Torrent, I guess this P2P file-sharing protocol doesn't require any introduction. And I won’t be wrong if I call torrenting a paradise for all those on a budget who love movies, series and music. But downloading torrents is hazardous. Indeed, most users have crossed the red line and are under threat from copyright trolls. In addition to malware and fake torrent files, they face fines, copyright infringement notices, or even lawsuits. To stay safe, the only way is to use a torrent VPN.
Best VPN for torrenting and P2P file-sharing
Before revealing my ranking of the best torrent VPN, a little explanation is needed. Because you need to understand what make a VPN software good for torrenting. Sometimes, even the best VPN on Internet is not recommended to download torrents.
What's a torrent VPN?
A torrent VPN is a VPN that you can safely use to download torrent files. What's a VPN? It's a privacy and security tool. It creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and one of its servers. Then the server connects to the Internet on your behalf.
During the process, it secures your identity, by hiding and replacing your IP address. Consequently, you can browse anonymously. The website you visit will identify only the IP address of the server, not your real IP address.
Furthermore, with its encryption and protocols, a VPN protects your data. Even if a snooper (your ISP or your government for example) get access to your Internet traffic, he will get nothing more than a heavily coded version of the information. And this information is pretty much useless.
Security and privacy are the general benefits of VPN software. When you want to use a VPN for torrenting, you must also take into account specific criteria:
A VPN for torrenting must allow you to download unlimited torrents. And most VPN providers offer unlimited bandwidth. But you must also make sure that the max speed is high enough. Otherwise, you'll have to wait for hours to download movies. And that's not the point here.
It may not be obvious, but VPN providers can allow torrenting and file-sharing, or not. It's their network and they can be held liable when you download copyrighted content. Because copyright trolls know what IP addresses are used. Then, they can contact your VPN supplier and send a copyrights infringement notice.
Don't try to download torrents with a VPN provider hostile to this file-sharing protocol, or you could harm your privacy and security. The exact opposite of what you're trying to achieve.
No log policy
Your torrent VPN service provider must offer a zero activity log policy. Why? Because, otherwise you're at risk that your provider transmits your personal information to the copyright trolls that sent a copyrights infringement notice. Technically, you might be protected, but in the end, the copyright holders would get your skin…
With a no log policy, you make sure that even your VPN is not monitoring your online activity. Therefore, no information is available. Your privacy is secure.
Recommended VPN for torrenting
You can find below a list of the best torrent VPN. First, they support torrenting and P2P file-sharing. Second, they offer strong encryption protocols combined with a high speed and a no log policy. Finally, they give you the best value for your money.
A VPN against torrent related attacks
A torrent VPN does not just hide your identity. But it also protects you from hackers. Indeed, hackers are more active on P2P sharing sites, unfortunately. Because your computer is a node of the P2P network and it makes it easier to break into your system and access your private data and files.
A VPN for torrenting will encrypt your data and won’t let hackers steal your information. The VPN server acts as a bridge between your computer and the internet. Loaded with a powerful antivirus and protections against spyware, malware and ransomware, it will protect your device against malicious attacks.
Getting caught torrenting copyrighted content
How do copyright trolls find you?
That's a good question. Have you ever wondered how they can catch torrent users? First, you should know that copyright holders are monitoring the Internet traffic. Not all of it, of course, only the one that's related to their copyrighted content.
To start with, they find a torrent file that infringes copyrights (or worse, they upload their own malicious torrents – what we call torrent poisoning). And they add it to their torrent client, as you would do. Then, they can access the peers' IP address, country, and the torrent client they use. Indeed, this information is visible to everyone sharing the file, under the Peers tab…
After monitoring all the IPs downloading and uploading the torrent, they can trace the location of each pirate. And launch the process of copyright infringement.
What are the risks you face?
The risks depend on where you're located. But in most countries, authorities consider torrenting as an illegal activity, that remains a civil rather than a criminal offense. And the sanctions can vary from a simple notice to a ruinous lawsuit and jail time.
Risk level 1: Copyrights infringement notice
Welcome to the Care Bears' World, where you get a warning letter from your ISP asking you to cease you from torrenting… This is the step 1 of sanctions, the most common punishment.
We are writing to inform you that we have received a complaint that alleges that your Internet Service account has been involved in copyright infringement. This complaint was traced back to your account based on the IP address used at the time of this activity.
Beware: From now on, you can be sure your Internet Service Provider will monitor your traffic and cooperate with the copyright holders. And if you ignore too many of these then you may find your service cancelled. Best to stop torrenting, or use a torrent VPN!
Risk level over 9000: Fines and lawsuits
If you've been downloading thousands of gigabytes from movies or albums and sharing them on the Internet, you might be in major trouble. Because thousands of lawsuits are filed every month against those held liable for downloading copyrighted content.
It starts with your Internet Service Providers which is instructed to reveal your identity. Then, you may have the choice to accept a cash settlement, to avoid facing trial. It could cost you a lot! And it would be a painful process for sure… Remember that the only way to protect yourself is to use a VPN when torrenting.
Check that your VPN for torrenting is protecting you
Even with the best VPN for torrenting, you may be at risk. Indeed, while torrenting, you must protect your privacy. Otherwise, it’s a real threat. A threat that millions of Internet users are facing. Sometimes without being aware of it.
Victim of a DNS leak?
I let you read my (long) article about DNS leaks and IP leaks for further information. What you should know is that your torrent client may send requests outside the VPN encrypted tunnel. Meaning requests sent in the clear, from your real IP address.
Is your IP address leaking? Visit IPLeak: If you can see your real IP address and/or the address of your ISP, you have a DNS leak! To dig deeper, scroll down to Torrent Address detection to test if your torrent client is leaking your real IP address. Follow the on-screen instructions and wait for the results to appear.
Again, if you see your real IP address and/or the address of your ISP, you have a DNS leak.
Turn on the Kill Switch feature!
This is Internet and this is IT, so s*** can happen. You’re downloading torrents with your favorite VPN and the connection drops. For whatever reason. You're away and your Operating System takes over and connects your device to the Internet, with the default settings. What gives? You’re back in the clear… Downloading torrents now from your real IP address.
Fortunately, VPN providers thought about that. That’s why most of them offer a kill switch feature. With an Internet Kill Switch, your VPN software monitors your connection. If the connection drops, then the VPN software stops all your Internet traffic. Until it can get the connection back.
This was my guide: 5 best torrent VPN | Secure your privacy while torrenting Stay tuned for more articles coming soon.