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5 Best VPNs for Popcorn Time (For Fast Streaming)

Best VPN for Popcorn Time

Using Popcorn Time – often called the ‘free Netflix for pirated movies’ – is a lot better than downloading a movie from a torrent site.

This is because it comes with an integrated media player. You can watch a movie directly. No need to search across torrent sites, look for seeds-peers ratio, or wait for the entire file to download. Simply search the title – movie or TV/web show – and Popcorn Time will stream it in seconds.

But with all that convenience, there is the danger of exposing your IP address and location. When you use Popcorn Time, you are effectively downloading via a P2P network, usually through third-party trackers. This is as good as downloading from uTorrent or qBittorrent where the connection is not secure. Contrary to popular belief, Popcorn Time does not provide free VPN protection.

Using Popcorn Time with a VPN is highly recommended. Let’s find out why, and what the top VPNs are.

Here are the best VPNs for Popcorn Time:
  1. NordVPN – the best VPN for Popcorn Time
  2. Surfshark – great for unblocking streaming services
  3. AtlasVPN – a great budget choice
  4. PrivateVPN – fast and reliable for HD streaming
  5. ExpressVPN – fast and robust Popcorn Time VPN

How Does Popcorn Time Work?

Popcorn Time is a popular torrent streaming tool that combines the power of torrenting and a media player. It uses the BitTorrent protocol to download movie files via torrent trackers. The good part is that it simultaneously plays the file in its built-in video player. Users can choose films, TV shows, and web shows across categories, all of which are displayed as visual tiles with HD posters.

Popcorn Time is called the Netflix of pirated movies because of its vivid layout, ease of streaming, and large collection. Just search the desired title and Popcorn Time will find the torrent, download it, and start streaming it. Because it depends on the BitTorrent protocol, it behaves like other torrent clients such as uTorrent. When it downloads a movie, it effectively also uploads it to the torrent swarm. This makes the legality of using Popcorn Time questionable, even more so depending upon your region.

We highly recommend using a reliable VPN when you are dealing with BitTorrent. Watching a movie on Popcorn Time without VPN can put you at risk emerging from possible copyright infringement. It’s best to stay away from copyright strikes of that kind, which can lead to painful and expensive litigation.

Top 5 VPNs for Popcorn Time

The best VPN for Popcorn Time is the one that you already know and use. If you are new to VPNs, here are our top five picks.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN is our #1 VPN choice for Popcorn Time because of its Specialty Servers meant for P2P connections. This feature connects you to the best available server for torrenting, ensuring better connectivity and speed. 

NordVPN boasts of over 5,500 servers and ensures optimized speed for Popcorn Time viewing. It uses its proprietary NordLynx protocol to protect you from copyright strikers. In our periodic tests, we have found that NordVPN is the inarguably best VPN for Popcorn Time.

It also has a kill switch that will ensure that you are always connected to Popcorn Time via its server. In case NordVPN detects a problem with its secure connection, it will automatically shut off the Internet. This feature provides a foolproof system for Popcorn Time, protecting you the moment you start the tool. Other critical NordVPN functions include a no-logs policy and availability across OSes.

Verdict: Go for it for all-around protection, great P2P connectivity and speed, and a user-friendly interface.

  • Thousands of lightning-fast servers
  • Unblocks streaming services
  • 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
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Only 6 simultaneous connections
  • No free trial

2. Surfshark

Surfshark also offers a large number of servers and excellent speed for torrenting. We like that it carries out independent audits of its VPN infrastructure and servers to detect any security lapse and ensure user safety. This is a rare exercise in the VPN community and one that needs to be appreciated. What other VPN do you know that audits itself to ensure customer safety?

Surfshark is more affordable than NordVPN if you choose a long-term plan. Its kill switch and multi-hop features will come in handy for your torrenting needs without burning a hole in your pocket. The only gripe we have is the lack of port forwarding, which is where PIA VPN fares better (see below).

Although, Surfshark makes up for its drawbacks by offering flexible subscription plans. For instance, it has a monthly plan that you can use to test the product and switch to another provider if you’re not satisfied. But if you take our word, Surfshark a great and cheaper VPN for Popcorn Time.

Verdict: Choose Surfshark for Popcorn Time if you are looking for a cheap VPN with a lot of power.

