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How to Use Private Internet Access (PIA) With BitTorrent?

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The best, fastest, and easiest way to use PIA with BitTorrent is to set up the VPN’s PC app to securely download torrents via the client. Alternatively, you can set up PIA’s SOCKS5 proxy, which provides torrenting privacy without VPN encryption for faster speeds.

Unlike most other VPNs, PIA also lets you forward ports on almost all its servers

This is handy for torrent download speed boosts and seamless torrent seeding.

Let’s not forget the IP binding method, all of which I describe in detailed guides below.

How to Set Up PIA App With BitTorrent on PC?

The BitTorrent app setup method is the simplest and can get you torrenting securely in a few minutes. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Get a PIA subscription. Here are PIA discounts to save on your subscription.
  1. Download the PIA PC app for your Mac, Windows, or Linux. I’ll use the Windows app for this guide.
  2. Launch the app and log in with your account credentials. You may have to check your email for your unique PIA username (starts with a “p”).
  3. Choose a suitable torrenting protocol. I recommend WireGuard for faster torrenting speeds. Go through Settings > Protocols > WireGuard.
private internet access wireguard protocol
  1. Enable the kill switch to keep your data safe if the server connection drops. Go through Settings > Privacy and toggle “VPN Kill Switch” if it’s not already on. I recommend leaving the Advanced Kill Switch off.
private internet access privacy settings
  1. Return to the VPN home page and click the big power button to connect to the fastest/nearest server.
  1. Or click the arrow in front of the chosen server location to open the PIA server list and search for a preferred server. Click to connect.
  2. Wait for the connection confirmation.
  3. Launch your BitTorrent client, or download it at this stage if you don’t have it already.
  4. Go to your favorite torrent websites and add magnet links to download via BitTorrent.
using bittorrent with private internet access

How to Bind PIA to BitTorrent?

Many torrent users swear by binding their IP address to the torrent client. 

This prevents BitTorrent from downloading content when the connected VPN server isn’t active.

Here’s how to make that happen with BitTorrent:

  1. Got your PIA account handy? Grab these HUGE offers to save on your first plan.
  2. Follow steps 2-8 from above.
  3. Copy the PIA server IP address from below the connected server. Please ensure not to copy your original IP address.
  1. Open the BitTorrent client and click Options > Preferences.
bittorrent preferences
  1. Click “Advanced,” then search for “net.bind” in the Filter box.
bittorrent net bind ip
  1. Click “net.bind_ip” and enter the copied IP address (step 3) in the “Value” field. Click “Set.”
  2. Again, search for “net.out” in the Filter box and click “net.outgoing_ip.”
bittorrent net outgoing ip
  1. Paste the PIA server IP address in the Value field, and click “Set.”
  2. Click “Apply,” then “OK.”
  3. Go to your preferred torrent website. PIA can unblock RARBG, KickAss Torrent, YIFY, The Pirate Bay, and many more.
  4. Add your preferred torrent magnets to BitTorrent.
  5. Enjoy the VPN’s protection during downloads.

How to Setup PIA’s SOCKS5 Proxy for BitTorrent?

One thing PIA’s app and IP binding method have in common is that they leverage the VPN’s encryption. This impacts your download speeds, even slightly, compared to SOCKS5 proxies that don’t use such encryption technology.

So, here’s how to torrent on BitTorrent with PIA’s SOCKS5 proxy’s extra speed boost:

  1. You should have a PIA account before we start. Buy one cheaper with these PIA discounts.
  2. Log in to your PIA online account via your web browser. You’ll use the same username and password as on the app.
  3. Click “Downloads.”
private internet access subscription overview
  1. Scroll down to the SOCKS5 section and copy the username and password. Note that this is different from your PIA account username and password.
  2. Launch the BitTorrent app. Click Options > Preferences (or hold Ctrl + P on Windows) to open the settings tab.
bittorrent preferences
  1. Click “Connections,” then choose “Socks5” under Proxy Server Type.
bittorrent connection settings
  1. Enter “proxy-nl.privateinternetaccess.com” in the “Proxy” field and use “1080” for your port settings.
bittorrent proxy server settings
  1. Check all the boxes in the “Proxy Server” section.
  2. Enter the username and password you copied in Step 4 above in the “Username” and “Password” fields.
enter private internet access username and password
  1. Click “Apply,” then “OK.”
  2. Return to the BitTorrent home page to add new torrents or resume downloading your ongoing torrent files.

How to Set Up PIA’s Port Forwarding for BitTorrent?

Some users want the added speed advantage from a forwarded port, while others are in it for the seeding promises.

