3 Best VPNs for Downloading Torrents
START DOWNLOADING TORRENT SAFELY!
We like torrents and We support them! This is why We took the time to test and review the best torrenting VPNs in terms of speed performance and reliability.
DID YOU KNOW?
Choosing a VPN from this list could make your download speed increase due to speed limitations on torrent networks applied by many ISP providers.
Don’t take any additional risk and prevent ISP notices while downloading safely with a VPN service!
Why Should I Need a VPN for my Torrent Download?
- Unblock speed, Many ISP limit download speed from torrent network.
- Prevent notice from your ISP about copyright infringement.
- Download safely. No one can track you!
Torrenting: Is it illegal?
The answer is YES! Downloading copyrighted files over torrent network is now illegal in Canada since the 1st January 2015.
What is the risk to download torrent without a VPN service?
If you download a “tracked” torrent files (games, movies, softwares, etc..), the copyright holder can ask your ISP to send you a notice.
What is the amount of penalty for downloading illegally copyrighted files?
- Music –> 20$ to 250$
- Software –> 20$ to 5000$
- Movies & TV Series –> 250$ to 5000$
Best VPN for Torrenting
Bittorrent technology is the best way to share a file to multiple recipients. It does not help when there’s only one recipient. It is a modern take on peer-to-peer sharing, and it is file sharing in more ways than one.
However, even if it is very efficient, the problem with bittorrent is that it authorities frown on its use because it is too efficient, and it is used in forwarding files with existing copyrights.
Bittorrent has nothing to do with copyright infringement. It is a neutral technology with plenty of uses. Yet, it is the most widespread tool used to go around copyrights. Large files are now more accessible on the web through the use of bittorrents.
Best VPN for Torrents and P2P File Sharing
There are numerous virtual private networks (VPN) to choose from. Although Private Internet Access and ExpressVPN are good, NordVPN is the best VPN for Torrents and P2P file sharing. You enjoy fast, anonymous Torrenting, with no logging, DNS leak protection, support for SOCKS5 proxy, and so much more with this VPN.
Although many VPN providers claim to support Torrenting and P2P sharing, very few of them have dedicated servers for this. NordVPN has dedicated servers to ensure you enjoy file sharing at optimal speeds with no interruption. The company has thousands of servers in different parts of the world, so you’re likely to find a P2P server close to you. You can set up the SOCKS5 proxy on BitTorrent for an even better connection.
Internet service providers (ISP) are known to throttle bandwidth when users and streaming, downloading or doing anything that requires a lot of data. When you use NordVPN, your data is encrypted. This means your ISP cannot throttle your P2P traffic because it is impossible to tell the content of your data packets.
The availability of DNS leak protection means your IP is not leaked even if your P2P VPN connection falters for a second. NordVPN also has other features like a kill switch, double protection, and CyberSec to block malware, botnet, and ads.
Bittorrent is a technology that allows a single file to be shared with many users. The process starts with only one file owner which holds the original copy. There are several computers involved in the process. The original seeder is the computer that first uploaded the file for sharing. The seeders are computers that have already finished copying the whole file and are now sending pieces to other computers.
The leechers are computers that are still receiving separate pieces of the file, in the meantime, these computers are also sending copies of the pieces they already have. The trackers keep track of the movement of pieces. These computers have a list of the pieces, the active seeders, the leechers, and their respective pieces available for upload and their download requests.
Before sharing the file, it is analyzed and sectioned off into pieces. The sectioning or mapping is stored in a bittorrent file. When somebody is interested in downloading the large file, they download a copy of the bittorrent file. A bittorrent client is software that seeks out the trackers and compares the bittorrent file to start the download of the file pieces.
The core of torrenting is the simultaneous sharing of pieces from the different leechers and seeders. The traffic is maintained by the trackers and these ensure that the pieces go to their requester.
Transferring from one computer to only one other computer is faster via FTP. But, if there are a lot of requesters, sharing the pieces between requesting themselves allows more requests to finish downloading in a shorter amount of time.
