Top 8 FREE VPNs for Torrenting in 2020: Safe and Trustworthy
Whether you need to bypass torrenting blocks in your country or you want to torrent in anonymity, you need a VPN.
And, with so many free VPNs on the market, why not get one for nothing?
While you can get a free VPN for torrenting, you need to know the risks and limitations of no-cost services.
Not only can free VPNs be slow and unreliable, but some threaten your safety.
Several free VPNs won’t even allow torrenting on their servers at all.
If you value true anonymity, fast upload/download speeds, and total reliability, I always recommend using a low-cost premium VPN.
Premium services like NordVPN are secure and lightning-fast but don’t cost very much a month. You can even enjoy a month’s usage risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you don’t want to pay, some free VPNs are good for torrenting – as long as you don’t mind a few limitations.
I tested 25 services to find the eight best free VPNs for torrenting. They may offer a compromise between speed and cost but they will allow you to torrent safely for free.
Best Free VPNs for Torrenting – Quick Guide
- NordVPN: Get one month’s unlimited access to one of the best VPNs for torrenting with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Super-fast speeds, CyberSec security software, and dedicated P2P servers.
- Windscribe: This free VPN is fast, easy to use, and has servers that support torrenting. Downloads might be restricted by the 10GB/month data allowance.
- Hotspot Shield: A completely free P2P-friendly service with good speeds and security. 500MB of free data per day, which can limit torrenting.
- Hide.me: Unlimited bandwidth and unrestricted speeds are on offer from this free VPN. Server access and usage are limited though; you get 2GB of data per month.
- PrivateVPN: Try one of our top recommended premium VPNs risk-free with a 7-day free trial. Unlimited speeds and usage for the entire trial, with fast, global, P2P-friendly servers.
What’s The Catch With Free VPNs?
Free VPNs can be slow and unreliable. They can also be dangerous.
If you care about your anonymity and safety while torrenting, a free VPN might be a risky choice.
Lots of free VPNs don’t support torrenting, to begin with.
Free VPN servers are often overpopulated. Since torrenting can be bandwidth-heavy, many free services block P2P traffic to prevent their servers from becoming overloaded.
Only premium VPNs usually have the network and infrastructure to offer dedicated P2P servers for torrenting.
One reason you might use a VPN while torrenting is to protect your anonymity.
You rely on a VPN to mask your IP address from other peers in your swarm. VPN encryption also prevents anyone from monitoring your online behavior, so no one can see that you’re torrenting.
Free VPNs rarely offer security features that are powerful and reliable enough to guarantee your safety while torrenting.
They usually can’t compete with premium services, which offer military-grade encryption and other features designed to keep your IP address hidden at all times.
Limitations are one of the most annoying aspects of using a free VPN for torrenting.
Free VPNs nearly always impose a data allowance cap on non-paying customers.
Not only are you restricted in how much you can torrent, but some free VPNs even deliberately reduce your speeds.
If you want unlimited data and super-fast download and upload speeds, you need a low-cost premium VPN instead.
The Best Free VPNs for Torrenting (Updated 2020)
There are some dangerous free VPNs out there but there are some good ones too. I ran extensive tests to pick out the eight best free VPNs for torrenting, based on speed, security, and compatibility.
Each recommendation does have its limitations. However, they should all allow you to do at least some torrenting for free.
- 4,400+ dedicated P2P servers
- Super-fast speeds
- Military-grade encryption and strict no-logs policy
- CyberSec malware-blocker
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime TV, Hulu, and HBO GO
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Firefox, Chrome, and some routers
NordVPN is the most secure service for torrenting.
Luckily, you can try it out for a month risk-free by using its 30-day money-back guarantee. That’s an entire month of torrenting with unlimited data and unrestricted speeds.
NordVPN is super-fast, too. During my tests, both my download and upload speeds were excellent – I was able to torrent quickly and easily with no interruptions or delays.
NordVPN has 4,400+ dedicated P2P servers around the world, giving you plenty of options when it comes to unblocking and torrenting.
It’s incredibly easy to use with torrent clients. The server recommendation tool automatically connects you to the best P2P-optimized server.
While you torrent, NordVPN protects your privacy with 256-bit AES encryption. A kill switch and DNS leak protection ensure your IP address is never exposed in your swarm.
CyberSec security software even blocks ads and malware along with suspicious sites and downloads. You’re protected from accidentally torrenting malicious software.
If you’re more worried about speed than security, NordVPN is also SOCKS5 proxy-compatible. The proxy boosts your speeds for even faster torrenting. It might be a little less secure but it should be fine for most users.
Lastly, NordVPN is based in privacy-friendly Panama, which is not in the Fourteen Eyes Alliance. Along with its strict no-logs policy, NordVPN can be trusted never to store or pass on any of your information.
You can even opt to pay with cryptocurrency if you don’t want to expose any of your personal or payment details.
Our complete NordVPN review will tell you everything else you need to know.
