Torrent Proxy Vs Vpn
VPN vs. Proxy vs. PeerBlock for Torrent Privacy
If you’re looking to download torrents anonymously, the tools you use a make a big difference. And the biggest question we get is which offers more protection, a VPN or Proxy? In many ways they’re quite similar (route your traffic through a 3rd-party server, hiding your IP address). But there are several key differences that may lead you to choose one over the other. And some very cautious people to use both together for maximum portant Note: Fortunately, you don’t have to pay extra or choose between one or the other. Several torrent-friendly VPNs include zero-log proxy service at no additional charge. You can even use both simultaneously! VPNs that include Socks5 Proxy access: Our top picks are Private Internet Access and NordVPN (Special 72% discount)Quick Intro to your 3 OptionsBefore we dive in to the details, here’s a brief overview of the 3 torrent privacy tools, and the relative strengths/weaknesses of each:PeerBlock/iBlocklist/Other IP blockersTorrent IP blocklists attempt to do one thing. Prevent connections from certain ‘undesirable’ IP addresses or IP ranges. The theory is that if you can identify ‘suspicious’ IP’s, you can block them and minimize your risk of having your torrent downloads reality, it’s literally impossible to identify and block every IP address that might be malicous. And any professional torrent monitoring service can get new IP’s as easy as you can. Meanwhile, blocklists are made up mostly of good/harmless peers which will cause you slower speeds and reduced rdict: Blocklists might be better than nothing (barely) but it’s not a really a privacy tool. And it does nothing to anonymize your torrent downloads. Proxy / Socks5 Torrent ProxyA proxy connection is one that routes your traffic from a specific app/program (your torrent client) through a 3rd party server. The proxy server connects to all torrent peers on your behalf. The main benefit is peers will only see the IP address of the proxy server. Your ‘real’ IP address will remain best/most-secure proxy type for torrenting is Socks5 (don’t use HTTP proxies). A proxy allows your Torrent IP address to be different than the IP for all other internet traffic (good). Unfortunately, most torrents don’t encrypt their traffic, so your ISP could still monitor your downloads if they wanted rdict: A proxy is like a VPN without encryption. It’s also slightly faster. It will hide your IP address (the most important privacy feature). Your ISP can still see that you’re torrenting (through Deep Packet Inspection), so frequent torrent downloaders may prefer a commended Socks5 Providers: Private Internet Access, NordVPN, IPVanish, Torguard. Read our complete Torrent Proxy / Virtual Private NetworkA Virtual Private Network routes ALL of your internet traffic through a remote server, which interacts with the internet (and torrent peers) on your behalf. All communication between your device and the VPN server is encrypted with incredibly strong encryption. A VPN give you the highest level of protection & privacy for your torrents. It accomplishes two important things:Hide your real IP address from torrent peers (they see the VPN server’s IP). Encrypt all internet activity so your internet provider (ISP) can’t see what you do/download of the top torrent-friendly VPNs also include SOCKS5 proxy service with your subscription. So you can use both simultaneously, changing your IP address twice and keeping a local IP address for web browsing, but downloading torrents from a torrent-friendly location like the rrent IP Blocklists (Peerguard, iBlocklist, etc…)A torrent IP blocklist is simply a giant database of IP addresses that you tell your torrent client (uTorrent, Vuze…) not to connect to. There many different blocklists, and IP’s tend to get included in a blocklist for a variety of reasons:Non-Residential IP addressSchools/UniversitiesKnown torrent monitoring companies‘Suspicious’ activity from an IP addressWhat is a Blocklist? The idea behind torrent blocklists is if you can create a list of all the ‘BAD’ IP addresses, then you can only connect to ‘safe’ connection from a ‘blocked’ peer will be refused, and they won’t be able to connect to you to download/seed torrent all sounds great (because several blocklists are free) but there are MANY security issues that make a blocklists nearly worthless…Why Torrent Blocklists don’t work…There are many reasons we hate (and never recommend) blocklists. Here are the most important ones:Block way too many peers (mostly safe IP’s)Bad peers can still use an unblocked IP addressTorrents can be monitored via DHT or tracker lists, even by blocked IP’s1. Too many blocked IP addressesLet’s be honest, most torrent peers aren’t threats. They don’t want to infect you, monitor you, or hack you. They just want to share torrent files the top torrent blocklists contain MILLIONS of IP addresses. Are all these peers all dangerous? Of course ’s kind of like firing a machine gun blindfolded. You might get the bad guy, but there will be alot of collateral damage. And every ‘good’ peer you block will reduce your number of available peers, your speeds, and your download you combined all the blocklists, you’d block over 30% of all the IPv4 addresses in the world. 