NordVPN for Torrenting Reviewed (Setup, Use & Speed Test)

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Using NordVPN for torrenting can make your peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing process quicker and more secure. Thanks to its proven no-logging policy, top-level encryption, and thousands of servers all over the world, the VPN provider is designed to protect the privacy of your torrenting activities.

Please note that while NordVPN allows torrenting, it’s against copyright laws to use torrenting programs to share copyrighted materials.

Thus, I don’t endorse using NordVPN torrenting features for that purpose.

Moving on, I tested NordVPN for torrenting security, speed, and convenience, using P2P servers and SOCKS5.

Keep reading to learn about torrenting with NordVPN!

Does NordVPN Allow Safe Torrenting?

Thanks to its privacy and security features, NordVPN allows safe torrenting on over 4,000 servers around the world. The features include the no-logging policy, RAM-only servers, and top-level encryption and IP obfuscation.

I’ll go over them now for you to have a complete picture of how NordVPN keeps your activities private.

No-logging Policy

nordvpn no logging policy

NordVPN’s proven no logs policy confirms that your IP, connection logs, and browsing activities aren’t stored, including your torrenting activities.

That means that if you’re using a torrenting client, there’s no record of what you’ve torrented, when you’ve torrented, or where you got the file from.

That’s why you should keep the NordVPN connection on at all times when your torrent is in progress to avoid any record of your activity by your ISP.

Security & IP Obfuscation

NordVPN offers 256-bit AES encryption on all servers, including P2P.

It also replaces your IP address with another one.This ensures that your actual IP address isn’t visible to other peers downloading the same torrents – all they can see is your VPN IP.

Combining that with the no-logging policy and NordVPN’s RAM-only servers, which erase your data after each reboot, you can be sure that your torrenting activity isn’t logged or stored anywhere.

Torrenting Speeds

An important feature of NordVPN torrenting servers is speed optimization.

Usage of P2P servers ensures that your ISP doesn’t throttle your P2P VPN traffic, as some tend to do. However, the use of VPNs does sometimes restrict your speed.

I conducted speed tests on NordVPN torrenting servers, which I’ll describe later.

DNS Leak Protection

I ran a DNS Leak Test when connected to two different NordVPN P2P servers – one in Sweden and another one in the USA.

nordvpn dns leak test

Both tests showed that there were no DNS leaks.

nordvpn dns leak test result

SOCKS5 Proxy

NordVPN supports the SOCKS5 proxybut only on some servers.

You can request a list of them from the NordVPN support team, as I’ve done below.

You can use SOCKS5 with NordVPN on uTorrent, BitTorrent, and qBittorent.

I recommend opting for SOCKS5 if you want faster downloads or are concerned that your ISP or the government is blacklisting VPN IP addresses.

You can also combine NordVPN and SOCKS5.

P2P Servers

NordVPN’s specialized servers for P2P file-sharing are available in many countries. For instance, the US has 1760 P2P servers, and the UK has 500.

All 4720 P2P servers allow seeding. NordVPN has optimized them to give users the best torrenting experience.

Why Use NordVPN P2P Servers?

Using NordVPN P2P servers will keep your Internet activities and IP encrypted.

It’ll ensure your IP isn’t visible to anyone accessing the same file, thus protecting it from hacking.

In the next section, I’ll explain how you can torrent risk-free with NordVPN P2P servers and with the combination of NordVPN and SOCKS5.

How to Torrent Safely With NordVPN?

Here’s how you can safely torrent with NordVPN on Windows.

The first step is the same for both P2P and SOCKS5 torrenting.

  1. Get a NordVPN subscription (use our exclusive discount!)
payment method for nordvpn
  1. Depending on your chosen torrenting method, follow the steps below.

How to Torrent With NordVPN P2P Servers?

For torrenting with NordVPN P2P servers:

  1. Download and install the NordVPN Desktop application.
  2. Launch and login.
  3. Choose “P2P” on the left-hand menu and click on it to connect to the best server.
nordvpn p2p
  1. If you want a specific P2P server, click on the three dots and choose a country and a server that you want.
nordvpn p2p servers
  1. Start torrenting once NordVPN connects to that server.

