Surfshark is among the top VPNs on the market, but how good is it for torrenting? We did some research, reached out to their reps, and ran some tests to see how well Surfshark handles torrenting.
Does Surfshark Allow P2P Traffic?
Yes, Surfshark allows P2P traffic on all their 3,200+ servers. That makes it easy to find servers that are not overcrowded and are close to your location (to get better speeds).
Most P2P servers have a dynamic IP (it changes every time you connect to the server). But if you want to use a static IP (an address that always stays the same), Surfshark has around 30+ P2P servers which offer that option.
Is Surfshark Good for Torrenting?
Torrenting with Surfshark is extremely simple, convenient, and secure thanks to their many features:
- P2P support – Surfshark supports torrent downloads on 3,200+ P2P servers.
- Fast speeds – We always get lightning-fast speeds with Surfshark. It’s easy to find a server that’s close to our location (they offer better speeds) and we can use the WireGuard protocol (which is extremely fast).
- No-logs policy – Surfshark doesn’t monitor your browsing and downloads. Copyright agencies and lawyers can’t force them to hand over data about people who torrent (there isn’t any to begin with).
- Leak protection – Surfshark automatically protects you from DNS and WebRTC leaks (useful if you’re using a browser-based torrent client). Unfortunately, Surfshark doesn’t guarantee it will protect you from IPv6 leaks, so you need to disable IPv6 while using it.
- Great security – Surfshark secures all your data with AES-256 encryption (the strongest cipher there is). And all their servers only run on RAM, meaning any stored data is automatically deleted when the server shuts down.
- User-friendly apps – Surfshark’s apps are available on most platforms (including Linux), and they have a very intuitive design. You’ll quickly get used to them even if you never used a VPN.
- Kill switch – Surfshark’s kill switch won’t let you use the Internet until you connect to a VPN server. It’s an extreme measure, but it protects you from accidental traffic leaks.
- Whitelister – This is Surfshark’s split-tunneling feature. You can use it to route only torrent client traffic through the VPN. That way, you get faster speeds because there’s less data to encrypt and decrypt.
- Torrent client compatibility – We tested Surfshark with the most popular torrent clients (qBitorrent, uTorrent, BitTorrent, Vuze, Deluge), and it worked without issues.
- Cleanweb – This is Surfshark’s ad blocker. It won’t stop ads in uTorrent, but it will block connections to malicious links and sites (useful when dealing with shady torrent sites and trackers).
- Unlimited parallel connections – You can use Surfshark for torrenting on as many devices as you want at the same time.
Surfshark Torrenting Speed Tests
To see how fast torrenting with Surfshark is, we ran a few tests. We used qBittorrent and uTorrent, servers in Canada, Singapore, and Japan, and the WireGuard protocol. For reference, our tester is from Romania.
Here are our original download speeds: around 50 MB/s with uTorrent (377-395 Mbps) and 30-34 MiB/s with qBittorrent (250-285 Mbps). On average, it took us about 10-15 minutes to download two 21.7 GB and 33.92 GB files.
When we used the Canadian server, our qBittorrent speeds slowed down to around 10-13 MiB/s (81-110 Mbps), and our uTorrent speeds to around 3-5 MB/s (25-42 Mbps). The ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) increased to around 2-3 hours (uTorrent) and 1-1 hour and 30 minutes (qBittorrent).
Here are the speeds with the other servers:
- Japan – 2-4 MiB/s (qBittorrent) and 1-2 MB/s (uTorrent)
- Singapore – 4 MiB/s (qBittorrent) and 2 MB/s (uTorrent)
The slowdown isn’t surprising. We used servers that were really far from our tester’s location. So, it took longer for data to travel between their device and the VPN servers. And even though WireGuard is lightweight, the encryption made the data packets heavier (meaning it took them longer to arrive).
We were still happy with the download speeds. We also used a VPN server location close to the tester (Bulgaria) to get faster downloads. The speed boost was noticeable: 18-19 MiB/s (qBittorrent) and 7-9 MB/s (uTorrent). It took us about 40-45 minutes to download a 33.92 GB file on qBittorrent, and 1 hour 40-50 minutes on uTorrent.
We also used the OpenVPN protocol while connected to the Bulgarian server. As expected, we had slower speeds: 8-12 MiB/s (qBittorrent) and 1-2 MB/s (uTorrent).
