What to look for when searching for the best VPN for torrenting
Before we establish the most important factors when choosing VPN software for torrenting, we need to get one thing straight. If an item is protected by copyright and doesn’t belong to you, then downloading it for free is illegal. However, using a torrent client like BitTorrent protected by a VPN for downloading isn’t necessarily illegal, since theoretically you could be downloading things that aren’t protected by copyright.
Countries all over the world have by now established laws regarding intellectual property theft. This applies to the content that’s most often available for download on the internet, like music, books, movies, and games.
On the other hand, copyright holders can, for various reasons, make their content free, either temporarily or indefinitely. Copyright also has a time limit － typically during the creator’s lifetime or, more often, their lifetime plus 50 years.
In other words, by now the internet is swarming with copyright-free content that can be downloaded without legal consequences. Since torrent protocol is traceable, anytime you download content that might be in violation of somebody’s copyright, you can be prosecuted.
That’s where a VPN steps in. This technology, which is designed to conceal your IP address, has been on the front line of the internet privacy war and is still holding strong, despite attempts to outlaw it all over the globe.
By hiding your identity, VPNs enable you to download content and remain anonymous. Whether you breach copyright laws by doing so or not is none of their concern, as the idea of obtaining privacy on the web is (at this time) far more important than the unauthorized distribution of films or music.
So, now that we’ve determined the legal limbo in which torrent users operate, let’s take a look at several key factors to watch out for when looking for the best VPN for torrenting.
Number and location of servers
In order to have the safest experience when torrenting movies, music, games, and other content, it’s best to rely on those VPN service providers that have the most servers in the most diverse pattern of locations worldwide. In this case, it’s the more the merrier. If your VPN is capable of bouncing your IP address across many servers per session, the chance of you being detected while downloading is minimal.
Of course, maintaining a service with so many servers is costly and is usually one of the main factors that influences the price. Bear in mind that in most cases, an average of 1,000 P2P-enabled servers is enough for you to safely use your VPN for torrenting.
For the reasons listed above, privacy is of the utmost importance if your plan is to surf the best torrenting websites without being spotted by government agents and copyright watchers. We’ve put together a few requirements you should look for.
First off, most VPN desktop applications are based on the OpenVPN protocol. This open-source software is constantly evolving and is considered by millions of users all over the world the most secure way to protect internet privacy. Furthermore, AES military-grade 256-bit encryption has become standard among all major players in the VPN community, so that’s also your benchmark when searching for a suitable VPN that allows torrenting.
Your VPN service provider should guarantee you protection from Domain Name System (DNS) leaks. DNS leaks are flaws within weaker VPN software that can sometimes be exploited by internet service providers. This allows ISPs to send DNS requests and receive information from your device in spite of your VPN.
Another important asset for your safe passage through the information labyrinth is the so-called kill switch, which makes sure your IP address remains hidden, even in the case of a sudden connection breakdown.
Download speed is of the essence when using torrent platforms. Since VPNs can cause a slowdown in your internet connection, be sure to check whether your IP-blocking software of choice can maintain reasonable download speeds.
Another important factor regarding the speed with which your files are downloaded is bandwidth. Any VPN service that might be considered the best proxy for torrenting should provide you with unlimited bandwidth – there should be no limit on the volume of information your VPN can handle. Basically, it means you can download as much as you like using your VPN software, even if your ISP enforces bandwidth throttling in an attempt to disrupt your connection.
1. Is there a free VPN for torrenting?
The best free VPN for torrenting is Hotspot Shield; it’s one of the rare VPN providers that allows peer-to-peer traffic on all its servers. Usually, free versions of VPNs tend to limit their offer so as to provide as little as possible, which in some cases means they only provide access to one basic US server.
2. How can I use VPN while torrenting?
First, you should install a VPN that supports P2P connections on its server and offers good privacy conditions and reasonable download speed. Then launch your torrent app, together with the VPN, and you’re set to go.
3. Can you go to jail for torrenting?
Technically, the answer to this question is no. Accessing a torrent with VPN software is not illegal per se. VPNs exist to provide you with anonymous browsing, and torrent downloader programs are based on a file copy protocol intended for efficient file transfer over the web.
However, that’s not to say they can’t be used for illegal purposes, especially copyright infringement. If you download content for which you don’t have a license and are caught, you will face legal penalties ranging from fines to incarceration.
4. Can I get caught torrenting with VPN?
A trustworthy VPN provider is your best bet for torrenting safely. It encrypts your traffic before it leaves your computer, meaning that your internet service provider loses the ability to monitor your browsing activity. From that point on, you are free to access all the best torrenting software without the risk of being exposed.
5. Is torrenting without a VPN safe?
No. In countries like the United States, where there are strict copyright laws, you must use a VPN for torrenting in order to hide your IP address and avoid detection. Peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing without VPN software is risky, as it leaves your IP unprotected and traceable by other users who share the same torrent. An alternative to using VPN for torrents is using a torrent proxy, which also ensures your privacy to some extent.