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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 5,500 servers worldwide, including specialized P2P servers for faster and more secure torrenting.

The VPN also offers a strict no-logging policy, RAM-only servers, top-level encryption and IP obfuscation. Thus, your ISP and copyright trolls won’t see your torrenting activity and can’t come after you for that.

I’ll review some of NordVPN’s unique torrent-focused features to give you 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 its P2P servers. This makes it impossible for hackers, your internet service provider or copyright trolls to hack your live traffic and see what you’re doing on torrent websites.

Furthermore, NordVPN 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.

Its 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’ve conducted speed tests on NordVPN torrenting servers, which I’ll describe later, to see their impact on your torrenting sessions.

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.

2023 1b0dx

Both tests showed that there were no DNS leaks.

nordvpn usa

SOCKS5 Proxy

NordVPN supports the SOCKS5 proxybut only on some servers.

You can request a list of them from the NordVPN support team, or check some of the existing resources on its website.

Luckily, you can use NordVPN’s SOCKS5 torrent clients like 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.

However, the SOCKS5 proxy alone lacks encryption, so your internet activity over the proxy servers may be visible to everyone. The only upside is that your IP address is hidden, making it harder to trace those internet activities to you.

P2P Servers

NordVPN’s P2P servers are designed to accommodate heavy P2P traffic needs better, ensuring faster torrent downloads and minimal throttling in the process.

These servers are a subset of the standard servers and are only available in a few locations. 

While the standard servers can also be used for torrent downloads, P2P servers usually outperform and may help increase your torrent speeds.

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 new
  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 picker
  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.

Set Up NordVPN SOCKS5 on uTorrent, BitTorrent and qBittorrent

  1. After you get your NordVPN account, launch the BitTorrent or uTorrent client.
  2. Click “Preferences” (or “Tools” in qBittorrent) under “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.

In other words, other torrenting peers could only see the replacement IP address rather than my real one.

Are NordVPN P2P Servers Better Than SOCKS5?

NordVPN’s P2P servers are better than SOCKS5 servers on security and privacy since they encrypt all the traffic passing through them. 

However, SOCKS5 makes up for its lack of encryption in speed, ensuring faster download times than P2P servers usually offer.

That said, you can combine SOCKS5 proxy with NordVPN to get the best of both worlds by setting your torrent client up with both methods described above.

NordVPN Torrenting Servers

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

Nordvpn socks 5

As you can see, NordVPN has ten (10) servers 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   1970+ P2P SOCKS5 in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles
Argentina 20+ P2P
Canada 480+ P2P
Mexico 30 P2P
Chile Unspecified P2P
Colombia Unspecified P2P
Cyprus Unspecified P2P
Brazil 20+ P2P
Taiwan 100+ P2P
Indonesia 11 P2P
UK 440+ P2P
Germany 240+ P2P
Netherlands 200+ P2P SOCKS5 in Amsterdam
France 230+ P2P
Sweden 140+ P2P SOCKS5
Switzerland 100+ P2P
Belgium Unspecified P2P
Denmark 70+ P2P
Norway 60+ P2P
South Korea 10+ P2P
Poland 70+ P2P
Ireland 50+ P2P SOCKS5
Czechia Unspecified P2P
Italy 60+ P2P
Spain 60+ P2P
Finland 60+ P2P
Serbia Unspecified P2P
Austria 33 P2P
Slovakia Unspecified P2P
Slovenia Unspecified P2P
Bulgaria 20+ P2P
Hungary Unspecified P2P
Latvia 10+ P2P
Romania 20+ P2P
Portugal 20+ P2P
Luxembourg Unspecified P2P
Greece Unspecified P2P
Estonia 13 P2P
Iceland 14 P2P
Croatia Unspecified P2P
Ukraine 14+ P2P
Bosnia and Herzegovina Unspecified P2P
Lithuania Unspecified P2P
Australia 190+ P2P
Singapore 110+ P2P
Japan 130+ P2P
Hong Kong 70+ P2P
New Zealand 20+ P2P
South Africa 50+ P2P
India 30 P2P
Israel 2 P2P
Turkey 14 P2P

NordVPN Torrenting Speed Tests

I tested NordVPN’s torrenting speeds on its OpenVPN and NordLynx protocols, using a couple of 80 MB files.

I ran these tests across the P2P servers and  SOCKS5 functionality to determine which is the best and fastest for torrenting.

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. Thankfully, you can configure the  “Quick Connect” tool to automatically search and assign you the nearest server.

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 in the same way as with OpenVPN. Here are the results over NordLynx.

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. 

That said, please note that torrenting speed can be largely affected by the peers and bandwidth, not just VPN server location. So, it’s important to choose a file with a healthy seed-leech ratio.

Moving on, the high latency with both OpenVPN and NordLynx on the US server was no surprise, since it’s so far away.  So, yet another reason to use a closer P2P server for the best results.

SOCKS5 Proxy

Here’s my NordVPN performance 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

If everything was a little bit technical to follow, 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 the NordVPN P2P servers for torrenting

These P2P servers provide more options in more countries than SOCKS5 proxy connections, which are only available in ten regions.

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

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

If your NordVPN P2P server doesn’t work, here are a few things to do:

  • Switch to another one – pick one out of the hundreds in the table above.
  • If none work, restart your VPN connection or computer or connect to a different network.
  • If you’re using a mobile device hotspot, switch to another network – some internet service providers block VPNs.
  • If none works, contact NordVPN via Live Chat and explain the issue.
  • Use one of the SOCKS5 proxy servers.
Interesting Reads:

FAQ

The best NordVPN torrent port is 1080. This is ideal when setting the VPN up on torrent clients like BitTorrent, qTorrent and uTorrent.

Otherwise, setting up NordVPN for torrenting with the wrong port can lead to poor performance or zero internet connectivity.

The best NordVPN torrenting server is the P2P-enabled server closest to you. Luckily, NordVPN allows you to automatically connect to the nearest and fastest P2P server, even if you don’t have one in your country.

 

An internet service provider (ISP) can’t tell if you’re torrenting with NordVPN, thanks to the VPN’s AES 256-bit encryption which masks your torrenting activities.

Likewise, the VPN changes your IP address, anonymizing you from ISPs tracking your digital footprint across the web.

NordVPN’s P2P servers work with all popular torrent clients including Vuze, Deluge, uTorrent, BitTorrent and qBitTorrent. The VPN provider also offers specialized SOCKS5 proxy setups for these popular torrent clients to ensure faster download speeds and ensure privacy simultaneously.

NordVPN unblocks torrent websites like The Pirate Bay, RARBG and more on restrictive networks, in countries where they’ve been banned, and in other censorship conditions.

Thus, granting users access to download copyright-free files hosted on these torrent websites without getting hit by copyright trolls or nasty DMCA notices.

Conclusion

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

Many other countries have a number of those P2P servers too. However, if your country doesn’t have a P2P server, you can connect to the closest standard or use the SOCKS5 proxy instead.

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