- P2P-friendly servers in 10 countries
- 10GB of data per month
- Good speeds
- Built-in ad and malware-blocker
- No-logs policy
- Works with: YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Kodi, and HBO GO
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and routers
Windscribe is a completely free service that limits data and server access.
Free users are only allowed to access servers in 10 countries. These countries include the UK, Hong Kong, the US, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, and Switzerland.
That gives you a fairly good global spread. However, you will not be able to download any content that is geo-restricted to any other country.
Most of Windscribe’s servers are P2P-friendly so you should be able to find one that works for you. I was able to find several servers that were good for torrenting during my tests.
The only drawback was that Windscribe’s data cap did restrict how much I could download and upload.
As a free user, you get 10GB of data per month. If you tweet Windscribe, you do get the option to extend this allowance by 5GB.
Still, that’s only enough to watch about one episode of TV a day.
Windscribe’s speeds are fast enough for torrenting but I did find that their free servers became overloaded during busy periods. This can mean that torrenting is very slow at peak times.
If you don’t mind the wait, Windscribe takes care of your privacy with some high-end security measures. 256-bit AES encryption protects your data and a built-in ad and malware-blocker safeguards you from accidentally downloaded viruses.
Windscribe is based in Canada, which is in the Five Eyes Alliance. However, it promises a strict no-logs policy and so shouldn’t store or pass on any of your data.
Find out more about this popular free VPN for torrenting in our full Windscribe review.
- P2P traffic on all servers
- 500MB of free data per day
- Hydra protocol for good speeds
- Built-in malware and phishing database
- Works with: Spotify and YouTube
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome, and Firefox
Hotspot Shield is a premium VPN with a limited free version.
If you want to use the service for free, you only get access to one basic US server. However, Hotspot Shield allows P2P traffic on all its servers so you can still use it for torrenting.
Hotspot Shield’s speeds are very good for a free VPN. Your connection is boosted by the service’s Hydra protocol, which also strengthens the VPN’s security.
Unfortunately, you are limited to a 500MB per day data allowance. That’s enough to watch around 30 minutes of TV every day.
The data limit might be enough for more casual torrenters but it can be frustrating if you use your client more frequently.
I found Hotspot Shield’s security measures fairly impressive for a free service. It protects you with military-grade encryption and every server comes with a built-in malware and phishing database.
If privacy is your main concern though, it is worth noting that Hotspot Shield is a US-based VPN. It promises not to log any of your online activity but does log some information like your MAC address and wireless carrier.
It is also powered by Google targeted ads. To make these ads work, Hotspot Shield does share some of your data with Google.
If you want a free, fast way to unblock torrent bans, Hotspot Shield is a great option. Just be wary if absolute anonymity and privacy is your goal.
See what else we have to say about this fast, no-cost service in our comprehensive Hotspot Shield review.
- 2GB free data per month
- P2P friendly servers in all free locations except the US
- Unlimited bandwidth and speeds
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Works with: Hulu, iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO GO
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux, and routers
Hide.me is a completely free VPN that allows torrenting. You don’t need to input any personal or financial details to sign up, which is great news if anonymity is your biggest concern.
Free users are limited to five server locations. You can access servers in the US East, US West, Canada, the Netherlands, and Singapore.
All of hide.me’s servers allow torrenting except in US locations. You can torrent using any of the other free countries but you won’t be able to download content that’s geoblocked to the US.
You are restricted to just 2GB of data per month with hide.me. That’s only enough for one SD movie or a few TV episodes, but it might be fine if you only want to listen to music or share documents.
Hide.me doesn’t place any restrictions on speeds or bandwidth though. During my tests, I found both upload and download speeds to be decent and I was able to torrent smoothly for a while.
Unfortunately, my connection was not the most reliable. You have to be prepared to spend a bit of time finding and reconnecting to working servers.
Thankfully hide.me does include an automatic kill switch and IP leak protection. Your IP address will never be exposed even if you’re disconnected from the VPN.
It also uses 256-bit AES encryption so no one will be able to monitor or track your online activity while you use hide.me.
The hide.me HQ is in Malaysia so it’s not based within the Fourteen Eyes Alliance. That means you can trust its strict no-logs policy as it will not log, store, or pass on any of your sensitive information or usage data.
Find out more in our full hide.me review.
- Premium VPN with 7-day free trial
- Unlimited speeds, bandwidth, and data
- Torrent-friendly network
- Fast speeds
- Military-grade security with zero-logs policy
- Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and some routers
PrivateVPN is one of my top recommended premium VPNs overall. You can enjoy it risk-free for a week though, with its 7-day free trial.
That’s an entire week of premium service with unlimited usage and unrestricted speeds.
You don’t even need to make an initial payment or input any payment details to sign up. You do need to register for an account but this does limit the amount of private data you submit.
PrivateVPN supports unlimited P2P file sharing across all its servers. You can torrent across 150+ server locations in 60+ countries.
The VPN recommends its servers in Sweden for P2P traffic but I was able to torrent using several other locations too.
