5 Best Free VPNs for Torrenting and P2P — Updated in 2022
- Best Free VPNs for Torrenting — Full Analysis (Updated August 2022)
- ExpressVPN — Overall Best Torrenting VPN With Excellent Speeds and Top Security
- CyberGhost — Torrenting-Optimized Servers for Fast & Reliable Downloads
- Avira Phantom VPN — Free and Easy-to-Use Apps for Torrenting on All Your Devices
- hide.me — Customizable Security Features to Keep You Safe While Torrenting
- Hotspot Shield — Catapult Hydra Protocol for Fast Torrenting
- Quick Comparison Table: Best VPNs for Torrenting
- Tips on How to Choose the Best Free VPN for Torrenting
- Warning: Risks of Free VPNs
- Quick Guide: How to Set Up a Free VPN for Torrenting in 3 Easy Steps
- FAQs on the Best Free VPNs for Torrenting
- Protect Your Torrenting Activity With a Free VPN Today
Using a free torrenting VPN might sound like a good idea, but I’ll be perfectly honest with you: I spent several weeks testing 50+ free VPNs for torrenting and I was shocked with some of the results.
Many free VPNs leaked my identifying information and exposed my IP address — repeatedly. Others blocked P2P transfers altogether, and the majority had such low data caps and slow connection speeds that I couldn’t, in good faith, recommend them as reliable options for torrenting.
I did manage to shortlist a few truly free VPNs that will keep you safe while you torrent, but these too have limitations, including small data caps and a low server count. To avoid all restrictions and stay safe while torrenting, your best option is a paid VPN.
My top recommendation is ExpressVPN thanks to its fast speeds, excellent security features, and a strict no-logs policy. It offers unlimited data and a massive P2P-friendly server network. And even though it's not 100% free, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free since it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested this guarantee myself and got my money back in 3 days.
Important! Even though torrenting is legal in most countries, downloading copyrighted content is NOT. We don’t condone illegal torrenting, so please check your country’s local laws to ensure that you’re staying compliant and not breaking any rules.
- ExpressVPN — Fast connections, a proven no-logs policy, and unlimited data for safe and uninterrupted torrenting. Plus, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free.
- CyberGhost — Cheap plans with torrenting-optimized servers for unlimited downloads and strong security.
- Avira Phantom VPN — Free and easy-to-use apps that don’t require signup, but you only get 500 MB of data monthly.
- hide.me — Robust security features to keep your torrenting activity private, but capped at 10 GB of monthly data.
- Hotspot Shield — Catapult Hydra protocol to improve speeds for torrenting, but it only has 1 free server location.
- The fastest VPN we tested, plus unlimited data for torrenting
- 3,000+ servers in 94 countries
- Works with: uTorrent, BitTorr4ent, Transmission, qBittorrent, Vuze, Deluge, and more
- Compatible with: Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, routers, and more
ExpressVPN is faster and more secure than any other VPN on my list. Pair that with unlimited data and a strict no-logs policy, and you’ve got yourself the best torrenting VPN.
Even on long-distance connections, it delivers consistently fast speeds. When I tested its New York And Chicago servers (two of the furthest from my location), I recorded an average download speed of 57 Mbps, which was only a 5% drop from my base connection.
Free VPNs, and even some paid VPNs, have significantly slower speeds over long distances. But using ExpressVPN, I could download Abilene Town (1.07 GB) on uTorrent in just 3 minutes.
ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol is largely responsible for its excellent performance. Lightway is designed to be fast, secure, and ideal for torrenting. In my experience, it works just as well as WireGuard, but if you’re looking for more options, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec are also available.
Best of all, ExpressVPN’s entire fleet of servers is P2P-friendly, so you don’t have to waste time finding the right connection. If you’re in a hurry, you can even let the app select the fastest connection for you.
Even though it’s not 100% free, you do get 3 months of extra service completely free when you sign up for the yearly plan. Plus, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free since it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it, you can get a full refund.
- Top security features. ExpressVPN offers AES 256-bit military-grade encryption with perfect forward secrecy, which means that your torrenting traffic can’t be traced or deciphered. Plus, you get leak protection and an automatic kill switch to prevent accidental exposure of your real IP address.
- Strict no-logs policy. ExpressVPN’s policy has been independently verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers and tested in real life. In 2017, the Turkish authorities seized one of ExpressVPN’s servers to aid an investigation. They couldn’t find any information because there was nothing stored on the servers.
- RAM-only servers. ExpressVPN uses RAM-only servers that wipe user data from previous sessions with every reboot. In addition, the company is based in the British Virgin Islands, which has no data retention laws.
- Split-tunneling. This feature lets you encrypt only the traffic of your choosing. I added uTorrent to the VPN tunnel and accessed local streaming sites using normal unencrypted internet.
