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5 Best FREE VPNs for Torrenting and P2P Downloads in 2022

Kate Hawkins
Last Updated by Kate Hawkins on August 01, 2022

Every free VPN claims to keep your torrenting anonymous — but I don’t like to trust marketing claims alone. That’s why I ran my own tests to determine the best free VPNs in 2022 that are actually safe for torrenting.

While I was happy to find that some free VPNs do have high-level security and privacy features, there are always limitations when a VPN is free. This includes but isn’t restricted to data caps, server options, and speed throttling.

The only way to torrent without restrictions is by using a premium VPN. An affordable service like ExpressVPN provides anonymous torrenting on every server, unlimited data, fast download speeds, and 24/7 customer support. While it’s not free, you can try ExpressVPN’s P2P-friendly servers for yourself without risk. If you’re not happy, you can get a full refund with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Torrent with ExpressVPN risk-free

Quick Guide: Best Free VPNs for Torrenting in 2022

  1. ExpressVPN — Fastest download and upload speeds, plus you can securely torrent on all 3000+ servers. Try ExpressVPN for torrenting!
  2. CyberGhost — Dedicated servers for torrenting provide reliable connections, but only free for 45 days.
  3. Hotspot Shield — 500MB daily data allowance and high-level security for anonymous torrenting, but throttles speeds for free users.
  4. TunnelBear — Torrenting-friendly servers in 48+ countries, but only 500MB of free data per month.
  5. hide.me — Completely anonymous free VPN with 10GB monthly data, but server locations are limited.

Torrent with ExpressVPN risk-free

The Best Free VPNs for Torrenting (Tested in August 2022)

1. ExpressVPN — #1 Torrenting VPN With No-Logs Policy, Military-Grade Encryption, and Fast Speeds

Key Features:

  • Unlimited data for torrent anonymously as much as you want
  • All 3000+ servers in 94+ countries are P2P-friendly
  • Military-grade security, leak protection, kill switch, and proven zero-logs policy
  • Native app for Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and more
  • Supports up to 5 devices simultaneously
  • 24/7 customer support with live chat, email ticketing, and online knowledgebase
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN has military-grade security, strong privacy features, and fast servers with unlimited bandwidth. It has AES-256-bit encryption, IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection, and a kill switch that secures your data if the connection is interrupted. I performed tests on multiple servers and my data was private every time, with zero leaks.

Screenshot of IP leak test results showing no leaks with ExpressVPN connected to a UK server.
Every tested ExpressVPN server made my online activity anonymous

With an independently audited zero-logs policy, ExpressVPN’s commitment to privacy is reassuring for torrenting. It also uses RAM-based servers (TrustedServer Technology), which are wiped clean each time they’re rebooted — none of your data or activity can be stored or traced back to you. ExpressVPN’s privacy policy was tested in 2017 when Turkish authorities seized one of its servers to find evidence for a high-profile case, and didn’t find any user data.

ExpressVPN’s 3000+ servers all support P2P file-sharing, so you can always find a local connection. With servers in 94+ countries, I could connect to an ExpressVPN server every time I needed to. I didn’t wait or experience any congestion and started torrenting almost immediately.

ExpressVPN supports consistently fast speeds across its global network. My base speed fell by an average of 18% — a minor reduction considering the VPN’s high-level security features. I could download a 500MB torrent in just 45 seconds and a 5GB file in just 8 minutes. These high speeds also mean ExpressVPN is a great choice for streaming on Netflix US, playing online games, and browsing without lag or interruptions.

ExpressVPN’s reliably fast speeds are ideal for fast torrenting
ExpressVPN’s reliably fast speeds are ideal for fast torrenting

ExpressVPN maintained reliably fast speeds even when I connected to distant servers. This is due in part to its proprietary Lightway protocol, which provides high-level security without slowing your connection. During tests, I found the Lightway protocol provided the fastest connections for torrenting — it’s available on Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux devices, but not on iOS.

I also like ExpressVPN’s split-tunneling feature, which lets me choose which apps pass through the encrypted VPN connection. I configured ExpressVPN with my torrent client, so I could download torrents anonymously and browse the web locally at the same time. Not only is it good for multitasking, but encrypting part of your connection may give you a speed boost, too. ExpressVPN is configurable with multiple torrent clients, including uTorrent, BitTorrent, Vuze, Deluge, Bitport.io, and more.

ExpressVPN isn’t free – but you can try it risk-free. Personally, I find the premium features are well worth investing in. Prices start at $6.67 when you sign up for a 1-year plan – you can also opt to pay monthly but the yearly plan is better value for money.

