Torrenting is great. VPNs are great. So do they go hand in hand?
Pretty much – a VPN hides your IP address and encrypts your traffic, so it’s a must when you use uTorrent.
3 Good Reasons to Use a uTorrent VPN
Here’s why you should always use that combo:
1. It Makes Torrenting More Private
Every time you download a torrent, other seeders and leechers can see your real IP address. They just need to check the Peers tab in their torrent client, and it’s right there.
Why does it matter?
Well, because your IP address reveals a lot of info about you:
- What country you are from.
- What city you live in.
- Who your ISP is.
- What your ZIP code is.
Not exactly enough info to find out exactly who you are, true. But someone who is dedicated enough could collect your IP address, and add it to a database which they will later sell on the deep web.
On top of that, they could also use your IP address to locate your network, and flood it with unwanted requests and traffic – basically, DoS/DDoS attacks.
If they do that, they’ll force you offline, which can stop you from seeding. Without proper seeding, you can get kicked off the tracker or out of a private torrenting community.
And since DoS/DDoS attacks are dirt cheap ($10/hour), pretty much anyone can use them.
Well, if you use a VPN, you don’t need to worry about that. The service hides your real IP address, so you can download torrents without a care in the world.
2. It Stops Bandwidth Throttling
If you’re not familiar with that, it’s when your ISP intentionally lowers your speeds.
They might say they do that to offer you better services, but let’s face it – they do it to pressure you into buying more expensive data plans.
And if your ISP lowers your speeds by too much too often, that can interfere with your seeding.
Like I already mentioned, poor seeding is bad for you – especially in private communities.
With a VPN for uTorrent, though, that’s no longer a problem. It encrypts all your traffic, meaning your ISP can no longer spy on it and inspect your data packets. Without being able to see which specific services you use, they can’t throttle your speeds.
3. It Keeps You Out of Legal Trouble
In some countries, torrenting isn’t exactly legal. In fact, you can end up in court or even jail if you’re not careful what you download.
And get this – media companies might have their lawyers download torrents with their works. When they do that, the lawyers check the Peers tab in the clients and collect the IP addresses there.
Since your IP address reveals who your ISP is, the lawyers can then send them threatening letters. In turn, your ISP will share all your data with the lawyers, making it easy for them to contact you, and file lawsuits against you.
And if media companies and their lawyers won’t do that, copyright trolls will. They are people or organizations that file lawsuits against torrent users in an attempt to make money off of settlements.
Copyright trolls are pretty active – here’s just an example of one agency that managed to file nearly 1,000 lawsuits in the first half of 2019.
With dozens of copyright trolls on the prowl, it’s obvious you need a VPN.
The service will encrypt your traffic, stopping your ISP from sharing your browsing history with lawyers. Also, the VPN hides your IP address, so copyright trolls and media companies can’t track down your ISP in the first place.
How to Get the Best VPN for uTorrent
Finding a good VPN can be tough – especially since you need to make sure it has the following:
- P2P support (the most important)
- A Kill Switch
- Unlimited bandwidth
- High speeds
- Lightweight protocols (IKEv2 and SoftEther)
- A no-log policy
Without that, your torrenting experience might not be as good.
So you need to compare dozens of providers to see which one works well for you.
Or you could do the easier thing – check out ProPrivacy’s comparison of the best Virtual Private Networks for torrenting.
Why Not Use Tor or a Proxy Instead?
True, you can use a proxy to download torrents if you want to. It hides your IP address just like a VPN, so the results should be the same, right?
Well, not exactly.
The problem is that proxies don’t offer the same level of encryption as VPNs. So, with a proxy, there’s a chance your ISP might be able to monitor your traffic.
As for Tor, well there’s nothing stopping you from using it to download torrents – except for Tor itself.
Also, you really won’t get good speeds. With only around 6,000 servers serving nearly two million users, your speeds are going to be pretty bad.
Bonus Tip – Use qBittorrent instead of uTorrent
If you’re looking for a more private and safe torrenting experience, I personally recommend switching from uTorrent to qBittorrent alongside using a VPN.
uTorrent is convenient to use, sure, but so is qBittorrent. And qBittorrent doesn’t have the same issues as uTorrent.
What issues, exactly?
Well, you don’t have to deal with annoying ads for one. Not to mention that uTorrent updates might even contain adware, the platform recently had issues with remote code vulnerabilities and some users are worried that the client automatically downloads malware to their devices.
Oh, and uTorrent is associated with the MPAA (a huge anti-piracy group). That and qBittorrent is open-source, while uTorrent belongs to a private company.