No matter where you fall, PIA makes setting up port forwarding for your BitTorrent client easy. Here’s how:

  1. Get a PIA subscription. You can get port forwarding on the same PIA plan you purchased for your PC.
  2. Download the PIA PC app, install it, and log in with your account credentials.
  3. Go to Settings > Network and check “Request Port Forwarding.”
request port forwarding on private internet access
  1. Close the settings dashboard, return to the VPN page, and connect to a server.
  2. Copy the port number at the base of the VPN IP address. It’s usually a randomly-assigned 5-digit number.
  1. Launch the BitTorrent app and hold Ctrl + P. Alternatively, go through Options > Preferences to open the settings dashboard.
  2. Click “Connections.”
bittorrent listening port
  1. Enter the copied port number from PIA in the “Port used for incoming connections” field.
  2. Click “Apply,” then “OK.”
  3. Return to the BitTorrent page to add new magnet links or resume downloads.

What’s the Best PIA Server & Protocol for BitTorrent?

The best PIA server for BitTorrent downloads is the closest P2P server to your location. PIA doesn’t have P2P-optimized servers like NordVPN and Surfshark, so you can use any P2P-enabled servers to get the torrent download security you need.

I also recommend connecting to PIA’s servers outside your region if the nearby servers aren’t unblocking access to some torrent websites. This happens if IP ranges in your locale have been censored from reaching RARBG, The Pirate Bay, or other top torrent services.

Finally, never connect to regions like the USA if you want to use PIA’s port forwarding. While the VPN service provider has port forwarding on over 90% of its servers, a few regions aren’t supported.

Once port forwarding is requested, you can quickly find those unsupported regions since they’ll be greyed out.

That said, you can use PIA’s OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols with BitTorrent. However, the PIA WireGuard protocol is the best for BitTorrent since it guarantees faster download speeds under VPN encryption without losing security and privacy.

If you would use OpenVPN, though, switch to the uncrackable AES 256-bit encryption. 

It’ll be almost impossible for anyone to hack your live traffic to see what you’re downloading or from what torrent websites.

How to Test That PIA Works Correctly With BitTorrent?

There are a handful of ways to test that PIA works with BitTorrent. 

I’ll show you two of the easiest and most efficient methods below.

Test #1 – IP & DNS Leak Test

This test is essential because BitTorrent shows the IP address of all users downloading a specific file at a time. Thus, a copyright troll can get your IP address, sue your internet service provider to give up your details, then come after you legally.

bittorrent showing ip address
BitTorrent showing the IP addresses and torrent clients of other peers on the same file

Thus, you must ensure that PIA does a solid job of hiding your IP address.

Here’s how to test that:

  1. Set up PIA as described above.
  2. Connect to any PIA server. I’ll use its Georgia server for this example.
  3. Run an IP leak test. I’ll use www.ipleak.net, but you can use any other IP checker tool you trust.
private internet access ipleak test on georgia server
  1. A successful test should return the VPN IP address, not your original IP address.

Anyone can see your PIA IP address, but it can’t be traced back to you. 

After all, there are millions of PIA users worldwide, many using the same server as you. Likewise, PIA’s no-logs policy means it doesn’t keep records of whatever you do on its servers.

Test #2 – Torrent Leak Test

It’s one thing that your IP and DNS details are safe on PIA, but is your torrent activity also safe?

For this test, I’ll start a torrent download over PIA and run my Wireshark application simultaneously to see if I can catch the torrent traffic. Here’s how I’ll do that:

  1. Set up PIA as described above.
  2. Connect to a PIA server. I’ll switch to the UK – London server for this test.
  3. Launch your BitTorrent client and add a magnet file to start downloading.
  4. Download and run the Wireshark Windows application.
run wireshark
  1. Stop the Wireshark data capture after a while. You can wait as long as you want or as short as possible.
  2. Right-click on any Wireshark entry, then select Follow > UDP Stream. Note that the stream you’ll be able to follow (TCP, HTTPS, etc.) depends on the result you click on.
wireshark udp stream
  1. Gibberish output like this means your torrent activities didn’t leak.
private internet access encryption test
  1. Otherwise (without PIA), anyone scanning your data will see relevant data like the one below.
wireshark test without private internet access
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Grab Torrents With Peace of Mind

Gone are the days when you couldn’t access torrent websites, download BitTorrent safely, or worry about copyright trolls when browsing torrent websites. 

Now, all you must do is set up PIA with any of the recommended methods above, and you’ll be surfing the high internet seas.

The best part is that you don’t have to go into this blindly. 

Get these PIA offers with a 30-day money-back guarantee to test the VPN’s BitTorrent promise.

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