It is quite common to hear VPN services
boasting of torrenting or P2P file sharing on the service. It has become one of
the selling factors for VPN providers.
The reason being that torrenting is facing
a lot of hostility from governments and media agencies across the world.
is also a common practice exercised by Internet
Service Providers to prevent a user from downloading files using the medium of
P2P file sharing.
A lot of the countries have banned various
torrenting clients from their cyberspace. These measures have been taken after a lot of efforts made by the
media houses across the globe to take down torrenting.
VPNs turn out to be the best way to counter
the attempts made by governments, ISPs, and
media houses to stop people from using torrent to download content.
However, it is also necessary to understand the reason behind the increased popularity of torrent services, and the reason why media agencies and governments want to wipe away torrenting from the internet.
Get to know torrenting
We all know how traditional downloads work.
There is a server in some part of the world which contains the file you intend
When a person presses the download button,
a copy of the file is sent to the
downloader. The whole of the file is downloaded
in one go without any break.
In such cases, it is easy to map the server as well as the downloader. The IP addresses of the sender, as well as the receiver, are known to the ISPs and other bodies in this case.
VPNs can easily mask the IP address of the user. IP address represents
the user on the internet in a way, and it is impossible for the service and the
service providers to know that it is you who is generating the requests.
It is because of this reason that VPNs make it almost impossible to
keep a track of the user’s online activities. We will discuss how a VPN service
achieves this in the later sections.
The downloading speed also remains constant
throughout the process. It depends upon the capability of the internet
connections of the sender as well as the receiver.
Let us now try to understand how a file is
uploaded and downloaded through a torrent client.
Unlike the usual modes of download, there
is no single specified server which is responsible for uploading the file for
In fact, there is no server or a central hosting when it comes to torrent
downloads. A file is uploaded by one of
the users which is then sent to other
users in the form of small data packets.
As these other users start receiving parts
of files from the uploader, they also begin
to upload whatever they have downloaded.
This simultaneous uploading of parts of the
file makes them uploaders for the other downloaders. By the way, this is not
how they are addressed in the torrent
Torrenting has its own nomenclature, and it is
not very difficult to understand. All the parties involved in a torrent
download are called peers. That is how the name peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing
came into existence.
Not all peers are the same though. The ones who have all the parts of
the file, and are still connected to the
network to the network are called ‘Seeders.’
The receivers, on the other hand, are
called ‘leeches’ as they absorb the content shared by seeders and other
Many times there will be leeches who will stop the torrent once they have
downloaded the file completely. This is
considered to be a very selfish act in the torrenting
community as these people do not help others after receiving the help
In torrenting, peers are the downloaders as
well as the uploaders. So, it is necessary that a peer who has downloaded the
file from the torrent helps others in the process as well.
And the best way to help is by becoming a
seeder in the network. The efficiency of this system depends highly on the
number of peers and even more on the
seeders to the leaches ratio.
Such information is generally provided by
the torrent client which makes it easier for the user to guess the health of a
peers are connected to each other in a mesh-like system with all of them sharing data.
The speed of download also varies a lot compared to the usual ways.
There are two factors which affect the
speed of download in torrenting. First one is the number of seeders present in
the network. Leeches also play their part when it comes to assisting the
download, but the speed is usually controlled by
It should be obvious that the download speed will be better if there are more
seeders in the network. However, there is one more thing which affects the download
speed of torrents.
The percentage of the file downloaded by the user also affects the
download speed. When you download a torrent,
you will notice that the downloading speed is lesser at the beginning of the
download, and considerably increases as the download progresses.
For some reason, the user’s ability to
contribute more to the torrent network improves his/her ability to download
faster from the system.
Why do people even use torrenting?
Even though torrenting may not be able to
compete with the regular downloads in
terms of speed, it still has a few advantages over the regular download
The first advantage of torrenting is that
it does not require many specialized
resources. There is no need for dedicated servers or a very high-speed internet connection.
If there are enough peers on the network,
then speed is taken care of automatically.
Another advantage of torrenting is that it supports downloading
irrespective of the emergency circumstances such as the server going offline or
the system downloading the file shuts down abruptly.
