uTorrent (also known as µTorrent) was one of the most popular torrent clients back when torrents were frequently used. If you wanted to download large files quickly, then torrents were the method to use. uTorrent had both a desktop software and a mobile option available, and the software was easier to use and more friendly to new users than other torrent clients, some of which were very technical and had only limited graphical interfaces. The clear visualizations of uTorrent made the Bittorrent technology accessible to a whole group of people who had not used it before.
Back in 2015, however, a new version of uTorrent was released that was seriously unpopular with users. This version was full of bloatware and was even accusing of containing an undisclosed cryptocurrency miner in it. At this time, many users chose to switch to an alternative torrent client. In addition to this, the company that makes the uTorrent software, BitTorrent Inc., went through a rough financial patch at around the same time.
But since then, BitTorrent Inc. has revitalised itself and focused back on making uTorrent as great as it once was. There are plans to add lots of new features, like a web interface instead of a software interface so you can monitor the progress of your torrents online. And there are variations of the software available, from a free ad-support version to a pro ad-free premium version. If you’re back to using uTorrent again or if you want to try it out for the first time, then you should know that using a VPN is essential when torrenting. Below we’ll talk about why that is and then give you our recommendations for the best VPN for uTorrent.
Why uTorrent Users Need A VPN
Using a VPN is important for uTorrent users due to the focus of law enforcement and copyright holders on content which is shared illegally through torrents. Lots of torrent sites have been shut down, and many, many users have been threatened by copyright trolls due to their use of torrents to download content. Although torrents themselves are not illegal, and can be used for legitimate purposes like sharing open source software, many of the torrents available on popular torrent sites include downloads for copyrighted content such as movies, TV shows, music, books, or software.
Copyright Holders Target Seeders, Not Downloaders
This is a particular problem for torrent users. Usually, in the case of streaming or direct downloads, copyright holders are not too interested in prosecuting the people who view or download the content – they are much more concerned about the people who are hosting and sharing the content. It is these hosters that are most likely to be targets of legal threats. However, in the case of torrents, every user is also a hoster. This is because of the way that uTorrent and other torrent clients work: when you use a torrent, you download chunks of the file from other users. But while you are downloading, you are simultaneously hosting the chunks that you have already downloaded for other users to download from you. This means that torrent users are prosecuted for file hosting rather than downloading, which is a much more serious offence.
Another problem with using torrents is that the traffic they generate is very easy for ISPs to spot. Torrents typically use a particular range of ports which indicates that it is a distinct type of traffic – and it’s a traffic type that ISPs know is associated with illegal downloading, so they investigate any torrent use that they see. If you use a client like uTorrent over an unsecured internet connection, without a VPN, then it is incredibly easy for your ISP to look into your internet activity and see that you have been downloading. Because torrent clients share your IP address with other users to let them download from you, your IP address is clearly visible when you torrent and this is a major security risk. A VPN hides your IP address so that torrent activity can’t be traced back to you personally.
Essential VPN Services For uTorrent Users
When it comes to choosing a VPN, there are many providers out there. In order to select VPNs for recommendation, here are the criteria we use to assess whether a particular VPN is suitable for uTorrent users:
- Torrent friendliness. Not all VPNs allow the use of torrents or other P2P downloads over their networks. Free VPNs in particular rarely support this vital feature for torrent users. We looked for VPNs that allow P2P traffic of all kinds.
- No limitations. Once again, free VPNs tend to set limitations on your use like bandwidth caps which you have to pay if you exceed. This is a big pain, so we recommend only VPNs with no bandwidth limitations that let you download as much as you like.
- Excellent security. In order to protect your safety, we look for VPNs that have high levels of security like the use of strong 256-bit encryption to prevent anyone from cracking the encryption.
- Privacy policies. As well as security, privacy is another big concern for torrent users. An essential feature for a VPN for torrenting is a no logging policy, meaning that the company keeps no records of your internet activities.
- Fast connection speeds. You don’t want a VPN that slows you down, especially if you are downloading large files. You need connection speeds which are super fast to download your files quickly.
