How to Use Surfshark With BitTorrent?

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Simply connect to one of Surfshark’s P2P-friendly servers and benefit from unlimited bandwidth and private, fast downloads using BitTorrent.

Surfshark may not offer (or endorse) specialty features like port forwarding and SOCKS5. But! It offers security and anonymity through military-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, and an audited no-logs policy.

This is packaged into user-friendly Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android apps that sync beautifully with BitTorrent.

Continue reading to see how you can torrent with Surfshark…

Get Going With Surfshark and BitTorrent - EASY STEPS!

In a hurry to safely download the latest updates for your game? Perhaps you have a copyright-free movie or song in mind?

Surfshark is good for torrenting with BitTorrent, so let’s get to it!

Follow these steps to use Surfshark with BitTorrent:

  1. Purchase a subscription from Surfshark.
  1. Install the torrenting VPN on your device.
  2. Launch the app and log in with your credentials.
  3. Enable the kill switch (find detailed instructions below).
surfshark kill switch enabled
  1. Connect to one of Surfshark’s VPN servers.
  1. Open your web browser and go to the official BitTorrent website. Choose a plan to subscribe to. I subscribed to the Basic free web plan (the desktop app works the same).
  2. Download and install the torrenting client.
download bittorrent web for windows
  1. Navigate to your preferred torrenting site. I used The Pirate Bay for this demonstration.
  2. Click on the download link of the file you want to torrent. I’ve chosen a public domain song, House of the Rising Sun.
  3. A window requesting access to the BitTorrent application will appear. Click “Open BitTorrent Web.”
open bittorent web pop up box on google chrome
  1. BitTorrent will automatically launch in your web browser.
  2. Ensure the “Start downloading when torrent is added” box is checked.
  1. Click “Add.”
  2. Select “Torrents.”
bittorrent web torrents
  1. Your file information will appear, and the file will download automatically.
torrent file information

How to Enable Surfshark's Kill Switch to Safely Torrent Using BitTorrent?

A kill switch is essential for a torrenting VPN and ensures no room for IP leaks.

As an extra safety precaution, enable the kill switch before you connect to VPN servers.

Here’s how to enable this feature on your app:

  1. Launch your Surfshark app and log in with your credentials and security code.
  2. On the Home screen, click on the Settings cog.
surfshark settings icon
  1. Select “VPN Settings” from the Menu.
surfshark vpn settings
  1. Scroll down the new menu until you see the kill switch feature.
  2. Enable the toggle so the following pop-up appears:
turning kill switch on notification box
  1. Click “Continue.”
  2. A successfully enabled kill switch toggle will be highlighted in green.
surfshark kill switch enabled

Now, you’re protected if your VPN connection drops!

How to Bind a Surfshark VPN Server to BitTorrent?

IP binding prevents communication with peers unless you’re connected to a stipulated Surfshark IP address.

It works similarly to a kill switch and ensures you never torrent files outside a VPN server, thus adding another layer of protection.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Open your Surfshark app and connect to a server. Take note of the server’s IP address.
surfshark server ip address
  1. Download and launch the BitTorrent Windows desktop app.
  2. Click Options > Preferences and select “Advanced.”
  3. Type “Bind” in the Filter field.
bittorent windows app advanced options
  1. Click on “net.bind_ip” and enter your Surfshark IP address in the Value field.
bittorrent net.bind_ip value setting
  1. Click “Set” and then “OK.”
  2. Repeat the same process for “net.outgoing_ip” and click “Set.”
bittorrent net.outgoing_ip value setting
  1. Click “OK” and restart BitTorrent.

How to Check for Torrent Leaks With Surfshark and BitTorrent?

DNS leaks are the pits. They expose you to DDoS attacks and leave your IP details for the taking.

The good news is that Surfshark offers DNS leak protection for the torrenting community.

But this isn’t always a solid promise, and sometimes even the best connections can have vulnerabilities.

That’s why a torrent leak test is a must before you start torrenting.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Launch your Surfshark app and connect to a server.
  2. Open your web browser and go to doILeak.com.
  3. Check the circle titled “Torrent IP Leak Test.”
surfshark torrent ip leak test
  1. Click “Begin test.”
turn vpn on to continue torrent ip leak test
  1. Click “Yes, my VPN is on.”
  2. Download all four magnet links that appear in the next window.
downloading torrent magnet links
  1. Click “Show results.”
show surfshark torrents ip leak test results

Start torrenting if no leaks are detected! If your results indicate an issue, follow doILeak’s prompts to rectify them. 

