Whether you use bit torrent or not, using a VPN is now a no-brainer. They are cheap, effective and can stop anyone spying on what you do. If you do torrent, they are an essential protection against prosecution or copyright trolls. With that in mind, here are what I think are 5 of the best VPNs for torrenting.
I consider a VPN to be an essential part of using the internet. It doesn’t matter whether you are just surfing, playing browser games or something else, protecting your privacy has now become your responsibility. With ISPs now able to sell your browsing data and pretty much do what they like to spy on you, it is up to you to protect your privacy.
Choosing a VPN for torrenting
A VPN used for torrenting should have three characteristics:
- No logging whatsoever except server logging.
- Anonymous payment options for those in regions with less freedom
- Support for bit torrent
The purpose of all VPNs is to encrypt your traffic. All network traffic between your computer or router and the VPN server will be encrypted and hidden from view. From the VPN server onwards, it will be in the clear and not encrypted. The only link between the two is the session log.
One of the key features of any VPN is how much logging goes on. Some logging is inevitable as it helps fault rectification. These server logs will not contain any session or user logs and will not impact your privacy.
User or session logs will record the source IP address (your ISP IP address), the destination address, the traffic type and other identifiable information. This does impact your privacy. All of the best VPNs for torrenting in this list may keep server logs but promise that they keep no user or session logs whatsoever.
To further hamper tracing, some VPN providers also use IP address pools. These are shared among multiple users at once making it impossible to trace who went where and did what. This is a useful extra safeguard if you are concerned about privacy.
Anonymous payment options are useful mainly for those that live in areas with repressive regimes. It is not illegal to use VPN in most western countries, but in some other countries, VPN use is automatically regarded with suspicion.
Finally, the VPN service must allow bit torrent traffic to be useful. Because of the traffic overhead that bit torrent creates, not all VPN services allow it. Some will throttle traffic altogether and others will slow it down to a crawl. The 5 of the best VPNs for torrenting do neither of those.
The best VPNs for torrenting 2017
I have tried all of the VPN services in this list. I currently use one of them and have done for many years. Never have I had an issue with it. I hope you get the same quality of service whichever you choose.
IPVanish is based in Florida and is a no log VPN service. It allows bit torrent traffic with no traffic management and allows payment by PayPal, credit card and Bitcoin. The company has over 700 servers in 60 locations across the world and operates an IP address pool of over 40,000 addresses. Each account can connect up to five devices.
The service quality of IPVanish is excellent. Even at peak times, traffic flows nicely and it is rare indeed to experience slowdowns or lost packets. Despite being based in the U.S., the lack of logs means any subpoena for user data will not provide anything for law enforcement to use.
NordVPN is one of the largest and most established VPN providers in the world and is based in Panama. It operates over 1,000 VPN servers in 59 locations and offers double data encryption if you don’t mind slower traffic flow. It doesn’t mention whether it uses an IP address pool or not but you can connect up to four devices per account. There is zero logging.
Again, the service quality of NordVPN is first class. There are specific servers optimized for bit torrent and you can pay by credit card, PayPal and Bitcoin. Traffic flow is fast and there is very little speed penalty for using the service unless you use the double VPN server which does slow traffic down slightly.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is based in the US and Iceland. It operates over 3,000 servers in 26 locations and uses IP address pooling too. It allows payment via credit card, PayPal and Bitcoin and retains no logs.
Service is excellent and while marginally slower than both IPVanish and NordVPN in my own testing, this is the VPN I use. It is reliable, has a kill switch, doesn’t log, allows bit torrent and is very easy to use. It’s cheap too. I use this both at home and while on the move as it plays nicely over Wi-Fi.
ExpressVPN is another bit torrent-friendly VPN provider. Based in the British Virgin Islands, the operator keeps no logs, has thousands of servers in 145 locations across 94 countries. You can pay credit card, PayPal and Bitcoin too.
ExpressVPN allows bit torrent traffic and does not manage traffic. Speed is good, with very little slowdown when connected. The connection app is simple to use and reliable with its own kill switch should the VPN drop. Overall, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for torrenting 2017 and deserves its place in this list.
TorGuard was apparently designed to protect bit torrent users although it has diversified since then. It has over 1,600 servers in over 50 locations and allows you to connect up to 5 devices at once per account. You can pay in one of over 200 ways including Bitcoin or cash. No logs are kept.
TorGuard goes one step further by allowing a lot of configuration of its services. Most VPNs provide a simple app to connect where TorGuard offers full configuration of your service. Speed is good, reliability seems rock solid and the kill switch built into the app will keep you safe.
Those are what I think are 5 of the best VPNs for torrenting. Got any other opinions? Share them below if you do!