Best VPN Services for Torrenting in 2020

Discover the 5 Best VPNs for Torrenting and P2P in 2020. Our experts have only included services that are safe, private and anonymous.

If you are into torrenting, you probably know that some big and powerful forces (like the movie companies) don’t like the practice.

That’s why it is essential to use a VPN which remains fast whilst using P2P torrent software and that doesn’t keep any intrusive logs or partake in any other frowned-upon privacy invading practices.The SecureLine VPN comes from Avast, a well-known anti-virus publisher. It is a part of its collection of Internet Privacy and Security products.

It offers a free 7-day trial version of the full service which is available for all the most popular operating systems.

In this article, we look at how the Avast SecureLine VPN stacks up against the top VPN services on the market.

Does their experience in the anti-virus market bring any advantages for it versus other VPN services?

To make evaluating Avast SecureLine VPN easier, we break the article into 8 sections touching on the most important characteristics of a VPN service. These are:

Avast SecureLine VPN Review - Source: Avast.com
Avast SecureLine VPN Review for 2020
  • Device Support
  • Speed
  • Security and Privacy
  • Legal and Geographic Considerations
  • Global Coverage
  • Streaming and Torrenting
  • Additional Considerations
  • Customer Support

We’re sure you are anxious to get your VPN search over with, so let’s go.

Device Support

One of the areas where Avast SecureLine lags the industry leaders is in device support. It gives you the four most important options: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone or iPad (iOS), but that’s it. No Linux support or browser extensions. And no router support.

Device Support - Source: Avast.com
Device Support – Source: Avast.com

Whether this is a big issue for you, of course, depends on what devices you want to protect. If all your stuff runs on one of the big four operating systems that Avast SecureLine supports, and you don’t need router support, then this is probably a non-issue for you.

Speed

The SecureLine VPN site and marketing stress how fast this service is. Speed testing of VPNs is notoriously hard, so we are lucky to have some comparative data. It comes from a June 2018 analysis of 12 VPN services by AV-TEST GmbH.

fastest download speeds - Source: Avast.com
fastest download speeds – Source: Avast.com

In the performance testing section of the report, it shows the upload speed, download speed, and latency for each VPN at all hours of the day and night across an entire week.

SecureLine VPN turned in some of the fastest download speeds for streaming. But in the rest of the tests, this service turned in results that were in the bottom half of the pack. Other sources give mixed results, with some naming the SecureLine VPN as extremely fast, or at least above average.

If you are a PC user, your best bet is probably to download the free 7-day trial version offered by Avast and see how the service works for your particular circumstances.

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Security and Privacy

A VPN needs to have certain features and capabilities to ensure your security and privacy. In this section we’ll see how well SecureLine VPN delivers on these. Some of the information in this section comes from the AV-TEST GmbH mentioned above.

Security

VPN security is all about keeping unauthorized parties (like your ISP or hackers) from reading the messages that pass back and forth between your computer and wherever you go on the Internet.

To provide security, a VPN will create a virtual tunnel for messages passing between your computer and the VPN’s servers. Further, it will encrypt the messages so that no one else can read them. The strength of the encryption algorithm used determines how strong this protection is.

Security and Privacy Avast
Security and Privacy Avast

The SecureLine VPN uses AES-256 encryption, which is the gold standard in the industry. The tunneling is accomplished using OpenVPN, which is also considered the best such software. So on these factors, SecureLine scores very well.

Anyone wanting to track you down on the Internet can use your IP Address to find out where in the world your computer is located. Your VPN protects your privacy by disguising your IP Address.

IP Address Leaks

Since hiding your IP Address is crucial to protecting your online privacy, your VPN should ensure that whatever happens, you are protected against IP Address leaks onto the Internet.

The VPN Comparison Test shows that the SecureLine VPN protects against common leak types including DNS leaks, Torrent IP leaks, HTTP request leaks, and WebRTC leaks.

IP Address Leaks - Source: Avast.com
IP Address Leaks – Source: Avast.com

The VPN should also protect you if your connection to the VPN fails while you are using it.

Top VPN services include a Kill Switch, which disconnects your computer from the Internet if the VPN connection fails.

