3 Best Cheap VPNs for Safe Torrenting in 2021 (+ Fast Speeds!)
From testing over 30 recommended torrenting VPNs, I was shocked to find that many of them don’t work well. Some leaked user data that could potentially expose you to trolls, advertisers, and other spying third-parties. Others were too slow for torrenting — the worst had speeds so slow that it took me 3 days to download a 1GB movie!
A frequent torrent user myself, I shortlisted the top 3 affordable VPNs that work well with BitTorrent/uTorrent in terms of speed and safety. The best value-for-money option is CyberGhost — you’ll get powerful security, fast speeds, and specialty P2P servers at a very affordable price. As a bonus, you can try it for free for 45 days using its money-back guarantee.
Quick Guide: Best Cheap VPNs for Fast & Secure Torrenting July 2021
- CyberGhost — Fast VPN with optimized servers for torrenting. Lowest cost is $2.25/month.
- Private Internet Access (PIA) — Offers SOCKS5 proxy for fast torrenting, but is US-based which raises privacy concerns. Lowest monthly price is $2.08/month.
- PrivateVPN — Port forwarding feature offers fast speeds for torrenting, but only 150+ servers available. Lowest monthly price is $1.89.
You might’ve noticed that ExpressVPN isn’t on this list. It’s a premium VPN for torrenting, so the cost is slightly higher than other services (even if you sign up through its hidden discount page). I still think it’s worth mentioning in case you have a slightly higher budget as ExpressVPN is easily the fastest VPN I’ve used for torrenting.
3 Best Budget-Friendly VPNs for Safe Torrenting in 2021
- Optimized global servers for secure torrenting
- Fast downloading speeds with no bandwidth limits
- Based in Romania with no-logs policy
- 256-bit encryption with an automatic kill switch and leak protection
- Secures up to 7 devices simultaneously on one account
- $2.25/month for the 3-year plan (Bitcoin payment available)
CyberGhost is a top VPN for torrenting at an affordable price of $2.25 per month. Its best feature is the extensive list of global P2P-optimized servers. They have been automatically configured for fast downloading speeds and to protect your torrenting activity from spying eyes.
You can find the P2P-optimized servers by clicking on the “For Downloading” tab in the app. You’ll see a list of countries with P2P-enabled servers, the number of active users, and the current server load. These servers allowed me to access popular torrenting sites safely — including The Pirate Bay, Kickass Torrents, RARBG, and more.
I was pleased with my fast speeds on the optimized servers. My average qBitTorrent speed was around 18.45 Mbps — the equivalent of 2.2 MiB/s. This allowed me to quickly download a 30-minute video (500MB) in about 4 minutes.
However, I did notice that many P2P-friendly countries (like Switzerland or Spain) have high load percentages of around 60% — especially on the weekends. So when these servers had more users, I noticed my download speed increased by 2 minutes for the same 500MB video. If you’re not particular about which server country you are connected to, this shouldn’t be as much of an issue. With its wide server network, you’ll have many more options to choose a server with a low percentage load.
Torrenting with CyberGhost is also very secure as it uses AES-256 military-grade encryption, which is considered unbreakable. Even if you unexpectedly disconnect from the VPN, there’s a kill switch that shuts off internet traffic so your IP address is always protected. I can confirm that CyberGhost offers leak protection too — I tested multiple servers with ipleak.net and had zero leaks. It also has a strict zero-logs policy and is based in Romania, which is outside the jurisdiction of the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes international intelligence network.
Every plan includes a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, so you’ve got over a month to test CyberGhost’s torrenting features without any risk. You can even share this trial period with friends and family, as CyberGhost can support up to 7 simultaneous device connections. If you’re not fully satisfied with the service, simply contact customer support for a refund — I got my money back in only 5 days.
July 2021 Update: CyberGhost has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $2.25 per month for the 3-year plan (you can save up to 83%)! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.