2. Bad Peers will just use a new ‘SAFE’ IP addressIt’s incredibly easy to get a new IP address. You can use a commercial VPN service or proxy to switch IP’s in 5 seconds. Any individual/person that makes a living from monitoring torrent downloads will have a never-ending supply of unblocked IP’s to continue their business if you use a blocklist that blocks all commercial VPN/proxy servers, they could just use a residential IP address by running a home VPN/proxy server on a $100 router, or run the monitoring software from a residential address. 3. Blocked peers can still see the IP’s of downloadersIn order to connect to torrent peers, you need to know their IP address. That’ show the whole p2p system works. These IP’s are collected and shared via torrent trackers as well as DHT (trackerless peer lists). And anybody can see these peer lists, whether their IP is blocked or; a blocklist WILL NOT prevent bad peers from seeing your torrent IP address and the files you’re downloading. Torrent trackers have that data already. The only good solution is to use a technology that actually hides your IP address (VPN or proxy). Virtual Private Network/VPN (best for most users)A VPN is the ultimate torrent privacy tool. You’ll see them recommended across all the top tech sites, from Lifehacker, to Reddit, and even torrent sites VPN is simply the best tool for the job (and really easy to use) section will discuss how a VPN works, what it’ll do for you, and how to choose the best one for torrents. Choosing the right VPN is extremely important, as there are many that aren’t torrent-friendly, even some that are outright ivate Internet Access and IPVanish are two of the best and most reputable options. We’ll discuss others as a VPN makes your torrent downloads (WAY) more secureThere are two main ways that torrent downloads are monitored:Gathering IP addresses from a torrent swarm (can be done by any 3rd party)Directly inspecting your internet traffic (your ISP or network admin can do this)A high-quality VPN can protect against both these threat vectors, for as little as $3. 33/month. A VPN protects your torrent privacy by doing two things:Hide your ‘real’ IP address and replace it with the IP of the VPN server in torrent swarms. Encrypt 100% of your internet traffic, so even your internet provider (ISP) can’t monitor your traffic or see what files you’re sounds simple (and it is really easy to use). But it’s also incredibly powerful. Which is why VPN usage is growing exponentially, especially in the file-sharing oosing the ‘BEST’ VPN for torrentsAt a basic level, most VPN services are very similar. They will route your traffic through a 3rd-party server, assign you a new IP address, and encrypt all the data you transfer between your device and the VPN server. But that doesn’t mean you should just use any VPN when are still very important differences between standard VPN services, and ones that are ideal for ’s some of the most important things to consider:Logging PolicyMost VPNs keep logs. This means they keep a record of your connection history, IP address assigned, server location, etc. Some even keep records of websites you visit or other traffic a VPN keeps IP address logs (with timestamps), then there is a clear link between your torrent ip address (assigned by the VPN) and your real IP address. If you’re serious about privacy, you should choose a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at of our favorite zero-log VPNs are:Private Internet Access (Logging policy actually tested in court by the FBI)NordVPNIPVanishSpeedNo matter what you’re doing online, you want to get the speed you’re paying for. If you pay for a 20mbps internet connection, you want to get most of that speed when connected to a VPN service. But servers and bandwidth are expensive, so many of the ‘cheap’ and ‘lifetime’ VPN services are incredibly are a zero-log VPN services that are also quite fast, and we’ve tested PIA, Torguard, and IPVanish at speeds above FeaturesMany