Finding the best VPN for torrenting isn’t an easy task.
There are several factors involved when choosing a VPN solely for torrenting. Here are the most important ones:
- Jurisdiction – Preferably outside the US along with 5, 9 and 14 eyes
- Logging Policy – Preferably VPN that doesn’t collect ANY logs
- Speed – a VPN that is fast enough for downloading large files
- Torrenting Policy – a VPN that allows torrenting (Many VPNs limit and discourage torrenting).
Using a VPN, people using torrents can hide their activity from the prying eyes of their ISP, while also putting up an additional layer of security against cyber criminals who are looking to exploit them.
Torrent clients are not actual people, but rather a method of downloading files that uses a peer-to-peer system. The best VPN services for 2021 The best VPN just went on sale: Here’s why you. PCMag India Software & Services Security VPN The Best VPNs for BitTorrent for 2020 A VPN can protect your web traffic from prying eyes, but some won't allow you you to indulge in your BitTorrent.
That’s great, right?
Except, many VPNs we’ve tested don’t allow torrenting. Companies like Hoxx VPN and Hola can penalize users and ban torrenting, limiting their internet freedom in the process.
That’s why users who are looking to torrent need to know which VPNs will serve their purposes, and which will not. We’ve reviewed 78 different VPNs to date, and here are the best VPNs for torrenting we’ve found based on actual tests.
7 Best VPNs For Private & Anonymous Torrenting
Here’s our list of the 7 best VPNs for Torrenting in 2020:
1. NordVPN.com – Most Servers For Anonymous Torrenting
NordVPN often tops most VPN wish lists. Turns out they’re just as strong at torrenting, too.
They’re one of the legitimate contenders you see constantly vying for first position in the best VPN rankings.
P2P services like torrenting are made available on NordVPN’s extensive server park of over 5,200 different servers.
And over 4,500 of their servers are optimized specifically for P2P. That’s a lot of different choices afforded to their BitTorrent-loving users.
Nord protects the torrenting activity of their users with the same OpenVPN protocols and AES-256 encryption as Surfshark & ExpressVPN. They also take things a step further, combining two servers into one connection for double protection.
Again, add a strict no-logging policy and a VPN killswitch to make this one of the safest and most anonymous torrenting VPNs on the market.
Nord gives users the ability to torrent without limits, placing no cap on their bandwidth.
Also, Nord has a price that can’t be beaten, with monthly costs under $4 for a 3-year plan.
2. Surfshark.com – Optimized Security for Torrenting/P2P
Surfshark keeps their promises on ensuring fast and safe torrenting. This easy-to-use VPN does not only allow torrenting, but does that without any limits: no bandwidth limit, no simultaneous connections limit, etc.
Torrenting is allowed on all Surfshark servers, including countries where P2P sharing is forbidden. For such countries, Surfshark takes additional measures by rerouting traffic to special torrent-friendly servers in the Netherlands or Canada (depending on user’s location).
The same action can sometimes be done by it’s automatic algorithm in order to optimize server network for all the users. This is smart.
In addition to this, the provider uses modern encryption to optimize speed and provide the best user experience. Surfshark encrypt all the traffic using AES-256-GCM, which is slightly different from a widespread AES-256-CBC.
The difference between the two is speed. AES-256-GCM has a built-in authentication which makes the encryption process notable faster, thus allowing greater speed. From the security side, it’s as secure as AES-256-CBC, but just faster.
Surfshark is located in the British Virgin Islands, which is outside the jurisdiction of 5, 9 and 14 eyes alliances. It means that Surfshark is out of the reach for major surveillance agencies who could force them to keep information on their users.
Naturally, the BVI is a safe haven for strict no-logging policies and Surfshark isn’t anything out of the ordinary. They keep no logs and that’s perfect for worry-free torrenting.
As for the torrenting policy, Surfshark has a special page for people who are looking for a VPN for torrenting. The page explains their policy on torrenting and even lists the best torrent sites and P2P services.
Besides all that, they’re the cheapest VPN on the market, only $2.49 per month (2-year plan), talk about a bargain…
3. ExpressVPN.com – Fastest Speed for Torrenting & P2P
ExpressVPN provides all round benefits, from security to restriction free torrenting. That means you can use torrents on any of their thousands of servers around the world.
I know what you’re thinking. “It can’t be that good.” I thought the same thing.
Then, we tried it out for ourselves.