Avast SecureLine doesn’t have this base completely covered. It appears that they are in the process of remedying this, with users reporting a Kill Switch is now available on the Mac version of the service, but not the Windows version.

Legal and Geographic Considerations

Where a VPN service has its headquarters and where its servers are located can both have a big impact on how secure a VPN service is. Here we will talk about why this is so, and how this impacts SecureLine VPN users.

Legal Jurisdiction

While a VPN gives you the ability to appear to be located at various places in the world, the VPN service itself has to be legally located somewhere. That is, the VPN service has to be incorporated or based someplace in the physical world. And that location matters.

Countries have wildly varying laws and policies with regard to Internet privacy and use. Some countries have liberal policies that don’t require VPNs to track your activities and that respect your privacy.

Others require VPN services to record what you do online and hand that data over to the government on demand. Still, others require VPN services to block you from visiting sites that the local politicians don’t want people to see.

Legal Jurisdiction - Source: Shutterstock.com
Legal Jurisdiction – Source: Shutterstock.com

Avast, the company that runs the SecureLine VPN, is based in the Czech Republic. This country has been privacy-friendly in the past, not requiring VPN services to keep logs of their user’s activities.

As of May 2019, this country was in the process of implementing its own variant of the European GDPR. The Czech version includes “derogations” from the full GDPR. Some of these derogations give the government more power over online personal data than previous Czech Republic laws.

We are not lawyers and can’t tell you the impact of this new law. However, we do think it is worth monitoring the situation if you are concerned with maximizing your online privacy.

While the old laws did not require VPN services to keep logs of their user’s activities, Avast does keep limited logs for SecureLine users. Its Privacy Policy says these logs are necessary for various business or regulatory purposes.

It also states that SecureLine will turn these logs over to the relevant authorities when its lawyers tell it to.

If getting the maximum online privacy from your VPN service is your goal, you should consider services like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or PIA that have a proven history of not keeping any logs that can be used to identify you. Check out our best vpn article for a breakdown of each as well as some other great VPN services we recommend.

Server Locations

As part of its basic function VPN services maintain servers in multiple countries around the world. The privacy of these servers depends on the laws of the country they are located in.

That means even if you are using a great VPN service based in a country that respects online privacy, connecting to a server in a country that has different laws can trip you up.

Avast Server Locations - Source: Shutterstock.com
Avast Server Locations – Source: Shutterstock.com

One unfortunate example is the servers located in the United States. Thanks to revelations by Edward Snowden, we know that the NSA spies on the Internet connections of local companies as well as work with companies to surveil pretty much everything that happens online.

We don’t know of any specific cases where using a non-USA VPN’s servers physically located in the USA resulted in a loss of privacy. Even so, it only makes sense to avoid VPN services and servers based in the USA as much as possible.

How does this impact SecureLine VPN? As we’ll discuss in the next section, more than 25% of all the SecureLine servers are located in the United States.

Global Coverage

Having lots of servers in lots of countries around the world is important for a VPN service.

More servers give you more options for connection points. Imagine that you need your VPN to make it seem that you are located in a specific country or even city. But sometimes a VPN server will be down for maintenance, or just bogged down with a lot of users.

And sometimes the resource you want to connect to (Netflix for example) will block access from a particular VPN server. If the VPN service only has one server in the area, you are out of luck.

SecureLine server locations - Source: Avast.com
SecureLine server locations – Source: Avast.com

And don’t forget our discussion of physical distances in the last section. More servers in more locations mean you have a better chance of finding one that is physically close to either your real-world location or the real-world location of an Internet resource you want to connect to.

More countries increase the odds that you can get access to whatever you want, wherever in the world it is located. Services like BBC iPlayer limit access to people connecting from the United Kingdom. If your VPN doesn’t have any servers located in the UK, you are out of luck.

This review was written in early May 2019. As of that time, Avast SecureLine listed 55 servers in 34 countries.

While this might sound like a lot, compare it to services like ExpressVPN, which boasts over 3,000 servers spread across 94 countries, or NordVPN which has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries.

Compounding the problem is the fact that only some of the Avast SecureLine servers support P2P connections. This means that people who need the ability to torrent are limited to only 8 servers in the entire network:

  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Miami, Florida
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • London, UK
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Paris, France
  • New York City, New York
The relatively tiny size of the Avast SecureLine network, and the even tinier number of servers that you can use for torrenting are a big drawback of this service.

