ExpressVPN has everything you need for safe and fast torrent file-sharing.
There are few VPNs as popular as ExpressVPN. But as we know, popular doesn’t always mean good.
Is ExpressVPN a victim of its own success? Or is it worthy of the hype? We’ll let you know in this detailed review.
But this isn’t just a generic VPN review. We’ll cover ExpressVPN from the perspective of torrenting, focusing on security, speed, ease of use, and the other factors most relevant to P2P users.
Ready? Then let’s get started.
[+] 'ExpressVPN Torrenting' contents (select to expand)
Is ExpressVPN Good for Torrenting?
Let’s start with a look at ExpressVPN’s best and most important features, as it relates to P2P and torrenting. Because if we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: you should never torrent without a VPN.
Don’t worry, we’ll explain what each of these features are and why they matter later in the review.
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Is ExpressVPN Safe for Torrenting?
While there are certainly other advantages, using a VPN for torrenting is, first and foremost, about keeping you safe. So, let’s start by seeing whether ExpressVPN has what it takes to do that.
Allows P2P and Torrenting
It’d be rather silly to torrent on a VPN that expressly forbids torrenting, don’t you think? But in our opinion, that’s not enough. It’s important to go a step further.
That is, one should NOT just pick a VPN that does not block torrenting. Instead, you should choose a VPN that openly supports torrenting, rather than leaving it up to guess work or gray areas.
Unfortunately, while ExpressVPN has typically advertised itself as a P2P-friendly service, it seems to have shied away from the issue a little more lately.
While there are still pages and guides on their site that cover torrenting, it takes a some digging to find them. Their pro-torrenting stance is no longer on their main page, like with most top torrenting VPNs.
So, we reached out to their support team for clarification – and we received a straightforward, helpful response.
Yes, ExpressVPN does still allow P2P, which is good to hear.
However, while we understand that ExpressVPN has to cover their own butts, it’d be nice if they went back to their more open, pro-torrenting stance in the future.
Verified No-Logs Provider
Another of the most important things to look for in a VPN for torrenting is whether or not they keep logs. Because, to state the obvious, you don’t want a giant log of what you downloaded or which sites you visited sitting in a database somewhere.
This isn’t just a safety risk; it’s also a massive breach of your privacy.
So, can ExpressVPN be depended on in this regard? The answer is a resounding yes.
For starters, ExpressVPN has a very clear privacy and logging policy, which is reiterated in multiple places on their site. But hey, are we really going to take their word for it?
Fortunately, we don’t have to. Because ExpressVPN’s no-logs claims have been verified in two different ways.
The first time was in 2017, when Turkish authorities seized an ExpressVPN server as part of an investigation. The bad news, for the investigators, was that ExpressVPN’s lack of logs meant there was no information for them to turn over. But that’s actually good news for you.
Then, in 2019, ExpressVPN underwent a third-party audit by PwC, and released the full report.
Why is the above a big deal? Because while nearly all of our most recommended torrenting VPNs have had their logging practices verified by either legal action (Private Internet Access) or an audit (NordVPN), ExpressVPN is the only one that’s had both.
If that weren’t enough, ExpressVPN even uses what they call “TrustedServer” technology. Data is only stored in a server’s RAM (temporary memory) and never on its hard disk, and all data is wiped each time the server is restarted.
In short, ExpressVPN may just have the best logging policy in the business.
Based in the British Virgin Isles
Speaking of court cases and server seizures, not all jurisdictions are created equally in this regard. Some countries, like the United States, allow law enforcement and other entities to request your information from tech companies pretty much on a whim.
For example, as ExpressVPN points out, Google gets roughly 30,000 of these requests a year, and fulfills nearly 80%. That’s over 23,000 of granted requests per year!
But again, not all jurisdictions are the same. And as far as data retention and privacy is concerned, the jurisdiction that ExpressVPN is based, the British Virgin Isles, is one of the better ones.
ExpressVPN’s team explains it better than we could on their site, but in short, the British Virgin Isles are outside of the Fourteen Eyes and have more favorable privacy laws, making it a safer place for your info, all things considered.
