The top court in the United Kingdom has mandated leading ISPs in the country to block popular torrent sites including The Pirate Bay, Torrentz and Kickass Torrents. ISPs are also to identify users that are suspected of using torrents to download copyright materials. The five major ISPs in UK BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Sky and EE are ordered to send a “Cease and Desist” notification to any user identified for illegal torrenting behaviors.
The UK government has banned a number of torrent sites already as part of an effort to fight online piracy that is usually done via torrent file sharing platforms. The government is even proposing a law that would punish online pirates with a 10-year jail term.
As you can see, P2P file sharing in the UK is on the verge of becoming impossible soon.
Aside from torrenting, overall web blocking is also a big concern in the UK. From anti-monarchy content to gambling sites, cyber censorship in the UK is becoming worse than ever.
If you are worried that the UK government might be spying on your internet activities you should get a VPN. Continue reading to learn how to hide from big brother and other spying parties out there.
Things To Consider When Picking A VPN For Torrenting In The UK
Not all VPN services support torrenting. If you are fond of downloading torrents, it is important to check if the VPN service you’re considering supports file sharing before purchasing a VPN plan.
Keep in mind that the laws of the country where they are based also bind VPN services. Make sure you choose a VPN service that doesn’t operate under the jurisdiction of a country that has strict internet laws. Here are other things to consider in order to get the perfect VPN.
You don’t want to totally compromise your internet speed for the sake of downloading torrents anonymously. Otherwise, it might take ages for a torrent file to completely download. Make sure that your VPN provider has fast VPN connections.
Some VPN providers block the ports required for peer-to-peer to work. That is certainly the case with VyprVPN, for instance.
There are VPN providers that keep logs of the websites you visit, files you download, and apps you use while you are connected to their servers. Thus, you are not truly anonymous while using their service. Stay away from these VPNs, especially for torrenting.
Sharing an IP address with hundreds of other people might seem like a bad thing, but when it comes to torrenting, there is safety in numbers. The more people using the same address, the more difficult it becomes to identify individual users.
Some VPN providers, especially free ones, put limits on how much data you can download when you connect to their servers. You don’t want to sign up with a VPN that tells you how much bandwidth you can use.
How To Torrent Safely:
- Download and install a VPN matching the criteria mentioned above
- Enable your VPN’s Kill Switch, if it has one (ExpressVPN calls this a “network lock”)
- Connect to a VPN server, preferably in a P2P-friendly country
- Once the connection is established, open your torrent client and start downloading as usual
Best VPNs For Torrenting In The UK
NordVPN is a great all-rounder. With fast servers in 62 countries, a strong focus on privacy and a willingness to keep innovating, NordVPN easily snaps up the top spot in our Top for Torrents table!
NordVPN offers an industry-leading six simultaneous connections which means that everyone in the family can use the VPN without interrupting your downloads. As well as permitting torrenting, NordVPN works with all major streaming services; Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon.
With clients available for all major platforms, the software looks great and works well. A three-day free trial is a nice bonus if you are looking to take it for a test drive, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee gives you plenty of time if you change your mind.
For torrenting purposes, Private Internet Access is an established competitor that provides a great balance between security, performance, and price. It also has additional features like DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and multiple device support. For subscription plans of a year or more, Private Internet Access comes in at an impressive $3.33/month.
The downside is a noticeable drop in performance compared to the more expensive options. Depending on how much you plan to torrent, this may not justify the lower price point. At the same time, consistency and uptime remain high – while there are not as many international server locations (only being in about 30 countries right now) they offer thousands of servers to choose from.
Because of the regional variance in performance, it is recommended to take advantage of the 7-day money back guarantee to see how it works for you.
IPVanish opens with a big map-based interface. Technically this is entirely superfluous, but it undeniably fires the imagination, making you feel like you're covertly transmitting confidential information around the world – which, in a way, you are. There are also plenty of technical options and diagnostic details, which techies will appreciate.
But IPVanish isn't just for propeller-heads and would-be spies. It’s a perfectly fine service for everyday users, with servers in over 60 countries. It's not the fastest VPN around, though, cutting our download speeds to around 60% of our usual bandwidth.
At $77.99 a year, it’s not exactly cheap, but you can use it on up to five devices at once, and big friendly icons make it easy to connect directly through the US, Canada or the UK.
Buffered is a newer player on the VPN scene, and its strengths play well to the internet user that regularly torrents. On top of their secure and high-speed network, they already have servers in almost 40 countries, support five simultaneous devices, and have a responsive customer service system.
Right now, their cheapest plan is an annual subscription that comes out to around $8/month. This puts it firmly on the high end of VPN prices. In exchange, the user gets custom clients for different operating systems and great configuration guides for mobile devices. This places Buffered as more of a niche product for customers who want to get a lot of mileage out of deeper VPN features, with the aid of tutorial videos and documentation.
While some VPNs keep things minimal, CyberGhost takes the opposite approach. Open it up and you're greeted by a set of big, friendly buttons, which configure the VPN for a variety of purposes, such as watching streaming services or privately browsing the web.
CyberGhost is an overall strong performer, while connected via the US, we saw our download speeds drop by only around 25%. To take full advantage of CyberGhost's capabilities will cost you $77.99 a year for ten devices.
Avast SecureLine keeps things simple: to launch a VPN session, you just choose a country from the dropdown list and then hit Connect. You can also set Avast SecureLine to automatically connect to the VPN whenever you're online. It will certainly appeal to those who want privacy with a minimum of fuss.
It's slightly annoying, therefore, that you have to buy Secure Line on an annual basis: there's no monthly subscription, as most other VPNs offer. Be warned too that, while your license lets you use Secure Line on up to five devices at once, they all have to be running the same operating system, so you can't – for example – run it on a PC, an Android smartphone and an iPad.
Do You Need A VPN For Torrenting In The UK?
Although, there are some torrent-friendly countries like Spain, Netherlands, Canada and Mexico who allow P2P file-sharing, learning how to download torrents securely is a must for everyone else.
So if you’re are torrenting in the UK you will need a VPN.
By using one of the best rated VPN services listed above, you will achieve and fast and safe access to unlimited torrents in the UK, US, India and other torrent-restricted countries.