Having greater anonymity is one reason why you would want to use VPNs when torrenting. While torrenting itself is legal, there are gray areas where torrenting can potentially be declared otherwise. This is especially the case when downloading copyrighted content, with companies and anti-piracy agencies constantly monitoring torrent networks.
If you connect directly to torrent sites, you expose your torrenting activities to tracking. Even if you don’t download copyrighted content, being tracked by authorities can be concerning. VPNs help cover your tracks by encrypting your connection. Some VPN companies even have zero-log policies, meaning they don’t keep a copy of your browsing activities, adding another layer of anonymity.
Using VPNs will also protect you from hackers, scammers, and other parties trying to steal your information. Due to the open nature of peer-to-peer networks, these attackers can easily trace your computer and compromise it if you do your torrenting unprotected.
Improved downloading efficiency is the third major reason to use a VPN when torrenting. By connecting to a fast network, you can get around your Internet service provider throttling down your connection speed. VPNs also give you a less crowded connection to torrent servers, resulting in fewer data packets lost and faster downloads.
When looking for a VPN for torrenting, consider the following factors:
Check out our reviews of the best VPN services for torrents, and see what they offer for each of the above considerations. You can then do a comparison of their plans to narrow down your choices.
To ensure a safe torrent download through a VPN, enable the important security features that the VPN has, including:
Update your VPN client on a regular basis to ensure that these features work properly and to gain the needed security.
How you run and manage your torrents also play a major role in safe downloading. To ensure quality, get your torrents only from reputable sources. Read the comments section of each torrent for any warning of viruses or malware.
Before running your torrent client, check your IP address to see if it is indeed hidden by your VPN. To avoid any issues, you should connect to a VPN server located in a country where torrenting is considered legal.
Using VPNs for anonymous torrenting follows the same steps for increasing download safety. Aside from those steps, you can also boost your anonymity by:
Note that some of these steps might slow down your downloads, but the added anonymity provides a good trade-off.
One thing to remember when seeding torrents is that it leaves you more open to tracking since you are the one distributing content. Get maximum protection by turning on all important safety features on both your VPN and torrent client, most notably a kill switch feature. Compensate for any slowdown by coursing your uploads through a faster server.
Using a different server from the one you used for downloads also helps secure your seeding activities. Be sure to switch servers regularly to lessen the chance of being tracked. Some VPNs let you do this by just selecting the server you want to connect to without having to reconfigure your settings.
VPNs for torrenting can vary greatly in the features they offer. To narrow your choices to the best ones, consider how you plan to do your torrenting activities. If you only intend to download, look for services that have sufficient anonymizing features. On the other hand, if you want to become a seeder, you should look into the speed and variety of servers of the VPN providers.
Get more information about the best VPNs for torrenting by checking out our reviews above. We cover all the essential details of their services, and we performed tests to show how effective they are for these purposes.
While they can be used for torrenting, free VPNs are less reliable. Their limited security features will be your biggest concern. Free VPNs can also become overcrowded with users, slowing your downloads. Worst of all, they could have data caps so low you won’t be able to get all of the latest episode of Brooklyn 99! In these cases, paid services are better because of their more advanced features.
Our ratings for 5 best torrent vpns are based on our professional experience and extensive tests with VPN providers between April 2014 – July 2014, taking into account user feedback and reviews we receive. As a friendly disclosure, some VPN providers do compensate us for customers we refer them, but this in no way effects their ranking on our website, nor our reviews.
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