- 6900+ servers in 90+ countries that all support P2P file sharing
- Unlimited bandwidth and SOCKS5 proxy for fast torrenting
- Based in the US with a strict no-logs policy
- AES-256-bit encryption and kill switch to keep your torrenting activities private
- Connect up to 7 devices simultaneously
- $2.69/month with the 2-year plan (Bitcoin accepted)
If download speed is your priority, you’ll be glad to know PIA offers a Netherlands-based SOCKS5 proxy server. SOCKS5 is a special protocol that directs your traffic through a proxy server. Similar to a VPN server, it hides your real IP address so you remain anonymous. However, it does not encrypt your data — which is what makes it faster than a normal VPN connection.
To test the proxy server’s speed, I downloaded a file from torrentdownloads.me and tracked the download speed in qBitTorrent. My average download speed was excellent at 18.02Mbps and I finished downloading a 200MB file in less than 2 minutes.
However, the downside of using the SOCKS5 proxy is that it requires some manual set up and all your data is unencrypted. This leaves your activities totally exposed to your ISP or government surveillance. That’s why I almost always use PIA’s normal servers while torrenting, and there are plenty of choices as every server supports P2P file-sharing.
When I connected to the normal Switzerland server, my download speed was reduced to 13.24Mbps. It took me 4 minutes to download the same 200MB file. I find this acceptable for a small file, but it can’t compare to CyberGhost’s top speeds.
In terms of anonymity, PIA also offers strong 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy, so no one can spy on your torrenting activities.
One drawback of PIA is that it’s based in the US which is part of the 5 Eyes Alliance. I was initially worried about this, but I was immediately put at ease when I discovered that PIA has a proven track record of not logging any of its users’ data.
PIA is a fast and secure VPN for torrenting, with a monthly price of $2.69 for its 2-year plan. To determine if it’s truly the best VPN for your torrenting needs, I recommend you try PIA for free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
July 2021 Update! For a limited time only, save 77% on PIA's 2-year plan + get an additional 2 months free! Hurry and check out the deal here!
- 150+ servers in 60 countries support torrenting
- Unlimited bandwidth with decent downloading speeds
- Zero-logs policy with headquarters in Sweden
- AES 256-bit encryption with an automatic kill switch and leak protection
- Connect up to 6 devices simultaneously
- $1.89/month with the 1-year subscription (Bitcoin accepted)
PrivateVPN supports torrenting on every server and even offers port forwarding. This allows you to enjoy faster and more efficient torrenting. You don’t need any technical knowledge to set up port forwarding either. Once you connect to a server, a random port number appears in the PrivateVPN app. Just enter that port number into the torrent client to start the process.
When I tested PrivateVPN with different torrent clients, it worked well with qBitTorrent, Transmission, and uTorrrent. My average download speeds on the Switzerland server were between 13 to 16 Mbps. While slower than the other VPNs on this list, I found download times within the acceptable range.
You can choose to secure your torrenting sessions with either AES-128-bit or 256-bit encryption (though I recommend 256-bit as it’s much harder to crack). PrivateVPN also offers a kill switch and IPv6/DNS leak protection to keep your personal data secure at all times.
If you’re living or traveling to China, PrivateVPN is one of the few VPNs that can bypass the Great Firewall of China. Torrenting software and sites are blocked in China, but PrivateVPN can help you safely get around the country’s firewalls. Keep in mind that the protection of a VPN doesn’t give you license to commit illegal acts, so please exercise a basic level of caution when using a VPN in China.
All servers support P2P activity but unfortunately, PrivateVPN only offers 150+ servers in 60 countries. This isn’t a huge choice, especially when most torrenting VPNs offer at least 1,000 servers. The limited number of servers can also result in overcrowding, which will then slow down torrenting speeds. This might not be an issue for you, especially if you don’t plan on torrenting all the time.
You can try PrivateVPN for free with its 30-day money-back guarantee, which allows you to use the service without making a commitment straight away.
Quick Comparison Table: Best Cheap VPNs for Torrenting
Below is a comparison table for a quick overview of each VPN. The best all-round choice for torrenting is CyberGhost due to its winning combination of affordability, excellent speeds, and strong privacy and security features.
|Private Internet Access (PIA)||✓||US||✓||✓||Fast||$2.69|
How Do I Use a VPN for Torrenting on BitTorrent or uTorrent?
