The internet is always solving problems. One of those problems is how to send large files without paying a ton of money for hosting. That’s where torrenting comes in. It’s a way for individuals to send and receive different files for free. Let’s take a look at the best torrent sites and see why you need a VPN.
What Is Torrenting?
Torrenting is a different way of downloading files from the internet to a computer. The standard method for download is simple. You open up your browser and navigate to someone’s website. You click a link and the file downloads from the server.
It’s simple. Your computer connects to a single server, and the file is yours.
Torrent works differently. Say you want to download a file that’s in the public domain, such as all of Oscar Wilde’s books. You fire up your torrent client and search the site torrents for the titles.
The files themselves aren’t located on a single server. Each file has been broken down into small packets, and they are located on several computers across the internet. The torrent client connects with a tracking system to locate all the packets scattered throughout the world.
The client, then, downloads the individual packets separately. As you download each packet, you also give others access to your packets. Then, you become a resource in the torrent system.
Once you have all the packets, your client reassembles the files so you can use them. All of the sudden, you have the works of Oscar Wilde.
Why Do People Use Torrenting?
There are tons of reasons why people use free torrent sites rather than the standard download system. Here are just a few:
A torrent network distributes downloads across many more servers than a traditional one would. The client connects to thousands of computers, both downloading and uploading packets. If one isn’t connected anymore, it’s not a big deal to the network. You just move on to another one.
The torrent client downloads tons of tiny packets rather than one large file. That way, you can stop downloading in the middle of the file without risking having to start over. Instead of breaking the download for a single file, you just stop downloading one small packet in a list of packets. You can pick up where you left off later.
This is especially important for computers that have an unreliable connection to the internet. If you are suddenly disconnected in the middle of a gigantic download, you don’t have to worry. As soon as your connection is back, you can resume downloading where you left off.
Because the site torrents are distributed, torrenting allows for faster download speeds than traditional downloads. Consider this metaphor. A traditional download is like having a single, large faucet pouring out water. No matter how large that faucet is, there’s only one. The more people line up to get the water, the slower the water goes to everyone.
Torrenting is like this: Instead of one large faucet, there are hundreds. Even though each faucet has less capacity, there are still fewer people lined up at each. While the flow out of each individual faucet is slower than the one, big faucet, everyone gets their water faster, because there are more sources and less wait time.
Is Torrenting Illegal?
No. Torrenting is not illegal. It’s just a different way of transferring large files across the internet. By itself, there’s nothing wrong with the technique.
The reason people ask that question, however, is because many people use torrent services to download copyrighted works, like music, apps, video games, or movies. People use torrent for this sort of downloading, because there’s no one server hosting the illegal downloads. To shut down the downloading, you need to get everyone at once.
There are, of course, downsides to using torrent sites. Once you have packets on your computer, you will start sharing your packets with everyone else who wants the same file. The system can only work when users share back and forth with each other.
The downside is privacy. When you start sharing your packets, other users have access to your IP address. When someone has your IP address, it’s pretty easy to put that together with other data about you to start burrowing into your life.
Top 5 Best Torrent VPN’s To Protect Your Privacy On Torrent Sites
You can use a VPN to protect your privacy when you use the best torrent sites. It would hide your IP address to keep you safe from prying eyes.
How It Works
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) keeps your private information private whether you are using torrent sites or simply browsing the internet.
When you browse the internet without a VPN, you send your requests directly to the site, and it sends the data back to you. It’s simple, but it opens up your traffic to spying eyes.
A VPN works differently. It begins with an app on your device. When you send a request for a torrent site, the app encrypts your request and sends it through the VPN server. Then, the VPN server sends the request out to the internet. For torrent sites, the VPN hides your IP address from all the people who want to download the torrent packets on your computer.
Torrent Sites and VPN’s
Unfortunately, not all VPN’s play well with torrent sites. They frequently restrict or even eliminate traffic through torrent sites, sometimes called peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. ProtonVPN’s free service, for example, doesn’t allow streaming or torrenting at all. So, to use a VPN to keep your torrenting private, you need to find one that allows P2P traffic.
VPN’s typically have both free and premium services. The free services are always a limited version of their premium service, though the limitations vary from service to service. Fortunately, you don’t have to go digging through all those VPN’s to find ones that work with torrent sites. We looked through tons of free VPN’s to find the best torrent VPN’s to protect your privacy.
1. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield is a popular premium VPN that also has a free service. Their premium service has some pretty great features:
- Military-grade encryption
- Unlimited bandwidth
- No ads
- 3,200+ servers in 70+ countries
- Connect up to 5 devices
- 24⁄7 live tech support
Of course, the free service doesn’t have all that. Hotspot Shield limits the bandwidth, the number of servers available to you, and how many devices you can connect.
- 500 MB limit per day
- No streaming services
- Only one connection
- No tech support
Best of all, you can use the free version without creating an account. You should know, however, that ad supported VPN’s aren’t as private as those that aren’t. They still use your data to target ads to you.
Hotspot Shield sets itself above the rest for the amount of data you can use. While 500MB at a time might not be a lot, when you add it up over a month, it’s way more than most free VPN’s deliver. If you want a lot of data, even if it’s broken up day-by-day, this one is the way to go.
