Short on time? Here’s the best cheap VPN for torrenting in 2023:
- 🥇 ExpressVPN: Excellent security, lightning-fast speeds, supports torrenting on all of its 3,000+ servers, and has a strict (independently audited) no-logs policy. While it’s not as cheap as the other brands on this list, ExpressVPN provides the best torrenting experience and best overall value.
I use torrents a lot — in order to download and share large files with friends and colleagues, as well as enjoy access to copyright-free media like old movies. But unfortunately, internet service providers (ISPs) often throttle torrenting speeds, plus torrenting can leave your online identity exposed, so I always use a VPN when torrenting to protect both my speeds and my online identity.
However, like most people, I’m on a budget. So I spent a few weeks testing all the best-known and low-cost VPNs out there, looking for a fast, secure, reliable VPN for torrenting that wouldn’t cost me a fortune.
We all know the saying “you get what you pay for”, and it’s true — during my tests I found that most cheap VPNs lack the P2P-friendly policies, strong security and privacy features, and fast speeds desirable for torrenting. Some even go so far as to collect and sell your data to advertisers.
That said, fortunately for those on a budget, there are VPNs that provide incredible value at an affordable price. Here are my top five choices (plus a bonus!) for the best cheap VPNs for torrenting in 2023.
Quick summary of the best cheap VPNs for torrenting:
- 1.🥇ExpressVPN — Best overall VPN for torrenting in 2023.
- 2.🥈Private Internet Access — Secure, fast, easy to use, and cheap.
- 3.🥉Proton VPN — Strong privacy features and good speeds.
- 4. NordVPN — Reliable with great security & fast speeds on all servers.
- 5. Surfshark — Good for large families (with cheap plans).
- Comparison of the Best Cheap VPNs for Torrenting.
🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Torrenting (+ Best VPN Overall)
ExpressVPN isn’t the cheapest option on this list (prices start at $6.67 / month), but it’s my favorite — it provides the best overall torrenting experience, and it’s a great value for money. ExpressVPN is also our top overall VPN in 2023, and for good reason. It has excellent security features, the fastest speeds on the market, a huge server network, top-notch streaming support, and it’s extremely P2P friendly.
In addition to all the industry-standard security features, ExpressVPN comes with:
- Perfect forward secrecy — generates a unique encryption key for each session for extra security.
- RAM-only servers — all data is deleted whenever the server is restarted or unpowered.
- Private encrypted DNS on all of servers — provides quicker DNS request response times without third-party involvement.
It also has a Threat Manager feature that blocks app and website trackers, although there’s no ad blocker. ExpressVPN also has an air-tight no-logs policy that has undergone multiple independent audits and been proven in court to boot.
ExpressVPN allows users to torrent on all of its 3,000+ servers across 90+ countries, giving you a lot of options for fast and nearby server connections. It also comes with port forwarding (which lets you connect to more peers) on its router app, and it supports split-tunneling so you can torrent safely without slowing down your other online activities.
Thanks to its unique VPN protocol, Lightway, ExpressVPN is also one of the fastest VPNs around. A 5 GB file took me just over 7 minutes to download while connected to a local server, and 12 minutes to download while connected to a distant server.
ExpressVPN allows up to 5 simultaneous device connections, accepts payment by credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin, and Paymentwall, and covers all plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN available in 2023, and it’s my favorite VPN for torrenting. While it’s not the cheapest VPN on this list, it’s well worth its price. For $6.67 / month, you get top-of-the-line security and privacy features, ultra-fast speeds, access to over 3,000 torrent-friendly servers, and near-perfect functionality. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out totally risk free.
🥈2. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Excellent Security & Speeds + Cheap Plans
Private Internet Access (PIA) offers the best combination of high value and low cost of all the VPNs on this list. It’s extremely secure, maintains very fast speeds, allows torrenting on all of its servers — which are spread across 84+ countries — and has excellent customization capabilities. You also get a generous 10 simultaneous device connections, all for just $2.19 / month.
PIA is great for torrenting because it supports port forwarding (increases the number of peers you can connect to) and includes a SOCKS5 proxy (trades encryption for faster speeds). It also allows split-tunneling, which lets you choose which apps and websites will go through your VPN connection (and which remain on your local network) to avoid unnecessary slowdowns.