- 9,023+ servers in 91 countries, including some optimized for torrenting
- A user-friendly interface, and 7 simultaneous device connections
- Works with: uTorrent, BitTorrent, Transmission, qBittorrent, Vuze, Deluge, and more
- Compatible with: Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, routers, and more
CyberGhost’s dedicated torrenting servers make it an excellent choice if you’re looking for a fast, but cheap VPN. These servers are optimized for speed so you can download files quickly without compromising your privacy.
I tested its UK torrenting server (London) while downloading Astronomy Picture of the Day from Legit Torrents. My speeds remained consistent, at around 52 Mbps. The file was quite large (2.62 GB), but it only took 7 minutes to download.
CyberGhost is based in Romania, which is outside of the 5/9/14-Eyes alliance. This means it’s not required to hand out user data to government agencies, even if it’s asked to do so. In any case, it has a strict no-logs policy so none of your data is ever stored.
I also appreciated CyberGhost’s Smart Rules feature, which lets you protect your torrenting traffic with almost no effort. You can add apps of your choosing (like uTorrent) to the App Rules list, and CyberGhost will automatically connect you to a VPN server the next time you open that app. You don’t have to manually turn on the VPN every time you torrent.
The only downside with CyberGhost is that its long-distance connections aren’t as fast as ExpressVPN’s. However, you’ll barely notice the difference if you have a fast connection to begin with.
It’s backed by a generous money-back guarantee, so you can try CyberGhost for free for up to 45 days and get a refund if it’s not for you.
- Strong security. CyberGhost uses robust security features to keep your torrenting activity safe. This includes AES 256-bit military-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and a kill switch.
- Built-in malware blocker. CyberGhost’s “Content Block” feature blocks domains used for ads and malware. This feature will help prevent you from accidentally downloading malware while on torrent sites that aren’t usually regulated.
- Split-tunneling. Like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost also offers split-tunneling. This means you can use the VPN connection on torrenting apps while other apps have direct access to the internet
- Unlimited device connections, easy to set up on any device
- Decent speeds and up to 500MB data/month
- Works with: uTorrent, BitTorrent, qBittorent, Transmission, Vuze, Deluge, and more
- Compatible with: Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS
Avira Phantom is super easy to use and set up, making it a solid choice for VPN beginners. You don’t even need to create an account to get started, which means it’s easier to keep your information private.
I could download and install Avira on my Windows laptop in less than 2 minutes. Connecting to a server is also pretty straightforward: Just click the Secure My Connection button, and you’re all set.
With its strict no-logs policy, you can rest assured that your torrenting activity is not being tracked. Avira Phantom doesn’t store identifiable user data, like IP addresses, websites you visit, or other personal information.
Plus, I really liked its Auto-Connect feature, which automatically starts protecting your device when you connect to a WiFi network. With this feature enabled, your torrenting activity is always safe even if you forget to turn on the VPN.
That said, Avira Phantom is capped at 500 MB of data per month, which is only enough to download a couple of very small torrent files. It doesn’t have a kill switch either, which can leave you unprotected if your VPN connection accidentally drops or you run out of data.
But if you try and like Avira, you can always upgrade to a paid plan and get rid of all the limitations.
- Basic security features. Leak protection and military-grade encryption are included in the free plan. A kill switch is available with the paid plan.
- Decent speeds. During my tests, I recorded an average download speed of 38 Mbps (around 37% speed loss). This is good for a free VPN — you won’t experience any slowdowns while downloading files if you have a fast baseline connection.
- P2P-friendly servers. All of Avira Phantom’s servers are P2P-friendly. However, take note that it only lets you connect using the “Nearest location” feature on its Windows and iOS apps. Its Android app gives you access to servers in 36+ countries.
- Top security features that can be easily customized
- 10 GB data per month
- Works with: uTorrent, BitTorrent, qBittorrent, Transmission, Vuze, and more
- Compatible with: Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, routers, and more
In addition to standard features like AES 256-bit encryption and a kill switch, hide.me lets you tweak your VPN settings for safe torrenting.
For example, you can choose between 4 protocols: IKEv2, OpenVPN, SoftEtherVPN, and SSTP. During my tests, I got the fastest speeds with IKEv2. However, I recommend OpenVPN because it’s more secure and reliable for torrenting.
hide.me is based in a privacy-friendly country (Malaysia) and has a strict no-logs policy. It doesn’t store your IP address, connection timestamps, or anything else that might put your privacy at risk.
The only information it collects is your email address, which can be circumvented by using a burner email for signing up.
It offers free servers in 5 locations: US East, US West, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands. All servers are P2P-friendly, but you could experience slow download speeds if you’re connecting from outside of Europe or North America.
With the free version, you get a decent 10 GB of data per month, which is enough for downloading several small torrent files or a couple of large ones. If you’re a power user who torrents a lot, you’ll have to upgrade to its paid version or use a VPN that comes with unlimited data, like ExpressVPN.
