Depending on the VPN software, you may be able to disable the NAT firewall somewhere in the settings. If not, you will need to use port forwarding. This is usually a manual procedure where the VPN provider designates a specific port to be used for P2P traffic. Users must configure their bittorrent client to use this port. If the port is not listed on the VPN provider’s website, the user will need to contact customer support and ask for it.

But wait, can’t the piracy groups then go to the anonymizer service and requisition their logs to figure out what you’re downloading? Theoretically, yes, but if you’re using a truly good anonymizer, they don’t keep logs, so there’s no paper trail of activity leading back to you. All the piracy monitors see is a proxy service sharing a file, and all your ISP sees is you connecting to a proxy service. If you encrypt your BitTorrent traffic (which we recommend), your ISP won’t even be able to see that you’re using BitTorrent.


If you are going to use BitTorrent for whatever reason, good luck to you. If you are going to use a VPN, more power to you. But be sure that you take the time to read the VPN's terms of service before you start. And be aware of the local laws and possible penalties before you start, whatever your willingness to obey them. "I didn't know the law," or "I don't agree with the law," won't hold up as defenses in a court, so make sure you can live with any potential punishments should you choose to do something legally dubious.


Buffered previously was able to unblock Netflix in a web browser on MacOS and Windows, but this is no longer the case as of September 2017. A customer support rep told us, “As of the moment, we are unable to access Netflix US with any of our servers. A fix is being worked on and should be forthcoming fairly shortly. We have no update though as of yet.”

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The VPN services listed should allow you to unblock US Netflix in any country you might be traveling to, other than those where media is censored and VPNs are actively blocked by a firewall such as China (see our list of the VPNs working in China and pick one that works there, too). In pretty much every other country, the VPNs in our list will work. In fact, we’ve received comments or emails from people in Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, France, Israel, Spain, Ireland, South Africa, and Italy telling us they’ve successfully accessed US Netflix!

NordVPN has the biggest server network among all VPNs. The VPN boasts 5100+ servers spread across 62 countries. This big number of servers ensures that you can always get very high and stable torrenting speeds. With NordVPN, you can choose torrenting servers from a category of special servers. You will also be able to enjoy other features like automatic killswitch, Onion over Tor, double VPN, multiple protocols, and DNS & IPv6 Leak Protection.
Most of NordVPN’s servers can unblock Netflix, although the majority will redirect you to the US version even if you’re connected to another country. Thanks to a low monthly price and the option to connect up to six devices at one time, NordVPN is a great budget option especially if you share an account with friends or family. Despite its low price, NordVPN doesn’t skimp on security or privacy. It’s pretty good at unblocking other popular streaming services as well, like BBC iPlayer and Hulu. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
The practical upshot is that no one can intercept your web traffic as it moves from your computer to the VPN server. And if you're connecting to websites via HTTPS (which you should), your data remains encrypted for its entire journey, even after it leaves the VPN server. This is why you need a VPN. VPNs are particularly important when you're using public Wi-Fi or unfamiliar networks. In these situations, hackers may be lurking on the network or even running the network themselves, hoping to snag your personal information.
This approach worked for a few months until it caught the attention of Netflix, and a subsequent crackdown blocked most smart DNS proxy users. Today, a handful of smart DNS proxy services can still unblock Netflix, but the only one that’s consistently worked for us is ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer service. MediaStreamer is a smart DNS proxy service that comes with every ExpressVPN subscription. It’s used by default when you connect to the VPN, or you can set it up separately so that it’s used on its own.

While there are quite a few free VPNs on the market, many have location restrictions and speed or bandwidth limitations. And many can actually be dangerous to use. You can read more about the risks of using free VPNs here. And if you decide the drawbacks just aren’t worth it, and you’re willing to spend a few bucks, we have a list of the best VPNs for torrenting.

Depending on the VPN software, you may be able to disable the NAT firewall somewhere in the settings. If not, you will need to use port forwarding. This is usually a manual procedure where the VPN provider designates a specific port to be used for P2P traffic. Users must configure their bittorrent client to use this port. If the port is not listed on the VPN provider’s website, the user will need to contact customer support and ask for it.
Hotspot Shield is really popular – especially the free version. One of the main reasons for that is its super fast speeds, which are ideal for downloading. That said, the free version limits the amount of data you can use to 500 MB a day, which may not be enough depending on how big your torrent files are. But since it’s free, it’s worth giving a shot.
These VPNs work with Netflix, but for one reason or another, they don’t make the top seven cutoff. This may be due to inconsistent service, privacy concerns, speed, or inability to unblock Netflix on mobile devices. Netflix frequently blocks VPNs, so we also favor those with a proven track record of bypassing the proxy error. Erring on the side of caution, we don’t want to recommend VPNs that work today but not tomorrow.
Ivacy's domestic download performance was also lackluster, reducing download speeds by 19.1 percent. That's just shy of the third-worst score and a far cry from TorGuard VPN, which only eroded download speeds by 3.7 percent. Ivacy again fared far better in the international tests. Here, it only lowered download speed results by 58.3 percent. That's far from the worst score, but still far from that of AnchorFree Hotspot Shield, which has the best score and only reduced speed test results by 39.9 percent.
The Dedicated IP option requires an add-on purchase (discussed below). The Unblocking option defaults to a nearby country that doesn't have restricted content. If you're looking to access websites blocked by your local government, this is the option for you. I'm not clear on Secure Download options, however. When I selected it, Ivacy connected me to a VPN server in Belgium. To my mind, the Belgians are known for their excellent beer and not so much their prestige in downloading.
You’ll get slower download speeds. Running your connection through another server inevitably slows you down, though how much depends on what torrent you’re downloading, who from, and a lot of other factors. In my experience, more popular torrents stayed at their top speed of 3.4 MB/s (my bandwidth cap) with a proxy, while other less popular torrents slowed down from 1 MB/s to about 500-600 kB/s. Your mileage may vary. I lost significantly less speed with Private Internet Access than I did with BTGuard, though.
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.
When comparing VPN companies, it's useful to look at how many servers the company offers and where those servers are located. In general, the closer the server is to you, the better performance you'll experience. So having a lot of servers in lots of different places means that you're more likely to have a better experience, no matter where you might roam.
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Your account credentials are only to manage your account—we’ll need a new set of credentials for the Proxy service. In the client control panel, click the “Generate Password” button under “PPTP/L2TP/SOCKS Password.” This is what we’ll be using to configure our BitTorrent client. Write down the username and password that appears here (it’s different than your regular account credentials) and move on to step two.
Some VPN services offer even longer subscription periods. KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, for example, lives up to its name with an effectively life-long plan. It also offers billing periods as short as one week, which is great for travelers who want a VPN only for a vacation or business trip. At PCMag, however, we recommend using a VPN as often as possible.
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