Unwittingly downloading malware is a big danger of torrenting, so the fact that all PIA subscriptions come with a free ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker (PIA MACE) is also super handy. I tested it out by visiting some known malware-infected URLs, and it accurately blocked all the dodgy websites.
I also enjoyed great download speeds with PIA. A 3 GB file took me little more than 4 minutes to download while connected to a local server, and the same file took just 6 minutes to download on a distant server.
On top of the industry-standard security features, PIA is open source and therefore completely transparent, has RAM-only servers, and utilizes perfect forward secrecy. PIA’s strict zero-logs policy has also been proven multiple times in court.
PIA’s security is highly configurable as well. It’s one of the few VPNs to let you choose between 128-bit and 256-bit encryption — for when you value speed more than security. Even its kill switch is customizable, with an Advanced Kill Switch option that stops you from accidentally connecting to the internet if PIA is not running.
Private Internet Access accepts payments via credit card, PayPal, Amazon Pay, and even supports anonymous payment options like third-party gift cards and cryptocurrencies. All of its plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the best and cheapest torrenting VPNs available, with plans starting as low as $2.19 / month. It has a large server network, supports torrenting on every server, and has very fast download speeds. It also comes with top-notch security features like RAM-only servers and open-source apps, as well as excellent extra features like port forwarding, split-tunneling, and an ad blocker. You can try it out risk free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
🥉3. Proton VPN — Strong Privacy Features & Fast Speeds
Proton VPN is a highly secure, fast, and affordable VPN that’s great for torrenting. It’s not as cheap as Private Internet Access, but it’s a strong, all-round provider that will give you excellent value for money.
Proton VPN has all the standard security features of a good VPN, as well as useful extras you’ll want for torrenting — like perfect forward secrecy and an ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker (called NetShield). All of its servers are also protected by full disk encryption, which makes all data unreadable even if its servers were compromised.
Unlike ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access, which both allow torrenting on all their servers, Proton VPN only allows P2P traffic on specific servers. However, it has 300+ dedicated P2P-optimized servers in 16+ major countries (including the US, UK, Canada, and Singapore), so there’s a good range of servers available. Proton VPN also supports port forwarding (although on the Windows app only), split tunneling, and it has a unique VPN Accelerator feature (across all apps) that improves connection stability and can increase your speed by over 400%, or so it claims.
In my testing, Proton VPN wasn’t as fast as Private Internet Access, but it was still pretty good for torrenting. It took me 8 minutes to download a 5 GB file using Proton VPN while connected to a local server, and 13 minutes to download the same file while connected to a distant server.
Proton VPN has a Free plan, but it’s pretty limited and it doesn’t allow P2P file sharing so you’ll need to opt for the paid plan to access the P2P servers (and all of Proton VPN’s other features). However, Proton VPN offers a range of subscription options, which start at $3.99 / month and which all support up to 10 simultaneous device connections. Proton VPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all paid plans, but it’s prorated, so you’ll only get a refund for the unused portion of your 30 days.
Proton VPN is secure, fast and has a decent range of P2P-optimized servers. It also comes with important torrenting extras like perfect forward secrecy, an ad blocker, and servers protected by full disk encryption. Starting at $3.99 / month, it’s not the cheapest VPN on the market, but the quality of its features — plus its heavy emphasis on security and privacy — make it a great value option.
4. NordVPN — Reliable With Great Security Features & Fast Speeds
NordVPN provides access to multiple security features that keep your data safe online — like Threat Protection, which is one of the best VPN ad blockers on the market and which also gets rid of malicious ads, blocks connections to shady sites, and protects your device from malware-infected downloads. Even better, Threat Protection remains active even if you’re not connected to a VPN server, which is really convenient.
In addition, there’s Dark Web Monitor, which scans the dark web and alerts you if the login associated with your NordVPN account has been leaked. I’m happy to see this, as this is one of the only VPNs on the market that comes with a dark web monitoring feature.
On top of that, NordVPN also comes with other great security features — it has double VPN servers, which add an extra layer of encryption, and it also comes with obfuscation. Plus, the VPN has its own protocol called NordLynx, which is designed to provide strong security and really fast speeds.
NordVPN also has advanced security features, including full leak protection, RAM-only servers, and perfect forward secrecy. Its strict no-logs policy has been independently audited, and it’s also been proven true when one of the data centers that housed one of its servers suffered a data breach and no user data was compromised.
