Regular P2P sharers will know that using a torrenting VPN is absolutely essential for staying safe while torrenting. However, if you're new to torrenting or rarely use P2P, you may well be downloading without protection.
It doesn't help that picking the best VPN for torrenting is easier said than done. Some VPNs entirely forbid P2P sharing, while others only allow torrenting on a select few servers which may become crowded.
Despite this though, due to the fact that torrenting exposes you to unknown files from anonymous sources, using a torrenting VPN is highly recommended. And, accidentally downloading copyrighted files isn't the only risk. When connected to a P2P network your online activity essentially becomes public knowledge, and anyone with access to a website like this (opens in new tab) can see exactly what you've been downloading.
So, using a VPN for torrenting to change your IP is a no-brainer, and below we've pulled together the five best services to keep you safe when you're sharing.
NB: We do not condone illegal torrenting, and our advice is only intended to assist legitimate torrent users seeking extra security.
- More: Read our quick guide on how to use a VPN to torrent safely (opens in new tab)
What makes a great torrenting VPN?
The two most important features are impeccable privacy and excellent connection speeds. Many providers satisfy those demands though, so extra features like split tunneling, a kill switch, port forwarding and fully audited apps and servers should also be considered when choosing a torrenting VPN.
Check how the VPN performs in other areas, too. While your primary use may be to torrent safely, if your VPN can also access geo-blocked Netflix libraries or has a quality Android app for your phone, that's a nice added bonus.
Overall, we consider ExpressVPN to be the top dog when it comes to torrenting thanks to its excellent speeds and 100% P2P-compatible server network. However, we've also rounded up a number of quality alternatives that may suit you better – all you need to do is read on to learn about the best torrenting VPNs available today
More: Read our quick guide on how to use a VPN to torrent safely.
1. ExpressVPN – Hands-down the best VPN available (opens in new tab)
Overall, we rate ExpressVPN as the best torrenting VPN on the market. Every one of its 3,000+ servers is P2P optimized, meaning you can get excellent download speeds wherever you are. Plus, you'll get three months free through Tom's Guide.
2. NordVPN – Great speeds and top privacy features (opens in new tab)
Although it's hasn't been designed from the ground up to be a VPN for torrenting, NordVPN (opens in new tab) still performs very well. With incredible speeds, stable apps and a great range of servers, it's definitely worth considering – and regular discounts means it's often very affordable, too.
3. ProtonVPN – P2P performance in perfect privacy (opens in new tab)
ProtonVPN is one of the best torrenting VPNs on the market, with dedicated servers, advanced split tunnelling features, open-source and fully audited apps, plus excellent connections speeds – plans start from $4.99 a month.
The best torrenting VPNs you can get right now(opens in new tab)
Simply put, ExpressVPN is the top VPN out there right now – the fact it's also perfectly suited to torrenting is just a great bonus. Or, to look at it another way, this is the ideal torrenting VPN that offers everything else you'd require from your VPN.
A quality VPN for torrenting should have plenty of security features to keep you safe, and Express has these in spades. Not only does it have full torrenting support on every server, but it provides WebRTC leak protection, private DNS servers and Perfect Forward Secrecy, which uses a unique key every time you connect and every 60 minutes afterwards.
Beyond excellent privacy, ExpressVPN also provides good connection speeds – essential for any torrenting VPN. Connections to servers in your home country will stay relatively unaffected, and the wide server choice means you'll be able to pick from a whole host of overseas connections to make sure you stay up to speed.
Express boasts both a kill switch and split tunnelling, and combined with a strict policy of no activity or connection logs, it offers the most complete torrenting VPN package we've had the pleasure of testing.
However, as with any VPN, users can run into issues, and Express has got you covered with its 24/7 live chat support. In the unlikely event you'll need it, the helpful team will get you torrenting in a matter of minutes rather than hours
While ExpressVPN costs marginally more than some of its rivals, it's not worth scrimping on a torrenting VPN as there's often a lot at stake – and if it's not for you, then there's a 30-day money-back guarantee too.
Tom's Guide readers get 3 months free from ExpressVPN (opens in new tab)
Sign up for 12 months with ExpressVPN and you'll get 3 months additional coverage for free. And don't forget, if you just want to give it a try with no obligation, there's a 30-day money back guarantee in place that you can rely upon without any quibbles.
Known for its stringent security measures, NordVPN has made a name for itself as a great VPN for torrenting. Thanks to powerful encryption, a choice of protocols, two kill switches, DNS leak blocking and zero-logging, there's plenty here to keep you safe.
While not all servers are P2P supported, there are hundreds in the US, UK and plenty more across the globe that do support torrents. And, since the VPN will connect you to the best P2P server in your location when it detects torrenting traffic, the process is painless too.
Nord also offers a ton of extra features like payment via Bitcoin, traffic leak protection, Double VPN and Onion over VPN, and it's a great everyday VPN for Netflix and general security, and also offers a good selection of mobile apps.
In our complete NordVPN review, the provider delivered connection speeds of up to 760Mbps – more than enough for even the most hardened torrenter – and with its wide variety of servers, you can't really go wrong here.,
Sign up now on the NordVPN website (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
From the creators of ProtonMail, ProtonVPN is a high-quality torrenting VPN – and in our ProtonVPN review, we found that it just keeps getting better and better, now rivalling the behemoths that dominate the industry.
Clearly targeted at a more VPN-savvy crowd, we won't lie – a product like ExpressVPN will appeal to newbies more than ProtonVPN will. If you're comfortable with more robust, detailed apps and prioritize Swiss privacy above all else, though, Proton may well be your best choice.
