NordVPN is one of the best and most well-known commercial VPN providers today, and qBittorrent is one of the most popular torrent clients. A VPN protects your privacy when you torrent, hides your downloads from your ISP, and secures you against attackers on the BitTorrent network. In this article, we’ll explain how to use qBittorrent with NordVPN for safe and secure downloads.
We’ll focus on the qBittorrent client, which applies to any torrent client that supports SOCKS5 proxies.
When it comes to using qBittorrent with NordVPN, you have three options:
- Connect to NordVPN using its client app and start downloading torrents through qBittorrent.
- Configure qBittorrent to use NordVPN’s SOCKS5 proxy (no client app required).
- To achieve a similar result to option 2, you can also configure split tunneling in NordVPN’s client app.
This post will look at all three methods for torrenting with NordVPN using qBittorrent and provide detailed instructions for each.
Let’s get started.
Method 1: Use the NordVPN client app with qBittorrent
The first method is pretty straightforward. You simply connect to a VPN server from NordVPN‘s client app and download the torrents you want using qBittorrent.
When connected to a VPN, all your device’s traffic is sent through the VPN tunnel. That means there’s nothing to configure in any of your applications. They will automatically be tunneled through the VPN server.
Method 2: Configuring qBittorrent to use NordVPN’s SOCKS5 proxy
This method is more complex, but it’s a good setup if you don’t want to use the NordVPN client app or don’t want to tunnel all of your device’s traffic.
SOCKS5 proxy server access comes bundled with your NordVPN subscription. You can configure your torrent client to proxy its traffic over one of NordVPN’s SOCKS5 proxy servers. Quite a few steps are involved when setting this up for the first time, and we’ll go over them in detail.
- Log into your NordVPN dashboard. The URL is: https://my.nordaccount.com/.
- Once logged in, select NordVPN at the top left of the page. Your NordVPN Account page is displayed.
- Click the Set up NordVPN manually button towards the bottom of the page. This will provide you with your “service credentials.” NordVPN provides its users with special credentials to access some of its extra services, such as its SOCKS5 proxy servers. You’ll be prompted for a verification code when you click that button. NordVPN will send an email with the verification code to your registered email address. Enter the code into the prompt to view your service credentials.
- Once you’ve entered the verification code, your service credentials are displayed. Take note of them.
- Launch qBittorrent and click on the Settings gear icon from the top menu. The App Settings are displayed.
- Select Connection from the side menu. The Connection Options are displayed.
- From the Type drop-down menu, select SOCKS5.
- Enter the hostname of one of NordVPN’s SOCKS5 proxy servers in the Host field. I’m using los-angeles.us.socks.nordhold.net in this example. The options are:
- Tick the Authentication box.
- Enter your service credentials username and password in the Username and Password fields.
- Tick the Use proxy for BitTorrent purposes box.
- Tick the Use proxy for peer connections box.
- Click Apply.
- Click OK.
qBittorrent is now configured to proxy its traffic over NordVPN’s SOCKS5 proxy. Let’s make sure it’s working correctly.
Testing qBittorrent’s SOCKS5 configuration
- From a web browser, go to https://ipleak.net.
- Click the Activate button under Torrent Address detection. A link to a Torrent Magnet Link is displayed.
- Click the link. You’re prompted to open the torrent file in qBittorrent. Click Open qBittorrent – A Bittorrent Client. Keep the ipleak.net page open.
- You’re then prompted to add the torrent file to qBittorrent. Click OK.
- The “test” torrent begins to download.
- As the torrent downloads, go back to the ipleak.net page and your qBittorrent proxied IP address should be displayed under Torrent Address detection. It should differ from the IP address listed at the top of the page.
- If your IP address isn’t showing, you can click the Refresh button.
NOTE: You can also use this configuration while connected to the VPN as well. That way, if you disconnect from the proxy server for any reason, your connection will fall back on the VPN rather than your ISP connection.
Method 3: Split tunnel qBittorrent traffic in NordVPN
An alternative way to achieve a result similar to the above is to configure split tunneling in NordVPN’s app. You won’t be using a SOCKS5 proxy, but in this example, only your qBittorrent traffic will be tunneled through the VPN server.
- Launch the NordVPN client app and click the Settings gear icon at the bottom. The App Settings are displayed.
- Select Split Tunneling from the list of settings. The Split Tunneling options are displayed.
- Turn the Split Tunneling toggle on.
- From the Type drop-down menu, select Enable VPN for selected apps.
- Click the Add apps button and select qBittorrent (you may have to navigate to its location).
- Exit Settings and connect the VPN client.
Testing qBittorrent’s split tunneling configuration
If we redo the Torrent Address detection test with our split tunneling setup (following the instructions above), we can see that our torrent traffic is going through the VPN while our web browsing traffic is not (their IPs differ). It works.
You now know three ways to use qBittorrent, or any other torrent client that supports proxies, with NordVPN. You can go full-on VPN, VPN with split tunneling, or SOCKS5 proxy. They each have their use cases, and they all work well while providing good speeds. The good news is that NordVPN is the best VPN for torrenting, so you’re in good hands.
NordVPN’s SOCKS5 proxy is included in every subscription and there’s nothing stopping you from using both the VPN and the SOCKS5 proxy at the same time (although your speeds might take a slight hit in this setup).