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8 Best (REALLY FREE) VPNs for Torrenting and P2P in 2021
Finding a free, safe VPN that allows torrenting is a real challenge!
Which ones protect from malware? Which ones ensure your ISP can’t see your activity? Which ones keep you safe and let you torrent?
I’ve spent months testing free VPNs to answer these questions, checking their speeds, and reading their legal terms, and testing their ability to support torrenting. In that time, I’ve only found seven that I can recommend. Many of the others either allow torrenting or they track and sell your data, while others are simply dangerous.
Every VPN you’ll see here has passed numerous tests, can accommodate safe torrenting, and is free from any hidden costs or dangers.
Short on Time? Here’s Are The Best Free VPNs for Torrenting
ExpressVPN – Blazing-fast speeds to download torrents in no time. It’s backed by a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee so you can buy it with confidence.
Cyberghost: Torrenting optimized servers for ultra-fast download speeds. Offering a 24-hour free trial, followed by a 45-day money-back guarantee for plenty of time to test it out.
Windscribe: This free VPN has servers that support torrenting. Its 10GB/month data allowance might restrict your downloads, though.
Unlimited bandwidth and unrestricted speeds are on offer from this free VPN.
TunnelBear: A strict no-logs policy, military-grade encryption, and servers in 20+ countries make up for limited free bandwidth.
Plus three more free VPNs for torrenting | How We Tested and Ranked These VPNs | The Best Premium VPNs for Torrenting | FAQs
Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today!
The Best Free VPNs for Torrenting – Full Analysis (Updated October 2021)
There are many dangerous free VPNs out there. That’s why I ran extensive tests and only picked 7 free VPNs for torrenting, based on speed, security, and P2P compatibility. Every VPN listed here will keep you safe, guaranteed.
While each recommendation will keep you safe and let you torrent for free, apart from ExpressVPN, they all have some limitations.
1. ExpressVPN – Try Risk-Free With a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Superfast download speeds
3, 000 servers in 90 countries
30-day money-back guarantee
Military-grade encryption and a strict no-logs policy
P2P support on every server
Works with: uTorrent, BitTorrent,, Vuze, Deluge
Streaming: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, HBO Max, Vudu, Hulu, and more
Compatible with: Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Chrome, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
It’s super-fast, too. During my tests, both my download and upload speeds were excellent – averaging at over 43 Mbps consistently. You’ll be able to torrent quickly and easily with no interruptions or delays.
There are 3, 000 P2P-friendly ExpressVPN servers around the world – fully optimized for torrenting. I could easily unblock torrenting platforms without any problems. It also guarantees fast connections to nearby servers, even if you’re traveling across continents. You’ll never experience any issues downloading torrents from anywhere.
While you torrent, ExpressVPN protects your privacy with numerous industry-leading features: 256-bit AES encryption, an automatic kill switch, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and much more. They all ensure your IP address and torrenting activity are never exposed.
Its TrustedServer feature wipes your data clean after every server reboot, as they run on RAM only. This keeps you safe online, without blocking harmless torrents, risking your data being sold, or worse.
Lastly, ExpressVPN has a strict no-logs policy. This means it can be trusted never to store or pass on any of your information. Only a very simple set of data is stored, such as the date you logged in, and server location. Your browsing history, IP, and DNS queries will be kept anonymous.
Want to know more? Explore our ExpressVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
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2. Cyberghost — Optimized Servers For Superfast Downloads
Lightning-fast speeds for P2P file sharing and downloading
7, 290 servers in 90 countries, including several torrenting optimized servers
24-hour free trial, followed by a 45-day money-back guarantee
Military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and an ad/malware blocker to protect you and your device while torrenting
Streaming: Netflix, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, YouTube TV, and more
Compatible with: macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Linux, and more
Cyberghost provides you a list of torrenting optimized servers. I tested its US specialty server (New York) while downloading a copyright-free file called “Astronomy Picture of the Day” from Legit Torrents. My speeds remained consistent, around 33 Mbps. The file was quite large (2. 62 GB) but it only took 23 minutes to download. You won’t have to search for the fastest server to download torrents.
It uses strong security features to keep you safe. This includes 256-bit encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. The kill switch ensures that even if you temporarily lose connection, it won’t expose your data. I tested this by switching from London to its Miami server. During this time, I attempted to load uTorrent — however, it blocked this action until I reestablished a connection. Your personal data will always be safeguarded while torrenting.
Your privacy is protected by its NoSpy servers and a strict no-logs policy. The NoSpy servers are located in privacy-friendly Romania, where Cyberghost is based. This is outside the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes jurisdiction — meaning, agencies can’t demand user data. Only Cyberghost employees have access to these servers. No one will have a chance of intercepting your personal information.
The apps include an ad, tracker, and malware blocking feature. This keeps your device protected while preventing annoying popups from slowing you down. During my tests, I could enable or disable it with just one click within the app’s privacy settings. While it was turned on, I never encountered any ads. You can enjoy safe, uninterrupted torrenting.
One downfall is that Cyberghost doesn’t work consistently in some strictly censored countries. This includes the UAE, China, North Korea, and parts of the Middle East. This may or may not affect you, depending on your travel plans or country of residence.
You can test its full-featured service when you use Cyberghost’s 24-hour free trial. If you need more time, it also offers a risk-free 45-day money-back guarantee. When I finished testing (after 28 days), I used the live chat option to request my refund. The agent asked me a couple of quick questions regarding my experience. After just 2 minutes, she approved the return. I had the money back in my account within 3 days.
