The Best VPNs for Torrents (2021)

Best VPN for Torrenting

These days, a reputable, logless VPN is almost a requirement for using BitTorrent. In fact, we wouldn’t even consider downloading torrents from a public tracker without one.

A 2011 study found that 15% of all file-sharers worldwide were using a VPN (or similar) service to hide their IP. 10 years later, that number has likely up 3x. The reason? It just plain works.

With a VPN, you’ll never have to worry about your favorite torrent site being blocked, or your ISP snooping on your downloads. But most importantly, your real IP address, location and identity will be hidden from your torrent peers.

This year, an old favorite regained the top ranking as our best VPN for torrents. Once again, Private Internet Access is back on top.

Our #1 pick: PIA

All of the VPNs on are list are good, but one provider separated themselves from the crowd. With a legendary privacy policy (validated in court) and long list of built-in features…

Private Internet Access is the best BitTorrent VPN for 2021.

And with unlimited plans starting under $3/month, it’s super-affordable too.

Top Pick

Private Internet Access VPN firewall

Private Internet Access

Fast, safe, affordable.

PIA is legendary among torrenters. There zero-log policy has been validated in court and it’s still a fantastic choice in 2021.

Contenders — best of the rest

These are the other VPN providers that round out the top five. Each would make an excellent choice, regardless of platform or you preferred torrent client. They all have the essential privacy features you’ll want for secure torrenting.

  • NordVPN – a close #2. It works great with Netflix and other streaming services. They’re based in Panama (a privacy haven) if that’s important to you.
  • CyberghostOwned by the same parent company as Private Internet Access, Cyberghost is a well-rounded VPN with a zero-log policy.
  • TorguardFast, private, and under the radar. Blocked by Netflix though.
  • IPVanishGood software, decent speeds & zero-log. Some past logging controversy keep them from a higher ranking.

Methodology: criteria we evaluated

We don’t randomly select VPNs to recommend. They’re carefully vetted for each specific use-case, and we balance multiple factors to determine the rankings.

Torrenters in particular have specific needs, due to the public nature of the BitTorrent protocol, the level of scrutiny and possible risks involved.

VPN Factors we evaluated for this article:

  • Privacy, Security & Logging Policy
  • Torrent Policy
  • Speed
  • Price & refund policy

Logs & Privacy

We believe a VPNs logging policy is the #1 most important criteria when choosing a torrent-friendly VPN. It can make-or-break your decision.

That’s because most torrent swarms are public, and your IP address is publicly visible. The entire point of using a VPN for p2p traffic is to obscure the link between your public IP address and your real one.

So if your VPN provider keeps logs, even metadata connection logs with your IP address and connection timestamps, it’s theoretically possible to link you to your torrent traffic based on your torrent IP.

How it affects our rankings: We prioritized VPN providers that don’t keep any logs whatsoever. Any VPN that records IP addresses was ruled out.


The entire point of a VPN is to encrypt your traffic in-transit. That said, encrypting your torrents is actually secondary to obscuring your IP address.

We screen VPNs to ensure they follow security best-practices regarding their choice of protocols, encryption cipher implementation, and security architecture.

All VPNs on this list offer either OpenVPN, WireGuard or IKEv2 protocols (many have all three). These are the industry-standard protocols for high-security encryption.

Other Important criteria:

  • Kill-Switch: Software feature to prevent your data or IP address from being leaked if the VPN connection fails. Learn about VPN kill-switches.
  • Leak Protection: VPNs can occasionally leak identifying information, usually due to weaknesses in the way Operating Systems handle network connections. Many top VPNs build leak protection into their software and network.

Not all VPN providers want torrent traffic on their network. Some ban it, some tolerate it, and some welcome it.

We evaluated all these VPNs based on torrent-friendliness and tried to uncover any history of banning, blocking or otherwise betraying the privacy of users for p2p activity.

This is why you won’t find VPNs such as Hidemyass, Avast, HotspotShield or Tunnelbear on this list.

Why VPN Speed matters for torrents

The advantage of BitTorrent over other file-sharing protocols is that it distributes the bandwidth over all network participants. This means you can download large files incredibly fast. 10GB video files can be downloaded in minutes with Gigabit connection now available to residential customers.

And while some speed-loss is expected with a VPN, you still want to maximize your available bandwidth. We’ve speed-tested each of these providers. All are capable of delivering speeds of at least 100Mbps under good conditions.

