µTorrent, more commonly spelled uTorrent, is the world’s most popular BitTorrent client made outside of China. It’s the official client created by the people who invented the BitTorrent P2P protocol. Torrenting can risk your privacy as well. Because it is a network built for both uploading and downloading files, the protocol requires an IP address from each user. This is why we recommend using a VPN for uTorrent.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts internet traffic traveling to and from your computer, which prevents your ISP and other entities from snooping on your online activity. Secondly, it routes all that traffic through a server in a location of your choosing. This both prevents your ISP from knowing the final destination of your internet traffic, and gives you a new IP address from which you can connect to the BitTorrent network.
This guide highlights which VPNs are the best for torrenting and specifically using uTorrent. Each of the VPNs is covered in detail, but if you are short of time, here is a summary list of the best VPNs for uTorrent:
- NordVPN Our #1 choice VPN for uTorrent. Best in speed tests and a vast network of servers worldwide. Strong privacy, 256-bit AES encryption, and no logs policy. A 30-day money back guarantee has you covered.
- Surfshark A low-cost, security-focused provider, fast enough for lag-free torrents and streaming, and offers no connection limit.
- ExpressVPN Strong encryption and privacy standards, along with fast servers in plenty of locations.
- IPVanish Torrent-friendly VPN service. Speedy, keeps no logs, and strong default encryption.
- CyberGhost A good all-rounder. Won’t let you down on speed and security. Works well for torrenting.
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The best VPNs for uTorrent – At a glance
We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for uTorrent.
|Website||NordVPN.com||Surfshark.com||ExpressVPN.com||IPVanish.com||Cyberghost.com||Ranking for uTorrent||1||2||3||4||5||Popular Sites Unblocked||95%||86%||85%||85%||Avg Speed (Mbps)||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||Activity logs||None||No identifying data||No identifying data||No identifying data||Devices Supported||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, Linux (command line), iOS, Android||Windows, MacOS, Linux (command line), iOS, Android||Simultaneous Connections||6||Unlimited||5||Unlimited||7|
|Best deal (per month)||$3.29|
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The best VPNs for uTorrent
So which VPN is best for uTorrent users? We’ve narrowed down the following list based on a handful of important criteria:
- Strong encryption on the OpenVPN protocol
- No activity logs stored
- Servers in the Netherlands, where torrenting is largely still legal
- Good download speed and unlimited bandwidth
- Windows, Mac, and Android apps
- Built-in VPN kill switch to prevent IP leaks
Here’s a list of the best VPNs for uTorrent:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our first choice for a uTorrent VPN. It outperforms almost every competitor in our speed tests and is one of the most powerful VPNs available when it comes to security. Among its huge list of servers are nearly two dozen in the Netherlands. These include two “double-hop” servers, which tunnel one VPN through another VPN. This will slow down downloads slightly but make you next to impossible to track down. Servers are very fast and you’ve plenty to choose from. A kill switch can be enabled in the settings. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
- Incredible speeds for torrenting and streaming – works well with uTorrent
- Easily bypasses restrictions on major geo-locked platforms
- Strong security and privacy features
- Has apps for every device
- Personal data is protected as it keeps no logs
- Support is 24/7 and staff are well trained
- Desktop app can be hard to get used to
BEST VPN FOR UTORRENT:NordVPN is our #1 pick. It pegs superfast speeds and works tirelessly with torrenting & P2P. Connects up to 6 devices simultaneously. Also works well with most popular streaming services. A 30-day money back guarantee makes it risk-free.
Read our full NordVPN review here.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is low-cost provider but doesn’t hold back when it comes to security and privacy. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands, a location with no mandatory data-retention laws. It secures your traffic using 256-bit encryption, protection against WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 leaks, and a kill switch, but more importantly, Surfshark doesn’t log any information that could identify you. You can pay in one of three different cryptocurrencies for an additional layer of anonymity. 24/7 support is available over live chat.
Surfshark offers apps for MacOS, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux. Manual configuration is required for use with wireless routers.
