If you download torrents frequently, you already know (or should know) that you need a VPN to protect your identity on p2p networks like BitTorrent. Zero-log VPNs designed specifically for the high-privacy needs of torrenting are now widely available. And they don’t have to be expensive.
Here you’ll find several of the Best Cheap VPNs for torrenting and anonymous downloading.
Best Cheap Torrent-Friendly VPNs: Ranked
|Private Internet Access
How to choose a VPN for Torrents
The 4 most important factors when choosing a VPN to hide your torrent activity are:
- Logging Policy
- Torrent Friendliness
The advantage of a zero-log VPN is that there is no record of your torrent downloads or public IP address history that could allow a 3rd-party to link you to your torrent usage. Non-anonymous VPNs, like Hidemyass, store user records for 3 months or more. You should never download torrents using a VPN that logs your IP address. Learn more: Our guide to VPN logs.
Some VPNs are more tolerant of torrent activity than others. In general, the true ‘zero-log’ providers (see above) are also welcoming of BitTorrent users. Other VPN providers generally aren’t. If you decide to download torrents using a non-friendly VPN, you’ll likely: find that torrents are blocked or slow, have your account cancelled, or even have your identity revealed to a 3rd-party.
Reasons some VPNs block or discourage torrent use:
- It can bring a lot of legal pressure if many users are downloading unauthorized torrents in jurisdictions like the USA, Germany, or the UK where it isn’t allowed.
- Torrents use a ton of bandwidth which can slow the VPN service for other users.
Bottom Line: Always choose a Torrent-Friendly VPN.
BitTorrent is awesome because you can download huge files really fast, by leeching from multiple seeders at once. So you’ll want to make sure that you choose a VPN with fast speeds, so your torrent downloads stay fast.
Price is usually the first criteria people choose by (bad idea), but when it comes to security tools it should probably be the last. That said, the VPN industry is extremely competitive and you can now get high quality VPN service for under $50/year. All of the VPNs featured in this article are excellent and I would (and do) use them personally.
The Best Cheap Torrent VPNs:
Without further delay, here is a closer look at our favorite torrent-friendly VPN services under $7/month. Each of these will do a good job of anonymizing torrent activity, so the choice will come down to other features (like speed) and whether you’re willing to pay a little extra to get them.
Logging Policy: No Logs | Torrents/p2p: Allowed Speed: Medium | Torrent Proxy Included: Yes (10+ locations) | Other Features: Double Encryption (optional), Works with Netflix | Refund Policy: 30 Days
NordVPN is one of the cheapest VPNs in the world, but they still manage to deliver quality service, because they operate on a massive global scale. NordVPN has well over 1 million customers, and server locations on 5 continents and 50+ countries.
NordVPN has had a ‘No-Logs Policy’ since day 1, and hasn’t had a scandal like some other VPNs for revealing customer identities.
NordVPN has several torrent-specific features that make them popular for torrent privacy:
- No Logs Policy: NordVPN doesn’t keep any VPN activity or meta data logs. They don’t record your incoming/outgoing address or share that data with 3rd-parties.
- P2P-Optimized Servers: NordVPN has specific server locations that are optimized for torrents. They tend to be in torrent-friendly jurisdictions and have special server settings to improve speeds and peer availability.
- Torrent Proxy: Every NordVPN subscription also includes access to over 40 SOCKS proxy servers, 10 of which are in torrent-friendly locations. You can use this to add a second IP-address hop inside your torrent client.
- Netflix Support: Netflix has blacklisted the IP addresses of many VPN services, but NordVPN still works with USA-Netflix (and 30+ other streaming services). You can use NordVPN to stream shows from anywhere in the world.
2. Cyberghost VPN
Logging Policy: No Logs | Torrents/p2p: Allowed Speed: Medium | Torrent Proxy Included: No | Other Features: Firestick App, Works with Netflix | Refund Policy: 45 Days
Torrents are fully supported, and there are p2p-optimized servers for even faster downloads. Currently Cyberghost doesn’t included a SOCKS5 proxy like NordVPN & PIA do.
Speeds are average to above average, and we were able to get 50+ Mbps in our testing. There’s also built-in anti-malware and adblocking technology if you want it.
One of the biggest selling points of Cyberghost is their mobile apps and Firestick app which are beautifully designed and have nearly all the functionality of the desktop version.
3. Private Internet Access
Logging Policy: No Logs | Torrents/p2p: Allowed Speed: Medium | Torrent Proxy Included: Yes, Netherlands | Other Features: Port forwarding | Refund Policy: 7 Days
Private Internet Access is one of the original ‘no-log’ VPNs. They invented the space, and basically forced other providers to come along by dominating the industry for so long. And even 10 years on, PIA is still one of the best cheap VPNs that torrent-users love.
PIA has apps available for all major platforms including Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. It also works on VPN Routers, to protect your entire network.
All plans include unlimited bandwidth and transfer, 5 simultaneously-connected devices, and a ‘Zero-log guarantee’ that has been tested in court by the FBI (and won)!
You also get access to their SOCKS5 Proxy server in the Netherlands, which can be configured with your favorite torrent client to add another (or separate) layer of anonymity instead of a VPN.
Logging Policy: No Logs | Torrents/p2p: Allowed Speed: Fast | Torrent Proxy Included: Yes, Netherlands | Other Features: Firestick/FireTV App | Refund Policy: 7 Days
IPVanish may not be the cheapest VPN on earth, but they’re still a great value. In our testing, they’re consistently one of, and usually the absolute fastest VPNs around.
They’re able to pull this off because their parent company actually owns a data backbone in the USA (the infrastructure of the internet). They also own and control their own servers instead of renting a VPS in a datacenter like most other providers.
IPVanish has a no-logs guarantee, a 7 day return policy, and allows up to 10 devices to be connected per account. That’s a lot.
You also get access to their Netherlands-based SOCKS5 proxy server (similar to #3 PIA above). IPVanish also has a Firestick App, which has made it quite popular with the Kodi community (in addition to BitTorrent).
Expensive vs. Cheap vs. Free VPNs
Everyone knows the saying: “You get what you pay for.” And that’s as true in the VPN industry as anywhere else.
But it doesn’t mean that a good VPN has to be expensive!
However, there are huge differences between cheap and so-called ‘Free’ VPNs. With the free providers, you rarely get unlimited bandwidth, speeds are terrible, and almost all of them keep logs (usually extensive ones). Because with free VPNs, you are the product, not the customer.
Reputable, cheap VPNs are often high-quality providers that have gotten enough subscribers to operate their business more efficiently than the competition. They may have a lower profit margin per-customer, but make up for it with their subscriber count, sometimes into the millions.
Should you ever pay more than $5/month for a VPN?
Sure. You will notice some differences with a quality, more expensive provider. IPVanish is on the cheaper end of the high-end range, whereas ExpressVPN is near the type ($12.99/month on their monthly plan). The biggest difference when you pay extra for VPN service is:
- Speed: Server and bandwidth costs are the largest expense of a VPN service. So the more you pay, the more bandwidth than can allocate for each customer.
- Support: Live 1-on-1 tech support is expensive (even more than server costs on an hourly basis). Most cheaper VPNs have limited or slower tech support.
But are you willing to pay double or even 3x the price for a 25% speed boost? Most users probably aren’t, and the software quality is pretty high across the board, even from cheaper VPNs. So do yourself a favor, and give NordVPN or Private Internet Access a shot. You can always upgrade to a pricey competitor later if you want.