First off, they’re located in the British Virgin Islands. This places them outside the jurisdiction of the major surveillance alliances which could force a VPN company to abdicate information about their users.
That, coupled with a strict no-logging policy, make ExpressVPN a trustworthy torrenting partner.
Your private browsing stays private thanks to their OpenVPN protocols, which are backed by government-level AES-256 encryption. Nobody, anywhere, is cracking that connection anytime soon.
Not only does ExpressVPN allow torrenting, they actively encourage it to their users. In fact, there’s an entire page of their support section walking users through the use of uTorrent software coupled with ExpressVPN.
Best Torrents Clients
The company sums up the need for a VPN in a 2017 blog post which highlights the huge amount of data that an ISP can gather on their customers. One important section of this article talks about torrenting.
4. Mullvad.net – Best for BitTorrent Users
Mullvad is perfect for a truly anonymous experience.
Overall, they come in at number six on our list. But they’re comfortable in the top three for torrenting due to the extreme lengths it takes to protect the privacy of its users.
Mullvad is a Swedish company. They’re the only VPN that we’ve encountered that requires absolutely no information on their clients. Not even an email address.
When you sign up, you’re given a numbered account and that’s it!
They also keep no logs whatsoever, which means your torrenting experience will be completely private. And although Sweden is located within the jurisdiction of the extended 14 Eyes Surveillance Alliance, they can’t turn over information if they don’t have any of it.
All torrenting is protected with that same winning combination of OpenVPN protocols, coupled with AES-256 encryption. To put this in perspective, that’s the security system used by the FBI. If it can protect US national secrets, you can be sure that it will protect your downloads.
On top of that, they encourage anonymous forms of payment like cryptocurrencies. All Bitcoin transactions are private and confidential, adding another layer of security to Mullvad.
Mullvad also employs a VPN killswitch. A killswitch monitors for leaks in your VPN tunnel, and if leaks are detected that could potentially expose you, the killswitch activates and boots you off the service. It’s your torrenting lifeline, and something to always look for when researching VPNs.
Mullvad supports all BitTorrent software, but they heavily push the use of qBitTorrent to their users.
They don’t block BitTorrent clients like uTorrent or BitComet, but they do state that they don’t believe these services are as safe, citing the presence of harmful adware, poor privacy settings, and the lack of open sourcing.
Mullvad is one of those VPNs that doesn’t just allow torrenting, they embrace it. There’s a whole page on their official website that walks users through the process.
- For more information on Mullvad, check out their official website.
- If you want to hear our full opinions on Mullvad, both pros and cons, check out our official Mullvad review.
5. PerfectPrivacy.com – Configurable P2P Port Forwardings
Configurable port forwardings
Our number three overall ranked VPN comes in at number four on this list.
Perfect Privacy encrypts and anonymizes your data. Just like everyone else on this list. But they also offer full support to BitTorrent.
While the company encourages torrenting, they come with a few restrictions. Only certain dedicated servers are set aside for P2P because those ones are engineered to allow for anonymous connections up to 1,000 Mbps.
Another factor that bumped Perfect Privacy down our list was their connection speeds. Torrenting requires a high download speed, and our tests revealed that this VPN struggled a bit in that area.
It also comes at a high cost, with some users paying over $15 per month.
But when it comes to anonymity and privacy, Perfect Privacy lives up to its name.
Your information is sealed behind an impenetrable wall of OpenVPN tunneling protocols and AES-256 encryption. Some of the other tunneling protocols offered by Perfect Privacy are IPSec and SSH, plus SOCKS5 and PPTP proxies.
This plethora of options means that users from all walks of life will be able to find something that works perfectly for their device and connection.
To top it all off, our tests also showed that Perfect Privacy is a leak and virus-free program. The last thing that a BitTorrent user wants is to be compromised by DNS and WebRTC leaks or to have vicious Malware invade their system. That’s precisely the type of vulnerability a torrenting VPN is meant to guard against.
This is another VPN that features a built-in killswitch, so even if leaks were detected, your torrenting security would still be protected. The problem with leaks is that they often go undetected. So an oblivious user would carry on, thinking that they were safe and secure, all the while their ISP is watching every move they make. A killswitch counteracts this vulnerability.
One of Perfect Privacy’s most valuable features is unlimited simultaneous connections. That’s a huge bonus, as it means that you can connect this service to every computer in the house.
- For more information about Perfect Privacy, check out their official website.
