection drop.

IP addresses are shared and you have the option to switch your IP address periodically. Both of these features serve to improve anonymity.

IPVanish explicitly allows P2P file sharing as stated in its FAQ section:

IPVanish file sharing screen.

IPVanish has apps for Windows MacOS, iOS, and Android and lets you connect 10 devices at a time. The Android app is lightweight and the service is compatible with Kodi addons, making this one a big hit with Kodi users. Linux and home router configuration is possible, too.

Pros

  • Strong focus on torrenting
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Fast speeds

Cons

  • Short money-back guarantee period

BUILT FOR TORRENTERS: IPVanish offers great speeds and has a focus on privacy, making this an ideal P2P VPN. Plans come with a 7-day guarantee.

5. PrivateVPN – Privacy-focused torrent VPN

PrivateVPN torrenting VPN page.

PrivateVPN, as its name suggests, is another privacy-focused VPN. It’s based in Switzerland, a country with excellent privacy laws.

This up-and-coming provider has a small number of servers to choose from, but its service is comparable to some of the best in the industry.

It has fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth, and supports torrenting on select servers. Shared IP addresses are standard.

A zero-logs policy means your information remains private. 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, leak protection, and a kill switch provide optimal security.

PrivateVPN apps are available for MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Manual configuration is possible on Linux and home routers. Each paid plan allows for up to six simultaneous connections.

Pros

  • Fast speeds
  • Doesn’t keep logs
  • Strong security features

Cons

  • Small server network
  • Support isn’t consistent

SMALL BUT POWERFUL: PrivateVPN allows P2P on various servers and is fast, secure, and private. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

6. Surfshark –  P2P VPN with unlimited connections

Surfshark torrenting VPN page.

Surfshark is a new provider, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with its performance across testing.

It’s not the fastest VPN, but speeds are ample for torrenting and there are no restrictions in terms of data caps or bandwidth limits. Surfshark uses shared IP addresses.

This provider is based in the Bristish Virgin Islands and operates under a strict no-logs policy. It boasts security features that rival the big dogs, including 256-bit encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch.

This is a very torrent friendly VPN and explains how to use P2P with the service in its FAQ section.

Surfhsark instructions for using P2P.

P2P is available on servers in the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. If you use P2P while connected to another server, Surfshark will automatically reroute traffic to a Netherlands or Canada server.

Surfshark P2P server selector.

Apps are available for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android, and you can manually configure the service on home routers. As is the case with many newer providers, Surfshark currently offers an unlimited number of connections

Pros

  • Unlimited number of connections
  • Zero logs
  • Promotes torrenting

Cons

  • Relatively new provider
  • Smaller network than most rivals

NO LIMITS: Surfshark allows unlimited bandwidth and connections so you can torrent as much as you like. Try the service with a 30-day guarantee.

Can I use a free VPN for torrenting?

You may notice all of the VPNs on my list paid providers. As much as I would like to recommend a best free VPN for torrenting, these services come with issues that make them unsuitable for P2P file sharing.

Some of those issues are:

  • Slow speeds: Free VPNs don’t have the resources to invest in large high-speed server networks. Instead, masses of users are sharing a small number of servers. This results in slow speeds, unreliable connections, and wait times to connect to servers.
  • Data caps: To cut down on server loads, these services impose strict data caps, so may only be suitable for downloading very small files.
  • Lack of privacy: A common revenue model for free VPNs is to track user activity and sell the information to third parties. You’ll rarely find a free VPN with a true no-logs policy.
  • Weak security: These services typically don’t employ strong encryption standards, and some have been found to lack any encryption whatsoever. Leak protection is generally poor or non-existent among these services and most don’t come with a kill switch.
  • Malware risk: Lots of free torrenting VPN apps have been found to come bundled with malware, so you can never be sure what you’re getting.

As you can see, using a free torrent VPN isn’t worth your time. You’d be better off spending a few dollars per month on a reputable, privacy-conscious provider.

How to torrent with a VPN

Even if you’ve never used a VPN before, getting started is simple. Here’s how to torrent with a VPN:

  1. Sign up with a VPN provider. I recommend ExpressVPN.
  2. Download and install the appropriate VPN app for your device.
  3. Ensure the kill switch and leak protection are enabled and connect to a server suitable for P2P.
  4. Now you’re ready to start torrenting!

Note that some providers enable the kill switch and leak protection by default, but for others you’ll have to enable these features.

Surfshark connectivity settings.

The Surfshark kill switch is disabled by default.

You can check your VPN provider’s documentation or ask customer support if you run into issues.