Since there is no one specific system which
acts as the server, there is always a system online which lets the user
Another advantage of multiple peers is that it saves the user from any
malware injection which is very common among the conventional downloads.
Even if a system gets corrupted, there are
other systems which carry on with the usual process of uploading content for
Torrenting also helps with anonymity as
there are so many players involved which makes it difficult to pinpoint a single one among them.
Is torrenting legal? And, Can VPN Make it Legal?
News of people getting into legal troubles
because of downloading torrents doesn’t surprise people very much anymore.
A lot of the countries have also banned
various torrent search engines such as
thepiratebay.com and kickass.com.
It is easy to deal with such restrictions with the use of VPNs. We will
discuss this feature of VPNs in the next section. Now it is important to
understand why these engines are banned at the first place.
Such news and bans may suggest that
torrenting is indeed an illegal activity. However, the case is not what it
seems at the surface.
Torrenting as an activity in itself is completely legal. But some people use it for
unethical petty gains, and the majority
of the times these activities are inconsistent with the local laws.
There is no denying in the fact that
torrenting has been one of the most used avenues for piracy of copyrighted
Distributions of copyrighted content or
intellectual property of a person or an organization are deemed unlawful acts
in most of the countries.
Media agencies and production houses have
taken the most severe hit from piracy of content with the use of torrents.
Various researches indicate that this
industry loses a substantial amount of money because of piracy, and torrenting
has been the most widely used media for the distribution
of pirated content.
So it is only obvious that torrenting is bound to face severe retaliation from
the media agencies. It is just because of
this campaign of media houses against torrenting that governments across the
world are banning torrent search engines.
Media houses have gone a few steps further
to ensure that there aren’t many servers which allow torrenting through them.
The US and France have been seeing a trend
where media houses are boycotting those servers which allow P2P file sharing
Some of the VPN services have also been affected by such steps. They
don’t allow users to download torrents through certain VPN servers.
On the other hand, there are VPN services which don’t depend upon third
party servers, and therefore don’t put any such restrictions on the user. It is
one of the factors that the user needs to be aware of before investing in a VPN
Not just the government and the media
houses, the internet service providers have also joined forces with all their might to curb the menace of privacy
Throttling of internet connections when
someone is downloading a torrent is the way of ISPs to stop people from
Even though we agree that piracy is an
illegal activity and it adversely affects the pockets of content creators, we
still feel that trying to stop torrent itself is not a very healthy solution to
The collateral damage with the current
solutions is a bit too much than what should be acceptable.
Torrenting is still one of the efficient
ways to download large files as there is so much freedom involved with a
torrent download. And even though it is not a super-efficient way to stay
anonymous on the internet, torrenting does provide a bit more anonymity as
opposed to nothing.
The attempts to stop people from using
torrents has been effective in the western countries to quite an extent, but
there are still a few regions in the east where torrent downloads are still popular.
Some of these regions don’t have very strict laws when it comes to piracy of
copyrighted content and intellectual property.
There are still ways for typical users to do P2P file sharing, and the
best solution to the problem is the use of VPNs. Let us try to understand how VPNs
How can VPNs help
A VPN service redirects the user’s internet
traffic through its servers located across different regions. The traffic is not
just redirected, but it is also encrypted during this process.
It sounds like a simple enough explanation
of what VPNs do, but there are a lot of factors associated with the functioning
of a VPN service.
Since the scope of this article directs us
to keep torrenting into perspective, we will not dive too deep into the details
The biggest roadblocks which prevent users
from torrenting are the throttling of connections on downloading torrents and
blocking of torrent search engines in various countries.
As we mentioned earlier, VPN services
encrypt the user’s internet traffic while rerouting it through their servers.
Majority of the VPN services either use 256-bit encryption or 128-bit
Both these encryptions are robust enough
and virtually impossible to penetrate without the deciphering key.
These encryptions prevent internet service providers from detecting the
content of the user’s traffic data. It is therefore not possible for the ISP to
know if the user is downloading torrents.