How to Safely Download Torrents Using a VPN?
If you’re new to the world of VPNs, it is easy to assume that downloading Torrents and P2P file sharing using a VPN requires some expert knowledge. But that is wrong. It’s very easy to learn how to safely download Torrents using a VPN. The first and most important step is to download and install a VPN like NordVPN.
Most VPNs have an app as well as a browser extension. You’ll need an app to be able to download Torrents safely and anonymously. A VPN browser extension only protects the traffic on your browser, while an app protects all incoming and outgoing traffic on your device.
Once you have installed the VPN app, connect to a dedicated P2P server, and you can start downloading/uploading any Torrent file P2P file through the encrypted connection. There’s no way anyone will be able to track your Torrenting activity or get your IP address.
With NordVPN, you have the option of connecting to a SOCKS5 proxy for a more stable and reliable connection. For this, you need to open your Torrent app, go to Preferences and fill in the details of the SOCKS5 proxy. NordVPN has a detailed guide for this here.
Performance Differences Between Paid and Free VPN for Torrent
There are numerous VPN providers on the market, and some of them are free. If you’re looking to get a VPN, you may find yourself wondering if there are any differences in the performance of free VPN and paid VPN for Torrenting, P2P file sharing, and general browsing.
There are notable differences when you use a free VPN for Torrent compared to a premium VPN service. Generally, free VPNs tend to have a limited number of servers which means they are slower. Also, they usually have a daily bandwidth limit and data cap for each user. This can make the process of downloading/uploading a Torrent file time-consuming and frustrating. On the other hand, paid VPNs like NordVPN have thousands of servers worldwide and offer unlimited bandwidth.
There are also some security risks associated with signing up for a free VPN provider. They may not come with all the security provisions you get from a paid VPN provider, such as a kill switch and DNS leak protection. This creates a possibility that your IP address and other personal data could be compromised.
There’s an aphorism that says, ‘if it is free, then you’re the product.’ This holds for many things, including free VPNs. Some free VPN providers are known to log user data and sell it to third-party advertisers to make money.
It is always advisable to opt for a paid VPN service instead of a free one, especially if you’re looking to use Torrent or visit a site that will require you to provide some personal information.
Downloading Copyrighted Materials
Bittorrent as a technology and software is not illegal. What is illegal is when a person or website stores the copyrighted material and sells it to others, or otherwise earns from forwarding the file to others.
The concept of ownership revolves around copyright. It protects the creator, the licensed distributor, and the copyright owner. They worked hard to create the material, and they earn from distribution and presenting the media in established channels.
In most instances, the use of bittorrent software is considered illegal because of the content being shared. Most bittorrent sites provide access to copyrighted materials. If you’re downloading this content via bittorrent, you can get caught, prosecuted and fined large amounts for each file that you share.
To fight illegal downloads, some countries have passed laws that prohibit bittorrent sites. Although these sites do not house the files, they are used as conduits for sharing bittorrent files and in some instances trackers as well. Bittorrent sites have been shut down in the United States, Australia, Malaysia, China, Portugal, Italy, Russia, South Africa, and Latvia.
The nature of bittorrents makes it easy to track the users. Trackers log the IP addresses where the torrent pieces are sent. Checking the log history will show which computer is very active as an original poster, or as a seeder.
Content companies like film production, music studios, and their distributors have been trolling the internet investigating for leads on active posters and seeders. It is easier to apprehend, punish and ban torrent sites. Some torrent sites have been forced to move their registration to countries that allow torrenting.
Other countries have made it illegal to download copyright content. These countries include the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Finland, and the UAE. At the same time, there are three countries that permit downloading for personal use only: Spain, Poland, and Switzerland.
There is a long list of countries where downloading is overlooked. Downloading via torrent is a gray area in the following countries: Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Netherlands, Romania, Greece, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Denmark, Singapore, Israel, India, Philippines, Iran, and Egypt.
In these countries, torrenting is either tolerated or not clearly specified in their local laws. Additionally, it is hard to enforce laws against downloading if privacy is a big concern for the populace.