You don’t have to worry about being locked into a subscription though. To make sure it’s right for you, you can test ExpressVPN’s torrent-friendly servers risk-free, as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, you can get a full refund — I tested this myself and was surprised by how easy the process was. I simply contacted the 24/7 live chat and requested a refund, which the agent processed with no questions asked. Best of all, I had the money back in just 5 days.

ExpressVPN made it easy to get a full refund, no questions asked

Torrent with ExpressVPN risk-free

August 2022 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

2. CyberGhost — Optimized Servers Provide Fast, Secure Connections for Anonymous Torrenting

Key Features:

  • No data caps for unlimited torrenting
  • 8200+ servers in 91+ countries, including optimized torrenting servers
  • AES-256-bit encryption, leak protection, kill switch, and zero-logs policy
  • Works on Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, and more
  • Connect up to 7 devices at the same time
  • Customer support through 24/7 live chat and email
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

CyberGhost’s dedicated torrenting servers provide high-level security and speed while you download files. These optimized servers guarantee a secure, reliable connection every time you want to download. It regularly tests and maintains these to ensure P2P anonymity, protecting your data from hackers and malicious third parties.

I was impressed by CyberGhost’s download speeds on optimized servers — my average speed drop was less than 40%, so I could download a 500MB file in just 60 seconds. I recommend always connecting to an optimized server, as I found these were around 30% faster than CyberGhost’s standard servers.

Every dedicated server has military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and IP/DNS/WebRTC leak protection to keep your data secure — I ran multiple tests and found zero leaks on any CyberGhost connection. What’s more, CyberGhost protects against ads, trackers, and malware. While I was disappointed the blocker only removed ads suspected of containing malware, I appreciated the extra protection, as torrent sites are usually full of suspicious ads.

CyberGhost doesn’t log user data, meaning you can torrent files anonymously. While its policy hasn’t been independently audited, I’m reassured by CyberGhost’s use of RAM-based servers. Better yet, CyberGhost is based in Romania, which has no electronic surveillance laws. Still, I’d like to see CyberGhost undertake an independent audit to confirm its strict privacy approach.

CyberGhost also has an App Rules feature, which I found useful for torrenting. I configured App Rules with uTorrent, BitTorrent, Bitport.io, Vuze, and Deluge, so every time I’d use these clients, the VPN would automatically find a dedicated torrenting server. This way, I could download files worry-free without having to find the right server manually.

Screenshot of CyberGhost's Windows app with Smart Rules menu open and App Rules setting highlighted.
I configured my torrent client with CyberGhost for fuss-free, secure connections

CyberGhost struggles to maintain top speeds on distant servers, so your downloads may be slower if you’re not close to the dedicated torrenting server. I connected to one 17,000km from my location and had a 60% speed drop. As my internet is normally fast, this drop didn’t impact my downloads too much. However, if your internet is slower, your torrenting time could increase significantly if you use a faraway server.

The 3-year plan offers the best value for money as it lets you save 83% off the full price. This comes down to just $2.29 per month.

Alternatively, you can use CyberGhost’s 45-day money-back guarantee as a free trial. When you’re finished, you can get a full refund without hassle. I tested the refund process and it took less than 5 minutes through live chat. I had my money back within 7 days.

Torrent with CyberGhost for free

August 2022 Update! You can subscribe to CyberGhost for as low as $2.29 per month + get extra 3 months free with the 3-year plan (save up to 83%)! This is a limited offer so grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

3. Hotspot Shield — Generous Free Monthly Data Allowance for Torrenting

Key Features:

  • 500MB free data daily (capped at 15GB per month)
  • 1 virtual US server
  • Military-grade encryption, leak protection, and kill switch for security
  • Native app for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and more
  • Allows 1 device connection only
  • Customer support available through website only

Hotspot Shield gives you 15GB of free monthly data for torrenting and other online activities. This is one of the highest allowances I’ve seen for a free VPN. The 500MB daily cap may force you to spread your torrenting across several days for larger files, but it’s a minor inconvenience considering the service is free.

Hotspot Shield provides the same high-level security for free users as it does for premium customers. Every time you connect, you’re safeguarded by military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch that secures your data if the VPN is interrupted. I tested its security and found my data was fully protected — I didn’t experience a single leak.

It also has a split tunneling feature called Smart VPN, which allows specified apps and websites to bypass the VPN connection. Smart VPN reduced the amount of data passing through Hotspot Shield’s connection, limiting my data usage to just torrenting.

