If you are a torrenting kind of person then you understand, or soon will, just how important a VPN service is. Torrent users looking to privately download or share files over the internet are of course interested in the concealment benefits of a virtual private network (VPN). One of the most frequent questions asked by downloaders and P2P file sharers is “what is the best VPN for torrents or torrenting?”
Before we address what make a great VPN let us first define what torrenting is.
When talking about, torrents, BitTorrent and peer to peer (P2P) file sharing most people think of the illegal sharing of copyrighted material over the Internet. While often this is true, it is not because torrents are a bad thing but because torrents are simply the best and most efficient way to share files with the masses. A Torrent can and is used for good as well. Unfortunately though, often those who use torrents legally find themselves tracked, filtered, limited, and harassed for doing so. This does not have to be the case for you.
It used to be that to download a file it had to hosted on a server somewhere out on the Internet. Everyone that wanted to download that file would have to get it from that one server using that servers limited resources. Now with the different torrent clients like BitTorrent, uTorrent, Vuze, etc. users can download a torrent file. The torrent file is, put simply, a list of the original file broken into small itty bitty parts that can be downloaded independently and even out of order. The Torrent clients can then advertise out to other clients what they have. This torrent file acts like a map, directions, or you could say an engineer giving your computer direction on what the file should look like and places to start the download process. As the torrent client downloads the file, it both shares the parts it has already downloaded and it finds other clients that are sharing the parts of the file it still needs. So files are no longer coming from one computer, but from many computers all over the internet. The little bits can be downloaded simultaneously in a jumbled up mess from a wide variety of temporary or permanent places and then reassembled into the original file. A bunch of torrent clients sharing a file is referred to as a swarm.
The big advantage of Torrenting is that no one computer has complete control of a file or the bandwidth and server resources need to download a file are spread across many computers.
The disadvantage of Torrneting is that your computer must give up its address and what it is that you are downloading in order for it to work. Because downloading a torrent is often bandwidth intensive and often used to share copyrighted material many internet service providers will block or at least throttle the speed of torrent traffic to very slow. Many ISPs will even send out pesky legal notices whether warranted or not to their user.
- The simple and cheap way to avoid problems with torrents and protect yourself from prying eyes it to get a VPN service. Not all VPNs are equal though. You will want to get a VPN that is best for torrenting.
Countries around the globe have verity of approaches when it comes to the issues of file sharing. In Germany for example, the internet has a big government Democrat kind of a feel to it. Everything is regulated. You as an Internet subscriber can be held liable for nearly everything that goes on your connection whether you are aware of it or not. The situation there attracts thousands lawsuits yearly. In Switzerland it is just the opposite. The Internet takes on more of a Libertarian nature. The monitoring in Switzerland is banned by law. If you have Internet access then you are free to travel over it wherever you like. That is not to say there are not hackers and other spying eyes.
In both instances purchasing VPN access is smart. This way neither your home ISP nor anyone who might be sharing a public Wi-Fi will have a clue what you are doing on the Internet. You can bank, surf, upload, and download in peace. All anyone will see is the VPN server you are tapping into the Internet through. From there back to your computer’s Internet traffic is encrypted.
So what makes a good Torrenting VPN
The best VPN torrent proxy will have these attributes:
- First and foremost a VPN that will be used to download torrents must be anonymous. Not all of them are. They may say they are and most do add to or aid in anonymizing your Internet connection, but what logs do they keep? A lot of virtual private network providers keep logs of who what when and where. If you truly want anonymity then you will not want your VPN to be logging in everything you do on the Internet. Another way of creating anonymity is to have multiple VPN subscribers’ data sent out over the Internet through the same IP addresses. This makes it impossible match individual file transfers to any one individual on the service.
- The second thing to consider is speed.
- When you use a VPN your data will be encrypted on your computer first before it leaves. This does slow things down a little.
- Then you data will travel over whatever local Internet connection you are using. This could be the ISP like a cable company or DSL connection to your home or a public Wi-Fi like you find at school, work, a restaurant or and airport. If the local connection is slow or crowded then of course your downloading will be slow as well.
- From there your data will travel to the VPN you are renting. If the VPN you are using is slow then it will act as a choke point slowing down your whole connection.
- Finally you must also take into account the speed and band width of whatever is serving up what it is you are trying to reach out on the Internet. For Torrenting it will be a lot of other computers. Most of these computers will simply be owned by individuals like yourself and connected to the Internet in a wide variety of ways and speeds. The more people that are sharing the Torrent you want to download the faster you will get it. If only a few people with poor connections are sharing then it could be very slow.
One thing nice about using a VPN provider with servers in many countries is it is easy choose what country your VPN is in based on what you want to download or access. If something is more prevalent in a certain country then pick a VPN server in that same country and you will have faster access. Then you can easily switch to another country to access something else located else ware.
- The security of your VPN.
If you are going to use a VPN to access torrent files then it does no good if your VPN proxy does not use good security. The best VPN service providers for torrents will use the latest security protocols. At the time of this writing the latest VPN encryption protocols are OpenVPN (256-bit or 160-bit encryption), L2TP/IPsec (256-bit encryption), and PPTP (128-bit encryption). For most desktop users, OpenVPN provides the strongest encryption and fastest data transfer rate. Another security feature that a bittorrent VPN should have is auto-disconnecting you when the VPN cloaking goes offline concealing DNS leaks.
- The price of a VPN
You probably don’t want the cheapest VPN out there, but that does not mean your VPN has to be expensive either. You can certainly find a cheap VPN service that will be best for torrenting. We found one and it meets all the criteria outlined in the article above and much more.