Choosing the best VPN for torrenting is still too convoluted a process for an age wherein Mars colonization efforts are actually seriously happening. Sure, some are better than others, but getting to the bottom of every mainstream service and its feature set was a largely frustrating experience for yours truly. E.g. it’s ridiculously easy to fall into the trap of recommending something like PureVPN to torrent aficionados given its countless P2P-friendly features like port forwarding. Yet the very same solution seems to be totally fine with throttling torrenting traffic, or is at the very least extremely dependent on infrastructure owners that do so.
With that said, let’s try to navigate through this field of nonsense and list the top five best VPNs for torrenting that money can currently buy, as well as top five free alternatives to-no, of course not, haven’t you been paying attention?
#5 Avast SecureLine VPN
Though Avast SecureLine VPN is without a doubt our most conflicting pick featured herein, the actual end-user experience it offers is remarkably consistent, both in terms of performance, design, and overall capabilities. Ditto for the official mobile app(s) offered under the same brand. If only this piece of Czech software wasn’t leaving so many things to be desired on the privacy front.
- A huge number of torrent-friendly servers
- Pleasant design
More specifically, we’ve found that ProtonVPN, your everyday VPN solution, and ProtonVPN, your weekend network tunneling software are astonishingly different products, at least from the perspective of a power user focused on torrenting. Using it in combination with P2P sharing during weekends has hence all too often turned into an exercise in patience, something we’re really dangerously low on these days.
Try to then imagine our surprise when, following three consecutive weeks of testing, we stumble upon the realization that ProtonVPN’s torrenting throughput is about twice as high from Monday to Friday. Not because it needs a break, however, but simply on account of the fact its servers tend to get super-packed from Friday evening until early morning hours leading into the following week. Hardly the end of the world but boy, where are all the sysadmins hiding? Because ProtonVPN is so close to universal greatness.
- A dream for tinkerers
- Network can get overcrowded on the weekends
The third best VPN for torrenting: TunnelBear VPN
TunnelBear is equal parts tunnel and a bear, not to mention a powerful encryption suite securing your online communications, concealing your digital identity, and looking absolutely adorable while doing so.
From a torrent user’s perspective, TunnelBear is way above average in terms of speeds and ease of use, with its only notable shortfall being lack of port forwarding support. Then again, this omission is in line with its accessibility-first product philosophy, which is why we’ll take the shocking option of respecting it and moving on with this P2P-first VPN list.
After all, there’s only so much moaning about a lack of granular network mapping controls in software primarily designed for a demographic incapable of even spelling that term that one can do before completely severing their connection with reality, retreating into isolation, trying to select a torrenting VPN through meditation, slipping too far into some pseudozen state, accidentally catching a glimpse of Cthulhu, and consequently going insane from the experience. Erm.. where were we? Right, VPNs that go “brrr” while handling torrent traffic.
- Super user-friendly
- Intelligent network design
- Seamless mobile app(s)
- Small relative to top rivals, hence at increased risk of infrastructural congestion
- No port forwarding (but at least it owns up to that like a bear)
Second best VPN for torrenting: PIA
Private Internet Access is a VPN provider we need, but don’t deserve. It may not exactly be the prettiest to look at, but its creators truly couldn’t care less about that being the case, and who can blame them? At the end of the day, its design, as in-your-face as it may be, is entirely functional, so one should be willing to cut its some slack in the already highly subjective aesthetics department (just kidding, we already went all out in our PIA VPN review).
But let’s get back to the point, which is that PIA is an absolutely stellar piece of software that does pretty much everything a modern virtual private network service should while leaving extremely little room for complaints. Coupled with its arguably industry-leading approach to business transparency, it’s really hard to look past it when thinking about the very best torrenting VPNs currently available to consumers.
Well, with one notably painful exception, that is.
- Unmatched transparency and pro-consumer track record
- Attractively priced
- Competitive speeds paired with ultra-competitive consistency
- UI design may be offensive to users with functional occipital lobes or anything resembling good taste
I was so incredibly certain I’ll find a better overall torrenting VPN while I was reviewing the latest iteration of ExpressVPN several weeks back. Because its not-even-trying approach to doing things was so annoying that I convinced myself any random VPN reseller could beat it in the torrenting department by simply showing anything resembling an ounce of effort; say, by offering large volumes of dedicated P2P servers.
Therefore, it’s with great disgruntlement that I’m recommending ExpressVPN to any and all aficionados of torrents and those who are yet to fully immerse themselves into the wonderfully collaborative world of peer-to-peer sharing. No, you won’t get to fiddle with a million tiny options, and the lack of any warrant canary is an annoyance you’ll have to learn to live with, but the core experience is so smooth, the raw performance numbers so much higher than non-specialized servers should have any business achieving that ExpressVPN is simply *the* best VPN for torrenting, especially if you’re a power user.
- Speeds, duh
- Accompanied by massive knowledge base that’s equal parts practically useful and generally informative
- Allows truly anonymous VPN usage, cryptocurrency subscription payments included
- Straightforward to set up, even compared to the most accessible alternatives out there
- Seriously doesn’t even try to the point of lacking purpose-built P2P servers, which just makes us look clueless with this pick and we’re not, so help us Geoff Bezos
- Somewhat costly pricing (which, frankly, comes with the territory)