Hence, the user’s internet connection is not subjected to throttling for P2P file
It is worth mentioning here that VPNs use secure protocols to redirect this already
encrypted internet traffic which prevents any outside party from getting their
hands on this encrypted data.
The other hindrance, which is the blocking
of torrent search engines in various countries, can be dealt with the use of
VPNs very easily.
All that the user needs to do is to choose
server location in a country or region
where the search engine is not banned, and he/she will have access to the
VPN services have servers located in
various parts of the world, and these server locations act as pseudo locations
for the user. It becomes effortless to
bypass the geo restrictions by using these server locations.
The number of server locations as well as
their diversity varies from VPN to VPN. This
is when the user needs to make a wise
decision while choosing the VPN service.
One should make sure that the server
network has a lot of servers which are spread out evenly across the globe.
This will not only make sure that the user can bypass a lot of the geo
restrictions, but it will also ensure
that he/she receives good quality service from the VPN provider.
Media houses in various countries don’t let
the server hosting companies to allow P2P file sharing through their servers.
This takes away the ability of the user to download torrents. And it is
because of this reason only that it is very tough to download torrents in
France and the US.
Even the VPN services can’t do much in this
case if they are using third-party servers. Some VPN services maintain their own servers, and therefore, enjoy full
authority over them without having to worry about the media houses.
However, sometimes even this solution won’t
suffice because of the government restrictions in some areas.
To counter this problem, several VPN services provide dedicated P2P servers in their server
list which allow P2P file sharing without any restriction whatsoever.
These dedicated P2P servers have high
bandwidths to facilitate downloading of large files, in other words, they are
specifically optimized for torrenting purpose.
All the VPN services don’t have dedicated
servers, and it again comes to the user to check whether the service has dedicated servers or not before
starting to use it.
Another thing which has a role to play in
torrent downloads is the speed of the download. The output speeds vary a lot
across the VPN services.
You need to ensure that the VPN service
gives speeds on the higher end of the spectrum before subscribing to it.
Torrents help the user remain anonymous to
some extent, but it is not an effective way of
staying anonymous at all. The ISPs and government
agencies can still detect your activities.
VPNs mask all your activities from these
agencies, but it is now the VPN service which has got all the information about
your activities on the internet.
It is of utmost importance to invest in a reliable service. There are two factors which
will help you a lot to decide if the service can be trusted or not.
One is to check if the service has a
no-logs policy or not. If there won’t be any records of your online activities,
there won’t be any danger of them getting into the wrong hands as well.
The other thing you can check is the
jurisdiction of the country. Make sure that the service is not based in a country which mandates data retention, or has a
poor record when it comes to guarding people’s privacy.
It should definitely
not be one among the 14-Eyes countries, which are infamous for massive surveillance and spying on the
The apt ones for the job
Now that you know the factors to keep in
mind before choosing a VPN service for the torrent,
you will be able to make better decisions.
Here are a few suggestions from our side to
help you out in the process. This is just
a list of VPN services which we think are best suited for the job. It is not a
ranking of these services by any means.
With more than 5000 servers in the network, this VPN service from Panama, has got all the requisites for a service apt for P2P file sharing and that’s why we’d like to rank them number #1 in this llist. The P2P optimized servers make things a lot easier.
More Info: Read Review | Visit Website
It is among the most prominent VPN services, and the product speaks for itself. The P2P dedicated servers allow the user to download torrents with ease, and high speed on the service makes it a breeze.
More Info: Read Review | Visit Website
This Romania VPN service has a vast server network, and provides dedicated P2P servers to the user. The no logs policy ensures that the user’s activities don’t leak out. The best part of CyberGhost is, it is one of the cheapest option available to protect your torrenting and have sleek user interface among the most!
More Info: Read Review | Visit Website
As the name suggest, Perfect Privacy has some high profile privacy features that can protect user’s privacy through their option to configure P2P port forwarding. Like many leading VPNs, it use AES-256 – Miliatary Grade – encryption and have some dedicated servers offered for this.
More Info: Read Review | Visit Website
More Info: Read Review | Visit Website