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3. Windscribe – Up to 10GB of Free Data Per Month
P2P-friendly servers in 10 countries
10GB of data per month
Streaming: YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Kodi, and HBO GO
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and routers
Windscribe is a completely free service that limits data and server access. As a free user, you get 2GB of data per month. If you tweet Windscribe, you do get the option to extend this allowance by 5GB.
You can increase your data allowance to 10GB per month, but will need to provide an email address to do so. If you wish to remain completely anonymous using Windscribe, you’ll be restricted to the original 2GB limit.
You can access servers in 10 countries: the UK, Hong Kong, the US, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, and Switzerland. You can’t access censored torrenting sites and geo-restricted sites that aren’t available in these countries.
Many of these servers are P2P-friendly. During my tests, I quickly connected to several Windscribe servers that were fast enough for torrenting. However, I did find that they became overloaded during busy periods. This slowed my connection, but I was still able to torrent. My speeds increased once the peak period ended.
Windscribe takes care of your privacy with some high-end security measures. 256-bit AES encryption protects your data, while a built-in ad blocker, DNS leak protection, and IP masking keep your activity and IP address secret.
Windscribe is based in Canada, which is in the Five Eyes Alliance. However, it follows a strict no-logs policy and never stores your data, so it is not able to pass any information on to the authorities.
Want to know more? Explore our Windscribe review to see the full results of our research and testing.
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4. – P2P-Friendly Servers Around the World
2GB free data per month
P2P friendly servers in all free locations except the US
Unlimited bandwidth and speeds
256-bit AES encryption
Streaming: Hulu, iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO GO
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux, and routers
is a completely free VPN that allows torrenting. You don’t need to input any personal or financial details to sign up, which gives you the added security of complete anonymity. Not only will your online activity be protected, but also your identity.
You’re limited to five server locations on the free account: the US East, US West, Canada, the Netherlands, and Singapore. This could mean slow speeds if you’re connecting to from outside North America and Europe.
All of ’s servers allow torrenting except its US locations. If you want to download from an index that’s only available in the US, there’s an extra step involved. You’ll need to connect to a US-based server to download the torrent file, and then switch to a P2P-friendly server before you open your client.
offers just 2GB of data per month to free users, enough to share a few minutes of video with your friends and maybe a couple of hundred photos.
However, there are no restrictions on speeds or bandwidth. During my tests, I found both upload and download speeds to be decent, and I was able to torrent smoothly for a while.
Unfortunately, while testing, I discovered that reconnecting to servers can take a long time. If you’re using an unreliable internet connection, you need to search through the network for a new server when you reconnect, which is time-consuming.
Thankfully does include an automatic kill switch and IP leak protection. Your IP address and online activity won’t be exposed even if you’re disconnected from the VPN.
It also uses 256-bit AES encryption so no one can monitor or track your online activity.
is headquartered in Malaysia, so it’s not based within the Fourteen Eyes Alliance. That means you can trust its strict no-logs policy. It does not log, store, or pass on any of your sensitive information or usage data.
Want to know more? Explore our review to see the full results of our research and testing.
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5. TunnelBear – Best for Low-Volume Users
22+ worldwide servers
500MB of data per month
Strict no-logs policy
Streaming: HBO GO, YouTube, Spotify, Kodi
Compatible with: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
TunnelBear is an incredibly user-friendly VPN and a great choice for beginners. You get a wide choice of P2P-friendly servers around the world.
I was able to torrent using this free service during my tests. After some digging around, I found out that it recommends using its servers in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Romania, or the Netherlands for torrenting.
However, if you live far away from these countries or use servers located elsewhere, you might find that speeds become too slow for P2P traffic.
TunnelBear’s data allowance might be too restrictive for you, too. You only get 500MB of data per month. That won’t be much good for sharing high definition (HD) video files, but it’s ideal if you just want to download photos and documents.
If you tweet the company, you can get an additional 1GB of free data. Unfortunately, that still won’t allow much more than browsing and streaming videos on Youtube. You’ll also need to tweet TunnelBear every time you need a top up.
These limitations aside, TunnelBear offers great security. It has been independently audited by cybersecurity experts, who verified the reliability of its military-grade encryption, strict no-logs policy, and other security features.
TunnelBear’s speeds have also impressed us in many different tests. While it can’t compete with premium providers, for a free VPN, it does very well.
Want to know more? Explore our TunnelBear review to see the full results of our research and testing.
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6. Speedify – Fast Speeds All Day Long
2GB of free data per month
Channel bonding technology for faster speeds
128 GCM encryption
Streaming: Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Kodi
Compatible with: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS
Speedify uses innovative channel bonding technology to boost your connection speed while you’re torrenting.
Channel bonding works by bundling all possible connections on your device together and combining them to transmit data. Your online activity is then split between these connections, like fast and slow lanes on a highway.
This technology has cemented Speedify’s legacy in the VPN world, as it means faster and more reliable connections than most free VPNs can offer.
Unfortunately, it also means that using Speedify can double your data usage, which is costly if you’re on a limited cell or WiFi plan.
Faster speeds mean faster torrenting, though, and I did find Speedify fast enough outside of peak hours. However, with a data limit of 2GB per month, the most you’ll be able to share are a few munites of video or some photos.
