If you’ve been researching for a VPN for any length of time, chances are that you’ve at least seen the name “NordVPN” mentioned a few times. The company went from a small startup to a world-famous VPN service.
NordVPN became very popular in the torrent community. In fact, many consider it the best for torrenting. That’s because it fully supports P2P and it offers features that go hand in hand with torrenting.
NordVPN’s Policy on File-Sharing
NordVPN is very upfront about its torrenting policy. They allow BitTorrent traffic, and users can be sure of that within the application itself.
If you head over to the “specialty server” area in the NordVPN app, you will see a space dedicated to P2P. The fact that they provide servers built to download torrents is an obvious indicator of their stance on file-sharing.
Is NordVPN Safe for Torrenting?
In order to be considered safe to download torrents, a VPN must follow a few good practices that ensure the user’s safety:
Encryption and Protocol
The software operates on the OpenVPN protocol, with an AES-256-CBC encryption cipher and a 2048 bit strength SSL key. This VPN protocol is considered safe for P2P file sharing, and it’s the one we usually recommend.
On top of that, there’s a new and promising protocol available, developed by the NordVPN team themselves. They’ve built the NordLynx protocol based on WireGuard, but with a few crucial improvements
NordVPN’s business license is in Panama. It would be very tough to legally coerce the VPN company, since it’s outside the US and EU jurisdictions. Staying away from the reach of governments that are famous for snooping on their citizen’s activity is a big plus.
One of the essential details in a VPN that aims to be torrent-friendly is its logging policy. And according to NordVPN, they do not keep logs of their user’s activity.
Recently, a famous and neutral audit company confirmed this policy claim after auditing NordVPN. They got permission to see what NordVPN sees and verify if they saved any activity logs.
How to Torrent With NordVPN?
It only takes a few steps to download torrents with NordVPN safely. After getting a subscription and downloading the software, this is what you should do:
1. Turn the Kill Switch on
When you activate this security feature, all Internet connectivity stops if the VPN connection drops for any reason.
2. Connect to a P2P Server
Now it’s time to choose a server. Remember to connect to one with a “P2P” tag. Those are the ones that allow torrent downloads.
3. Start Torrenting
You are now protected behind a NordVPN server with its own IP address and an encrypted connection. You can now look for your torrents, open your BitTorrent Client, and start downloading.
Torrenting With NordVPN’s Proxy
NordVPN subscribers may also use a SOCKS5 proxy to download torrents. It’s a type of proxy that is usually used for file-sharing and it has no extra cost when you download the NordVPN software.
In our opinion, the NordVPN VPN client is more than enough to download files anonymously. But if you want to add the proxy server to your BitTorrent client, read our NordVPN SOCKS5 proxy setup guide.
NordVPN has more than 5300 servers, spread across 60 countries. But BitTorrent traffic is not allowed in all of them. They optimized servers for torrenting in some countries only.
Such servers were built to be faster than the standard ones. They have no bandwidth limits and can provide much faster download speeds.
It’s easy to find those servers; you just have to go to the P2P tab and select one either manually or automatically. To know more about these methods, read our in-depth guide on connecting to NordVPN’s P2P servers.
NordVPN’s features are directly related to security, helping you increase your online safety. We will go through the ones that have a direct impact on the torrenting experience.
Internet Kill Switch
The kill switch feature suspends your Internet connection if the VPN goes down and stops protecting you. It guarantees that your identity doesn’t leak while the VPN is offline.
Although NordVPN never disconnected during our tests, it’s always good to activate this option.
If you want to know more details about it, such as how to enable it, you can read our NordVPN kill switch guide.
DNS Leak Protection
NordVPN uses its own DNS servers, making a DNS leak impossible unless the user takes action and changes the default settings.
It’s good to see this option. Some VPN services use your default DNS servers, leaving you open to snooping by whoever hosts them (hint: it’s often your ISP!).
There is an option to connect to a server whenever you turn the VPN on, or even when you turn your computer on. This will eliminate the risk of forgetting to turn the VPN on before starting your torrent download and avoid identity leakage.