IMPORTANT: If the torrent has very few seeders, your download speeds will be extremely slow. That’s not Surfshark’s fault. It’s due to the fact that you’re downloading the torrent from only a few people. And if there are no seeders, your download will stall until you find some.
What Do People Think About Torrenting with Surfshark?
We checked multiple Reddit threads to see what torrent users think of Surfshark. We also asked about the Surfshark torrenting experience on Reddit. It’s the best site to find unbiased opinions. We also tried finding reviews on torrent client forums, but we didn’t find anything worthwhile.
Overall, it looks like people are happy with this VPN. They don’t experience major slowdowns, and most Redditors said they never got angry letters from copyright agencies, copyright trolls, and trade associations.
Using Surfshark for Torrenting Has 2 Drawbacks
Surfshark is a great torrenting VPN, but it does have two issues:
1. Seeding Isn’t Allowed
Surfshark doesn’t allow seeding on its servers, not even the P2P ones. Their support reps confirmed this for us, and we also mostly had 0 upload speeds while torrenting. There were some exceptions on uTorrent, but the upload speeds were very slow (3-4 kB/s).
2. There’s No Port Forwarding
Surfshark doesn’t allow port forwarding because it considers it a security risk. Basically, they’re worried that opening up random ports might create security vulnerabilities which hackers can exploit.
Many torrent users love port forwarding because it lets them connect to more peers. In theory, that means you get faster speeds. But that’s not a guarantee.
Is Surfshark Still a Good Torrenting VPN Considering That?
Yes. If you just download a movie, TV show, or video game every once in a while, Surfshark is perfect for you. You shouldn’t use it if you need to maintain a high seed ratio or need to massively download torrents every day. It’s better to use a seedbox for that (like Seedbox.io).
How to Use Surfshark for Torrenting
- Subscribe to Surfshark.
- Download and install Surfshark’s app.
- Run the app, and search for “P2P” in the Locations section.
- Connect to the closest server to you.
- Run your torrent client and start downloading torrents.
Here are answers to the most common questions we get about Surfshark and torrenting:
Can You Improve Download Speeds?
Yes – here’s what you should try:
- Connect to a server that’s close to your location. If you’re in France, use the French P2P servers instead of servers in the US or Canada.
- Use WireGuard or IKEv2. Both protocols are lightweight and fast. OpenVPN over UDP is also decent, but nowhere near as fast as those two.
- Use the Whitelister feature. Make it only route traffic from your torrent client. If Surfshark also routes data from Chrome, Steam, and Skype, your download speeds will be slower.
Does Surfshark Limit Your Data?
No, Surfshark offers unlimited data with all its plans. You don’t need to keep an eye on bandwidth caps between downloads.
Can You Bind Torrent Clients to Surfshark?
Yes, you can. But you don’t need to. Surfshark has a very capable kill switch that protects you from traffic leaks.
If you want to do this, though, google “[torrent client name] + bind IP.”
Is Surfshark Safe for Torrenting?
Yes, it’s one of the safest torrenting VPNs on the market. Here’s why:
- Surfshark uses powerful encryption and doesn’t keep any logs.
- Surfshark has a kill switch that protects you from traffic leaks.
- The Cleanweb feature can block connections to malicious torrenting sites.
- Surfshark offers great DNS and WebRTC leak protection.
- All Surfshark’s servers run on RAM memory (all data is wiped after every restart).
The only issue is that Surfshark doesn’t have great IPv6 leak protection. But you can solve that by manually disabling IPv6 on your device.
What Happens If You Torrent on Surfshark’s Non-P2P Servers?
According to Surfshark’s support reps, the app routes your traffic to a P2P server. Unfortunately, that means your speeds will slow down. Sometimes, your downloads might stop entirely. Surfshark can’t just disconnect and connect you to a P2P server as that would be a security breach (it would expose your IP).
We tested that by torrenting over their Australian and New Zealand servers. We either got zero speeds or very slow speeds (kB/s not MiB/s or MB/s). Stick to Surfshark’s P2P servers instead.
What’s Surfshark’s Best Server for Torrenting?
The best P2P server to use is the one that’s closest to your location. That way, you get better speeds because data packets travel faster between you and the VPN server.
We asked Surfshark’s support reps if they have a specific P2P server they recommend, and they said the same thing: just use the nearest one.