In the name of privacy, many people will use a VPN to hide their torrenting activity from ISPs. Is this an effective strategy, or will the VPN itself be aware of the torrenting?
Usually, ISPs are clued in to P2P activity by an excessive use of bandwidth. If they see you are downloading large amounts of data, they will investigate and uncover your activities. In turn, they could throttle your internet or send you a warning note. Depending on the ISP, they could even contact the authorities for further investigation.
But not with a VPN
Because a VPN hides your IP address, your activities will be completely anonymous, and you will slide under your ISP’s radar unnoticed. All the ISP can prove is that you are protected by a VPN software, which is entirely acceptable and legal.
Besides hiding your torrenting activities, some VPN providers go even further. Some VPNs offer support for torrents in their services by offering dedicated P2P servers in countries that turn a blind eye to torrenting. A few may even allow you to torrent directly from any server.
The importance of where the VPN is located
While your VPN is able to hide your activities, if you choose a provider from another country, be aware of their treatment of torrenting. Some countries consider torrent downloads illegal. For example, if your goal is torrenting, then a VPN based outside countries like the USA is the smartest choice.
Other countries may also require VPN companies to maintain logs for a certain amount of time. And this requirement supersedes any VPN’s stated policies of not keeping logs. It can be difficult to be certain if they keep logs of your activity, or if the company must obey governmental regulations. If you can’t confirm that the VPN honestly keeps no logs, you may want to consider another provider. Some VPNs have actually turned in customers on torrenting misdemeanors.
The location of the VPN company plays an important role. Try to choose a provider located in a country without data retention laws. That way, they don’t have to save logs and handle them to the authorities.
As you can see, the answer to this question is yes! A VPN can indeed hide your torrenting activities from your ISP. But that doesn’t happen only by using a VPN. It will depend on which VPN did you choose. A decent VPN will do a good job, but the wrong choice can expose your torrenting activity to your ISP.