- Availability of servers. Having plenty of servers available makes your life as a user easier. It’s also helpful to have servers which are close by to your physical location in order for you to get the best download speeds possible.
When we looked at all of these factors, here are the VPNs that we recommend for uTorrent users:
ExpressVPN is a top choice for uTorrent users because of its blazing fast speeds. You can use uTorrent and other torrent clients on any of the ExpressVPN servers, and you won’t face any limitations on bandwidth so you can download in peace. The super fast connections let you download your files in no time, but these fast speeds don’t mean a compromise on security. The security features include the use of strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy to keep your data safe and private, and you’ll also find security options in the software like a kill switch and an IP address checker so that you can check that your IP address is fully hidden before opening up your torrent client.
Beyond torrenting, you can also make good use of the large server network of more than 1000 servers in 90 different countries in order to get around region locks and to keep your internet browsing private too. The software is available for a whole lot of different devices, including some games consoles and Smart TVs as well as the usual platforms: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS. For your convenience, there are browser extensions available for the Chrome, Firefox, and Safari web browsers which let you control your VPN connection right from your browser.
IPVanish is ideal for torrenting due to its fast speeds and torrent-friendly policies. There are no bandwidth caps or other limitations and torrents and other P2P downloads are allowed on any of the servers. The super fast connection speeds mean that you’ll be able to download large files in no time at all. It’s also good to know that the security is excellent, with 256-bit encryption to keep your data safe and a no logging policy to preserve your privacy.
The network of servers included in the IPVanish subscription is large, with more than 1000 servers in 60 different countries available for your use, meaning you’ll be able to find a server that is nearby to your location for best speeds. And the software includes yet more key security features, like a kill switch which you can enable to cut off your connection whenever the VPN goes down, to ensure that you don’t accidentally send torrent traffic over an unsecured connection. There are also options for periodic IP address change and DNS leak protection which users who are serious about their security will appreciate. You can install the software on devices running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
CyberGhost is a really easy to use option for torrenters who want a simple graphical user interface that walk them through the steps for torrenting safely. When you open the CyberGhost software you’ll see an option titled Torrent Anonymously, and you just need to click this button to be connected to a P2P download-friendly server. There are useful extra options within this feature to keep you safe, like blocking malicious websites and blocking online tracking, and there’s a speed boost function to let you download as fast as possible. Just set up your options as you want and click Start Anonymous Torrenting to keep yourself safe while you use uTorrent. There’s even a kill switch which is automatically included in this option and which is already set up for you to make sure you don’t let torrents run when the VPN isn’t active.
The security features include the strong 256-bit encryption to hide your IP address and the no logging policy that we want to see to ensure your safety. The generous server networks covers an impressive 1300 servers in 30 different countries, and you can install the software for Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android.
NordVPN is a great choice for uTorrent users who want the very best security that they can get. Using torrents or other P2P downloads is not only allowed on NordVPN, but the service even offers special servers which are specifically configured to be optimised for P2P use. With no data caps, you can download as much as you like, so you can take advantage of the speed and convenience of torrents. The security is where NordVPN really shines though: of course they have the requisite use of 256-bit encryption and no logging policy. But in addition they have extra security options available like double encryption, in which your data is encrypted twice over for maximum safety from cracking, and allowing the use of anti DDoS servers, an option for a dedicated IP address if you want one, and the option to use onion over VPN.
The server network available from NordVPN has recently been expanded, and now covers an amazing 3300 servers in 59 countries. You are able to install the software on devices running Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android, plus you can use browser extensions for the Chrome or Firefox browsers.
It’s absolutely vital for uTorrent users to get a VPN, due to the extreme risks associated with using torrents over an unsecured internet connection. ISPs can and will monitor and investigate all P2P traffic that they see unencrypted over their network, so to avoid scrutiny of your internet activity you need to encrypt your data with a VPN. We’ve recommended several of the best VPNs for uTorrent users, all of which allow torrents on their networks, have no bandwidth caps, offer good speeds, and have excellent security. Any of these options will help to keep you safe and secure when using the uTorrent software.
Do you still use uTorrent, or are you using a different torrent client these days instead? And which VPN have you found to be the best for torrenting? Let us know in the comments below.