Finding the best VPN for torrenting can be challenging simply because most VPN services suffer from various problems. And if you are using a VPN to torrent files online, the last thing you need is problems with your VPN connection.
When it comes to finding a VPN for torrenting, these issues can be annoying and potentially dangerous:
- Many popular VPN services leak IP addresses and/or DNS requests. This can expose your identity to third parties, such as copyright trolls, media companies, and law firms, which may sue you for copyright violations.
- Most VPNs are slow with torrenting. Slow and inconsistent torrent speeds can be frustrating when using a VPN.
Media companies are increasingly monitoring torrent traffic and collecting IP addresses from torrent swarms. Depending on where you live, you may receive copyright violation notices from your internet provider, or perhaps from a law firm demanding immediate payment for “damages” on behalf of some copyright holder. Some countries, such as the United States, have recently proposed 10-year jail sentences for copyright infringement and/or massive fines:
While a few torrent clients offer different encryption options, these will not protect you. This is because media companies run networks of monitoring nodes, which can join torrent swarms and collect IP addresses and connection data of the infringing parties. If your torrent client connects with one of these nodes and you’re not using a good torrent VPN, then your identity could be compromised.
If a VPN leaks one packet of data, it can expose your identity to third parties, including your internet provider, IP address, and location. Here is an example of a popular VPN that leaks data and is not safe for torrenting:
We will cover the VPNs that we DO NOT recommend for torrenting further below in this guide. But first, let’s examine the best VPNs for torrenting.
What is the best VPN for torrenting?
Based on the latest test results, the best VPN for torrenting is NordVPN.
NordVPN offers the fastest download speeds and high-security applications to keep your data safe with no leaks. NordVPN is currently ranked as the fastest VPN we have tested, hitting speeds of 445 Mbps. It offers the best VPN speeds for torrenting with strong security and leak protection features to keep your IP address safe.
In addition to NordVPN, there are also four other VPN services that made the ‘best VPN for torrenting’ rankings. All five VPNs recommended in this guide allow torrenting on their servers and meet the following criteria:
- Passed all tests with no leaks found whatsoever (no IP address leaks or DNS leaks)
- Established VPN with a good track record and history
- Supports secure VPN protocols and strong encryption standards
- Located in a good privacy jurisdiction (outside of Five Eyes countries)
- Fast and reliable speeds for torrenting large files
So without further delay, here are the best VPNs for torrenting:
1. NordVPN – Best all-around VPN for torrenting
|Logs||No logs (audited)|
|Support||24/7 Live chat|
NordVPN is currently the best VPN for torrenting in 2021. It does exceptionally well in the areas of speed and security. NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN provider with a strict no logs policy. It is one of the few VPNs that has undergone (and passed) independent third-party audits:
- NordVPN passed a no-logs audit conducted by PWC AG in Zurich, Switzerland. This audit confirmed NordVPN’s no-logs policy and data protection measures.
- NordVPN passed an independent security audit conducted by Versprite. Additionally, they have partnered with Versprite to conduct ongoing audits and penetration testing, while also launching a public bug bounty program.
Recent speed tests confirmed that NordVPN offers excellent performance throughout the server network. NordVPN is one of the few services with full WireGuard VPN support built directly into their VPN apps. This offers the highest security and even faster speeds than legacy protocols. NordVPN consistently beats out other market-leading VPNs with speed, as seen in the recent PIA vs NordVPN comparison.
NordVPN runs a very secure network with 5,200+ servers spanning 59 countries. All servers run in RAM-disk mode (without hard drives), which makes it impossible to store any data on the server. Additionally, NordVPN is currently rolling out colocated (self-owned) servers with 10 Gbps bandwidth channels to deliver the fastest speeds and strong security. And unlike ExpressVPN and Surfshark, NordVPN does not use any virtual server locations.
Subscription plans come with six simultaneous connections, unlimited bandwidth, and no restrictions on torrenting. Their network also includes a large selection of P2P servers that are optimized for torrenting. The NordVPN apps (below) that we tested for the review performed very well without any issues.
NordVPN also stands out from the crowd with the privacy and security features it offers. These include:
- Double VPN servers that encrypt traffic over two separate locations and add an extra layer of security. (See the double-VPN server speed comparison in our NordVPN vs ProtonVPN report.)
- Tor-over-VPN servers that encrypt traffic with the Tor network, in addition to the VPN server.