What you should know about VPN Speed

  • Nearby servers tend to be faster
  • 128-bit connections are faster than 256-bit
  • Wireguard is usually faster than OpenVPN or L2TP
  • P2P-specific servers tend to be crowded and possibly slower
  • See all VPN speed factors


Though price certainly shouldn’t be your first criteria, it’s obviously important.

Typically users will consider all suitable VPN providers, then filter based on price. In the end, there will likely be several VPNs that meet your needs, it’s just a question of how much you’re willing to pay for extra features.

While we didn’t exclude any services based on price alone, it is a ranking factor when determining which VPNs should be ranked higher on this list. All things being equal, a cheaper VPN is better.

Refund Policy

Though we carefully select the companies on our list, the first one your try might not be the perfect fit. That’s where the refund policy comes in.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could try a VPN risk-free before committing to a long-term (cheaper) subscription? It turns out you can.

The VPN industry is fiercely competitive, and most of the top services now offer a 100% money-back refund policy. Many services on this list offer a 30-day refund. That’s great for you because it helps you get the best deal and choose the right service without feeling locked in.

How refund policy affects the rankings: All VPNs on the list have a refund policy of at least 7-days. All things being equal, providers with a better refund policy rank higher.

1. Private Internet Access – best overall

Private Internet Access was one of the first VPN providers to welcome torrent traffic, and they’ve been a top choice ever since. The combination of privacy, features & price is pretty much unbeatable.

Features we love

  • Validated ‘no logs’ policy
  • Great value
  • Included SOCKS proxy
  • Adjustable encryption
  • Wireguard Protocol

Room for improvement

  • Occasional Captchas
  • Less locations than competitors

Why Private Internet Access?

They’ve got all the features you’d want. Kill-switch, check. No logs, check. But it doesn’t stop there. They’ve got ShadowSocks as a stealth wrapper, a logless SOCKS5 server cluster that’s great for torrenting, and a fantastic UI for their software, which was overhauled in 2020.

Logging Policy

One feature of PIA that can’t be replicated is legendary privacy, and a non-logging policy that has been validated in court. Twice. To our knowledge, PIA has never exposed a BitTorrent user’s identity or real IP address.

Software & Features

Supported platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, FireTV, and it works with any VPN-ready router.

Private Internet Access’s new software is best-in-class. The UI is incredibly intuitive, it’s compact (doesn’t take up half your screen) and it’s loaded with features. You get full control over the encryption strength and cipher (we recommend WireGuard for the fastest speeds).

And you can easily choose servers, set favorites, and smart-select the fastest location. It even unblocks Netflix and other popular streaming services with built-in SmartDNS technology.

2. NordVPN – Best non-US VPN for torrenting

NordVPN | Review is headquartered in Panama, which is a well-known privacy haven. In theory, this may provide some level of protection from governmental subpoenas that could demand data from EU countries or the United States.

Features we love

  • ‘No logs’ policy
  • Based in Panama
  • Included SOCKS proxy
  • Wireguard Protocol
  • Fast Speeds
  • Netflix & SmartDNS

Room for improvement

  • No adjustable encryption
  • No stealth protocol

Why NordVPN?

NordVPN can match Private Internet Access feature-for-feature on almost everything, including their zero-log privacy, Netflix support, and included SOCKS5 proxy service. Their download speeds were faster than PIA in our testing (though the service is more expensive too).

Logging Policy

NordVPN is a zero-log VPN service based in a non Five-eyes country. They don’t record any session activity or even connection metadata when using their service. Combined with shared IP addresses, this should make your torrent downloads practically untraceable.


NordVPN’s download (and upload) speeds are quite good, well above average for the category. And they stay fast even on p2p-optimized servers, which tend to be over-crowded on other VPNs.

On a 250Mbps test connection, I was able to torrent a Linux Distro at 198.38 Mb/s which is excellent for a VPN. Test NordVPN risk-free for 30 days. (All plans include a 30-day 100% refund guarantee).

Specialty Servers

Nord has specialized servers for different use-cases. The two most relevant for BitTorrent are their p2p-filesharing servers (in torrent-friendly countries) and their double-VPN servers.

Double Encryption – These double-hop servers route your traffic through two locations and encrypt it twice for added security when torrenting. Though we recommend you combine their p2p-VPN server with a SOCKS proxy in your torrent client for two hops but faster speeds.

Streaming – If you subscribe to a service like Netflix, Nord has special servers that allow you to change your Netflix location and access regional catalogs. You can also unblock services like Hulu that might not be available in all countries.

