NordVPN is a popular choice for those who love to download torrents. Let’s find out why.
It’s no secret: NordVPN is one of the most popular, most recommended VPNs around. Not only is it included on most top VPN lists, it’s usually at or near the top.
But while most VPN reviews focus on the privacy and other security features offered by Nord, we’re going to focus on something a little different: torrenting.
So, without any further ado, let’s see how NordVPN stacks up among the best VPNs for torrenting.
[+] 'NordVPN Torrenting' contents (select to expand)
Is NordVPN Good for Torrenting?
Here are some of the features that make NordVPN one of the top torrenting VPNs in the business.
Is NordVPN Safe for Torrenting?
Here’s a look at some of NordVPN’s top safety and security features, which make it a good option for torrenting.
One of the first things to look for in a torrenting VPN is that they, well, allow torrenting. Because not all of them do.
Fortunately, NordVPN is quite open in support of P2P traffic, and even offers dedicated P2P servers with unlimited bandwidth for you to use.
Built-in Kill Switch
A dropped VPN connection in the middle of a torrenting session can leave your IP address vulnerable to the “swarm” – and your activities revealed to your ISP. This is especially true if you have the tendency to leave downloads running in the background throughout the day.
But there’s a way to protect against this, and that’s with a Kill Switch. If your VPN drops for whatever reason, NordVPN will kill your entire internet connection until the VPN is back up, which will stop your P2P traffic from being downloaded unprotected.
Any illusions of “anonymity” can be dashed in a hurry if your torrenting VPN keeps logs, as some unfortunate users have found out in the past.
The good news is, NordVPN’s no-logging policy has been confirmed by third-party audit, so you don’t have to take their word for it.
One of the key ways a good torrenting VPN keeps you protected is through encryption. And NordVPN employs the best, AES 256-bit, which is – as of right now – impossible to break.
OpenVPN and Wireguard Protocols
NordVPN offers a few strong protocols to go with its encryption, including OpenVPN, which has been the industry standard for years.
Why is Wireguard such a big deal? Because it's not only faster than OpenVPN, it has the potential to be even more secure. For that reason, many consider it the future of VPN protocols. And NordVPN is one of the first VPNs to adopt it.
NordVPN is based in Panama. Not only does this place them outside of the “Fourteen Eyes”, a group of Western countries with particularly invasive surveillance, Panama doesn’t have any mandatory data retention laws.
DNS and IPv6 Leak Protections
DNS and IPv6 leaks are two annoying problems that have popped up with popular VPNs over the years. But fortunately, it’s not all that complicated to stop these leaks and NordVPN has leak protection built into their apps.
Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) Payments
We always love to see torrenting VPNs that accept Bitcoin payments, since it allows the privacy-minded to take their security just another step further (and there are other reasons to use crypto as well).
But NordVPN takes it a step further, by accepting other major cryptocurrencies too, including Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, and Ripple.
Bonus Feature: Onion Over VPN
VPNs and Tor are similar in a lot of ways, especially in their commitment to security. But there’s no longer any need to argue about using VPN vs. Tor, since with NordVPN’s ‘Onion Over VPN’ feature, you can use both at the same time.
Your traffic will be routed through both a VPN server and the Tor network, adding an extra layer of privacy and encryption to your activities, whether you’re surfing the “clear” or “dark” webs.
Of course, this feature isn’t useful for torrenting because it’ll reduce your speeds pretty drastically, but it’s still great to have.
Bonus Feature: Double VPN
NordVPN’s Double VPN feature is another security plus that’s not particularly great for torrenting. You should simply stick with NordVPN’s optimized torrent servers. But again, it’s still an awesome bonus, especially since so few VPNs offer it.
Here, instead of routing your traffic through a VPN server and Tor, Nord will send you through two VPN servers in a kind of “double-hop”. In short, this makes your activity super hard to track.
Conclusion: NordVPN is hands-down one of the most secure VPNs in the business, whether for torrenting or other uses.
Is NordVPN Fast for Torrenting?
