Besides offering a VPN software, 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 download torrent files with a VPN. But the truth is that NordVPN's 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 data of the user 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 in fact 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 SOCKS5 Proxy servers
When it comes to file-sharing, NordVPN's SOCKS5 proxies are a safe option. Besides giving you a new IP address, it also has the ability to interrupt your downloads in case the proxy stops working. That way, you wouldn't be downloading the files with your real IP. This is an equivalent of a Kill Switch, a very important tool in a VPN software.
The speed is another advantage. A SOCKS5 proxy allows users to establish a connection to the entire amount of peers available in a swarm because it uses full UDP. Obviously, being connected to more sources provides greater speeds.
What are the disadvantages?
The downside is that it will only protect you in one task, one operation. In other words, it will give you a new IP address when you are using your BitTorrent software, and nothing else. If you are browsing the Internet, sending emails, skyping, etc, you will be unprotected.
Before the Configuration
In order to configure uTorrent 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 exactly the same as the VPN software. Later on, you will need this info. In case you still don't have it, you can visit NordVPN and get it, and come back after that.
Select a correct server for P2P
Go to the NordVPN server page and choose one that allows BitTorrent traffic. Such servers are identified with “P2P“, as you can see in the image below.
The servers that allow P2P are the ones that you can use. Click on the country you want to connect to and you will move forward. For this example, we will click on the Netherlands.
You will then find the proxy server identifier under the flag. You will need it for the uTorrent configuration.
If you want to make sure that SOCKS5 is available, click on “show available protocols” and you'll find that information there.
Setting Up the NordVPN Proxy and uTorrent
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 properly configured and you are ready to download torrents anonymously.
A SOCKS5 proxy server can be a strong allied for users who want to download files with a different IP, making them anonymous. uTorrent has a simple options panel that allows NordVPN proxies to be easily configured. This is great for users who are only doing that task, only using a torrent program.
If there is a need for more online activities, you should consider a Virtual Private Network. It will encrypt and protect the entire Internet connection.