Streaming and Torrenting

Perhaps the most popular use of VPN services is to view multimedia content that the user would not otherwise have access to. Why would someone do this? Reasons include:

Streaming and Torrenting - Source: Shutterstock.com
Streaming and Torrenting – Source: Shutterstock.com
  • The desired content is censored by the local government
  • The content provider puts geographic limits on where the content can be viewed
  • The users don’t want others to know what content they are viewing
If you fall into one of these categories you surely want to know more about streaming and/or torrenting with SecureLink. Let’s see how the SecureLink VPN performs on these tasks.

Streaming and Torrenting Speed

Avast allows both streaming and torrenting on the SecureLink VPN. But is the service fast enough to stream and torrent without major delays?

The VPN Comparative Test report mentioned earlier includes comparisons of the streaming and torrenting speeds of SecureLink as well as other top VPN services. Here’s what they found:

Streaming and Torrenting Speed - Source: Shutterstock.com
Streaming and Torrenting Speed – Source: Shutterstock.com
  • In the streaming tests, SecureLine was the second-fastest service, making it plenty fast enough for enjoyable streaming.
  • In the torrenting tests, SecureLine was one of the slowest services, coming in way behind the best torrenting VPNs.
So if streaming is what you want, SecureLine VPN is a great option. If you plan on using it as a VPN for torrenting, you need to expect much longer than average download times.

What about Netflix?

Connecting to Netflix with a VPN is all about getting past its geo-blocking to get access to your content while you are outside the geographic region Netflix allows.

What about Netflix? - Source: Shutterstock.com
What about Netflix? – Source: Shutterstock.com

SecureLink results are mixed here. That’s not surprising since Netflix battles hard to keep people from evading its geo-blocks. That said, both ExpressVPN and NordVPN have better reputations for winning this fight than SecureLink VPN does.

Additional Considerations

Before you invest in Avast SecureLine VPN, you should spare a bit of thought for these additional considerations.

Additional Considerations - Source: Avast.com
Additional Considerations – Source: Avast.com

Connections

Most VPNs allow you to connect a set number of devices to their network simultaneously. Three or four simultaneous connections seems to be the norm.

Connections - Source: Shutterstock.com
Connections – Source: Shutterstock.com

SecureLine takes a different approach. It looks something like this:

  • You can get Windows-only subscriptions with 1, 3, 5, or 10 simultaneous connections
  • Mac, iOS, and Android subscriptions are for a single device
  • Multi-device subscriptions offer five simultaneous connections and you can mix and match among any of the supported operating systems
If you are shopping for a VPN, you probably want to, and certainly should protect all your Internet-connected devices. This will tend to drive you to a Multi-device subscription, or one subscription for each device, which is a management headache.

Price

Normally at this point in a review, we would give you a breakdown of the pricing for the VPN service. But the pricing for Avast SecureLine is just too confusing.

It varies depending on which operating system you have, the number of devices you will connect to the VPN, the number of years of service you are willing to commit to upfront, and whether or not all your devices use the same operating system.

Go to this page, and scroll down to the SecureLine VPN Multi-device block. This option lets you connect 5 devices of any supported operating system (your Windows desktop computer and your Android phone for example) to the VPN at the same time.

Click the SecureLine VPN Multi-device block (whether you want the Multi-line subscription or not) and you will see something like this:

SecureLine VPN Multi-device-Price - Source: Avast.com
SecureLine VPN Multi-device Price – Source: Avast.com

Select the operating system you want, then click Buy Now. Don’t worry about setting the length of the contract yet. Doing this takes you to the shopping cart, which has an additional option that varies depending on which operating system you chose a moment ago.

Avast Shopping Cart - Source: Avast.com
Avast Shopping Cart – Source: Avast.com

Select the options you want and complete the form. Note that unlike most top-tier VPNs, you cannot pay for your subscription with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Avast only accepts the four major US credit cards or PayPal as payment options.

Click Agree & continue to complete the buying process and download your VPN client.

Customer Support

Since SecureLine VPN is just one of several Avast products, it takes a moment to find your way to the VPN’s Customer Support page.

