The main topic in the torrent proxy debate vs VPN is the same old concern that deters torrenters using protection: speed, safety and security.
If I use a VPN or proxy, will I be able to torrent at the same speed as before? What effect will a proxy server have on peer discovery and trackers What is the reliability of proxy servers? How reliable are proxy servers?
Safety and speed are always important. If they fear that torrenting will slow down their downloads, an Internet user is more likely not to use any protection. Speed can be controlled to a certain extent but safety is something you shouldn’t compromise on.
Let’s compare torrent proxy and VPN, the most popular forms of torrenting protection. Both have strong features but a comparison will help you decide which is better and encourage you to torrent responsibly.
Quick Verdict: VPN is better than a torrent proxy
Before we get into the details, here’s a summary.
VPN is the clear winner in the torrent proxy vs VPN debate because:
- VPN hides all of your web traffic, and not only torrent connections
- VPN offers encryption, which is more than the cloaking. Proxy servers don’t offer this feature.
Proxy servers win in speed because:
- VPN can slow down speed and increase download times
This is important to consider for frequent torrenters, those who regularly download and pirate copyrighted file. Copyright strikes can also happen from anywhere. A VPN provides blanket protection rather than torrent-only protection. This should be the best setup for serious torrenters.
Recommendation to Torrent
NordVPN is a great choice for torrenting. It allows you to connect with special P2P servers, and uses its NordLynx protocol. This is the best torrenting method, since it almost maintains your Internet speed and tracks your tracks across tracker or peer lists.
This does not mean torrent proxy are obsolete. They still serve their primary function well and are better than no protection at all. It all depends on how often you torrent and what kind of files you download.
What is a torrent proxy?
A torrent proxy is a stand in connection that routes your traffic through another server and thereby hides your IP address. It is an extra step or detour that your connection takes in order to protect your identity and IP address from the website you are connecting to. The key word here is ‘Cloaking, which means covering.
A proxy acts as a shield to protect your web identity, i.e. your IP address, when you torrent. The proxy hides your IP address, protecting you from the hassles we mentioned above.
A torrent proxy is a fancy term for a proxy connection you can use with BitTorrent.
What Does a Torrent Proxy Do?
It is very simple.
First: Set up torrent proxy bypass on your client/system.
- You purchase a proxy server (e.g. You can purchase a proxy server (e.g. This will give you torrent proxy port forwarding credentials
- Install a torrent proxy using BitTorrent or another torrent client.
Step 2: The next step depends on the torrent client. Your torrent client will route all communication, including tracker pings and peer list generation. This will ensure that all traffic between your torrent client and the tracker/s is routed via the proxy server. This effectively hides your IP address from trackers and prevents it from being included in the peer list. Instead, your proxy IP will be visible. (Check out the Testing section to learn more.)
The merits of using a Torrent Proxy
A torrent proxy server is a tool that helps you torrent without being tracked. That’s all. When you browse websites such as The Pirate Bay and 1337x, your IP will still be visible. This is the main disadvantage of this option.
Your internet service provider (ISP), can keep track of torrenting activity, which could be harmful to your protection. ISPs have the ability to work with surveillance agencies. This may not be a good option if you are torrenting Hollywood movies (award-season screeners), paid software and DRM-cracked games.
The other problem is that you cannot be certain that torrent clients will respect your proxy settings. These gaps on the client-side are often reported numerous times online. It is not recommended to torrent over Tor.
What’s the Difference Between a VPN and a Torrent Proxy,
The benefits of torrent proxy bypass combined with the cons are what make a VPN a safer and better option for torrenting. A VPN provides both encryption and anonymity which can reduce your risk of being caught torrenting.
When you browse for torrent files, a VPN will hide your IP address. Your ISP will be able to see that you visited a specific website 1337x when you search for torrent files. Your browser traffic will be routed through a VPN server. This means that your ISP must dig deeper to discover more. Your ISP won’t bother looking for the cause unless there is.
Caution — Using torrent proxy together with VPN is not recommended, as the former could bypass VPN protection.
Integration of VPN Clients
Most VPNs we tested can easily be used for torrenting. Because VPNs are independent and route all of your traffic through its server, integration is not necessary. There is very little chance of IP leakage since your torrent client connects through your Internet connection. It doesn’t require any extra setup. You can simply install the VPN and turn it on.
Our research shows that all major VPNs, such as Surfshark and NordVPN, can be used on torrent applications like:
- uTorrent (or simply uTorrent)
These torrent clients support proxy servers as well.
VPN and Proxy for Differentiating Torrents
Below is a table that lists the main differences between these two options.
|Torrent Proxy Vs VPN – Comparison|
|Torrent Proxy||Virtual Private Network|
|Execution depends on the torrent client||Independently works|
|Cloaks only torrent traffic||All web traffic is hidden|
|No encryption||Present encryption|
|Speed reductions are minimal||Speed noticeably reduced|
A table listing the commonalities, in case you need to perform a separate analysis.
|Torrent Proxy & VPN – Similarities|
|Torrent Proxy||Virtual Private Network|
|Once-off setup||Once-off setup|
|Only available as a paid option||Only available as a paid option (free VPNs are generally ineffective).|
|It is easy to set up, and it is simple to manage.||It is easy to set up, and it is simple to manage.|
Torrent Proxy vs VPN – Verdict
There is a clear winner in the competition. Virtual private networks are safer than torrenting, except for speed throttling issues. This can be mitigated by using a high-quality provider.
VPNs provide strong anonymity and encrypt torrenting data. In the grand scheme of things, anonymity should not come at the expense of speed reduction. CyberWaters recommends that you get a VPN to torrent.