Want to know more? Explore our Speedify review to see the full results of our research and testing.
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7. Betternet – Torrent-Friendly With No Registration Requirements
500MB of free data per day
Free service with no registration
Streaming: YouTube, Kodi, and Spotify
Compatible with: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Chrome
Betternet is a completely free service that doesn’t require you to register. It doesn’t record or access any private information like your name, email address, or payment details.
But is Betternet good for torrenting? Yes, but it has limits.
Betternet gives you 500MB of free data a day, which is more than many other free services. You can use it to share a few minutes of video every day, upload your photos to the cloud, or spread large downloads out across a few days.
It also supports P2P traffic. Sadly, as a free user, you’ll only get access to Betternet’s US server. You can’t manually select a server, and you can’t unblock sites that aren’t available in the US.
If you’re torrenting through Betternet from outside the US, you might experience slow speeds and difficulty connecting to your torrent client, due to distance and connection speeds. Also, the US is notoriously unfriendly to torrent platforms and their users. This could create issues in the future if your favorite torrent site gets censored.
Want to know more? Explore our Betternet review.
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8. PrivateVPN – Try It Out With the 7-Day Trial
Premium VPN with a 7-day free trial
Unlimited speeds, bandwidth, and data
Military-grade security with a zero-logs policy
Streaming: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and some routers
PrivateVPN is a top premium VPN that you can try out on a 7-day free trial.
You don’t even need to make an initial payment or give any payment details to sign up. You do need to register for an account, but PrivateVPN only asks for basic personal details that can’t be used to trace your online activity, IP address, or any private data.
PrivateVPN supports unlimited P2P file sharing across 150+ server locations in 60+ countries. During my tests, I found PrivateVPN to be extremely fast. My connection was quick enough for smooth, uninterrupted torrenting, even when I downloaded large files.
PrivateVPN’s security measures are also world-class. 256-bit AES encryption conceals your data, while a range of security protocols ensure your IP address is never exposed. In the background, IPv6 leak protection ensures your real location can’t be exposed.
The VPN is based in Sweden, which is a member of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance. However, Sweden is still a very privacy-friendly country, and PrivateVPN has a strict no-logs policy. So, even if it were asked to hand over any records, it would be unable to do so.
Want to know more? Explore our PrivateVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
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How We Tested and Ranked These Free VPNs
I looked for free VPNs with high-speed, P2P-friendly servers, unlimited bandwidth, generous data allowances, and excellent privacy policies. After focusing on these areas first, I then looked at everything else each VPN offers.
These criteria immediately excluded the majority of free VPNs. Most don’t support P2P filesharing.
Next, I tested the speed of each VPN. I connected to as many servers as possible, as far away from me as possible. Using ’s tools, I measured upload and download speeds on each server and compared this to my local internet connection. Only free VPNs that provide consistently fast connection speeds are included here.
Bandwidth and data are crucial for torrenting. I’ve only selected free VPNs that offer enough data and bandwidth for torrenting. I torrented with each VPN to see how much you can do within their limits.
Finally, I carefully read the terms of every VPN I tested to ensure they hadn’t included any loopholes that put you at risk. I also factored in where the VPNs are based, and whether they are part of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance.
What’s The Catch With Free VPNs?
Although the VPNs on this list are safe to use, many free VPNs are slow and unreliable. They can also be dangerous.
Most free VPNs don’t support torrenting, and many block P2P traffic. They often can’t compete with the military-grade encryption and other security features that premium VPNs offer. Because of this, there’s often no guarantee you’re truly anonymous while torrenting. This is why I’ve only listed seven VPNs out of the thousands on offer.
Finally, free VPNs nearly always limit your data and bandwidth. Some even deliberately reduce your connection speed. For unlimited data and super-fast download and upload speeds, you need a low-cost premium VPN instead.
How do free VPNs make money?
Premium VPNs charge a small subscription fee, but free providers rely on other monetization tactics. At best, these are annoying. At worst, they can actually put you in more danger.
This could mean constant pop up ads while you’re browsing or limiting your bandwidth until you have no choice but to pay for an upgrade. Over the years, we’ve seen free VPNs sell user data, overlook malicious software and viruses in their networks, and much worse.
Any time someone offers you a free VPN service, just know there will always be a catch.
Are VPNs legal?
In most countries, yes.
However, VPNs can be a legal grey area and the situation often changes. Several governments have banned VPN use because of its association with crime, while others allow them but stop you from downloading one within their borders.
Read our complete country-by-country guide to VPN legality to find out more about laws where you live.
What are the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes Alliances?
Throughout this guide, I’ve been talking about the various Eyes Alliances. This refers to a number of countries that have international information-sharing agreements.
If a VPN is based in one of these countries, it needs to have a strict no-logs policy. That’s the only way to guarantee that it won’t hand over any of your information should the government put in a legal request.
Our full guide to the Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes Countries tells you everything you need to know.
The Bottom Line
Finding a free VPN that allows torrenting can be difficult. Even if you do find a P2P-friendly no-cost service, many free VPNs are simply too slow or too restrictive for effective torrenting.
You also need to be sure that your free VPN won’t compromise your safety and anonymity.
To avoid any risk, I would always use a low-cost premium VPN instead.
Some of the best VPNs like ExpressVPN offer a money-back guarantee, so you can test it out risk-free and claim a refund within that period if you’re not fully happy with it.
