When choosing a VPN server for your anonymous torrent downloads, there are some things to consider. It’s important to understand that servers are different, and they will have an impact on the performance of the VPN. Here are some things to have in mind to select the safest and fastest servers:
1 – Cross Borders
It’s recommended that you choose a server located in a country other than your own. If someone is trying to monitor your activity, they would have to face two different jurisdictions to follow you. That is extremely difficult to do, and even if someone was willing to attempt this, there’s still the encryption of the VPN protecting you. We see this as an extra layer of security.
2 – Not every country is a good choice for torrenting
When you are selecting a server, try a country that is more “torrent friendly”, such as the Netherlands and Mexico.
Try to avoid servers in countries that are known for heavy monitoring, such as the US and UK. Those are the ones constantly looking.
3 – Look for P2P optimized servers
It is known that the distance from the server has influence in your connection. The closest you are from the server, the faster your connection is. But there are some exceptions to this rule. Some providers optimize some servers for P2P, and those have much faster download speeds, even if they are far away from the user. During our extensive testing, we saw this situation many times. Let’s take a look at an example:
IPVanish allows torrent downloads on every server. But still, some servers seem to be optimized for torrenting, and no matter how distant they were, we still got great download speeds. For example, the download speed from some servers in Canada (in a different continent from where we are), was three times faster than from a few servers in countries that are not optimized for torrenting, but relatively close to us. Some providers tend to have this kind of servers in “torrent friendly” countries, like the ones we mentioned before.
4 – How to know if a server is fast?
There’s nothing like testing it yourself! A few VPNs, like ExpressVPN, already have a speed test feature included in their software, which is very cool. Others only have the ping latency. For example, each NordVPN server has a latency percentage indicator.
There are a few websites where you can check speeds. We like speedtest.net, it’s quite accurate.
How to read those tests:
Ping latency is the reaction time of your connection, the time it takes to receive a response after sending a request. It is not important for downloads, it affects your web browsing only. It’s measured in Milliseconds (ms) and the lower the number, the better.
Download speed is how fast you can receive data. And this is what matters for torrent downloads. It’s measured in megabits per second (Mbps). Please do not confuse Mbps with MB/s (Megabytes per second), which is the speed you see in your Torrent client. If you want to make the calculation of speed in order to know how many Megabytes per second you can achieve, here’s the formula:
- Considering that 1 Megabyte has 8 Megabits, you just have to divide your result by 8. As an example, if my speed test result is 55 Mbps, I divide it by 8 and my result is 6.875 MB/s. And this is the speed you should see in your BitTorrent client (approximately).
Upload speed is also relevant for P2P downloads because it lets you know how fast you can send data to others. It’s also measured in Mbps and the same formula applies here. Divide it by 8 in order to know how many MB/s you can upload.