Surfshark is one of the latest services to enter the VPN market, and it has already conquered a place in the torrent community. On paper, this VPN ticks all the boxes of a solid torrenting VPN.
- Allows torrenting
- Kill Switch
- No-logging policy
Surfshark has a friendly policy regarding file-sharing, fast speeds, P2P servers, and good security features. These include military-grade encryption and a kill switch. In addition, the company behind the VPN has a clear no-log policy. Overall, Surfshark VPN is a reliable and secure option for torrenting.
- Allows P2P file-sharing
- No logging or data retention
- Good combination of security features
- Good download speeds
- One of the best prices in the VPN market
- Impressive for a newcomer VPN
- At first sight, it may be hard to know which servers allow P2P
- No kill switch for Linux users
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Does Surfshark Allow BitTorrent Traffic?
Surfshark VPN does allow torrent downloads. One clear indicator of this is the fact that they have servers specifically designated for P2P file-sharing. By offering such servers, Surfshark demonstrates its commitment to providing a safe experience for torrent users.
How to Torrent With Surfshark?
Below you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to set up and use Surfshark for torrenting.
- Get a Surfshark subscription
To use the software, you’ll need to get a Surfshark subscription.
- Install and configure Surfshark for torrenting
After installing the software and taking your login details from the mail you received, make sure you set it up for torrent downloads. Although there aren’t specific settings for P2P, you can do things to increase your safety, such as turning the kill switch on. To activate that feature, go to “VPN Settings,” and you will find the kill switch option, as shown in the image below.
- Select a server to establish a VPN connection
Choose a server that allows torrent downloads. We’ll discuss this topic in more detail shortly.
- Start torrenting with your favorite BitTorrent client
Now that Surfshark protects your identity, you have everything you need to start torrenting anonymously. Look for a torrent and use your BitTorrent client to download it.
Surfshark has around 3200 servers in approximately 100 countries, but torrenting isn’t allowed in all of them.
Surfshark only allows torrenting on a select number of servers. If you attempt to download torrents on any other server, you will be automatically redirected to one of the designated servers where torrenting is allowed.
How to know which servers allow torrents?
I could only find one way to determine which servers allow torrenting on Surfshark. Unfortunately, they do not mention this information on their website. You must go to their speed test tool in the “VPN Settings” tab, as shown below.
Built-in server speed test
This feature is designed to let you test the speed and performance of each server. There is a tab just for P2P servers; from there, you can see each of them.
List of P2P servers
To make your life easier, I wrote them down, one by one, and made this P2P server list:
- Hong Kong
In this section of our review, I will examine Surfshark’s features that can impact your torrenting experience. I’ll go over each one and discuss how they can benefit your P2P downloads.
This feature is crucial for P2P. It automatically kills your Internet if the VPN connection drops. While Surfshark users rarely experience dropped connections, the kill switch ensures that your real IP address isn’t exposed if this issue occurs.
I was happy to see that the Surfshark team added a second type of kill switch to the software in one of their latest updates. Here are both options explained:
Soft kill switch: It’s activated when the VPN connection is lost due to an accidental disconnection or other temporary interruption. It prevents the user’s real IP address from being exposed by blocking all internet traffic until the VPN connection is reestablished.
Strict kill switch: This newly added version is activated if the VPN connection is lost for any reason, including an intentional disconnection. That means the Internet will shut down even if the user turns the VPN off. In other words, you will only have Internet if the VPN is on.
DNS Leak Protection
The DNS protection is always activated to ensure your identity does not leak whenever a DNS request is made. Unlike other VPNs, Surfshark does not allow you to turn this feature on or off.
Encryption and Protocols
Surfshark offers five VPN protocols and uses AES 256-bit network encryption cipher to ensure that connections remain private. The protocols include OpenVPN (UDP and TCP) and WireGuard.
The main interface shows you the essential
Finally, regarding security features, Surfshark’s main interface shows you the main details you need to know. From there, you can check the IP address being used at the moment and the connection status. You can even turn the kill switch on and off from the main interface.
Besides the tools I’ve already discussed, such as the kill switch and the DNS leak prevention, some features can help you improve your torrenting experience.
Bypasser: This tool allows you to select which programs operate through the secure VPN tunnel and which don’t. It is also known as the split tunneling tool.
CleanWeb: helps keep you safe while browsing the web through the VPN. It’s an anti-malware solution that blocks ads, malware, and trackers. Since many torrent sites contain malware in their ads, such a tool can be helpful.
MultiHop: also known as a “double VPN,” this tool routes traffic through multiple VPN connections before coming out the other end. It may be overkill for most users, but it adds another security layer. It’s rare to find this feature at no extra charge.
