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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
Advertising Disclosure

vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Is uTorrent Safe to Use? How to Download Safely in 2024

Georgii Chanturidze Updated on 11th July 2024 Fact-checked by Ryan Jones Senior Writer

Using uTorrent presents risks, such as exposing your IP address to other users in the torrent swarm, which can compromise your privacy. uTorrent can also collect a lot of user data. Besides, engaging in torrenting can inadvertently lead you to download malware-infected files, posing serious security threats.

In my guide, I explain how to use uTorrent safely and suggest the best alternatives. I also describe how a reliable VPN can protect sensitive data from malicious third parties and prevent uTorrent from tracking your online activity.

My team and I tested over 60 services, and our top pick for uTorrent is ExpressVPN. It offers top-grade security features on all devices (including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS) and is the fastest service I tested that allows P2P (peer-to-peer) traffic on all servers. Best of all, you can try ExpressVPN without risk, as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. Editors' Note: Transparency is one of our core values at vpnMentor, so you should know we are in the same ownership group as ExpressVPN. However, this does not affect our review process.

Use uTorrent Safely >>

Quick Guide: How to Use uTorrent With a VPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a reliable VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN for its vast P2P-supported network and excellent speeds for uTorrent. It also offers military-grade encryption and a reliable kill switch.
  2. Connect to a P2P-supported server. A nearby server can maximize your download and upload speeds. While connected to a secure server, install the uTorrent client.
  3. Start downloading. Open the torrent file and start downloading via uTorrent safely and without interruptions.
Important: Downloading copyrighted files (movies, music, software, etc.) is illegal in most countries. Make sure to check your country's laws and regulations before downloading any file that might be protected under copyright. We at vpnMentor don’t condone illegal activities.

Is uTorrent Safe to Use and Will a VPN Help?

uTorrent is a legal BitTorrent client used for downloading and sharing files via P2P networks. However, its safety is largely dependent on how you use it. The owner of uTorrent, Rainberry, Inc., collects a significant amount of user data, including IP addresses, cookie identifiers, site visits, and ISP information. This data might be sold to ad networks or exposed if the company gets hacked.

Additionally, because Rainberry, Inc. is a US-based company, it is subject to the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances, which share intelligence among member countries, raising further privacy concerns.

When using uTorrent, you also need to be cautious about the files you download. Downloading copyrighted content without permission is illegal in many places and can result in fines or other legal consequences. Furthermore, government agencies sometimes set up fake torrents (known as honeypots) to catch users engaged in online piracy.

There are other risks associated with using uTorrent. The software may try to install unnecessary tools and software (bloatware) that can slow down your computer or even use it for crypto-mining. For example, in 2015, it infamously bundled a cryptocurrency miner called EpicScale with its installer, which was added without clear user consent. Additionally, torrents can sometimes include malware, which can infect your device.

It’s important to understand that when you download files using a P2P network, your IP address is visible to all other peers (downloaders and uploaders) connected to the same network. This visibility enables the direct sharing of files but also exposes your network connection to others, potentially compromising your privacy and security.

Using a VPN can significantly enhance your safety and privacy while torrenting. VPNs work by encrypting your data and routing your traffic through secure servers, making it difficult for anyone to track your online activities or determine your location.

This encryption also prevents your ISP from throttling your internet speed based on your torrenting activities, ensuring smoother and faster downloads. Some VPNs even have built-in ad, tracker, and malware blockers to enhance security and privacy when using uTorrent by reducing exposure to malicious content. However, it’s recommended to combine them with other security measures for full protection.

Pro Tip: Check out our guide on how to torrent safely and anonymously.

Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for uTorrent in 2024

  • Editor's Choice
    ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN
    Excellent speeds and P2P-friendly servers to use uTorrent without interruptions.
    70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
  • CyberGhost VPN
    CyberGhost
    Dedicated torrenting servers for reliable uTorrent downloads, but costly monthly plans.
  • Private Internet Access
    Private Internet Access
    Port forwarding to improve download speeds, but has a complex interface.

Editor's Note: We value our relationship with our readers, and we strive to earn your trust through transparency and integrity. We are in the same ownership group as some of the industry-leading products reviewed on this site: Intego, Cyberghost, ExpressVPN, and Private Internet Access. However, this does not affect our review process, as we adhere to strict testing methodology.

How to Use uTorrent Safely on Any Device (Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone)

1. Choose a Reliable VPN

VPNs keep your IP address hidden while you use uTorrent. VPN encryption scrambles your traffic too, making it unreadable to anyone who might intercept it. They can also bypass geographical restrictions and safely access blocked torrent sites.