- To see more of our thoughts on this VPN, check out our Perfect Privacy VPN review.
6. PrivateInternetAccess.com – Great for Speed and Security
Private Internet Access (PIA) offers over 3,300 servers in 32 countries to choose from.
First off, it’s under $3 per month. That’s a can’t-beat-price. The cost is just one of the reasons we ranked PIA as our number nine overall VPN.
But best of all, PIA imposes no torrenting limits, providing P2P support throughout the entirety of their massive server park.
The company never explicitly says the words “torrenting” or “BitTorrent” on their site, but the P2P support speaks for itself. That’s why PIA has a great reputation throughout the torrenting community.
PIA doesn’t let us down with weak encryption and protocol options, either. They provide the best-in-class OpenVPN tunneling protocols, along with AES-128 and AES-256 encryption standards.
While they’re not logging any of your usage information, they are keeping track of your email address and payment info. That’s not a huge deal as you can create a new email address that’s not connected to your personal information, and it allows you to pay with untraceable cryptocurrency.
- For more information on PIA, check out their official website.
- To learn more about the pros and cons of using PIA, check out our official Private Internet Access VPN review.
TorGuard, despite its name, has nothing to do with the popular TOR proxy browser.
The “tor” in its name actually stands for torrenting. We ranked it at number 15th on our list of overall VPNs, and its torrenting policies are a big part of the reason why it ranks so high.
Here you have another A-list VPN with some excellent torrenting-related perks. This company actually offers a bundle that includes a proxy which allows users to torrent at higher speeds than their VPN service. They literally have torrenting on the brain.
TorGuard goes out of its way to state on their official website that their servers are optimized for torrenting, and they impose no restrictions on their users.
But is your torrenting activity protected?
They’re rounding out our list of torrenting VPNs that use OpenVPN and AES-256 encryption. The fact that every product on this list uses that pairing shows how effective and useful they truly are.
TorGuard offers a completely anonymous system that features no logging whatsoever – a fact that they are quick to point out in several areas of their website.
So why is this at the bottom of the list?
Its jurisdiction lies in the United States, which makes it a part of the Five Eyes Surveillance Alliance. So, if Uncle Sam came knocking on TorGuard’s door, they’d have no choice but to comply. Any information the federal government gathers on you would then be shared with the other member countries, which include the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
That’s a huge concern in our view. Especially if you plan on using torrenting activities to download content that has sketchy sources.
- To find out more about TorGuard, check out their official website.
- To learn more about our opinions on this system, check out our official TorGuard VPN review.
Comparing VPN Torrenting Policies
Finding the right VPN for your torrenting needs can be difficult, but there are a few key things to remember when deciding on an option. When torrenting, you want a VPN that allows you to torrent with as few restrictions as possible.
Additionally, it’s imperative to use a VPN provider that doesn’t log any of your personal information. That’s important in case user data is requested by government or law enforcement.
You can compare the torrenting and logging policies of all the VPN providers we reviewed in our comparison chart, below.
|VPN Provider||Torrenting Policy||Logging Policy|
|AirVPN||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|Anonymous VPN||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|AzireVPN||Allowed||No important logging|
|BitDefender VPN||Allowed||Grey area|
|BTGuard VPN||Allowed||Grey area|
|Buffered VPN||Allowed||Some logging|
|ExpressVPN||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|FastestVPN||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|FrootVPN||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|Hide ALL IP||Allowed||No important logging|
|Hide My IP||Allowed||Some logging|
|Hotspot Shield||Allowed||Some logging|
|Mullvad||Allowed||No important logging|
|NordVPN||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|OneVPN||Allowed||No important logging|
|Perfect Privacy||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|PIA||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|PrivateVPN||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|ProXPN||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|SecureVPN||Allowed||No important logging|
|SlickVPN||Allowed||No important logging|
|StrongVPN||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|Surfshark||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|TorGuard||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|Trust.zone||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|TunnelBear||Allowed||Strict no logging|