As part of our evaluation of Surfshark’s suitability for torrenting, we conducted several tests to verify its security. These tests were designed to check for potential vulnerabilities that could allow our real IP address to be leaked.
The tests I am sharing are a few of the many we conducted. These were performed while connected to a P2P server in the Netherlands.
Basic IP Test
The simple IP check test came back clean, with no indication of an IP leak. This means that Surfshark’s servers and protocols could successfully mask my real IP address.
DSN Leak Test
No IP leaks or vulnerabilities were detected during the DNS leak test. Every request was routed how it was supposed to, through Surfshark’s DNS servers.
This is a significant result, as a DNS leak can expose users to various security risks. Those include the compromise of sensitive data and unauthorized online activity tracking.
Torrent detection test
This is the most important test in this review. It is crucial to determine whether Surfshark can protect users’ privacy and security while torrenting.
We are pleased to report that there were no IP leaks during this test. This outcome is significant, as it demonstrates Surfshark’s ability to mask users’ torrenting activity and prevent it from being detected by third parties.
Torrent Speed Tests
Before we move on, it’s important to mention that every VPN will impact your speed because its encryption consumes resources.
Our team performed several tests on different servers to verify how fast we could download a torrent file while connected to Surfshark. On average, we registered a speed loss of approximately 15% when connecting to nearby servers. As you probably know, the closer you are to the server, the faster your download speed will be.
For reference, the test I am sharing was performed in Poland, and I was connected to a server in Denmark, which is not far away.
Generally, we consider 15% or below to be a very good speed here at BitTorrentVPN, and Surfshark is right on that limit. To be more precise, this particular speed test shows us a 14.97% speed loss. In other words, I maintained 85.03% of my regular Internet connection speed.
Considering that the software is only a few years old, it’s pretty impressive. These test results are comparable to other top VPN services that have been improving their speed for many years.
Other test locations
To help you understand how distance plays a role in download speed, I am also sharing average results on two other locations further than the one above.
Portugal: Same continent but distant from where the test was performed. This server’s speed loss averaged 24%.
Canada: Very far from the test location, on a different continent. The speed bump was quite noticeable here. We saw a loss of 49%, which is understandable.
The software works with almost every device. The app features an intuitive user interface regardless of platform.
The fact that they have no limits for simultaneous connections was a pleasant surprise. Users can have all their devices protected at the same time. That’s a good option for entire families.
It’s the only VPN on our list that currently offers unlimited connections. Let’s see if other providers will follow Surfshark’s example.
The price is one of the factors that torrenters appreciate most about Surfshark. It’s famous for being a budget-friendly VPN. Users can choose between monthly, annual, and biannual pricing plans. And each one of them has several options.
Like most services, you save more money when you choose a longer billing cycle. Therefore, we are going to have a look at the options within the two-year plan. Depending on the extras you want, the following are your options:
The Surfshark Starter is the most cost-effective and perfectly suitable for safe torrenting. Obviously, you can check for handy extras in the other plans, but the cheapest one does a great job for P2P. That’s especially true considering the additional four months they are offering. A total of $55.72 makes it one of the best VPN deals around.
If you aren’t happy with the service, they have a money-back guarantee policy of 30 days. Keep in mind that such a policy applies only to the 2-year plan.
The Company Behind Surfshark
In February 2022, Nord Security, NordVPN’s parent company, acquired Surfshark. Despite the merger, both companies will continue operating independently, which is excellent news for Surfshark.
In an era when questionable companies are acquiring popular VPN brands, it’s reassuring to see Surfshark join forces with a reliable and well-regarded entity like Nord Security. This acquisition puts Surfshark in very capable hands.
Surfshark B.V. is located in the Netherlands, and it was founded in 2018. The Netherlands does not abide by the same privacy regulations and data retention laws as some other stricter countries in the EU, which is good news for VPN users.
No logging policy
Due to its neutral company location, Surfshark doesn’t need to handle activity logs to foreign or domestic governments. Even better, they don’t have to save logs, including torrent activity logs. The only thing they keep is time stamps used for debugging purposes. And these are deleted after 15 minutes after a session ends.
Should You Torrent with Surfshark?
Surfshark is a good option for most users, but a few drawbacks may not be convenient for some. Here’s what I liked and what I think could be improved.
What I liked about Surfshark
What I think could be improved
Surfshark is a good option for most torrent users. It has all the necessary features, a company with clear policies, no ambiguities, and a good download speed.
Overall, the clean results of the security and speed tests give us confidence in Surfshark’s ability to provide a secure and reliable service for torrenting.
I like the fact that a relatively new player can compete with big names in the VPN market. I can’t wait to see what’s coming.