Not all VPN services allow peer-to-peer traffic like bittorrent. But if you do use bittorrent, then having a VPN that supports it obviously makes sense for privacy reasons. In this article and the video above we are going to take a look at the best VPN services for torrenting.
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NordVPN is a VPN service based in Panama which supports peer-to-peer traffic. It’s location and other features make it a great VPN for torrenting.
Panama is a popular country for offshore companies that seek to improve their privacy and reduce both legal liabilities and tax burden. This also makes it a good place to base a VPN service.
To sign up for an account with NordVPN, only an email address and password are required. Payment is possible with Bitcoin, as well as Paypal, credit cards and other services such as Alipay, WeChat and Yandex.
NordVPN uses mainly OpenVPN and IKEv2 over IPsec VPN protocols for encryption. But they also have regular proxies and Socks5 proxies available. So you can also connect to their services through your bittorrent client or web browser directly in addition to also running their custom VPN service client.
Their P2P or bittorrent enabled servers are in their own category in the VPN client. I tried downloading a torrent, and the servers did indeed allow bittorrent traffic. I also ran some speed tests in Europe and North America, and they performed very well. Also, no DNS leaks detected.
NordVPN only has one VPN plan, which can be paid either monthly, every 6 months or anually. This plan includes access to over 1000 servers in 56 countries, unlimited bandwidth and you can simultaneously connect 6 devices to the VPN service. The cheapest plan is the annual plan, which costs $5.75 per month.
They have no free accounts or trials, but they have a 30 day money back guarantee, and their customer service is very quick to respond as well.
ExpressVPN is a VPN service based in the British Virgin Islands, or BVI for short. It is a very good VPN for torrenting because of its location and features.
BVI is a British Overseas Territory, but it still makes all of its own local laws. It’s a popular destination for offshore companies due to tax, privacy and legal liability reasons. This makes it a decent place for a VPN service to be headquartered.
When signing up you only need to provide an email address and password. You can pay with Bitcoin if needed. But additionally it supports Paypal, credit cards and a bunch of other payment services like Webmoney, WeChat and Alipay.
ExpressVPN does not publicly state whether or not they support P2P traffic, but I tried downloading some files through bittorrent on multiple servers and they all seemed to work fine. I also ran some bandwidth tests on servers in Sweden and the United States, they both performed very well. There were also no DNS leaks.
They have multiple types of encryption, but not all of them are available on all servers. ExpressVPN supports OpenVPN as both TCP and UDP, L2TP over IPSec, SSTP and PPTP protocols. OpenVPN is available on most servers and is probably your best option.
As for their VPN plans, there is only one type which can be paid monthly, annually or every 6 months. The plan includes access to all of their servers, unlimited data and simultaneous use on up to 3 devices. They have over 1500 servers in 94 countries, so they have very good coverage. The 12 month plan is the cheapest at $8.32 per month.
ExpressVPN does not have any free accounts or free trials, however it does have a 30 day money back guarantee and excellent customer support, which tends to answer support tickets fairly quickly.
Then we have Windscribe, which is a VPN service located in Canada. Full disclosure, Windscribe has sponsored some of my videos but not this one. While Canada is part of the Five Eyes surveillance network and also has some anti piracy legislation, it is still for the time being a decent country to base a VPN service.
When you sign up for Windscribe, you actually only need to provide a username and password, they don’t even require an email. Although it is useful to provide one as otherwise you can’t reset your password if you forget it.
Peer-to-peer traffic is supported on all Windscribe servers, except for those in Japan and India. And I was indeed able to download through bittorrent. I also ran some speed tests and they turned out quite good although when I connected to the US East servers I got connected to a server that was in Los Angeles according to IP location data. I don’t know if the data was wrong or there was a bug in the Windscribe systems. Also, there were no DNS leaks from the client. As for encryption, Windscribe uses only OpenVPN.
Windscribe has two account types. The first one is entirely free, and comes with 10GB of monthly bandwidth and access to 8 country locations. The second one is the Pro account which has unlimited bandwidth and there’s access to over 300 servers in 46 different countries. This one can be paid either monthly or annually. The annual version is cheaper, it costs $7.50 per month. For payment, Windscribe supports Paypal, credit cards, Bitcoin and Payment Wall.
#4 Private Internet Access
Next up we have Private Internet Access, or PIA, which is an American VPN service.
The United States being the head of the Five Eyes surveillance network and also where all the major entertainment companies are based is maybe not the best location when it comes to privacy. However, using PIA servers outside the US will make it less likely for you to have problems. That being said, plenty of PIA users use the service for bittorrent and have not had any issues.
When you sign up for an account with Private Internet Access you need to only provide your email address, no other identifying information is required. Payment can be done with Paypal, credit cards, Bitcoin, Amazon Pay and a number of other payment methods.
As for encryption PIA supports OpenVPN, L2TP over IPsec, PPTP and also Socks5 proxies that you can use directly in your web browser, bittorrent client or other software.
On the Private Internet Access website they do say that peer-to-peer traffic is allowed, however in their VPN client there are no specific lists for servers with P2P enabled. So I am going to assume it works on all or most of their VPN servers. I did try out downloading a torrent and it worked quite well. I also ran some connection speed tests on their servers in Sweden and New York, both performed as expected. Also there were no DNS leaks from their VPN client when the DNS leak protection feature was activated. However it is not active by default.
PIA offers no free accounts or free trials, but they do have a 7 day money back guarantee and their prices are quite low. They only have one account type, which can be billed either monthly, every 6 months or annually. The price of the annual account is very cheap, it costs only $3.33 per month.
Finally we have ibVPN which is a VPN service based in Romania. Romania is a decent location for a VPN service because they do not have a lot of anti-piracy legislation yet and also Romania is still not part of the EU data retention directive. So there are some good legal benefits of being headquartered in Romania.
They do not collect or log any data of your usage of their VPN service. So even if they are forced to comply with a court order, they can’t hand over any information that can relate any specific activity to a specific user.
In terms of encryption ibVPN supports OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP over IPsec, PPTP and some of their account types also have Socks5 proxy support which can be used in web browsers, bittorrent clients and other software rather than routing your entire connection through a virtual private network.
They have two account types which support peer-to-peer traffic. The Ultimate package which gives you full access to all of their internet privacy services for $58.06 per year which includes over 100 servers in 47 countries. Then there’s the Torrent VPN package which enables access to 21 servers in 9 countries that support bittorrent downloading at $36.95 per year, which is $3.08 per month. They also have a 15 day money back guarantee.
In addition to the money back guarantee ibVPN has a 24 free trial available which I used to try out their full service. I was indeed able to download a torrent on their P2P enabled servers. I also ran some connection speed tests on their servers in Sweden and Atlanta in the United States, and they performed quite well. DNS information did leak with the default encryption method which is auto-selected, but when switching to OpenVPN the leaks stopped.