6 Best Free VPNs for Anonymous Torrenting in 2023
Torrenting without any privacy protection in 2023 is unwise. Unfortunately, many online users that torrent aren’t willing or can’t pay for monthly VPN plans. In such cases, the only option is to use a free VPN for torrenting. But, with most free VPNs being flaw-ridden, how to pick the best free VPN for torrenting?
We have done an extensive research to bring you the best and safest free VPN services for torrenting. Although every free VPN has some limitations, the six best free VPNs we’ve highlighted will keep you safe and private without limiting your torrenting activities to any pronounced degree.
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- NordVPN – Best free VPN for torrenting for 30 days.
- Atlas VPN – Unlimited bandwidth with free version.
- ProtonVPN – 100+ servers and extra privacy tools.
- Hotspot Shield – Well-rounded and suitable for all users.
- Hide.me – Safe and simple, no logs, and no ads.
- Windscribe – Reliable connections for torrenting.
Top 6 FREE VPNs for Downloading Torrents
NordVPN has over 5,500 ultra-fast servers in 60 countries worldwide. Most of its servers are optimized for P2P activities so that you can rely on fast and safe file-sharing, regardless of your location. All but one of its servers (in the UAE) works with the service’s impressive NordLynx protocol.
NordVPN’s DNS servers are operated in-house, so there’s no way a third party can get a hold of the information. To back this up, NordVPN has a reliable kill switch. So, whether you’re torrenting or unblocking online sites, you never have to worry about accidentally leaking any personal data.
You can also take advantage of more advanced features like Double VPN, which runs your connection through two VPN servers. This does slow your connection a bit but provides added protection when torrenting.
Split tunneling is also available on Windows and Android devices. Speaking of which, NordVPN allows you to connect up to six devices simultaneously. NordVPN’s free plan also has malware protection and a tracker and ad blocker. So, you’ll always get warnings if a downloaded file isn’t safe to open or if you visit a shady torrent site.
To top it all off, NordVPN is one of the most privacy-friendly services out there. It is based in Panama and has a strict no-logs policy on its user data. What’s more, it’s been audited by independent organizations several times in the past five years and always passed without any issues.
Even though you have to pay for NordVPN upfront, you can still use it for free without any hassle. This is because this industry-leading VPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Getting a refund is uncomplicated, as the service’s support staff is very understanding and professional.
- Thousands of lightning-fast and well-optimized servers
- Unblocks all the major streaming sites
- Fully supports Torrenting and P2P
- Strict no-logs policy and RAM-disk servers
- Ad blocker and malware protection features
- Robust security features and military-grade encryption to protect you from DDoS attacks and other online threats
- 24/7 live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Only 6 simultaneous connections
- No free trial
2. Atlas VPN
Following NordVPN’s free trial service, which you can use through the money-back guarantee, Atlas VPN is very close to the top regarding the best free VPN services for torrenting. In fact, Atlas VPN doesn’t heavily market its free trial plan. Instead, it has a completely free dedicated plan with unlimited bandwidth you can use for an unlimited amount of time. Plus, you can connect as many devices as you want.
The main limitation of Atlas VPN’s free plan compared to the paid one is the server selection. Free plan users can choose between only three servers. This includes one server each in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and New York. If you decide to upgrade to the premium plan, you can unlock its 750+ global server network.
However, this slight constraint is insignificant compared to the impressive features this free VPN comes with. This is because Atlas VPN’s free plan has most of the advanced features that you can find in its premium plans. This includes a kill switch feature and a split tunneling option.
All three Atlas VPN’s free servers are optimized for P2P file-sharing. Moreover, they come with private DNS and support the fast and power-saving WireGuard protocol. Its apps also include a Tracker Blocker feature, convenient for both torrenting and general web browsing activities.
Atlas VPN is very transparent and has a strict no-logs policy on all identifiable data. It even clearly lists the minimal data it collects to keep its service on a high level. This VPN also has some more advanced performance features that are worth upgrading for. These include SafeSwap, MultiHop+, and streaming-optimized servers.
- Very affordable plans and it has a free version
- Fast Speeds
- Helpful against an ISP throttling your connection
- Unlimited device support
- WireGuard protocol, DNS leak protection, and strong security features
- Unblocks streaming services
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Limited Linux app
- Based in the US
- Not so many servers
With over 100 servers covering three locations worldwide, ProtonVPN is an excellent service you can use absolutely for free. The free plan offers average connection speeds and only one simultaneous connection per plan, but that’s enough for stable torrenting. It also offers you unlimited bandwidth, meaning that you can download as much content as you want.