Built-in Kill Switch and Leak Protection
Even the best VPN encryption won’t do you any good if it drops out in the middle of a torrenting session. That is, if you don’t have a kill switch.
With ExpressVPN’s built-in kill switch – or “Network Lock”, as they call it – enabled, if you lose your VPN connection for any reason, your internet will cut out too. This ensures that your torrents don’t keep downloading while unprotected.
ExpressVPN’s apps also provide protection from pesky IPv6 leaks.
Private, First-Party DNS
Another common leak type in the VPN world are DNS leaks. Now, most VPNs avoid these simply by implementing features that stop these leaks from occurring.
But a few, like ExpressVPN and VyprVPN, take it a step further, by creating and using their own first-party DNS servers.
Not only does this stop leaks, it also removes a third-party (which runs the DNS) from the traffic loop, further improving your security.
Leak Test Tools and Security Checklists
How do you know that ExpressVPN is protecting you from leaks? Well, they’ve been nice enough to provide tools on their website that allow you to check for DNS and WebRTC leaks, your IP address, and even generate secure passwords.
There’s also a 10-step security checklist, which will walk you through some of the most common, easiest-to-fix weak points in the typical tech setup.
Of course, regular Cogipas readers will already be familiar with all of these, the leak test tools exist elsewhere, and you’ll get better functionality from a dedicated password manager, but we still think ExpressVPN’s effort to make these all so easy to access is a nice touch.
Split Tunneling Option
It’s not always necessary – or even desirable – to have all of your traffic running through your VPN.
In fact, this can sometimes be a security risk, since if you’re, say, checking your Gmail and torrenting at the same time, both from the same IP address, it doesn’t take that much sleuthing to connect those two activities together.
And thus, your Gmail info, which often includes your real name, is now tied to what you downloaded. Not good.
Fortunately, there is a way around this, and it’s called split tunneling. With this handy feature, included in your ExpressVPN subscription, you can choose some traffic to send through the VPN tunnel, while other traffic will run outside of the VPN.
For instance, a popular setup would be to run your torrent client, like qBittorrent, through the VPN, with your web browser operating normally. But there are lots of other combinations to try out.
Again, it’s a handy feature, but not one that all torrenting VPNs offer.
Bitcoin Payments Accepted
There are lots of reasons to use cryptocurrency, but the big one, for our purposes, is that it makes your VPN-backed torrenting activity just that much more anonymous.
Not only does it stop your payment information, like your credit card or Paypal account, from being directly tied to your VPN, many VPN providers – including ExpressVPN – don’t require you to enter your personal info when paying with Bitcoin.
Of course, most people will be perfectly fine just paying normally, but Bitcoin is still a great option to have – and it’s nice to see ExpressVPN offer it.
Is ExpressVPN Fast for Torrenting?
While it’s important to have strong, reliable security on the back-end, it’s the front-end – that is, torrenting speeds – that most people will be dealing with on a day-to-day basis.
So, let’s see how ExpressVPN hold up.
As you can probably see, we barely lost any speed when torrenting through ExpressVPN, compared to our torrenting speed with no VPN. In fact, we dare say that ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve used for torrenting.
ExpressVPN also offers a very good server network, with over 3,000+ servers spread across 94 countries and 160 locations. That’s one of the biggest VPN networks in the business.
And as we’ll highlight below, the ExpressVPN app’s built-in speed test function allows you to quickly test the speed of each server relative to your location, so you can make sure you’re always getting the fastest possible download speeds.
ExpressVPN is very fast, with a large server network and a speed test function that helps you further maximize your download speeds.
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Is ExpressVPN Easy to Use?
ExpressVPN is one of the easiest torrenting VPNs to use. Here’s why.
Easy, One-Click Connections
Enabling your VPN connection is super easy with ExpressVPN.
See that big ol’ power button, right in the center of the app’s UI? Click that.
Now, wait a few seconds. And... there you go, you’re connected.
Of course, you may wish to choose a different server, which we’ll get to below, but once you’ve found a favorite, reconnecting is always just one click away.
