Torrents and P2P file sharing are an integral part of online web activity across the globe. Hundreds of millions of people torrent files almost every day. The revolutionary means to share content allowed anyone to access data faster and easier than ever. The world first caught a glimpse of its prowess when Napster came into the lives of millions of internet users. Although file sharing is fully legal, the copyright music being shared was not and legal action soon followed. Unfortunately, the music industry failed to recognize the needed shift of market distribution, and instead of capitalizing from it, they tried to take it down and failed. Nowadays, that same music is distributed freely through YouTube and Spotify, go figure.
The movie industry became implicated in the legal battle against file sharing, also taking the wrong direction and failing to give the consumers what they want at a fair price. This also brought on a movement of government and legal teams using dated copyright laws to attempt and retain the industry’s antiquated methods of market distribution. Torrent P2P client software such as uTorrent, Bitorrent, Emule or Vuze among many others have become the standard for file sharing, but new P2P streaming systems like showbox and Popcorn Time have recently gained popularity, but due to possible legal pressure, the original creators abandoned the project, leaving an unknown party to take over and leaving much concern to possible dangers of continuing to use Popcorn Time to stream video through P2P. At this time, until more is known about the current affairs, we would suggest to steer clear of the service, but if you do use it, make sure you’re behind a solid VPN.
Many cases of citizens being prosecuted for copyright infringement have been used in attempt to scare the general public into ceasing their participation while increasing their aggressive tactics every year and forming large organizations to battle on against the P2P community. Adding to the whole mess, hundreds of legal teams actively and independently pursue copyright infringement for the sole purpose of profit, gaining them the title of “Copyright Trolls”.
To effectively protect your privacy online while using torrent clients and file sharing, signing up to a VPN service as recommended by Reddit is essential to achieving your goal. With government spying agencies collecting data in bulk, while your ISP may be possibly selling all your data transfer logs, it has never been a better time for you to secure your internet connection and remain anonymous while file sharing through peer-2-peer networks. There are a few important factors to picking the best VPN for file sharing and torrents;
- First is choosing a VPN provider that has a long track record for never divulging or leaking any of your information to a third party and retaining and solid log-free service and policy. Adequate encryption of data is important, to avoid it being intercepted in transit.
- Second is speed and unlimited bandwidth. You want a fast VPN service when downloading large torrents free of transfer limits. As you may know VPN services will inevitably slow down your connection but choosing a VPN service with fast servers allows you to attain close to your maximum bandwidth.
Some may point out BitCoin payments as a big advantage for file sharing VPN users. They allow you to pay anonymously, so there remains no paper trail that you paid for a VPN service in the first place. However, not everyone buys and uses BitCoins or even have a BitCoin wallet and many users are content with encrypting their data. For these reasons, we did not use it as a determining factor for the best VPN for torrents and P2P, even though it may seem as important for P2P users. Luckily, there are other ways that you can still pay anonymously, such as pre-paid credit cards. You can simply pay for a pre-paid card with cash money, and use it to sign up to a VPN service. The one downside is that pre-paid cards carry annoying service fees that cut the value by a few dollars.
Best VPN Services For P2P File Sharing – Torrents
TorGuard – Full Review
TorGuard does not care if you torrent all day long, similar to other providers, if it does happen to receive a DMCA takedown on a US or compliant server, they simply shut down the protocol and call it a day, never risking your identity, encryption, or having to send you any notices. With a very large network, strong encryption, and P2P free-for-all, Torguard gets a good score all around, but the website feels very cluttered and hard to browse. Signing up for the first time can feel tedious, and Torguard offers various plans and services, including encrypted email. To save you the trouble of making sense of all the plans, the yearly VPN plan offers the best value for your money by far.
- Mostly fast servers with no usage limits.
- Tier-1 network w/ 1000+ IPs across 41+ countries.
- Solid privacy & encryption.
Private Internet Access – Full Review
PIA has been a long-time favorite for many VPN users by simply offering great performance and low cost. For a long time PIA, has been committed to keeping their VPN user’s privacy safe and although they do not have a full tier-1 network, they have over a thousand servers, fast speeds and excellent customer service. Additionally, the price is hard to beat. Users on a tight budget are instantly attracted to Private Internet Access and we can attest that they do satisfy us and rate as being one of the best in value. P2P friendly, easy to use, and cheap – PIA continues to remain a popular choice year after year.
- Fairly easy to find fast servers, rates above average in speed, no usage limits.
- Over 1300 servers across 18 countries with a minimum of tier-3 network rating.
- Solid privacy track record and some of the lowest prices in the industry.
ExpressVPN – Full Review
ExpressVPN has grown to be very popular for P2P torrents after enough time passed to confirm that no logging and DMCA notices we’re being sent to users. With a strong privacy no log policy, they have implemented their own way of handling legal takedown notices internally. Speeds are great, and the service is easy to use for any level of user. ExpressVPN is a little more expensive, but the service, software, and guides included really make the experience better. If you prefer a premium product, try this one out, they also happen to provide a 30-day money back guarantee, longer than any other VPN provider.
- Great software with automatic ping a speed tests, across all platforms.
- Great coverage over close to 80+ countries.
- Solid privacy & encryption.
IPVanish – Full Review
The VPN services that usually attain the best speeds consistently, are those who operate their own large tier-1 network. Tier-1 means they own and operate all their servers. IPVanish claims they are the only ‘true’ tier-1 VPN provider that really manages and runs every single connection point they offer. Additionally to being fast, having their own tier-1 means no other third party contractor is left in charge of your privacy and solid data encryption. They have great security features and proper software to easily get connected. Overall, great speeds, great network selection, great privacy and great prices! They figure very competitively with their yearly plan, most of all.
- Consistently fast servers available, no usage limits.
- Tier-1 network w/ 130+ servers in 58 countries.
- Solid privacy & encryption.
NordVPN – Full Review
NordVPN is a zero logs provider and its network features ultra-fast servers that enable you to download content dealing with frustrating delays. The fact that NordVPN is a logless provider means that your privacy remains protected at all times. You can torrent without compromising your identity because NordVPN has over 5000 secure servers that enable you to mask your real location. These servers also offer fast speeds that allow you to enjoy access to file sharing websites that may be blocked in your location. NordVPN supports P2P in most locations, it also offers affordable plans and it protects your traffic with high encryption.
Surfshark – Full Review
Surfshark hasn’t been around for too long, but it has gained a lot of respect already in the VPN industry. It lets you connect to servers in more than 50 countries and thanks to its advanced features, you can bypass restrictions and use file sharing websites, even if they have been restricted by your network or in your location. Surfshark supports unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning that you can use as many devices as you want at the same time. This makes Surfshark a VPN that offers great value for money and that keeps you protected from online threats.