I recommend ExpressVPN for uTorrent since all of its 3,000 servers allow P2P file-sharing. It also has a router app that supports port forwarding for faster downloads. Plus, you can turn on Advanced Protection to block ads, trackers, and malware.

2. Select a Subscription Plan

Create an account with the VPN provider, select a subscription plan, and enter your payment details. ExpressVPN is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can easily get a refund if it doesn’t meet your needs.

Screenshot of choosing  an ExpressVPN planEnter your payment details and complete the subscription process

3. Download and Install the VPN App

After subscribing, download the VPN app from the provider’s official website. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the app on your device (like Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android, and more).

Screenshot of the ExpressVPN-compatible devicesInstall the software by following the on-screen instructions

4. Log in and Connect to a Server

Open the VPN app, log in with your account details, and connect to a nearby server (one that supports P2P file sharing).

Screenshot of the ExpressVPN server listChoosing a server closer to your actual location typically offers faster speeds

5. Install a uTorrent Client

Install the uTorrent client on your device. You can get the web or desktop app from the official uTorrent site.

Screenshot showing uTorrent siteTo avoid malware and fakes, I recommend downloading from the official site.

Follow the installation prompts carefully, but avoid offers to install additional software. Once installed, configure the uTorrent settings to enhance privacy, such as disabling ads and enabling encryption.

6. Download a Torrent File

Get the .torrent file via a torrent tracker site. To download files via uTorrent, you need to open the torrent file, which will start the download.

There are many free public trackers with easily available torrents, like the Pirate Bay. However, you need to verify the legitimacy of the source and read user comments to avoid malicious files. You should always avoid downloading pirated or illegal content.

Pro Tip: New to torrenting? Learn about the most popular torrenting sites and check out a list of the best private trackers with high-quality content.

7. Adjust Settings

The speed depends on the number of seeders — users who have the file and upload it. You can see the progress of your download in the uTorrent interface, including the speed and estimated time remaining.

You can adjust settings to optimize your download speed. To get important files faster, set the download priority of specific torrents or files within the torrent. You can do it by right-clicking the file and selecting Bandwidth Allocation > High to get important files faster. Limit the number of simultaneous downloads to focus your bandwidth on fewer files. Set a maximum download speed if you need to ensure your other internet activities aren’t affected.

Pro Tip: If you want to use uTorrent safely without spending a dime, check how to get a free ExpressVPN trial.

Editors' Note: Transparency is one of our core values at vpnMentor, so you should know we are in the same ownership group as ExpressVPN. However, this does not affect our review process.

Best VPNs to Safely Use uTorrent in 2024

A reliable VPN allows you to use uTorrent safely without disconnecting. The VPNs I recommend have fast servers and P2P support, providing smooth and dependable torrenting. They offer top-tier security features and a strict no-logs policy to protect your online privacy.

Lowest Price P2P Support Unlimited Bandwidth Kill Switch Port Forwarding Refund Period
🥇ExpressVPN $6.67/month
(only on routers)
30 days
🥈CyberGhost $2.19/month 45 days
🥉PIA $2.19/month 30 days

1. ExpressVPN — Impressive Speeds and Ample P2P-Friendly Servers for Reliable uTorrent Downloads

Editors' Note: Transparency is one of our core values at vpnMentor, so you should know we are in the same ownership group as ExpressVPN. However, this does not affect our review process.

All of 3,000 ExpressVPN’s servers are P2P optimized for high-speed downloads via uTorrent. The VPN offers unlimited bandwidth, meaning you can safely download as much as you want. During my tests, ExpressVPN delivered impressive speeds. I experienced an average download speed of 223.34Mbps, only a 13% drop from my regular connection (many VPNs cut your speeds in half). Use Lightway protocol for the fastest speeds.

Robust security features protect your location and torrenting activities. ExpressVPN uses military-grade encryption to safeguard your data and prevent ISP speed throttling. Cure53 and KPMG verified that the VPN doesn’t log, store, or share your web data. Moreover, unlike uTorrent itself, the VPN is headquartered outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance intelligence-sharing countries.

Sadlty, the subscriptions are quite expensive. However, ExpressVPN regularly offers excellent deals. When I sunscriped to a 12-month plan, I got 49% off and 3 extra months for free for a final price od just $6.67/month. Better yet, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free, as alll plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

ExpressVPN Offer July 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. CyberGhost — Torrenting-Optimized Servers to Safely Use uTorrent Anywhere

Editors' Note: Transparency is one of our core values at vpnMentor, so you should know we are in the same ownership group as CyberGhost VPN. However, this does not affect our review process.