VPNs also include other features like a kill-switch/IP leak protection, Socks5 proxies, and p2p-optimized servers that make them even better for torrent users. For more info, read our complete torrent VPN guide below…Read Next: The ultimate list of the best VPNs for Torrents/P2PHow to use a VPN for torrentingThe beauty of a VPN is it’s simplicity. While the actual technology is incredibly complex, the user experience is follow these steps to get up and running the 1st up for a VPNDownload/Install the VPN software/appRun the AppChoose a server location (we recommend Switzerland/Canada/Netherlands)Click Connect (The VPN will switch your IP and encrypt your data automatically). a VPN looks like for users:It’s basically just an App you run on your computer. Choose any server location you want:Connecting to Canada server (IPVanish)In 5-15 seconds, you’ll be connected to your preferred location. Your new IP address will be shown in the top left corner of the software (with IPVanish) and all communications will be encrypted with 256-bit encryption (basically unbreakable). Connected to a Canada server locationThat’s it. You can now torrent as normal. It’s usually a good option to turn on the kill-switch if your VPN software has one. You should also verify that your torrent identity as anonymous by using an IP tracking torrent. Disadvantages of using a VPN for torrentsWhile a VPN is the best tool for the job, there are still some drawbacks/tradeoffs to be aware of:Connecting to a distant server will result in slower speedsEncryption uses bandwidth/computing power (slower speeds again)Your torrent IP and web browser IP will be the sameSlight Speed decrease:A high-quality VPN will have plenty of available server bandwidth and speeds should still be quite fast, but don’t expect to get 100% of your ISP connection. For example, if you pay for 25mbps speeds, you will probably only get 10-20mbps while connected to the VPN, depending on the encryption strength you use and how far away (or crowded) the VPN server ivacy and security have tradeoffs, and you’ll have to sacrifice a bit of IP address for web browser and torrentsThis isn’t a major negative, but it’s something to be aware of. People usually use a VPN server in a torrent-friendly country like Switzerland or the Netherlands. But now your web browser will use that IP location as well, meaning you may get foreign google results (though you can change Google’s settings to always show results from your preferred location) you prefer to have a separate IP address for your browser and torrents, you can add a proxy inside the torrent client, while staying connected to a local VPN server. This will give you a local (same country) IP address for most web activities, and change your torrent IP to wherever the torrent proxy server is located (usually Netherlands). Socks5 ProxyThe 2nd best option for anonymous torrents is a proxy. Instead routing 100% of your internet traffic through a 3rd-party server, the proxy will be configured only inside your torrent all desktop torrent clients support proxy connections (SOCKS5 only). Also, 2 android torrent apps (Flud and tTorrent) also support anonymous proxy Proxy Info:Changes the IP address for 1 app (torrent client)Needs to be Socks5 proxy to work properly w/ torrent peers (never use HTTP proxy)Hides you’re real IP address from torrent peers but doesn’t encrypt dataSome torrent clients route proxied connections insecurelyHow a torrent proxy worksWhen properly configured, your torrent client will route all peer and tracker communications through the SOCKS5 proxy server. Torrent peers and trackers will only see the IP address assigned by the proxy server, not your real oxies typically don’t have built-in encryption, meaning the data will still be readable by your ISP. This usually isn’t an issue (since they don’t actively monitor the content of downloads). However, some ISP’s block/throttle torrent traffic. In this case, you should either use a VPN or turn on your torrent client’s built-in vs. HTTP/HTTPSThe best proxy type for torrents is a SOCKS version 5 (SOCKS5) proxy. This is a multi-function proxy protocol that can handle tracker and peer connections. You should never use an HTTP proxy (the most common type of ‘free’ proxy) reason you should never use HTTP proxies: HTTP proxies only can transport HTTP traffic. They can handle things like tracker connections (which use HTTP). But they can’t handle peer connections. This is because peer connections use TCP, which is a different protocol. If you try to use an HTTP proxy, most torrent clients will just ignore the proxy settings when connecting