The Best VPNs for BitTorrent and P2P Networking

Whenever you download a file via a BitTorrent client (like µTorrent or Transmission) your IP address is visible to everyone who is hosting the file that you’re downloading (these are called seeders or peers). This exposes you to privacy attacks, tracking and monitoring, and may even make you a target for malware and spam.

Moreover, if you download copyrighted files, you run the risk of being identified and sued by copyright holders, many of whom are known for tracking IP addresses of BitTorrent users.

But there’s more. If you aren’t using a VPN, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can see everything you do online, including the full extent of your P2P file-sharing. As a result, they can easily track your activities, inject ads into the websites you visit, limit your P2P bandwidth, send you warning notices (usually in collaboration with copyright holders), modify the content of files you receive, and even terminate your internet access.

If you’re a BitTorrent user, this doesn’t bode well for you. Even if you’re using BitTorrent and P2P to download fully legitimate, non-copyrighted files, your ISP can still throttle your P2P bandwidth, or ban you altogether, even if you haven’t done anything illegal.

The solution to this problem, as you may have guessed, is to use a VPN.

What to Look for in a VPN for Torrenting and P2P

What makes a VPN ideal for torrenting and P2P?

There are four major features you should look for:

First of all, the VPN should not log or track any of your internet activities. Many VPNs claim not to log or track users, when in fact they keep bandwidth and IP address logs, or, in some cases, track P2P traffic. Some VPNs may even close your account for P2P activity if they find you accessing copyrighted material. Some also collaborate with copyright holders to identify and ban users (VyprVPN, for example, is known to do this).

In short, the best VPNs keep absolutely no logs.

Secondly, the best VPNs for P2P and torrenting are traffic neutral. This means they should not throttle or otherwise limit P2P traffic.

Thirdly, VPNs that enable to you to switch easily between servers in multiple countries are ideal for torrenting and P2P. Having a broad range of server locations to choose from makes it likelier that you will be able to enjoy faster download speeds (as peers are often located all across the world) and makes it less likely that you will be subject to tracking or censorship.

Fourth is pricing. While you should never compromise on privacy or safety, you should always ensure that the service you’re receiving provides a good value for the price you’re paying.

Below, I’ve carefully picked what I believe are the best commercial VPNS available for torrenting. All these VPNs offer excellent value for money, and they won’t track or disrupt your downloads in any way whatsoever.

Without further ado, here are my top choices:

1. Private Internet Access ($3.33/month) 

At only $3.33 per month for an annual plan, Private Internet Access is one of the best value VPNs on the market, and I think it’s an excellent VPN for all purposes, not just for P2P networking.

In a recent interview with TorrentFreak, PIA made clear that they do not keep any logs or monitor users in any way, which extends to P2P traffic. As they explained, “BitTorrent and file-sharing traffic are allowed and treated equally to all other traffic … We do not censor our traffic because we believe in an open internet, period.”

In fact, when a court once ordered PIA to turn over its logs, PIA was unable to do so—because no such logs existed.

With over 3,000 servers in 28 countries, PIA makes it easy to change your virtual location, ensuring that neither your ISP nor the country that you are currently located in will be able to limit or censor your P2P downloads.

As an added perk, Private Internet Access also supports up to 5 simultaneous connections, meaning that you can have up to 5 devices connected to the VPN at the same time using only one subscription.

In short, if you’re looking for an ideal solution to make your P2P and BitTorrent activities safer, Private Internet Access (at only $3.33 per month!) is, in my opinion, the best choice.

  • Annual Price: $3.33 per month
  • Trial Period: 7-day money-back guarantee, no free trial
  • Based inUnited States
  • Features: Anonymous payments, P2P-friendly, 5 simultaneous devices, multi-hop, OpenVPN. 3000+ servers in 28+ countries (see full review here)

2. Ivacy ($3.33/month)

If you’re looking for value, Ivacy is another VPN service that won’t let you down. Along with PIA, Ivacy is the only other VPN that I know that offers a true no-logging policy at less than $4 per month.

Sinagpore-based Ivacy won’t throttle or monitor your P2P traffic, and due to their jurisdiction, they are not required to comply with DMCA requests or data requests of any sort.

If you need a VPN for P2P activities, or simply to keep your internet traffic private from your ISP, Ivacy is the kind of no-frills VPN service you might be looking for. They don’t offer any fancy protocols or obfuscation tools—just fast, unobtrusive servers running OpenVPN.

If you’re enticed by PIA’s features and pricing, but don’t like that they’re based in the US, Ivacy should be your next logical choice, as it’s the only equivalently-priced VPN that won’t track or log your traffic in any way.

  • Annual Price: $3.33 per month
  • Trial Period: 7-day money-back guarantee (watch out for bandwidth and session limits!)
  • Based in: Singapore
  • Features: Anonymous payments, fast servers, P2P-friendly, 5 simultaneous devices, OpenVPN (see full review here)

3. NordVPN ($5.75/month)

As one of the most popular and best-reviewed VPN services on the market, NordVPN also makes an excellent choice for those looking for a general-purpose VPN. It’s no surprise that NordVPN is also one of the best VPNs available today for BitTorrent and P2P file-sharing.

NordVPN, like all of the best VPNs, keeps absolutely no logs, and they do not monitor, censor, throttle, or track traffic in any way. Even more crucially, NordVPN is based in Panama, far away from the jurisdictions of the 14 Eyes and their anti-privacy laws.

NordVPN operates dedicated P2P servers, meaning that P2P traffic will be automatically rerouted to ensure that their general-purpose and streaming servers maintain uninterrupted speeds.

This doesn’t affect you very much in practice, but it’s nice to know that NordVPN cares about its P2P users.

At only $5.75 per month (for a maximum of 6 simultaneous connections), NordVPN is one the best-value VPNs on the market. Though a bit more expensive than my first two choices, if you’re a P2P user who also cares about privacy and anonymity, NordVPN should be at the top of your list.

  • Annual Price: $5.75 per month
  • Trial Period: 3-day free trial, 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Based inPanama
  • Features: Anonymous payments, fast servers, P2P-friendly, 6 simultaneous devices, StealthVPN, multi-hop, OpenVPN, geoshifting (Netflix/Hulu), 3000+ servers in 50+ countries (see full review here)

4. TorGuard ($5.00/month)

Another excellent VPN for P2P file-sharing is TorGuard, a US-based VPN that offers a fast, anonymous service geared towards P2P users and travelers.

TorGuard is also the cheapest verifiably private VPN that offers StealthVPN, a special protocol that can be used in places where VPNs are banned (China, schools, some hotels, etc.). NordVPN does offer StealthVPN as well, but they’re slightly more expensive than TorGuard.

TorGuard is a legitimately private service that won’t log your connections or track your downloads in any way. As a result, they’re a particular favorite of P2P users and people who want to keep their traffic private from their ISP.

At $5.00 per month, TorGuard offers excellent value, particularly if you plan on using your VPN full time, not just for P2P downloads.

(Update: use the code BESTSAFEVPN to get a 10% lifetime discount at TorGuard.)

  • Annual Price: $5.00 per month
  • Trial Period: 7-day money-back guarantee, no free trial
  • Based inUnited States
  • Features: Anonymous payments, fast servers, P2P-friendly, 5 simultaneous devices, StealthVPN, OpenVPN. 3000+ servers in 50+ countries (see full review here)

Looking for additional safe VPN recommendations? Check out our curated list.

Justin Uther

Writer, BestSafeVPN.com (justin@bestsafevpn.com)

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