I found its download speeds are reasonable for a free VPN, especially since there is only 1 server available. This single server has a US IP address, so bear this in mind when torrenting. When I connected, my speeds fell by around 75% — it took around 3 minutes to download a 500MB file. Unfortunately, Hotspot Shield throttles speed for free users to encourage them to switch to a paid plan.

Screenshot of Hotspot Shield connected to the free server with a speed test result, highlighting download speeds and bandwidth throttling.
Hotspot Shield’s speeds are steady but throttled for free users

Keep in mind that Hotspot Shield logs your general geographic location, device information, non-identifiable data from the domains you visit, and VPN timestamps. The company also hasn’t been independently audited to prove it doesn’t keep user logs, so I recommend being extra vigilant when torrenting.

Fortunately, no sign-up information is needed to use the service. You can download and install Hotspot Shield in a couple of minutes, and you’ll be ready to connect straight away. Download and installation take a couple of minutes, and you’re ready to connect straight away. If you feel like upgrading later, Hotspot Shield’s 1-year plan offers the cheapest price at only $7.99 per month.

Torrent with Hotspot Shield for free

4. hide.me — Complete Torrenting Anonymity With No Sign Up Needed for Free Users

Key Features:

  • 10GB monthly data allowance
  • Servers in the US (East and West), Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands
  • Best-in-class encryption, leak protection, and kill switch
  • Works on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and more
  • Supports 1 device connection only
  • 24/7 support through live chat, emails, ticketing system, and online knowledgebase

hide.me is one of the few free VPNs that provides a completely anonymous service. You’re not required to create an account or enter any personal details — just download the app and connect right away.

There are a range of configurable security options for a free VPN. Its military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, 8196-bit RSA keys, and leak protection are always active, creating a secure tunnel for torrenting. I ran multiple leak tests and found my data was private and secure. Since hide.me is based in Malaysia (a privacy haven), I felt assured there were no web surveillance laws that could compel it to disclose my data to authorities.

Screenshot of IP leak test results showing no leaks with hide.me connected to a German server.
hide.me’s high-level encryption and leak protection secured my data

Additional features include split tunneling, a kill switch, browser extension, and Stealth Guard functionality. I configured Stealth Guard with my torrent client so I could only download torrents when the VPN was active. This gave me peace of mind that I wouldn’t forget to use the VPN while torrenting and effectively behaved like an extra kill switch.

hide.me’s 10GB monthly data allowance is generous for a free service, although it didn’t let me torrent as much as I wanted to. I downloaded 2 movies and some e-books before I hit the data cap.

While my speed dropped around 80% from my standard ISP, I could still download a 500MB file in 90 seconds. As hide.me only has 5 free servers (in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, US East, and US West), you may notice a bigger drop if you’re connecting from far away.

Unfortunately, hide.me doesn’t give free users access to its best protocols, like OpenVPN and SoftEther. You only get IKEv2, SSTP, and the obsolete PPTP protocol. I’d urge you to use IKEv2 while torrenting, as it’s the safest and fastest of the 3.

You can start torrenting with hide.me right away as it requires no sign-up at all. The subscription lasts for 30 days at a time, but you can renew as many times as you want. Alternatively, you can choose to upgrade at any point to access all the premium features. The 2-year plan is the most affordable subscription and it only costs $3.33 a month.

Torrent with hide.me for free

5. TunnelBear — 500MB of Free Monthly Data and Access to Servers in 48+ Countries

Key Features:

  • 500MB monthly data limit
  • Supports torrenting on servers in 48+ countries
  • Military-grade encryption, leak protection, and kill switch
  • Works on Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and more
  • Allows 1 device connection for free users
  • Customer support through email only

TunnelBear has servers in 48+ countries for free, all of which allow torrenting. Unfortunately, you only get a tiny 500MB of free data each month. While this makes TunnelBear a decent free VPN for torrenting small files like ebooks and PDFs, you can’t rely on it for anything larger than that.

In tests, TunnelBear has decent download speeds. On average, my speeds dropped by around 65% — I had the best results when connected to servers closest to my physical location. Fortunately, this barely impacted my downloads, but your experience may vary.

TunnelBear has military-grade AES 256-bit cipher, leak protection, and kill switch on every app. I ran tests on multiple servers and found my data was secure with every connection. There’s also a TCP Override feature, which creates a more stable connection if your internet is unreliable. This function stabilizes your connection while torrenting, to ensure your files download without interruptions.

While TunnelBear is based in Canada (5 Eyes alliance member), the company has been independently audited multiple times to verify it never logs user data.

Unfortunately, TunnelBear only provides 500MB of monthly data for free users. While I was able to download a few small files like ebooks and PDFs, larger files for movies and video games were too big for the VPN’s data cap.