During my tests, I found PrivateVPNs speeds extremely fast. My connection was more than quick enough for smooth, uninterrupted torrenting.
PrivateVPN’s security measures are also world-class. It uses 2048-bit encryption with AES-256 to conceal your data. It also boasts a range of security protocols and IPv6 leak protection to ensure your IP address is never exposed.
The service is based in Sweden, which is a member of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance. That being said, Sweden is known for being more privacy-friendly than other members.
PrivateVPN also promises to keep zero logs. It guarantees that it won’t store any of your information at all. That means it won’t be able to pass on any of your data even if it is requested by law.
Read our thorough PrivateVPN review to find out why I trust this premium service, and why it frequently makes my top five recommendations.
- P2P-friendly free service
- 500MB of data per month
- Military-grade security
- Strict no-logs policy
- Works with: HBO GO, YouTube, Spotify, Kodi
- Compatible with: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
TunnelBear isn’t the most forthcoming about its P2P support but I was able to torrent using this free service during my tests.
I also found out that TunnelBear recommends using its servers in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Romania, or the Netherlands for torrenting.
If you live far away from these countries, you might find that speeds become too slow for P2P traffic.
TunnelBear’s data allowance can be restrictive. Free users only get 500MB of data per month. That won’t be much good for sharing HD or SD video files but can work if you just want to download photos and documents.
If you tweet the company on Twitter, you can get an additional 1GB of free data. Unfortunately, that still doesn’t give you enough to torrent a full movie.
Despite these limitations, TunnelBear is still a decent, secure service. It uses military-grade encryption and has a strict no-logs policy.
Read our full TunnelBear review to find out how it stacks up against other free VPNs.
- 2GB free data per month
- Channel bonding technology for faster speeds
- 128 GCM encryption
- Works with: Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Kodi
- Compatible with: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS
Unlike other no-cost VPNS, Speedify uses innovative channel bonding technology to boost speeds for free users.
Channel bonding works by transmitting data back and forth several times using all possible connections on your device. This does mean that speeds can be faster than other free VPNs.
Unfortunately, it also means that using Speedify can double your data usage, which can be costly if you’re on a limited cell or wi-fi plan.
Faster speeds mean faster torrenting though and I did find Speedify fast enough outside of peak hours. However, the data limit of 2GB per month restricted how much I was able to torrent.
I also found Speedify’s security offerings a bit disappointing. The VPN only uses 128 GCM encryption. That is still secure enough for most users but doesn’t match up to the military-grade security offered by other free services.
See why I’d probably opt for another VPN in our comprehensive Speedify review.
- 500MB of free data per day
- Free service with no registration
- P2P support across all servers
- Works with: YouTube, Kodi, and Spotify
- Compatible with: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Chrome
Betternet is a completely free service that doesn’t require any sign up or registration. Privacy fans are likely to value the anonymity this offers – the VPN doesn’t get any access to any private information like your name, email address, or payment details.
But is Betternet good for torrenting? Yes and no.
Betternet gives you 500MB of free data a day, which is more than many other free services. You can use it to stream the equivalent of one SD episode of TV a day, or around 100 songs.
It also supports P2P traffic across all of its servers.
Sadly, free users only get access to one of Betternet’s server locations. You cannot manually select a server and you are only able to connect to servers in the US.
That means you might have to reconnect a few times before you can get Betternet to work with your torrent client.
Find out if it’s worth the effort in our complete Betternet review.
Is torrenting legal?
While torrenting is most commonly associated with piracy, the truth is that torrenting itself is not illegal – it’s illegal only if you download copyrighted content.
But, because of those who pirate content, many countries and ISPs block torrent sites or fine those who download torrents.
Are VPNs legal?
Much like torrenting, VPN use is only illegal if you use it to carry out illegal activity.
That being said, VPNs can be a grey area in some countries. Several governments have banned VPN use because of its association with crime.
Read our complete country-by-country guide to VPN legality to find out more about VPN laws where you live.
What are the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes Alliances?
Throughout this guide, I’ve been talking about the various Eyes Alliances. This refers to a number of countries that have international information-sharing agreements.
If a VPN is based in one of these countries, it needs to have a strict no-logs policy. That’s the only way to guarantee that it won’t hand over any of your information should the government put in a legal request.
Our full Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes Countries guide tells you everything you need to know.
Finding a free VPN that allows torrenting can be difficult. Even if you do find a P2P-friendly no-cost service, many free VPNs are simply too slow or too restrictive for effective torrenting.
You also need to be sure that your free VPN won’t compromise your safety and anonymity.
To avoid any risk, I would always use a low-cost premium VPN instead.
If you only need a VPN for torrenting temporarily, some of the best VPNs like NordVPN can be used for a limited time with a free trial or a money-back guarantee.
Even if you do pay, there are plenty of VPN deals and coupon codes that can make your subscription very inexpensive.
Want to go ahead with a premium service? Check out our rundown of the 10 best premium VPNs for torrenting.
New to torrenting and want more information? Read our updated guide to torrenting safely and anonymously.