Fierce debates rage about what is the best VPN for torrenting. Check out our top torrent VPN picks, which we fully back up with good reasons, including in a side-by-side comparison.
Which torrent VPN you choose is probably the most important decision you will make in achieving safe and anonymous torrenting to protect yourself from monitoring and snoops. Let us help.
Top Tip – See all the details below, but the bottom line is that for safe torrent file-sharing we think IPVanish VPN (now 20% off) or Private Internet Access VPN (inexpensive) is the best VPN for torrenting. If you prefer a torrent VPN based outside the USA, we recommend NordVPN, ExpressVPN or PureVPN for your torrent VPN needs.
Here's a summary of what you should look at when trying to choose the best VPN for torenting:
- does the VPN protect the privacy of its customers? Does it keep logs or records of customer (your) activities?
- how much does it cost? Are discounts, free trials or money-back guarantees available?
- how many proxy servers does the VPN use and where are they located?
- how do current and former customers rate their experiences with the VPN?
- what advanced features does the torrent VPN have to protect your IP address from ever leaking?
- how reliable and fast is the VPN?
At a Glance: Top 3 VPNs for Torrenting
How to Choose the Best VPN for Torrenting
If you are in the market for a VPN to protect your privacy while p2p torrent file-sharing (or using Popcorn Time or Torrents Time), all of the criteria we discussed for anonymous VPNs still apply. But on top of those, you should also keep the following factors in mind when choosing a best VPN for torrenting to protect your sensitive peer-to-peer file sharing activities.
Make Sure the VPN Supports Torrents – duh!
This may sound obvious, but plenty of VPN providers (and especially free VPNs and free proxies) do not support P2P file-sharing and won’t protect your privacy or identity if you use them to download torrents.
- For more, please see our post ‘Why Using a Free VPN for Torrenting is a Bad Idea’
A good example of a popular VPN provider that does not support torrent file-sharing is HideMyAss (or “HMA” for short). HMA is one of the biggest VPN providers around and is owned by a large parent company. While HMA is a great VPN for streaming, unblocking websites, protecting your everyday web browsing and other non-sensitive activities, you cannot count on HMA to have your back if you use their service for torrent file-sharing, period!
Remember also that Tor – The Onion Router (a free, open source anonymizing tool), is not suitable for torrent file-sharing. If you try torrenting using Tor, your true IP address will leak and expose you in the process.
Make sure the torrent VPN you are considering expressly supports torrent file-sharing (sometimes called p2p or peer-to-peer). Look for specific statements on the VPN provider’s website and documentation. These are not always obvious or easy to find as many VPN providers keep quiet about this and don’t loudly advertise that they support torrent file-sharing.
Adding to the potential confusion is that sometimes the claims made by a VPN (or proxy) are vague enough to make you think that they will also work for torrents. If you do not see support for torrent (or p2p) file-sharing spelled out in black and white on their website or by reliable sources of torrent information, the VPN probably does not work for torrents.
You can also verify that a VPN supports torrent by checking reviews, but keep in mind our warning above about “VPN review” websites!
Lastly, you could directly ask the service, but be skeptical about any claims that are not backed up. Do your research. If the VPN you are considering has a money-back guarantee or free trial offer (“try before you buy”), take advantage of this and verify that your torrent IP address is being safely hidden before signing up to the VPN on a longer-term basis.
Check the Torrent VPN’s Logging Policy
One of the most, if not the most, important things to confirm when shopping around for a best VPN for torrenting is that it offers very strong privacy protections for its customers (you!).
For example, do they keep logs? What kind of logs (connection, activity, others)? Do they disclose customer information? If so, under what circumstances? If you cannot find the answers to these questions, then write to the VPN to find out or do some more homework.
In order to ensure your maximum protection when looking for a best VPN provider for torrenting, choose one that does not keep any logs. This way, even if they are compelled to disclose information, there is nothing meaningful for them to disclose as they don’t keep any logs of your activities.
Top Tip – IPVanish VPN has a strict no logging policy which helps make it the overall best VPN provider, especially for torrent file-sharing.
No Logs Mean Snoops Hit a Dead-End
Let’s take an example. Anyone trying to snoop or monitor your torrent file-sharing activities will link your torrenting activities to the anonymous IP address assigned to you by the VPN. So even if a snoop went through the trouble of tracing back the traffic and IP address to its source this would lead them to the torrent VPN’s proxy servers, rather than to you. Because the VPN keeps no logs of customer activities, that’s where the trail would end: the snoop would hit a roadblock and your identity would remain anonymous.
This is why it is important to confirm the VPN provider is not logging user (your) activity. You will want the snoop’s back tracing to hit a dead-end at the torrent VPN provider and not be further traceable back to you.
As you can see, non-logging is a very important consideration for those seeking out a safe VPN for torrent file-sharing. However, it can be an important consideration for anyone wanting to keep any of their online activities private, anonymous and away from prying eyes.
Top Tip – If you are worried about NSA-style surveillance as revealed by Ed Snowden, you may want to consider choosing a non-logging VPN based outside the USA. In such cases, consider ExpressVPN, a non-logging torrent VPN based in BVI, a small Caribbean island.
Advanced Torrent VPN Features
Other advanced features of best VPN providers that will be of interest to torrenters will include a kill switch. This is a VPN feature that disables your Internet connection like a tripwire if your connection to the VPN unexpectedly drops. This helps ensure that your true IP address is never compromised.
DNS leak protection is a VPN feature that ensures some special connections your computer and other devices make at a very technical level are always routed through the torrent VPN. Again, this is to ensure that your true IP address is never disclosed to would-be snoops.
Best VPN for Torrenting Comparison
|Monthly cost (/year)||$5.53 for our readers |
|$3.08 for our readers|
(use code 50off for further discounts)
|Monthly cost (/month)||$8.50 ($10.00 normally)||$5.95 ($6.95 normally)||$8||$9.95||$12.95|
|Torrenting allowed [?]||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Data logging [?]||No||No||No||No new!||No|
|Trial/Money-back period||7 days||7 days||30 days||7 days||30 days|
|Anonymous payments [?]||Yes||Yes, incl BitCoin & gift cards||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Devices per account||2||5||6||5||2|
|Servers | IPs||506 | 40,000+||3,337+ | n/a||567+ | n/a||583+ | n/a||100+ | 40,000|
|Kill switch [?]||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|DNS leak protection [?]||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Extra Features||Recommended by Anonymous||Best Android VPN app; PIA sponsors EFF||Double VPN & Tor over VPN||Split Tunneling, streaming & gaming||Fast speeds|
|HQ||USA||USA||Panama||Hong Kong||British Virgin Islands|
|new! Trust Pilot Rating [?]||6.8||8.3||7.2||7.2||6.4|
|Website||>> Visit <<||>> Visit <<||>> Visit <<||>> Visit <<||>> Visit <<|
Best VPN for Torrenting 2017 Wrap-Up
When torrent file-sharing, you need the full protections offered by the best VPN for torrenting you can afford so that your p2p torrent file-sharing activities are anonymous.
Whatever you do, do not be tempted to rely on a free VPN for torrenting.
There's a time when its worth spending a few bucks to protect your online privacy, and torrent file-sharing is definitely one of them!