- Fast speeds and 500 MB data per day
- 1 server location in the US
- Works with: uTorrent, BitTorrent, qBittorrent, Transmission, Deluge, and more
- Compatible with: Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and more
Despite being free, Hotspot Shield delivers fast speeds on long-distance connections, thanks to its Catapult Hydra protocol. This makes it a great option for torrenting.
During my tests, its free server (in the US) gave me good speeds, even though I was on the other side of the planet (over 10,000 km away). My download of Sita Sings the Blues was slow to begin with, but it soon picked up. I downloaded the 306 MB file in 3 minutes.
The free version protects your torrenting traffic with the same level of encryption as the paid one (AES 256-bit). Plus, it also offers an automatic kill switch, leak protection, and split-tunneling.
Unfortunately, the free version only gives you 500 MB of daily data, so you won’t be able to download that many files at once. However, when you add it up that’s about 15 GB per month, which is way more than what most free VPNs offer.
You’re limited to 1 server location in the US, which means that you can’t access torrent sites that are not available in the country. But if you don’t mind entering your payment details and email, you can opt for the 7-day free trial. This gives you unlimited data and access to its full server network.
The table below compares the features of all my recommended free VPNs for torrenting. Here you can see each VPN’s average speed, monthly data limit, and whether it has an automatic kill switch.
I’ve also included whether or not each VPN is headquartered outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes jurisdiction — this way you can be sure that your VPN provider won’t hand out your sensitive data to government agencies.
Tips on How to Choose the Best Free VPN for Torrenting
I looked at the following metrics to rank the VPNs on this list. You can use the same criteria if you’re unsure about what to look for in a free VPN for torrenting.
- Really free — A free VPN means that you shouldn’t have to commit to a subscription to use the service. I tested each and every VPN on this list to make sure that it’s either 100% free or backed by a trustworthy money-back guarantee.
- Allows torrenting — Your free VPN should allow P2P file sharing on at least some of its servers. Some VPNs don’t allow torrenting at all. All the free VPNs on this list support torrenting and some even have specialized P2P servers.
- Strong security features — I made sure that each VPN on this list has essential security features, like AES 256-bit military-grade encryption and leak protection. Most of them have an automatic kill switch to keep your torrenting activity safe even if you lose your VPN connection. All this ensures safe, private torrenting sessions.
- A strict no-logs policy — Your free VPN should have a strict no-logs policy to keep your torrenting safe. None of the VPNs on this list store any of your identifiable data.
- Fast speeds — Look for a free VPN that offers consistently fast speeds. This way, you can download torrents quickly without slowdowns. All the free VPNs on this list have an average speed of 15 Mbps or above, which is fast enough for torrenting.
- Enough data — Most free VPNs severely limit data allowances. This means that you can only use them for simple activities, like browsing and checking emails. However, I made sure that each VPN on this list has a monthly data limit of at least 1 GB, which should be enough to download a couple of small torrent files.
- Responsive customer support — Your free VPN should offer reliable customer support in case you ever run into problems. Live chat is preferred — however, email, contact form, or knowledge base can also work. All the free VPNs on this list offer support via at least one of these modes.
Warning: Risks of Free VPNs
Most free VPNs are unsafe for torrenting. That’s why I thoroughly tested each VPN on this list to make sure they’re safe. Although all free VPNs have limitations, the ones on this list won’t compromise your privacy.
Some of the risks associated with free VPNs are:
- Free VPNs can sell your data — Many free VPNs make money by selling your data to third parties. Be sure to choose a provider that has a strict no-logs policy so that your personal info is never at risk.
- Free VPNs can have weak security — Some free VPNs lack important security features, like military-grade encryption and leak protection. This means that your torrenting activity isn’t protected at all and can be traced back to you.
- Free VPNs can infect your devices with malware — Many free VPNs bombard you with malicious ads. Some even have malware embedded in their apps — they can do more harm than good.
Free VPNs to Avoid
During my tests, I found some free VPNs that are not safe enough for torrenting. They can expose you to viruses and share your data with third parties for a profit.
- Hola Free VPN — Hola Free VPN is not a VPN but a P2P network — it doesn’t have its own servers. You share your IP address and bandwidth with other free users. This means that any random stranger can use your IP address, and if they do something illegal, you could get into trouble for that.
- TurboVPN — This VPN was found to have malware embedded in the app and does not offer leak protection. In addition, it’s riddled with intrusive ads.
- Betternet VPN — It logs a massive amount of data, including your IP address, location, and connection timestamps. In 2016, its Android app was riddled with trackers and malware.
- Psiphon — It records sensitive data such as your browsing history and connection timestamps. Plus, it has weak security and can leak your data.