Customer Support - Source: Avast.com
Customer Support – Source: Avast.com

The Support site provides a decent-sized selection of FAQs and how-to articles that should be sufficient for you if you are moderately technically competent. If you want help from the Avast Support team, you can get it, but your options are limited.

The options available on the site for requesting support from one of Avast’s technicians are limited to Chat and Email. It does, however, have a Twitter account where you can ask questions about the SecureLine VPN, or any other Avast product.

Conclusion

If you are a user of Avast’s other security and privacy products, the SecureLine VPN could be worth checking out. There is much to be said for using a suite of products from the same publisher. And if viewing multimedia content is your main goal, it does post some excellent streaming times.

Conclusion - Source: Shutterstock.com
Conclusion – Source: Shutterstock.com

But for general use, the SecureLine VPN doesn’t offer any compelling benefits. Other VPNs offer higher speeds, dozens, even hundreds of times more servers located in more countries, and support for more simultaneous devices and more types of devices.

We urge you to check out the other VPN reviews on this site before choosing this product.

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best bitcoin vpns for torrents
What is the best VPN for torrenting? Find out below!

Although it is only a type of peer-to-peer file sharing, torrenting is often used to illegally download copyrighted content belonging to those big and powerful forces.

Because it isn’t hard to see the IP address of someone downloading a file this way, copyright owners can monitor this and lean on ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to help them punish the user.

This could result in things like being banned from using your account at the ISP for some time, even lawsuits against the user.

In this article, we will look at why you want to use a VPN when torrenting, and why you may want to pay for your VPN account with Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies.

Then we’ll look into what is the best VPN for torrenting and provide 5 top examples that allow you to further protect your identity by paying with Bitcoin, if you choose to do so.

What to Look for in a Torrenting VPN

what is the best torrenting vpn that accepts bitcoin payments?
What to look for in Torrenting VPNs – Source: Shutterstock.com

Using a VPN when torrenting offers several benefits. First, you can torrent without leaving your IP address exposed to a hostile Internet.

When you use torrents through a VPN, the IP address that the world can see belongs to one of the VPN’s servers, not to your computer. Your ISP can see that you are using a VPN but can’t see what you are using it for.

The VPN can see what you are doing online, but they have much more incentive to protect that information than an ISP does.

VPN use is legal in virtually any country on Earth. The odds of your ISP shutting you down or reporting you to the authorities are much lower than for someone who is visibly torrenting something.

Another advantage of using a VPN when torrenting is that some countries have blocked access to popular torrenting sites from IP addresses within their territory.

The top VPN services have servers located throughout the world. You can easily change the server you are using with your VPN. This lets you access “forbidden” content from some country where it is not forbidden and get around your government’s censorship.

So what exactly should you look for in a torrenting VPN? Here’s what we recommend for your VPN:

  • It must allow file sharing (torrenting). For whatever reason, some VPNs don’t support / won’t allow file sharing.
  • It must have good protection against exposing your IP address. This includes features like a kill switch that is activated by default, strong encryption, and no DNS or IPv4 leaks.
  • It must be fast. A super-secure VPN that is too slow to stream effectively is a VPN that gets turned off.
  • It should keep minimal logs. All VPNs need to record some information for at least a short time as part of their normal operations. But less is better. The marketing term, “a no-logs VPN” is a good starting point for research.
  • It should use shared IP addresses. Having dozens, even hundreds of users all appear at the same IP address makes it much harder for a copyright holder or some snoop to pick out specific individuals among the flood of messages.
  • It should be located in a country that protects online privacy. Ideally a different country than the one you live in. A VPN can be forced by its local government to turn over logs it already has on you. It can also be forced by local law enforcement or espionage organizations to start logging your activities without notifying you.
  • It must accept anonymous payment in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies (but will accept standard payments method too).

While most of these are pretty clear, we need to look at the Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies) requirement more closely.

Why Should I Consider Paying With Bitcoin?

A good VPN will protect your privacy within reason, but there are limits to what they can do. Every VPN provider is required to obey the laws of the country they are based in.

Many VPN providers will do whatever they can to avoid revealing information about their users. But when it all comes down to the end, few VPN owners or operators will be willing to go to jail to protect you from a lawful request for information.