How to Torrent With NordVPN SOCKS5 Proxy?

Here’s how to torrent with NordVPN using SOCKS5 proxy on different clients.

SOCKS5 on uTorrent, BitTorrent and qBittorrent

  1. After you get your NordVPN account, launch BitTorrent or uTorrent client.
  2. Click “Preferences” (or tools in qBittorrent) in “Options.
launch bittorrent and qbittorrent
  1. Go to “Connections” and choose “SOCKS5” from the Type dropdown menu.
bittorrent preferences settings
  1. Enter one of the addresses below into the “Proxy” field.
proxy
  1. Enter “1080” in the Port field, check all six boxes (for qBittorrent, tick only “Use Proxy for peer connections” and “Authentication”) and enter your NordVPN username and password. Then click “OK.
bittorrent and qbittorrent connection settings
  1. The setup is done, and you can now torrent!

I’ve tested the SOCKS5 download with IPMagnet by adding its testing magnet to my torrenting client, and it confirmed that my IP was obfuscated.

The peers could see the replacement IP address rather than my real one.

Are NordVPN P2P Servers Better Than SOCKS5?

SOCKS5 doesn’t encrypt your Internet traffic, so using NordVPN’s P2P servers is better for security. It also takes longer to set up.

However, using a VPN service can reduce download speed, whereas SOCKS5 ensures quicker downloads. For the best of both worlds, combine NordVPN and SOCKS5 on your torrent client, as I described above.

NordVPN Torrenting Servers

Here’s a complete list of NordVPN’s SOCKS5 server locations.

nordvpn’s socks5 server locations

As you can see, NordVPN has 10 servers you can use for SOCKS5 proxy torrenting.

And here’s a list of all NordVPN P2P servers around the world.

VPN Server location Number of P2P servers VPN Server type
USA   1760 P2P SOCKS5 in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles
Canada 428 P2P
Mexico 29 P2P
Chile 5 P2P
Brazil 22 P2P
UK 500 P2P
Germany 190 P2P
Netherlands 161 P2P SOCKS5 in Amsterdam
France 186 P2P
Sweden 115 P2P SOCKS5
Switzerland 98 P2P
Belgium 59 P2P
Denmark 61 P2P
Norway 60 P2P
Poland 63 P2P
Ireland 50 P2P SOCKS5
Czechia 53 P2P
Italy 54 P2P
Spain 62 P2P
Finland 39 P2P
Serbia 20 P2P
Austria 61 P2P
Slovakia 21 P2P
Slovenia 5 P2P
Bulgaria 22 P2P
Hungary 19 P2P
Latvia 7 P2P
Romania 24 P2P
Portugal 33 P2P
Luxembourg 16 P2P
Greece 20 P2P
Estonia 13 P2P
Iceland 15 P2P
Croatia 8 P2P
Ukraine 14 P2P
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3 P2P
Lithuania 10 P2P
Australia 170 P2P
Singapore 34 P2P
Japan 70 P2P
Hong Kong 42 P2P
New Zealand 27 P2P
South Africa 25 P2P
India 30 P2P
Israel 2 P2P
Turkey 14 P2P

NordVPN Torrenting Speed Tests

I tested NordVPN’s torrenting speeds on OpenVPN and NordLynx protocols on a couple of files, 80 MB in size each, using P2P servers.

I also tried SOCKS5. Here are the test results. Spoiler alert – P2P servers are the winner.

OpenVPN (UDP) Speed Test

This is the baseline:

baseline speed test

P2P Servers

I connected to P2P servers in Sweden and the USA. Here are the test results.

Server country Ping Overall Download Speed Overall Upload Speed Average download speeds Download completion time
USA 283 ms 0.88 Mbps 0.00 Mbps 72 kB/S 22 minutes
Sweden 94 ms 0.93 Mbps 0.00 Mbps 89 kB/S 15 minutes 32 seconds

Since I’m closer to Sweden than the US, it’s no surprise that my speed and latency were better when connected to a Swedish server.

