Best VPN for Torrenting

If security is your prime concern while torrenting (legally, of course!), consider these top VPN clients
  • NordVPN
    Monthly price
    $11.95/mo.
    Logs policy
    Zero logging policy approved by auditors
  • PureVPN
    Monthly price
    $10.95/mo.
    Logs policy
    Zero logs for both incoming and outgoing traffic
  • Surfshark
    Monthly price
    $11.95/mo.
    Logs policy
    Strict zero logs policy, does not collect IP addresses

We’ve come a long way since the early days of torrenting. At one time, it was one of the only ways to download a large HD movie.

A torrent is really not a file at all—it’s a description of where the file is located, which might be a basement server operated by a teenager in the Netherlands. A torrent is perfectly legal—it’s not meant as a way to distribute the actual files but only the location of the files.

Think of a torrent as the address for a piece of mail but not as the actual package or envelope.

Now, let’s take a quick step back here—a torrent is not illegal on its own … but storing a copyrighted movie file or video game install file on your own computer definitely is. If you didn’t pay for the movie or the game, it’s illegal to download.

The history of torrenting is not exactly squeaky clean, but it’s also unfairly criticized at times. There are perfectly legal and legitimate ways to use torrents. Some companies use them to perform file storage backups—you might decide to share movies you made as a torrent. It’s not illegal to share torrents.

That’s why a VPN makes perfect sense as a way to protect your torrent activity and file-sharing when it’s legal and legit.

Here are the top picks for VPN clients if you are planning on doing a lot of legal torrenting.

Best VPN providers for torrenting price comparison
BrandPricePrivacy jurisdictionLogs policyDetails
NordVPN$11.95/mo.Based in Panama, uses Versprite for independent security auditsZero logging policy approved by auditorsView Plans
PureVPN$10.95/mo.Located in Hong Kong, outside the 5/9/14 Eyes AllianceZero logs for both incoming and outgoing traffic View Plans
Surfshark$11.95/mo.Headquarters in the British Virgin Islands, outside the 5/9/14 Eyes AllianceStrict zero logs policy, does not collect IP addresses View Plans

Data effective 6/15/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

1. NordVPN

A powerful VPN that makes sure your torrents are secure

If we’re talking about legitimate and valuable torrenting, then NordVPN is a good match. The company goes to great lengths to make sure you are protected, anonymous, and secure at all times, especially once you click that legal torrent link and start a download.

NordVPN has a strict zero logs policy and, at press time, was in the process of building a “serverless” infrastructure, which means the servers are not even capable of storing your private data.

NordVPN is also based overseas and performs independent audits.

NordVPN plans and prices
ProviderPricePrivacy jurisdictionLogs policyDetails
NordVPN$11.95/mo.Based in Panama, uses Versprite for independent security auditsZero logging policy approved by auditorsView Plans

Data effective 6/15/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

What we like about NordVPN

  • Reliable and powerful VPN
  • Performs independent audits
  • Strict zero logs policy

Want to know more? Read our full-length NordVPN review.

2. PureVPN

Another high-quality VPN with industrial grade security.

Another top VPN overall in terms of reliability and security, PureVPN doesn’t quite rate as high as NordVPN overall (4.5 stars instead of 5). However, it is a perfect fit for torrenting in every other way.

Your download is protected because of a zero logs policy and the fact that PureVPN is based in Hong Kong. That’s outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance, which means your online activity is not under surveillance at all times.

PureVPN plans and prices
BrandPricePrivacy jurisdictionLogs policyDetails
PureVPN$10.95/mo.Located in Hong Kong, outside the 5/9/14 Eyes AllianceZero logs for both incoming and outgoing traffic View Plans

Data effective 6/15/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

What we like about PureVPN

  • Based in Hong Kong
  • Zero logs policy
  • Top-rated VPN overall

Want to know more? Read our full-length PureVPN review.

3. Surfshark

A highly rated VPN based in the British Virgin Islands

There’s a curious thing about Surfshark that is important if you want to engage in legal torrenting. No one can ever track what you are downloading partly because the company is based in the British Virgin Islands, but also because they do not collect any IP addresses as you browse torrent websites and start your downloads.

Surfshark is one of the best VPN clients overall with a brilliant and usable interface.

Surfshark plans and prices
BrandPricePrivacy jurisdictionLogs policyDetails
Surfshark$11.95/mo.Headquarters in the British Virgin Islands, outside the 5/9/14 Eyes AllianceStrict zero logs policy, does not collect IP addresses View Plans

Data effective 6/15/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

What we like about Surfshark

  • Brilliant interface
  • Zero logs policy
  • Based in the British Virgin Islands

Want to know more? Read our full-length Surfshark review.

Why protect torrenting at all?

If torrenting itself is not illegal but perhaps a bit suspicious, why bother protecting the activity at all? It’s a bit ironic that legal torrenting—sharing the files you own, performing backups, distributing large files—has such a troubled history. It’s not illegal and is actually a smart way to distribute large files. The problem is that it’s known more for the illegal distribution of movie files than the legal purpose that has merit and value.

But for legal torrenting, a VPN provider has a few key uses.

Protecting your downloads

The reason it’s worth protecting has nothing to do with this bad reputation or even the fact that many people do tend to use torrenting as a way to distribute copyrighted movies and shows.

Security is important no matter what and no matter what you are downloading.

As an attack vector, torrenting opens you up to hackers and malicious code because the files tend to be quite massive—one 4K movie download might take an hour or more, and during that time, your internet connection is a sitting duck.

Maintaining anonymity

There’s also an issue related to protecting yourself from suspicion. You may be downloading your own movie files, created for your own purposes. Home movies of your kids, a business demo, or even a video in which you explain how to conquer a level in a video game.

By using a VPN, you make it nearly impossible for anyone to know what you are torrenting or why, and that anonymity adds some extra peace of mind.

Tight security

Most of this protection is accomplished by the fact that a VPN uses encryption to protect your connection. However, the VPNs we selected also engender more privacy because they do not keep logs of your activity and they are based outside of the US.

Recap: What is the best VPN for torrenting?

Torrenting is not illegal on its own, and these VPN clients are not intended to protect criminals and hackers. They keep your legal downloads and website visits secure.

  • NordVPN: High-quality VPN that doesn’t save your personal data
  • PureVPN: Zero logs policy means your data is safe
  • Surfshark: Strict policy about not collecting IP addresses

Additional contributors

Chyelle Dvorak