Screenshot of TunnelBear connected to a UK server with the result of a speed test from Ookla.
TunnelBear’s low data cap is acceptable for downloading smaller files

You can get a 1GB data boost by sending a Tweet promoting TunnelBear, but this is a 1-time-only offer. You’ll revert back to the 500MB allowance the following month. If you don’t want to wait, you can upgrade to the paid version. When you sign up for the 3-year subscription, you’ll save 67% and only pay $3.33 per month.

Otherwise, it’s easy to create a TunnelBear account to start torrenting for free — you don’t have to enter any payment details or other personal information. The process is easy, and took me less than 5 minutes to set up.

Torrent with TunnelBear for free

Comparison Table: 2022’s Best Free Torrenting VPNs

Server Countries Kill Switch No-Logs Policy Free Data Download Speed (500MB File)
ExpressVPN 94+ 45 seconds
CyberGhost 91+ 60 seconds
Hotspot Shield 1 Some 15GB per month 180 seconds
hide.me 4 Some 10GB per month 90 seconds
TunnelBear 48+ 500MB per month 80 seconds

Based on extensive testing, ExpressVPN is the top choice for anonymous torrenting. It has no data caps and its entire global network supports P2P file-sharing, so you can torrent anonymously wherever you are.

Torrent with ExpressVPN risk-free

Warning! Avoid These Free VPNs for Torrenting (Updated List)

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN is a highly-secure free VPN with unlimited data, but it doesn’t allow torrenting (or streaming) on the free plan. It’s still a great choice if you only need to check your emails, social media, or browse the internet privately.

Betternet VPN

In recent tests, Betternet VPN tested positive for malware on more than 10 antivirus programs. It also tracks a considerable amount of user data, which isn’t ideal when you want to torrent anonymously.

Cross VPN

Cross VPN ranks as one of the worst free services for malware, testing positive on more than 10 antivirus programs.

While the best free VPNs have some limitations, they won’t compromise your safety. If you want a service that doesn’t restrict your data or speed, I recommend you use ExpressVPN for torrenting risk-free. It’s a safe, reliable service and supports unlimited P2P file-sharing on every server connection.

Torrent anonymously with ExpressVPN risk-free

Step-By-Step Guide: How to Torrent Safely With a VPN

  1. Get a VPN and connect to a server. I recommend CyberGhost as it has optimized servers for torrenting, an automatic kill switch, and built-in leak protection. Try CyberGhost for free for 45 days!
  2. Download a torrent client. I like uTorrent as it’s lightweight and easy to use for beginners.
  3. Access the torrent you want to download. You can find files on the top-rated torrent sites — make sure you choose open-source or copyright-free content.
  4. Open the magnet or torrent file with your torrent client. Once you click the magnet link, your torrent client will automatically open to start downloading.
  5. Download your torrent. Be mindful that your free VPN may have a data limit, so choose files that are within your allowance.

Torrent with CyberGhost for free

How I Tested and Ranked the Best Free VPNs for Torrenting

I used the following criteria to narrow down the list of the best free VPNs for torrenting:

  • Free to use — I made sure that each VPN on this list is either 100% free or lets you try it without risk.
  • P2P-friendly servers — Not all free VPNs support torrenting, but I verified that every VPN above has torrent-friendly servers for easy and secure connections.
  • Reasonable data allowance — I confirmed each VPN offers enough data for torrenting.
  • Top-tier security and privacy — All of the free VPNs above have robust security like a kill switch and military-grade encryption. They also never log identifying information, so your downloads are safe and anonymous.
  • Reliable download speeds — I ran multiple speed tests to ensure each VPN on this list won’t leave you waiting forever for your torrents to download.
  • Supports multiple platforms — Use any of the VPNs above to torrent on Windows, macOS, Android, and other popular devices.

Torrent with ExpressVPN risk-free

FAQs: Free VPNs and Torrenting

What’s the best free VPN for torrenting?

All of the free VPNs on this list are suitable for safe, secure torrenting. The best completely free option is Hotspot Shield, with a 15GB monthly data allowance and solid download speeds. However, it comes with limitations that could impede your torrenting such as data caps, speed throttling, and server limitations.

For the best torrenting experience, I suggest trying a premium VPN. CyberGhost offers optimized P2P file-sharing servers and has no data caps or speed limits. Plus, you can try CyberGhost for free using the 45-day money-back guarantee. It acts like a free trial so you can get a full refund if you’re not totally satisfied.

CyberGhost’s live chat agent processed my refund in less than 5 minutes

Are free VPNs safe for torrenting?

