NordVPN and Torrenting—How to Download Fast Anonymously

nordvpn torrenting

NordVPN and torrenting are two things that go together perfectly.

In fact, any good VPN service is suitable, and necessary, for torrenting and other P2P activities, however, it is NordVPN that comes out on top (more on why later) of them all.

Do I Need a VPN for Torrenting?

If you regularly participate in torrenting or other peer-to-peer activities then you need to have a VPN behind you, and a good one at that.

Just like it is very easy to fire up torrenting software such as uTorrent and begin downloading video games, movies, TV shows, and music, it is very easy to get caught doing this.

After all, most cases of torrenting copyrighted media result in copyright violations and license holders can and chase people down to fine them.

Not only that, by not using a VPN you leave yourself, your identity, IP address, and data open to be intercepted and snooped upon by other third parties. In addition to license holders, these can include malicious hackers, government agencies, and law enforcement bodies.

How Torrenting Works

Torrenting relies on peer-to-peer networking. This is where multiple devices, usually PCs and laptops, are connected and share their resources with one another without having to go through a separate network or server, e.g. a website’s servers.

This is necessary because copyright holders quickly shut down websites that host pirated content.

A peer-to-peer network also hosts the files publically for all and therefore facilitates the distribution effort.

Law enforcement bodies will logically go after the individuals who are part of the peer-to-peer network who have not protected themselves with a VPN.

How a VPN protects you

When you are connected to a reliable VPN network—for example, NordVPN—your IP address, identity, and internet activities are encrypted and transmitted through one of the service’s secure VPN tunnels. This prevents third-parties, malicious or otherwise, from seeing who you are and what you are doing.

By encrypting your traffic and hiding your identity, hackers cannot compromise you, and nobody can see that you are participating in torrenting activities.

What Makes NordVPN the Best VPN for Torrenting?

It is very easy to say X VPN is the best for torrenting, however, there are a bunch of reasons NordVPN truly is the best. Here are three of them.

1. A vast and fast server network

With over 5,000 servers in over 60 locations, NordVPN boasts the world’s biggest VPN server network. In addition, all their servers are lightning-fast and don’t hinder your download speeds. This is very important for torrenting, something that is a data-heavy task that can be marred by slow internet speeds.

2. A proven zero-logs policy

NordVPN logs nothing about you or your usage activities. This means that they have nothing to hand over to the authorities in the virtually impossible situation—NordVPN is located in Panama, a country beyond the reach of Western governments—where they were legally compelled to. This zero-logs policy has been proven by an external PwC audit.

3. No IP or DNS leaks

In our comprehensive testing of NordVPN, we found that none of their servers “leaked” information such as our IP address or DNS traffic outside of the VPN tunnel.

Setting Up NordVPN for Torrenting

If you are wanting to give NordVPN a try for yourself and see that it truly is the best service for torrenting, here’s how you can set it up yourself. First of all, you will need to download and install NordVPN.

1. Purchase a NordVPN subscription

Before you can download, install, and use NordVPN, you need to purchase a subscription. While this may sound off-putting—it’s totally understandable that you want to try before you buy—NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all their plans.

If you aren’t satisfied after you have tested the service out, you can simply ask for a refund with no questions asked.

After purchasing a subscription, you will need to activate your account via email.

2. Download and install NordVPN from the UCP

In this example, we are using Windows. The .exe file only takes a couple of seconds to download (even with slow internet speeds!). Once it has, simply click on the .exe file to begin the installation process.

Then click install.

After the installation process—something that only lasts a few minutes tops—NordVPN will launch and you will be prompted to authenticate. Use the email address and password you signed up with.

Once you have logged in, you will see the main NordVPN screen.

3. Connect to a server

You can do this either by clicking “Quick Connect”, one of the pins hovering above a country or by using the left-hand server list. When connected, you will be good to go and protected while torrenting.

For extra privacy and security, we recommend setting up a SOCKS5 proxy with your P2P client, though.

Setting Up SOCKS5 for Torrenting

SOCKS5 is an internet protocol that routes packets between a server and client using a proxy server. In layman’s terms, your data is routed through a proxy server that generates a random IP address before reaching you reach your final destination.

The primary advantages of using SOCKS5 are:

  • Better performance with torrenting and P2P activity when compared to other proxies;
  • The ability to easily bypass geoblocking, firewalls, and censorship;
  • Enhanced security and encryption;
  • It works with all types of traffic, not just internet (HTTP) traffic; and
  • It is reliable and more efficient as it uses both UDP and TCP.

You can use any NordVPN P2P server even with SOCKS5 configured, you don’t have to use the same one all the time.

SOCKS5 with uTorrent

Launch uTorrent and head to “Options > Preferences”.

This will open a new window.

Click “Connection”. Set the “Type” to “Socks5” and then in the “Proxy” box type in a NordVPN server address that allows torrent traffic. You can put in the address of any server that says “P2P” under it. In the “Port” box type “1080”.

Finally, check all the boxes aside from “Randomize port each start” and “Add Windows Firewall exception” as above. Enter your NordVPN username and password in the “Username” and “Password” fields.

Press ‘OK’ and you are done.

SOCKS5 with BitTorrent

Fire up BitTorrent and head to “Options > Preferences“.

A new window will open.

Click “Connection”. Set the “Type” to “Socks5” and then in the “Proxy” box type in a NordVPN server address that allows torrent traffic. You can put in the address of any server that says “P2P” under it. In the “Port” box type “1080”.

This time uncheck all the boxes aside from “Enable UPnP port mapping” and “Enable NAT-PMP port mapping” and put your NordVPN username and password in the “Username” and “Password” boxes.

Press “OK”.

That’s it—BitTorrent is now good to go with SOCKS5 and NordVPN.

NordVPN P2P Servers

While the above is all you need to do to successfully use NordVPN while torrenting, there is something else that deserves a mention—NordVPN’s P2P Servers. It is these, among other specialist servers, that makes NordVPN not only the best VPN for torrenting but the best VPN all-round.

These P2P servers are dedicated and optimized for the sole purpose of torrenting and other peer-to-peer activities. This has been done to:

  1. prevent other servers on the NordVPN network being hindered by torrenting activity; and
  2. ensure that users who do participate in torrenting get a consistently reliable experience.

Only P2P servers can be used for torrenting with NordVPN.

If you try to participate in any P2P activity outside of these specialized P2P servers, NordVPN will automatically reroute your traffic through one of their P2P servers located in Canada or The Netherlands.

To connect to one of the P2P servers, simply click “P2P” in the left-hand column to connect to the most optimum one for you. If you want to choose, however, just hover over “P2P” and click the three dots (. . .) that appear.

Torrent Safely

If you are somebody who regularly torrents or carries out any other sort of peer-to-peer activity and you don’t use a VPN, you need to stop this right away!

Right here, right now, you should download NordVPN and begin using it not only while torrenting but at all times. In today’s uncertain digital world, using a VPN is becoming more and more commonplace. By not using one, you leave yourself vulnerable.

As we mentioned above, you can try out NordVPN risk-free for 30 days thanks to their 30-day money-back guarantee.

Sign Up Here

Published by

Jamie Cambell

Ethical Hacker. Ph.D., M.S. in Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley. Technology enthusiast and also a part-time gamer. My goal is liberating the Internet.

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