This rise of P2P torrenting directly translates to an increase in VPN usage all around the world. VPNs are arguably the best way of ensuring your torrenting activity remains anonymous and your system secure.
Although we neither accept nor support copyright-trampling activities, we are concerned with the safety of netizens. What most people don’t notice is that when torrenting other internet users that you share the files with can see your IP address. This is why it a good idea to use a VPN when torrenting.
We’ve tested several options and compiled a list of those that will serve you well. Below we discuss each of them in-depth but in case you are short on time here are our picks:
- ExpressVPN – Has speed-optimized servers and supports split tunneling
- NordVPN – Superfast connections on over 250 Australian servers, solid encryption, and SmartPlay DNS for better streaming.
- CyberGhost – Features profiles that are optimized for P2P activity as well as robust encryption to keep your activity private.
- Surfshark – Budget &torrent friendly, prioritizes user’s security and allows unlimited simultaneous connections.
- Private Internet Access – One of the reliable options with multiple encryption protocols and a built-in adblocker.
Torrenting and VPNs in Australia
A court ruling back in 2017 led to the massive blocking of pirate torrent websites in Australia. Over 50 websites were affected and internet users could no longer access content from these sites. Fortunately, we live in a society where necessity births innovations.
By using VPNs, Australians can sidestep these restrictions to access and download music, movies, TV shows, and video games files from blocked websites.
Why is Australia different?
Let’s face it Australia is far from the best in streaming and internet privacy. We pay relatively the same amount as other internet users from countries like the US for streaming services but we get lesser content.
Besides, our private data isn’t secure as the government and telecommunication companies can access it at any time. This private data can be shared with surveillance and law enforcement agencies since we are also a member country of the 5-, 9- and 14-Eyes Alliance. As you can see, there is a need to ensure that your internet activity is undetectable.
Enter VPNs. These indispensable tools not only give you access to blocked torrent sites but also make your torrenting activity invisible to spying eyes. VPNs encrypt your traffic and provide a private route for P2P file sharing.
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Max devices supported: 5
Number of servers: 3,000+
Country locations of servers: 160
Cost: $6.67/month (15 months plan plan), $9.99/month (6 months plan), $12.95/month (monthly plan)
With many servers all around the world that are optimized for torrenting and P2P traffic, ExpressVPN is our overall winner. It has all the features you’d want in a VPN not to mention an excellent customer support team. It has fast speeds which is exactly the type of thing you’d want if you are looking to download large files.
Security-wise, ExpressVPN also scores excellently. It features military-grade encryption and a range of VPN protocols. The VPN has a zero activity & connection logs policy so you can surf the internet knowing your activity is secure. As it is headquartered in the British Virgins Islands, it is not affected by data retention laws.
Desktop and Android client apps come with a working kill switch. In addition, it features split tunneling on Macs and Windows which allows the user to select online activities that’ll be affected by the VPN connection.
It is worth noting that ExpressVPN supports payment by Bitcoin which further enhances anonymity. There is 24/7 customer support that can be reached via email or live chat in case of any inquiries.
The only downside to ExpressVPN is its pricing which is higher compared to other VPNs. Even so, it is all worth it once you see what it offers. ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee which gives you an option to walk away if you feel the service doesn’t suit your needs.
Devices supported: 6
Number of servers: 5100+
Country locations of servers: 59
Cost: $3.49/month (3 & 2year plan), $6.99/month (1 year plan), $11.95 (monthly plan)
NordVPN is a strong contender for the best choice of VPNs for torrenting in Australia. Although it loses to ExpressVPN, it is just as good. It comes with several watertight security features that make it an excellent choice for any Aussie looking to download files from torrent sites. NordVPN has the perfect balance of speed as well as security. It is based in Panama thus not subject to data retention laws.
Its crowd-pulling feature is double data encryption which guarantees that your traffic will be safe from snoopers. Besides, users get to choose from the range of supported protocols: IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP. NordVPN also comes with a DNS leak blocker as well as a kill switch on its Windows, Mac, iOS apps, and an equivalent on Android.
NordVPN, like most of the top of the line VPNs, has a no logs policy that’s clearly outlined on its website. The VPN provider takes things a step further by extending an invitation to auditors to ascertain the security of their apps.
It supports P2P activity on most of its servers. Crypto payment is supported and you can pay via Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum. You can cancel your subscription to NordVPN (if it doesn’t work out for you) with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
Max devices supported: 7
Number of Servers: 6400
Country locations of servers: 89
Cost: $3.95/month (3 year plan), $5.29/month (2 year plan), $8.49/month (1 year plan), $17.99/month (1 month plan)
CyberGhost is a budget-friendly alternative that’s terrific in torrents. Located in Romania, the VPN is not liable to any data retention laws or government snooping. It provides an automatic connection to its P2P compatible servers and adjusts to the optimum settings for secure and fast torrenting.
The desktop and phone (Android and iOS) apps feature a user-friendly interface. They come with a kill switch that works effectively. Bitcoin as a form of payment is supported. CyberGhost adheres to its strict no-logs policy so you have nothing to worry about when torrenting. Other CyberGhost features include DNS leak protection, random ports, and OpenVPN or IKEv2 protocols.
Speeds are average when compared to Express and Nord but that’s expected as it costs lesser. Customer support is available all around the clock if you encounter any issues. CyberGhost comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee for risk-free testing.
Devices supported: Unlimited
Number of Servers: 1700+
Country locations of servers: 63
Cost: $2.89/month (2 year plan), $7.99/month (1 year plan), $15.99/month (monthly plan)
Of our top picks, Surfshark is the cheapest VPN alternative but don’t let that fool you into thinking it is inferior. It has earned a good reputation over the year since its launch. It doesn’t have a limit on the number of devices that can use the same account. This makes it a very budget-friendly VPN that you can share with friends or family.
Its location in the British Virgin Islands makes it ideal if privacy and anonymity are your concerns. Like other VPNs in our list, Surfshark has a no-logs policy. What’s more, all of the 1600+ servers support P2P torrenting. It features solid 256-bit AES encryption and a kill switch which protects your traffic. Other includes measures include DNS and WebRTC leak protection.
Overall, it is a great choice for skirting ISP blocks and secure torrenting activity. Customer support is available 24/7 through live chat to answer your inquiries. The VPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee to test it out before fully committing.
5. Private Internet Access
Max devices supported: 10
Number of Servers: 3274
Country locations of servers: 48
Cost: $16.35/month (monthly plan), $5.42/month (1 year plan), $4.42/month (2 years plan)
If you’re looking for a balance of pricing and performance, look no further than Private Internet Access. It has top-notch encryption protocols and several other security features to ensure your torrenting activity is always secure. PIA also has a zero-logs policy but note that it is based in the US.
The phone and desktop applications have an easy to navigate interface which makes things easier for its users. The phone apps, however, don’t come with many features. The VPN comes with a kill switch and DNS leak blocker as well. All PIA servers support torrenting and the speeds are decent so you can download large files with ease.
You can optimize torrent performance through port forwarding. We like that Bitcoin is supported as it enhances the user’s anonymity. On the downside, the VPN lacks a free trial period to test it out before subscribing.
More About Torrenting in Australia
Can you get fined for torrenting in Australia? – Torrenting is not illegal, but you can get fined for downloading illegal music, movies etc.
What are some torrent sites that are not blocked in Australia? – Due to the nature of these websites, I can’t list any torrent sites that are available in Australia,
Your online anonymity and security are crucial especially when you’re torrenting. To that end, we recommend using any of the above VPNs to avoid legal troubles with your ISP or government, theft of personal information, and data leaks.