It’s very simple to set up a VPN for safe torrenting. I’ll show you how in 3 easy steps, and you can use these steps with BitTorrent, uTorrent, or any other torrenting client:
- Get a VPN that allows P2P connections and does not log user data. I like CyberGhost as it has a strict no-logs policy and thousands of P2P servers (try CyberGhost risk-free for 45 days!).
- Connect to a server. CyberGhost has servers in many torrent-friendly countries, including Romania, Spain, and Switzerland..
- Open BitTorrent, uTorrent, or any other torrent client and start torrenting! Now you’re anonymous and protected with a VPN.
Avoid These VPNs for Torrenting — Security & Privacy Risks
TunnelBear is an established VPN service but it’s not 100% clear whether or not it’s torrent-friendly. I couldn’t find any specific information on the website about torrenting at all — there’s only a vague reference about “sharing files”. To be safe and avoid any legal issues, I’d avoid using TunnelBear for all P2P activity.
2. Hotspot Shield
While Hotspot Shield is a good option for casual internet usage or streaming, you can definitely find more secure VPNs at similar price points.
How to Choose the Best VPN for Torrenting
If you’ve never used a VPN service, finding a cheap yet reliable provider can be confusing. Here’s how you can choose the best VPN for torrenting (without spending too much money):
P2P and Torrenting Support
Not all VPNs support torrenting, so it’s important to select a VPN that makes its stance on P2P file-sharing explicitly clear. It’s not worth the trouble of breaking a VPN provider’s rules and getting yourself blacklisted from the service. Depending on what you’re torrenting, you could even find yourself in serious legal trouble. That’s why it’s crucial to check if your VPN supports torrenting and P2P.
Strict No-Logs Policy
Choose a VPN that doesn’t track, store, or share any user data so you can remain as private as possible while torrenting. Despite many VPNs claiming to have a no-logs policy, you’ll still find that some collect user data. The term “no-logs policy” is often used as a marketing trick, so it’s important to do your own research.
Look for a VPN that operates from a country without widespread surveillance or invasive privacy laws. This generally means avoiding providers in a 5, 9, or 14 Eyes country, which is an international spy network comprising the following countries:
- 5 Eyes: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US
- 9 Eyes: 5 Eyes countries plus Denmark, France, Norway, and the Netherlands
- 14 Eyes: 9 Eyes countries plus Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden
You ideally want a VPN that’s not under the jurisdiction of any 14 Eyes countries. That’s why you’ll find services like ExpressVPN registered in the British Virgin Islands and Panama respectively. There are exceptions like Sweden, which is part of the 14 Eyes but upholds very strong privacy laws.
Many VPNs can unintentionally leak your real IP address online — the most common leaks are DNS leaks, IPv6 leaks, and WebRTC leaks. You want to select a VPN with in-built leak protection to ensure no one can see what you’re torrenting. You can also physically check for leaks on ipleak.net.
While most VPNs are usually stable, there will be occasions when your connection drops for a second or two. This can even occur when you’re switching servers. Without a kill switch, your P2P traffic is exposed to fellow torrenters, hackers, and other third parties. A kill switch prevents this by blocking all traffic until your VPN connection is restored.
Unlimited Bandwidth and Fast Speeds
As torrenting requires a lot of data, make sure you get a VPN with unlimited bandwidth and the fastest speeds possible. This will help you avoid incomplete or frustratingly slow downloads.
Can I Use a Free VPN to Torrent Safely and Anonymously?
Free VPNs might seem like a good option. However, even the best free VPNs for torrenting won’t give you the speeds and security you need.
Because free VPNs still need to make money, they use the following ways to profit from their users:
- Advertising: Free VPNs often rely on advertising to earn revenue. Not only is this annoying for you, but it’s also a privacy risk. Ads are filled with trackers to log your online activity and target you better. Not ideal if you wanted to anonymously browse and download torrent files.
- Data-sharing with third parties: Some free VPNs collect and sell your personal data to the highest bidder. Anyone can buy your data — advertisers, corporations, governments, and even hackers.
