Although popular, torrenting isn’t without its risks, so you’ll want to make sure that you use a VPN when torrenting. Let’s get into free/ cheap VPN solutions that you can get started with today.
Both torrenting and peer-to-peer (P2P) are file distribution systems where multiple users share files. Torrenting is short for “BitTorrenting”. The process makes sharing files a lot faster than relying on one central download point. Currently, over 170 million users around the world use BitTorrent.
How Torrenting Puts You At Risk
Torrenting without a VPN is dangerous, it will leave your device open to a possible malware infection, expose your data and can also land you in legal trouble. So using a VPN is critical for torrenting. But can you torrent for free and safely?
Not all VPN providers support P2P and torrenting, and even fewer “free” VPNs allow you to torrent safely. Just about all of the 100% free VPNs that I’ve come across are useless for torrenting. For this reason, I’ve sorted through the best free/ cheap VPNs for torrenting and the most important ones that you can get started with today – for no money down. For example those with a free trial.
Is Torrenting Legal?
Torrenting technology itself is completely legal, despite often being used for piracy. Legal uses for BitTorrent include – game updates, internal company use, file syncing, and personal projects. On the other hand, storing and sharing copyright material via torrenting is illegal.
What to Look For in a P2P/ Torrenting VPN
- Allow P2P/ Torrenting – Firstly you’ll need to make sure that your chosen VPN allows torrenting.
- Speed – This is important because if the VPN is too slow, torrenting and P2P becomes impossible.
- Leak Protection – You’ll want to make sure that there are no DNS leaks as that makes the VPN unsafe
- No User Logs – User logs mustn’t be kept by your chosen VPN as you’ll want to use your torrenting VPN without legal implications.
Why Forever FREE VPNs Aren’t Good For Torrenting
Most forever free VPN services curb the amount of bandwidth that you use. As such they are normally no use for torrenting. There are a few reputable VPNs that offer nice FREE VPN packages like TunnelBear, Windscribe, and Hide.Me. But these providers cap usage or some (like Tunnelbear) outright ban torrenting / P2P activity.
Some less reputable 100% free VPNs can be more harmful than not using a VPN, as they can cause lots of popup adverts and even install malware on your device. It has also been known for some VPNs to take your data and sell it on without your say so.
PRO TIP: Many providers may offer torrenting, but you need to double-check what servers you can use and in what location – to ensure that you can get a high performing server.
7 Best FREE VPNs for Torrenting & P2P
I’ve selected torrenting providers that are not FOREVER FREE, but they do offer some peace of mind by offering a money-back guarantee or a free trial. From my experience, you need to invest in a decent VPN for torrenting, but you can get started for free today with these top of the range providers who generously offer a free trial.
#1| NordVPN (7-day FREE trial)
BEST FOR – High quality anonymous torrenting
NordVPN is a world-class VPN provider that uses double VPN servers. Meaning your data packets go through two levels of VPN encryption, making them extra secure. They also have torrenting specific servers that are optimized for torrenting. NordVPN is one of the biggest and most feature-rich VPN providers with a whopping 5200 international servers to choose from.
NordVPN is located in Panama, which is a safe location for a VPN, outwith prying eyes. They also don’t keep logs, which is perfect for allowing you to torrent anonymously. Alongside the military-grade encryption, Nord VPN allows you to download their software on 6 devices with one subscription. They also allow you to pay via a variety of payment methods, including three cryptocurrencies, for complete anonymity.
- Double VPN servers
- P2P specific servers
- DNS leak protection
- Kill switch
- Located in Panama
- No logging
- Some servers are unreliable
#2| CyberGhost (7-day FREE trial)
BEST FOR – International torrenting (outwith US or Russia)
With over 30 million users and 5700 servers in 90 countries, CyberGhost is one of the most trusted VPN providers out there. So long as you are not looking for torrenting servers in the US or Russia, then you can torrent as much as you want from any of their other international servers.
