The best wat to figure out the best VPN for torrenting, we need to decide which criteria by which to judge them. Torrent and P2P file sharers want privacy, no data caps, and fast download speeds above all else. Based on that, we’re going to use the following factors:
- Logging policy
- Bandwidth limit
- Speed testing performance
Encryption ensures third parties cannot snoop on the activity of the VPN user. Strong encryption paired with an airtight protocol is ideal, so we’re mainly looking for OpenVPN that uses the AES 256-bit algorithm. In particular, encryption helps keep internet service providers off your back. A VPN kill switch and DNS leak protection are security bonuses.
The VPN must be logless, meaning it does not record and save information about your activity. This can mean performance stats used to improve the product or data about what you’re looking at and downloading, which is used to build better features. Ideally, the provider collects no information and therefore cannot be hacked or coerced into giving up information about customers.
Some VPNs have data caps or bandwidth limits that throttle or halt downloads up to a certain limit. We want to avoid these as torrents often require a lot of data.
Once we know that the data won’t be capped, we can test how fast downloads actually happen. At Comparitech, we do this by downloading the same file, three times a day, from three different server locations for each VPN. We haven’t tested every VPN under the sun yet, but we’ve included a few of the faster ones.
Finally, we prefer VPNs with shared IP addresses for torrenting. This means you share an IP address with dozens, perhaps even hundreds of other people. Shared IPs add a significant layer of anonymity, which makes it more difficult to trace activity back to you.
Without further ado, here are our top picks:
ExpressVPN offers fast download speeds with 256-bit AES encryption across 78 different countries. It has some of the best designed apps out there for a wide range of devices. They include Windows, Mac OSX, Android, iOS, some wifi routers, and Linux (CLI). 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. ExpressVPN doesn’t keep usage logs and is based in the British Virgin Islands, which has no data retention laws. A kill switch is built in to prevent traffic from leaking onto the unencrypted network should your connection drop. OpenVPN is the default VPN protocol, but L2TP and SSTP are also solid alternatives. P2P is supported on all servers.
When it comes to the sheer number of servers to choose from, it’s tough to beat IPVanish. One of the most popular VPNs worldwide, IPVanish takes privacy very seriously and has been built with torrenting in mind. It creates no logs, not even the connection logs used for troubleshooting like ExpressVPN. L2TP and OpenVPN protocols both use 256-bit encryption. IPVanish uses shared IP addresses, and even has a built-in feature that lets users switch IPs periodically, such as every 60 minutes. Speeds are good, and bandwidth is unlimited. IPVanish specifically designates certain countries as P2P-friendly, such as the Netherlands (more on this below).
Panama-based NordVPN keeps neither connection nor traffic logs. 256-bit AES encryption over OpenVPN 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. NordVPN uses shared IP addresses, and bandwidth is unlimited. Torrenting is explicitly permitted. A proxy, encrypted chat, and self-destructing encrypted notes are extra features included in each subscription.