qBittorrent is one of the safest torrent clients on the internet.
In fact, it’s considerably safer than uTorrent and other torrenting applications!
For example, while most torrenting applications offer a variety of useful advanced features to protect your anonymity, they’re also riddled with bloatware, closed-source, and filled with ads.
But not qBittorrent!
Ready for the details?
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know!
What Makes qBittorrent Safe to Use?
Christophe Dumez, the developer of qBittorrent, created a safe torrent application for the end-user to explore file-sharing possibilities.
So, while it still has some security risks, these are easy to account for and work around.
Let’s dive into what features make qBittorrent safe and what to be wary of to stay safe!
qBittorrent Is Open-Source
qBittorrent is open-source, making it one of the safest P2P platforms on the web.
This means anybody can check the source code for bugs or malicious code.
And thanks to qBittorrent’s popularity, the source code is checked regularly by a dedicated group of users and developers on the qBittorrent forums.
So, when bugs do emerge, they’re patched quickly.
qBittorrent Doesn’t Have Bloatware or Malware
qBittorrent doesn’t come with bloatware or malware.
And, unlike some competitors, qBittorrent doesn’t include any potentially unwanted programs, meaning you can avoid accidentally downloading ten chrome toolbars and get right to torrenting.
There’s an Active Community
qBittorrent’s active community helps solidify its reputation as a P2P network that’s never had a serious bug or security issue.
This also means you can use the forums to quickly get help for any issues you run into while using qBittorrent, making it highly user-friendly.
Does qBittorrent Have Security Vulnerabilities?
As a standalone program, qBittorrent is safe to use and won’t jeopardize your security or privacy.
However, like any torrent client, it can have security vulnerabilities if you don’t use common sense.
For example, without a VPN, anyone in the same peer network can see your IP!
Or, if you’re not careful, you might accidentally download unwanted programs or malware.
Thankfully, any potential issues are easy to avoid.
I’ll discuss everything you need to know in the following sections to stay safe, but first, let’s discuss the most important solution: VPNs.
Always Use a VPN With qBittorrent
One of the biggest risks to your security is that other users in the swarm can see your IP address when torrenting.
To mitigate this risk, always use a VPN or proxy when torrenting.
If you’re looking for a P2P-friendly premium VPN, here are my top recommendations:
NordVPN is one of the best torrent-friendly VPNs.
It has over 4,500 P2P-optimized servers, blazing-fast server speeds for the fastest downloads, and a split tunneling feature for Windows users.
On top of that, NordVPN is compatible with the SOCKS5 proxy, making it easy to further enhance your qBittorrent experience for even faster speeds!
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA) is an excellent P2P-friendly VPN with a massive server network, port forwarding capabilities, a split tunneling feature, and SOCKS5 proxy support.
Read Also: Best VPN Services With SOCKS5 Proxy
You’ll also appreciate its super-fast speeds, ensuring your qBittorrent experience is quick and painless!
ExpressVPN is another great choice for torrenting with qBittorrent, as it offers automatic obfuscation and P2P support on all of its servers, meaning your qBittorrent experience stays safe and secure at all times!
Better yet, ExpressVPN also offers a split tunneling feature, port forwarding (with its router setup), and lightning-fast speeds!
Why Should I Use a VPN With qBittorrent?
There are many reasons you should use a VPN with qBittorrent, starting with your safety.
Specifically, when you torrent (with any application), your IP is visible to every peer on the same network.
This makes it easy for cybercriminals to grab that IP and use it against you – for example, in a DDoS attack.
Beyond that, without a VPN, you’re likely to run into copyright trolls slinging out DMCA notices left and right, which can result in fines or even jail time.
Plus, if you’re in a country that blocks torrent sites, a VPN will help you get around those blocks by changing your location.
Can I Use a Free VPN With qBittorrent?
I don’t recommend using a free VPN with qBittorrent.
You can’t trust free VPNs to keep you or your data safe.
This includes your IP!
In fact, there’s even a chance the free VPN you’re using is malware in disguise.
But even if it’s not, you’re likely paying for your free VPN with something other than money – namely, your data!
Many free VPNs subsidize the cost of their service by selling your data to third parties, which defeats the purpose of using a VPN in the first place.