- Obfuscated servers that will get through VPN blocks by concealing VPN traffic as regular HTTPS encryption. (This is useful if you need a VPN for China or other restricted network areas.)
- Secure apps that incorporate built-in leak protection (kill switch) to secure all data.
- CyberSec feature to block ads, tracking, malware, and phishing domains.
The CyberSec feature is particularly useful because it not only improves security and privacy, it also means pages will load faster with ads and trackers blocked. It’s also important to note that NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for Netflix, offering full support for 15+ regional libraries. We have also found that NordVPN works with many other streaming services, including BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney Plus, and more.
Whether you are using NordVPN for torrenting, accessing Netflix, or just basic internet browsing, it remains a great all-around choice at a very affordable price.
- User-friendly and reliable apps for all operating systems and devices
- Double-VPN and Tor-over-VPN servers
- No logs (audited twice)
- Strongest encryption standards with full support for WireGuard
- Works with Netflix and many other streaming services
- CyberSec feature to block ads, trackers, and malware domains
- 24/7 live chat support
- Split tunneling on desktop and mobile apps
- Dedicated RAM-servers with 10 Gbps bandwidth channels
- Big discounts only available with long-term subscriptions
You can read the NordVPN review for detailed test results.
2. Surfshark – Fast, secure, and cheap VPN for torrents
|Based in||British Virgin Islands|
|Support||24/7 Live chat|
Another solid choice when selecting a VPN for torrenting is Surfshark. Despite being a relatively newer VPN service, Surfshark impressed us with premium features, excellent speeds, and a very polished feel. It does not restrict torrenting and has 3,200+ servers in 65 countries to choose from. Both Surfshark and NordVPN now run all servers in RAM-disk mode for more data security.
In terms of performance, Surfshark also supports the WireGuard VPN protocol in all apps. In our speed tests for the Surfshark review, we were able to get nearly 400 Mbps using WireGuard. Surfshark also supports the OpenVPN and IPSec/IKEv2 protocols with an AES-256 cipher. All Surfshark apps include a kill switch to prevent any data leaks. They also offer some great privacy features, including a VPN ad blocker (CleanWeb) feature, double-VPN servers, and a split tunneling option.
One of the best aspects of Surfshark is that it gives you unlimited connections with your subscription, while most VPNs allow five or six. They support all major operating systems and devices, as well as gaming systems, routers, Smart TVs, and more. Here is the Surfshark Windows VPN app we tested:
At only $2.49 per month, Surfshark is among the best cheap VPN services on the market. Despite the low cost, it remains an excellent VPN for nearly all uses. Surfshark officially supports 10 different Netflix libraries and also offers an Amazon app if you need a VPN for Fire TV and Firestick.
Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, a great jurisdiction for data privacy. It is a no-logs VPN service that continues to grow and gain popularity. This is an excellent all-around VPN for torrenting and many other use cases.
- Unlimited connections
- User-friendly apps for all devices and operating systems
- CleanWeb feature to block ads, trackers, and malware domains
- Works great with Netflix and many other streaming services
- 24/7 live chat support
- Strong encryption and leak protection features
- Limited support for VPN routers
- No WireGuard support for Linux (coming later in 2021)
Check out our Surfshark review for more info and test results.
3. ExpressVPN – Secure and reliable VPN for torrenting
|Based in||British Virgin Islands|
|Logs||No logs (audited)|
|Support||24/7 Live chat|
ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN for torrenting and P2P downloads with the best speeds and highest security standards. This British Virgin Islands-based provider has a great lineup of custom applications and it also performed very well in testing for the ExpressVPN review. ExpressVPN offers strong protections for customer data with a no logs policy, very secure applications, and a safe, privacy-friendly offshore jurisdiction.
Like NordVPN and Surfshark, ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that has passed a third-party security audit performed by Cure53. Additionally, it is a verified no logs VPN service that was audited by PWC and found to be in compliance with its no-logs policies.
Aside from the security aspects, another advantage of ExpressVPN is that it offers fast and reliable speeds. With the release of ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol, ExpressVPN delivers faster speeds and better mobile performance than OpenVPN. However, it’s not quite on par with WireGuard, as we discovered in tests for the NordVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison.
