NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN services on the market, owing to its large and diverse server network, security features, and privacy policies. Apart from that, many users choose NordVPN since it openly promotes and facilitates peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing. When combined with robust DNS leak prevention and a well-established no-logs policy.
We put NordVPN through its paces to see if it is safe to use for torrenting. We were particularly interested in learning the following:
- Will NordVPN safeguard your privacy if you’re torrenting?
- Is NordVPN sufficiently fast for torrenting?
- Are there any other VPNs worth considering?
Is NordVPN suitable for torrenting?
Because the majority of VPNs accept P2P communication, it’s simple to utilize any VPN for torrenting. Numerous organizations have even issued declarations in favor of filesharing. Few, on the other hand, have servers devoted to supporting P2P traffic. In that way, NordVPN satisfies a specialized market, even though it is not the only service that supports torrenting.
We’ll discuss why NordVPN is well-suited for torrenting and other types of peer-to-peer file sharing in further detail below, based on its server speeds, server selections, and logging and privacy policies.
Why should I use a VPN while torrenting?
Torrenting gained popularity in 1990s and early 2000s due to its ability to dramatically cut the amount of time users spend downloading content. Instead of being supplied directly from a single server, file downloads are dispersed among a large number of peers. Each file sharer (seed) makes a portion of the file available for download, which enhances the speed with which the file is downloaded (leeched).
While torrenting is a legitimate method of internet traffic, many ISPs limit all P2P connections due to its popularity among internet pirates. While torrent networks may be very fast when they are not throttled, they can introduce privacy problems; each user connecting to a torrent shares their IP address with everyone else downloading or uploading the same content.
By utilizing a VPN, you can conceal your IP address, avoid ISP eavesdropping and speed limiting, and yet experience fast torrent speeds. Additionally, VPNs enable users to circumvent internet censorship in countries such as China and circumvent geographic content limitations anywhere in the globe.
How to securely torrent with NordVPN
To begin torrenting on NordVPN, take these steps:
- Join NordVPN and create an account (NordVPN offers a money-back guarantee that makes it easy to test the service before you commit).
- To activate your account and download the NordVPN software, open your email.
- Open the NordVPN application, sign in, and then choose a P2P server.
From there, you may torrent without your ISP throttling your speed and through any torrent site or peer-to-peer network.
We suggest that you enable the kill switch on NordVPN before torrenting. If NordVPN’s software fails for any reason, the kill switch will disconnect your connection. The automated shut-off should prevent your real IP address from being leaked to the torrent network and allow you to quit your torrenting software before resuming your internet connection.
To enable the kill switch, browse to the app’s settings section, choose the Kill switch tab, and toggle “Internet Kill Switch” on.
If you wish to disable the kill switch for a single application, such as your torrent client, NordVPN also offers an App Kill Switch. Simply go to the settings menu, pick “App Kill Switch,” and then select your filesharing application (Qbittorrent, uTorrent, Azureus Vuze, etc).
NordVPN torrenting put to the test
You’ll want to double-check a few things before putting NordVPN through its paces with torrenting. Examine the server’s data and privacy safeguards, as well as its performance.
How to evaluate NordVPN’s torrenting security
To begin with, it’s critical to confirm that the VPN is disguising your genuine IP address and is not leaking data.
This may be accomplished by executing a DNS leak test both before and after connecting to the VPN server of your choice.
Ideally, you want to see distinct servers with distinct IP addresses appear in each of the two tests. This implies that your VPN is not disclosing your IP address through DNS.
If you want to torrent through a Chrome plugin such as uTorrent simple client, ensure that you additionally test for WebRTC leaks. This is a form of leak exclusive to web browsers (most notably Chrome and Firefox) in which your IP address is sent to STUN servers.
When you perform a test with a VPN connection, the same test that detects DNS leaks will also detect WebRTC leakage.
NordVPN’s encryption and privacy features safeguard against DNS and WebRTC breaches, while its kill switch protects your IP address even if the connection to the server is lost.
How to evaluate NordVPN’s torrenting performance
Two methods are available for evaluating NordVPN’s torrenting speeds. To begin, you may connect to one of the dedicated P2P servers and then do a basic speed test using one of the several accessible speed testing sites (Speedtest, Google, Fast, etc.). Since certain ISPs prioritize traffic via prominent speed testers such as Speedtest and Google, you may want to try less-well-known solutions for more accurate results.
Keep in mind that all VPNs will slow down your internet connection due to encryption and the additional distance to the VPN server. It’s critical to test your connection both before and after to determine the extent of the speed decrease. For instance, the following are side-by-side speed tests we conducted using a WiFi network and a NordVPN P2P server:
As you can see, there was a little decrease in speed while connecting to the VPN server (which is to be anticipated when using a VPN), but not enough to have a noticeable effect on download speeds when connecting to the P2P server.
Following that, you’ll want to check the speed of your torrent downloads. This should work with any torrent client and file. To evaluate download speeds, we downloaded a 1.5 GB file using BitTorrent.
Additionally, you may torrent using any of NordVPN’s other server types. However, since P2P servers are geared for quick torrenting, you may get better results while using them.
Are there any other VPNs that are suitable for torrenting?
NordVPN is a recommended solution for torrenting because of its specialized P2P servers. However, it is not the only choice on the market that combines high server speeds with the leak prevention and security measures required for safe torrenting.
At the moment, ExpressVPN is a viable option for individuals seeking access to servers in a larger number of countries, while CyberGhost and PIA VPN are more affordable monthly. Each of these three VPNs offers robust security, DNS and WebRTC leak prevention, and, most crucially, kill switches that operate as a fallback if your VPN connection breaks.
Is it possible to use a free VPN for torrenting?
While you may use a free VPN for torrenting, you’re likely to get dissatisfied fast. Free VPNs nearly usually have download and speed limits, which means that sluggish downloads may be interrupted before they are complete.
Numerous free VPNs also place crucial functions, such as the ability to move between servers, behind a barrier. The majority of cheap VPNs lack a kill switch, which we highly suggest for P2P users who expect to spend significant time on file-sharing networks.
Is NordVPN compatible with uTorrent or BitTorrent?
NordVPN’s servers are optimized for torrenting, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to utilize popular P2P clients like uTorrent and BitTorrent.
It’s important to remember, though, that you must use the complete program since NordVPN’s browser extension (like the majority of others) encrypts just traffic to and from your web browser.
What should I do if my Internet Service Provider (ISP) throttles my bandwidth?
ISPs often limit bandwidth when a user engages in an activity they dislike, typically a data-intensive endeavor such as streaming or torrenting. It’s also simple for them to target certain behaviors since P2P traffic has a distinct data pattern compared to, for example, daily online surfing.
A VPN helps by encrypting any data you transfer, making it hard for your ISP to monitor your online activities. Because they can’t see what you’re doing, they have a lot harder time justifying restricting your speeds.