Avoid free VPNs for torrenting


Using a free VPN for anonymous torrenting is generally a no-no. Due to the large amount of bandwidth required, many free VPN services prohibit P2P activity. Others aren’t secure, and many have data caps. The common adage that comes with free services is that if you don’t buy the product, then you are the product. This is especially true because a VPN isn’t just a piece of software, it’s an ongoing service that requires continuous resources and maintenance.

TunnelBear, Windscribe, and Hide.Me’s free tiers are all a bit more reputable, but they have speed or data caps that aren’t ideal for torrenting. TunnelBear and VPNGate, a community-run VPN project, explicitly prohibit P2P filesharing.

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We passed on several paid VPN providers as well. PureVPN, VyprVPN, HideMyAss, Overplay, and Hotspot Shield all failed to make the cut due to their logging policies. IronSocket and BolehVPN were left out due to performance concerns.

Other so-called free VPNs for torrenting can actually degrade your privacy rather than improve it. Some of them keep logs of your activity, inject tracking cookies into your web browser, insert advertisements onto web pages, or even carry malware payloads.