Content of the material
- Using VPN to hide my IP Is it Worth it?
- What DNS service should I use to hide my IP when torrenting?
- Do I need to hide my IP when Torrenting – How to hide my IP
- Will torrenting get me into trouble?
- The best torrenting VPNs in 2021
- A Breakdown Of Our Top VPNs for Torrenting
- How to Hide IP Addresses and Torrenting from Your ISP (Use a VPN Server)
- How to use a VPN for torrenting?
- Use a VPN to Hide Torrenting
- How Does Torrenting Work?
- Are There any Alternatives to Hide Torrenting?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Using VPN to hide my IP Is it Worth it?
Using VPN is, of course, one of the most common ways to hide your IP.
However, there are many cheap or free VPN services that you can use in order to hide your IP when torrenting.
The problem with these free proxies is that they can be very slow and unstable at times.
One the other hand, the majority of paid VPN services offer encryption and geo-spoofing options which make it impossible for ISPs or copyright holders to identify you.
There are also services which allow users to access sites by disguising themselves as users from different countries.
For example, Hola can make you appear as if you are accessing the web from US or UK in order to overcome the restrictions on certain websites.
However, it’s best not to depend on these proxy services for anonymity in the BitTorrent network.
What DNS service should I use to hide my IP when torrenting?
Using a trustworthy DNS server like OpenDNS or Google Public can help you get around ISP-level blocking of certain websites.
However, these services cannot guarantee anonymity while downloading copyrighted material via BitTorrent because they are not encrypted.
Another very important thing that you should know about free public DNS services is that they are easy to block.
Therefore, if you are using public DNS server during Bittorrent activity, your ISP will notice it immediately.
However, if the torrents are downloaded via VPN or secure proxy, ISPs won’t be able to see what you are doing on the web.
Do I need to hide my IP when Torrenting – How to hide my IP
Many BitTorrent clients are available for free, but the majority of them may not be that safe.
Therefore, you should use a reliable VPN or proxy server in order to protect yourself from being tracked by copyright holders or your ISP while sharing files over P2P networks.
If you want to remain 100% anonymous while torrenting, there is no other way than using a secure domain name service and a VPN.
However, if you just want to protect your ISP from seeing what you are doing on the web or download copyrighted material anonymously, then free proxy services might provide some benefits.
Depending on what you need from a proxy, you can choose from many free and paid services.
However, remember that all of these services are easy to block by copyright holders.
The bottom line is to use a VPN or secure proxy service in order to protect yourself and your privacy while torrenting.
Will torrenting get me into trouble?
Torrenting isn’t inherently illegal. Having said that, you could find yourself in trouble if you download copyrighted material. It’s usually fairly easy to tell if something is copyrighted or not: if a torrent claims to offer a recently-released movie or TV show for free, it’s probably copyrighted. If it’s a public domain film like Night of the Living Dead (1968) or content that’s available freely elsewhere, you’ll likely be fine.
As so many people torrent these days, copyright holders tend to go after the person who uploaded their content instead of those who are downloading it. That’s why new episodes of shows like Game of Thrones can be downloaded over 100,000 times shortly after their release, without anyone mentioning that they’ve received an infringement notice.
Read more: Is torrenting illegal?
Comparitech does not condone or encourage any violation of copyright restrictions. Please consider the law, victims, and risks of piracy before downloading copyrighted material without permission.
The best torrenting VPNs in 2021
Today, many VPNs are quite suitable to use for torrenting. Here is a short top-5 list of programs that most leading technical portals consider the best for this purpose:
- Hotspot Shield.
- Private Internet Access.
Each of these VPNs has advantages over the others in terms of safety, speed, enhanced protection, or all of these attributes combined. However, their attribution to the top-5 does not mean that all other programs that the VPNs not included in this list are unusable. You can choose a torrenting VPN you’d like among the products of other companies. However, make sure that it meets the requirements described in the previous paragraphs.
Many VPNs are quite suitable to use for torrenting
A Breakdown Of Our Top VPNs for Torrenting
With so many VPNs on the market, it was hard to know which was best for our purpose of torrenting without testing them out ourselves, so that’s what we did. Here’s a breakdown of features included in our favorite VPNs for torrenting:
How to Hide IP Addresses and Torrenting from Your ISP (Use a VPN Server)
To download torrents without your ISP detecting, you should use a VPN connection.
A reputable VPN provider, like ExpressVPN, will hide your IP address and Internet traffic so that your ISP is unable to detect your torrenting activity.
When you use a VPN service for torrenting, your traffic is routed through an intermediary server, which will replace your IP address with an IP address corresponding to this VPN server, so your ISP, or anyone else, will be blocked from seeing your actual IP and location.
Using a VPN client, your traffic is sent through a secure encrypted tunnel so that your activity is indecipherable to your Internet Service Provider or prying eyes.
While your ISP will be able to detect that you are using a VPN client, they will have no idea what you are doing online; and since VPNs are legal in almost all countries, there are no red flags when you are using this VPN provider for protection.
How to use a VPN for torrenting?
Here is how you can use your VPN service for torrenting:
- Choose a VPN provider for torrenting, like ExpressVPN.
- Download and install your VPN to your device.
- Create an account.
- Enable your VPN Kill Switch feature in settings.
- Connect to your VPN server, and begin torrenting!