|VPN.ht||Allowed||No important logging|
|Ace VPN||Allowed on limited servers||Some logging|
|AVG Secure VPN||Allowed on limited servers||Some logging|
|Avast SecureLine||Allowed on limited servers||Strict no logging|
|BlackVPN||Allowed on limited servers||No important log files|
|CactusVP||Allowed on limited servers||No important log files|
|Celo VPN||Allowed on limited servers||No important log files|
|GooseVPN||Allowed on limited servers||No important log files|
|Hide.Me||Allowed on limited servers||Strict no logging|
|Ivacy||Allowed on limited servers||Strict no logging|
|iVPN||Allowed on limited servers||Strict no logging|
|ProtonVPN||Allowed on limited servers||Strict no logging|
|PureVPN||Allowed on limited servers||Some logging|
|RA4W VPN||Allowed on limited servers||No important log files|
|SaferVPN||Allowed on limited servers||Strict no logging|
|Speedify||Allowed on limited servers||Strict no logging|
|TigerVPN||Allowed on limited servers||Some logging|
|Turbo VPN||Allowed on limited servers||Some logging|
|VPN.ac||Allowed on limited servers||No important log files|
|VPNArea||Allowed on limited servers||Strict no logging|
|VPNSecure.me||Allowed on limited servers||Strict no logging|
|Windscribe||Allowed on limited servers||Strict no logging|
|Anonymizer||Copyrighted material forbidden||Full logging|
|Betternet||Copyrighted material forbidden||Some logging|
|BolehVPN||Copyrighted material forbidden||Full logging|
|CyberGhost||Copyrighted material forbidden||Strict no logging|
|F-Secure Freedome||Copyrighted material forbidden||Some logging|
|HideMyAss VPN||Copyrighted material forbidden||Some logging|
|ibVPN||Copyrighted material forbidden||No important log files|
|IPVanish||Copyrighted material forbidden||Strict no logging|
|Private Tunnel||Copyrighted material forbidden||Grey area|
|VPN Unlimited||Copyrighted material forbidden||Some logging|
|VyprVPN||Copyrighted material forbidden||Some logging|
|DotVPN||Not allowed||Grey area|
|Encrypt.me||Not allowed||Some logging|
|Hola VPN||Not allowed||Full logging|
|Hoxx VPN||Not allowed||Some logging|
|Kaspersky Secure Connection||Not allowed||Some logging|
|Norton Wi-Fi Privacy VPN||Not allowed||Some logging|
|PersonalVPN||Not allowed||Strict no logging|
|Zenmate||Not allowed||Strict no logging|
The world might be gravitating to online streaming, but peer-to-peer file sharing through torrents remains ever-popular. It's important to stay safe while torrenting by using a virtual private network (VPN), even when sharing something entirely legal, but which clients are the best for the job?
ProPrivacy has compared several BitTorrent clients out there to find the cream of the crop, so you don't have to! Keep reading to discover which one is best for you.
What are the best BitTorrent clients?
There are many BitTorrent clients out there to choose from and not all of them were built equal. Take a look at what ProPrivacy considers the best of the best to torrent with:
qBitTorrent is the best torrenting client out there, being both open source and full of features
- Open source
- Can bind to VPN
- Fully featured
- Can't think of any
As a long-term Vuze fan, it took quite something for this lightweight open source BitTorrent client to replace Vuze on my desktop. One reason I stuck with Vuze for so long is the ability to bind the torrent client to my VPN interface.
Although not strictly necessary if your VPN software features a kill switch, I have always appreciated this extra layer of security. It prevents the client downloading torrents when the VPN is not active.
qBitTorrent not only supports this feature, it makes it much easier to implement. This was a big factor in me making the change, as was qBitTorrent’s lean-and-mean 100 MB or less install size (exact size depending on platform). There is no bloat with qBitTorrent!
Despite this, qBitTorrent features just about everything most torrenters will need. This includes BitTorrent protocol encryption, torrent prioritization, torrent querying, selective content download, torrent creation, remote access, and RSS subscription. You can search for torrents from within the client, and the built-in media player is handy.
qBitTorrent is 100% free and ad-free. It is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. For a more detailed look at this excellent software, including instructions on how to bind qBittorrent to your VPN interface, please check out 5 Best VPNs for qBittorrent.
Transmission has overcome older problems to build a reputation for itself as a great torrent client
- Open source
- Tons of features
- Available natively on many obscure OSs
- Not much (vulnerability should be fixed by the time most of you read this)
Transmission started life as a Mac and Linux-only BitTorrent client, where it built up a formidable reputation. Windows users can now also get in on the act. Although a very capable BitTorrent client, the main draw of Transmission is its beautiful user interface, complete with Growl notifications for Mac users.
