NordVPN constantly tops “Best VPN for X” lists, so we decided to test how well NordVPN handles torrenting. We checked what Reddit has to say (posted some questions too), talked with the provider’s support reps, and did tests to see what NordVPN qBittorrent and uTorrent speeds we get.
Does NordVPN Allow Torrenting?
Yes. NordVPN is actually one of the only VPNs to have a huge P2P server network. At the moment, there are over 4,000 NordVPN torrenting servers.
Is NordVPN Good for Torrenting?
Yes, NordVPN is one of the best torrenting VPNs we ever used. Here’s what you get:
- Great P2P support – NordVPN lets you torrent on over 4,000 servers. They also allow seeding on all their P2P servers.
- Fast downloads – You get very fast speeds thanks to the huge server network (you don’t deal with overcrowded servers) and the use of NordLynx (NordVPN’s proprietary protocol built around WireGuard technology, which means it’s really fast). AV-TEST (a research institute) also published research that proved NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs.
- No logs – This service doesn’t keep any logs, meaning it has no idea what files you download or what site you browse. NordVPN underwent two audits to prove their no-log claims.
- Kill switch – NordVPN’s kill switch protects you from traffic leaks. We really like that they offer two types: a system-level kill switch (shuts off web access when the VPN connection drops) and an app-level kill switch (stops specific apps from going online when the VPN connection drops).
- High-end security – The service uses powerful end-to-end encryption (AES-256) to secure your traffic and prevent P2P traffic throttling. The servers are also RAM-only, meaning all data is wiped after every reboot.
- Full leak protection – This is one of the few VPNs to offer complete leak protection. It prevents DNS leaks by running its own DNS servers, and it blocks IPv6 traffic and unwanted WebRTC IP leaks. We tested NordVPN for leaks and didn’t find any.
- CyberSec – CyberSec is NordVPN’s ad blocker. It can keep you safe by blocking connections to malicious sites (like shady torrent trackers).
- Split-tunneling – This feature lets you choose which traffic is encrypted and which isn’t. Use split-tunneling to only route torrent client traffic through NordVPN’s servers to get better speeds.
- Works on many platforms – There are apps for most platforms (Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux), and they all have a very user-friendly design.
- Supports multiple torrent clients – The provider’s support reps confirmed that the service works with all torrent clients (BitTorrent, qBittorrent, uTorrent, Vuze, Deluge, etc.).
NordVPN Torrenting Speed Tests
We used qBittorrent and uTorrent, a 12.69 GB file, the NordLynx protocol, and three NordVPN P2P servers in the US, the UK, and Japan to see how fast the downloads are. Our tester is from Romania, and these are their original download speeds: 30-35 MiB/s (qBittorrent) and 15-20 MB/s (uTorrent). On average, it takes them around 10-15 minutes to download a 12.69 GB file.
First, we used a P2P server in the US. There were noticeable slowdowns, but we were still happy with the speeds: 13-15 MiB/s (qBittorrent) and 4-5 MB/s (uTorrent). The average ETA was around 10-20 minutes on qBittorrent and 50 minutes on uTorrent.
When we switched to the Japanese and UK servers, the speeds were slower, but still okay:
- Japan – 6-8 MiB/s (qBittorrent) and 2-3 MB/s (uTorrent). The average ETA was 30 minutes (qBittorrent) and one hour and a half (uTorrent).
- The UK – 5-7 MiB/s (qBittorrent) and 3-4 MB/s (uTorrent). The average ETA was 30-35 minutes (qBittorrent) and one hour and 40 minutes (uTorrent).
We also tested a server in the same country as our tester (Romania). As expected, NordVPN qBittorrent and uTorrent speeds were much faster: 25-30 MiB/s (qBittorrent) and 7-9 MB/s (uTorrent).
We also tested the OpenVPN protocol (over UDP) on the Romanian server. It’s a more resource-intensive protocol, so our download speeds were slower: 10-11 MiB/s (qBittorrent) and 1-2 MB/s (uTorrent). We had to wait 20-25 minutes (qBittorrent) and almost two hours (uTorrent) for our 12.69 GB file to download.
REMEMBER: To get good speeds, you need a lot of seeders (people who are uploading the torrent). If there are not enough seeders, you can’t get fast speeds because you’re only downloading the file from a few people. And if there aren’t any seeders, your downloads won’t even start. We tried downloading large torrents with poor seeder-leecher ratios (3-4 seeders and 100+ leechers) using the same servers (US, UK, Japan). We can confirm our NordVPN uTorrent and qBittorrent speeds were close to zero.
How Do People Feel About Using NordVPN for Torrenting on Reddit?
We checked multiple Reddit threads to see what torrent users thought of NordVPN. The general sentiment is that the speeds are fast, the security is good, and the kill switch is very reliable. Many users actually boasted about never receiving an angry letter from their ISP thanks to NordVPN.
Torrenting with NordVPN – Are There Any Drawbacks?