- Limited bandwidth: Bandwidth is expensive so free VPNs will restrict your monthly data usage. The best free services offer 10GB each month (the equivalent of 500MB a day). Depending on your torrenting activity, you could be left with a lot of incomplete downloads.
- Slow torrenting: Even if you’ve got enough bandwidth for torrenting, it could take several hours to finish the download. Free VPNs have a limited number of servers that are quickly overcrowded with other users, which slows down your internet speed.
Free VPNs aren’t just limited when it comes to torrenting. While I can recommend some decent free VPNs for casual browsing, you’ll find there’s not much else you can do. No free (and 100% safe) VPN can unblock popular streaming services like Netflix, reliably bypass firewalls, or offer a global server network.
In contrast, quality VPNs allow you to safely torrent, stream, and freely browse the internet. Providers like CyberGhost don’t have data limits either, so you won’t have to worry about slow or unfinished downloads.
If you only need to torrent a few specific files, I recommend using CyberGhost instead of risking your privacy with a free VPN. You can actually enjoy unlimited access to CyberGhost for free for 45 days with the money-back guarantee. Just remember to request a refund from the customer support team before the 45 days are complete. It was easy and hassle-free when I tried it myself. It only took a couple of minutes to process my refund over 24/7 live chat.
FAQs: Torrenting and VPNs Explained
- Will a VPN affect my torrenting speed?
- Is torrenting safe with a VPN?
- Which is the best VPN for torrenting on PC and Android?
- Is torrenting allowed on all VPNs?
- Is torrenting illegal?
- Do I need a VPN when torrenting with Popcorn Time or Kodi?
- How does my router NAT firewall affect torrenting?
- How does port forwarding help with torrenting?
- When should I use the SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting?
- Should I use a VPN or proxy server for torrenting?
- Why do I need a kill switch while torrenting?
- Why do I need a VPN for torrenting?
- Which server locations are the best for torrenting?
- Which VPN is the best for beginner torrenters?
- What is IP binding?
- Does a VPN hide my IP address when torrenting?
Will a VPN affect my torrenting speed?
A VPN may impact on your torrent speed as it takes time to encrypt your personal data and send it through the VPN’s server. Fortunately, my tests showed that the top 3 VPNs on this list won’t slow you down significantly. In fact, it may even increase your speed. This is because it encrypts and hides all your online activities from your ISP. So with no knowledge of your download volume, it can’t limit your bandwidth.
Personally, I’ve never noticed a slowdown in speed when I’m connected to CyberGhost for torrenting. To test the speeds out for yourself, you can try CyberGhost with a 45-day money-back guarantee. You’ll get unlimited bandwidth to download as many torrents as you like.
However, if you’re finding that your VPN is significantly slowing your download speed, there are a few quick fixes you can try.
The easiest solution is to switch to another server. When the server you’re connected to has too many users, it will affect your speed. Finding a different server with fewer users may solve your problem. You can also connect to another server closer to your location. This will ensure that your traffic doesn’t need to travel too far, which will increase your speed.
Is torrenting safe with a VPN?
Yes, if you’ve got a trustworthy VPN like the top 3 services recommended in this list. I’ve personally tested them, and they have robust security and strong privacy features like:
- P2P and torrenting support
- A clear and transparent no-logs policy
- Company location outside the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes countries
- Strong encryption standards
- Leak protection
- Kill switch
Which is the best VPN for torrenting on PC and Android?
I’ve extensively tested the top 3 torrenting VPNs on this list, and I found that they are all compatible with Windows and Android. Sometimes torrenting may be allowed on computer apps but not on Android. Fortunately, I’ve checked that P2P servers are available on the Android apps of these VPNs too! All you need to do is download the app, connect to your preferred server, and start torrenting anonymously.
Is torrenting allowed on all VPNs?
It’s important to closely inspect a VPN’s policy on torrenting because some may ban it entirely and block any P2P file transfers. Others may restrict it to certain servers on their network, and you may not get adequate speed and security if you use their normal server.