Hide.me (do you see what they did there?) is one of the best torrent VPN’s. They have great features for both their premium and free users. They have absolutely no logging or ad sales, so your torrent site traffic is completely private. Here are some of their cool features for both free and premium accounts:
- IP Leak protection
- No security logs
- Full customer support
- iOS, Android, Mac, PC apps
Premium features include:
- Unlimited Data Transfer
- 5 Simultaneous Connections
- 56 Worldwide Locations
The free services limits you to:
- 2GB of Data a month
- 1 Connection
- 5 Server locations
There are a couple cool features that make Hide.me stand out among the best torrent VPN’s. First, they have split tunneling. Split tunneling allows you to customize which apps connect through the VPN and which ones connect directly to the internet. So, you can set up your torrent client to go through a VPN while setting your multiplayer apps connect directly to keep latency low.
IP leak protection is important for privacy. When you use a VPN, sometimes the connection will go down. Something goes wrong, and you’re not connected. With IP leak protection, your internet connection shuts down completely, so you don’t torrent unprotected. Without IP leak protection, you’d continue downloading, but you’d do it without a VPN’s privacy protections.
Windscribe is a popular VPN for torrent sites, and it has some great features, especially for their free service. For all their services they have cool features like:
- Unlimited simultaneous device connections
- IP leak protection
- Ad and tracker blockers
- No logging
- P2P and Torrent support
The premium plan adds these:
- Servers in 60 countries
- Unlimited data
The free plan limits you to:
- Servers in 10 countries, all in North America and Europe
- Limited to 10GB of data a month
Windscribe provides IP leak protection to keep your IP address hidden even if your VPN connection goes down, so you can torrent with confidence in your privacy.
The feature that distinguishes Windscribe the most is their ad and tracker blocking feature. Even when you use a VPN, some sites can put cookies on your browser to keep track of you. If you’re looking to be truly anonymous, like keeping your IP hidden while you use a torrent site, you don’t want cookies to monitor your traffic. This feature can keep your private info private.
Speedify is a US based VPN service located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Speedify’s edge is mobile VPN streaming. They do something called “channel bonding” which uses both WIFI and cell data to speed up streaming. The same technology keeps your streaming music going when you walk out of WIFI range. Normally, you’d get a buffer lag, but Speedify switches to cell data without missing a beat.
- Unlimited Data
- Connections with up to 5 devices
- Servers worldwide
- Only 5 GB a month
- Connection with only 1 device
- Servers worldwide
Speedify doesn’t limit access to their servers worldwide which means you can use it for torrent sites from any of their compatible servers. You don’t have to choose between one or two countries.
There is one big limitation, however. Not all their servers are torrent site compatible. They separate their “speed servers” from their torrent friendly servers, so you have fewer servers to choose from when you want to download that big file.
This could also be an advantage, depending on how you use a VPN. If you only occasionally use a VPN for torrent sites, it will work well for you to be able to switch back and forth between dedicated torrent servers and their regular traffic, because it will mean faster speeds for normal surfing.
SecurityKISS is an Irish VPN company that offers the most flexible options for their VPN plans. They have five different levels of service ranging from a free plan to approximately $11 a month. Each level up give you access to more servers, more data, and more simultaneous connections.
Like many VPN’s, they don’t require you to create an account or log in to use their servers. If you truly want privacy, this is a feature you need.
Let’s compare their free plan with their lowest tier plan and their highest tier plan.
The Emerald or Ultimate Plan:
- Unlimited Data
- 50 servers in 16 countries
- Email client access
- Internet gaming
- Access to the fastest servers
- Voice over IP and video chat
The Olivine or Economy Plan
- 20 GB/month data limit
- 27 servers in 8 countries
- No email client access
- Internet gaming
- Access to the fastest servers
- Voice over IP and video chat
The Green or Free Plan
- 300 MB/day data limit
- 5-10 servers in 4 countries
- Capped speed
- No streaming, gaming, or email
- Limited access to their fastest servers
- No Voice over IP or video chat
While SecurityKISS has the most flexible plan options, they may not be the best among our choices for torrent sites. The 300 MB/day data limit is pretty low for downloading large files. You’d have to break up downloading big files over several days.
The trade-off is that you can get more data each month with a daily limit. If you use 300 MB every day for a month, you can get close to 9GB a month, much more than some of their competitors.
One note: The quality of their website doesn’t inspire confidence in their service. While it’s true that website design doesn’t have anything to do with the technical side of a VPN, it does open a window into how much they care about details.
Torrent sites are the way to go to download large files from the internet. While many people use them for illegal downloads, you can use them for any files with great performance and speedy downloads.
It is 100% necessary to have a VPN when you connect to torrent sites. The nature of P2P file sharing systems is connecting your computer to any other one that wants to download all the tiny packets from those big files. Since anyone can connect to your computer, they can also see your IP address and use that to spy on you later on.
Privacy is a big deal when you’re online. The only way to stay anonymous when you’re using torrent sites is to connect through a VPN. You have full functionality while keeping your identity safe.
So, check out each one of our top 5 best torrent VPN’s so you can access the files you want while maintaining your privacy.