NordVPN and torrenting go well together, but there are two issues we need to highlight:
1. NordVPN Doesn’t Offer Port Forwarding
NordVPN doesn’t allow port forwarding because the provider worries it will put user data at risk. The app automatically blocks all ports except the ones used by NordVPN and popular services.
Redditors often consider the lack of port forwarding as a huge drawback. They claim it makes downloads faster by letting you connect to more peers. We can’t say how true that is because we never saw improvements when we used port forwarding with other VPNs.
On the plus side, NordVPN mentioned they might add support for port forwarding in the future.
2. NordVPN Suffered a Data Breach
Many people bring this up, saying it means NordVPN isn’t safe for torrenting. But here’s the thing – only one server was affected, and the hacker didn’t compromise any data (user information, NordVPN’s code, tunnel encryption, etc.). Also, this happened because the data center that hosted the server was careless, so it wasn’t NordVPN’s fault. And NordVPN wasn’t the only victim – TorGuard and Avast also suffered the same thing.
NordVPN remedied the situation by cutting ties with the data center. They also recently started using colocated servers. Basically, they ship their own servers to a data center. That way, only NordVPN employees have complete ownership over them. What’s more, all NordVPN servers run in RAM-disk mode. All data is wiped after every reboot.
So while the data breach is a concern, it doesn’t mean NordVPN doesn’t offer secure torrenting. The provider continues to be one of the safest torrenting VPNs on the market.
How to Torrent with NordVPN
- Sign up for NordVPN.
- Download and install NordVPN’s app.
- Connect to a P2P server. Hint: let NordVPN’s app pick the fastest country and server for you.
- Download torrents over your favorite client.
These are the most common questions people ask about NordVPN and torrenting. If you have more, just leave them in the comments and we’ll try to answer as fast as we can.
Does NordVPN Work for Torrenting With All Clients?
Yes, you can use any app you want. BitTorrent, Deluge, uTorrent, qBittorrent, Vuze – NordVPN supports all of them.
To be 100% sure, we asked NordVPN’s support reps about this. They confirmed their service works with all clients. However, they said it’s best to use qBittorrent. We had the fastest speeds with this torrent client, so we agree with their suggestion.
Can You Fix NordVPN Slow Torrenting?
Some Redditors complained that NordVPN torrent download speeds are slow. Here are a few things you can do to increase them:
- Use a nearby P2P server – NordVPN has thousands of torrent servers, so finding one close to you is easy. Pick one in your country or a neighboring country.
- Use NordLynx or IKEv2 – They’re much faster than OpenVPN. Keep in mind that IKEv2 is only available on macOS and iOS with NordVPN.
- Use a different torrent client – In our tests, we always had faster speeds when using qBittorrent instead of uTorrent. NordVPN support reps also recommended using qBittorrent.
- Use split-tunneling – Force NordVPN to only encrypt traffic from your torrent client. Less data to encrypt and decrypt means faster downloads.
If nothing helps, you can use a SOCKS5 proxy instead of the VPN. NordVPN has step-by-step guides showing you how to do that. Just remember that using a proxy means your traffic won’t be encrypted anymore. If your ISP eavesdrops on it, they’ll be able to throttle it.
Which NordVPN P2P Server Should You Use?
The best NordVPN server for torrenting is the one that’s closest to your location. That way, you’ll get faster download speeds since your device exchanges data with the VPN server quicker.
You can also try NordVPN’s server recommender feature. Click Show advanced options and select P2P from the middle dropdown menu. NordVPN will automatically tell you which server to use. You can tweak the results by filtering the country and protocol you want to use.
Can You Torrent on NordVPN’s Non-P2P Servers?
If you do that, NordVPN will automatically route your traffic to a P2P server (Canada or the Netherlands). Because the app can’t disconnect you from the non-P2P server (it could expose your IP), your speeds will slow down (your data is basically going through two VPN servers).
We tested this and can confirm you will experience slowdowns. When we used a NordVPN P2P server in Belgium, we had around 15-20 MiB/s download speeds. But when we used a non-P2P server in Belgium, our speeds dropped to 4-5 MiB/s.
Is NordVPN Safe for Torrenting?
Yes. NordVPN is actually one of the safest torrenting VPNs on the market. Here’s why:
- The VPN uses powerful end-to-end encryption (AES-256).
- NordVPN doesn’t store any logs and has been audited twice to prove they don’t.
- NordVPN only uses servers that run on RAM memory (every reboot wipes all data).
- Finally, NordVPN offers complete leak protection (WebRTC, DNS, IPv6) and a very capable kill switch (works at the system and app level).
Can You Bind Torrent Clients to NordVPN?
You can, but there’s no need to. NordVPN has an excellent kill switch that does one of two things:
- Shuts down your Internet access if the VPN goes down.
- Stops an app from going online if the VPN goes down.
We really like the flexibility. To avoid unwanted loss of online access, you can configure NordVPN to only stop your torrent client from going online if the VPN connection drops.