VPN torrenting policies

Ideally, you want your torrent VPN to meet all the criteria listed at the beginning of this post. Failing that, at a minimum, you need a VPN that allows torrenting, doesn’t keep logs, and provides a kill switch in its desktop apps.

Bear in mind that even VPNs that support torrenting will typically have a clause in their terms of service that prohibits you from using the service to upload or download copyright-infringing material. For example, from ExpressVPN:

“In using our Services, you agree not to: […] Upload, download, post, reproduce, or distribute any content protected by copyright or any other proprietary right without first having obtained permission from the owner of the proprietary content.”

Section of ExpressVPN's terms of service.

Why torrent privately?

ISPs monitor traffic and can see what you download, including torrents. It’s increasingly common for torrenters to receive copyright violation letters from their ISP.

You can find multiple threads within torrent-related subreddits regarding ISP letters.

ISP letter subreddit.

Media companies (or copyright trolls acting on their behalf) use monitoring nodes that join torrent swarms. Your IP address is visible within the swarms you join, and it can be linked to you through your ISP.

In fact, the copyright infringement letters that ISPs send out are often prompted by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaints from third parties.

Bear in mind, the letter will be sent to the person with whom the internet account is registered. One reddit user describes receiving a letter of copyright infringement due to the actions of someone else.

Subreddit about copyright infringement letter.

Initial letters typically don’t have immediate repercussions, but rather act as a warning that activity is being monitored and the downloading of copyright-infringing material should stop.

Some letters, in particular those subsequent to an initial notification, threaten or inform of account closure, fines, or legal action.

There have also been plenty of cases around the globe where users have been slapped with lawsuits on behalf of copyright holders.

In 2018, there were 3,300 new lawsuits filed against BitTorrent users in the US. And over in Sweden, 35,000 IP addresses were listed in “copyright troll” cases between January and September of 2018.

In Canada, a crackdown on illegal torrents was timed perfectly to coincide with the release of the final season of Game of Thrones.

News article about copyright lawsuits in Canada.

Aside from your ISP and copyright trolls, others could be snooping on your activity too. Sites like IKnowWhatYouDownload publicly publish downloads associated with your IP address, so your employer, friends, or random neighbors could look up what you’re downloading.

Does VPN hide torrenting?

A VPN encrypts all the traffic flowing to and from your device, so no one can monitor your activity. This includes your ISP, government agencies, network administrators, and hackers.

But encryption isn’t enough to ensure safe torrenting. With VPN torrenting, your real IP address is hidden and replaced with a different one, so you can’t be identified.

However, this only works if the VPN itself isn’t tracking your data or leaking your information.

VPN logging policies

Lots of VPNs track real user IP addresses which can be used to identify individual users. As such, using a no-logs VPN is a must if you want to torrent securely.

Some VPNs are honest about tracking real user IP addresses and disclose it in their privacy policy. For example, FlyVPN is open about the fact that it logs your realand VPN IP addresses, as well as timestamps:

FlyVPN's logging policy.

However, some VPNs that claim to keep no logs have been found to violate those claims. One example is PureVPN.

An article about PureVPN.

Although the company has improved its practices since, it was found to record IP addresses in the past, even when its privacy policy claimed it didn’t. The discrepancy came to light during a 2017 FBI case in which PureVPN’s logs were used to track down a stalker.

In contrast, you have a company like ExpressVPN which goes to great lengths to be completely transparent. This provider recently underwent an audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Independent professionals examined the company’s code and interviewed employees to verify the legitimacy of the privacy policy.

Headline about ExpressVPN's PwC audit.

VPN leak protection

In addition, many VPNs expose your real IP address via DNS, IPv6, or WebRTC leaks, or through lack of a kill switch.

I’ve tested the VPNs in the list above VPNs and they shouldn’t be leaking your data. However, it’s always worth testing for leaks before going ahead with torrenting. This can be done by using a site like browserleaks.net.

A browserleaks.net screen.

If you find that your VPN is leaking your IP address, if it’s a reputable provider, then the likely cause is either an IPv6 or WebRTC leak. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about switching providers as both of these leaks can be fixed by disabling IPv6 or WebRTC as needed.

What’s the fastest VPN for torrenting?

I’ve tested all of the above VPNs (and many others) for download speed. ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN for torrenting by far. Others that peg great speeds include CyberGhost, IPVanish, PrivateVPN, and most of the time, Surfshark.

NordVPN tends to be a bit a bit slower than the others depending on which server you choose, but it’s still fast enough for torrenting. Plus, it’s one of the best in terms of security and privacy, so it still comes highly recommended.

Note that I do not condone or encourage piracy and advise you stick to legal torrents.