3. Cyberghost – Best Cheap VPN for Torrenting

Cyberghost best cheap VPN for torrents

Jurisdiction: Romania | Refund Policy: 30-days | Price: $2.25/month (and up)

Cyberghost is a high quality service with all the features of the two VPNs above (except a SOCKS proxy). It’s also one of the most affordable if you choose their 3-year deal which is priced nicely at $2.25/month.

It’s an incredible value considering how well Cyberghost performed in our review, especially on speed. It’s also supports Netflix and other streaming services, just like its sister company Private Internet Access (same corporate parent).

And in fact, they share many of the same features, including:

  • Zero-log policy
  • P2P-ready servers
  • Kill-switch
  • WireGuard protocol (perfect blend of security and speed)
  • Built-in SmartDNS

Cyberghost Torrent Policy and features

Though they don’t state it explicitly, Cyberghost does support p2p traffic. They have special p2p-optimized server locations and request that you connect to one of those servers if you plan to use p2p networks like BitTorrent.

They also have other torrent-friendly features, including a kill-switch in their software to prevent accidentally leaking your IP address to peers if the VPN disconnects mid-torrent.

Bonus Features

At the time of publication Cyberghost was throwing in Darkweb ID monitoring service in with any subscription (if you wait for the exit popup on their site). This will alert you if your email address is found in any breach database, so you can secure your accounts.

4. – Best Free VPN for Torrenting has been around for a while, but flies mostly under the radar. They’re a zero-log VPN service out of Malaysia, and their service is surprisingly good.

Features we love

  • Free plan (10GB/month)
  • ‘No logs’ policy
  • Includes SOCKS proxy
  • Built-in SmartDNS
  • Split-Tunneling

Room for improvement

  • Pricey paid plans
  • Speeds are just average

Free Plan: has a completely free subscription tier, which allows up to 10GB of monthly data. That’s enough to torrent about six 1080p movies. There’s no payment method or ID required. All you need is an email address.

Aside from the bandwidth restriction, there are a few other limits. You only get best-effort speeds (whatever’s left over from the paying customers) and there are fewer server locations.

And you’ll find the software is quite good. There’s a stealth protocol, built-in SmartDNS, and even split-tunneling which is pretty rare on non-mobile VPN apps.

Other great features: has a massive variety of VPN protocols to choose from, including: OpenVPN, L2TP, WireGuard, SSTP & SoftEther. It’s also supports IPv6 (which is rare). torrent policy & restrictions VPN does allow torrents, filesharing & p2p. There are no bandwidth restrictions but there are a few servers where torrents aren’t allowed. Speeds were decent while downloading a test torrent, averaging 83 Mb/s.

5. IPVanish – Good, not great

IPVanish has been a VPNUniversity favorite for years, and it has always been a quality service. Like Torguard, IPVanish was known for fast speeds, good software and solid security.

In past years they’ve ranked higher, but the company has been sold twice since 2017, and the performance isn’t quite what it once was.

That said, IPVanish has a lot of great features, and fully supports p2p and torrent traffic on their network. There are no restrictions on server locations, and there’s even an included SOCKS5 proxy based in The Netherlands.

IPVanish’s features:

  • Fast speeds
  • 4 VPN Protocols
  • Windows, Mac, iOS, Android & FireTV support
  • SOCKS proxy included
  • Optional encrypted storage addon (SugarSync)
  • Obfuscated OpenVPN ‘stealth’ protocol

6. Torguard

Torguard VPN

Jurisdiction: USA | Refund Policy: 7-day | Price: $9.99/month

Torguard is another zero-log VPN that has been around for along time, and are based in the United States.

As you may guess from the name, the service is specifically focused in the needs of BitTorrent enthusiasts, and it’s great for that purpose. And while it may not have the flashiest software or the most features, it’s fantastic for torrent privacy.

And Torguard has built several p2p-friendly features into their service.

Torguard Highlights:

  • No logs
  • p2p-optimized servers
  • Adjustable encryption strength
  • Fast speeds
  • SOCKS Proxy auto-installer (select plans)

Best Feature: Torguard’s speed really stands out to me as their best feature. It is as good (or better on some servers) than super-fast competitors like NordVPN and ExpressVPN. The zero-log privacy and p2p-support make it an all around good choice.

VPNs To Avoid

Not every VPN is a good fit for torrenting, even some that claim that torrents are allowed. Here’s a quick summary of VPN providers to avoid.

1. HotSpot Shield

Hotspotshield VPN doesn't allow torrents

Hotspot shield was one of the first companies to bring VPN service to the masses, but don’t try to use it for torrenting. Not only does Hotspot shield keep metadata connection logs, but they flat out forbid p2p usage of their servers, or at least they used to.