Even if you do pay, there are plenty of VPN deals and coupon codes that can make your subscription very inexpensive.
Want to go ahead with a premium service? Check out our rundown of the 10 best premium VPNs for torrenting.
New to torrenting and want more information? Read our updated guide to torrenting safely and anonymously.
Top VPNs for torrenting that you can try risk-free with money-back guarantees…
Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!
The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.
VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we’ve tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it’s currently offering 49% off.
HTTP Rotating & Static
- 200 thousand IPs
- Locations: US, EU
- Monthly price: from $39
- 1 day moneyback guarantee
VPN vs. Proxy vs. PeerBlock for Torrent Privacy
If you’re looking to download torrents anonymously, the tools you use a make a big difference. And the biggest question we get is which offers more protection, a VPN or Proxy? In many ways they’re quite similar (route your traffic through a 3rd-party server, hiding your IP address). But there are several key differences that may lead you to choose one over the other. And some very cautious people to use both together for maximum portant Note: Fortunately, you don’t have to pay extra or choose between one or the other. Several torrent-friendly VPNs include zero-log proxy service at no additional charge. You can even use both simultaneously! VPNs that include Socks5 Proxy access: Our top picks are Private Internet Access and NordVPN (Special 72% discount)Quick Intro to your 3 OptionsBefore we dive in to the details, here’s a brief overview of the 3 torrent privacy tools, and the relative strengths/weaknesses of each:PeerBlock/iBlocklist/Other IP blockersTorrent IP blocklists attempt to do one thing. Prevent connections from certain ‘undesirable’ IP addresses or IP ranges. The theory is that if you can identify ‘suspicious’ IP’s, you can block them and minimize your risk of having your torrent downloads reality, it’s literally impossible to identify and block every IP address that might be malicous. And any professional torrent monitoring service can get new IP’s as easy as you can. Meanwhile, blocklists are made up mostly of good/harmless peers which will cause you slower speeds and reduced rdict: Blocklists might be better than nothing (barely) but it’s not a really a privacy tool. And it does nothing to anonymize your torrent downloads. Proxy / Socks5 Torrent ProxyA proxy connection is one that routes your traffic from a specific app/program (your torrent client) through a 3rd party server. The proxy server connects to all torrent peers on your behalf. The main benefit is peers will only see the IP address of the proxy server. Your ‘real’ IP address will remain best/most-secure proxy type for torrenting is Socks5 (don’t use HTTP proxies). A proxy allows your Torrent IP address to be different than the IP for all other internet traffic (good). Unfortunately, most torrents don’t encrypt their traffic, so your ISP could still monitor your downloads if they wanted rdict: A proxy is like a VPN without encryption. It’s also slightly faster. It will hide your IP address (the most important privacy feature). Your ISP can still see that you’re torrenting (through Deep Packet Inspection), so frequent torrent downloaders may prefer a commended Socks5 Providers: Private Internet Access, NordVPN, IPVanish, Torguard. Read our complete Torrent Proxy / Virtual Private NetworkA Virtual Private Network routes ALL of your internet traffic through a remote server, which interacts with the internet (and torrent peers) on your behalf. All communication between your device and the VPN server is encrypted with incredibly strong encryption. A VPN give you the highest level of protection & privacy for your torrents. It accomplishes two important things:Hide your real IP address from torrent peers (they see the VPN server’s IP). Encrypt all internet activity so your internet provider (ISP) can’t see what you do/download of the top torrent-friendly VPNs also include SOCKS5 proxy service with your subscription. So you can use both simultaneously, changing your IP address twice and keeping a local IP address for web browsing, but downloading torrents from a torrent-friendly location like the rrent IP Blocklists (Peerguard, iBlocklist, etc…)A torrent IP blocklist is simply a giant database of IP addresses that you tell your torrent client (uTorrent, Vuze…) not to connect to. There many different blocklists, and IP’s tend to get included in a blocklist for a variety of reasons:Non-Residential IP addressSchools/UniversitiesKnown torrent monitoring companies‘Suspicious’ activity from an IP addressWhat is a Blocklist? The idea behind torrent blocklists is if you can create a list of all the ‘BAD’ IP addresses, then you can only connect to ‘safe’ connection from a ‘blocked’ peer will be refused, and they won’t be able to connect to you to download/seed torrent all sounds great (because several blocklists are free) but there are MANY security issues that make a blocklists nearly worthless…Why Torrent Blocklists don’t work…There are many reasons we hate (and never recommend) blocklists. Here are the most important ones:Block way too many peers (mostly safe IP’s)Bad peers can still use an unblocked IP addressTorrents can be monitored via DHT or tracker lists, even by blocked IP’s1. Too many blocked IP addressesLet’s be honest, most torrent peers aren’t threats. They don’t want to infect you, monitor you, or hack you. They just want to share torrent files the top torrent blocklists contain MILLIONS of IP addresses. Are all these peers all dangerous? Of course ’s kind of like firing a machine gun blindfolded. You might get the bad guy, but there will be alot of collateral damage. And every ‘good’ peer you block will reduce your number of available peers, your speeds, and your download you combined all the blocklists, you’d block over 30% of all the IPv4 addresses in the world. 2. Bad Peers will just use a new ‘SAFE’ IP addressIt’s incredibly easy to get a new IP address. You can use a commercial VPN service or proxy to switch IP’s in 5 seconds. Any individual/person that makes a living from monitoring torrent downloads will have a never-ending supply of unblocked IP’s to continue their business if you use a blocklist that blocks all commercial VPN/proxy servers, they could just use a residential IP address by running a home VPN/proxy server on a $100 router, or run the monitoring software from a residential address. 