ExpressVPN’s apps also include advanced leak protection settings. This allows you to torrent for hours without worrying about IP address leaks or DNS leaks. The Network Lock (kill switch) feature will automatically block all traffic if the VPN connection is interrupted for any reason. Here’s the Windows app we tested:
If you want a fast, secure, and user-friendly VPN service for torrenting, ExpressVPN is definitely worth considering, especially with the coupon below.
- User-friendly and secure apps
- Fast speeds throughout the server network
- Split tunneling feature (for Mac OS, Windows, and routers)
- Works with Netflix and most streaming services
- 24/7 live chat support
- Passed independent third-party audits for security and no-logs
- Very large server network
- Above-average prices
- Fewer features than some leading VPNs
4. Perfect Privacy – Good VPN for torrenting (but expensive)
|Support||Email & forum|
Last on our list of torrent VPNs is Perfect Privacy. It offers secure, leak-proof apps, good speeds, and some advanced features. Their network is comprised entirely of dedicated, bare-metal servers that provide you with great performance, security, and full IPv6 support. Every server in their network also supports multi-hop VPN chains and port forwarding, which can be is useful for torrenting.
If you are serious about security and online anonymity, this Switzerland-based, no logs VPN service is tough to beat. Another great feature you get with Perfect Privacy is the TrackStop filter, which effectively blocks ads, tracking, and malware/phishing domains at the VPN server level.
Like Surfshark and NordVPN, Perfect Privacy also offers a multi-hop VPN feature. This allows you to “chain” up to four servers in a row, adding more encryption over a single server. They have apps for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android, with support for other operating systems as well.
The main drawback is the price, at about $8.95 per month. On a positive note, all subscriptions come with an unlimited number of connections, unlimited bandwidth, advanced features, and solid performance. Streaming is also challenging with Perfect Privacy simply because this is not a core feature they focus on supporting. For additional test results, see the Perfect Privacy review.
- Multi-hop VPN chains with up to 4 servers
- Zero logs with an unlimited number of connections
- Dedicated bare-metal servers with full IPv6 support
- Full obfuscation support (Stealth VPN)
- Customizable firewall and port-forwarding
- TrackStop filter (advertisement, tracking, and malware blocker)
- More expensive than most VPNs
- Does not work with most streaming sites (such as Netflix)
- No iOS VPN apps
Now that we have examined the best VPNs for torrenting, let’s examine some VPNs that we do not recommend for torrenting.
VPNs that are NOT recommended for torrenting
For various reasons, these VPNs are NOT recommended for torrenting:
- IPVanish – IPVanish is a US VPN provider that was found to be giving logs to the FBI despite claiming to be a “zero logs” VPN service. Speeds were also below average, as we verified in the recent IPVanish vs NordVPN comparison.
- PureVPN – Like IPVanish, PureVPN was also busted for giving up logs to US authorities, despite claiming to be a “no logs” service.
- Opera VPN – Despite claiming to be a full VPN, Opera VPN only works for browser and will therefore not encrypt traffic on your operating system with torrent clients.
- VPN Unlimited – I found this VPN to have problems with IPv6 leaks, which will expose your identity while torrenting.
- HMA (HideMyAss) VPN – Like IPVanish and PureVPN, HMA provided logs to authorities for a hacking case.
- CyberGhost VPN – We found many problems in our CyberGhost VPN review, including slow speeds, clunky apps, and the inability to access streaming websites. I have also noticed CyberGhost users complaining about getting DMCA notices while using this VPN:
So now let’s move on to some torrenting VPN FAQs (frequently asked questions).
The dangers of not using a good VPN for torrents
Some people may torrent without using a good VPN for months and not have problems. These lucky few are “flying under the radar” and avoiding the consequences. Keep in mind, though, this is risky business.
Given the recent trends with copyright violations, torrenting without a good VPN is no longer worth the risk. After all, the consequences of copyright infringement can be very serious. Many countries throughout the world are ramping up copyright violations laws and enforcement actions, particularly in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Here are a few examples:
- United States – The US is home to the infamous Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For repeat offenders, DMCA penalties for copyright violations include up to $1,000,000 in fines and 10 years in jail. Internet providers in the US are also cancelling service for repeated DMCA violations.
- United Kingdom – The Digital Economy Act was passed in the UK, which raises the maximum prison sentence for copyright infringement to 10 years.
- Australia – Many torrenting websites have already been blocked in Australia (but a torrent VPN will get around these restrictions). Now, industry lawyers will be targeting copyright infringers for damages with fines up to $2,000 per infringement.