The industry has shifted and HSS is once again courting torrent traffic, but in our opinion you should avoid them.

2. Hidemyass

Hidemyass torrenting

I hate to pick on Hidemyass, as they’ve already fallen out of favor with most VPN users. Kicking a donkey while he’s down and all that.

But in our analysis, Hidemyass is not a good choice as a torrent/p2p VPN

The reason is simple. They keep logs. And they keep them for a long time. According to their privacy policy, logs will be kept for a minimum of 3 months, and possibly longer if necessary.

Beyond that, there have been complaints on Reddit from users having their accounts cancelled by HMA after downloading one too many torrent files.

And now Hidemyass is owned by AVG, an antivirus provider. In general, I prefer to avoid any VPN launched or acquired by an antivirus service.

3. HolaVPN

Hola VPN is a terrible choice for torrents
Say no to HolaVPN

If you haven’t heard of HolaVPN yet, be glad. It’s too be avoided at all costs. Sure, it’s ‘Free’ but when it was discovered that Hola was selling your own personal internet connection to be used for any purpose (including botnet attacks), their popularity plummeted.

Oh, and just in case you still see ‘Free’ and are ready to try it anyway (botnets be damned), Hola doesn’t work with torrents. The reason? It’s a browser only VPN, so it can’t even encrypt or anonymize any traffic from a desktop torrent client.

4. Any VPN that keeps logs

While the industry has shifted towards ‘zero log’ policies, many VPNs are reluctant (or unable) due to local regulations in their home jurisdiction. Still, some of those VPNs advertise ‘we don’t log your activity’ but still keep connection logs.

This metadata logs often contain connection timestamps and incoming/outgoing IP addresses, which are more than enough to identify a user based on their public torrent activity.

There are so many truly logless VPNs to choose from. There’s no reason to use a VPN that isn’t. Private Internet Access is a fantastic choice, if you want verified ‘zero log’ privacy.

How to configure your VPN

Once you’ve chosen your provider, you’ll want to set everything up in a way that maximizes your privacy, while maintaining fast torrent speeds. Fortunately it’s pretty easy.

Nearly every quality VPN provider has their own VPN software. Most are available for the major PC and Mobile OS’s. This is the recommended way to set up your VPN, because it’ll give you extra features that typically aren’t available if you configure your VPN manually.

You can usually download the software directly from your VPN’s website, though you may have to log into your account panel to access it. Mobile apps are available in the iOS and Google Play app stores.

A Kill-switch is the best feature to prevent your real IP address from ever being exposed to your BitTorrent peers (or tracking sites like IKnowWhatYouDownload).

Every provider recommended above includes a kill-switch feature in their software.

Simply go to the VPN app settings (usually the ‘connection’ settings) and toggle the kill-switch to on. If it’s an App-level switch, you’ll want to add your Torrent Client to the list of apps to close if the VPN disconnects.

Use a kill-switch for torrents
Set Kill-switch to On (or Auto)

For added security, some torrent clients allow you to bind their network connection to your VPN interface. Vuze and QBitTorrent both have this feature built in. uTorrent also lets you bind to your VPNs IP-address.

When torrenting, the main purpose of the VPN is to hide your location and real IP address. The encryption is secondary and 128-bit security is more than enough to circumvent throttling or torrent firewalls.

If your VPN has adjustable encryption strength (PIA does), choose 128-bit OpenVPN or WireGuard for faster torrent speeds.

Each VPN provider has their own rules about which servers allow p2p and torrenting. Some VPNs may ‘allow’ torrents on all servers, while preferring you to stick to designated p2p server locations.

Good choices include:

  1. The Netherlands
  2. Switzerland
  3. Spain
  4. Mexico

It’s always a good practice to double-check your VPN is functioning properly, at least the first time you set it up. An improperly configured VPN connection can sometimes say it’s connected while the operating system routes your traffic normally.

It’s very easy to check this with a special tracking torrent.

Here’s how: Check your torrent IP address and verify your VPN is working

BitTorrent is simply a file-sharing protocol. It isn’t inherently bad or illegal. But some torrent sites do contain pirated or copy-protected materials that may not be legal for download in all jurisdictions.

There are a couple things to be aware of:

  1. Downloading vs. Distributing – In many jurisdictions, ‘distributing’ is held to a different legal standard than mere downloading. But when torrenting, you’re actually distributing pieces of the file to others, even before you have the complete file downloaded. Stick to legal files and safe jurisdictions.
  2. Where to find files – There are dozens of torrent sites, including the largest (and most notorious) sites you’re probably already aware of. But there are plenty sites with curated legal torrents, so you don’t have to wade through a minefield.