But it’s not all about looking pretty. Transmission features webseed support, BitTorrent protocol encryption, watch directories, tracker editing, global and per-torrent speed limits, and more. It also supports optional add-ons that can expand its feature-set. These include RSS subscription tools and a Kodi plugin.
Transmission has recently hit the headlines thanks to a vulnerability that can be exploited by hackers. I discuss this a little later in the article, but a patch is available, and the issue is very easy to fix yourself, anyway. I have therefore decided to not let this problem affect Transmission’s ranking in this 5 Best guide.
Transmission is 100% free and open source. It is available for Windows, Mac OSX/macOS, Linux (many distros), FreeBSD, Gentoo, and more.
The Transmission Vulnerability
A security researcher discovered a flaw in Transmission that could allow hackers to execute malicious code on targets’ computers. In theory, this could allow them to completely take over the infected system.
The flaw took advantage of lax security in Transmission’s remote web access feature. Note that this is a proof of concept attack, and there has been no evidence of it being exploited in the wild. The current version of Transmission has already implemented a fix.
Alternatively, if you wanted to be sure, the flaw is easy enough to fix for yourself. If you don’t use the remote web access feature, simply turn it off! Go to Preferences -> Remote and uncheck 'Enable remote access.” If you do use the remote web access feature, then change the default password to something secure. Easy!
Note that the security researcher who discovered the flaw has hinted that other BitTorrents clients may also be vulnerable. It is probably a good idea to check similar settings in whatever client you are using.
Vuze might not be as lightweight as others in this list, but its feature-packed approach will appeal to some
- Ridiculously fully featured
- Can bind downloads to VPN
- Lots of plugins available to increase functionality
- Built-in video player
- Great Android apps
- Somewhat bulky and resource-heavy
- Tries to install crapware
- Only partially open source
- Interface could be prettier and more intuitive
Vuze is a granddaddy of BitTorrent clients. It is no longer open source, and it creaks somewhat under the weight of its myriad features. It is, in other words, the polar opposite of lightweight clients such as qBitTorrent.
But who said a shed load of features is necessarily a bad thing? Most torrenters will never use all the tools available, but there is really almost nothing Torrent-related that Vuze can’t do. This includes being able to bind Vuze to your VPN adapter, but also loads more funky stuff such as content discovery through automated subscriptions, having an integrated media player, remote management, and much more.
You can convert files to multiple formats using Vuze’s drag-and-drop interface and analyse your downloads using a wealth of statistics and visualizations. Vuze is a power user’s dream.
On the downside, Vuze is resource-heavy and rather ugly (especially when compared to Transmission!) Its clunky interface is also showing its age. This situation is not helped by the inclusion of ads in the free version, or by the fact that you need to be careful during installation if you do not want to also install a load of crapware.
Although Vuze is primarily free, a premium version is also available for $29.90 USD per year. A Vuze Plus subscription removes the ads and provides built-in anti-virus scanning, a DVD burner, and 'play now' support. It is, admittedly, pretty funky!
This also brings me to the point that, despite its open source roots, Vuze is now closed source proprietary software. It is worth noting that reports of Vuze’s demise appear to be very premature. Vuze 22.214.171.124 was released in October 2017 and is fully functional.
Unlike the desktop client, the excellent Android app is lightweight and ad-free. A pro version is now available via in-app purchase (about $4), but I have been unable to determine what features this adds (and am too skinflint to shell out the money necessary to find out!).
Vuze Remote is a handy app for Android that allows you remote control your desktop torrent downloads.
Vuze is available for Windows, Mac OSX/macOS, Linux, and Android.
Popcorn Time has taken a leaf from Netflix's streaming book to present a video-only torrenting service
- Instant streaming of high quality BitTorrent content!
- Open source
- Very smart interface
- Chromecast, Airplay and DLNA support
- Available on just about every platform
- Only for video content
All the other programs on this list are BitTorrent clients. You download a .torrent file or click on a magnet link, and the content downloads to your computer where it is stored locally.
Popcorn Time is different; It is an open source app that uses BitTorrent technology to stream high quality video content to all major platforms. This means that unlike with traditional BitTorrent clients, you can watch a film or show without waiting for the download to complete. You might be thinking 'is Popcorn time safe?' While it can be dangerous for your computer, using a VPN can keep your machine secure.
It is notable for having a very slick and intuitive interface, and for providing access to a huge library of up-to-date content.