Which Surfshark Server Is Best for BitTorrent?

Surfshark has 3200+ servers in 100 countries, and ALL offer P2P support.

This is great, but it can be an overwhelming selection. I’m almost 100% certain that some are better than others. A quick chat with Phoebe, my Surfshark support agent, confirmed my feeling.

According to Pheobe, there’s a list of servers that boast better P2P speeds.

She was kind enough to share it with me:

surfshark support chat about recommended p2p servers

I’m glad to see the US and UK on this list – even Hong Kong makes an appearance!

Is Surfshark a Fast VPN for BitTorrent?

Surfshark is fast VPN for BitTorrent. But it could do better!

How do I know?

I ran my own BitTorrent and Surfshark torrenting speed tests.

First, I ran a download without connecting to a VPN server. This provided me with juicy comparison data.

I continued using House of the Rising Sun as my test subject.

bittorrent torrent downloading data

As you can see above, the 9.82 MB file was downloaded in 43 seconds with an average download speed of 245.3 KB/s.

Next, I connected to Surfshark’s Wireguard protocol and hopped on the Luxembourg server found on the Surfshark agent’s list of recommendations).

Here’s what happened:

surfshark torrent file download information

The download was slow to start but progressed faster after 40 seconds.

Not fast enough to beat my base download results, though!

I recorded a download time of 1 minute and 37 seconds and an average download speed of 107 KB/s. This yielded a 78% drop from my base average download speed (oops).

I was curious to see if the OpenVPN protocol performed any better.

torrenting with surfshark openvpn tcp protocol

Surprisingly, it did!

I say “surprisingly” because WireGuard usually renders faster download speeds.

While the file still took longer to download compared to my base connection results, the speed drop was less significant at 42%.

Surfshark and BitTorrent Download Speed Comparison Table

I’ve created a quick download speeds comparison table, so you can get the gist of what I discovered.

Surfshark Server / Protocol Download Time Average Download Speed
None (base connection) 43s 245.3 KB/s
Luxembourg (WireGuard) 1m and 37s 107 KB/s
Luxembourg (OpenVPN) 1m and 5s 159 KB/s

As you can see, Surfshark does slow down traffic. But to be fair, all VPNs do!

However, I’ve seen other VPNs perform better in this department.

Port Forwarding VPN Alternatives for BitTorrent

Surfshark is a good VPN for torrent downloads, but it has one shortfall.

It doesn’t support port forwarding.

This means it can’t be used for seeding and faster download speeds.

What I can do is recommend a few port forwarding VPN alternatives, just in case this feature is a must on your bucket list.

Here are my suggestions:

  • PrivateVPN’s port forwarding tool is worked into the VPN service’s price plan, which means there are no hidden costs to get your hands on this nifty feature. As a plus, you can choose between static or dynamic port forwarding!
  • PureVPN is on this list because of its easy-to-use in-app port forwarding feature. My only gripe is that you must fork out an extra $0.99 pm to use it.
  • ExpressVPN offers exceptional VPN features, including top-notch security and its fast, exclusive Lightway protocol. Keep in mind that it only supports port forwarding on its router app!

All of the above are good for BitTorrent and equal the Surfshark VPN in security.

FAQ

Surfshark doesn’t have port forwarding because of security concerns.

According to the VPN service provider, opening a port creates vulnerabilities in cybersecurity and counteracts the effort a quality VPN puts into keeping torrents and online traffic safe and anonymous.

Surfshark says, “the security of our user data is the most important goal.”

It’s not illegal to use BitTorrent with Surfshark.

Both apps are safe to use, and you won’t be penalized for using them as long as you stick to each provider’s Terms and Conditions, including those of your internet service provider.

For example, there may be repercussions if you’re caught downloading copyrighted material without consent.

That’s a Wrap!

Surfshark’s an affordable and good VPN that caters to the needs of most torrent users. It also offers the advantage of unlimited simultaneous connections so that you can hook your mates up with the provider’s VPN services! Safe torrenting all-round!

I had absolutely no problems using it with BitTorrent. So, if you’re ready, try it now – you can always use the VPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not as impressed as I am.

Oh, and Surfshark also works with uTorrent, so you have options!

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