If you’re interested in protecting your online privacy, chances are you’re already familiar with NordVPN as one of the most trusted VPN providers out there.
NordVPN is known to offer reliable service, but does that include torrenting? Do their VPN services allow you to download files through a Torrent client as safely and efficiently as it supports browsing privacy?
In today’s guide, we’re discussing everything you should know about NordVPN torrenting.
After our research, we concluded that NordVPN is an excellent VPN service when it comes to providing safe torrenting. Not only does it use P2P-specific servers, but it also offers the required features for private and safe torrenting.
Besides masking your actual IP address and encrypting traffic, you can set up your NordVPN client to load on startup so you’ll have a secure connection before going online. Additionally, there’s a kill switch to keep your IP and location concealed in case of a lost connection.
For even more security, you can take advantage of NordVPN’s reasonably-priced double VPN services. You don’t get that from many VPN providers.
How Safe is NordVPN for Torrenting?
To ensure safe torrenting using NordVPN, it offers the following features:
- IP address masking — like any VPN client, NordVPN creates a secure tunnel between your computer and the Internet via servers. It then replaces your true IP with that of the server you’re connected through.
- Torrent traffic encryption — NordVPN encrypts both incoming and outgoing requests using AES-256-bit encryption. The combination of encryption and a masked IP allows you to start torrenting without ISP (Internet service provider) or other third parties monitoring your activity.
- Loading on startup — you can set up your NordVPN client to load on startup, giving you a secure connection before you even connect to the Internet.
- Automatic kill switch — the purpose of a kill switch is to close applications or terminate the Internet connection when a VPN connection is lost. While it’s true that losing a VPN connection doesn’t happen very often, it’s better to be prepared for such an event because it can reveal your IP address and location when torrenting. Using the kill switch, your BitTorrent client will be shut down the instant that the connection drops.
- Double VPN — if you’re looking for more security than usual, you’ll probably be pleased to know about NordVPN’s reasonably-priced double VPN services. A double VPN prompts your connection to pass through two servers instead of just one, which significantly increases privacy as both servers hide your IP address and encrypt your data.
How Reliable is NordVPN for Torrenting?
If you want to know how reliable NordVPN really is when it comes to torrent traffic, there are a couple of items you need to check before taking the service for a torrenting trial run. Verify the data and privacy protections of the server as well as its speed. Let’s discuss how below.
How to Test NordVPN’s Torrenting Privacy
Your first order of business is to make sure that the VPN is actually hiding your original IP address and no data is being leaked. The best way to do this is by performing a DNS leak test before and after connecting to the VPN server.
The VPN passes the test if different servers with different IP addresses appear at both times of the test. This result means that your VPN isn’t leaking your IP through DNS.
If you want to download torrents via a Chrome extension such as uTorrent easy client, don’t forget to also test for WebRTC leaks — a type of leaks specific to web browsers that’ll expose your IP address to STUN servers. You can use the same test as you did for DNS leaks to find out if there’s a WebRTC leak through your VPN when it’s connected.
Luckily, the privacy and encryption features of NordVPN provide protection against both DNS and WebRTC leaks. Not to mention, its kill switch feature ensures that your true IP address remains hidden even if the connection to the server gets lost.
How to Test NordVPN’s Torrenting Speed
Next, you need to test NordVPN’s torrenting speeds. This involves two steps:
First, you should establish a connection to one of the dedicated P2P servers then run a simple speed test. There are many good speed testing sites that you can use here such as Speedtest, Google, and Fast.
However, we recommend that you use a less well-known speed tester because some ISPs prioritize traffic through the more popular options. This way, you can get more accurate results.
- An important thing to keep in mind here that all VPNs will reduce your internet speed. This is expected due to the encryption and the distance from your chosen VPN server. So if you’re planning a torrenting speed test, consider your location when selecting a server.
Make sure you test your connection before and after to determine the amount of speed loss you experience. There should be a decrease in speed through the VPN server, but the drop shouldn’t be too much that it makes a significant impact on torrenting speeds through the P2P server.
Next, you need to test your torrent download speed. Any torrent client and file will get the job done. You can also use any non-P2P NordVPN server to test, but nothing beats the P2P servers as they’re optimized for fast torrenting and P2P file-sharing.