  • Very affordable
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Ad-blocking feature
  • Unblocks streaming platforms
  • Allows split-tunneling and has multi-hop VPN feature
  • No-log policy and strong security features
  • GPS spoofing on Android devices
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No free version
  • Does not allow P2P seeding

3. AtlasVPN

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly but powerful VPN – Atlas VPN can be the best choice for you. Especially when looking for a Popcorn Time VPN – not only does Atlas offer speedy services and ensures your privacy, but you can safely use torrenting since P2P is allowed. Apart from that, Atlas VPN is optimized for streaming so all your favorite shows or movies can be easily accessed from wherever you are. 

You can choose from 750 servers from 27 locations and enjoy such features as a splendid tracker blocker, split tunneling, advanced leak protection, powerful Kill Switch, or private DNS. Besides, Atlas VPN also offers you a Data Breach monitor – so you could investigate whether your personal details have been exposed online.

WIth Atlas VPN you can expect a balance between advanced security and fast speed so you could browse confidently, undisturbed by sudden connectivity drops.

  • Very affordable plans and it has a free version
  • Fast Speeds
  • Unlimited device support
  • WireGuard protocol and strong security features
  • Torrenting-friendly
  • Unblocks streaming services
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Limited Linux app
  • Based in the US
  • Not so many servers

4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is an excellent choice for users looking for a reliable VPN service on a low budget. It’s one of the most affordable VPNs on the market but still comes with all the necessary unblocking and security features that make an excellent VPN for streaming.

With over 200 server locations across 63 countries, you can easily unblock Popcorn Time if it’s restricted in your country. Plus, this variety of available servers also means that you can count on fast and stable networks. This is because you’ll always find a nearby server, regardless of your location.

Since Popcorn Time is technically illegal, you also want your VPN to keep your sensitive private information under a tight lid. And, PrivateVPN is very capable of doing so. It offers strong encryption, IPv6 leak protection, and DNS leak protection. The service also has an uncompromising zero-logs policy. Lastly, it comes with a kill switch that protects your network in case of any connection drops.

  • Supports P2P traffic and allows port forwarding
  • Unlimited bandwidth and great speeds
  • Unblocks most streaming platforms
  • Zero-logging policy
  • Free Static IP servers
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Not as many servers as other VPN providers
  • No split-tunneling

5. ExpressVPN

Unlimited bandwidth and a zero-logs policy are what make ExpressVPN a crowd favorite. It is priced on the heavy side (compared to Surfshark) but it has a truly diverse server network to justify it. This means you can pick and choose between locations to optimize your P2P connection.

The USP of ExpressVPN is its feature that suggests the best nearby servers for torrenting. Since you don’t know what torrent or trackers Popcorn Time is using to download the movie files, it is best to let the VPN provider choose the server for you. This ensures optimized connection and negligible speed suppression.

The only drawback with ExpressVPN is that kill switch is not available on some operating systems. This can be a deal-breaker for some users.

Verdict: Buy ExpressVPN if you plan to watch a lot of movies on Popcorn Time and other streaming sites.

  • Works with streaming
  • Supports torrenting
  • No-logs policy
  • TrustedServer technology with RAM-only servers
  • Premium security features
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Expensive subscription plans
  • Only 5 simultaneous connections

Do I Need a VPN for Popcorn Time?

The short answer is yes. A VPN makes your connection to Popcorn Time anonymous.

Using Popcorn Time without VPN is not recommended due to the obvious risk of exposing your IP address and your location. The tool essentially downloads and streams pirated movies from different torrent sites. This is an offense in many parts of the world. Plus, the rising scrutiny on Popcorn Time users from authorities in the US and other countries makes the case for a Popcorn Time VPN stronger.

Popcorn Time’s legality is debatable. This makes its users vulnerable to copyright strikes from their ISPs and law enforcement agencies. Ever since it was launched in 2014, it has been mired in controversy. And you don’t want to be caught in the crosshairs. You may be accused of committing piracy by agencies such as DMCA and MPAA.

The rationale that you are only watching the movie and not publicizing it does not hold here. As you know, the BitTorrent protocol depends on peering, which means that you are both downloading and uploading at the same time. You may be breaking a copyright rule when downloading that latest episode of Money Heist. And it applies to Popcorn Time too.