Even the few freemium VPNs I typically recommend shouldn’t be used for torrenting, as the few servers they offer aren’t P2P-optimized.
And with so few server options, you’re also likely to experience agonizingly slow download speeds.
Thus, for these reasons (and many more), I recommend sticking to one of my top premium VPNs for qBittorrent.
Don’t forget – you can get an AMAZING deal on NordVPN by using my special discount link!
How to Use qBittorrent With a VPN?
There are several methods for using qBittorrent with your VPN, and some are more secure than others.
I’ll discuss each of them in the following sections, so let’s jump in!
Method 1: Running qBittorrent With a VPN
Using qBittorrent with a VPN is as simple as turning the VPN on, enabling a couple of settings, and launching qBittorrent!
Here are the detailed instructions:
- Purchase your chosen P2P-friendly VPN and download it. (Grab my exclusive deal for NordVPN here!)
- Open your VPN and navigate to its Settings menu.
- Find the option to enable the Kill Switch and do so.
- Ensure your chosen protocol is the fastest. I recommend WireGuard or proprietary protocols like NordLynx and Lightway.
- Connect to a P2P-optimized server.
- Launch qBittorrent and start torrenting!
This method is the easiest to set up – but it’s also the least secure.
For example, if your computer is in sleep or hibernation mode, there’s always the chance your kill switch fails.
And if that happens, your IP will leak!
Luckily, there are a couple other methods to discuss that offer more protection.
Method 2: qBittorrent + VPN + IP Binding
When you use IP binding with qBittorrent, you’re ensuring that your torrent traffic is routed through your VPN only.
So, if your VPN connection drops, qBittorrent will kill any active connections.
Here’s how to set it up:
- Follow steps 1-5 from Method 1.
- Launch qBittorrent and navigate to Tools > Options (or do the keyboard shortcut Alt+O).
- Click “Advanced” in the left-side menu.
- Next to “Network Interface,” click the dropdown menu and select your VPN adapter’s name. If you’re unsure of the name, hover over your internet connection. For example, my NordVPN adapter’s name is “NordLynx.”
- Click “Apply” and then “OK.”
- Relaunch qBittorrent and start torrenting!
Method 3: Split Tunneling + VPN + qBittorrent
If your VPN offers a split tunneling feature, you can enable and use it for an even better qBittorrent experience, as it routes your VPN traffic through qBittorrent only.
This means the rest of your connection will be unaffected!
Setting it up is also simple.
I’ll use NordVPN as my example:
- Open the NordVPN app and navigate to Settings > Split tunneling.
- Toggle the slider on.
- Select “Enable VPN for selected apps only.”
- Select “Add apps” and click on qBittorrent.
- Connect to a P2P-optimized server and launch qBittorrent to start torrenting!
In Addition to a VPN, Be Wary of Unwanted Programs
Do you remember using your family’s PC to download music on Limewire?
If so, you probably remember all the malware you accidentally downloaded as well.
Similarly, with any P2P network, there’s a possibility of downloading malware or unwanted programs in addition to whatever you’re torrenting.
There are a million myths on the internet about how to avoid this, but you only need to follow two rules at the end of the day.
First, use antivirus software to help catch anything that slips through the cracks.
Malwarebytes is one of the most trustworthy antivirus applications available and can be used on Windows and Mac.
It’s also free!
My second rule is to only torrent from trusted sources.
For more information on trusted torrenting websites, check my article: 15 Best Torrent Sites (Tested & Working).
What Are the Best qBittorrent Configuration Settings?
If you want to optimize qBittorrent for the best download speeds, there are several configuration settings you can adjust.
Just follow these steps:
- Ensure your qBittorrent application is up-to-date.
- Open qBittorrent and navigate to Tools > Options > Connection.
- Set the Peer connection protocol to TCP and uTP.
- Set the options under Connections Limits to the following:
- Next, click Speed and ensure Global Rate Limits and Alternative Rate Limits are set to infinite for both Upload and Download.
- Then click on BitTorrent and ensure your settings match these:
- Optionally, you can also optimize your Torrent Queueing settings:
- And as an extra security boost, click Advanced and scroll until you see “Validate HTTPS tracker certificates.” Checkmark it.
- Click “Apply” and then “OK.”
- That’s it! You’re now rocking the best qBittorrent configuration settings!
