IP binding is a valuable precaution to take if you want to ensure that all torrent downloads take place over the P2P VPN. Binding your torrent client to an IP address limits downloads to a specific IP address. This means you can set the client to only download torrents while connected to a certain P2P VPN server. If the connection to the VPN drops or you disconnect, the downloads stop, adding a kill switch to your VPN without affecting other apps and services. This prevents any torrent traffic from leaking onto your real IP address.
Flash your wifi router with a VPN-compatible firmware and configure the VPN on it. This is the most technically advanced option, so make sure you know what you’re doing. The process varies from router to router, and not all wifi routers are compatible with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware. If you’re not comfortable with replacing the firmware on your home wifi router, you can opt to purchase a preconfigured VPN router from ExpressVPN.
To ensure that it’s working, head over to Torguard’s IP Checker. This site can tell you what your IP address is, and compare it to the IP address of your torrent client, which will let you know whether your proxy is working correctly. To test it, hit the “Generate Torrent” button, and open the resulting torrent in uTorrent. Then, go back to your browser and hit the Refresh button under the “Check IP” tab. If it’s the same as your browser IP—which you’ll see next to the Refresh button—then your proxy isn’t working, and you’ll want to double-check all of the above settings. If it shows a different IP address (which should be in the Netherlands), then Private Internet Access is successfully tunneling all your traffic for you.
Buffered CEO Jordan Fried suspects Netflix could put the final nail in the VPN coffin if it truly wished to do so. Instead, it has resisted avoiding losing more customers. The argument against a billing address-based filtering scheme, Netflix might argue, is that the copyright licensing restrictions apply to where content is being watched from, not where the subscriber’s money comes from.
“We are receiving an unprecedented number of inquiries from people looking to access Netflix service, suggesting there are not a lot of VPNs left that offer an alternative workaround,” NordVPN CIO Emanuel Morgan tells Comparitech. “Keeping up with offering new workaround solutions might require significant resources and it is understandable that some services chose to forgo advocating for this issue – choosing to concentrate their resources on primary service functions (offering privacy and security solutions) instead.”
A virtual private network (or VPN) is very similar to a proxy, but instead of rerouting just your BitTorrent traffic, it reroutes all your internet traffic. For some people, that’s a good thing—it gives you privacy all over the web. However, it can also be inconvenient, navigating you to different web pages for that VPN’s country or causing issues with streaming services. If you have a NAS, you can set up your VPN on it to route only your NAS traffic, which is a perfect option for downloading anonymously. VPNs are about the same price as most proxies, and I personally have found that I get better speeds with most VPNs than I do with a proxy.
A quick note about VPN testing: networks are finnicky things, and we don't claim our work to be the be-all and end-all of VPN speed testing. Instead, this is a snapshot of how a particular service performed on a specific day. We also don't think that speeds should be the only metric used to evaluate a VPN, but it's clearly of concern to BitTorrent users.
The Chrome extension offers few settings, other than blocking WebRTC leaks. It does, however, provide easy access to Ivacy's pool of servers and offers a search box that makes connecting a breeze. There's also a Purposes tab, which provides fast access to streaming and other server types. Unfortunately, using the Ivacy Chrome plug-in appeared to break my internet connection entirely.
Max Eddy is a Software Analyst, taking a critical eye to the Android OS and security services. He's also PCMag's foremost authority on weather stations and digital scrapbooking software. He spends much of his time polishing his tinfoil hat and plumbing the depths of the Dark Web. Prior to PCMag, Max wrote for the International Digital Times, The... See Full Bio
A VPN kill switch halts all internet traffic in the event that the VPN unexpectedly drops the connection for any reason. This prevents your real IP address and torrent traffic from leaking onto your ISP’s unencrypted network, which could otherwise expose your activity to your ISP, copyright trolls, and hackers. This is why it’s very important to either bind your IP (see below) and/or use a kill switch.
While there are quite a few free VPNs on the market, many have location restrictions and speed or bandwidth limitations. And many can actually be dangerous to use. You can read more about the risks of using free VPNs here. And if you decide the drawbacks just aren’t worth it, and you’re willing to spend a few bucks, we have a list of the best VPNs for torrenting.
The VPN services listed should allow you to unblock US Netflix in any country you might be traveling to, other than those where media is censored and VPNs are actively blocked by a firewall such as China (see our list of the VPNs working in China and pick one that works there, too). In pretty much every other country, the VPNs in our list will work. In fact, we’ve received comments or emails from people in Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, France, Israel, Spain, Ireland, South Africa, and Italy telling us they’ve successfully accessed US Netflix!
Hi Paula, thanks for the question. File sharing is indeed under fire in countries like the US, UK, Canada and Australia. But you can engage in P2P/File-sharing activity from these countries by connecting to the VPN servers of the countries where File Shharing is legal. As long as you don’t engage in any copyright infringements, you have nothing to worry about. However, anti-file-sharing measures are usually very limited and are usually always preceeded by rather harmless warning notices by the ISP so you have a bit of a margin in case you ever get flagged during a P2P session in the event of a worst case scenario.
While ubiquitous, streaming video is far from universal. For example, outside the US, Netflix customers can enjoy Star Trek: Discovery, but US residents need a CBS AllAccess account to view those continuing voyages. If you're traveling out of the country, you may discover that the show you were in the middle of watching on Netflix just isn't available anymore.
Antivirus software protects you from malware, but to protect your privacy and security on the web, you need a virtual private network, or VPN. Ivacy offers VPN protection at an affordable price and boasts servers in far-flung corners of the world. It's a strong offering on paper, but we had some hiccups in testing. At the end of the day, it can't match our Editors' Choice winners NordVPN, Private Internet Access, and TunnelBear VPN in terms of robustness or ease of use.