Everyone knows what torrenting is, but not everyone will admit they are involved with this P2P file sharing system, because not all files are legal. Many P2P files break copyright infringement laws. But no one is willing to stop. These days, the only way to safely share files through torrenting is to protect yourself with a VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN as the fastest and safest torrent VPN.
Best VPN For Torrenting: ExpressVPN
While it often has a bad reputation, torrenting simply means sharing files over the internet through a peer-to-peer (P2P) system. Torrenting mitigates some of the downsides that come with downloading a file from a single server. When too many people are trying to download the same file, this can create a bottleneck, overloading the server. Torrenting, by contrast, thrives on a file’s popularity. The BitTorrent protocol works by having each person downloading the file distribute pieces of that file to other downloaders, and vice versa. This means that there are no centralized servers that can get bogged down by too much traffic.
Because of its efficiency, however, torrenting has become a very popular way to share copyrighted content online. That’s why many ISPs have been cracking down on torrenters, whether or not they use it for illegal purposes. It is therefore crucial to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) when torrenting. The VPN will anonymise your web traffic, making it impossible for your ISP to know what you’re doing online.
Why is Your Data at Risk When Torrenting?
When you use a torrenting platform to share and download files, you are making yourself vulnerable. Each of the users downloading and distributing the same file as you can see your IP address, and you can see theirs. That makes it really easy for copyright holders to monitor P2P downloads of their content. If they catch you, music and film companies normally won’t go after you themselves – this would involve far to much work for little gain, and in the few cases where these big companies have taken torrenters to court, they come out looking like tyrants unfairly targeting regular people.
That doesn’t mean that the music and film industries have given up on the war against torrenting. They now outsource the dirty work of going after torrenters to small outfits commonly referred to as “copyright trolls.” These companies spend their time locating the IP addresses of torrenters who have illegally downloaded copyrighted content. They then sign deals with the copyright holder, allowing them to take action on behalf of that company. The copyright troll will then harass the torrenter via phone and email, or even by appearing at your door to give you a settlement letter. The thing is, there is nothing legally binding about the actions they take against torrenters. Rather, they intimidate and shame torrenters into paying out vast sums of money without ever going to court. If you are strong enough mentally to resist their pressure, you will likely be okay. But it makes a whole lot more sense to simply avoid this problem in the first place.
VPN for Torrenting – Stay Anonymous While Sharing
When you use a VPN, torrenting becomes much safer for a number of reasons. The VPN reroutes all of your traffic through their encrypted servers. Your ISP cannot tell what you are doing online, whether you are torrenting, or what you are torrenting. They are therefore unable to penalize you in any way, whether via legal threats or by throttling your connection.
Copyright holders or copyright trolls monitoring people who download their content will not see your IP address, and will therefore not be able to identify you. Instead, they will simply see the IP address of the VPN provider. Because hundreds of individual VPN users typically use the same IP address, it is impossible to trace torrenting activity back to a single person.
Finally, a good VPN will give you multiple options of servers located across the globe, so you can access torrenting sites that would otherwise be blocked to you based on your read physical location.
Best Torrent VPN in 2018
There are hundreds of VPN providers out there, some much better than others. If your primary motivation for using a VPN is torrenting, pay close attention to the following factors.
Firstly, it is crucial that your VPN not keep any logs of your browsing data. This means that even if your provider is hacked or is coerced by a government agency to give up data, they will have no personal information on your browsing activities to provide.
Secondly, choose a VPN with the highest level of encryption (AES-256). This should be easy, as all decent VPN providers use this protocol. Of course, the VPN should permit P2P file sharing, and not all do.
There should also be no download limits or bandwidth caps, as torrenting is a bandwidth-heavy activity. The VPN should also not slow down your connection in any meaningful way.
A bonus is a kill switch, which shuts down your internet connection if the VPN temporary goes down. This prevents your IP address from being exposed.