The top 3 VPNs on this list are all torrenting-friendly and support P2P file-sharing on their servers. Just download any of them, connect to your preferred server, and start torrenting. My tests showed that CyberGhost was the best of the group because it had the fastest download speeds and many features to maintain my anonymity. You can even test it for free for 45 days during its money-back guarantee period.
Is torrenting illegal?
It depends as every country has its own laws on torrenting. While there’s usually nothing wrong with torrenting itself, many countries have banned torrenting copyrighted or pirated material. Other countries have shut down torrent sites or outlawed torrenting altogether due to the difficulty in monitoring millions of torrent files for illegal activity.
Below are a few examples of countries with very strict (and complex) torrenting laws:
|Country||Legislation||Maximum Prison Sentence||Maximum Fine|
|Australia||Commonwealth Copyright Act||5 years||$117,000|
|Canada||Copyright Modernization Act||2 years||$5,000|
|Germany||German Civil Procedure Act||3 years||Unknown|
|UK||Digital Economy Act (DEA) and Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act (CDPA)||10 years||Unlimited|
|US||Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)||5 years||$150,000 per file|
The definition of “copyrighted” varies between different nations This means you can easily break the law without even knowing it, which may result in hefty fines or even jail time.
To ensure your privacy and avoid legal penalties, it’s important to know how to torrent safely. Make sure the torrents you download are copyright-free, and use any of these top 3 reliable VPNs to keep your personal data and identity safe from third-party hackers and web trackers on torrent sites. Each VPN has a strict no-logs policy and strong encryption standards.
Do I need a VPN when torrenting with Popcorn Time or Kodi?
Yes, you should always use a secure VPN when streaming torrents on Kodi or Popcorn Time.
The P2P file-sharing technology on Kodi and Popcorn time is slightly different from traditional BitTorrent technology. With these platforms, your device is streaming the content rather than actually uploading or downloading the file to your device (unless you opt-in).
While my team and I don’t condone illegal activity, a trustworthy VPN with a strict no-logs policy and military-grade encryption is capable of keeping you safe if you ever needed to access Popcorn Time or Kodi.
The P2P file-sharing technology on Kodi and Popcorn time is slightly different from traditional BitTorrent technology. With these platforms, your device is streaming the content rather than actually uploading or downloading the file to your device (unless you opt-in).
My tests showed CyberGhost is the best low-cost VPN for security and speed, so you can enjoy uninterrupted streaming and downloading. You can try CyberGhost for free for 45 days during its money-back guarantee period.
How does my router NAT firewall affect torrenting?
Your router has a NAT firewall to protect your network and all devices within that network from unwanted connections. This may be a problem while torrenting if your NAT firewall detects your torrenting connection as unwanted traffic. This usually isn’t much of an issue because most private network NAT firewalls aren’t so strict and most likely won’t affect P2P file-sharing.
How does port forwarding help with torrenting?
People often use port forwarding features on their VPN as a way to get faster speeds while torrenting.
All routers have a NAT firewall to protect the network from unwanted traffic. Sometimes torrenting traffic may be blocked or slowed down because of this. Port forwarding helps you to configure your VPN connection so that your device will bypass the NAT firewall. This way, you will have a more direct connection between your device and the torrent website which makes the connection faster.
The drawback of port forwarding is that it makes your online traffic easier to track. This is because the open ports make you more distinguishable from other VPN users, and this will reduce your level of privacy.
When should I use the SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting?
SOCKS5 is an internet protocol that redirects your traffic through a proxy server. It hides your IP address and replaces it with another one — making you anonymous. However, unlike a VPN, it doesn’t encrypt any of the data that’s being transferred while you torrent. While skipping this process makes it faster than most VPN connections, it’s less secure. It doesn’t give you the complete privacy of a VPN and still exposes you to your ISP and government surveillance.
Therefore, if speed is your main concern and you’re willing to sacrifice some privacy, you can choose to use a SOCKS5 proxy connection. Private Internet Access is a VPN that offers SOCKS5 proxy and you can try it for free for 30 days during its money-back guarantee periods.