Use a VPN to Hide Torrenting
Once deciding on the torrent software you want to use, nothing stops you from starting it up, searching for torrents and downloading files right away.
But stop! There’s one more step you should take.
If you torrent out-of-the-box “naked” in this way, you are exposing yourself. The way torrenting works means that it is possible (actually it is quite easy) for anyone else to figure out what torrents you are downloading.
This could get you in trouble.
Your ISP may punish you for torrenting with slower speeds or formal warning letters. Worse, online snoops and spies are constantly monitoring torrent downloads and you may get caught in one of their sweeps.
Here’s why torrenting naked is risky. As with any activity on the Internet – whether browsing web pages, receiving emails or exchanging instant messages online – the data is being sent back and forth on the basis of IP addresses to and from the sending and receiving sides. Torrenting is no different.
When you download a file with qBittorrent (or uTorrent or any other torrent client), the IP address your computer or device is using to share a file via torrenting is both sending and receiving data.
This makes it easy for your ISP and snoops or spies to hone in on your IP address and see what files are being downloaded and shared by that IP address, your IP address. Here’s just a simple example.
It’s then easy to trace that IP address back to you personally. That’s because your ISP can simply look at their records and see which of its customers was using an IP address at any given time.
Similarly, a snoop or spy can complain to your ISP and request their records about the IP address that was being used. This will lead them right to you.
Hopefully, you see why you must hide your torrenting.
OK, but how?
By using a VPN (virtual private network service), that’s how.
How Does Torrenting Work?
When you download anything from the Internet, data is received from a remote server. Since this data you request is received from a central server, there is no need for sending anything from your own server. Think, for instance, of watching videos online or loading web pages.
If too many IP addresses download data from the same server at once, this server can become overcrowded, affecting your download speed.
Torrenting is different from this typical download process, following a unique peer–to–peer protocol.
In a torrenting swarm, there are a bunch of IP addresses simultaneously downloading and uploading a file. When you are downloading a file from a server while torrenting, you are also uploading parts of a file to other users, constantly in the process of this exchange. Due to this constant exchanging, torrenting is faster compared to typical internet downloads.
Although torrenting has a reputation for being associated with piracy and other malicious use, there are also legitimate uses for torrenting. Since you can split your files into small parts, pause your downloads, and resume them later, bit torrent is a good option anytime you are downloading large files, like updates, games, or software.
Since torrenting is not 100% legitimate, though, it is a good idea to make sure people are blocked from seeing what you are downloading or streaming, even if you are above board.
Are There any Alternatives to Hide Torrenting?
Using a good VPN service is a tried and trusted way to keep your torrenting hidden and safe.
However, if you are looking for a different alternative you could also try a cloud torrenting service. This is a service which does exactly what you’d expect from its name: it lets you download torrents completely in the cloud.
The advantage of this is that everything happens in the cloud and not on your own computer or devices.
Please keep in mind that these are a relatively new service and do not have the same track record as torrenting with a VPN service. But, in theory, cloud torrenting is a great service. Plus, some of the cloud torrenting services have free basic accounts.
Because they are new, we hesitate to outright recommend cloud torrenting as a reliable way to hide torrenting. We would be more comfortable once/if there are some court cases proving the claims that their customers’ torrenting activities cannot be traced back to them.
Ironically, if you use a VPN whenever connecting to the cloud torrenting service (and sign up to the cloud torrenting service using a fake email address), this would be excellent protection. But in that case you might as well skip the cloud torrenting service and just stick with using a VPN service with classic torrenting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we had when looking for the best VPNs for torrenting:
- What is torrenting?
Torrenting is the most popular form of peer-to-peer file sharing. It allows multiple users to connect and share content without having to depend on one single web page for downloading.
- What is a VPN?
A VPN, which is also known as virtual private networks, is a software that allows users to send or share data over public networks as if their devices were still connected to a private one. VPNs make it difficult for hackers or others to gain access to personal information and allow users to maintain privacy and anonymity online. The software also encrypts web traffic and hides IP addresses from Internet Service Providers.
- Should I always use a VPN for torrenting?
We always recommend using a VPN for torrenting. A VPN encrypts your IP address and prevents your Internet Service Provider from being able to monitor your Internet activity. Torrenting without a VPN means your Internet Service Provider will be able to see your online activity.
- Can you get caught torrenting if using a VPN?
The simple answer is yes, you can get caught torrenting even when using a VPN; however, it’s very unlikely since VPNs hide IP addresses and web traffic. One way you can get caught though is if the VPN you are using doesn’t have a kill switch. If the VPN goes down while you are torrenting, without a kill switch, your torrenting will no longer be private. However, with a kill switch, the torrenting will automatically shut down in the event the VPN stops working. It’s also important to look for VPN companies headquartered outside the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes alliances. Companies outside those jurisdictions aren’t required to hand over information to the government, making it less likely you will get caught torrenting. Finally, privacy policies play into whether or not someone may get caught torrenting. You want to go with companies that don’t keep records of users’ IP addresses or web activity.
- Can I use uTorrent without a VPN?
Yes, you can use uTorrent without using a VPN. However, if you don’t use a VPN, Internet Service Providers can monitor your activity, slow down your service or terminate it altogether if they notice torrenting taking place. Using a VPN prevents Internet Service Providers from being able to see what it is you’re doing online.