How to Torrent With NordVPN
To safely torrent with NordVPN, the following steps will help you get started:
1. Sign up to NordVPN to create your account. NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which allows you to give the service a test-run before fully committing with a subscription. Not to mention, NordVPN also provides several affordable subscription plans that can work for you.
2. Once you sign up, you’ll receive an activation link in your email. To activate your account, simply click on it. From there, you can download NordVPN software on any of the major operating systems and devices including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS mobile devices.
3. When the download is complete, open the software, sign in, and choose a NordVPN torrenting servers. Alternatively, you can connect to any other server type and get rerouted automatically.
How to Use NordVPN With a Torrent Client
Before we discuss how you can use NordVPN with a Torrent client, you may be wondering what Torrent clients are compatible with NordVPN. The good news is that you can use most of the Torrent clients out there, including popular ones such as BitTorrent and uTorrent.
You should encounter no issues when setting up your NordVPN client to work with any Torrent client that supports Socks5 proxy servers. NordVPN also offers set-up tutorials for various torrent clients on its website, and it’s fully functional on just about any operating system.
Below are the steps for using NordVPN with uTorrent, which are more or less the same in most Torrent clients.
- Open your torrent client.
- Click on Options and select Preferences. A pop-up window will appear.
- Click on Connection. The proxy server option will show.
- In the Type dropdown menu, choose Socks5.
- In the Proxy field, enter the address of a NordVPN P2P-optimized server.
- Type 1080 (for Socks5) in the Port field and check all the following boxes:
- Use proxy for hostname lookups
- Use proxy for peer-to-peer connections
- Disable all local DNS lookups
- Disable features that leak identifying information
- Disable connections, unsupported by the proxy
- Once you’re done, fill in your NordVPN username and password into the authentication fields, then hit the OK button. You’ve now successfully set up your torrent client to work with NordVPN.
We recommend that you turn on NordVPN’s internet Kill Switch while torrenting. It immediately closes apps and terminates internet traffic in case you lose your VPN server connection, which otherwise can expose your actual IP address and torrenting location.
Turn on the kill switch from the Settings section of the app. While you’re at it, you may want to set the kill switch to apply to a specific app like your torrent app for example. To can make that happen by selecting App Kill Switch in the settings menu.
Are there Alternative VPNs for Torrenting?
The dedicated P2P servers of NordVPN make it a highly reliable solution for torrenting. But that doesn’t mean it’s the good option on the market that provides fast server speeds, leak protection, and adequate security features to maintain your privacy while torrenting.
As such, we found that ExpressVPN is a decent alternative for anyone looking to access servers in many countries, while SurfShark is suitable for users on a budget as it’s cheaper on a per-month basis. Both VPN providers feature strong security, dependable DNS and WebRTC leak protection, as well as kill switches.
Does NordVPN Keep Logs for People Using Torrents?
If your VPN provider logs your VPN usage, then all the security and privacy features it offers are useless.
While some VPN services will store data logs including your IP address and all the websites or P2P connections that your device is connected to, NordVPN doesn’t log your torrenting activity, acting upon the company’s strict no logs policy.
This policy guarantees that you’re never monitored or tracked. As the official website states, “NordVPN knows about you just enough to deliver the service you expect – and not a digit more.”
This is possible because the company is based in Panama, which is a country jurisdiction that allows no-logs policies.
Is Torrenting Legal?
Torrenting is widely associated with pirated content, so a lot of people tend to think of it as something illegal.
In reality, the peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing protocol itself is legal. This means it’s legal for you to use a Torrent client to share or download data as long as it’s non-copyrighted.
As such, millions of people use Torrent clients to share non-copyrighted material including free music, open-source software, or user-generated content. The download speeds of P2P connections are often faster download speeds than when you download files from a standard web server.
That being said, torrenting becomes illegal when you’re dealing with copyrighted material despite the VPN service or Torrent client you use.
There you have it, a comprehensive guide to NordVPN torrenting. Overall, NordVPN is a great option for torrenting as it offers several benefits for establishing fast, secure, and private connections.
It provides servers specifically built for torrenting, features premium services such as double VPNs, and doesn’t log your activity.