With 17 P2P-optimized servers (up from 12 in our last round of testing), ProtonVPN doesn't offer the widest range, but in our testing we had no problems downloading torrents, and experienced absolutely no slow-down – meaning that these servers aren't too crowded.
Backing those specialized servers up are ProtonVPN's stellar WireGuard speeds. Topping out at over 700Mbps in our speed tests, it's more than fast enough for almost any domestic internet, and connections were very reliable too.
With a kill switch, an advanced split tunnelling system and fully audited and open-source apps, all of these factors come together to make ProtonVPN a very compelling VPN for torrenting. Plus, although you'll miss out on Proton's excellent streaming unblocking performance, P2P is fully supported on the cheaper Basic plan, too.
Sign up now on the ProtonVPN website (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
CyberGhost is an excellent VPN for torrenting, and while it's packed with features, it still remains nice and simple to use. From the get-go you'll be able to tell torrenting is a priority, as the VPN will automatically configure itself to deliver the best torrenting experience.
That means you don't have to fuss around with protocols or testing servers randomly to try and find the best P2P performance – CyberGhost knows what you want to do, and it'll make it happen. It even has a great big 'Torrent Anonymously' button to make the whole process entirely idiot-proof. There's also a clear no logging policy, a reliable kill switch and split tunnelling available, as you'd expect.
A specialized feature we'd like to see in every torrenting VPN is CyberGhost's App Protection. Essentially, this means you can configure the VPN to automatically connect to a server of your choice when you launch a particular app. In practice, the app in question will be your torrent client, and once you've set that up you won't even need to open CyberGhost to get protected.
The most impressive thing about CyberGhost, though, are its incredible connection speeds when using WireGuard. Topping out at a whopping 850Mbps on a 1Gbps line, you won't see any slow-down when you're downloading. So, while it's not quite as good all round as ExpressVPN, as a specialized VPN for torrenting CyberGhost is a great choice.
Sign up now on the CyberGhost website (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Private Internet Access offers plenty of servers, all of which support P2P torrenting, and like any good torrenting VPN there are no bandwidth restrictions whatsoever – but PIA also offers a couple of features not seen in your garden-variety VPN.
Port forwarding allows the VPN to redirect connections around a NAT firewall, and this ensures you torrenting speeds stay as fast as possible – although we only recommend this for those who know what they're doing, as it could open you up to further threats. Alongside that you'll also get the requisite kill switch and split tunnelling to further optimise your P2P experience.
On the performance front, PIA delivered relatively low connection speeds of around 320Mbps when using WireGuard. That's not up there with the very fastest VPN services, but for most users that'll be plenty for their domestic Internet connections. On the plus side, in our testing we didn't experience any dropped connections or failures to connect.
Alongside a zero-log policy, PIA offers an industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee and serviceable live-chat support. While it's not a slick as some others, PIA is a good-value torrenting VPN that runs on plenty of devices and will keep you safe.
Sign up now on the Private Internet Access website (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Surfshark is a great all-rounder torrenting VPN for those who want to stay protected but also don't want to break the bank. With a comprehensive feature-set that includes a kill switch, split tunnelling and protocol switching, there's a lot you can do to tailor your P2P experience.
Alongside decent connection speeds, Surfshark incorporates Double Hop, zero-knowledge DNS servers and a no-logs policy. However, not every one of Surfshark's servers supports P2P traffic – while it functions similarly to Nord in this respect, Surfshark has fewer servers, so your options will be slimmer.
That's not to say that Surfshark won't do the job – it's a tempting option if you want to spend as little as possible – but for torrenting it's simply not as specialised as those further up the list.
Sign up now on the Surfshark website (opens in new tab)
Best torrenting VPN FAQ
Is using a VPN for torrenting legal?
Torrenting itself isn't illegal – it's simply sharing information in small packets across different machines. This allows for fast and efficient transfers between computers, which is also known as P2P sharing.
The practice only becomes illegal when you use it to share content which is owned by someone else – for example, a movie that's owned by a media company which you're not paying for.
What features make a great VPN for torrenting?
To get the best possible personal security and ensure anonymity, you'll want to be sure that your VPN is one that operates a clear 'no logs' policy. This means that the VPN won't record any data that can identify you and, in the unlikely situation that the VPN is compelled to give evidence, it won't have any to give.
Another thing to take into consideration is connection speed, since you'll probably be sharing large files when using your torrenting VPN.
No leaking, as you'd imagine, is also vitally important. Many media companies are now running networks of monitoring nodes which can join torrent swarms and collect IP addresses. So if you're using a VPN that has leak protection, you won't have to worry about being on that list.
Can you use a free VPN for torrenting?
If we're honest, a free VPN isn't going to be a great solution for torrenting. Most free VPNs enact strict data caps – from a relatively generous 500Mb a day to a measly half-gig a month – and some also restrict download speed.
While free VPNs are great for casual use of public Wi-Fi or general browsing, bandwidth-intensive activities like torrenting and streaming will see you maxing out your allowance in no time.
Can a VPN make torrenting faster?
In short, yes! Torrenting is a prime activity that your ISP will monitor, and many will throttle your connection if they detect you engaging in P2P sharing.
Throttling essentially means that your ISP makes you connection slower to either discourage certain activities or conserve bandwidth. It's not only done for torrenting individuals, either – people using lots of bandwidth for streaming or online gaming can also see their connections drop for no apparent reason.
A VPN hides what you're using your connection for, and if your ISP can't see that you're torrenting, it can't make the decision to throttle your connection. Therefore, if you find connections vastly dropping when torrenting, a VPN could help bring you back up to speed.