NordVPN is gaining a lot of popularity among torrent users. After having a look at the features it offers, it's easy to understand why there is such popularity. Some tools seem to be designed with file-sharing in mind.
Although some of the features can make life easier for torrenters, they are not everything. Only with extensive testing, we can tell if the software really offers anonymity and speed when torrenting.
In this review, we are going to share our test results, NordVPN's policies and our unbiased opinion regarding the overall quality of the software.
- 1 Does NordVPN Allow Torrenting?
- 2 Security and Privacy
- 3 Logging Policy
- 4 The User Interface
- 5 P2P Servers
- 6 How to Download Torrents With NordVPN?
- 7 Torrent Speed Test
- 8 Important Features
- 9 Compatibility
- 10 Price
- 11 What we liked about NordVPN
- 12 What Could Be Improved
- 13 Conclusion
Does NordVPN Allow Torrenting?
The company's policy regarding torrenting is very straightforward. They allow P2P traffic and they actually encourage you to use their VPN to download torrents in a safe way.
Their P2P optimized servers are proof that they support file-sharing. As we will discuss later, these servers contribute to healthier torrent downloads.
Security and Privacy
The company is based in Panama, outside the range of the biggest monitoring sharks, like the USA and EU. The US data retention and EU DRD laws have no effect in Panama. Therefore, NordVPN doesn't have to cooperate with any of those governments. This gives the user an extra dose of tranquility
The encryption changes according to each protocol. For OpenVPN, they have an impressive encryption cipher of AES-256-CBC with a 2048 bit strength SSL key. L2TP uses AES-256bit encryption and PPTP uses MPPE-128bit encryption.
Another important detail is the fact that NordVPN uses shared IP addresses. This means that all the users share the same IPs, which is a great extra layer of security. In other words, one IP cannot be associated with a single individual.
The most important detail is the fact that they don't log any user activity. This is mandatory in a torrent-friendly VPN. That means that even if any government agency asks them for any kind of info, they have nothing to show. Their attitude towards this subject is very straightforward:
“NordVPN never logs where you go on the Internet. If anyone asks, the best we can do is shrug our shoulders. And we like it that way”.
The User Interface
The software has become very easy to use thanks to its clean interface. There's a new feature known as the “Quick Connect“. It allows users to let the software select the best server available automatically.
Everything was carefully organized to make it easy for the user. There are different ways of selecting a server from the main window. There's even a map where it’s possible to zoom in to select a country.
NordVPN has more than 5700 servers, spread across 60 countries. But BitTorrent traffic is not allowed in all of them. They created P2P dedicated servers for users to connect to and download files without restrictions. These servers were designed for torrenting, and they can achieve very fast speeds. And they add server locations to their list of P2P dedicated servers on a regular basis.
Because this review is focused on torrenting, we are not going to talk about all the servers available. We will only focus on the ones that allow P2P traffic. These are the locations where users can connect to download torrents:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- North Macedonia
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- South Africa
To avoid any confusion, we want to make clear that you don't have to be in any of those countries to connect to NordVPN. Those are the countries you can connect to, in order to have an IP from that place.
It's actually better to connect to a different country from yours. In case someone tries to follow your activity, they would have to go through two jurisdictions, which would be a very difficult thing to do.
How to Download Torrents With
There are two simple ways of torrenting with NordVPN; one automatic and one manual. That way, both beginners and experienced users will find it convenient.
1. Automatic method
From the specialty servers, if you choose P2P, you will be automatically connected to the best server for torrenting. The software takes into consideration the location and connection of each user to choose the best option. This method only takes one click.
2. Manual method
Press the drop-down button that appears when you hover with the mouse over each option (see P2P in the image below). That way, you will see all the server locations available for that purpose, and you will simply select the one you want.
Torrent Speed Test
We all know that a VPN software will take some speed from your Internet connection. It's the price to pay for protection, as the encryption consumes resources.
During its first years, NordVPN had quite some issues, having a big impact on speed. Naturally, fixing this was one of their priorities, and we were happy to see that it greatly improved. The speed loss was minimal.
NordVPN has all the features that a good VPN provider should have, and some more. Extra security features are a great way of increasing the protection that the VPN offers. They add extra layers of protection.
One of the most important ones is the Kill Switch, especially when it comes to torrenting. This tool interrupts the Internet connection in case the VPN stops working. That way, your real IP is not visible during the time the VPN is offline. NordVPN has two types of Kill Switch:
Internet Kill Switch – The Internet connection is blocked if there is a problem with the VPN.
App Kill Switch – You can choose what applications to interrupt if the VPN disconnects. There is the possibility of adding more programs by clicking “Add more applications.” Have a look at the following image:
As you can see, we selected uTorrent to stop working if there is an issue with the VPN connection. That way, the torrent download would stop before the real IP is exposed. Although we didn't see any unexpected trouble with this software during our tests, it’s always good to activate this option.
Their DNS leak protection is a useful tool, it makes sure that there are no leaks at all. We tested it several times, and we never saw a leak. NordVPN has its own private DNS servers, which are the default ones after downloading the software
The software is compatible with the major Operating Systems and devices, such as Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Linux, Android, etc. We also tested the applications for Android and iOS and we were very impressed. We liked that the features of the Windows version are present in these applications.
They allow 6 simultaneous connections, one of the highest numbers we saw in a VPN. This is useful if you want to protect all your devices.
As expected, when downloading a torrent file through a BitTorrent client with NordVPN turned on, the difference in speed was not very noticeable. This was actually one of the fastest VPNs we tested.
Like most providers, the longer you subscribe, the less you pay. The price of the 3-year plan is quite low, with a discount of 70% on the original price, a rare thing in this market. If we consider the quality and speed of NordVPN, $3.49 is pretty cheap.
They offer a 30 day money-back guarantee policy. There's plenty of time to test the service and decide on whether to continue or to get the money back. The most common payment options are available, including PayPal, Credit Card, and Bitcoin.
What we liked about NordVPN
- They don't keep any logs
- Location in Panama (no data retention laws)
- Unbreakable AES-256-CBC encryption
- A modern and customized Kill Switch
- DNS Leak Protection
- Shared IP addresses
- Many optimized servers for torrenting
- Manual / Automatic selection of servers
- Regular software updates
- 6 simultaneous connections
- 30 days money-back guarantee
What Could Be Improved
NordVPN is a top Virtual Private Network, one of our favorites. But like everything else, there's always something that can improve. This is our current suggestion:
- Adding a couple of torrent dedicated servers in Africa. Users from that continent can still connect to servers around the world. The problem is that the latency would increase a lot because of the distance.
NordVPN really got better in the last couple of years. They offer a great service and a combination of features that is difficult to come by.
When it comes to torrenting, NordVPN offers a very smooth experience. The software can be set-up for P2P with a minimum amount of effort, with only one click. And the speed of the servers optimized for torrents was very good in all of our tests.
Considering the quality and price they offer, it was very easy to put NordVPN at the top of our list of favorite VPNs.