Check out our instructions on how to start NordVPN automatically to learn how to do it properly.
The CyberSec tool is a new addition that has the goal of preventing ads and bad scripts from loading on your browser. At a first glance, it’s not directly connected to torrents, but the truth is that it can make your life easier in torrent sites that are full of intrusive popups.
If you’re interested in this feature, head over to our post about the CyberSec tool.
To ensure that the VPN software and its features work without flaws, we conducted several tests.
Before we start, here is the IP address of the VPN server. This way, you can match it with our test results.
Torrent address detection
First, we looked for IP leaks while a torrent file was being downloaded. Here’s the IP that the ipMagnet tool identified:
Torrent DNS leak test
After that, we verified the BitTorrent client’s DNS request to verify if the leak prevention feature works properly.
Besides the results we are showing you, there were other tests. We performed them for several days, using different testing tools, and downloading various torrent files.
We didn’t register any identity leaks during our tests. The IP address detected by the testing tools we used, such as “ipMagnet”, was always the one from NordVPN.
Torrent Speed Test
While NordVPN struggled with speed in its first years, it quickly grew past that issue. We ran a torrent test with a good number of seeds, and you can see the results below:
By rule of thumb, you should always allow about 10% bandwidth to be consumed by the VPN. That’s because its encryption consumes resources.
When connected to one of the P2P servers, it hit 7.1 Mbps, comparing to 7.4 Mbps without a VPN connection. That’s better than the average and a very acceptable speed difference, making NordVPN much faster than most VPNs out there.
The software is compatible with the major Operating Systems and devices, such as Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Linux, Android, etc.
Regardless of the platform, users are allowed to connect to the service six times at once. For example, you can protect your three laptops, smartphone, smart TV, and gaming console simultaneously. This also makes it possible to share your NordVPN subscription with your family members.
Like most VPN providers, the longer you subscribe, the cheaper it gets. The 2-year plan price is the longest one, meaning it’s also the most affordable.
Regardless of the subscription you choose, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. That means that if the service doesn’t work out for you, there’s always the possibility of requesting a refund within thirty days of purchasing the software.
As you can see in the image above, NordVPN is running a summer promotion. They lowered the price of the 2-year deal down to $3.67. On top of that, they are also giving away three extra months for free.
After many torrent downloads with NordVPN, these are things that made it stand out.
- The company’s location in Panama is ideal. Torrenters may rest assured that their activity information won’t end up in the wrong hands.
- They were audited by one of the biggest auditing firms to show that they do not save logs. We liked the fact that they requested this audit, to prove they have nothing to hide.
- There are many high-speed P2P dedicated servers, which guarantees fast torrent downloads.
- The software comes with essential features that make torrenting safer, such as a kill switch and DNS leak prevention. As that wasn’t enough, they even go the extra mile by including two different types of kill switch.
Just like every other VPN software, some aspects need improvement when it comes to torrenting. These are the things we didn’t like:
- Sometimes, establishing a connection to a server takes a bit longer than what it should. It’s not a major thing, but it can take a few extra seconds compared to other popular VPNs.
- There are very few torrent optimized servers in places like Africa and the Middle East. For example, there is only one option for the entire African continent. Users from that continent can still connect to servers around the world. The problem is that speed would suffer a lot because of the distance.
NordVPN did a great job hiding our torrenting activity and keeping it private. It passed every security test we performed without a single leak.
The creators are clearly passionate about their work, and they’ve gone out of their way to demonstrate that they are, indeed, legitimate VPN providers that fully support P2P downloads.
When it comes to ease of use, torrenting with the protection of NordVPN was a breeze. Their P2P optimized servers are easy to identify, and most importantly, they are reliable and fast.
In conclusion, we recommend NordVPN for users concerned about their privacy and looking for a reliable torrenting experience. In our opinion, it’s one of the best VPNs for torrenting for users in America and Europe. However, users in Africa and the Middle East will have limited server options, and their best bet will be to find an alternative provider.