CyberGhost offers specialty servers optimized for torrenting. They are actively updated and optimized to enhance performance. While not as fast as ExpressVPN, it still achieves impressive download speeds. In my tests, the average speed on the US servers was 180.72 Mbps. Plus, CyberGhost includes a kill switch that automatically blocks your internet connection if the VPN disconnects unexpectedly, safeguarding against data breaches.

I don’t like that the monthly subscriptions are expensive. Luckily, CyberGhost’s long-term plans are affordable and come with an extended 45-day money-back guarantee. So you can try CyberGhost with uTorrent for free.

July 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 83% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. Private Internet Access — Port Forwarding to Boost P2P File-Sharing Speeds for uTorrent

Editors' Note: Transparency is one of our core values at vpnMentor, so you should know we are in the same ownership group as Private Internet Access. However, this does not affect our review process.

PIA’s port forwarding feature speeds up uTorrent speeds by allowing direct connections to peers. Additionally, you can set encryption from AES 256-bit to 128-bit to maximize speeds for downloading files (at the cost of slightly lower security). I got decent speeds while testing PIA, getting 176.44Mbps on the nearby servers. Plus, the VPN imposes no data limits and supports unmetered simultaneous connections.

Due to many customization options, PIA might seem complex to new VPN users. However, all of PIA’s servers support P2P traffic with the default settings, so you can start using uTorrent right away. The plans are very affordable, starting at only $2.19/month, and thanks to a trustworthy money-back guarantee, you can try PIA for free for up to 30 days.

July 2024 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 82% off!

Editor's Note: We value our relationship with our readers, and we strive to earn your trust through transparency and integrity. We are in the same ownership group as some of the industry-leading products reviewed on this site: Intego, Cyberghost, ExpressVPN, and Private Internet Access. However, this does not affect our review process, as we adhere to strict testing methodology.

Our Methodology for Testing VPNs for uTorrent

I applied strict criteria to assess VPNs for the uTorrent client. During my tests, I verified that each VPN supports P2P file-sharing. My team tested server speeds in various countries at different times to ensure consistent, fast downloads without interruptions. Most importantly, I confirmed that these VPNs have an AES 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logs policy that keeps your torrenting activities private.

Visit our methodology page for more information on our testing process. This page describes the specific steps I follow to review each VPN.

Other Ways to Avoid Risks While Torrenting via uTorrent

I've shared some practical tips to boost your safety while using uTorrent. When paired with a VPN, these strategies can significantly enhance your security, offering an extra layer of protection.

1. Don’t Install Additional Tools During Setup

Decline offers to install additional software when installing uTorrent. These extra tools are often unnecessary, might impact your device’s performance, and usually contain ads. uTorrent has been known to bundle potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) in its installation process. These PUPs can slow down your device by consuming system resources and potentially leading to unwanted behaviors and additional security risks.

To avoid them, pay attention to each step of the installation process and read every prompt. Don’t select any options that include extra programs. You can remove accidentally installed software via the Control Panel on Windows or the Finder app on Mac.

2. Regularly Update uTorrent

Using an outdated version exposes you to risks that have already been mitigated in newer versions. To ensure you have the latest version, enable automatic updates in the settings or regularly check the official website.

Pictures showing uTorrent auto-update optionUpdates include patches for vulnerabilities and performance improvements

3. Seed From Trusted (or Private) Trackers

Using trusted or private trackers enhances your safety. Publicly available trackers are full of malware and pirated content. However, private trackers have stricter verification processes, moderation policies, and active communities that monitor suspicious files.

4. Verify the Torrents Before Downloading

Always verify the torrents you download to ensure they are legitimate. Before downloading, I recommend checking the following:

  • A number of seeders and leechers. Torrents with a higher number of downloaders typically indicate a safe torrent.
  • User comments and ratings. Users will report if the file contains malware or corrupted files.
  • Verify the file’s size. Small sizes for what seems to be large media are a clear sign of a virus.
  • Check the uploader. Look at other trackers from the same uploader. Public sites like The Pirate Bay have a green skull icon indicating the uploader’s trustworthiness.
  • Executables and other suspicious file types. Executables can carry malicious files, like viruses, adware, and spyware. For example, the legal media you downloaded shouldn’t have executable files (like.exe,.bat, or.vbs).

5. Scan Files With an Anti-malware Software

Scan download files with reputable anti-malware software. This step helps you detect and remove hidden threats. Some antivirus programs and even browsers like Google Chrome have occasionally flagged uTorrent as malware. While these flags are often false positives (meaning the software isn't actually malicious), they usually occur because uTorrent's bundled software and adware-like behaviors can trigger security programs' detection algorithms.