Streamlined Server Selection
One thing we love about ExpressVPN’s app is how easy they make server selection.
You can use their “smart” location, which is selected for you based on your location.
Or, if you prefer a little more control over your server, you can access their list view, where you can look through lists for both Recommended and All Locations.
There’s also a Favorites list, which will appear if and when you favorite servers.
And unlike some VPN apps, it’s easy to navigate through the complete server list, since they’re arranged by region (Europe, Americas, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa).
Plus, there’s a search bar up top that you can use to find the city or country you’re looking for in a flash.
Once you decide on a country, you can simply click on it to be connected to the server ExpressVPN thinks is best, or you can expand the list to see the servers and cities available in that country.
And did we mention the built-in speed test function?
Rather than switching from server to server trying to find the best download speeds, simply run a speed test for the recommended locations, all locations, or a specific region, to see which server is the fastest.
In short, ExpressVPN’s server selection process is the best in the business. It’s well thought out, intuitive, and easy to use, going above and beyond most of the competition.
Super Simple Sign-Up
Of course, before you start using ExpressVPN, you’ll have to sign up. Fortunately, that’s just as easy.
Just fill in your information and click Join Now.
For PayPal and Bitcoin payments, all you need to enter is your email address, but for credit card payments, you’ll need to provide your name and postal code.
24/7 Support with Live Chat
Need help with something? ExpressVPN’s support is fast, and it’s available 24/7.
You can get assistance through the live chat within seconds, but even the email-based support was very quick, in our experience.
Supports Multiple Languages
If English isn’t your native language, you’ll be happy to find out that the ExpressVPN app supports numerous languages, from German and Spanish to Turkish and Thai.
You can change the language from the ‘Advanced’ section of the app’s Options.
4.7 Rating on TrustPilot
Not to brag, but we’re pretty much VPN experts. That being said, it’s always nice to get a second opinion.
With TrustPilot, you can find reviews of ExpressVPN from users just like you. You’ll find a whole lot of them, and they’re mostly positive.
In fact, at 4.7 (out of 5) stars on nearly 5,000 ratings, ExpressVPN is one of the most and best-rated torrenting VPNs on the site.
ExpressVPN may just be the most user-friendly VPN we’ve used for torrenting. Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, you’re in for a treat.
ExpressVPN Torrenting Tips
Torrenting with ExpressVPN is super easy. But here are a few bonus tips to get you started.
Enable the Kill Switch (Network Lock) Before You Start Torrenting
Before you start downloading tons of stuff, make sure your kill switch is enabled in the ExpressVPN app.
In the General section of the app’s options, find the 'Network Lock section' and select the ‘Stop all internet traffic if the VPN disconnects unexpectedly’ box. And bam, you’re ready to go.
Try Split Tunneling
While we only recommend split tunneling on a case-by-case basis, it can be quite useful for torrenting. As we highlighted in the Split Tunneling section above, it can help keep your torrenting activities separated from your “normal” online activities, like checking your email.
But it can also allow you to do things like stream video while torrenting, without suffering any speed loss on your streaming. And this kind of thing is super easy to set up.
Under the General section of the ExpressVPN app’s Options menu, find the 'Split Tunneling' section. Click the box that says ‘Manage connection on a per-app bases’.
Then, select Settings, and choose ‘Only allow selected apps to use the VPN’. Then click the plus sign at the bottom of the window.
From there, simply choose the app(s) you want to run through the VPN. In this case, we chose our torrent client, qBittorrent.
With this setup, only that app will run through the VPN, while the rest will connect normally. Note, it is possible to reverse this setup, so that all of your apps run through the VPN except the one(s) you choose.
Download the Best Torrents
It doesn’t matter how fast your VPN is if you’re downloading torrents with few seeders from low-quality trackers.
So, here are some tips for searching for and finding the best torrent files.
ExpressVPN Plans and Prices
So, let’s talk price, shall we?
First, the good news: by taking advantage of our exclusive Cogipas discount, you can get an extra 49% off your ExpressVPN subscription.