3. Blocked peers can still see the IP’s of downloadersIn order to connect to torrent peers, you need to know their IP address. That’ show the whole p2p system works. These IP’s are collected and shared via torrent trackers as well as DHT (trackerless peer lists). And anybody can see these peer lists, whether their IP is blocked or; a blocklist WILL NOT prevent bad peers from seeing your torrent IP address and the files you’re downloading. Torrent trackers have that data already. The only good solution is to use a technology that actually hides your IP address (VPN or proxy). Virtual Private Network/VPN (best for most users)A VPN is the ultimate torrent privacy tool. You’ll see them recommended across all the top tech sites, from Lifehacker, to Reddit, and even torrent sites VPN is simply the best tool for the job (and really easy to use) section will discuss how a VPN works, what it’ll do for you, and how to choose the best one for torrents. Choosing the right VPN is extremely important, as there are many that aren’t torrent-friendly, even some that are outright ivate Internet Access and IPVanish are two of the best and most reputable options. We’ll discuss others as a VPN makes your torrent downloads (WAY) more secureThere are two main ways that torrent downloads are monitored:Gathering IP addresses from a torrent swarm (can be done by any 3rd party)Directly inspecting your internet traffic (your ISP or network admin can do this)A high-quality VPN can protect against both these threat vectors, for as little as $3. 33/month. A VPN protects your torrent privacy by doing two things:Hide your ‘real’ IP address and replace it with the IP of the VPN server in torrent swarms. Encrypt 100% of your internet traffic, so even your internet provider (ISP) can’t monitor your traffic or see what files you’re sounds simple (and it is really easy to use). But it’s also incredibly powerful. Which is why VPN usage is growing exponentially, especially in the file-sharing oosing the ‘BEST’ VPN for torrentsAt a basic level, most VPN services are very similar. They will route your traffic through a 3rd-party server, assign you a new IP address, and encrypt all the data you transfer between your device and the VPN server. But that doesn’t mean you should just use any VPN when are still very important differences between standard VPN services, and ones that are ideal for ’s some of the most important things to consider:Logging PolicyMost VPNs keep logs. This means they keep a record of your connection history, IP address assigned, server location, etc. Some even keep records of websites you visit or other traffic a VPN keeps IP address logs (with timestamps), then there is a clear link between your torrent ip address (assigned by the VPN) and your real IP address. If you’re serious about privacy, you should choose a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at of our favorite zero-log VPNs are:Private Internet Access (Logging policy actually tested in court by the FBI)NordVPNIPVanishSpeedNo matter what you’re doing online, you want to get the speed you’re paying for. If you pay for a 20mbps internet connection, you want to get most of that speed when connected to a VPN service. But servers and bandwidth are expensive, so many of the ‘cheap’ and ‘lifetime’ VPN services are incredibly are a zero-log VPN services that are also quite fast, and we’ve tested PIA, Torguard, and IPVanish at speeds above FeaturesMany VPNs also include other features like a kill-switch/IP leak protection, Socks5 proxies, and p2p-optimized servers that make them even better for torrent users. For more info, read our complete torrent VPN guide below…Read Next: The ultimate list of the best VPNs for Torrents/P2PHow to use a VPN for torrentingThe beauty of a VPN is it’s simplicity. While the actual technology is incredibly complex, the user experience is follow these steps to get up and running the 1st up for a VPNDownload/Install the VPN software/appRun the AppChoose a server location (we recommend Switzerland/Canada/Netherlands)Click Connect (The VPN will switch your IP and encrypt your data automatically). a VPN looks like for users:It’s basically just an App you run on your computer. Choose any server location you want:Connecting to Canada server (IPVanish)In 5-15 seconds, you’ll be connected to your preferred location. Your new IP address will be shown in the top left corner of the software (with IPVanish) and all communications will be encrypted with 256-bit encryption (basically unbreakable). Connected to a Canada server locationThat’s it. You can now torrent as normal. It’s usually a good option to turn on the kill-switch if your VPN software has one. You should also verify that your torrent identity as anonymous by using an IP tracking torrent. Disadvantages of using a VPN for torrentsWhile a VPN is the best tool for the job, there are still some drawbacks/tradeoffs to be aware of:Connecting to a distant server will result in slower speedsEncryption uses bandwidth/computing power (slower speeds again)Your torrent IP and web browser IP will be the sameSlight Speed decrease:A high-quality VPN will have plenty of available server bandwidth and speeds should still be quite fast, but don’t expect to get 100% of your ISP connection. For example, if you pay for 25mbps speeds, you will probably only get 10-20mbps while connected to the VPN, depending on the encryption strength you use and how far away (or crowded) the VPN server ivacy and security have tradeoffs, and you’ll have to sacrifice a bit of IP address for web browser and torrentsThis isn’t a major negative, but it’s something to be aware of. People usually use a VPN server in a torrent-friendly country like Switzerland or the Netherlands. But now your web browser will use that IP location as well, meaning you may get foreign google results (though you can change Google’s settings to always show results from your preferred location) you prefer to have a separate IP address for your browser and torrents, you can add a proxy inside the torrent client, while