#1 ExpressVPN – Best VPN for Torrenting
ExpressVPN is our top choice VPN torrent solution. The company is based in the British Virgin Islands, which has no data retention laws, and it doesn’t log any of your data. It’s the fastest VPN out there, so it won’t slow down your torrents.
ExpressVPN uses military-grade AES-256 encryption, and gives you the option of enabling a killswitch so your identity is always protected. It now boasts a whopping 145 server locations in 94 countries, so you will always have access to the content you want. P2P downloads are supported on all servers.
The company is well-known for its excellent customer service and streamlined apps, so it’s a great plug-and-play solution for people who don’t want to fuss around with complicated settings.
A month of ExpressVPN costs $12.95 per month, and six months is $9.99 per month. If you sign up for 15 months, you get three of those for free, bringing the price down to just $6.67 a month. There’s a 30 day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out before you commit.
NordVPN boasts a number of advanced privacy features, making it an ideal choice if privacy is your central concern. They are based in Panama, which is privacy-friendly, use an AES-256 connection, and have a strict no-logs policy.
You won’t notice any difference in speed, and there are servers in 61 countries. Torrenting is permitted on a number of popular servers.
One month costs $11.95, and the one-year plan is $5.75 per month. We recommend going for the two year plan, because they give you a crazy 72 percent discount – that comes out to just $3.29 a month. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN is an excellent, P2P-friendly option if you’re on a tight budget. One month is just $5.48, three months is $3.75 per month, and the 13-month deal is $2.77 per month. There’s a seven day money-back guarantee if you’re not happy.
Despite its low cost, PrivateVPN doesn’t compromise on security: with AES-256 encryption, a killswitch, and no data logged, you can torrent in peace. There are over 80 server locations in 55 countries, almost as many as NordVPN.
IPVanish was built specifically for torrenters. Its privacy features are top-line: IPVanish takes no logs of your data, including the connection logs that some other providers use for troubleshooting.
It has AES-256 encryption, and includes a useful feature that allows you to switch IPs periodically, making it even more difficult for your connection to be tracked. A number of IPVanish’s servers allow P2P filesharing.
IPVanish costs $10 per month, $8.99 per month for three months, or $6.49 per month if you sign up for a year. The company offers a seven day money-back guarantee if you’re not happy.
PureVPN is known as one of the fastest VPNs on the market today. That makes it perfect for torrenters – who wants to sit around forever while their file downloads? PureVPN actually speeds up your connection over both local and international servers. They also offer a great feature called “Split Tunneling.” This feature allows you to choose which traffic to route through their encrypted VPN servers, and which to route normally through your ISP. This means you can send just your torrents through the VPN, and have everything else work at normal speed outside of the VPN.
One month of PureVPN is $9.95, six months $7.95 per month, and if you sign up for three years, it’s just $1.92 per month. There’s a seven day money-back guarantee so you can try it with no strings.
Free vs Paid VPNs for Torrenting
There are plenty of free VPN torrenting options out there, and using one is tempting – after all, why pay for something that you can get for free? The answer is that dealing with constant legal threats from copyright holders is just not worth it when your users are not even paying for your service.
These free providers may even hand over warnings from copyright holders to your ISP, which will start hassling you. By contrast, when you pay for a reliable VPN provider, they know that they have to protect you if they want to keep your business.
Is Torrenting Illegal?
Torrenting is not in and of itself illegal. There’s nothing stopping you from sharing non-copyrighted files online via a torrenting platform. Rather, if you choose to torrent copyrighted content, you may be committing a copyright infringement. Whatever you decide to do, using a VPN is crucial for protecting yourself.
Conclusion: Best Torrenting VPN
If you plan to use a torrenting service to share files, whether legal or not so much, you are putting yourself at risk. ISPs, copyright holders, and even governments can come after you, and you may get caught in their net even if your torrenting activities are perfectly above board. That’s why a VPN torrent solution is your best bet for staying out of danger online. We recommend ExpressVPN as the VPN provider with the perfect balance of speed and security necessary for torrenters.
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