Tips to Improve qBittorrent Downloads?
If you’re still hoping to improve your qBittorrent experience a little more, this section is for you!
Let’s discuss my top two tips…
Tip 1: Add Trackers
Magnet links are usually automatically optimized upon downloading.
However, you can also manually add trackers to qBittorrent to create a larger pool of seeders, thus optimizing your download speeds even more.
But there is a downside.
Tracker lists are updated regularly, so you’ll need to update them roughly every 90 days.
And since they update so frequently, you’ll want to search online for trackers by date.
Here’s how to add trackers to qBittorrent:
- Find a trustworthy list of trackers from the internet.
- Copy the list of trackers and open qBittorrent.
- Navigate to Tools > Options > BitTorrent.
- At the bottom, checkmark the option “Automatically add these trackers to new downloads.”
- Paste the tracker list in the text box.
- Click “Apply” and then “OK.”
Tip 2: Use a P2P-Friendly VPN With Super-Fast Speeds
Not all VPNs are created equal, and you must use a P2P-friendly VPN.
After all, some VPNs don’t support P2P clients, and others don’t allow seeding.
Confirm your VPN is optimized for torrenting before purchasing a subscription to save yourself the frustration.
Additionally, P2P-friendly also means verifying that your VPN operates a trusted and audited no-logging policy.
Otherwise, authorities can demand your data at any time, rendering your VPN and anonymous torrenting experience useless.
Another thing to consider is if your VPN’s download speeds are fast enough for stress-free torrenting and if it offers port forwarding and split tunneling.
The best way to test this is to utilize a VPN’s money-back guarantee (all the best VPNs provide one).
Just purchase a subscription (after verifying the VPN is P2P-friendly), put the VPN through various speed tests with one or both features enabled, and if you’re unsatisfied with the results, contact customer support for a full refund.
My top two recommendations for the best VPNs for qBittorrent are NordVPN and PIA.
Don’t forget to use my exclusive discounts: here (NordVPN) and here (PIA).
Is qBittorrent Legal?
Generally speaking, qBittorrent is legal to use.
However, the legality of qBittorent depends heavily on what content you’re downloading.
For example, downloading copyrighted content is illegal in most countries and can result in DMCA notices, fines, and/or jail time.
This is why using a VPN with qBittorrent to mask your IP is essential.
Where to Download qBittorrent?
The only place you should ever download qBittorrent is directly from the official website.
Otherwise, you risk downloading a modified version with added malware, bloatware, adware, or unwanted programs.
Is qBittorrent Safe Without a VPN?
You should never use qBittorrent without a VPN, as your real IP address will be visible to any peers on the same network, putting your privacy and security at risk.
Furthermore, without a VPN, you risk copyright trolls discovering your identity and sending DMCA notices or worse.
And while using a proxy is an alternative option, it’s not as safe as a VPN, so I recommend against it.
Is qBittorrent a Virus?
qBittorrent as a standalone program isn’t a virus.
I verified this by running qBittorrent’s .exe through several virus checkers (it came back 100% clean).
However, there’s a possibility of downloading a virus when you torrent a file.
For this reason, ensure the website you use for torrents is well-known and trustworthy.
Additionally, check uploader ratings and comments before hitting the “download” button.
Is qBittorrent Fast?
qBittorrent is one of the fastest torrent clients for Windows and macOS.
This is likely thanks to its clean installation (no unwanted programs or malware) and ad-free interface.
Additionally, qBittorrent’s port forwarding settings allow users to enhance their download speeds even more by connecting to more seeds, even when using a VPN.
Is IP Binding Necessary?
IP Binding is an entirely optional step when using a VPN with qBittorrent.
Typically the VPN provider’s Kill Switch and DNS protection are all you need to stay safe.
However, the extra security doesn’t hurt and will help prevent your IP from being leaked should your Kill Switch fail.
What to Do Next?
Congratulations, qBittorrent is now configured and safe to use!
Now it’s time to start torrenting!
Check my guides on How Do ISPs Know You’re Torrenting? 5 Simple Ways to Hide! and the Best VPNs for Torrenting for more information on the top-rated torrenting VPNs and how to torrent safely.
Or take this shortcut and grab one of my recommended VPNs for qBittorrent ASAP: NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or Surfshark!