That said, there’s one caveat when using ProtonVPN for torrenting and that is that this service’s free plan doesn’t actually support such activities. This means that you can utilize ProtonVPN in the same way as you can use NordVPN, through a paid subscription and a refund.
Every premium ProtonVPN subscription plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Plus, the subscription prices are around the industry average, as the monthly plan costs just under $10.
Once subscribed to a premium plan, you can take advantage of over 1,700 servers in more than 60 countries. You can also connect up to ten times as many devices and enjoy faster connections.
ProtonVPN doesn’t keep any logs of either its free or premium subscription users. So, you can torrent in complete privacy. Moreover, it’s based in Switzerland, one of the most privacy-friendly countries on the globe.
Lastly, in the context of this guide, you can torrent and use ProtonVPN for various torrenting clients. This is available all while relying on a malware and ad blocker, secure servers, and even a Tor Over VPN feature. Just don’t forget to request a refund before the month passes and you can torrent as much as you want using ProtonVPN.
- Free version available
- Strict no log policy
- Unblocks most streaming services
- Above average speeds
- Additional privacy tools available
- Great app designs
- Small server selection
- Above average Premium plan price
4. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield is one of the best free VPNs you can get for torrenting, as it offers you unlimited data and bandwidth. To be more specific, the daily limit for the free plan is 500 MB, but you can get significantly more if you opt to watch ads.
The free plan allows you to set up one device on either Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, or Chrome. Moreover, Hotspot Shield has one of the most expansive server networks you’ll find in a free VPN for torrenting, with over 160 super-fast servers. Its servers support connection speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
Plus, if you want to upgrade to one of its premium plans, Hotspot Shield offers an excellent 45-day money-back guarantee. That way, you can test its full service and all features without risking any money.
With all that said, we should accentuate that Hotspot Shield had some privacy issues a few years back. Plus, the company is based in the US. So, it’s not the best choice for US residents due to the country’s aggressive surveillance laws. In this regard, if you’re a privacy-oriented user from the US, it’s best to use one of our other free VPN services for torrenting, just to be extra safe.
Despite these privacy concerns, it seems that Hotspot Shield has done its part to right the ship and ensure maximum user protection. Its free plan supports military-grade encryption and comes with a strict no-logs policy. Hotspot Shield doesn’t log any activity that could be traced back to you, a crucial aspect for torrenting.
- Has a free version available
- Good server network
- Good for streaming
- User-friendly apps
- Strong encryption and protocols
- Some logging
- Above average pricing
- Underwhelming iOS app
Hide.me is a very simple and easy-to-use free VPN service with tons of customizable features. It offers multiple VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, which is a terrific choice for torrenting. Its apps also have complete protection against DNS, IP, and WebRTC leaks.
It works with all major torrent clients, albeit it doesn’t have the speeds or the stability of some of our other recommendations. Still, you can connect one device and torrent from one of five free server locations. Hide.me offers 10GB per month, which is around the average that you’ll find with most freemium VPNs for torrenting.
The Windows, Mac, and Android apps also include a split tunneling feature. It lets you control which apps you want to run through a VPN tunnel. That way, you can conveniently whitelist your torrent client while keeping the rest of your connection on your actual IP address.
Hide.me is based in Malaysia, a privacy-friendly country that’s not a part of any major international surveillance organization. Its free plan follows a strict no-logs policy, and you won’t find any in-app ads. You can sign up without confirming your email.
While Hide.me is an excellent free VPN for torrenting, there are a few reasons why you might want to upgrade to its premium plan eventually. For starters, if you want dynamic port forwarding to improve your P2P file-sharing, this feature is only available with the premium Hide.me plan. Moreover, the Hide.me premium plan also offers you streaming servers and fixed IP address options.
- Good speeds
- Strong encryption with OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols
- Free version available with 10GB limit
- Good for torrenting
- Lots of servers
- Complex apps
- No third party audit
- Apps might have some glitches
The Windscribe free subscription plan provides you with ten server locations. This includes options in North America, Europe, and Hong Kong. You can set it up on any major device platform, desktop, or smartphone. The speeds aren’t the fastest around, but they are still speedy enough to allow you to torrent large files reasonably quickly.
Like many of its free VPN competitors, Windscribe offers a free plan with a 10GB data cap per month. That said, you can permanently increase your monthly data limit by another 5GB just by making a tweet about the service.
