Unlike others, I won’t be recommending you the names of Best VPN for torrenting and tell you to follow them blindly. Instead, you will get the complete idea that what are the torrent-friendly VPN features to go for.
If you already have a VPN which is good at other tasks but lacks efficiency while torrenting, no worries. There are some worthwhile ways to adjust a VPN for torrenting. The major ways are;
- IP binding with a torrent client
- Adjusting Torrent client settings for the VPN connection
- Using open source software for VPN connection issues
We will discuss these ways in detail, later in the article. But, more important is to select a VPN with torrent-friendly features if you can go for it.
Parameters On Which You Can Get Best VPN for Torrenting
Most torrenters complain about the VPN connection drops while P2P file sharing process and that’s why most efficient VPNs become a hassle for torrenters.
Quick feature list (in case you avoid reading like me);
- Kill switch for resolving data and IP leak issue while VPN connection drops.
- Fast speed to avoid connection issues and lagging torrent downloads.
- OpenVPN which is the best working security protocol with torrenting.
- Zero logging policy with the least amount of personal data storage.
- Jurisdiction in a country which allows torrenting. If not the jurisdiction, then try to select a VPN which has servers in countries where torrenting is legal (such as Switzerland, Spain, Hong Kong, Mexico, etc.).
Threat accompanied by VPN connection drops become riskier while torrenting because the torrent client automatically reconnects you and your IP gets exposed. Also, several other issues could affect smooth torrenting. Therefore, to come up in the list of best VPN for torrenting, some advanced features are introduced in many VPNs.
This is the feature which removes most of the risk from VPN for torrenting. Kill Switch is designed to remove the vulnerability while VPN connection drops.
At the moment your VPN connection goes down, the kill switch automatically turns off the internet connection to prevent leakage of even a fraction of unencrypted data.
Some VPNs have default enabled kill switch, but in many cases, you have to manually enable this feature, if a VPN offers it to you.
VPN Downloading/Uploading Speed
Speed is a must component for torrenting, and that’s for two reasons;
- Speed issues can cause the VPN connection drops.
- Most of the torrent files are heavy, and they need fast speed for processing without annoyance.
We cannot ignore the fact that due to encryption, every VPN shows some speed fluctuation. Most VPN’s speed degradation is felt so hard, however, there still exists the VPNs which maintain the speed quality, and you need to find that VPN.
Security Protocol (Best Protocol for Torrenting)
Most of the times it’s not the VPN which creates an issue, but it is the wrong protocol you are using for any particular activity.
I am not discussing all the protocols and their workings here. Instead, I will just discuss the choices you can avail while torrenting with VPN connection.
I will suggest you go with OpenVPN/UDP protocol. It could be the best choice for the torrents downloading.
When using a VPN for torrenting, speed is a necessary component with security, and for speed, you have two options – PPTP which is the fastest in speed and OpenVPN.
I don’t recommend PPTP, as it’s an extremely vulnerable and least secure protocol. However, for P2P file sharing process, you need strong protection to avoid copyright notices and ISP hassles.
What about the OpenVPN?
OpenVPN has two versions; UDP and TCP and neither options outperform other. But, they vary in terms of person’s usage. With TCP, you can get a bit higher security but a considerably low speed than UDP.
On the hand, the TCP protocol is preferred OpenVPN connection if your network supports it. Also, it has a fast speed, and that’s why it is the most recommended VPN protocol for torrenting and HD streaming.
You should prefer a VPN which offer zero logging policy and keeps only the vital information (such as your name and email). Some VPNs like Express don’t even keep the data like session duration.
Torrenting Without VPN – Threats and Risks
You are quite aware of the security and anonymity a VPN provides while torrenting and probably that’s the reason you are here to find best VPN for torrenting.
However, you should be aware of the perils a torrenter face without VPN anonymity.
- ISP throttling when your internet provider spots you consuming high bandwidth and the load on its servers are increasing.
- Unprotected identity and torrenting activity due to which an ISP can catch you and you may face the copyright issues.
- Data theft and vulnerability risk because everyone – uploading/downloading the file you are downloading – can see your IP address and location. This can make you highly vulnerable to cyber attacks and also to the third-party ads.
How to Protect VPN connection drops?
Many people already have a VPN which is working perfectly, but the only issue they face is torrenting. So, instead of having a new VPN with Kill switch, you can try these easy solutions to avoid transfer of unencrypted torrent traffic when a VPN connection drops.
IP binding with the torrent client
The IP binding is the process in which you configure your torrent client to detect whether your downloads are made over VPN or regular ISP.
For every torrent client, you need to follow a different method.
Here are some quick links to some popular torrent clients.
Adjust torrent client settings for “work only on VPN connection” (Vuze, BitTorrent, etc.)
It is easy to set your torrent client only to download or upload torrent when a VPN connection is established. Unfortunately, there are only a few torrent clients who provide you this setting tweak. I have found only two clients with this option (there could be any other).
qBittorent is a popular torrent client due to its lightweight and efficiency. And one more feature that increases its worth is, the option to improve privacy while being connected to a VPN.
With qBittorent, you can block the torrent traffic when the VPN disconnects. Also, it provides other options such as setting that torrents only download and upload when the device is only connected to a particular network adapter (for instance, when it is connected to ethernet and not the wifi).
Here are the steps to configure the feature;
First, it is important to know that how you name the network connection or adapter you want to use exclusively with BitTorrent.
If you know the process, skip the below-mentioned step.
- Open the Windows bar.
- Search for the Control Panel and Click the option which appears.
- Select “Network and Internet” from the options.
- Click “Network and sharing.”
- Click “Change adapter settings.”
- On the appeared window, you will find all the network connections. Spot the VPN network.
After the identification, you can set the qBittorrent to use that specific network by following these steps.