The provider is also great for streaming and torrenting — it works with multiple popular streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and has a whopping 4,500+ P2P servers. It also provides really good speeds for streaming, torrenting, and other online activities on all of its servers.
I also think NordVPN is a good gaming VPN thanks to its Meshnet feature, which lets you link up to 60 devices over encrypted VPN connections — this helps you host virtual LAN parties securely.
What’s more, this VPN has tons of other perks — it has 5,000+ servers in 55+ countries, comes with split-tunneling, and has really intuitive apps for all major platforms.
NordVPN has budget-friendly plans that start at $2.99 / month. All purchases are backed by a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordVPN is highly secure, comes with a ton of features, and maintains good speeds for all online activities. In addition to advanced security features like RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy, it also has an ad blocker and dark web monitor. It also works with all streaming services, supports torrenting on more than 4,500 servers, and is also an excellent choice for gaming. NordVPN backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
5. Surfshark — Great VPN for Large Families & Very Affordable
Surfshark allows unlimited connections, which means you can use it on as many devices as you want — so it’s a great option if everyone in your family needs a good VPN. I’m also happy to see this because very few VPNs support unlimited connections.
It comes with really good security features, including CleanWeb, which is one of the best VPN ad blockers out there. In addition, it provides obfuscation, double VPN connections for added security, and IP Rotator, which regularly changes your IP address to make it harder for someone to track your location. The provider also has advanced security features like RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy — however, it’s missing full leak protection (but I never experienced any leaks in my tests).
You also get pretty good streaming support, as the VPN can access top sites like Netflix, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer — though it can’t access Disney+. It also supports P2P downloads across all of its servers.
There are 3,200+ servers in 90+ countries, which makes it simple to use nearby servers for fast speeds. Speaking of speeds, the provider has fast connections on most servers, but I did experience significant slowdowns on very distant servers.
Surfshark is also one of the most affordable VPNs on the market, with plans starting at only $2.30 / month — so it’s also a good pick if you’re on a tight budget. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark is one of the rare VPNs to allow unlimited simultaneous connections, so it’s great for multi-device households and large families. It’s also secure, fast, and works with popular streaming services like Netflix. It has affordable plans and provides a 30-day money-back guarantee for all purchases.
6. CyberGhost VPN — Intuitive User Interface & Large Server Network
CyberGhost’s apps have a very intuitive interface, making it an excellent beginner-friendly choice for a cheap torrenting VPN. Like Proton VPN, CyberGhost only allows torrenting on dedicated servers. However, with a huge network of 8,000+ servers across 91+ countries in total, and P2P traffic supported on over 65+ of those countries’ servers, it still has more P2P-optimized servers than many other VPNs.
I got good speeds for downloading and uploading torrents during my tests. It only took 7 minutes to download a 5 GB file using a local server and 12 minutes using a distant server, which is on a par with ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access.
CyberGhost comes with all the industry-standard security features, as well as useful extras like perfect forward secrecy, RAM-only servers, and an ad blocker. It also supports split-tunneling, but only on Android which is a little disappointing. However, its longer-term plans also come with access to its extra secure NoSpy servers, which are optimized to provide even faster speeds than CyberGhost’s other servers.
Finally, CyberGhost also has a strict no-logs policy, and it publishes a transparency report every quarter that details how it has been safeguarding your data, including the number of DMCA complaints its received, malicious activity they’ve deflected, and police requests for data they’ve been unable to comply with due to their zero-logs policy.
CyberGhost has really affordable yearly plans that start at $2.19 / month, allows up to 7 simultaneous device connections, and comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee on its yearly plans (but only 14 days on its monthly plan).
CyberGhost VPN is a good option if you’re looking for a cheap and easy-to-use VPN for torrenting. It’s secure, fast has very intuitive apps, and a large network of P2P-optimized servers spread around the globe. It also comes with useful extra features such as perfect forward secrecy and RAM-only servers. CyberGhost has plans starting at just $2.19 / month and offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee on its annual plans.
7. PrivateVPN — Low-Cost & User-Friendly
PrivateVPN has some of the cheapest plans on the market, and it offers intuitive apps and decent speeds for torrenting. However, with just 200+ servers in total, its server network is much smaller than the others on this list — although they are spread out over 60+ countries across the world.