VPN services may also be affected by the laws or extralegal practices of countries where their servers are located.

For example, you might be living in the USA and using a VPN provider based in a country that has a good reputation for online privacy. A VPN provider based in such a country probably won’t honor a demand for logs or other information about you from the USA.

But if you are using one of the VPN’s servers located in the USA, the operator of that particular server may be bound by US law. In addition, any server located in the USA is surely monitored (and maybe hacked) by the NSA and other US intelligence agencies.

How VPN Services Try to Protect You

One of the main ways that a VPN service tries to protect you is by keeping minimal logs of your activities.

A service can be forced by the local government to turn over all their records of your activities online. So they can protect you by keeping few or no logs of your activities.

But relying on a VPN’s claims that they keep no logs requires you to trust your privacy to total strangers. And these no-logs claims are not always true.

Even if a VPN doesn’t keep any logs of your online activities, one thing they do need to keep is your billing information. If you pay for a VPN service with a credit card, check, PayPal, and so on, you can be identified.

While this won’t tell the bad guys what you are doing online, it does make it easier.

Here is a really simplified example.

Imagine that you use a VPN to frequently visit a site that is banned by your government. Knowing that you use a specific VPN service might allow them to show that the only time anyone from this VPN service connects to that site is when you are online.

If nothing else, it could be enough circumstantial evidence for you to wake up to a bunch of guys with guns busting down your door in the middle of the night to seize your computer and throw you in jail.

How Does Using Bitcoin Help?

Paying for your VPN subscription with Bitcoin adds an additional layer of privacy protection for you. Several VPN services allow you to set up an “anonymous” account with only an email address to identify you.

By using a throw-away or disposable email account for the signup process, and paying for the subscription with Bitcoin, there is no obvious connection between you and that account.

By setting up your account this way, even the VPN doesn’t know who you are. This approach isn’t foolproof, but it definitely makes things more complicated for anyone trying to snoop on you.

Despite the popular mythology, Bitcoin isn’t actually an anonymous cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is pseudonymous.

It isn’t easy, but someone who is determined enough, and has sufficient resources, can probably find out your true identity if you use Bitcoin. But it is hard. Hiding your identity by using Bitcoin or other cryptos should deter all but the most determined enemies.

An Example of Paying for a VPN With Bitcoin (or Other Cryptocurrencies)

Here’s an example of signing up for an “anonymous” VPN account using Bitcoin. For this example we’re using NordVPN, one of our top recommendations:

  1. We go to the NordVPN website and click the Pricing link. This displays Step 1 of their signup process, a list of plans and their prices.
    NordVPN step 1 of the signup process, selecting a plan
  2. After selecting a plan, we scroll down to Step 2, which requires entering an email address. You can use one of your regular email accounts for this, but remember that such an address could be used to track you down. There are lots of anti-spam or disposable email services you can use instead. Just be aware that the VPN service and possibly the service processing cryptocurrency payments will need to send information to this email address for you to complete your signup. In other words, you’ll need to have access to this account at least until you finish the signup process and payment processes.
    NordVPN step 2 of the signup process, selecting a payment method (cryptocurrencies)
  3. In Step 3, (see the preceding screen capture) we select Cryptocurrencies as our payment option. This causes a link (a red button in this case) to appear that takes us to CoinPayments, the service that NordVPN is using to handle cryptocurrency payments.
    NordVPN step 3 of the signup process, making the cryptocurrency payment
  4. Once we complete the transaction here, we return to the NordVPN site and finish setting up the account.

The result is that we have an account we can log into for whatever term we signed up for (3 years in this example). All NordVPN knows about us is our IP address and an email address. They can’t divulge any more information about us because they don’t have any more information about us.

The Best VPNs for Torrenting That Also Accept Bitcoin

Given all the requirements, we’ve found you 5 VPNs to consider. They are:

  1. NordVPN
  2. ExpressVPN
  3. CyberGhost
  4. PIA
  5. AirVPN

The rest of this article features short reviews of each of these VPNs from the perspective of torrenting safely and paying for the service using Bitcoin (or other cryptos). Once we are done, we wrap up with a table of the pros and cons of each VPN to help you make a final decision.