- Open qBittorrent client.
- Select Tools > Options (you can also press Ctrl-O to do this).
- Go to advance listing.
- Scroll down and go to “Network interface.”
- Click on “any interface” and change the value to the network connection you spotted in the previous step.
- Click “apply” and “OK.”
- Finally, Restart qBittorrent.
Vuze Torrent Client
Vuze torrent client also allows this tweak to prevent privacy risk while VPN is connected.
If you are using Vuze, then you can follow this guide for setting up the torrent client to download only when connected to the VPN.
- If you don’t have VPN with Kill switch or torrent client with “work only on VPN connection”
As I mentioned before, there is only one torrent client who offers the setting changes like “connect through VPN only.” But if you have any other torrent client like BitTorrent, you can use third-party software to monitor that torrenting only works while VPN is connected.
Here are some of the software;
When you configure VPNWatcher with any of the torrent clients, it actively monitors the VPN connection. As the VPN connection goes inactive, this open source software shuts down the torrent client.
You can easily setup VPNWatcher. When you first start the application, you have to pick the network interface corresponding to the VPN service you are using. You can find this interface when the VPN connects. Also, you can list the applications which need to be shut down.
With these settings saved, you have the option to run the VPNWatcher minimized.
VPNetMon is a software that is available for Windows. The creators claim that it continuously monitors the IP address of your PC. Therefore, when the IP address of a VPN is not detected, VPNetMon promptly reacts and closes the specified programs.
The creator Felix told TorrentFreak the program reacts so quickly that a new connection through your real IP will not be established by these applications.”
VPNCheck is similar software that prevents the risk of IP expose while the VPN connection goes down. You select a main network or program that you want to shut down when there is a connection drop. Also, you are notified if with a notification box.
“Basically it constantly looks for a change in your VPN network adapter. You can connect to either PPTP or L2TP with VPNCheck,” said Jonathan from Guavi.com.
Is Torrenting Illegal? What Are the Legal Barriers to P2P File Sharing
It is one of the most asked questions among torrenters and the answer they get is mostly confusing. Here I will try my best to deliver an easy answer for your query.
There are two ways we can judge the torrent legality.
- The nature of torrenting and copyright laws in the region you are living in.
- The content you are downloading or uploading via torrent client.
Besides these two conditions, a short answer to the concern of torrent being illegal is, torrenting itself is not prohibited.
Country laws and Regulations
There are countries like Switzerland, Spain, Hong Kong, and Mexico where the internet laws are really lenient and provide online independence to the citizens. These countries also allow P2P file sharing.
A quick recommendation here is, try to select a VPN which has servers in at least one of these countries.
Besides, nations like USA, UK, Australia, Canada, China or India have strict laws for internet privacy as well as for torrenting. You need to have a closer look at the clauses which determine copyright rules and to what extent you can use torrenting.
It is important to keep in mind that many countries have strict punishments and heavy fines if a person is getting caught while torrenting.
It’s a common perception that torrents are used when one has to download something illegally. Do you think the same way? If yes, you are wrong.
Here is why.
All torrenting material is not illegal and you can download that without any permission. For instance, a business organization uploads a file so that all the employees can get the file easily.
Torrent legality also depends on two other things;
- The owner of the content
- The website you are using for torrent downloading.
For any content, the owner (an organization or individual) allow or disallow the provision of content (for free). If a material is protected with copyright, you cannot download it for the time limit set up by the owner.
Whereas, some copyright holders decide to make their content available for free. For instance, a video game owner allows free download for the game to gain popularity and higher downloads.
The torrent website you are using also affects the legality of P2P file sharing. For instance, websites like ThePirateBay and Kickass contain both legal and illegal content and it is difficult for an individual to separate them. However, some websites only keep legal content so they are considered safe websites for torrenting.
Common Torrent VPN Alternatives
There are some common Torrent VPN alternatives that people use, and you might also have stumbled upon these terms while searching for the best VPN for torrenting.
It is obvious that these tools do not provide a wide range of security as a VPN, but if you are searching privacy for just torrenting, then the following tools may help.
1 – Seedbox vs. VPN
Seedbox masks your IP address through connecting your torrent client to its server and downloads a torrent file to that server. Seedbox is a bit faster than VPN as it doesn’t encrypt your traffic but the file you normally download once requires to be downloaded again on your device from the Seedbox server. Therefore, the downloading time is doubled.
Seedbox download files over both FTP and SFTP. However, over FTP traffic remains unsecured and your ISP can easily track your torrent activity.
Seedbox doesn’t provide the option of multiple location access as the VPN, and it only works in regions where it is based. However, you can go for a seedbox if you don’t need high security and strong encryption.
2 – Socks5 proxy vs. VPN
Socks5 proxy and VPN both are same in IP masking but VPN has the edge for providing the data encryption. That’s why Socks5 proxies are a bit faster than VPN but not much secure.
The socks5 proxy could be secure when set up with a VPN as it compels to download torrents only when the Socks5 IP is used. Through this combination, you can use VPN only for torrenting while performing regular browsing on your ISP IP. (You can get this chance without Socks5 proxy if your VPN has split tunneling feature)
There are certain downsides of Socks5 proxy and the most considered one is unencrypted traffic. Therefore, an ISP could still be able to look at your traffic. Also, the Socks5 proxy could be used only on specific applications such as uTorrent.
Properly Inspect Before Getting Torrent VPN
VPN is a great solution but when selected wisely after proper inspection. You should spot your needs so that you select a VPN for torrenting according to those.
Most of the times, VPN is not that bad but it does not have the features which are necessary for that particular activity for which you are looking for a VPN. In this article, I have tried my best to simplify the confusion on the question that which is the best VPN for torrenting.