CyberGhost will automatically connect you to the best performing server if you go in and select “torrent anonymously” from their app. They also offer kill switches and military-grade 256-bit AES encryption for top-tier security. You can get started with CyberGhost and see if they are a good fit with their 7-day free trial.
- Torrent Anonymously
- Military Grade security
- No logs
- No torrenting in US / Russia
#3 | VyprVPN (3-day Free trial)
BEST FOR – Owning all of their servers
VyprVPN is one of the best VPNs for torrenting and they offer a completely free trial for 3 days. Not the longest trail I’ve ever heard of, but free none the less. The only real downside is that they require you to sign up with your credit card details and it’ll auto-bill you in 3 days if you don’t cancel.
VyprVPN is quite a bit smaller than the other VPN providers on this list, with just 700 international servers. In saying that, all of their servers are their own (and not leased from a third party) so you know that you won’t be subject to any unnecessary delays with VyprVPN.
The only real downside to VyprVPN is the fact that they keep logs. All be it for just 30 days, but that is enough for us. We’d always rather a 100% log-free VPN provider for peace of mind. If you’re not too fussed on the log issue, which you should be – then their 3-day trial could be worth a test-drive.
- Great Security
- High performing servers
- Blazingly fast
- Keeps logs
#4 | ExpressVPN (30-Day Money-Back Guarantee + 3 months FREE)
BEST FOR – High performing international servers
ExpressVPN is a great choice if you are seriously looking to torrent. One of the best VPNs in the industry, they are currently offering 3 Months for free if you sign up for a year. Also, they offer a 30-day moneyback guarantee, which will allow you to torrent risk-free.
With 2000 servers in over 100 countries, ExpressVPN is a big player. Not the largest, but they do have a decent network of high performing servers. One of the best things for torrenters is the fact that ExpressVPN uses split tunneling. What this means is that you can perform other activities on your PC without the torrenting getting in the way or slowing things down.
- Blazingly Fast
- No logging
- Split tunneling
- 30-day free trial
- 3 months free
- Slightly Pricey
#5 | StrongVPN (30-days money-back guarantee)
BEST FOR – US-based VPN with decent encryption and security
If you are looking for a risk-free trial of a VPN and don’t mind that they are based in the US, then StrongVPN could be a good option for torrenting.
- Zero logs policy
- Connect up to 5 devices
- Military-grade 256-bit encryption
- Slow connections
- Based in US
#6 | Private Internet Access (7-day moneyback guarantee)
BEST FOR – Transparency & Strict no-logs policy
Private Internet Access (PIA) is great for torrenting. No matter what torrent client you are using, you won’t have to change any settings. All you have to do is download their software, then your IP will be hidden, and your data packets will be encrypted. Another great option for families or people who would make use of having the ability to use 10 simultaneous connections.
PIA has invested in some high-end encryption protocols with AES-256 and up to SHA-256. The handshake (asking for a request from the server) is a massive RSA 4096. What’s more, you can customize the level of security in your app. Why would you want to change your security levels? Mainly because the highest levels can cause lag if used all the time.
I love the fact that PIA is true to their word. In one reported situation, they were not able to provide logs for a criminal investigation. While that might seem bad, it just goes to show that you really are safe with PIA.
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Enhanced encryption
- Strict no-logs policy
- Can be slow
#7 | IPVanish (7-day Moneyback guarantee)
BEST FOR – Speed & privacy (US-based VPN)
A great solution if you want to use more than the usual 5-6 devices. IPVanish will allow you to use your subscription on as many as 10 devices. Great for people with tonnes of devices, small businesses’ or a family. With 1000 servers that are located in 60 countries all over the world IPVanish is great for speed, which is key for torrenting.
IPVanish has everything that you’d expect from a VPN provider including a kill switch, no-logging policy and most importantly they are happy with you using their servers for torrenting.
- No logging
- High performance
- Military-grade encryption
- No Live Chat