Torrent Client Built In Vpn
Although primarily a streaming platform, content can also be downloaded locally (and some content is always cached). Various versions (forks) of Popcorn Time are available, but I strongly advise only using one of the forks recommended in Best VPN for Popcorn Time guide.
Specific features vary a little depending on which fork you use, but steaming to your big-screen TV via Chromecast, Airplay and DLNA is pretty standard.
Popcorn Time is free, and respectable versions are free from ads and other crapware. It available for Windows, Mac OSX/macOS, Linux, and Android. PopcornTime.to even has an iOS VPN App that can be installed without jailbreaking your device.
Bittorrent Client With Vpn
Deluge has no ads, compared to some of the more popular torrent clients out there
- Open source
- Lots of features
- Expandable via plugins (incl. RSS)
- Less fully featured than some other clients
Like qBitTorrent, Deluge is a fairly conventional but lightweight and open source BitTorrent client. Its feature list is not huge, but should be more than enough to satisfy most users. Features include remote web management and support for magnet links.
Functionality can be further extended with a range of both in-house and third-party plugins. Highlights include plugins for RSS support, Growl notifications, streaming while downloading, and more.
Deluge is completely FOSS, with no ads or crapware. It is available for Windows, OSX, Linux (various distros), and FreeBSD.
Check out our 5 best Deluge VPNs page for a list of the best services to use with this BitTorrent client.
Why not uTorrent or BitTorrent?
uTorrent and its almost-identical sibling, the official BitTorrent client, remain the most popular BitTorrent clients in the world. It is, therefore, reasonable to ask why I have not included it in this best 5 BitTorrent list. Please note the different between BitTorrent as a protocol and the BitTorrent client to avoid confusion.
Both uTorrent and BitTorrent are closed source and supported by ads. These ads can be turned off if you delve deep enough into the software’s settings, but this is still very irritating. It is my personal view that this means uTorrent has all the disadvantages of Vuze, but not as many useful features.
So if you want a slightly clunky closed-source ad-supported BitTorrent client, but one that compensates for this by offering a wealth of features, then use Vuze. Other opinions are available.
What is BitTorrent?
BitTorrent is a popular peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing protocol. Instead of being stored on a centralized server from which you download, torrented files are shared among many other BitTorrent users. Popular files can easily be shared among hundreds of users in this way.
When you 'download” (which is something of a misnomer when it comes to torrenting) a file using the BitTorrent protocol, what you are actually doing is sharing small pieces of it with everyone else who is downloading that same file.
A file is 'downloaded” once you have all the pieces needed to reassemble that file. It is considered good form to 'seed” (continue sharing) the file for a while after it has been downloaded, in order to help others reach 100% completion.
Why use a Client?
Although still very popular, BitTorrent use has declined somewhat in recent years. This is in part thanks to the wealth of legal streaming options available from providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, hulu, and many more. The popularity of illegal options, such as Kodi and streaming websites, is also a factor. For top tips and the best VPN for Streaming, take a look at the guides below:
The more traditional method of downloading using a BitTorrent client, however, continues to offer some major advantages:
- BitTorrent content is downloaded locally, so it is available forever and can be easily physically transferred between devices.
- Literally, any kind of digital content can be download – not just video content. This includes software, images, eBook, games, and… you name it!
- But when it does come to video content, the quality is often considerably higher than streamed content. This is because there is no need to keep file sizes down to avoid buffering issues, since content is played locally.
- BitTorrent is a very efficient and resource-light way to share and promote your own content with others.
Many Linux distros find torrent links are the best way to distribute their software without having to host it on costly servers.
Use a VPN when torrenting
BitTorrent content is shared among multiple home computers. This is not good for privacy because sharing files with a bunch of other random 'downloaders” on the internet is hardly private.
Using the right software (which includes many popular BitTorrent clients), it is very easy to see the unique Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of every other person also sharing ('downloading”) the same file.
As demonstrated in Vuze above, I can see the IP addresses of every other person who is downloading the same files as me.
Is torrenting legal?
Yes, torrenting is entirely legal, while the content you share might not be. Torrenting is just a protocol that allows you to share things peer-to-peer. Since laws differ around the world, it's difficult to say what is legal and what isn't, although sharing copyrighted material without the express permission of the owner almost always errs on the side of illegal.
It's pretty easy to catch those that torrent illegally shared content, because the nature of torrenting means your IP address is on show to anyone else sharing the file. All the copyright holder, or a third party representing them, would need to do is notify your internet service provider (ISP) to take legal action against you.