Copyright owners, production, and distribution companies estimate that piracy losses run into billions of dollars a year. They compute this in terms of an estimate of the number of times that a movie, series, or music is played or watched after it has been downloaded. This is an overestimate and is used for illustration purposes to sway the courts of their potential losses.
Studies have shown that people are more inclined to watch a movie in cinemas or buy a DVD or BlueRay disk after they have watched a downloaded copy. The same is true of music downloads, buyers want to buy their own copy of the music after listening to a downloaded music file.
These companies had previously been going after bittorrent companies to force them to stop operations. ThePirateBay is one bittorrent site which has been changing its base and servers after continuous harassment from lawyers. Other big bittorrent sites like IsoHunt, Mininova and KickassTorrents have shut down due to legal actions.
Torrent sites argue that they do not store any of the media files in their servers. The legal action against these companies was based on the facility they provide in sharing copyrighted material. Although there is a legal ambiguity, some torrent sites preferred to close down rather than go through with legal actions and face fines and penalties.
Nowadays, most legal action is from copyright trolls who aim to make money out of litigation for unauthorized use of copyright materials. These are entities are either owners or lawyers of copyright owners who search for those who may have downloaded files through torrents. In some cases, copyright trolls may also be small companies that have been contracted to go after torrent users.
Originally, copyright trolls own material that was not licensed out or otherwise produced. They owned the copyright because they made the material, or they bought the copyright from the original owners or creators.
When they find that the material was used for commercial purposes, the trolls go after the unauthorized users and demand payment of a license fee, otherwise, they would institute legal action.
Modern internet copyright trolls do not need to own the copyrights. Instead, they search for potential cases of piracy and their IP addresses. Starting with these, they talk to the copyright owners to allow them to sue the supposed copyright pirates. The trolls then proceed to email or otherwise send a letter to the torrent user. These letters threaten to sue the torrenter for a large arbitrary amount.
Using scare tactics, the torrenter is forced to negotiate a settlement, for fear of going to court. The trolls would threaten to sue the torrenter for hundreds of thousands of dollars. But, during settlement, they would ask for less than $5,000. This looks like a bargain because it is more expensive to go to court.
The above are shady tactics used by copyright trolls. When you receive a letter threatening legal action because your IP address has been identified in copyright infringement, the best course of action is to do nothing. In the US, the law states that the IP address is different from a person.
This stems from the random nature of assigning IP addresses. Additionally, more than one person may be using an IP address. A demand letter threatening a lawsuit over copyright infringement, with only an IP address does not have any support. It is less of legal action and borders on extortion.
Anonymity with VPN
The ambiguity of the legality of torrenting has made it necessary that downloaders should hide their IP addresses. Hiding their IP addresses would prevent any invasion of privacy about their downloading habits, especially about the files they download. The easiest way to hide IP addresses is with the use of VPNs.
A VPN makes use of a client app and a server. The client app encrypts all the data being transmitted on the computer. This information is forwarded to the VPN server. The server would decrypt the information and then request for the HTML files and other internet traffic in the name of the client computer.
This relationship between the client and the VPN server is called the “tunnel.” The being passed between the client computer and the server is encrypted and readable only between the two computers. Although the data between the client and VPN server passes through the public internet, the data encryption prevents anyone else from reading the data.
Since all the unencrypted data and HTML requests come from the server, the rest of the internet thinks that the server IP was the original requester. The VPN client is hidden from view from the public internet. This effectively masks the current location and the identity of the client computer.
For downloading via torrent, the torrent trackers would believe that the seeder or leecher is the VPN server. The communication between VPN server and client is invisible to the torrent tracker. The VPN client could be anywhere in the world. Those in countries where it is illegal to use torrent software to download media files can use this VPN feature to bypass these laws and regulations.
The most important feature of a VPN for torrenting is the IP address masking. Although the torrent software resides in the client computer, the request going out to the internet is from the VPN server. The IP address sent to the trackers is that of the VPN server.
