Best Free VPNs For Torrent Sites
Torrenting is popular because it uses peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing technology to reduce the size of the file being downloaded. Unfortunately, because you’re sharing information, you also end up sharing things you might prefer to keep secret – like your IP address.
While most free VPNs don’t have the speeds required for torrenting or allow a big enough data limit, there are one or two that are capable of competing with the big guns of the best paid VPNs, encrypting your traffic and hiding your IP address while maintaining adequate download speeds.
Best Free VPN for Torrenting Sites
In the past, TunnelBear didn’t allow any torrenting or P2P traffic at all, largely because it’s based in Canada where the government has been particularly anxious to prevent illegal downloads. Even now, there is no mention of P2P file-sharing or torrenting anywhere on the TunnelBear website. However, we can confirm that P2P traffic is supported on this VPN, as is the use of The Onion Router encrypted browser.
With acceptable speeds, a solid server network, and an interface that goes beyond user-friendly to user cuddly, TunnelBear has plenty going for it, making it the best free VPN for torrenting. On the downside, however, the free version of TunnelBear only allows each user 500MB per month, which won’t get you far. You can earn an extra 1GB by recommending TunnelBear on Twitter, which will help to some extent, but in reality, torrenting on such a limited amount of data is going to be frustrating.
Fortunately, TunnelBear has some affordable plans available for those wanting to upgrade, and overall, it’s a pretty cool VPN. Not only does TunnelBear use the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption, but it also has a strict no-logging policy and a GhostBear option that disguises your encrypted traffic, making it look like regular data.
TunnelBear has its limitations but it’s a good place to start if you’ve never used a VPN before, and it has a seven-day free trial as well as the free version available. Sign up for TunnelBear today and create a top-secret tunnel for your torrents, Or read our full TunnelBear review here.
#2 – ProtonVPN
With a strict no-logging policy and P2P traffic supported on a selection of its servers, ProtonVPN is a force to be reckoned with. Both its free and paid plans offer users the benefits of top-class encryption, no-logging, and standard security protocols. Unfortunately, users on the free plan don’t get access to the P2P servers so can’t use this VPN for torrenting.
Nevertheless, with plans starting at just $4 per month, ProtonVPN is affordable, although the lack of any multi-year subscription options makes it more expensive than some of the best VPNs. One of the nice things about ProtonVPN is that you create a specific profile for torrenting which will then automatically connect to the fastest P2P server available.
Although ProtonVPN specifically states that it doesn’t condone using a P2P VPN free to download illegal, copyrighted material. It’s completely open to those wanting to perform legal torrenting. Based in Switzerland, ProtonVPN is also in an excellent position to keep your secrets safe, although it doesn’t go quite as far as one might hope.
ProtonVPN is primarily a no-logging VPN, but does keep more data than industry leaders ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN. While a timestamp isn’t going to give much away, the more security conscious will find it sufficiently off-putting.
That’s not the only thorn in ProtonVPN’s side either, and it struggles to maintain consistent speeds which could be a serious hindrance for those specifically looking for a free VPN for torrenting. It also only offers one protocol, which, although the superior OpenVPN, isn’t the first choice in every situation.
ProtonVPN is a decent option for those looking for a more secure torrenting experience and its P2P support is excellent, with all its P2P servers situated in comparatively safe European countries. If you want to try ProtonVPN and see how it performs as a free VPN for torrenting, you can sign up here. Alternatively, you can explore its inner workings in our full review here.
#3 Hotspot Shield
While other VPNs are rather cagey about torrenting, Hotspot Shield makes a big song and dance about its P2P file-sharing capabilities. With all its servers configured to support P2P traffic, Hotspot Shield is a P2P VPN free of charge, which is really convenient, especially given that it has an impressive 3,000 or so servers in over 70 different countries.
As a free user, however, you’ll only be able to access one of those servers, but it is only situated in the US, which makes accessing geographically restricted content easier. Hotspot Shield is one of the more generous free VPNs when it comes to data limitations and gives users a free 500MB per day compared to 500MB per month from TunnelBear.
Although Hotspot Shield uses the same military-grade encryption as the best VPNs for torrenting but calls its own shots when it comes to security protocols. In the past, Hotspot Shield used the same open-source protocol, OpenVPN, like everyone else, but according to its developers, this produced too much latency, so they developed their own “secret sauce” known as Catapult Hydra.
Catapult Hydra uses TLS-based security with AES-128 encryption and a variety of other long-winded technicalities to create its private tunnel. This is both robust and fast but, unlike OpenVPN, can’t necessarily be tested by just anyone. As it’s a proprietary protocol, it isn’t open source but is used by numerous large cybersecurity companies which suggests it’s doing a pretty good job.
Thanks to the unique security protocol, Hotspot Shield manages to produce some impressive speeds, which is why it’s considered the best free VPN for torrenting. Although the data limit is generous, heavy torrentors will nonetheless find it restrictive but may well opt to invest in one of its competitively priced premium plans after experiencing its capabilities.