I therefore recommend using a NordVPN P2P server closest to you, which you can do thanks to its “Quick Connect” tool.

Note: my upload speed was non-existent because NordVPN doesn’t allow seeding/uploading. More on that in a minute. 

NordLynx Speed Test

I did the same tests with the NordLynx protocol.

Baseline connection speed:

baseline speed test

P2P Servers

I connected to P2P servers in Sweden and the USA the same way as with OpenVPN. Here are the results.

Server country Ping Overall Download speed Overall Upload Speed Average download speeds Download completion time
USA  285 ms   0.82 Mbps    0.00 Mbps 91 kB/S 28 minutes
Sweden 93 ms 0.99 Mbps  0.11 Mbps 72 kB/S 32 minutes

Here, the US-based server resulted in higher download speeds than the Swedish server, despite higher latency. Torrenting speed can be largely affected by the peers and bandwidth, not just VPN server location.

The high latency with both OpenVPN and NordLynx US servers was no surprise, since it’s so far away. For that reason, I recommend using NordVPN split tunneling when torrenting or planning your gaming or other online activities requiring low latency for another time.

SOCKS5 Proxy

Here’s the speed with SOCKS5 proxy on:

Ping 56ms
Download Speed 0.74 Mbps
Upload Speed 0.00 Mbps
Average download speeds   97 kB/S    
Download completion time 27 minutes

Here’s an overview of NordVPN torrenting speed tests results:

Protocol Internet download speed Download speeds Download completion time
OpenVPN Sweden 0.92 Mbps 89 kB/S 15 minutes 32 seconds
OpenVPN USA 0.88 Mbps 72 kB/S 22 minutes
NordLynx Sweden 0.99 Mbps 72 kB/S 32 minutes
NordLynx USA 0.82 Mbps 91 kB/S 28 minutes
SOCKS5 0.74 Mbps 97 kB/S 27 minutes

As you can see from the data, it’s better to use NordVPN P2P servers for torrenting. There are more options for them, as most countries have NordVPN P2P servers, but only 10 NordVPN servers offer SOCKS5 proxy connections.

So, with the P2P servers, there are more ways to optimize your speed than with SOCKS5.

Does NordVPN Allow Seeding?

A NordVPN representative confirmed that NordVPN does NOT allow seeding when torrenting. This means it’s not an appropriate choice for users trying to maintain a proper seed to leech ratio.

Instead, if seeding is important to you, I recommend ExpressVPN

unnamed

What to Do if NordVPN P2P Server Doesn't Work?

If your NordVPN P2P server doesn’t work, here’s what you can do:

  • Switch to another one – you can pick one out of the hundreds listed in the table above.
  • If none work, try restarting your VPN connection or computer or connecting to a different network.
  • If you’re using a mobile device hotspot, consider switching to another network – some communication service providers block VPNs.
  • If none of that works, get in touch with NordVPN via Live Chat and explain your problem.
  • Use one of the SOCKS5 proxy servers.

FAQ

Yes, the BitTorrent client works with NordVPN. In fact, NordVPN works with most torrenting clients, including qTorrent and uTorrent.

As I described above, you can choose to use the BitTorrent client with NordVPN’s P2P servers or the SOCKS5 proxy.

Yes, you can use NordVPN with qBittorrent. Like BitTorrent and uTorrent, you can set up the P2P downloads with either NordVPN P2P servers or SOCKS5 proxy, enabled by some NordVPN servers.

Conclusion

NordVPN allows many options for torrenting, including a few hundred servers optimized for that purpose. The USA, the UK, Canada, and Australia have the most significant number of P2P servers for you to choose from.

Many other countries have a number of those servers too.

However, if your country doesn’t have a P2P server, you can connect to the closest one or use the SOCKS5 proxy – NordVPN works with it and protects your IP when you torrent.

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