The VPN can be located in a country that allows torrenting. As far as the trackers are concerned, the pieces are being sent there. The pieces are then forwarded by the VPN server to the client in encrypted packets.
VPN servers typically route traffic to and from several clients. Depending on the size of the server, it can serve as many clients. With a mix of hardware technologies, including the use of clusters, multiple processors, and virtual machines, VPN servers can route upwards of a hundred clients for each IP address. The client further achieves anonymity due to the number of other clients whose traffic goes through the server.
Anonymity through the use of a VPN is achieved through several means. These different methods are part of the nature of a VPN. Anonymity through the use of encrypted communication via a tunnel to the VPN server, IP spoofing, and multiple other users sharing the same VPN server. The remote location of the server also helps keep the user isolated and hidden.
Advantages of VPN for Torrenting
VPN is a technology that uses an intermediate computer or server on one end like a tunnel. All the internet traffic going to and from the computer passes through the tunnel and goes out through the server. The incoming data is encrypted at one end and decrypted at the other. This ensures that the data is secure from one end to the other. However, the obvious disadvantage of this technology is the extra step of having a tunnel.
The concept behind the internet is that a request is sent from one computer, and this request reaches another computer which compiles and sends back a reply. What is unique about this technology is that there is seldom a direct connection with the webserver. The request is sent out and is received by a server, which sends the request forward.
This is repeated several times until it reaches the intended server. The information requested is sent back to the internet, passing through different servers. In most instances, the various files included in the reply passes through different paths in getting back to the client computer.
Since all data which passes through the internet is forwarded from one computer to another, any speed loss due to the tunnel is negligible. Additionally, VPN service providers have made every effort to make a connection as fast as possible.
In most instances, the users don’t even notice any difference in speed between using a VPN and without a VPN. Fast VPN services rely on gigabit broadband backbones. Any server performance issues are offset by the fast broadband speed the server is connected to.
Related to the above, bittorrent use is sometimes throttled by the user’s ISP. The ISP does this by analyzing the data going to the client computer. Due to the nature of torrents, the pieces are a dead giveaway. ISPs know if a customer is downloading via torrents because the pieces are small, discrete and come from multiple sources. The pieces are all of the same sizes. This is a characteristic that is unique to torrent downloads.
Depending on the ISP policy, it can throttle the internet bandwidth, or totally ban the user from using the internet and close out the service. ISPs may invoke the principle of fair use, and resort to throttling the subscriber for excessive usage and data volume.
Other policies may apply including higher rates or charges if the user exceeds download limits. There are also some ISPs that cooperate with copyright holders and copyright trolls in going after torrent users. They would be instrumental in sending the copyright infringement letters to the subscribers.
Using a VPN, the ISP only sees that the pieces all come from one IP address — that of the VPN server. The downloaded files do not fit the signature of a torrent download.
Another feature which the user should consider is if the VPN keeps an activity log. Some VPN servers keep an activity log of all the traffic going to a client. This is a default feature that was carried over from older implementations when VPN was almost exclusively used by corporate users.
When downloading using torrents, this logs the various files or pieces which go through the server. This information can be requested by government agencies or the courts in making a case against potential bittorrent downloaders. Choose a VPN service that does not use logs.
Safely Using VPN for Torrents
There are several steps to using a VPN for downloading using torrents:
- Download and install a VPN - Preferably, it should have a server located in your state or country. The VPN should also have servers in countries that allow bittorrent use.
- The VPN should have a kill switch - A kill switch is a feature of the VPN client which shuts down the internet connection when the VPN connection is lost. Without a kill switch, a client computer will connect to the public internet. In turn, the computer will be sending and receiving data through the public IP address, instead of the VPN server’s IP address. The worst part about this is that the user would not even notice that the VPN connection has been lost and the computer has reverted to a public IP address. When the VPN server connection goes down, the kill switch will effectively close the internet connection, whether the computer uses a WiFi or a LAN connection.
