Perhaps you'll decide that all this effort isn't worth it just to secure your BitTorrent downloads. But even so, you should keep in mind that a VPN is still the best way to keep your internet traffic private and secure. Whether you decide to spring for a premium account, you're looking for a cheap VPN, or you want to dip your toe in with a free VPN, it's about time you started living the encrypted lifestyle.
Know that not all kill switches are created equal. A simple dropped connection is fairly easy to plan for, but the kill switch might not be equipped to handle other types of network disruptions, crashes, and configuration changes. You can read more about leaks that occur in these scenarios in our VPN leak testing analysis, which we will extend to more VPNs as time goes on. The two types of leaks most pertinent to torrenters are IP address and IP traffic leaks.
While you’re online, your browser is constantly sending information it collects about you to every site you visit. It shares your IP location, operating system, hardware, and even information about other devices connected to your network. If a website you trust, such as Google or YouTube, can access this information without you even knowing, just imagine what a malicious site could find out.
We often receive emails asking about the interplay between VPNs and BitTorrent. Some of them have included admissions of piracy, and even justifications for it. One reader bemoaned the difficulty in finding legal avenues for material that is out of print or just hard to obtain or not available for sale in a given locale. We sympathize. The state of the public domain has been woefully neglected, and market forces and regional distribution deals often keep worthy art and materials out of the hands of those who want it, even if they are willing to pay for it. But no matter how just the reasoning, the law (however problematic) is the law. ISPs and, yes, other web companies, are often compelled to answer when rights holders come with a list of offenses carried out on their data infrastructure.
ExpressVPN takes the top spot in our list as the best VPN for torrenting. This VPN service offers fast download speeds with 256-bit AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy across 94 different countries. It’s a great plug-and-play option for those who don’t want to fuss with different configurations and just want something that will guarantee security and anonymity when torrenting.
Private Internet Access is primarily a VPN provider. We’ll talk a bit more about VPNs later in this post, but what we really want is the SOCKS5 proxy that comes with their VPN service. So, head to Private Internet Access’ web site and sign up for their VPN service. We recommend starting out with a monthly plan to see if you like it before buying a whole year’s subscription.
PrivateVPN unblocks Netflix in more countries than any other provider—no small feat for a young VPN with only a hundred or so servers. The servers that work best for streaming are clearly labelled in the app, which is simple and novice-friendly. PrivateVPN scored well in our speed tests, meaning you can continue to stream your favorite Netflix shows in high definition.
As with other VPN services, if you select a longer-term subscription, the cost per month is significantly reduced. A one-year plan with Ivacy costs $36.00, and a two-year plan costs $48.00. As with most VPN services, Ivacy does not require you to purchase more expensive plans to get access to everything the company has to offer. ProtonVPN is a noteable exception to this trend, offering a low-cost Basic plan with just a few servers, and a more expensive Plus plan that adds more servers and features.
Flash your wifi router with a VPN-compatible firmware and configure the VPN on it. This is the most technically advanced option, so make sure you know what you’re doing. The process varies from router to router, and not all wifi routers are compatible with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware. If you’re not comfortable with replacing the firmware on your home wifi router, you can opt to purchase a preconfigured VPN router from ExpressVPN.
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Panama-based NordVPN keeps neither connection nor traffic logs. 256-bit AES encryption with perfect forward secrecy is the default, along with optional double-hop encryption and Tor over VPN features. Speeds are great, but can be a bit volatile. DNS leak protection and a kill switch can both be toggled on in the settings. The traditional all-or-nothing kill switch is one option, or you can specify which programs get cut off from the internet if the VPN connection drops, such as a BitTorrent client.
Online piracy laws are a little fuzzy in India. A slew of news reports from 2016 suggested that even viewing certain web pages or torrent files (not the copyrighted content itself) was enough to penalize netizens with heavy fines and jail time. This is not true, however; the rumor arose from a poorly-worded warning from Indian ISPs that appeared when users tried to access blocked sites.
SaferVPN boasts unlimited bandwidth and very fast download speeds, ideal for torrenting. The simple and intuitive interface makes it a breeze to set up and get connected. A kill switch is built into both the desktop and mobile apps, which will cut off the internet in case the VPN connection drops. SaferVPN keeps no identifying logs. Officially, SaferVPN allows P2P filesharing when connected to its Netherlands, Canada, and Spain locations, but strictly speaking, there’s nothing stopping you from torrenting on other servers.
It seems like every two or three weeks I log into the VPN, I connect with no problem but cannot connect to any server. The resolution the first few times was to update the software. It has recently devolved into updating the software AND changing the protocol. If that were consistent I could live with it but I have to contact support and find out the latest combination steps to take to fix the problem. Each instance sucks 24 hours out of my life.