Torrent VPN FAQs

We get a ton of questions about VPN usage and how to download torrents anonymously. Here’s a list of the most frequently asked questions.

11 thoughts on “The Best VPNs for Torrents (2021)”

  1. Hi: Thanks for the very detailed information on your website. I have a question re: ExpressVPN which seem to be praised across the Internet (though quite pricey). I had a thorough look at your review of the 3 VPNs you are recommending as well as the one you did for ExpressVPN (but it dates back to December 21st 2015). My main area of focus is P2P and it looks like ExpressVPN has added a few enhanced features when it comes to this – incl. supporting P2P on all sites, providing kill-switch and SmartDNS. I do understand though that they still cannot be considered a real “no-log” vendor but could you please confirm they have come a long way and may not need to be listed on your page as one of the VPNs that should be avoided when torrenting (“In other words, if you see a site promoting … ExpressVPN … for p2p/torrents, run the other way”)? Or does IPVanish still offer a real added value beyond no logs at all?
    Many thanks!

    • The main point of this advice was not that ExpressVPN should be avoided. Rather, you should avoid any ‘review’ site that pushes ExpressVPN as the #1 best choice for torrenting. It indicates that the review site prioritizes profit (ExpressVPN pays much higher commissions) rather than truthfullness. ExpressVPN IS a good option for torrenting, but it’s not the best (keeps logs, no Socks5 proxy). It’s also 3x the price of other good options. Most users would have equal or better results (at a much better price) with IPVanish or Private Internet Access.

  2. Hello,
    you mentioned these words on your review:

    ” In other words, if you see a site promoting: Hidemyass, ExpressVPN, Buffered as a VPN for p2p/torrents, run the other way.”

    But you didn’t include ExpressVPN in the “3 VPNs you should Never use for torrents.” I have recently subscribed with ExpressVPN as I use Kodi on my android TV box a lot but I also torrent most of the time. Did I make a mistake by subscribing with them? You didn’t really elaborate on why people should run the other way if they see ads about ExpressVPN and torrenting. Can you elaborate further please on why I should not go with that company? Thanks!

    • Of the three, ExpressVPN is the best option for torrents. The main issue we have is that they aren’t very transparent about their logging policy. Bottom line, while suitable for torrenting, ExpressVPN is not the BEST choice for most users, and any site pushing them as the top choice is only doing so because they pay the highest commissions.

  3. What about Disconnect? I’ve read they don’t log but I’ve also read they do . There site isn’t very good as to find out and I’m wondering if reason is because they are an American company and due to what NSA etc can do is this the reason ?

    • I haven’t personally tested but their privacy policy states clearly that they don’t log IP addresses. The reality, however, is that there’s basically no way for you as a consumer to verify that’s true. You just have to trust. Some VPNs probably honor their privacy policy to the letter (PIA did have theirs tested in court). Others might have workarounds that let them keep logs via a separate company or server while still obeying the ‘letter’ of the privacy policy. The truth is, we don’t know and can’t know. If you need absolute certainty about the logging policy of the service you’re using, then a VPN might not be the right tool. And if the NSA is looking for you personally, no paid VPN service on earth will save you, I guarantee it.

      If you’re just downloading torrents, any VPN that specifically allows p2p should fit your needs perfectly. 100,000+ people trust PIA, NordVPN, or IPVanish for that exact purpose. If you’re concerned, I’d go with a proven service like those I’ve mentioned. If you’re comfortable with the reviews and recommendations you’ve read about Disconnect, go with that.

  4. Hi I really apreciate your paper, seems easy to understand for those who are casual users like me. But I think it will be nice if you extend your list of VPN. I understand the 3 best options (no log VPN, socks5 proxy and a kill-switch properties) but I will want to know if Psiphon or SpyOFF are good for P2P or torrenting.

    Thanks for the information.

  5. Hello there,

    I want to buy a VPN for streaming and gaming. I have shortlisted these VPNs. What’s your opinion about these:
    – Pure VPN 86% off on 10 devices for 5 years.
    – Nord VPN 68% off for 2 years.
    – Express VPN 35% off for 1 year only.


    • In my opinion, NordVPN is the best value of the three. PureVPN has dropped to a budget VPN and is over-crowded in my experience. ExpressVPN is good, but probably not worth the extra cost. It’s more than double the price of high-quality competitors.


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