The free VPNs listed in this article are safe for torrenting. They all provide high-level encryption and leak protection, kill switch functionality, and never log identifying data.

However, most free VPNs are not suitable for torrenting as they don’t have the security features necessary to keep your data safe. While they may be able to mask your IP address, free VPNs are often unable to stop your data from leaking. Data leaks expose your IP address to third parties, putting your personal information at risk. These leaks can include:

  • DNS leaks: This happens when a DNS request is sent outside of the VPN’s encrypted connection, which can expose your true IP address when your device responds.
  • IPv6 leaks: Most internet connections use IPv4, which is securely contained within the encrypted tunnel. However, if your internet connection uses IPv6, it’s sometimes routed outside the tunnel, causing a leak. This often happens with Windows 10 and can be prevented by using a service like ExpressVPN, which has dedicated IPv6 leak protection.
  • WebRTC leaks: These occur when your browser sends a WebRTC request, which is a way for you to communicate through a browser in real-time with other users. This communication channel can bypass the VPN connection and expose your data.

Most free VPNs also keep logs of your online activity as a way to generate revenue, selling it to advertisers and other third parties. Some free providers have been found to contain malware that activates when you download it to your device, putting your personal security at risk.

To avoid these issues, it’s vital to choose a VPN that provides military-grade encryption, leak protection, and a zero-logs policy. ExpressVPN offers top-tier security and privacy on every server, so you can torrent anonymously without the worry of data leaks.

Most free VPNs aren’t safe to use while P2P file-sharing due to their poor security features and data logging. The only free services you can use safely are “freemium” — limited versions of high-quality premium VPNs.

Fully free VPNs rely on third-party advertisers for revenue, so they could be logging your data and online activity to sell for profit. Worse still, some shady free services are loaded with malware designed to steal your information, potentially leading to identity theft or fraud.

Using a free VPN poses a risk to your privacy and device security. Data logging and poor encryption mean you could be targeted by ads, attacked by malware, or even found liable for torrenting copyrighted content. During my research, I found a few services that you should avoid.

What free VPNs work with Kodi or Popcorn Time?

All the best free VPNs for torrenting work with Kodi and Popcorn Time, which both use a BitTorrent client that downloads videos while you’re watching. Unfortunately, this process leaves your IP address and other data exposed to hackers, your ISP, and potential civil or criminal liability. This is a problem given that Kodi and Popcorn Time offers a lot of illegal copyrighted content.

While I don’t condone illegal activity, it’s important to know how to use these services safely, especially if you’re conducting official research. This is why I recommend using a high-quality VPN if you need to use apps like Kodi or Popcorn Time. A service like ExpressVPN provides top-tier encryption and security that keeps your online activity anonymouss, protecting you from exposing your data to hackers or your ISP.

What is the best free VPN for torrenting on my device?

The best totally free VPN for torrenting on most devices is Hotspot Shield. With its desktop and mobile apps, you have access to 15GB of monthly data, which is one of the largest allowances you’ll find from a free VPN. However, Hotspot Shield restricts users to 500MB per day, so it’s not ideal if you need to torrent larger files.

If you’d prefer uninterrupted torrenting, I recommend ExpressVPN as a risk-free alternative. While it is a paid service, you can test ExpressVPN without putting your money at risk as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. I think you’ll agree its torrent-ready global servers provide top speeds and security for P2P file-sharing, but if you’re not satisfied, you can easily get a full refund.

Torrent with ExpressVPN risk-free

Get the Best Free VPN for Torrenting Today

Finding a free VPN for torrenting is difficult — many services are too limited or don’t have the high-level privacy you need to keep your data anonymous.

Fortunately, all of the free VPNs recommended in this article are solid choices for anonymous torrenting. While they do have some limitations, like data caps or speed restrictions, you can rest assured your personal information is protected while downloading.

Ultimately, you’ll only get unlimited service with high-level security and privacy if you choose a premium VPN. While it isn’t free, ExpressVPN is the top choice for anonymous torrenting. I suggest that you torrent with ExpressVPN and see for yourself.

It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee so if you’re not satisfied, you can get a no-questions-asked refund — I tested the process myself, and it was easy, plus I had my money back in just 5 days.


The Best VPNs for Torrenting in 2022

Top Choice
ExpressVPN
$6.67 / month Save 49%
CyberGhost VPN
$2.29 / month Save 82%
Hotspot Shield
$2.99 / month Save 77%
TunnelBear VPN
$4.17 / month Save 58%
Hide me VPN
$2.59 / month Save 74%
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