We see these trends unfolding in Canada as well, prompting people to seek out the best VPNs for Canada to reclaim their digital privacy. In the realm of torrenting, we also see some alarming trends up north:
We see these trends throughout Europe as well, particularly in Austria, Denmark, and Germany.
In the United States, there are even lawsuits where media companies target VPN services for concealing the identity of torrenters. One such example was a lawsuit against LiquidVPN. In another strange case, copyright holders even went after GitHub over Popcorn Time.
So no matter where you are located, using a good VPN for torrenting and P2P downloads is now just basic digital self-defense. In other words, better safe than sorry.
Disclaimer: We are writing for a global audience. Check your local laws and regulations to verify what is legal in your own respective jurisdiction.
Your torrent activity is being tracked and published online
You should also know that without a VPN hiding your identity and IP address, you can be easily tracked, monitored, and recorded online.
Even worse, random groups are now creating giant databases of torrenting activity, which is linked up with IP address, available for anyone to see. One example is the website I Know What You Download. This site publishes all torrents under the user’s IP address. This information is logged, published online, and available for everyone to see:
Thanks to websites such as these, it is easier than ever for copyright attorneys and media companies to target you. If you are using a good VPN for torrenting, the most any media company could do is go after your overseas VPN provider, but they wouldn’t have any luck. An overseas VPN service does not need to abide by American or Canadian copyright laws.
Is torrenting with a VPN safe?
If you are using a good VPN service that effectively secures your connection, then torrenting with a VPN is indeed safe. In fact, it is much safer than torrenting without a VPN service. Of course, we don’t recommend torrenting copyrighted material, but since this is often a grey area, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
A good torrent VPN service offers many advantages:
- Hides your real IP address and geographic location
- Adds an extra level of security by encrypting your internet connection (on all your devices)
- Prevents your internet service provider (ISP), corporations, governments, and other third parties from spying on your online activities
- Allows you to access blocked content that’s restricted to certain geographic locations
- Protects you when torrenting or streaming from unofficial sources
If you want blanket protection for all devices on your network, you may also want to consider using a VPN router. This allows you to protect everything on the network without having to install VPN software on each device.
Can you use a free VPN to torrent?
The problem with using a free VPN for torrenting is that free VPNs are notoriously dangerous.
There are a lot of free VPN services available right now, but free VPNs are risky and usually collect the user’s data, which is sold to third parties. Free VPNs are also regularly in the news for unscrupulous activities. Here are a few of the dangers when using a free VPN for torrenting:
- Data leaks – If you are torrenting with a free VPN you should know that your IP address is likely being leaked. One in-depth study found that 84% of free VPN apps will leak your IP address.
- Tracking – Free VPNs often included hidden tracking libraries. One example of this is Betternet.
- Malware – Many free VPNs include hidden malware to collect your data. This study found that nearly 40% of free VPNs tested positive for malware.
- Stolen bandwidth – Some free VPNs will even steal your bandwidth, which will then be resold to third parties (see Hola VPN, for example).
Additionally, most free VPNs also do not allow torrenting on their network. For example, ProtonVPN has a basic free plan, but all torrenting activity is blocked.
The bottom line here is that using a free VPN for torrenting is not safe or secure. If you are looking to save money, then NordVPN or Surfshark would be two great options, both under $4 per month.
Conclusion: Be smart and use a good torrent VPN service
Most people are now using a VPN for torrenting simply to protect themselves against copyright infringement penalties. But aside from copyright issues, there are many other alarming trends, which further highlight the importance of a good VPN service:
- Internet service providers (ISPs) in many countries are now legally allowed to record your activities and hand this information over to third parties. These third parties may include advertising companies, corporate partners, and/or government authorities.
- Many ISPs are cancelling internet service for repeated copyright violations (this is common in the US).
- Governments and ISPs are actively blocking torrent websites, such as The Pirate Bay and 1337x, throughout the world. This is unfolding in Australia, the United Kingdom, and parts of Europe.
- Websites are now publicly posting all torrent activity associated with your IP address, which can be viewed by anyone and used to prosecute and fine you for copyright violations.
The trend is clear. Be smart and use a good VPN whenever you go online.
Torrent VPN Comparison Table
As a brief recap, here are the best VPNs for torrenting with fast speeds and secure apps to keep your data safe:
Last updated on July 24, 2021 with new information and test results.