Quick Guide: How to Set Up a Free VPN for Torrenting in 3 Easy Steps
- Get a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because it doesn’t have any limitations. You get solid security features, superfast speeds, and unlimited data. It’s not 100% free, but you can try it risk-free with its money-back guarantee.
- Connect to a server. Choose a server that’s close to your physical location for speedy connections.
- Start torrenting! Your connection is now secure and you can torrent safely.
FAQs on the Best Free VPNs for Torrenting
Are free VPNs safe for torrenting?
Yes and no — it totally depends on the VPN provider you choose. All the free VPNs on this list are safe for torrenting. They will keep your torrenting activity private from everyone, including ISPs and other peers on the P2P network. Plus, all of them have a strict no-logs policy, so your information is never stored.
However, many free VPNs collect and sell your data to third parties in order to make a profit. Many of them have weak security and can leak identifying information since they don’t have the resources to update their software. Some even expose you to viruses and malware. Therefore, it’s important to do your research and choose a free VPN that doesn’t log your data. It should also have essential security features, like military-grade encryption and leak protection.
Is using a VPN for torrenting legal?
Yes, it’s legal — but it can be a bit complicated. In most cases, you can use a VPN for torrenting without any problems. However, using a VPN for downloading copyrighted content is illegal and could get you in trouble.
In addition, some countries (like China and Iran) have banned or heavily regulated VPN use, and using one at all in such countries can be illegal. I don’t condone illegal activities, so it’s best to check your local laws to avoid facing any legal consequences.
Are free VPNs fast enough for torrenting?
Some of them are, but most free VPNs have speed caps and data limits. The VPNs shortlisted here all had speeds fast enough for torrenting. However, the truly free options all offer limited monthly data which you’ll quickly max out on with torrenting.
The best way to stay safe while torrenting is to opt for a low-cost premium VPN — Most of them come with money-back guarantees which allows you to get all your money back within a certain time frame (usually 30 days). ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are my favorites since they have superfast speeds and unlimited data, so you can torrent as much as you want without any slowdowns.
Can I use a free VPN for torrenting on Android?
Yes, as long as it’s compatible with Android. All the free VPNs on this list have apps for Android, so you can torrent with them on your Android without any problems.
That said, it’s important to choose a free VPN that will keep your torrenting activity safe on Android. Many free Android VPNs leak your data and do not protect your privacy at all. Some have been known to sell user data for profits. I always recommend you do your research before downloading a free VPN app to your device.
Can I improve torrenting performance with a free VPN?
In some cases. All the free VPNs on this list enhance your online safety, and can sometimes improve download speeds. Sometimes ISPs throttle high-bandwidth activities, like torrenting, but you can enjoy faster downloads when you use a VPN (either paid or free). That’s because VPNs encrypt your traffic and hide your torrenting activity from ISPs, which prevents throttling.
For best torrenting performance, choose either the OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols. Most free VPNs do not offer WireGuard (which is generally faster than OpenVPN), so the latter is more popular. It still has a good balance of speed and security. Whichever protocol you choose, it’s important to use a kill switch as well. This will protect your data if you lose your VPN connection.
In addition, make sure to bind your torrent client to a VPN. This ensures that you can only download files when you’re connected to a VPN. Not all torrent clients support IP binding, but the popular ones like uTorrent and Vuze do.
What if my free VPN is not working with uTorrent?
First off, you should try switching to a different server. It’s possible that the server you’re connected to doesn’t support P2P traffic. That said, some free VPNs do not support torrenting at all. Therefore, it’s important to choose a reliable free service with P2P-friendly servers.
If that doesn’t work, you can also try:
- Flushing DNS. Cached data buildups can affect the functionality of your torrent client, so clearing DNS cache can help. The steps to flush the DNS varies from device to device. If you’re on a Windows device, just launch the cmd instance and type “ipconfig /flushdns.”
- Disabling IPv6. If your free VPN is leaking IPv6, then your ISP can see your torrent activity and restrict your traffic. Even though VPNs on this list offer IPv6 leak protection, not all free VPNs do. Therefore, it’s better to disable IPv6 on your device. You can do that from the “Network & Sharing Center” on your Windows computer.
- Reinstalling your uTorrent client. Sometimes reinstalling the uTorrent client fixes the problem. That’s because if one of the files is corrupt, reinstallation will simply re-write the corrupted file.
Protect Your Torrenting Activity With a Free VPN Today
Some free VPNs leak your data and do not protect your torrenting traffic at all. Others do not support P2P traffic. While the free VPNs on this list have top-notch security and P2P-friendly servers, they do have limitations, like data restrictions and slower speeds.
That’s why my top recommendation is ExpressVPN. It has top-notch security, superfast speeds, and unlimited data to let you torrent without any restrictions. It’s not 100% free, but you can try ExpressVPN risk-free as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it, it’s easy to get all your money back.
The best VPNs for torrenting that come with money-back guarantees are…
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