- From the VPN client, choose a server located in a P2P country - Preferably, connect to servers located in Poland, Spain or Switzerland. You can also connect to a server in any of the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, or Uruguay.
- Start downloading once the client is connected to the server.
- For the torrent user, this is a simple VPN setup that assures anonymous browsing and torrent downloads - There are multiple levels of security, which helps to secure client anonymity. At the same time, there is an almost unnoticeable speed degradation due to the VPN tunnel. Encryption assures private internet browsing and secure torrent use.
Quick Guide to Canada Torrenting Laws
Canada Torrenting laws are considered to be lenient. The country does not have stringent internet piracy laws. Although your ISP is legally required to report an ISP that has been found to engage in illegal downloads, you won’t be fined or sentenced to jail for engaging in Torrenting and P2P file sharing in Canada.
It is important to note that using Torrent is not illegal in itself. The legal question arises from what you’re using the app to download/upload. If you are downloading/uploading an open-source file, you’re not violating any copyright laws. However, if you are downloading/uploading a copyrighted file, then you’re engaging in piracy. Nevertheless, you’re not going to get into any legal trouble for doing so in Canada unless the copyright holder decides to take legal action, which is unlikely.
Copyright holders will need proof that you violated their copyright to initiate legal action. If you use a VPN, your real IP address is hidden, and your torrent traffic is encrypted. This means your ISP can’t access the content of your VPN traffic and determine whether you’re using Torrent or not.
With that said, according to the Copyright Modernization Act, VPN companies in Canada are required to keep logs on the activities of users for a minimum of 6 months. So, if you’re planning to use a VPN for Torrenting and P2P file sharing, it is advisable to choose a VPN provider that is not based in Canada or the North American region.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Torrenting safe with a VPN?
- Yes, it is safe to download/upload a Torrent file using a VPN.
What is the best free VPN for Torrenting?
- It is generally advisable to use a paid VPN service for guaranteed anonymous Torrenting. However, if you want to use a free VPN, some top paid VPNs like NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer a 30-day trial that you can take advantage of.
What is the best VPN for uTorrent?
- NordVPN is undoubtedly the best VPN for uTorrent and any other Torrent client or Torrent site. Not only does this VPN company encrypt your VPN traffic, but they also have dedicated servers, and you’re likely to find a server location close to you. NordVPN has many VPN protocols, including the WireGuard-based NordLynx for super-fast connection. This VPN service also provides unlimited bandwidth, unlimited data, and so much more.
Can you go to jail for Torrenting?
- It is doubtful that you will be sentenced to jail for using Torrent. In the unlikely event that you’re sued for P2P activity, it is likely to be a civil suit and not a criminal one, and it could end with a fine and not jail time. The only guaranteed way to avoid getting into trouble for using Torrent or any P2P file sharing is to use a reliable VPN service.
VPN is a separate technology that is older than bittorrents. It was a way to secure corporate communication through public IP internet networks. Since it was offered to the public, it has been used in different ways that help those who require anonymity. The nature of a VPN also helps those who need to download files via bittorrent.
Using bittorrents is not illegal, but its current situation requires the use of a VPN to keep the users safe from legal issues. What is illegal is sharing copyrighted materials. Those who use bittorrents need to keep their IP addresses hidden.
Hiding the IP address would help prevent copyright lawyers and trolls from sending threatening letters to the user. Most letters from these trolls use the IP address without real proof of any copyright infringement. But the important part is that if no obvious torrent data goes to the user’s IP address, then the copyright trolls would not have any reason to send a letter.
There are other benefits to having a VPN. Mostly, these make use of the VPN server’s location. Additionally, a VPN helps to keep communications secure even while using public WiFi.
With encrypted communication tunneled to the server, local snoopers would not be able to access the user’s device. For some people, these benefits may seem excessive or extreme. But with the threat of identity theft due to open access wifi, secure communications are required when using public WiFi.
VPN is easy to use and configure. It also allows the user to use VPN servers in different countries, without any discernible loss in speed. Depending on the apps running, there are some VPNs that fit these needs more than others.