staying connected to a local VPN server. This will give you a local (same country) IP address for most web activities, and change your torrent IP to wherever the torrent proxy server is located (usually Netherlands). Socks5 ProxyThe 2nd best option for anonymous torrents is a proxy. Instead routing 100% of your internet traffic through a 3rd-party server, the proxy will be configured only inside your torrent all desktop torrent clients support proxy connections (SOCKS5 only). Also, 2 android torrent apps (Flud and tTorrent) also support anonymous proxy Proxy Info:Changes the IP address for 1 app (torrent client)Needs to be Socks5 proxy to work properly w/ torrent peers (never use HTTP proxy)Hides you’re real IP address from torrent peers but doesn’t encrypt dataSome torrent clients route proxied connections insecurelyHow a torrent proxy worksWhen properly configured, your torrent client will route all peer and tracker communications through the SOCKS5 proxy server. Torrent peers and trackers will only see the IP address assigned by the proxy server, not your real oxies typically don’t have built-in encryption, meaning the data will still be readable by your ISP. This usually isn’t an issue (since they don’t actively monitor the content of downloads). However, some ISP’s block/throttle torrent traffic. In this case, you should either use a VPN or turn on your torrent client’s built-in vs. HTTP/HTTPSThe best proxy type for torrents is a SOCKS version 5 (SOCKS5) proxy. This is a multi-function proxy protocol that can handle tracker and peer connections. You should never use an HTTP proxy (the most common type of ‘free’ proxy) reason you should never use HTTP proxies: HTTP proxies only can transport HTTP traffic. They can handle things like tracker connections (which use HTTP). But they can’t handle peer connections. This is because peer connections use TCP, which is a different protocol. If you try to use an HTTP proxy, most torrent clients will just ignore the proxy settings when connecting to peers. This means peers will see your REAL ip address which is a major privacy risk (and defeats the the entire purpose of using a proxy) if your torrent client doesn’t route HTTP proxy connections insecurely, you still won’t actually be able to connect to peers (because the HTTP protocol doesn’t work for torrent downloads). Summary: NEVER use a HTTP proxy for torrenting. Always use SOCKS5. Check out our summary of the best socks5 providers Zero-Log Socks5 Proxy servicesThese are our favorite anonymous Socks5 proxy services for torrenting. All of them are true zero-log services, meaning they don’t log your activity or keep records of your IP address the best part…Most of these proxy subscriptions also include VPN service at no additional charge (Torguard is the only exception). #1 – IPVanish Proxy/VPN (Fastest option)IPVanish is a zero-log VPN/Socks5 provider based in the USA. They keep no logs whatsoever and have a reputation for excellent software and incredibly fast speeds. If you have a 50mbps+ internet connection and want to keep most of your speed while connected to a VPN, then go with Review: Read our complete IPVanish review for speedtests, software overview, and setup subscriptions include both VPN & proxy service (for the same price). IPVanish’s proxy server is based in the Netherlands and doesn’t log IP addresses. It works great with all major torrent clients. We even have a dedicated setup guide for using the IPVanish socks5 proxy for torrents. #2 – NordVPN Socks5/VPNNordVPN is one of the best all-around VPNs in the world. All subscriptions include both VPN & proxy service (more than 20 Socks5 server locations)’re a true zero-log VPN based in Panama (a privacy haven). And you’ll be thrilled to learn that NordVPN is one of the last VPN’s in the world that still works with Netflix. In fact you can unblock more than 50 video streaming services including Hulu, HBOgo, MLBtv and more! SPECIAL OFFER: Save 72% when you buy a 2 year subscription of NordVPNNordVPN For Torrenting:NordVPN has p2p/torrent-optimized servers in more than 10 countries. They also have torrent-friendly SOCKS5 servers in more than 10 countries. You can have up to 6 simultaneously connected devices with NordVPN, allowing you to protect all your devices on 1 Review: Read our NordVPN review for more info about their software, speed, and SmartPlay technology. #3 – Private Internet Access VPN/Socks5 ($40/year)Private Internet Access basically invented the zero-log VPN category, and they’re still one of the most torrent-friendly vpn/proxy companies in the world. They’re also incredibly cheap with 1-year subscriptions costing a mere $3. 33/rdict: Proxy vs. VPN vs. Blocklist/PeerblockIn the end, the tool you use to anonymize your torrents will be a personal decision. If speed is most important (and security less so) then go with a proxy. If you value greater security and/or ease of use, then go with a remember, blocklists like peerguardian/peerblock are nothing more than a bandaid solution. They don’t offer real privacy, and usually just give users a false sense of security. Any serious torrent downloader will tell you that a VPN/Seedbox/proxy is the only real option for serious erblock/PeerGuardian/BlocklistsList of IP addresses to blockLike carpet-bombing, rather than precision targetingDoesn’t encrypt torrent traffic or change your IP addressDangerous blocked peers can easily get unblocked by getting a new IP addressProxy SummaryAlways use a SOCKS5 proxy (HTTP proxies route torrent traffic insecurely)Manually Configured inside your torrent built-in encryption but you can use your torrent client’s built-in encryption (will reduce available peers) around $4-6/ remember, you can always use a proxy and VPN simultaneously for extremely secure torrent downloads. The main tradeoff with this setup is speed, but not price. Many VPN services include Socks5 proxy access at no additional SummaryEasily installed on most devices as software/appMany server locations (some VPNs have 100+)Strong encryption prevents your internet provider from monitoring your internet usageWill slow your connection slightly (because of encryption and server distance)Cost: $3. 33+ per monthNext step: Choose one of our top-rated Torrent VPN companies and start torrenting securely in under 10 minutes.
