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Do you really need a VPN for torrenting?

Do you really need a VPN for torrenting?


Downloading music, movies, and other content via Torrenting is illegal in many cases, so many choose to hide their identity with a VPN when doing so.

Torrents often involve people using Torrent platforms to download premium content for free. Due to copyright issues, downloading such material is illegal, which is why many choose to use a VPN to mask your identity and location if you do so.

What is torrenting and is it legal?

Torrenting refers to an activity in which an Internet user shares files via peer-to-peer (P2P) connections on torrent platforms. It’s worth noting that P2P sharing of non-copyrighted material is completely legal. However, using torrents to share and download copyrighted content is illegal in the United States and most countries around the world.

If you are torrenting, you should be worried about copyright trolls. Large film and television studios and production companies rent the services of copyright trolls to track illegal content that is shared online. Copyright trolls target internet users who download content from torrent platforms.

Those caught sharing or downloading copyrighted content on torrent platforms may face various fees such as fines, warning letters and the threat of imprisonment. ISPs also monitor their users’ activities to see who is sharing files via torrents. Usually the ISP goes ahead and throttles the internet speed of such a user.

All the penalties that anyone can face for sharing and downloading copyrighted content via torrents are unpleasant. Hence, the reason why many choose to use a VPN when accessing any torrenting platform.

Is a VPN important when torrenting?

Do I really need a VPN when torrenting? Yes you are. Without a VPN, your ISP and copyright trolls will find it very easy to get caught and take legal action for illegally sharing or downloading content. However, it should be noted that copyrighted material should not be downloaded and shared in the first place.

If you use a VPN for torrenting activities, it will hide your identity and protect you in two main ways. First, the VPN redirects all of your internet traffic to a server in a location of your choice, which automatically gives you the IP address of that server that is used by multiple people at the same time. Changing your IP address adds an extra layer of anonymity and security, making it very difficult for anyone to track you.

Second, a VPN encrypts your internet traffic before it leaves your device. Thus, your ISP and copyright trolls cannot monitor or view your online activities. Given the fact that your encrypted data goes to the VPN server first, ISPs usually have no clue as to the direction of your traffic.

So, if you are sharing or downloading copyrighted content on torrent platforms, using a VPN is vital as a measure to make sure nothing can be traced back to you. Thus, it protects you from a possible lawsuit and other penalties that you may face from the authorities.

Choosing a reliable VPN is key

Although we emphasized that a VPN is needed when you torrent, it is worth noting that free VPNs are not a secure option. Free VPNs rarely encrypt data and usually suffer from DNS leaks. Thus, ISPs and copyright trolls can easily track your data and location when using a free VPN.

It is imperative that you use a secure and reliable VPN when torrenting. The ideal VPN should be one that has adequate protection against DNS leaks, and should not log your activity, or limit your bandwidth and data usage.

Also check out Surshark’s writing on how they use it for torrenting.

You should keep in mind that not all VPN providers support torrenting activities. So before choosing a VPN to use, make sure that it supports torrenting activities. ExpressVPN is probably the best in this category at the moment.

The VPN is quite expensive compared to its competitors. However, it supports torrenting and has strong DNS leak protection. With its focus on speed, privacy, security, and anonymity, ExpressVPN will protect your data while sharing and downloading files from torrent platforms.

You can also choose other options like NordVPN, IPVanish, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and a few others.


Sharing and downloading files via torrent platforms is illegal if their contents are protected by copyright. There are penalties for torrenting activities, which makes it important to use a VPN to help hide your location and identity.

picture: VPN Via Shutterstock / Funtap

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