Torrenting is supported on all of PrivateVPN’s 200+ servers, which is good news. This means you can use the fastest available server, and you’re not restricted to dedicated and overcrowded P2P-servers. PrivateVPN also offers port forwarding, which can help increase your torrent download speeds, and a SOCKS5 proxy for increased torrent download speeds.
One of PrivateVPN’s major downsides is that it’s missing advanced security features such as split tunneling, perfect forward secrecy, and a built-in ad blocker. This stands out a lot when compared to the similarly priced Private Internet Access, which includes all of these features and more.
I also found that PrivateVPN gave me slightly slower speeds compared to the other VPNs on this list. Downloading a 3 GB file while connected to a local server took me 6 minutes, and the same file took me 9 minutes while connected to a distant server.
PrivateVPN is very user-friendly, with interfaces to suit both beginners and advanced users. Like CyberGhost VPN, PrivateVPN has a simple and intuitive default interface — called the Simple View. However, there’s also an Advanced View option which lets experienced VPN users access additional configurations.
PrivateVPN starts at $2.00 / month and lets you connect up to 10 devices simultaneously. It accepts payments via credit card, PayPal, or Bitcoin, and it backs each plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN is a good budget VPN for torrenting, with plans starting at just $2.00 / month. It allows torrenting on every server, includes port forwarding, has fast speeds, and comes with a user-friendly interface. However, it’s missing some of the additional security features that other VPNs offer, such as split tunneling and an ad blocker. That said, it’s one of the cheapest VPNs on the market, allows 10 simultaneous device connections, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.
8. IPVanish — Unlimited Device Connections
IPVanish allows unlimited simultaneous device connections, which is great for people who want to use a VPN on many different devices and share their subscription with a large household. Plus, its plans start at just $3.99 / month.
IPVanish allows P2P traffic on all 2,000+ of its servers, which are spread across 50+ countries. This makes it easy to find a nearby server to connect to and gets you the fastest possible speeds. It also has a number of SOCKS5 proxy servers (which offer faster speeds) and it supports split-tunneling — though only for Android and FireOS. It doesn’t, however, let you port forward.
During my speed tests, I saw similar download speeds to Proton VPN and CyberGhost. Torrenting a 5 GB file while connected to a server in my country took just over 7 minutes, and the same file took 14 minutes while connected to a server in a distant location.
IPVanish lacks some of the additional features and functionality you’d get from other top VPNs, such as good streaming support, split tunneling on more operating systems, and WebRTC leak protection. However, its yearly plans do come with a free subscription to VIPRE antivirus software (for PCs and Macs), which is a good product and a nice added bonus.
IPVanish has a no-logs policy which is independently audited and verified. However, results of these audits haven’t been published. This is a slight point of concern as IPVanish was reported to have shared data about one user with the US authorities back in 2016, despite claiming not to store logs at that time either. IPVanish has since been acquired by a new company and now has a strict and independently verified no-logs policy. It’s just a shame they aren’t more transparent with the results.
IPVanish accepts credit cards and PayPal as payment, but not cryptocurrencies. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, but only on its yearly plan.
At just $3.99 / month, IPVanish is a solid contender for a good, cheap VPN for torrenting — especially as it allows unlimited device connections. It has fast speeds, allows torrenting on all of its servers, has a number of SOCKS5 proxy servers, and supports split-tunneling. However, it lacks some of the more advanced features that other VPNs offer, so honestly you’re likely to get a better value for money from the higher ranking VPNs on this list. IPVanish has a 30-day money-back guarantee on its yearly plan.
Comparison of the Best Cheap VPNs for Torrenting in 2023
|VPN||Starting Price||Encryption||Port Forwarding||Number of Devices||Money-Back Guarantee|
|1.🥇 ExpressVPN||$6.67 / month||256-bit||✅||5||30 days|
|2.🥈 Private Internet Access||$2.19 / month||256-bit||✅||10||30 days|
|3.🥉 Proton VPN||$3.99 / month||256-bit||✅||10||30 days (prorated)|
|4. NordVPN||$2.99 / month||256-bit||❌||6||30 days|
|5. Surfshark||$2.30 / month||256-bit||❌||Unlimited||30 days|
|6. CyberGhost VPN||$2.19 / month||256-bit||❌||7||45 days|
|7. PrivateVPN||$2.00 / month||256-bit||✅||10||30 days|
|8. IPVanish||$3.99 / month||256-bit||❌||Unlimited||30 days|
How to Choose the Best Cheap VPN for Torrenting in 2023
- P2P friendly. Some VPNs don’t allow peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing at all, while others limit it to a small number of servers, which means they get overloaded and slow. So, you need to ensure you’re choosing a VPN that will ideally let you torrent on all of its servers, like ExpressVPN, or that at the very least offers a good range of dedicated P2P-optimized servers, like Proton VPN.