- Strong security and privacy protections
- Solid speeds
- Great at unblocking streaming platforms
- User-friend apps
- Unlimited number of connections
- Customer support could be better
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark offers unlimited connections and doesn’t restrict bandwidth so you can torrent on as many devices as you like. Best of all, this VPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN supports the OpenVPN protocol but also has its own superfast Lightway protocol. Both of these use 256-bit encryption which is extremely strong. No user activity is recorded, although the company does keep some metadata logs. It has several server locations in the Netherlands. Bandwidth is unlimited and speeds are among the most consistent we’ve ever recorded. Windows, Mac, and Android apps are all available, along with iOS and Linux. The company’s software also boasts a network lock, which prevents any traffic from leaking over your default IP address if the connection drops.
- Gets around torrent tracker sites blocks without compromising privacy
- Fast servers and reliable speeds
- Best-in-class encryption
- No logs kept
- More expensive than overs
- Allows fewer simultaneous connections than rivals
GOOD ALL-ROUNDER:ExpressVPN is suitable for beginners and advanced users alike. It has a vast server network that is optimized for fast connections. Subscriptions include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our full ExpressVPN review here.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish is known for its sizable network and lack of a connection limit. There are a few servers in the Netherlands to choose from. Traffic is encrypted with 256-bit AES, and no activity logs are stored. While not all the servers are as reliable as ExpressVPN, you’re sure to find a quick one with a bit of trial and error. Apps are available for Windows, Mac, and Android, among others. The OSX and Windows clients have kill switches, but not the Android version.
- Torrenting is allowed and they keep no internet traffic logs
- Impressive speeds and reliable connections
- Connections, communications and traffic remain encrypted and private at all times
- Doesn’t work in China
- Some servers take a while to connect
NO DEVICE LIMIT:IPVanish has a large network of servers. Generally solid for torrenters, Kodi users, and folks who need the highest standard of privacy. 30-day money back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review here.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost offers over 9,000 servers in 90+ countries. Apps are available for both Android, Linux and iOS as well as desktop support for Windows and MacOS. Encryption standards are stringent. CyberGhost Pro uses 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols along with 2,048-bit RSA keys and MD5 HMAC authentication. This means it’s in the top-tier of VPNs when based on sturdy encryption.
There’s also an internet kill switch included, which means web traffic will be halted if the connection drops unexpectedly.
- Works fine with uTorrent
- Impressive streaming speeds
- Minimal configuration required
- Fewer advanced settings than some VPNs
- Doesn’t work in China
BEGINNER'S CHOICE:CyberGhost is a great beginners' choice Good on privacy. Streams HD video reliably with most streaming services. 45-day money back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review here.
Methodology: Choosing the best VPNs for uTorrent
You can’t be too careful when it comes to torrenting, which is why it’s so important to choose the right VPN for the job. Your provider will have to strike a balance between speed and security, and plenty of VPNs lean too heavily one way or another. Here are the key things we looked out for while researching the best VPNs for uTorrent:
- Performance: Because you’ll be downloading large files, high speeds are crucial. We run regular speed tests, allowing us to say with confidence which are the fastest VPNs at the moment. We also look at reliability, since your fastest VPN has to maintain these speeds over multi-hour stretches.
- Server locations: The more supported countries your VPN has, the more likely it is that there’ll be a server near your actual location. This helps keep your latency low, thereby improving your speeds. Additionally, a larger network can help offset some of the additional load that arrives during peak times like evenings and weekends.
- Security tools: One of the biggest benefits of using a VPN is that they enhance your security. We require at least 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks, although additional security tools are always very welcome.
- Privacy features: To help obscure your identity, we look for VPNs with a no-logs policy and the ability to pay anonymously. Those with stealth modes, specific P2P servers, and support for newer protocols (such as WireGuard) are strongly preferred.
We have a fairly intensive testing process here at Comparitech, and this was just the first stage. To find out more, read our full VPN testing methodology post.
