Besides offering a VPN, NordVPN also has a list of SOCKS5 Proxy servers that are useful for activities like torrenting and P2P. We made it clear in the past that we prefer to torrent with NordVPN’s software. But the truth is that their proxies are much safer than most “shady” free alternatives we see all over the Internet.
What is a SOCKS5 Proxy?
First of all, SOCKS5 is a protocol that uses a proxy server. It routes the user’s data through a proxy server and creates a new and different IP address. After that, the user reaches his online destination, which will think this is a real IP, when it’s the one created by the proxy.
The fact that SOCKS5 provides authentication is a big plus, making it safer. That way, a server can only be accessed by users who have authorization.
Advantages of torrenting with NordVPN’s SOCKS5 Proxy
When it comes to file-sharing, NordVPN’s SOCKS5 proxy servers are a safe option. Besides replacing the original IP address, there are other benefits to consider:
The speed is the main advantage. A SOCKS5 proxy allows users to achieve faster speeds because it does not provide encryption. That’s because encryption consumes recourses and sacrifices speed. It’s a common issue that VPN users face.
Also, using small data packets contributes to a superior speed when connected to P2P networks.
Errors are less likely to occur
If you compare it to other types of proxies, SOCKS5 has a lower risk of error. Unlike SOCKS5, a regular proxy rewrites data packet headers. And that makes it easy to misroute or mislabel data. Therefore, not rewriting packet headers makes SOCKS5 proxies less prone to errors.
What are the Disadvantages?
Unfortunately, torrenting with the SOCKS5 proxy provided by NordVPN also has a few disadvantages.
It will only protect you in one task, one operation. In other words, you are limited to one application.
That means that if you set the proxy to work with your BitTorrent client, whenever you look for files on torrent sites, you will be unprotected. That can pose a risk.
The lack of encryption we mentioned before as an advantage can also be a disadvantage. It provides faster download speeds, but no encryption means you are less secure and easier to detect.
No Kill Switch
The proxy does not have tools that many torrenters consider mandatory. The main one is the kill switch. If there is an error, the proxy will continue downloading with the real IP address.
Before Configuring Your BitTorrent Client
To configure a BitTorrent client to work with the NordVPN SOCKS5 proxy, you will need to check a few things.
Make Sure you have a username and password
The login details are the same as the VPN software. Later on, you will need this info. If you still don’t have your login details, you can get them here.
Available proxy servers for P2P
These are the proxies that NordVPN that NordVPN provides for torrenting. You will need one of them later when you configure the BitTorrent program.
Setting Up NordVPN Proxy and uTorrent
To make everything easier to understand, we will give you a visual guide. And we will be using uTorrent as an example.
Now it’s time to insert all the info we mentioned in your uTorrent preferences. There will be a couple of settings to tweak, so pay close attention.
- Start uTorrent and go to Options > Preferences > Connection
- On “Proxy Server”, select Socks5
- Tick every box under “Proxy Server”
- Insert the NordVPN Proxy Server identifier
- Set the “Port” to 1080
- Insert your username
- Insert your password
- Click Apply
The proxy is now correctly configured, and you are ready to download torrents anonymously.
Can you combine the NordVPN app with the proxy?
For maximum security, you can combine both the SOCKS5 proxy and the VPN app. It won’t provide you with the best of both worlds because the encryption of the VPN is impacting the speed. That means you cannot achieve the speed that the proxy alone can give you.
But the security will increase, thanks to the two different methods of protection. One of the main advantages of combining them is taking advantage of NordVPN’s kill switch.
Should You Use NordVPN’s SOCKS5 Proxy for torrents?
The SOCKS5 proxy server offered by NordVPN is an improved version of regular proxies. It can be an ally for users who want to torrent with a different IP and achieve maximum speed.
But you should take the disadvantages into account. Even as the most advanced proxy type, there are still some drawbacks that can expose you.
If you care about anonymity and want to make sure you hide your torrent activity, my suggestion is that you use either the NordVPN app alone or a combination of both. But not the proxy only.