- Fast speeds. To ensure fast download and upload speeds, you need to choose a VPN that you know will be able to maintain fast speeds. All of the VPNs on this list have been thoroughly tested, and while some slowdown is always to be expected, the VPNs I’ve recommended all have a good range of servers capable of maintaining fast speeds for easy torrenting.
- Security. This is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a VPN. All of the VPNs on this list have the industry-standard security features, including 256-bit AES encryption, secure protocols (WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec), a strict no-logs policy, a kill switch, and IP leak protection to keep you anonymous and safe while torrenting.
- Good overall value. The VPNs I selected aren’t just budget-friendly, but they offer a ton of extra features and value, including things like port forwarding, SOCKS5 proxy servers, split-tunneling, and more. I’ve also made sure all the VPNs on this list offer a money-back guarantee, so you can try them out risk-free.
Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut
- Hotspot Shield: Hotspot Shield has a decent server network, maintains good speeds, and allows P2P traffic on all of its servers. However, it’s too expensive for this list, plus it’s missing a number of important features on most of its apps, including leak protection, a kill switch, and an ad blocker.
- Windscribe. Windscribe is a decent VPN with affordable prices, but its total server count is unknown and it doesn’t support torrenting on all servers. It also only offers a 3-day money-back guarantee, and its no-logs policy hasn’t been independently verified.
- TunnelBear. TunnelBear has excellent security and privacy features, and it allows torrenting on all of its servers. However, you don’t get a lot of extra features, it has a smaller server network than most top VPNs, and there’s no money-back guarantee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which VPN is best for torrenting?
I recommend ExpressVPN as the best torrenting VPN in 2023. It has ultra fast speeds, allows P2P file sharing on all 3,000+ of its servers, provides a wide range of useful extra features, and comes with top-tier security features such as 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and a proven zero-logs policy.
However, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly VPN, there are a number of good cheap VPNs for torrenting you can try. Private Internet Access is my top pick for the cheapest torrenting VPN, but other good options include Proton VPN and CyberGhost.
Do free VPNs work for torrenting?
No, I don’t recommend using free VPNs for torrenting. Some free VPNs don’t allow P2P file sharing at all, but the ones that do tend to give you slow speeds, data usage limitations, and/or access to a limited number of servers, increasing the likelihood of overcrowding.
Free VPNs also often come with a number of privacy and security concerns. The provider may keep logs, leak your IP address, or fail to include essential security features such as a kill switch. This will compromise your online anonymity and safety. Finally, some free VPNs may even collect and sell your data to advertisers.
I strongly suggest using a paid VPN instead. The best premium VPNs all offer affordable plans and will give you faster speeds as well as complete peace of mind regarding your online security.
Can I get caught torrenting with a VPN?
It’s highly unlikely that a third-party will know that you’re torrenting if you’re using a good VPN. VPNs encrypt all of your internet traffic, hiding your online activity from others. And a good VPN provider will have a no-logs policy, which means that they will keep no records of what you’re doing while connected to their servers.
All of the VPNs I’ve recommended above include important advanced security features that will keep your activity completely private, such as a kill switch, which disconnects your devices from the internet if your VPN connection is interrupted, and IPv6, DNS, and/or WebRTC leak protection. All of this helps maintain your online privacy and safety.
Is a VPN recommended for torrenting?
Yes. What you do online should be nobody’s business but your own. And if you don’t use a VPN while torrenting, it’s easy for your ISP, or anyone else, to see what you’re downloading. This can be disconcerting even if you’re only using torrents to download legal content.
If they detect that you’re torrenting, some ISPs may also respond by throttling your torrent downloads, resulting in drastically reduced speeds.
If you’re looking for a good torrenting VPN, you can’t go wrong with ExpressVPN, which allows torrenting on all of its 3,000+ servers and has some of the fastest speeds on the market. If you’re on a tighter budget, Private Internet Access (PIA) is a great low-cost alternative. Both offer 30-day money-back guarantees, so you try them out risk-free.