What’s more, Windscribe is also very handy if you want to use it for torrenting without any commitment or even standard registration. You can use a 2GB plan just for creating a Windscribe account without confirming your email address or giving any other identifiable information.
Another aspect that makes Windscribe stand out from many other free VPNs is its security and privacy. Even in its free version, Windscribe boasts split tunneling and a security feature called R.O.B.E.R.T., which delivers malware blocking capabilities.
On top of this, Windscribe has much more to offer than just servers for torrenting. Its free plan can unblock major streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. This is something many premium VPNs can’t even do consistently. Windscribe allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. This is something very few premium VPNs for torrenting offer, let alone free ones.
The only potentially negative trait of Windscribe is that it’s based in Canada, which is a part of the international surveillance organization Five Eyes Alliance. Still, this VPN doesn’t collect any user data and uses strong 256-bit encryption.
- 10 GB Free plan available
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Top security features
- Suitable for torrenting
- Good no-logs policy
- No independent audit
- Average speeds
- Sometimes does not work with stremaing
- WireGuard only on Android
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Risks of a Free VPN for Torrents
Many users don’t want to pay a monthly fee for a VPN service that they’ll only use occasionally. And, while there’s nothing wrong with this, you should know that there are certain risks that come with using free VPN services for torrenting. Here are the most significant risks of free VPNs for torrenting:
Lack of Security
The main reason for using a free service for torrenting is to protect your file-sharing activities. So, using a VPN that doesn’t keep you safe defeats the purpose. As free VPNs don’t have the budget to offer the same security features as paid services, many of them solve this by cutting corners on the security front. And, the last thing you want is an unreliable torrenting VPN that could leak your information or keep you unprotected on torrent sites.
Poor Privacy Protection
Apart from lacking security, there’s one, perhaps even more worrying, threat. Many free VPNs for torrenting use tracking software to gather information on your activities on torrent sites and other websites you visit. Instead of protecting your privacy and ensuring a risk-free experience, they just use you to collect data they can sell to the highest bidder.
The Danger of Malware
Many free VPNs rely on advertising to make money. Sometimes, these ads can contain malware, making it even more dangerous to torrent with a free VPN than without it. So, while you might think you’re getting a risk-free experience, in actuality, you could be putting yourself at even greater risk by infecting your device with malware through ads.
Slow Speeds and Monthly Data Cap Limits
Truth be told, this disadvantage of free VPNs isn’t nearly as damaging or dangerous as the previous three risks. Still, it’s important to keep in mind as it can greatly affect your overall torrenting experience. Even some of the most popular free VPN services for torrenting will limit your torrenting speeds or set a data limit, after which you’ll have to upgrade or wait for the next month to use the service again.
Torrenting VPN Services: Free VS Paid Solutions
Naturally, there are noticeable differences between free and paid VPN services. You should know about these differences so that you can make an educated pick which is better for you. For starters, we can divide free VPNs into services that are entirely free and those that come in a freemium form.
There are very few VPNs that are 100% free, at least when considering services that are completely trustworthy. Most free VPNs for torrenting, including the bulk of our recommended services, are so-called “freemium” VPNs. This means they offer a premium and free version you can use for an unlimited period.
When it comes to this, we consider these freemium VPNs the sweet spot for torrenting VPN services. Most often, they come with all the features you can expect in a premium service but in a limited format. For example, you might get fewer servers for torrenting, a monthly data cap, or a lack of more advanced features like port forwarding.
Knowing this, using paid VPNs for torrenting is the best way to go about it if you want uncompromising performance in all aspects that matter. But, if you want to torrent with a VPN for free, a freemium service offers many perks with fewer drawbacks.
Much like a paid service, a freemium VPN won’t keep any logs and will offer you better speeds, quality apps, and important settings like a kill switch. In contrast, a fully free VPN will generally be slower, offer a lower quality service, and might keep logs on your activities.
How to Carefully Choose a Free VPN for Torrenting?
Knowing the benefits, drawbacks, and potential risks of a free VPN for torrenting, it’s crucial to pick a service cautiously and be well-informed on the VPN you’re choosing. To help you out, we want to share our methodology for picking the best free services for torrenting. With that in mind, here’s what you need to carefully consider when choosing a free VPN for torrenting:
Free and Without Any Hidden Costs
The first thing to check when picking a free VPN for torrenting is to make sure that it is actually what it claims. This means that the service should either be completely free, a freemium service, or offer a risk-free money-back guarantee that would allow you to use the service without spending any money.