How to bind your VPN IP to uTorrent
The uTorrent Windows client includes a built-in function to limit downloads to a specific IP address. This means you can set uTorrent to only download torrents while connected to a certain VPN server. If the connection to the VPN drops or you disconnect, the downloads stop. This prevents any torrent traffic from traveling over your default IP address, linking your device to your downloads.
Here’s how to IP bind uTorrent to a VPN server:
- Connect to your preferred VPN server for torrenting, probably one in the Netherlands.
- Go to Google and type the question, “What’s my IP?” Copy the numbers and decimals that appear in the info graph to your clipboard.
- In uTorrent, go to Options > Preferences > Advanced
- In the Filter field, type “ip”
- Click net.bind_ip in the results. In the Value field, paste your IP address and click Set.
- Do the same for net.outgoing_ip
- Press OK and restart the uTorrent client
Unfortunately, the IP bind feature is not yet built into the Mac and Android versions of uTorrent. Some users have reported success on Macs using a workaround with either Tunnelblick or Viscosity, which replace the VPN provider’s app. Azureus Vuze, an alternative to uTorrent, supports this function for Mac.
If you don’t want to use a different app or BitTorrent client, make sure to turn on the VPN kill switch (sometimes called a “network lock”) included in your provider’s app.
Port forwarding is a contentious topic among uTorrent users. Some say it improves their download speeds by allowing their torrent client to connect to more peers outside the normal range of the VPN. Others argue it is unnecessary and, when using a VPN, only serves to make torrenting more difficult and can even degrade user privacy.
This is because all users sharing the same VPN IP address will all be limited to the same ports except for the one who chooses to port forward. That can make P2P activity more easy to trace back to a single user.
Most commercial VPN clients don’t support port forwarding and work fine without it. For those that do, enter the forwarded port into the uTorrent settings by doing the following:
- In uTorrent, go to Options > Preferences > Connections
- Enter the port number set in your VPN client
- Uncheck Randomize port each time uTorrent[Bittorrent] starts
- Disable Enable UPnP port mapping
- Uncheck Enable NAT-PMP port mapping
Port forwarding in a VPN does not require forwarding ports in your router. You may need to disable NAT-PMP and/or uPNP mapping in the torrent client.
Comparitech does not condone or encourage any violation of copyright restrictions. Please consider the law, victims, and risks of piracy before downloading copyrighted material without permission.
Read more: Is Torrenting Safe? Is it illegal? Are you likely to be caught?
Can I use a free VPN with uTorrent?
Free VPNs aren't really suitable for torrenting (and some expressly forbid you from doing so). The first main problem is that these services tend to have fairly strict bandwidth limits. This prevents you from using P2P networks as much as you might like, and could result in you having to wait until the following month to finish downloading something securely.
Additionally, free VPNs are usually fairly slow. Even assuming you find one with no data limits at all, your downloads will likely take far longer than if you had signed up for a paid VPN. It's worth mentioning that most major VPNs offer a money-back guarantee, so you can always try a service out before deciding whether to keep it or not.
Is using uTorrent illegal?
No, using uTorrent isn't illegal. The uTorrent software is entirely legal to install on your device, and downloading torrents is also legit in most countries, but if torrents contain unsolicited and copyrighted material such as movies, TV shows, music, or software, it then becomes illegal to use the application.
Why do I need a VPN for torrenting?
When you torrent a file, you're really connecting your device to the computer of anyone else with a piece of the same file. This makes it trivially simple for someone to find your IP address, which reveals your location and service provider. In fact, some copyright holders will monitor torrents of their content in the hopes of easily tracking down pirates.
A VPN helps protect your anonymity by replacing your real IP address with one of its own. This, combined with a no-logs policy, ensures that anyone who tries to find out more about you will hit a dead end early on.
Will a VPN slow down my downloads?
Your internet speeds will always be slower when connected to a VPN since encrypting data and adding extra steps to its journey takes time. That said, there has been significant progress in this area over the last few years. Now, you probably won't even notice a substantial differences in speed unless you're used to browsing with an extremely quick connection (over 500 Mbps).