Is Torrenting Illegal? – All You Need To Know About Torrenting! | Techjury
Is Torrenting Illegal?
Torrenting is often associated with internet piracy and copyright infringement. The open access to high volumes of free music, movies and games just raises a red flag, doesn’t it?
Is torrenting illegal? How exactly does this tech work? And should you use it to download content from the web for free?
The answers to these questions aren’t as straightforward as you’d imagine.
So, we’ll begin with the basics and cover everything from what torrenting is to how to use it safely.
And once we answer it all, you may view this technology beyond its general reputation.
Now, let’s start!
What Is Torrenting?
Torrenting is the act of downloading and uploading files through the BitTorrent network. This is a communication protocol for peer-to-peer file sharing, which enables data exchange in a decentralized manner.
Now, in layman’s terms:
Basically, torrenting is like other forms of downloading, but the way you get files isn’t as clear-cut as it usually is. And also, you have more freedom when it comes to sharing your own data.
When fetching data from an HTTP protocol, it comes from an advanced server designed to handle traffic from large numbers of people at the same time.
With torrent applications, things work a bit differently.
Rather than being stored in one place, files you download come from hundreds of servers or even more. What’s even more unusual is that they’re almost exclusively personal computers. This means advanced hardware takes no part in this type of data exchange.
How did it all start?
The beginning was 20 years ago when a programmer, Bram Cohen, came up with a new way to transfer large files. It was a response to the incredibly slow internet at the time, which couldn’t facilitate large data moves.
Now that you know what torrenting is, it’s time to come up with an answer to the question – how does torrenting work?
How Does Torrenting Work?
Downloading files via peer exchange may sound confusing. In reality, the entire concept isn’t that difficult to grasp.
So, what’s the first thing you’re supposed to do when downloading something this way?
Well, first, you need either a torrent file or a magnet link to click on.
The former is a file on your computer that uses the. torrent filename extension and starts the download process upon a double click. The latter is a link that contains all the information your client needs to start scraping the file right away.
This sends out a request for the file you want, and your program tries to locate it on other computers running their file-sharing software.
Therefore, you can access data from more than just one place. So, when you download torrent films, for example, each file comes in bits and pieces from different users.
When you start downloading something, your torrent will choose from which servers to gather data. It’ll do so based on where it can find the file parts you need.
The transfer load is distributed between computers exchanging files to ensure no one’s bandwidth gets overloaded.
Let’s look at an example.
We’ll imagine you decided to share a 500MB file from your computer in a traditional manner. In case 1, 000 people try to get it from you, all at the same time, it would exhaust your upload bandwidth entirely. The result — everyone’s torrent app will have to spend hours trying to download it.
Torrents eliminate issues like this with a simple solution. They let users scrape pieces of data from multiple places with that specific file (a. k. a. the swar) until they get the full version. The absence of a central server means no one’s internet will suffer an enormous decrease in speed. And the users downloading the file will still get it at the end of the process.
Even if the original sharer stops distributing it, other users can still do it once they complete the download. That’s because of the peer-to-peer foundation of BitTorrent.
So, unless you change the preferences in the program you use, you’ll automatically share the computer file you’ve downloaded with users online.
This completes the cycle and ensures the original file remains available to everyone.
How quickly does one obtain something this way often depends on the seeders vs leechers ratio.
Wondering what these two concepts are?
We’ll explain that as well.
With most torrent programs, when you download a file, you automatically become a seeder. This means other users can scrape it from you whenever you’re online.
Of course, you can stop seeding whenever you want to.
Just keep in mind that zero seeds mean it’s impossible to download the file.
In the world of torrenting, people who download data from servers without seeding it are called leechers.
Some scrape more than they upload, while others upload absolutely nothing once they get the file they want.
Is Torrenting Safe and How to Torrent Safely?
BitTorrent is best known as a place for pirate movies, games, music, and other types of content.
This is something ISPs are aware of, which is why you may often hear the question “is torrenting safe? ”
It’s just that there’s so much copyrighted content floating online, and it’s so easy to get access to it. Quite often, ISPs send warning letters and links to anti-piracy educational resources when they identify BitTorrent users.
While the practice should be approached with caution, it’s not as unsafe as it may seem.
Depending on where you’re based, the worst thing that can happen is your provider reducing your bandwidth or suspending your account.
If you don’t want that to happen, you’re probably wondering how to torrent safely.
The good news is that protecting your privacy when downloading files isn’t difficult. You can do it even if you don’t have any special computer skills.
Also, you can choose between two common tools for doing so — VPN and Proxy.
If you don’t want anyone to know that you’re downloading content using BitTorrent, you can change your virtual location.
And how do you do that?
The answer is — using a VPN.
This little tool can make it appear as if you were browsing the internet from a different city, state, or country.
In addition, it can encrypt all the traffic passing through the tunnel, ensuring you stay safe when downloading.
That’s why VPN and torrenting go hand in hand.
We have a list of the best VPN services for torrenting, including some big names like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, PIA, Surfshark, and more.
Proxy also ensures you stay safe when torrenting It also changes your IP address, but it substitutes it with its own.
That way, your privacy remains intact, and you don’t even have to show your actual IP.
If you opt to download data this way, you can check out our list of the best proxy server services for this year.