However, I am almost never comfortable torrenting without encrypting my traffic. I never know when I might accidentally download pirated content that could get me into trouble. During my test, I found that CyberGhost still had faster speeds compared to SOCKS5 proxy connections. Therefore, it gives you both speed and anonymity while torrenting. You can try it for free for 45 days during the money-back guarantee period and test the speeds yourself.
Should I use a VPN or proxy server for torrenting?
It’s always better to use a VPN for torrenting because of security reasons.
VPN and proxy services are similar because they both pass your online traffic through their own servers to hide your real IP address. This gives you privacy and helps you torrent safely without the risk of being hacked. However, unlike a VPN, proxy servers do not encrypt your traffic. While some proxy services may be faster than VPNs because it skips the encryption process, it means whatever you’re torrenting is still visible to third parties — including your ISP.
I found that top-quality providers like CyberGhost didn’t slow down my speeds while providing me with the privacy I need for torrenting (I downloaded a whole HD movie in less than 15 minutes). Don’t sacrifice your privacy for speed — it’s not worth it. If you’re not sure about a long-term subscription, why not try CyberGhost for free for 45 days during its money-back guarantee period. You can ask for a refund if you feel it’s not suited to your needs which makes it totally risk-free!
Why do I need a kill switch while torrenting?
A kill switch is an extra security feature you should always activate on your VPN while you torrent. If your VPN ever suddenly disconnects (like if a new antivirus software on your computer is blocking it), the kill switch prevents any unencrypted data from leaking by stopping internet traffic to your computer. This means none of your torrenting activities will be exposed to any third party.
All the top 3 torrenting VPNs on this list have the kill switch function that you can easily activate to keep you safe while torrenting.
Why do I need a VPN for torrenting?
You should always use a VPN to safely download torrents. When you download torrents, you’re connected with others sharing the same torrent file. If you torrent without a VPN, other people sharing the file can see your IP address. This can be used to determine your approximate location and even identify your ISP.
I trust CyberGhost the most when it comes to torrenting. It keeps my real IP address hidden with military-grade encryption, a no-logs policy, leak protection, and even a kill switch. This ensures maximum anonymity and privacy while torrenting.
Which VPN is the best for beginner torrenters?
CyberGhost is the best choice for anyone new to torrenting because its user-friendly interface is extremely easy to use. Just log on, connect to a server, and start torrenting securely on your preferred torrent client. You can even test it for free for 45 days to see how easy it is to use. Just remember to contact customer service before the end of the 45-day money-back guarantee period to get a refund if you’re not 100% satisfied with its performance.
If you’re not sure where to look for P2P files, here’s a list of reputable torrenting websites to get you started.
What is IP binding?
IP binding is a security measure available on certain torrent clients like uTorrent. It binds your device to a specific IP address, which means torrenting traffic will only be allowed when you are connected to that address. It’s good to bind your device to a VPN server IP address, as this ensures that all your torrenting traffic will always be encrypted. You won’t have to worry if you forget to switch on your VPN, because torrenting can’t begin until you’ve connected to the bound IP address.
Does a VPN hide my IP address when torrenting?
A VPN is supposed to hide your IP address while torrenting, but many poor-quality services can still leak this information. I’ve tested these 3 best torrenting VPNs and found that they were able to consistently keep my IP address hidden. Just make sure you connect to a VPN before visiting any torrent sites or launching P2P platforms to ensure all this traffic remains hidden.
Don’t Risk Your Anonymity While Torrenting — Get a VPN!
Using a VPN is the safest and easiest way to protect yourself on P2P networks. Your IP address will remain safely hidden from hackers and even fellow torrenters.
Personally, I always launch CyberGhost to ensure fast and safe P2P file transfers. Its strict zero-logs policy, military-grade encryption, and high-speed servers have always helped me torrent content in the quickest time possible while making sure I stay anonymous.
Don’t take my word for it though — try it for yourself! You can torrent with CyberGhost for free for 45 days with its 45-day money-back guarantee. If you change your mind afterward, you can easily get a full refund by contacting its customer support. I tried it and got my money back in only 3 days!