When you torrent through a VPN, you’re likely going to see some decrease in download speeds. It simply comes with the territory, and it’s a rather small trade off to make for the drastically increased security the VPN provides.
- check out why you should NEVER torrent without a VPN
And of course, the best torrenting VPNs manage to keep this bandwidth drop to barely noticeable levels. But is NordVPN one of them?
Well, we ran them through some speed testing of our own and… whoa. As you can see, we had almost no loss in download speed when torrenting through Nord. This is even more impressive when you consider that the P2P server we were using was several hundred miles away.
Speaking of servers, NordVPN has one of the biggest networks of any VPN on the market, both in total number of servers (5,589+) and number of countries (60). This is especially good news if you live outside of the United States and Europe, where server coverage is usually pretty sparse for most VPNs.
For instance, while most torrenting VPNs will have servers in Singapore and maybe Hong Kong and Japan for users in Asia, NordVPN also has servers in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Conclusion: NordVPN is one of the fastest torrenting VPNs on the market and has one of the best and biggest server networks.
Is NordVPN Easy to Use?
With all of those added security features and servers, you might think that NordVPN would be difficult to use. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Here are some of the reasons NordVPN is so easy to use.
We love the NordVPN app. It’s clean, it’s responsive, and it’s not bad to look at either. There are just enough options and settings to make it do what you want, but not so many that you get bogged down searching through menus or buttons.
Fast, Easy Connection
As we highlighted above, NordVPN has a pretty big server network. And they also have lots of different types of servers, including P2P, Double VPN, and Onion Over VPN.
Fortunately, they make it easy to connect to any and all, whether you prefer one-click connect with an auto-selected server or you'd rather choose the server manually.
If you do run into trouble while using Nord, it’s easy to get help, since they offer 24/7 support via their live chat feature.
We actually had to contact them with a quick question during our testing, and we received a response within seconds.
Torrent sites are notorious for their ads. But you can avoid them (at least partially) with NordVPN’s built in CyberSec ad-blocker. It also protects against dangerous sites and some malware, two other big pluses when torrenting.
Conclusion: Despite its many features, NordVPN still manages to be extremely easy to use, for veterans and newbies alike.
NordVPN Torrenting Tips
Like we said, NordVPN is easy to use for torrenting. But here are a few simple tips to make your P2P activities as smooth as possible.
1. Use Dedicated P2P Servers for the Best Speeds
NordVPN provides dedicated servers for P2P traffic – use them.
It’s safer, faster, and connecting is super easy. Either allow the app to choose the fastest server based on your location and the current server load, or choose one yourself based on country or individual server.
Here are some more tips on choosing a server for torrenting.
2. Turn on the Kill Switch, Especially Before Torrenting
A kill switch is a must-have feature for safe torrenting. But it won’t do you any good if it’s not on!
Fortunately, enabling it is as easy as flicking the ‘switch’, which you’ll find under the ‘Kill Switch’ menu in the NordVPN app’s settings.
We’d recommend using both the Internet and App Kill Switches.
3. Don’t Use ‘Onion Over VPN’ or ‘Double VPN’ for Torrenting
NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN and Double VPN are excellent added security features that are great to have. However, all that extra security comes with much greater speed loss, especially since Tor isn’t designed for P2P traffic.
And neither feature is really needed for torrenting either. Reserve those for when you’re doing something particularly sensitive or browsing the “dark web”.
4. Give the New Wireguard Protocol a Try
Nord recently introduced Wireguard to their service, through the NordLynx protocol. This is great news for torrent users, since Wireguard is just as secure as OpenVPN, while being potentially faster.
It's really easy to switch your protocol to Wireguard too. Simply navigate to the app's 'Settings', go to the 'Auto-Connect' section, switch Choose a VPN protocol and server automatically off, and then select NordLynx from the VPN Protocol dropdown.
Note: The above steps are for the Windows app. You can find instructions for enabling NordLynx in MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux on NordVPN's site.