Note: Of course all the VPNs in this list allow torrenting and accept payment in Bitcoin so we won’t bother stating that in the reviews that follow. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be included here.

1. NordVPN – Our Top Recommendation

NordVPN ticks all our boxes for an ideal torrent VPN that allows you to pay using Bitcoin. We have also written a detailed comparison of Nordvpn vs Expressvpn here.

Torrenting is allowed on selected servers. Beyond allowing torrenting, they also work with major streaming services like Netflix, iPlayer, and Hulu, giving you access to even more content.

NordVPN homepage screenshot – ‘The internet with no borders’

NordVPN offers clients for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems as well as Android, iOS, and Android TV.

Its client applications include kill switches, but these don’t all function exactly the same. You will want to check its support page to see exactly how the kill switch works for your specific operating system. The clients don’t appear to have any DNS or IPv4 leaks.

As far as speed goes, NordVPN ranked in the top 10 in this ‘The Fastest VPNs for 2019‘ article. More importantly for our purposes, NordVPN was one of the fastest VPNs when used for torrenting, according to this 2018 study by AV-TEST GmbH.

NordVPN – ‘Lightning speed’ – the fastest VPN in 2020

What about logging? According to a NordVPN blog post, PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Zurich, Switzerland, was hired to audit NordVPN’s claims about its service. While we don’t have access to the audit results, here is what NordVPN had to say:

Between October 29th and November 8th, we invited the independent auditors to review our servers and code and to interview the employees in charge of maintaining our service. As far as we could tell, no stone was left unturned. The auditors’ goal was to see if our service lives up to our claims of providing a no-logs VPN service, and we believe we’ve passed the test.

Although NordVPN offers a Dedicated IP address as an extra-price option, their default is the more secure shared IP addressing that we prefer.

NordVPN pricing

The NordVPN headquarters are in Panama. This country does not have any mandatory data retention laws, meaning they don’t force NordVPN to keep records for future government inspection.

Beyond this, they are not part of the Five Eyes, Six Eyes, Eight Eyes, Nine Eyes, or Fourteen Eyes intelligence alliances. In other words, as far as we can tell, Panama isn’t required to spy on you and share the information with the United States and friends.

NordVPN also scores well on more general-purpose characteristics of a VPN. You can connect up to 6 devices simultaneously. And they have reach too. As of April 2020, they claim over 5,400 servers spread across 60 countries. You can view our full NordVPN review here. Overall, NordVPN is definitely a leading candidate for the best vpn for torrenting.

2. ExpressVPN – Premium Service, Premium Price

Note: In the interest of full disclosure you should know that your author uses ExpressVPN simultaneously on an Android smartphone, Windows 7, and Linux Mint. I find it to be definitely worth the premium price.

If you don’t mind paying a premium price, this is an excellent VPN for torrenting and Bitcoin payments, as well as general-purpose use. Like NordVPN, ExpressVPN works with all the major streaming media services.

ExpressVPN has clients for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. If you use Linux, you’ll need to do a simple command line installation. There are also instructions for setting up the VPN to run on more than a dozen different models of router. All the clients, even the Linux command-line one, include kill switches and block DNS and IPv4 leaks.

There are also browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. These browser extensions are interesting. Many VPN browser extensions protect only the browser itself. That means if you do something like run an email client or open your Bitcoin wallet application, they will not be protected by the VPN since they are not running in a browser window.

ExpressVPN homepage screenshot – ‘Amplify the entire Internet’

The ExpressVPN extensions are instead interfaces to the full client. The downside to this is that you still have to install the full client. The upside is that everything on your computer or device is protected by the VPN, not just the stuff in the browser windows.

ExpressVPN is fast. Depending on who is doing the testing and exactly how they do it, this service is almost always in the top 10 on speed tests, sometimes capturing first or second place.

According to that AV-TEST GmbH study I mentioned before, ExpressVPN is just a fraction slower than NordVPN when torrenting. And both of them are far faster at torrenting than most of the VPNs tested for that study.

ExpressVPN keeps no usage logs. They do, however, keep some aggregated connection logs. They state that the data they collect and aggregate is not data that can be used to identify a person.

