IPVanish has essential features that increase security and improve the torrenting experience. There's also a simple UI that allows beginners and experienced users to use the software easily. Finally, this Virtual Private Network is also famous for having very fast download speeds.
We tested IPVanish to verify if it protects users when downloading torrents. We tested every feature, speed, and server location to see if this VPN deserves a place in our list of recommendations
IPVanish openly allows torrenting and P2P, and this type of downloads can be done on every server available. No user was ever banned or blocked from their services for file-sharing.
The fact that they explain how to use their Sock5 to download files anonymously is proof of the company's policy when it comes to P2P.
Is IPVanish Safe for Torrenting?
IPVanish provides the latest 256-AES encryption and offers OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, SSTP and PPTP protocols. We recommend using OpenVPN, as it's the safest one.
Also, they use shared IPs, which means that one person shares the same IP address with thousands of other torrent users. The IP that is shown in your BitTorrent client and saved in the torrent tracker will be the same IP as many other users. That way, one IP cannot be traced back to one individual user.
It's worth mentioning that IPVanish is located in the USA, which is not famous for its friendly privacy laws. But because of its zero log policy, this VPN service does not have any user information stored. That means that if a US entity required traffic logs about a user's activity, the company would have no information to deliver.
Moving to a zero log policy in 2014 was an intelligent move. As a result of that, the company has been growing a lot since then. For a torrent user, not having their activity recorded is an essential thing in a VPN.
How to Torrent Anonymously with IPVanish
Torrenting with IPVanish is very straightforward, and there are only a few steps you need to take. Before we give you the necessary steps, we assume that you already downloaded and installed IPVanish.
1. Configure important VPN features
Make sure you tweak some critical settings. The most important one is the kill switch. This will prevent your real IP address from being leaked in case the VPN connection drops.
2. Connect to a VPN server
Now you are ready to choose a server. You can let the program do it for you, or you can select the one you want. We recommend that you connect to a country that is not far from you. A server in a very distant location will have a more significant impact on speed.
3. Download a torrent through your BitTorrent client
The last thing to do is look for the torrent you want and download it with your torrent client, such as uTorrent. And that's it! IPVanish is now hiding your torrent activity.
Selecting a Server
To make things easier, we will guide you on how to select an IPVanish server. As we mentioned before, every server is suitable for torrents, so you don't have to worry about choosing the wrong one.
From the main window, you can quickly connect to a server and access important information. You'll be able to check the IP you are using, real-time speeds, the amount of data downloaded and uploaded, the current protocol, and more.
IPVanish allows you to establish a connection both automatically and manually. Both methods are possible from the main window tab, which is understandably called “Quick Connect“.
With the automatic option, the software will choose a VPN server for you. It considers your connection and location, and it tries to pick the fastest one. To choose a server manually, scroll down and select the location you want. For countries with more than one city available, the program also allows you to select a city, as you can see on the image on the right.
They have more than 1600 servers in 75 countries. And users can connect using more than 40.000 IP addresses to mask their identity.
There are servers in every corner of the globe, and they allow torrenting in every one of them. So, no matter where the users are, they will always find a good connection in a country nearby.
If you want in-depth info regarding locations, there is a tab with the complete server list and one with a map. You can organize them alphabetically, only see your favorites, load time and ping. This way, you have the option of seeing the fastest ones first.
Features and Settings
It's also important that we discuss some of the tools available. Some of these features can make sure your P2P activity doesn't get into the wrong hands. Let's have a look at the ones we consider to be the most important.
VPN kill switch
In our opinion, this is the most critical feature for torrenting. We recommend having this tool always activated. If there is a problem and the VPN stops working, the kill switch will interrupt the Internet connection. This way, your real IP won't ever be exposed while the VPN is off.
DNS Leak prevention
With this option enabled, you will be sure that you are using the IPVanish DNS servers, not your ISP's. That's a way of ensuring there are no DNS leaks.
IPV6 Leak protection
Not long ago, a team of researchers showed that many VPN services were leaking IPv6 traffic. That's the reason why some providers are adding this feature.
Besides the VPN service, IPVanish provides its subscribers with access to SOCK5 proxy servers. This is a specialized, encrypted proxy that supports many protocols and it's often used for P2P.
Torrenting solely over a SOCKS5 proxy provides you with some anonymity. However, most P2P users don't use a SOCKS5 proxy as their primary protection mechanism. It's typically an adjunct to a secure VPN, used as a failsafe. We recommend that you first connect to your VPN, then use a SOCKS5 proxy on top of it. But we do not recommend the proxy alone to achieve anonymity while torrenting.
To make sure IPVanish is efficient both in theory and in practice, we performed several tests. Below there are some of the most relevant ones.
To be completely transparent, here is a screenshot of the IP address I was using when performing these tests.
Torrent address detection test
When downloading a torrent file, everything went as expected. The test detected the IP of the VPN server. We performed HTTP, UDP and Torrent DNS tests, and everything came out clean.
We wanted to see the DNS request sent by the torrent client, and which IP was being used to do so. This result is slightly different because it's the IP that belongs to the DNS server. But it's also coming from IPVanish.
DNS Leak test:
Just to make sure, we looked for regular DNS leaks. Every test came out clean thanks to the DNS Leak Protection. The only detected IP was the one from the IPVanish DNS servers.
Testing Disclosure: It's also important to mention that all these tests were repeated many times, on different days, using several torrent files and connected to other locations. And we never observed any type of IP leak.
Torrent Speed Test
The speed we achieved was the best surprise we had when doing this review! The things we heard about IPVanish being very fast were true. As you probably know, an encrypted VPN connection always consumes resources and the speed is affected. But, unlike many VPNs out there, the impact on speed was minimal.
Here is the result of our test speed when downloading a torrent file. The following result was achieved when connected to a server in the Netherlands.
All the VPN providers we recommend did very well in the speed tests; otherwise, they wouldn't be on our list. But IPVanish was one of the fastest VPNs we tried.
The app is compatible with the main Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Ubuntu, etc.
Recently, the limit on simultaneous connections changed, and it's now unlimited. That's right, unlimited. It's one of the very few VPNs that allow you to connect to how many devices you want, with the same account. It's perfect for an entire family, for example.
It's good to know that they listen to their customers. The number of connections was a popular request from their users.
The subscription plans are different from what we usually see in other VPN providers. There are two options; one monthly subscription and a yearly one, which has a significant discount for the first year. Keeping in mind the number of security features and speed they offer, the yearly plan is really not bad.
There is a 30-day money-back guarantee period in case you are not happy with the service. This period should be enough for you to have a proper trial and decide if you want to continue.
Why do We Recommend IPVanish for Torrenting?
A Virtual Private Network must meet some criteria that make it stand apart from regular VPNs to be considered a good choice for P2P file-sharing. In our opinion, this is why IPVanish is a suitable option for torrent users:
- No logs
- 256-bit encryption
- Kill Switch
- Shared IPs
- Fast download speed
- More than 40.000 IP addresses
- Many servers and locations
- Unlimited bandwidth
After reviewing IPVanish, we had no doubts about giving them a place on our recommended VPN list. It's obvious that they care about the user's safety.
We had a very pleasant experience during our testing, with no disconnections or IP leaks. Besides the main tools that protect users while torrenting, they also have incredible speeds on many servers. It's ideal for users who want anonymity combined with a fast connection.
There are many online arguments about which Virtual Private Network is the best to download torrents. But one thing is for sure; the name IPVanish is always present in those discussions.