Why You Get What You Pay For
Even with superior P2P VPN free options, there are limitations or compromises. With Hotspot Shield, it’s the ability to access just one server; with ProtonVPN, it’s the inability to torrent at all, and with TunnelBear, it’s the tiny amount of free data you’re given.
When compared with other free VPNs for torrenting, however, this is nothing. Not only do some free VPNs track your online activity and sell your private information to the highest bidder, but others are also breeding grounds for malware.
It’s a fact universally acknowledged that a paid VPN is going to give its users more than a free VPN for the simple reason that it needs to make money out of offering a reliable cybersecurity solution. Free VPNs, on the other hand, are inevitably making money elsewhere and will stay afloat even if their free offering proves to be completely ineffective.
How to Get the Best VPNs for Torrenting for Free
There are free VPNs and then there are ways of getting the very best cybersecurity and online protection without actually paying for it. It may sound like we’re splitting hairs but we’re not. Many leading VPNs offer free trials and money-back guarantees so, if you’re clever, you could try out a different VPN every month of the year and enjoy the best protection for free.
Let’s take a look at some of the best VPNs for torrenting that offer free trials that will give you the benefits of military-grade security and unlimited bandwidth, and the ability to bypass geographical restrictions without asking for any financial outlay.
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs around, whether you’re wanting to access blocked content, browse anonymously, making online transactions, stream or torrent. It’s fast, secure and easy to use and, as a result, is the best VPN for torrenting. It’s also extremely adept at getting around geoblocks and government censorship, making it one of the few VPNs around that’s capable of both scaling the Great Firewall of China and getting into the Fort Knox that is Netflix’s US library.
Using cutting-edge technology, ExpressVPN has created a zero-knowledge architecture for its VPN service, which is complemented by its commitment to user privacy and its outstanding customer support. If nothing but the best will do, sign up for ExpressVPN today and enjoy 30 days of indomitable cybersecurity and risk-free torrenting.
#2 CyberGhost VPN
In the heady days before 2018, users could enjoy the benefits of CyberGhost VPN for free but, sadly, that’s no longer the case. Although CyberGhost does offer a couple of browser extensions free of charge, these aren’t going to protect your torrenting traffic or prevent you from downloading malware.
Based in Romania, CyberGhost is well beyond the reach of the intelligence-sharing alliances, meaning, it’s better placed to protect your privacy and isn’t legally obliged to store logs or data relating to your torrenting activities. Not only does CyberGhost allow torrenting, but it also provides a preset profile called Torrent Anonymously, which will automatically connect you to the fastest P2P server while keeping an eye out for malicious sites harboring malware.
CyberGhost is user-friendly, fast, and secure with affordable pricing plans that offer excellent value for money. CyberGhost is also one of the most generous when it comes to its guaranteed refund period. Instead of the standard 30-day money-back guarantee, CyberGhost gives users a cool 45-day grace period. It also has a one-day free trial that you don’t even have to have a credit card for, so there’s no excuse – try out CyberGhost today and discover the benefits of being a digital ghost.
#3 Surfshark VPN
As a relative newcomer to the world of cybersecurity, Surfshark VPN is still hunting down customers, which means it’s got some impressive offers available. One of the features that sets Surfshark out from the crowd is that it allows for unlimited simultaneous connections, so one license will protect everything from your router to your tablet.
Although Surfshark VPN only offers the same 30-day money-back guarantee as ExpressVPN, if you download one of its mobile apps, you get seven days for nothing at all. Furthermore, Surfshark’s prices start at just $1.99 per month, making it extremely competitive. Despite having a comparatively limited server network of around 1,000 servers, Surfshark VPN produces impressive speeds, making it ideal for torrenting and streaming.
Surfshark VPN has a strict no-logging policy, and like ExpressVPN, is situated in the British Virgin Islands so it isn’t required to retain information about its users. Surfshark VPN also includes a CleanWeb feature that blocks adverts and malicious sites. With the standard AES 256-bit encryption, Surfshark is as safe as houses and as fast as its namesake. Don’t believe us? Take Surfshark for a test drive today or check out our review of this impressive VPN here.
By taking advantage of free trials and money-back guarantee periods, it’s possible to enjoy safe torrenting completely free of charge using the best VPNs. Although there are a few free VPNs for torrenting that manage to produce both the speeds and level of security necessary for a safe online experience, nearly all of them have their limitations.
At the end of the day, the best free VPNs for torrent sites are those you’ll end up paying for in the long run. Nevertheless, you could enjoy over four months of free torrenting by switching from one free trial to the next.
While torrenting itself isn’t illegal, it is surprisingly dangerous simply because sharing anything online means exposing yourself to potential malware and other cyber threats. By creating an encrypted tunnel for your torrents and hiding your IP address behind a fake one, a VPN can make your torrent a safe haven and keep the inherent evils of torrenting at bay. It also means you can still access popular torrenting sites even in countries where such sites are banned.