ExpressVPN has over 160 VPN locations

Since we are not experts on methods of identifying VPN users, and people have widely varying opinions on what data is acceptable to log, we refer you to the ExpressVPN Privacy Policy for more specifics.

All IP addresses on ExpressVPN, are shared IP addresses. This service doesn’t even offer the option of a dedicated IP address.

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). This Overseas British Territory manages its own internal affairs and has no mandatory data retention laws. At the same time, the Queen of England is the ultimate ruler of the BVI.

The United Kingdom is part of the Five Eyes intelligence agreement, so it isn’t clear what would happen if the Queen leaned on the BVI to get logs from ExpressVPN, but we imagine that is very unlikely. However, it is one of the reasons we scored Nordvpn better in our Expressvpn vs Nordvpn comparison.

ExpressVPN offers a 30 day money-back guarantee

As far as general-purpose use of ExpressVPN goes, it is a fast, easy to use service that supports three simultaneous connections. The service claims 3,000+ servers located in 94 countries, making it great for accessing content that it geographically blocked.

Other potentially useful features of this service include Smart DNS, a proxy service that lets you connect to services as if you are located in their country, without all the overhead of the full VPN.

They even have a Tor.Onion service page so you can connect to the company using the Tor browser despite any Clearweb censorship that might be going on. Read our full ExpressVPN review for more details.

3. CyberGhost – Torrenting, Bitcoin, and a Great Price

CyberGhost is a decent option for your “anonymous” torrenting needs. Their feature set is similar to that of NordVPN.

Torrenting is allowed on many of their servers that are located outside of North America (presumably to avoid legal issues with copyright holders). They have a feature called Ghost Streaming to give you access to Netflix and similar services.

These guys provide clients for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Android TV, and Fire Stick. You can use CyberGhost on Linux systems, routers, Raspberry Pi, and other devices, but you will have to do some fiddling to get it working. You can find instructions here.

CyberGhost homepage screenshot – ‘The truly complete VPN solution’

There are also browser extensions that allow you to connect to the service without installing a client on your device.

According to their help pages, the clients for CyberGhost have kill switches built into them that function automatically. They also block DNS and IPv4 leaks.

As far as speed goes, CyberGhost isn’t one of the fastest services you will find. However, it appears to be sufficient for torrenting, so this isn’t much of a liability.

All users on a particular CyberGhost server share the same IP address to increase their security against tracking.

With 3,700+ servers in 60 countries, CyberGhost’s network is almost as extensive as that of NordVPN.

CyberGhost VPN pricing

The CyberGhost headquarters are in Romania. This country has a reputation for protecting privacy and has no known connections to the Fourteen Eyes (or smaller) intelligence agreements. Add to that CyberGhost’s no-logs guarantee, and you should have a pretty secure service.

This is all to the good. However, CyberGhost has been acquired by Kape Technologies, which under a previous name, Crossrider, was involved in some practices now considered somewhat shady.

CyberGhost Devices
CyberGhost allows up to 7 devices to connect simultaneously

CyberGhost does have a few additional strong points to counter its possible drawbacks. One is their generous policy of 7 simultaneous connections, the second most generous of all the services listed here.

The other big plus is the price. As of April 2020, CyberGhost was offering an 18-month subscription for only $3.75 per month. That’s about as cheap as it gets! Read our CyberGhost VPN review for more, or check out how it compares with ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

4. PIA – US-Based With Strong Privacy Protections

PIA (Private Internet Access) has been around for quite a while. This author used them for years before switching to ExpressVPN in 2018.

We find PIA to be less beginner-friendly than some of the other services in this list, but they offer lots of connection and encryption options for the more technically-inclined user.

Torrenting works fine with PIA, but unfortunately, they don’t unblock services like Netflix and iPlayer.

PIA provides clients for all the major desktop operating systems, along with Android and iOS devices. They also publish guides for connecting various routers and less-common systems to their network with OpenVPN.

Private Internet Access (PIA) homepage screenshot – ‘Protect your privacy with a VPN tunnel’

PIA clients include kill switches. It isn’t clear that the kill switch is activated by default, so you’ll want to check to confirm that it is on before you start torrenting. We’ve seen no reports of problems with DNS or IPv4 leaks.

