Best VPNs to Download Torrents
Downloading music, television shows, games, and movies is an extremely easy thing to do. It only takes a torrent client and obtaining media becomes very simple. However, torrenting is not always simple and free from consequences. Users have had their Internet services disconnected, legal notices arrive and have had legal action taken against them. It’s true that file-sharing provides you with instant access to the media you are searching for. But it is important to understand the potential risks involved each time you download a new file to your computer’s hard drive.
The Internet is becoming increasingly self-aware, with agencies collecting and tracking data from users. These days, maintaining your privacy and security is imperative. Masking your IP address with a VPN while torrenting is one way to ensure you are not vulnerable to snoopers.
But Lots of People Download Torrents Unprotected
It’s true. Millions of users around the world download torrent files without protection. However, this does not mean that you are safe from receiving a letter from your ISP or losing your internet service provider altogether. In some instances, individuals have found themselves sued and fined.
Just because you know someone who has torrented for years without a VPN, or another form of online protection, does not mean that you are not at risk yourself. Consequences can be entirely random, but you are never completely excluded from the risk involved in the act itself.
How Torrenting Works
Torrenting utilizes a P2P (peer to peer) sharing network that allows multiple users to share files across networks. Anytime you begin downloading a torrent, your home’s IP address becomes visible to the swarms of users who are also sharing or downloading the file. In addition to other users having the ability to view your IP address, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and large corporations also have the option to do so, to pinpoint who is “stealing” copyrighted material.
The image on the right shows how simple it is to see all the IP addresses that are downloading and uploading a file on a typical torrent manager.
Once your IP address has been identified, it can then be traced back to your exact location. This provides ISPs and corporations with the ability to take legal or threatening action. Without masking your IP address, you become vulnerable each time you download a new file.
Risks of Torrenting
Before making the decision to torrent media, it is important to understand the risks you are taking when you are not utilizing a secured and verified VPN. It may be possible to download content without receiving letters or threats from ISPs and corporations. But it can lead to long-term consequences once you are discovered, and pursued by any type of agency.
1. Share Personal Information With Strangers
While downloading a torrent file, your information becomes exposed and vulnerable. Anyone who is using a torrent program to download the same file as you has the ability to view and save your IP address. When your IP is shared with strangers, you have a much greater risk of being tracked and identified.
2. Allow ISPs to Track You
As your IP address becomes public with each torrent you download, ISPs may begin to monitor your movements online. Once an ISP has flagged an IP address they serve, you may begin to receive cease and desist letters in the mail. In some cases, ISPs throttle bandwidth of users who download torrents on a regular basis. ISPs are beginning to threaten users, cutting off services or sharing legal letters of intent with customers.
3. Copyright Infringement Flags
While not all files found on torrenting websites are monitored, the most popular pieces of content types are watched by ISPs, legal offices, and corporations that represent creators. Receiving a copyright infringement flag from your ISP is not uncommon when you are downloading torrent files. Many ISPs have introduced new user agreement policies that prohibit sharing copyrighted material. When customers ignore these warnings and letters in the mail, they may face additional throttling, the canceling of their service, or legal action, depending on the content they are downloading. It is important to note that the most monitored and tracked type of content is often newly-released items, content that has just been released or is not available online, and popular trendy files.
Remain aware of the major corporations that own and manage the content you are interested in before downloading it. Some corporations are more actively involved in stopping BitTorrent downloads than others.
File-Sharing is one of the favorite ways for hackers to infiltrate a computer and steal personal info. As we saw before, it’s very easy to identify an IP address through a torrent client. If you are showing your IP, then it’s simple to follow it and infiltrate the respective computer.
A VPN Solves Those Problems
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a software that helps protect the identity and location of users whenever they are online. Thanks to the high level of anonymity it offers, a VPN is the favorite tool of torrent users. But they are also useful to keep identity a secret when browsing other websites that are notorious for tracking and creating profiles on users.
But it’s not as simple as that, not all VPNs are ideal to download files in a fast and safe way. Some of them are slow, others keep logs of your activity, and some are simply not offering enough protection. That’s why, after testing many providers, we came out with a list of the best VPNs to download torrents with peace of mind.
Benefits of Torrenting with a VPN
A VPN provides security, protection, and anonymity when downloading content. Some of the most notable benefits and advantages of using a VPN anytime you are downloading files include:
Mask Your IP Address
VPN servers have their own IP addresses, which are assigned to users, making it more difficult (if not impossible) to track and pursue. It keeps your location, IP address, and other sensitive information out of the wrong hands.