Even if you live in a liberal country with lax copyright rules and efficient privacy laws, we recommend using a VPN. Because sometimes it’s not just about avoiding a court subpoena. You also want to protect your system from cyber-attacks such as malware and ransomware. The right VPN with the right set of functions and features will be the shield that you want. To state the obvious, a free VPN is not recommended.

Does Popcorn Time Have a Built-In VPN?

No. Popcorn has a built-in VPN option but it is both paid and unreliable.

In 2014, a company called Kebrum used to provide VPN protection to Popcorn Time users. However, it was discontinued later when the tool ran into trouble with the MPAA and US law authorities. The current real version of Popcorn Time is actually a fork, which is sponsored by VPN.ht. The same VPN provider offers the paid built-in VPN to Popcorn Time users.

If you have ever used freemium software, you would know that using an affiliated service is never a good idea. Especially when your privacy is on the line.

Moreover, Reddit users have regularly complained about VPN.ht, where they have not been able to log in or reset their password.

Is Popcorn Time Safe Without VPN?

No. Its connection is not secure. Watching Popcorn Time without VPN is like using a computer without an antivirus program. You think you can avoid a virus attack but there is no guarantee that you won’t be attacked. The same is true for Popcorn Time, which depends on BitTorrent swarms to download and stream content.

A VPN acts as a protection between your computer and the BitTorrent trackers (Popcorn Time’s servers). It also makes your connection anonymous so that you can stream movies and shows without worries.

How to Bypass Popcorn Time VPN Warning?

Perhaps the biggest demerit of Popcorn Time is its annoying VPN warnings. The prompts welcome you across the tool – at the startup, before and while streaming a movie, and while managing your bookmarks – it’s everywhere. 

Fortunately, you can turn off the Popcorn Time VPN warning through three simple steps:

  1. Open Popcorn Time
  2. Go to Settings (gear icon)
  3. Under Downloads, uncheck the box that says ‘Alert me before downloading if my VPN is turned off’

However, in the latest stable version (released in 2020), there is no way to remove all the warnings. You will have to revert to an older version or use a fork (alternative). We recommend only using the real Popcorn Time at popcorn-time.tw to avoid falling prey to fakes and scams.

Note – In some Popcorn Time forks, forced disabling of the Safe Watch VPN variant has reportedly caused issues with the streaming.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Popcorn Time and VPNs.

Is Popcorn Time safe?

Yes. Popcorn Time is a torrent client with an integrated media player. It is safer to use Popcorn Time to stream movies and shows than to download manually from a torrent site. However, a VPN is recommended for Popcorn Time as a layer of protection.

Is Popcorn Time free?

Yes. Popcorn Time is a free, open-source tool.

Can I get in trouble for using Popcorn Time?

If you stream copyrighted content and use Popcorn Time without VPN, you may land in trouble. If your ISP or a surveillance agency detects that you are downloading and streaming copyrighted movies via the tool, you may be sent a court letter. Such a scenario depends on your country’s copyright laws too.

What is the fastest VPN for Popcorn Time?

NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN are the fastest VPNs for Popcorn Time. 

What is the best VPN for Popcorn Time for across OSes like Windows and Android?

We recommend NordVPN which supports Windows, Android, Linux, and macOS (Apple).

How to set up VPN with Popcorn Time?

Purchase and install a VPN software on your device. Activate it and select a server of your choice. Set up other features such as kill switch before opening Popcorn Time. Search for your desired title and enjoy the streaming.

Is Popcorn Time legal in my country?

It entirely depends on your country’s jurisdiction and its copyright laws. For example, watching a copyrighted Hollywood movie on Popcorn Time is illegal in the United States. The same is not explicitly illegal in Sweden. You can check with a legal counsel if you are unsure.

Will a free VPN be enough with Popcorn Time?

No. Free VPNs do a poor job at hiding your IP address and encrypting your connection. We recommend using only reliable and known VPNs for Popcorn Time like NordVPN, PIA, Surfshark, and IPVanish.

My ISP has warned me about using Popcorn Time. What should I do?

A law enforcement agency or DMCA likely alerted your ISP about your Popcorn Time usage. You may either stop using the tool to avoid further complaints or use a reliable VPN such as NordVPN or Surfshark.

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Devin Phillips
Jun 11, 2020
at 5:00 am

Incredible points. Sound arguments. Keep up the great work.

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