Like the other services we’ve looked at, Private Internet Access uses shared IP addresses.

The PIA network has over 3,200 servers in 32 countries. More countries would be better, but this shouldn’t be a problem for most users.

The speed of PIA isn’t anything to brag about. It is, however, sufficient to stream HD video so once again, it shouldn’t be a problem for most users.

Privacy protection is where things get a little cloudy for PIA. PIA claims they keep no logs. This claim was tested in court more than once. One example is a 2016 FBI investigation where PIA was ordered to turn over information on a user.

With and without Private Internet Access (PIA)

They don’t keep activity logs, so weren’t able to provide them. The only information they had to provide was the IP addresses that the FBI was interested in from PIA servers located on the East Coast of the United States. Another court case in 2017 gave similar results. Once again, PIA had no logs to give to the FBI.

This no-logs policy is important since the company is now based in the United States. With the US government trying hard to spy on everyone and everything, being located here isn’t ideal.

While PIA doesn’t normally log user activity, the US Government has been known to force VPN services to start logging user information while preventing the VPN from disclosing the change to its users. It is something to be aware of when evaluating your VPN options.

While PIA isn’t perfect, it does have two additional benefits to consider.

  1. First is their incredibly generous connection policy. You can connect 10 devices to the network simultaneously. It’s hard to imagine the need for more connections than this.
  2. The other benefit is its pricing. As of this review, their 2-year plan is even less expensive than NordVPN’s. Best case, you could run 10 devices at once for only $3.49/mo. That’s hard to beat.

Read our extensive Private Internet Access review for more info, or see how it compares to ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

5. AirVPN – Italian Service Operated by Hacktivists

AirVPN is clearly focused on protecting your privacy above all else. As they state on their home page they are:

“A VPN based on OpenVPN and operated by activists and hacktivists in defence of net neutrality, privacy and against censorship.”

As their statement says, the service is based on OpenVPN, rather than custom client apps. They do provide Eddie, an optional GUI FOSS interface to OpenVPN that includes censorship countermeasures. Eddie also includes a Network Lock feature which works like a kill switch.

AirVPN homepage screenshot – ‘The air to breathe the real Internet.’

Since OpenVPN doesn’t include a kill switch of its own, if you decide not to use Eddie, you will need to configure each device’s firewall to perform the same functions.

The service looks solid, although much of the content on their website is several years old. The documentation that does exist seems quite good, as shown be their detailed instructions on exactly how to configure the service for torrenting.

AirVPN pricing with Bitcoin payment option

AirVPN uses shared IP addresses, keeps no logs, and does no monitoring of their users.

While AirVPN has a good privacy reputation and a great origin story, the fact that it is located in Italy could be a problem. Italy is one of the members of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, Fourteen Eyes, and similar intelligence organizations.

AirVPN allows 5 simultaneous connections. Their network consists of an unspecified number of servers located in 15 countries.

With its old documentation and less integrated app design, AirVPN is probably better suited to experienced VPN users than to beginners. Read our full AirVPN review here.

The Best VPN for Torrenting and Paying by Bitcoin – Pros and Cons

That was a lot of information. In case you haven’t already decided which VPN looks to be the best vpn for torrenting for your purposes, we’ve put together this table with some of the key facts you will want to consider.

Since all the VPNs we discussed here support torrenting, allow payments by Bitcoin and use shared IP address for greater security, we haven’t included that information in the table. Choose from the below to ensure the

NordVPNExpressVPNCyberGhostPIAAirVPN
LocationPanamaBVIRomaniaUnited StatesItaly
Kill SwitchyesyesyesyesEddie only
DNS/IPv4 leak protectionyesyesyesyesEddie only
Number of Servers5,400+3,000+3,700+3,200+?
Number of Countries6094603215
Simultaneous Connections637105
Fast when Torrentingyesyes?no?
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1 COMMENT

  1. Recently, been looking through a bunch of reviews to see which VPN I should pick. My friend suggested Surfshark (which supports P2P traffic), which of course, is a good candidate since I don’t stream movies and TV series, but torrent them. I was quite surprised I didn’t see it mentioned amongst these recommendations. Although I have to admit, after reading this review, my opinion hasn’t changed, I think I’m gonna go with Surfshark.

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