And the bad news? Even at its lowest possible price, ExpressVPN is still more expensive than most the other torrenting VPNs we’ve reviewed. In fact, it’s roughly twice the price as providers like Private Internet Access and NordVPN. Woah!
That being said, in terms of actual dollars, it’s only a few more bucks per month. So, you’re not exactly breaking the bank here, and ExpressVPN is certainly a premium VPN.
They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can always cancel if you’re not satisfied.
And you can pay with a wide variety of methods too, from credit card and Paypal to Bitcoin.
On one hand, ExpressVPN is one of the most expensive VPNs for torrenting. On the other hand, you’re getting a premium, streamlined service for just a few extra bucks per month.
ExpressVPN supports pretty much every device you could think of – and then some. They have apps for the big boys, including:
But you can also use ExpressVPN with your router, smart TV, streaming device, or game console. And they’ve even got extensions for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.
More ExpressVPN Uses
ExpressVPN is a great for torrenting. But that ain’t all it’s good for. Here are some other ways it can come in handy.
Stream the Latest Content from Different Regions
Theoretically, most VPNs can help you access streaming content in other regions, whether it’s Netflix US or Hulu UK. But in reality, some are a lot better at bypassing the blocks used by the top streaming servers to keep VPN users from doing just that.
ExpressVPN is in the “a lot better” camp. In fact, they’re one of the best VPNs for streaming. So, knock yourself out.
Protect Your Privacy and Identity Online
While protecting your identity when torrenting is especially important, most people don’t want their other online activities traced and tracked either, whether it’s their social media pages or their XXX browsing habits.
Fortunately, VPNs are great for that too, and ExpressVPN’s split tunneling features makes it even easier.
Stay Safe on Unsecured WiFi
Whether we’re enjoying a double mocha low-fat extra-large latte at the local coffee shop or waiting to board a flight, it’s hard to resist the temptation of a free wifi. But surfing on those networks may come at a cost: your privacy and security.
However, with a good VPN, you’ll be protected by an unbreakable encryption tunnel, even on the shadiest wifi hotspots.
Not quite sold on ExpressVPN? Let’s see if one of these alternatives better suits your needs.
What Private Internet Access does better than ExpressVPN: Cheaper, more devices, open source, Wireguard
What ExpressVPN does better than PIA: More countries, based outside the US
Conclusion: PIA is not only one of the best VPNs for torrenting, it’s less than half the price of ExpressVPN.
What NordVPN does better than ExpressVPN: Cheaper, more total servers, advanced security features, Wireguard
What ExpressVPN does better than NordVPN: More countries
Conclusion: While both are good VPNs for torrenting, it’s hard to beat NordVPN’s combination of pricing and features.
What Mullvad does better than ExpressVPN: Cheaper, advanced security features, Wireguard, open source, cash payments
What ExpressVPN does better than Mullvad: More servers, more newbie friendly
Conclusion: Mullvad is a privacy nerd’s dream, but ExpressVPN is a lot more user friendly.
What PureVPN does better than ExpressVPN: More countries,
What ExpressVPN does better than PureVPN: More total servers
Conclusion: On paper, ExpressVPN and PureVPN are pretty similar across the board. But ExpressVPN has a more streamlined, user-friendly presentation.
What IPVanish does better than ExpressVPN: Cheaper, more devices
What ExpressVPN does better than IPVanish: More servers, better logging policy, better track record
Conclusion: If price is your number one concern, IPVanish is a lot cheaper than ExpressVPN. But we prefer ExpressVPN in pretty much every way, including security.
Now that we’ve covered all the nitty gritty details, let’s bring it back full circle: is ExpressVPN good for torrenting? But before we answer, let’s recap with a list of ExpressVPN’s most notable features:
ExpressVPN has taken the core features that make up a good torrenting VPN, perfected them, and then made them as easy-to-use as possible. Their combination of price and features may not appeal to VPN veterans, but if you’re new to torrenting with a VPN or you just appreciate a sleek, streamlined experience, they’re definitely worth a look.
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