Whenever you upload or download a file, a VPN software encrypts the data. That makes it impossible to learn what data is being exchanged, its origin and the users involved. Data encryption is imperative to avoid revealing your identity to entities who are trying to monitor your activity.
Ranking of the Best VPNs for BitTorrent
This is our list of recommended VPNs for torrenting and P2P. The order is based on our test results and criteria that we give you at the end of this article. And keep in mind that, even though these providers are useful for other purposes as well, the main priority in this ranking is torrent downloads.
NordVPN is an excellent choice. It has a good combination of safety features, speed and price, making it a great all-around VPN. It’s great for users who are looking for a simple software with powerful options.
The simplicity and efficiency of ExpressVPN are outstanding. The software is very easy to use, with all the main options and it also has a good speed. It gives the user a high level of encryption with a simple click of a button. A perfect option for all kind of users.
CyberGhost has a new software version with important improvements. It has the basic features and also a few unique tools of their own. If we add fast speeds and a good company location, the result is a very good VPN for all kinds of downloads.
IPVanish has a great encryption and useful features. But the special thing about this VPN is the speed, which is very high on many servers. It’s a great solution for torrenting because it provides a mix of anonymity and a fast connection.
PureVPN is also a very interesting option for P2P. It offers features with customization options such as split tunneling. But it also has the essential tools for complete protection, like a kill switch.
PIA is the choice of many file-sharing users because of their high quality combined with a very decent price. They have nice extra features to increase security and a big amount of servers. It’s definitely worth considering this option.
What Makes a Good VPN for Torrenting?
When testing a VPN, there were several factors we considered to make our selection. A good VPN should follow some criteria in order to keep users anonymous and safe. The following are the factors we considered to select our favorite Virtual Private Networks.
- Allows P2P: The first selection criteria was to identify the VPN providers that allow BitTorrent traffic. This subject has to be very clear in the terms of service of each software.
- Encryption: We only consider software that offers the highest level of encryption. At the moment, the highest is an AES 256 bits cipher.
- Protocol: OpenVPN is the safest protocol, the one we recommend. We will only include VPNs that have it available in their software.
- Speed: The encryption has an impact on the speed of the Internet connection. With some VPNs out there, the speed loss is quite big, with others not so much. When we talk about torrenting, the download speed is an important factor. We were careful enough to choose the ones that don’t have a very noticeable impact on the speed.
- Extra features: Features that increase security were also a factor to consider in our selection. Some features are very valuable, to the point that we see them as mandatory, like the Kill Switch. We excluded some providers because they don’t have this kind of tools available in their software.
- Servers: We made sure that we only recommend VPNs that have plenty of fast servers, fairly distributed around the globe.
- Bandwidth: Being able to download an unlimited amount of data is mandatory for file-sharing and P2P. All the VPNs we selected have unlimited bandwidth.
- Ease of Use: We also prioritized software that makes it easy for their users. It makes all the difference when a software is easy to navigate. For example, some of them made it possible to establish an encrypted connection with one single click.
- Price: Although this wasn’t an excluding factor, the price-quality ratio was relevant in the order of our ranking.
Free VS. Paid VPN Services
Virtual Private Networks have become very popular, with plenty of options to choose from. While there are VPN services that advertise themselves as free of charge, it is important to keep in mind that they are not always fail-proof. Many times, a free VPN leads to exposing your IP address and information. Some of them sell your activity history to agencies that want to know which ads to show you. Remember that if it’s free, it probably means they are making their profit some other way.
Before choosing a provider that is right for you, research and compare features, and security capabilities. Some of the most popular VPN services are just a few dollars each month. It’s the best way to prevent your information from being exposed and shared with millions of users globally.
Torrents are a great way to gain access to a myriad of media files and documents that are appealing to you. But without a VPN, you run the risk of having your personal IP stored in hundreds of databases or exposed to legal organizations. The next time you choose to download a new movie or the latest episode of your favorite television show, think smart and invest in a VPN. For just a few dollars a month, you’ll gain peace of mind, while masking your IP, keeping your identity private and out of the wrong hands.
But choosing an appropriate VPN for torrenting is no easy task. You have to make sure that the provider you are researching meets the required conditions. In the end, it will depend on each user to choose the one that has the most appealing features.