NordVPN Plans & Prices
NordVPN only offers one pricing tier, but they provide pretty aggressive discounts for long-term subscriptions of 1 to 3 years.
All of those security features and servers for only $3.49/mo is quite a deal. And Nord’s track record makes them one of the few VPNs we’d be willing to commit to for 3 years.
Conclusion: NordVPN’s long-term subscription discounts make it one of the more affordable VPNs on the market.
NordVPN has apps for:
And no matter which one you’re using, installation is quick and easy.
Plus, NordVPN has extensions for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.
More NordVPN Uses
Remember, a good VPN like Nord can be used for much more than just torrenting. Here are some of the most popular ways to use NordVPN.
Bypass Geo-restrictions and Stream the Latest Content
Want to access a site that’s blocked in your country? Or maybe you want to check out what another country’s Netflix (or other streaming site’s) library is like?
You can do either – or both – with NordVPN. While many VPNs struggle to stay ahead of the VPN blocks employed by the latest streaming sites, NordVPN has managed time-and-time again to thwart them. So, you’ve got tons of streaming options when you need a break from torrenting.
Stay Safe on Public Wi-fi
Many of us connect to that coffee shop wifi or airport hotspot without even thinking. And that’s a big mistake.
Those public wi-fi connections, especially if they’re not protected by a hard-to-get password, are “hotspots” (pardon the pun) for all sorts of hackers, looking to steal your data, credit card info, and who knows what else.
Fortunately, a good VPN, like Nord, stops all of this by encrypting your data. Sorry, any would-be middle-man attackers, nothing to see here but scrambled, unreadable data.
Bypass P2P Throttling
Many internet service providers will slow down your bandwidth when they see you’re torrenting a lot of data. Some connections simply block or slow P2P traffic regardless.
But NordVPN will help you bypass, or minimize, this type of throttling by disguising your traffic.
Your ISP will still be able to see the amount of data you are downloading but, because it’s travelling encased in an unbreakable encrypted tunnel, they will have no idea what it is. You could just as easily be streaming Netflix HD or downloading back-ups from the cloud with your VPN enabled for all they know.
If you’re not yet convinced that NordVPN is the torrenting VPN for you, here are a few other options to consider.
What Private Internet Access does better than NordVPN: Cheaper, no-logging verified in court
What NordVPN does better than PIA: Advanced security features
Conclusion: NordVPN and PIA are both so good that choosing one really just comes down to preference. PIA is a little cheaper, but NordVPN has a few extra security features that PIA lacks, like Onion Over VPN.
What ExpressVPN does better than NordVPN: More countries, faster speeds
What NordVPN does better than ExpressVPN: Cheaper, more total servers, more security
Conclusion: While there’s a lot to like about ExpressVPN, it’s nearly twice the price of Nord, with less security features to offer. Though it does have servers in over 50% more countries.
What ProtonVPN does better than NordVPN: Open source, cash payments, physical server security
What NordVPN does better than ProtonVPN: Cheaper, faster, more servers
Conclusion: ProtonVPN’s matching features and open source app make it a strong competitor to Nord on the security front. But it’s quite a bit more expensive – and slower, to boot.
What PureVPN does better than NordVPN: Cheaper, more countries, 1-click streaming
What NordVPN does better than PureVPN: Audited no-logs, advanced security features, more total servers
Conclusion: PureVPN is cheap, easy-to-use, and has servers in more than twice as many countries as NordVPN. Unfortunately, it’s no-logging claims have a bit of a spotty history, which makes them harder to trust.
What IPVanish does better than NordVPN: More multi-logins
What NordVPN does better than IPVanish: Audited no-logs, advanced security features, way more total servers
Conclusion: IPVanish has the same no-logging woes that PureVPN has, while not bringing nearly as much to the table. NordVPN is the safe pick here.
NordVPN Final Thoughts
So, let’s sum it up. Why is NordVPN one of the top torrenting VPNs?
NordVPN Torrenting Rundown
Last updated: April 16, 2020