Recommendation to Torrenting – NordVPN
We recommend NordVPN for a variety reasons. The following four key features make NordVPN a better choice than any other VPN client or infrastructure.
- For better torrenting performance, NordLynx protocol
- Servers that are P2P-focused
- Next-generation encryption
- No-log policy
Test VPN in Actual Torrenting
In our reviews, we have used both VPNs for torrenting and proxy servers. We’ll use NordVPN as an example to show how VPN acts as a middleman in torrenting.
First Test Case – NordVPN’s NordLynx Protocol
The NordLynx protocol caused a negligible speed increase. The protocol caused faster tracker latching, and peer exchange. These are indicators of a healthy connection. If you choose NordVPN, this is the best setup.
Case #2 – Using NordVPN Specialty Servers for P2P (via OpenVPN protocol).
While downloading a file of 500MB through a P2P network using utorrent, we noticed a significant decrease in speed. The download took over 6 minutes, and the speed remained constant at that level for six more.
Note The speed of torrenting is dependent on the number and strength of trackers, seed-leech rate, and seeders. These are important to remember when you test a VPN on your own end.
A Brief Note on IP Blockers
An IP blocker, which is less well-known and more ineffective than other methods to block prying eyes when torrenting, is one of the best ways to do this. This is also known as IP blacklisting. It simply blocks IP addresses from entities you believe are not reliable participants in your P2P network. It involves blocking IP addresses that could be monitoring your activities and detecting them.
However, an IP blocker isn’t a reliable way to torrent safely. It is not something we recommend.
Is torrenting without a proxy or VPN safe?
Let’s not forget to mention the reason this debate is necessary in the first instance.
Torrenting is the act of downloading files from another person over a peer to peer network. This is mostly associated with illegal file sharing and piracy. Most torrenting involves the sharing of pirated content, such as music, movies and games. These files are often copyrighted so it is illegal to upload or download them. You could be in serious legal trouble if you share such copyrighted files, even if you don’t access them via torrent. This is why torrenting is illegal and dangerous.
A torrent proxy, or VPN, is one way to avoid being captured. This makes torrenting safer because it hides your IP address and redirects traffic.
Torrenting without Proxy or VPN can invite litigation
Torrenting can be dangerous as it exposes your Internet addresses to the public. When you join a P2P communications, your IP address is automatically listed as a peer (a seder or a licensor), which gives your identity away. Your IP address may be recorded and filed in court if the owner of the content is determined to file a copyright infringement case against those who were involved in the communication. This could lead to charges depending on where you live and how serious the problem is.
Many users are unaware that they could be subject to cyber law enforcement and surveillance agencies launching lawsuits against them. Users who torrent without using a VPN or proxy are often subject to court subpoenas.
All that is required to make law enforcement suspect you is passive monitoring of your Internet history through your ISP. This may seem like a long shot, but it begs the question: Why take the chance when you can easily protect yourself online?
This can quickly escalate from bad to worse if a strike is called or a court subpoena is issued. It can also affect your mental, financial, and social well-being if you are persistently pushed by the prosecution. It all depends on what file was downloaded, where you are located, and how severe the copyright violation is. However, it is worth spending a few dollars each year to maintain anonymity. It is definitely worth it.
The Advantages of Torrenting with Protection
If you’re still not convinced, here are five reasons to get torrenting protection.
- Protected P2P means you can download any file.
- You can browse torrent sites, even geoblocked and lesser-known ones, without any restrictions
- It provides peace of mind
- It doesn’t publish your IP address in public domain
- It is possible to avoid attacking your peers with ulterior motives such as fraud
A good night’s rest is well worth the few dollars you pay each month or year. It also protects your online identity. You can protect your torrent activities by choosing one of these options.
How do I check if VPN/Proxy works when torrenting?
After you’ve chosen the type of protection that suits your needs and set it up, it is time to test its performance. These five steps are best done on a desktop browser.
- Visit ipleak.net
- Scroll down to section ‘Torrent Address Determination’. Click on “Activate”
- You will see a magnet link. To open it in your default torrent client, click on it
- Your torrent client should process the Magnet link. It doesn’t have any data, so it will continue processing.
- In a matter of seconds, you’ll see a new IP address in the “Torrent Address detection” section.
If the IP address is different than your original IP, then you have successfully cloaked torrent connections. If it is not, you’ll need to set it back up.
Note You can also use this method to verify that a torrent proxy works.
Frequently Asked Questions: Torrent Proxy vs. VPN
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding protection against torrenting.
How can I hide my IP when torrenting?
Yes. Yes. A proxy or VPN is not necessary if you don’t download pirated content.
Can I torrent using a proxy or VPN to get my Internet speed?
No. Traffic will be routed to another server, so there will be some throttle. In the best cases, you can expect a reduction of 5% to 20%.
How does a proxy server impact peer discovery and tracker visibility
Yes. Yes. Some trackers might blacklist spammy servers, which could lead to a ban. This isn’t a problem as other trackers can be used to download via P2P.
How many seeders can I get from a VPN?
Yes. The popularity of the torrent file, and its connection with a sandbox, will determine the number of seeders.
Is it more trouble to use a VPN?
No. VPN is primarily a privacy tool. You can’t be questioned for using VPN.
Is torrenting legal?
No. No. However, copyrighted content (or pirated) can be downloaded over a P2P network and could lead to legal troubles such as prison time or heavy penalties.
Is torrent proxy more reliable than VPN?
No. No. Torrent proxy doesn’t allow encryption. It only cloaks torrent files.
Is it possible to track me if I use a VPN?
Your internet service provider will see that you have a VPN. This information can be used for further tracking. Even if you are using a VPN, your IP address can still be tracked if there is probable cause (e.g. : large-scale copyright infringement).