These alerts underline the importance of caution and thorough checks when downloading and installing software, especially free versions that might include additional offers or ads. Some antiviruses come with a built-in VPN (and vice versa) for an enhanced protection.

Pro Tip: uTorrent offers paid subscription plans with additional features. The basic ad-free version costs $4.95 per year and provides a clean interface without ads. The Pro version, which costs $19.95 per year, includes enhanced security features such as built-in antivirus protection, an HD media player, and the ability to convert files to play on different devices. It also includes premium support. Additionally, there is a Pro+VPN plan for $69.95 per year, which includes all the Pro features plus a one-year subscription to CyberGhost VPN for enhanced online privacy.

6. Disable Ads in the uTorrent Settings

A free version of uTorrent includes ads that can be intrusive and harmful. If you want to stop these ads from appearing, you can adjust your settings as follows:

  1. Open uTorrent.
  2. Navigate to Options, select Preferences, and click on Advanced.
  3. You’ll find a list of settings that you can modify. To disable ads, set each of the following options to False:
  • offers.content_offer_autoexec
  • offers.left_rail_offer_enabled/left_rail_offer
  • offers.sponsored_torrent_offer_enabled/sponsored_torrent_offer_enabled
  • bt.enable_pulse
  • gui.show_notorrents_node
  • gui.show_plus_upsell
Screenshot showing uTorrent advanced settingsBe careful — disabling the wrong flags might affect the uTorrent's performance

7. Back up Critical Data Regularly

Regularly back up your files to protect against data loss from malware or other issues. I recommend using external devices and cloud storage like Google iCloud or Dropbox for backups. This ensures you have access to your important files even if your system becomes compromised.

8. Don’t Download Pirated Content

Avoid pirated content to steer clear of legal issues and security risks. Pirated files are often monitored by copyright enforcement agencies or can contain malware. If you see a recently released movie or TV show, it’s probably pirated.

Using legitimate sources supports content creators and reduces your risk of fines and other forms of legal responsibility. For example, you can use free streaming services or premium platforms with free trials, such as Amazon Prime Video and Paramount+. Besides, look for public domain media and independent artists.

FAQs on uTorrent Safety

Does uTorrent contain viruses and malware?

uTorrent itself doesn’t contain viruses or malware. However, the risk often comes from downloading malicious torrents or inadvertently enabling adware through its bundled software offers. It's crucial to remain vigilant about what you download and adjust the settings to minimize unwanted software installations.

Is uTorrent legal to use?

uTorrent application itself is legal because it just allows to download and upload files. However, downloading copyrighted or intellectual property without permission is illegal. Most governments penalize users for illegal downloads. Besides, popular torrenting sites are blocked by some countries. Always use uTorrent responsibly and follow your laws to avoid legal problems.

Where do I get torrents from?

To download files using uTorrent, first, ensure that the uTorrent client is installed on your device. Then, visit a reputable torrent tracking website and search for the torrent file you need. You may have to register or receive an invitation to access private torrent trackers.

Once you find the desired torrent, download the .torrent file and open it with uTorrent to start downloading the actual file. Always use trusted torrent sites and verify the torrents to ensure the legitimacy of the files you download.

Why does a uTorrent file not start downloading?

A uTorrent won’t start downloading if the tracker lacks any seeders (uploaders). Additionally, your ISP or WiFi network might block P2P traffic, preventing downloads. A P2P-friendly VPN with advanced encryption can help you torrent safely anywhere, even on restricted WiFi hotspots. Ensuring your network allows P2P connections and checking for active seeders can resolve download issues.

Here are the most common reasons for a torrent not to start downlaoding:

  • You’re not connected to the internet.
  • The torrent file is corrupt.
  • The tracker is offline.
  • Your firwall is blocking the connection.
  • Your ISP is throttling uTorent traffic.

What are the safer alternatives to uTorrent?

Safer alternatives to uTorrent include qBittorrent and Deluge, which are open-source and free of bundled software. Transmission is another lightweight option favored for its minimalistic design and absence of ads. Additionally, BiglyBT, derived from Vuze, offers advanced features and provides detailed torrent management options. However, it's still recommended to use these clients with a VPN to enhance your online security and maintain anonymity while torrenting.

To summarize, these are the best VPNs to use uTorrent privately

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 83%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 82%!
cS4g7KsS2FQ
Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Georgii Chanturidze is a Senior Writer at vpnMentor with a knack for VPNs, cloud services, and anti-malware tools. He meticulously researches and tests services for vpnMentor’s readers, providing valuable, accurate information.

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