to peers. This means peers will see your REAL ip address which is a major privacy risk (and defeats the the entire purpose of using a proxy) if your torrent client doesn’t route HTTP proxy connections insecurely, you still won’t actually be able to connect to peers (because the HTTP protocol doesn’t work for torrent downloads). Summary: NEVER use a HTTP proxy for torrenting. Always use SOCKS5. Check out our summary of the best socks5 providers Zero-Log Socks5 Proxy servicesThese are our favorite anonymous Socks5 proxy services for torrenting. All of them are true zero-log services, meaning they don’t log your activity or keep records of your IP address the best part…Most of these proxy subscriptions also include VPN service at no additional charge (Torguard is the only exception). #1 – IPVanish Proxy/VPN (Fastest option)IPVanish is a zero-log VPN/Socks5 provider based in the USA. They keep no logs whatsoever and have a reputation for excellent software and incredibly fast speeds. If you have a 50mbps+ internet connection and want to keep most of your speed while connected to a VPN, then go with Review: Read our complete IPVanish review for speedtests, software overview, and setup subscriptions include both VPN & proxy service (for the same price). IPVanish’s proxy server is based in the Netherlands and doesn’t log IP addresses. It works great with all major torrent clients. We even have a dedicated setup guide for using the IPVanish socks5 proxy for torrents. #2 – NordVPN Socks5/VPNNordVPN is one of the best all-around VPNs in the world. All subscriptions include both VPN & proxy service (more than 20 Socks5 server locations)’re a true zero-log VPN based in Panama (a privacy haven). And you’ll be thrilled to learn that NordVPN is one of the last VPN’s in the world that still works with Netflix. In fact you can unblock more than 50 video streaming services including Hulu, HBOgo, MLBtv and more! SPECIAL OFFER: Save 72% when you buy a 2 year subscription of NordVPNNordVPN For Torrenting:NordVPN has p2p/torrent-optimized servers in more than 10 countries. They also have torrent-friendly SOCKS5 servers in more than 10 countries. You can have up to 6 simultaneously connected devices with NordVPN, allowing you to protect all your devices on 1 Review: Read our NordVPN review for more info about their software, speed, and SmartPlay technology. #3 – Private Internet Access VPN/Socks5 ($40/year)Private Internet Access basically invented the zero-log VPN category, and they’re still one of the most torrent-friendly vpn/proxy companies in the world. They’re also incredibly cheap with 1-year subscriptions costing a mere $3. 33/rdict: Proxy vs. VPN vs. Blocklist/PeerblockIn the end, the tool you use to anonymize your torrents will be a personal decision. If speed is most important (and security less so) then go with a proxy. If you value greater security and/or ease of use, then go with a remember, blocklists like peerguardian/peerblock are nothing more than a bandaid solution. They don’t offer real privacy, and usually just give users a false sense of security. Any serious torrent downloader will tell you that a VPN/Seedbox/proxy is the only real option for serious erblock/PeerGuardian/BlocklistsList of IP addresses to blockLike carpet-bombing, rather than precision targetingDoesn’t encrypt torrent traffic or change your IP addressDangerous blocked peers can easily get unblocked by getting a new IP addressProxy SummaryAlways use a SOCKS5 proxy (HTTP proxies route torrent traffic insecurely)Manually Configured inside your torrent built-in encryption but you can use your torrent client’s built-in encryption (will reduce available peers) around $4-6/ remember, you can always use a proxy and VPN simultaneously for extremely secure torrent downloads. The main tradeoff with this setup is speed, but not price. Many VPN services include Socks5 proxy access at no additional SummaryEasily installed on most devices as software/appMany server locations (some VPNs have 100+)Strong encryption prevents your internet provider from monitoring your internet usageWill slow your connection slightly (because of encryption and server distance)Cost: $3. 33+ per monthNext step: Choose one of our top-rated Torrent VPN companies and start torrenting securely in under 10 minutes.
VPN vs. Proxy for Torrenting – Download Privacy
The two most best (and most powerful) tools for keeping your torrent activity a secret are:
Virtual Private Network (VPN)Torrent Proxy (usually SOCKS5)
But the differences between them aren’t always clear to new users. And frankly, they can do similar things. But they aren’t the same.
