Not all VPNs allow torrenting and most of those that allow are either too slow or fall short on privacy. NordVPN is one of the best VPNs that offer specialty servers, strong privacy policies, and security features. Combined with its no-logs policy and DNS leak protection, NordVPN sounds like the VPN you would choose for torrenting. But how suitable is the VPN for torrenting? Here’s what you need to know.
To know if a VPN is the perfect choice for torrenting, you should scrutinize its features considering every little detail. To determine if NordVPN is the right option, we put it to the test, considering privacy when torrenting, speeds, and whether there are alternative VPNs that provide better all-around performance.
Why you should use a VPN for torrenting
Torrenting gained popularity in the early 2000s because it allowed users to download files faster. To speed up the download process, file downloads are distributed across different peers instead of a single source. So, each seed (file sharer) offers a part of the file, which speeds up the download speed.
While torrenting is legal for the most part, many ISPs throttle P2P connections because they have become popular among internet pirates. If unthrottled, torrent networks can be fast, but because of privacy reasons, ISPs add an extra layer of protection. Also, the IP addresses of all people connected to a torrent are exposed.
You can avoid speed throttling and snooping by using a VPN, allowing you to beat internet censorship if you live in places like China. Some torrents may not be available in your country, so you might need to bypass geographical content blockers.
NordVPN for torrenting
Many VPNs are designed to allow P2P traffic, which makes it easy to torrent content while connected. However, only a few VPNs offer servers designed and dedicated to support P2P traffic. You’ll know that NordVPN offers access to P2P traffic and all kinds of torrenting, making it one of the most recommended choices if you look to access torrents and content restricted geographically. Below is a review of how NordVPN is suited to torrenting and different forms of P2P file sharing, considering server options, speed, and privacy and logging policies.
Testing NordVPN torrenting
Before you subscribe to a VPN product for torrenting, you want to know how it will perform. To help you decide if NordVPN is the product you need for torrenting, here are a few test results to consider.
1. NordVPN torrenting privacy
While torrenting, you don’t want to expose your IP address. A VPN that leaks data is not a good choice for torrenting, so this is the first test to prove whether NordVPN qualifies for torrenting. You can test the VPN’s effectiveness by performing a DNS leak test before and after connecting to a server.
Essentially, different servers assigned different IP addresses must appear in different tests. A result like this should indicate the VPN is stable and not leaking users’ IP addresses through DNS. If you’re using a Chrome extension such as uTorrent, you need to perform WebRTC leak tests as well. Such tests reveal leaks specific to web browsers, mostly Firefox and Chrome, that can leak your IP address.
From tests, NordVPN protects against WebRTC and DNS leaks. Even when your connection to the server drops, you’re still protected as it offers a kill switch.
2. NordVPN torrenting speed
Besides privacy, you also want your connection to be fast. There are different methods for testing NordVPN’s torrenting speeds. One of the most straightforward test is connecting to one of the VPN’s dedicated servers then using testing sites such as Fast and Speedtest to verify your connection speed. Some ISPs prioritize traffic passing through popular speed testers, so you could also look for less-well-known sites if you want accurate results.
Because of encryption and the extra distance between the VPN server and your device, all VPNs reduce connection speed slightly. It’s recommended to perform speed tests before and after connecting to a server to see how much is lost. For example, in a test, connecting without VPN achieved speeds of up to 74 Mbps while with NordVPN connected, this went down to 57Mbps. While there’s a drop-off, it’s not significant to ruin your experience downloading content.
You also need to verify torrent download speed to know if the VPN is capable. Note that NordVPN allows you to also torrent using other server types. But the P2P servers offer the best performance as they’re optimized to ensure fast torrenting.
How to torrent using NordVPN
Getting started on NordVPN is an easy process. Here are the steps to follow:
- Sign-up for NordVPN – create an account as the first step. NordVPN gives a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you can test their service for one month to know if it’s right for you.
- Step two is to verify your account. The verification link is submitted to your email inbox.
- Sign in and open NordVPN’s software, then chose a P2P server. With these steps completed, you can securely torrent on any torrent site or P2P network without having speeds throttled.
Before torrenting, we encourage users to switch on NordVPN’s kill switch. The switch shuts your connection when the software fails or loses connection. This is important as it prevents IP address leaks and gives you the time to shut the torrenting software before you relaunch the connection. To switch on the kill switch, navigate to your app’s settings area tap the “Internet Kill Switch”.
You could also apply the kill switch to specific apps. NordVPN offers the “App Kill Switch” option for that. Simply navigate to Settings and select “App Kill Switch” from the menu. The app will then prompt you to select which apps to apply the settings on.
Is torrenting illegal?
Torrenting is a form of file sharing, so it’s not illegal. However, while file sharing is legal, downloading copyrighted material is illegal. The NordVPN will protect you from detection when torrenting, but sharing copyrighted material is not recommended. So, before you begin torrenting, understand what is available to download and share freely, and what is restricted by copyright.
Best NordVPN alternative VPNs for torrenting
Maybe you’re asking, besides NordVPN, are there other VPNs that could work as well if not better? NordVPN is a preferred option for torrenting because of its dedicated P2P servers, security features, and leak protection. However, this is not the only VPN you can use for torrenting. Here are a few alternatives you might want to try.
This is an excellent choice for P2P downloads and torrenting. The VPN offers high-security standards and decent speeds. Like NordVPN, ExpressVPN offers a no-logs policy and leak protection, so you can torrent without worrying your IP address will be exposed. Additionally, the VPN offers a kill switch (Network Lock), which automatically blocks traffic when the connection is interrupted for whatever reason. You’re also assured a 30-days money-back guarantee, so you can test it out before you subscribe.
Just ensure to choose an alternative with a kill switch, WebRTC, and DNS leak protection. These are good options if you’re looking for cheaper alternatives to NordVPN.
Are free VPNs safe for torrenting?
Free VPNs look like a good option since you don’t bear any cost, but you’ll find many reasons to worry if you look at the software’s operation. Almost always, free VPNs come with download and speed caps, so your download could be terminated before you finish downloading the file, which wastes data and time.
Many free VPNs lock key features such as DNS leak protection and kill switch, and you cannot switch between servers easily. If you do P2P file sharing, it’s recommended to shun free VPNs as you’re not sufficiently protected. The risk is just too high compared to spending a few dollars a month to secure your connection.
Certainly, NordVPN is an excellent VPN for torrenting. It comes with robust security, a no-logging policy, no bandwidth limits, and fast speeds. Users also get dedicated P2P servers, specifically optimized to work with torrent traffic. Using NordVPN, you can bypass torrent connection blocking by your ISP, and your online activities are kept anonymous. If you’re skeptical, you can try their 30-day money-back guarantee that lets you test the software to decide if it’s the right choice for you.