This is why it is important to use a VPN to protect yourself online.
Why should I use a VPN when torrenting?
A VPN will protect you while downloading because:
- A VPN will hide your IP address from other downloaders. As mentioned in the previous section, torrenting puts your IP address on display for others that are sharing the file. Connecting to a VPN server masks your IP address to protect your privacy.
- A VPN encrypts all internet traffic between your computer and the VPN server. This means that your ISP cannot see what you've been getting up to online. Of course, deep packet inspection will reveal that you have been downloading, but they will be none the wiser as to what.
VPNs with robust logging policies will have nothing to hand over to the authorities, no matter what pressure they may come under. A VPN will also unblock websites if they are censored for any reason.
So as long as P2P is permitted, a VPN is very effective at protecting your privacy while downloading.
For a more in-depth look at how VPNs work, please check out VPNs for Beginners – What You Need to Know. For a more in-depth guide to using a VPN while torrenting, check out Best VPN for Torrenting guide.
BitTorrent protocol encryption
Some BitTorrent clients support BitTorrent protocol encryption. These include Transmission, qBitTorrent, and Vuze. It is a feature designed to hide the fact that you are torrenting from your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
VPNs also do this, as well as hiding your real IP address from other torrent users and anyone else watching on the internet. Furthermore:
Analysis of the BitTorrent protocol encryption has shown that statistical measurements of packet sizes and packet directions of the first 100 packets in a TCP session can be used to identify the obfuscated protocol with over 96% accuracy.
Adobe photoshop cs5 mac ita crack. This means that even the most basic Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) techniques can determine that you are using BitTorrent. Now, it is true that DPI can also easily detect VPN use (unless obfuscated), but while there are many legitimate reasons to use a VPN, there is only one reason to use BitTorrent protocol encryption…
Using BitTorrent protocol encryption is therefore probably better than using nothing at all, but using a VPN provides much better protection while downloading.
How do I use a BitTorrent client?
One reason for the popularity of online streaming services (including via the use of Kodi boxes) is the perception that torrenting is a geeky pastime that requires technical know-how. In reality, however, torrenting is very easy:
- Download and install a BitTorrent client from the list above.
- (Optional but strongly recommended) Ensure you have a VPN running. This will bypass censorship of torrent sites, hide your IP from others you fileshare with, and hide your downloads from your ISP. Check out our VPN for Torrents guide for a list of recommended services.
- Visit a BitTorrent website. These websites host links to torrent files. You can browse for content that interests you, or search for something specific. Many websites include user-reviews of torrents, which can help you pick good torrents.
- When you have found the content you want, simply click on the torrent link or magnet link. The torrent will open in your BitTorrent client and begin downloading.
- When the download is 100% completed, enjoy! Some BitTorrent clients have media-players built-in, but VLC will play pretty much any media file you can throw at it.
BitTorrent is a decentralized file-sharing platform. In order for it to work, users share files with other users. This happens while you download a file, but it is considered good form to leave your BitTorrent client open after you have finished downloading a file in order to benefit other users.
This is called seeding, and it is considered good netiquette to seed to a ratio of at least 1:1 (i.e. upload the same amount of data you downloaded). Most BitTorrent clients will display the seed ratio of downloaded files.
You don’t need to know much more about torrenting than the information provided above. If you ever wish to explore the subject further, however, this glossary is a good introduction to the jargon used.
Movie torrents, in particular, have a great deal of jargon associated with them. To make informed decisions about the content you plan to download, it is useful to familiarize yourself with it.
One thing to watch out for on public torrent sites is sponsored links. These are often prominently displayed and are deliberately designed to confuse. They typically point to either commercial direct download sites or Usenet services. Look for a link that specifically says 'Torrent” or 'Magnet Link.”
Find the best torrent sites
Findinf the best torrent sites can be quite difficult these days due to the blocks ISPs imposes on these websites. However, check out our best torrent sites article for a list of our favorite in 2021.
If anything, the torrenting crowd is over-served by great BitTorrent clients! Indeed, this top five list hardly even scrapes the surface of the many that are available. The fact that most of them are free and open source software (FOSS) warms the cockles of my heart!
With such a wealth of options available, I’m sure many of you will have a favorite that is not listed here. If so, do please write in to tell me and other readers why you think it is so great!
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