Each has it’s own advantages…
But one is vastly superior for most torrent-privacy uses
And this guide will explain why, as well as help you choose the best tool (and service) for the job
EncryptionStrong EncryptionNo encryption or weaker encryption
Impacted AppsEncrypts/Routes traffic for your entire deviceRoutes traffic for 1 program or app
Changes your IP addressYes (entire device)Yes (for the program using the proxy)
Setup/Ease of UseStandalone VPN App with extra features. Can be set up manually too. Manual setup only
SpeedSlightly slower than proxy (encryption overhead)Slightly faster
Torrent Client Compatibility100%Some torrent clients ignore proxy settings (route traffic insecurely)
Proxy: an overview
A proxy is like VPN-lite. It’s a simple tool that may get the job done, depending on your needs.
But proxies come with several tradeoffs, especially regarding security and ease of use.
It’s also extremely important to make sure you use the right type of proxy (as p2p clients only support SOCKS5 proxies for peers connections).
Advantages & Disadvantages of using a proxy
Will disguise the public IP address shown to torrent peersNo encryption overhead (faster speeds)Possible to find free servers (though not recommended)
Doesn’t encrypt your trafficSome torrent software (like Tixati) may ignore proxy settings Harder to set up and harder to monitor than a VPNSome proxies make it hard to use Magnet LinksNeed 2 separate proxies to disguise web & torrent traffic
How to use a proxy for torrenting
Unlike a VPN, a proxy server needs to be manually configured in the settings of your preferred torrent client. Most major BitTorrent clients do support proxying of peer connections.
Clients that fully support proxy usage:
Clients that don’t:
FrostwireTransmissionTixati (flawed implementation)Web-based clients
Setting up the proxy in your torrent client
Once you have a subscription to a reputable SOCKS proxy service, you’ll be given the login information which includes:
The server addressThe port #Your username and password
Then all you need to do is open the settings/options menu of your compatible torrent client and plug in the information. Most torrent-friendly proxy services to offer setup guides in their help documentation….
But we have more detailed setup guides for the 4 most popular clients:
Check out these examples of a SOCKS5 proxy configured in popular torrent clients: BitTorrent (uTorrent) & QBittorrent.
We used NordVPN and Private Internet Access’s proxy servers for the screenshots.
NordVPN SOCKS5 Proxy (Switzerland p2p Server) in BitTorrent/uTorrent clientPrivate Internet Access’s Netherlands SOCKS5 proxy configured in QBittorrent
The Best Torrent Proxy Services
Don’t compromise your security by using a logging proxy service, or some free HTTP proxy that doesn’t even hide your IP address.
These are our FAVORITE, Torrent-Friendly proxy services:
And all of them are included with a VPN subscription. It’s basically like a free bonus.
ProviderIncludes VPNTypeServer LocationBest Offer
NordVPNYesSOCKS/HTTPS20+ CountriesTry It
Private Internet Access YesSOCKSNetherlandsTry It
Every single one of the SOCKS5 proxy providers listed above is:
Torrent FriendlyZero-LogP2P-allowed server locationProxy Included with any VPN subscription
But NordVPN is the cheapest (from $2. 99/month) and has the most server locations, so they took our #1 ranking.
Using a VPN for Torrents
It’s way easier to secure your torrents using a VPN.
There’s no manual setup required (if you’re on Windows/Mac/iOS/Android).
And it secures your entire internet connection, so your ISP won’t see that you’re browsing torrent sites either!
Advantages & Disadvantages of a VPN
Easy Setup (just install the App)
Encrypts all internet activity
Strong (unbreakable) encryption
Extra features besides VPN tunnel
Works 100% with magnet links
A bit slower (because of encryption)
Here’s a more detailed explanation of these pros and cons:
Easy Setup (Pro)
A VPN is way easier to set up than a proxy. There’s no manual configuration required and you don’t have to touch the options or settings in your torrent client.
Install the VPN App
Choose a server location
That’s it. Your entire internet connection (including torrents) is encrypted, and your public IP address will be switched to that of the VPN server.
Encrypts/Anonymizes Everything (Pro)
When you’re connected to the VPN, all your traffic flows through the VPN server and is encrypted in-transit.
Literally anything that uses the internet on your device
A proxy (unlike a VPN) only switches the IP address for a single application, and may not encrypt any traffic whatsoever.