Now’s time to answer the big question – Is torrenting illegal?
When you think about it, it will make sense that this type of file transfer isn’t allowed. After all, it’s most commonly used to share copyrighted content with other internet users.
However, the tech behind BitTorrent hasn’t been designed specifically for this use. Therefore, there’s nothing illegal in torrenting itself.
But if you download unsanctioned copyrighted material, you break the law.
This also isn’t as clear as you’d imagine. There’s a lot of a gray area about what’s legal to torrent and what isn’t.
Still, even if you download something that obviously isn’t allowed, there’s a big chance you won’t be held responsible. This depends on your location, though.
For example, some countries have fines for all types, including movies, TV shows, and music torrenting.
These countries are:
If you plan to download something while in one of these countries, using a VPN is an absolute must.
But there’s more…
Some countries have a different policy against torrenting. Here’s a list of those that have a history of shutting down these types of sites:
Many internet users aren’t aware of how it all works. That’s why we’ll check out another example.
For instance, is torrenting illegal in the USA?
Using this type of file transfer isn’t illegal in the USA. You can safely share data this way and not worry about breaking the law.
However, the moment you upload or download something copyrighted, your actions become subject to a fine.
And is torrenting illegal in other places around the world?
In many other countries, the answer is yes. However, depending on where you are, the fines are rarely imposed, meaning that in most of them you can freely download/share any type of content.
Even in that case, using a VPN or Proxy is a good idea.
Do’s and Don’ts of Torrenting Use
So, what should you and shouldn’t do when torrenting?
Let’s take a look!
Do Use a VPN or Proxy
Earlier, we talked about what both of these are. Therefore, you already know how they can shield your privacy when downloading.
Even if you don’t plan on picking up anything copyrighted, ensuring torrent anonymity is a good idea. When using a VPN or Proxy, you know no one has a clue that it was you who downloaded something.
Plus, many of these services have extra security features that can come in handy.
Do Choose Torrent Sites Carefully
Torrenting is way more popular than it may seem. There are plenty of websites where you can go to and start downloading content.
Unless you want to risk downloading infringing files, you should be very careful about what site you use.
The best thing you can do is find one that adheres to all laws and get your data from there. Vuze, Inc., for example, has a zero-tolerance policy for copyrighted content.
Do Be Careful When Seeding
Another important part of how to torrent safely is to be careful when seeding.
Whether you’re just seeding or want to share data, you have to know what you’re doing. The last thing you want to do is click on that “upload file” button and break some sort of law.
Don’t Use PirateBay
PirateBay has a bulk of content that’s just waiting to be downloaded.
However, it’s one of the places that expose you to an abundance of torrents monitored closely for infringement.
Unless you have plenty of experience with this tech, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere for content that’s not copyrighted.
Don’t Upload Your Own CD Rips
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people engage in movie torrenting by uploading their own CD rips. Whatever type of computer file formats you have on original CDs or DVDs, sharing it this way can get you in trouble.
Even if you live in one of the countries where torrenting is legal, you don’t want to get copyrighted material out there.
What Happens if You’re Caught Pirating?
While torrenting is legal, downloading and sharing content someone else has protected isn’t. Digital piracy does come with consequences that vary depending on where you live.
We already mentioned earlier that ISPs pay attention to what type of data you’re transferring using torrent. When they detect that you’re engaging in illegal activities, they can send you a warning or even reduce your bandwidth.
But that’s not the only reason why torrenting without VPN or Proxy isn’t recommended.
In some countries, you can earn a fine just for downloading a movie from using this tech.
For example, in Germany, this penalty can go all the way up to €1, 000.
In the US, copying data and sharing it with programs like µTorrent can even lead to imprisonment and/or a $250, 000 fine.
That’s why you have to be extremely careful what kind of data you’re working with when using this tech. Also, you should only engage in torrenting with VPN or Proxy.
Is Torrenting Illegal? – Conclusion
So, the act of torrenting itself is 100% legal. All you do is transfer data differently than you do with a standard HTTP protocol. You can use torrent programs to download and share files with other users.
However, the moment you start transferring copyrighted data, you’re breaking the law. Based on your location, fines for that can be extremely high and even involve jail time.
This only shows how careful you have to be when downloading with torrents.
Some countries don’t impose any rules against piracy, but knowing what kind of content you’re handling is always a good idea.
We highly recommend VPN or Proxy set up just in case.
Frequently Asked Questions about free proxy for torrenting
Is proxy safe for torrenting?
The best/most-secure proxy type for torrenting is Socks5 (don’t use HTTP proxies). A proxy allows your Torrent IP address to be different than the IP for all other internet traffic (good). Unfortunately, most torrents don’t encrypt their traffic, so your ISP could still monitor your downloads if they wanted to.Jul 5, 2017
Can you go to jail for torrenting?
Can You Go To Jail for Torrenting? As long as you only transfer data that isn’t copyrighted, you can’t go to jail nor pay a fine for sharing data this way. … If torrenting is illegal in your country and you get caught downloading copyrighted content, you may be charged with a fine or even a prison sentence.Oct 4, 2021
Is torrenting still illegal?
Is torrenting legal or illegal? Torrenting itself isn’t illegal, but downloading unsanctioned copyrighted material is. … Your internet service provider (ISP) and copyright trolls monitoring the BitTorrent network can take action if they catch you illegally torrenting.Apr 8, 2021