After checking the first aspect, it’s important to check whether the free VPN supports torrenting or offers P2P-optimized servers. You might think that this is a given, but many free VPNs, unfortunately, don’t allow you to torrent using their servers.
Considering this, VPNs with specifically optimized P2P servers should have the edge, as they will provide you with the best performance. Some services also offer split tunneling support. This is an especially convenient feature, as it allows you to keep a part of your connection on your real IP address and only route specific apps through the VPN server.
A secure free VPN for torrenting should ideally have military-grade encryption and features like a kill switch, leak protection, and several protocols you can adjust based on your preferences.
Of course, not many free VPNs tick all of these boxes, but you should look for a service that offers as many of these features as possible. A free VPN with strong security properties will keep your data hidden from your ISP, malicious online users, and copyright agencies trying to uncover your torrenting activities.
Besides ensuring your online security, a trustworthy free VPN for torrenting should also lock up your privacy. No one, including the VPN service itself, should have any information on your torrenting and P2P file-sharing habits.
Speed and Data Limits
Every VPN service, even a premium one, slows down your connection to a certain degree. This is more pronounced with the majority of free VPNs. That said, even though you might be using a freemium or free trial VPN, there’s no reason to compromise on the speed. Using a fast free VPN for torrenting will make a huge difference in how long you have to wait when downloading files of several gigabytes or more in size.
In line with that, the monthly data allowance can also be a deal-breaker. As you could see from our recommendations above, some free VPNs offer unlimited bandwidth while others offer fairly small data limit restrictions. Depending on how often and much you want to torrent, the data allowance plays a major role.
Lastly, you should consider the overall user experience the free VPN for torrenting can provide you with. This can often be equally important as any other aspect, as it can make or break your overall experience.
By this, we mean that the free VPN should be relatively easy to install and use, have apps for major platforms, and reliable customer support, preferably available around the clock. This will ensure a smooth experience, whether you’re torrenting or engaging in other online activities.
Free Torrenting VPNs to Avoid
While some free VPNs for torrenting are completely safe to use, many such services are not worth your attention. As we’ve mentioned above, a good percentage of all free VPNs are also dangerous, and some VPNs might steal your information or even infect your devices with malware.
Perhaps the most notorious free VPNs you should avoid using for torrenting are unsafe VPNs like Hola and Betternet . Both have been exposed for mistreating user information and not protecting valuable identifiable data. What’s more, Betternet apps contained malware at one point a few years back. Besides these two services, you shouldn’t use the following free VPNs:
- Thunder VPN
- Hoxx VPN
- Turbo VPN
In addition, there are a few trustworthy free VPNs that, unfortunately, aren’t suitable for torrenting. For example, the popular free VPN service ProtonVPN doesn’t support torrenting and P2P activities in its free version and instead only offers it in one of its premium VPN plans.
How to Start Using a Free VPN for Torrents
Utilizing a free VPN for torrenting is easy, and it doesn’t take much to set up such a service. As you can get it on a free trial or even in the form of a long-term deal entirely for free, in most cases, you don’t have to pay any amount upfront. So, you can quickly set up the service within minutes.
- Sign up with a free VPN
- Download the VPN app for your device.
- Open the app and connect to a P2P-optimized server.
- Download the torrent client you can trust.
- Add the content you want to torrent to the torrent client.
- When you download the content, exit the torrent client.
- Disconnect from the VPN server.
Additionally, there are a few more considerations to remember. Firstly, you should preferably use a VPN with a kill switch and have this setting enabled at all times when torrenting. When it comes to the content itself, you should make sure you’re downloading it from trusted sources. If you accidentally torrent files containing malicious content like a virus, a VPN can’t protect you.
Free VPN Torrenting FAQs
Are there any legit free VPNs for torrenting?
Yes, there are legit free VPNs for torrenting. The six best free VPNs we’ve featured on this page are all legitimate and trustworthy. This is why we advise you to pick one of these options and avoid using any unfamiliar or untested VPN service for torrenting.
Do free VPNs really work for torrenting?
Yes, the best free torrenting VPNs we’ve outlined on this page all really work for torrenting. We’ve tested each of them to ensure they have P2P-friendly servers. So, all that’s left for you is to pick one of our recommended options, download a torrent client you want to use, and start torrenting!
If you, by any chance, run into some issues with your free VPN when trying to torrent, there are a few things to fix the problem. Firstly, check that you’re connected to a server that is P2P friendly. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, flush your DNS or try disabling your IPv6. Lastly, you can reinstall the torrent client or try with a different client.