A VPN uses extremely strong encryption, usually 128-bit or 256-bit AES.
This is many orders of magnitude harder to break than the weak in-client encryption offered by uTorrent and Vuze.
Extra Features (Pro)
In addition to the core features of a VPN (switching your IP and encrypting traffic), many VPN apps have bonus features.
These may include:
DNS Leak Protection
Magnet Links (Pro)
Some users have reported trouble starting torrents via Magnet Links when using a SOCKS5 proxy. The workaround is to download the physical. torrent file instead, but some torrent sites no longer offer them.
Fortunately, VPNs have no trouble with magnet links and they work flawlessly.
Slower Speeds (Con)
The incredibly strong encryption used by a VPN has a downside…
It takes up a bit more bandwidth (called encryption overhead) than if you weren’t using encryption.
This can result in a slight reduction in speeds compared to an unencrypted proxy.
Recommended VPN Providers
Any VPN provider with a high TorrentScore on our list VPNs that allow torrenting would be a good choice.
But there are our favorites VPNs (and they ALL offer torrent proxy service if you want it).
NordVPN (Best Value)IPVanish (Fastest)Private Internet Access (All-around performer)
Using a VPN & Proxy Together
You can actually combine these two technologies and harness the advantages of each.
Many of our readers run a VPN while torrenting but also have a SOCKS5 proxy configured inside their torrent software.
This yields a few advantages:
Two IP address hops (Device > VPN > Proxy)Browser IP address is different than your Torrent IPProxy acts as a kill-switch
This video describes how to set everything up in Vuze, but it should work for any torrent software:
Downsides of using Both:
You have all the combined weaknesses tooSpeeds will be slower then either separatelyMagnet links may cause issues
Tip: If your proxy and VPN are from the same provider, you don’t gain any real privacy advantage. If that’s your #1 goal, consider combing two separate services.
Better for Torrents: Proxy or VPN?
In my (experienced) opinion:
Most people would be better off with a VPN (not a proxy).
The advantages of a VPN are obvious, and the downsides are quite minimal (a slight speed hit).
Why I prefer a VPN:
Easier setup1-click connectionsNo issues with Magnet linksEasier to troubleshoot problemsMore server locations to choose fromStronger encryption (prevents throttling, monitoring by your ISP)
And there’s no price penalty for choosing a VPN. In fact, all the VPN providers we recommended in this article also include a SOCKS5 proxy for the same price.
But don’t forget, you don’t have to pick just ONE…
You can use a proxy in addition to the VPN. That way you get the encryption and 2 IP-address switches. Just make sure to connect to the VPN before you open your torrent client, otherwise you might cause a proxy error.
Questions? Tips/Suggestions? Leave a comment below!
David started torrenting before it was cool. He enjoys hiking, strategy games and eats watermelon year round. He still rocks his Napster t-shirt once a month.
Proxy vs VPN for torrenting ONLY: VPNTorrents – Reddit
It tried to research this as much as possible from this forum and other sources, but basically this is my situation:I would only want protection from people (ISP, movie publishers, RIAA, etc) seeing the things i download via torrents. I don’t have much of a use for needing a different location or even hiding my browser data in the question: is having a proxy all I need or am I more at risk than if i had VPN? I feel like (based on what I’ve read) a VPN would be unnecessary and slower than a proxy and wouldn’t offer me more protection based on the activity i want for any help!
Frequently Asked Questions about torrent proxy vs vpn
Is proxy good enough for Torrenting?
A properly configured proxy allows you to route 100% of your torrent traffic through a remote server, which will hide your real IP address from torrent peers, making your downloads much more anonymous.Jun 30, 2020
What is better proxy or VPN?
Is VPN better than a proxy? Yes, a VPN is better as it provides privacy and security by routing your traffic through secure servers and encrypts your traffic. A proxy simply passes your traffic through a mediating server but doesn’t necessarily offer any extra protection.
Is proxy similar to VPN?
A VPN is similar to a proxy, but instead of working with single apps or websites, it works with every site you visit or app you access. Like a proxy, when you visit a website after first logging into a VPN, your IP address is hidden and replaced with the IP address of your VPN provider.