Are free VPNs safe for downloading torrents?
Yes, having a free VPN for torrenting is entirely safe, provided you choose a proven service. Moreover, in most countries, you can use a free VPN to torrent. However, if you use a free VPN for torrenting to download copyrighted content, you are breaking the law and still doing something illegal, even with a VPN.
With all of this said, you should consider whether using a VPN is legal in your country. For example, if you live in an authoritarian country like China, Russia, or the UAE, you might get into trouble just for using a VPN in the first place. In that case, it’s best not to risk it with a free service and pay for a premium VPN.
Why do you need a VPN for torrenting?
A VPN is a must-have tool if you want to torrent files, no matter where you live. If you don’t use a VPN to mask your torrenting activity, you’re risking fines and, in some cases, even a prison sentence. Not to mention that you’re revealing your identity to everyone who’s P2P file-sharing the same data.
Many online users torrent content that is protected by copyright laws. In other words, downloading and/or distributing this content is illegal and not advisable. That said, if you’re set on torrenting copyrighted content, using a VPN will help you stay private and minimize the chance of getting caught torrenting or P2P file-sharing.
Additionally, if you don’t want anyone monitoring your activities and want to protect your torrenting and P2P from your ISP and copyright agencies, it’s best to always use a VPN when torrenting.
Lastly, using a VPN for torrenting is also the most practical way to access restricted torrent sites in your country. Many ISPs block major torrenting sites or throttle user bandwidth when they discover that a user is frequenting such platforms. With a VPN for torrenting, you can freely torrent from any site simply by connecting to a server in a location of your choice.
Aren’t free VPNs slow for torrenting?
In truth, some free VPNs are slow and can’t support any type of torrenting activity. But, the six best VPNs for torrenting we recommended in this guide are all fast enough to support torrenting and P2P file-sharing. Using protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard, you should get fast and reliable performances.
That said, it’s worth mentioning that the biggest concern with the majority of reliable free VPNs for torrenting isn’t the speed. It’s the data cap. Most free VPNs don’t offer unlimited bandwidth, meaning that you could quickly use up your monthly data allowance when torrenting large files.
Do free VPNs work for torrenting on Android?
Yes, you can use a free VPN that allows torrenting on your Android device. If this free VPN service offers an Android app, you can use it to torrent just like you would on any other device. With that in mind, the main factor is to pick a good free VPN for torrenting, one that protects your data and keeps you safe.
Can you get caught torrenting with a free VPN?
No, if you use one of our thoroughly tested free VPNs, you won’t get caught when torrenting with a VPN. A reliable free VPN for torrenting will hide your real IP address and protect your traffic from anyone trying to spy on you. But, for this to be true, your free VPN needs to support P2P traffic on its servers.
However, if you pick an unsafe free VPN, you risk getting caught for your activities. This can happen if a VPN doesn’t have a security feature like a kill switch or leaks information that could lead back to your real IP address. This is why we advise you not to stray outside of our recommendations unless you have great industry knowledge.
What’s the best free VPN for uTorrent?
The best free VPN for uTorrent is NordVPN. You can use the NordVPN free trial for up to 30 days completely risk-free and enjoy uTorrent with maximum privacy and security. Apart from the free version, NordVPN’s premium version also headlines our list of the best VPNs for uTorrent.
How to get a premium VPN service for torrenting for free?
There are two main ways you can get a premium VPN for torrenting without paying any money. The first way is to claim a 7-day free trial offer. For instance, NordVPN has such a deal for Android users. The second way to get a premium VPN for free is to take advantage of a money-back guarantee.
To sum up this detailed guide on the best free VPNs for torrenting, there are a handful of apparent arguments for installing a free VPN for torrenting. It protects you from anyone snooping on your torrenting activity, keeps you private from copyright agencies, and even allows you to access torrent sites that might otherwise be blocked in your location. Not to mention that you don’t have to pay for any subscription.
The six best free VPN services we’ve suggested in this guide are all great for torrenting. That said, if you want the best free VPN in the business, we recommend NordVPN. It is the best premium VPN you can get, and you can use it to torrent files for free on any major OS platform of your choice.
To be objective and transparent, our pick for the best VPN for torrenting for free isn’t actually a free service on its own. However, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This excellent offer allows you to torrent using unlimited data and take advantage of thousands of servers for an entire month without risking a single cent. If you don’t want to continue using it for real money, you can simply request a refund, and NordVPN will oblige, no questions asked.
Cybersecurity and VPN researcher