What Is a P2P VPN? Which VPN Should You Use?

In case you’ve dabbled in the world of torrenting, you already know what ‘P2P’ means. You’ve probably also heard stories about the dangers of torrentingDDoS attacks, and other grave consequences of having your personal data leak on the Web. That’s what has probably forced you to look up a P2P VPN. However, what exactly is a P2P VPN? What can it do, and how do you acquire one? Let’s find out!

What Does ‘P2P VPN’ Mean?

A P2P VPN is a VPN service specializing in protecting torrenting-related (P2P – peer-to-peer) Internet traffic, helping you secure your private data by encrypting it.

In case you didn’t know, the primary role of any VPN is to safeguard your digital privacy. They do that by hiding your personal data, putting it through an impenetrable tunnel. Since all your incoming and outgoing Web data will flow through that tunnel, no one will get to track your online whereabouts (and that even includes your Internet provider).

  P2P Without a VPN P2P With a VPN
IP Address Exposed Hidden
Tracking  Allowed Not allowed
Logging Allowed Not allowed
Encryption Not available Available

Still, know that VPNs aren’t designed for P2P traffic in mind. That’s why if you need a VPN for torrenting, you need to make an effort to find one. We’re talking about finding one that permits this type of traffic while also offering strategically positioned and specialized P2P servers.

Tip

In case you’d like to expand your knowledge of VPN services, we offer you a couple of highly useful articles. First, make sure to check the basics of VPN services. And to dive deeper into the technology that backs them up, learn more about how VPN services work.

How Does a P2P VPN Work?

A P2P VPN works in the same way as any “traditional” VPN, except that it allows P2P traffic. That might seem like a small change, but it’s actually a major one.

When it comes to P2P traffic, its main characteristic is that any file hosting service does not limit it. Instead, each individual taking part in a P2P network gets to download and upload data at any given moment. Therefore, a lot of bandwidth is required for P2P to work.

That’s why certain VPN services have partnered with data centers that allow P2P traffic, despite the fact that P2P is a resource-hungry activity. This allows you to anonymize your Web traffic and download P2P files without being afraid of getting a copyright infringement notice.

When it comes to VPN users, they won’t notice a difference between a “traditional” and a P2P VPN service. You’ll still get to connect to a server, which is when your data will start to flow through a secure tunnel. That’s when you can start to download P2P files.

Tip

If you’d like to learn more about torrenting and its legal implications, read more on how to stay legal when torrenting. We also offer you our ultimate guide to torrenting, where you’ll find the answers to all your questions about P2P file sharing.

What’s the Best VPN for P2P?

As per our extensive hands-on tests, the best VPNs for torrenting are ExpressVPNCyberGhost VPN, and Ivacy VPN

All three of those bring specialized P2P servers (ExpressVPN doesn’t have a dedicated group, as all of its servers are ready for P2P). Also, they bring split tunneling, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy. Therefore, they offer everything a good P2P VPN should offer.

How to Use a P2P VPN Service?

Using a P2P VPN isn’t that different than using a “traditional” VPN. However, it’s essential to know how to secure your P2P traffic properly. So, here’s what you need to do.

  • Download & Install a VPN: The chances are that you’ll use your computer to download P2P files. Therefore, learn how to install a VPN on WindowsmacOS, or Linux. And once you install the VPN, launch it, log in, and make it ready for use.
  • Activate a VPN Session: Then, connect to a P2P-optimized server using your VPN’s UI. These servers are typically marked in a certain way, and they’re generally available in select countries only. So, go ahead and proceed to connect to a P2P server.
  • Start Downloading P2P Files: You can now proceed to download a P2P file and then open it using a torrent client. With that said, you’ll want to check these torrent search engines and these torrent sites. It also wouldn’t hurt to check the best torrent clients, so you can find one suitable for P2P VPN services as well.
  • Disconnect When Needed: Keep in mind that once you disconnect from your VPN, your information will resurface on the Web. So, you should always stop your P2P file transfer first, close your torrent client (and double-check if you’ve closed it correctly), and only then disconnect from your VPN.

What Makes a Good P2P VPN?

As mentioned earlier, not every VPN is suitable for P2P Web traffic. With that said, if you want to download torrents using a VPN, look for the following features:

  • Specialized & Optimized P2P Servers: First and foremost, ensure that your chosen VPN brings servers specialized for P2P traffic. That should be clearly stated on its website and its privacy policy or terms of use.
  • Support for Torrent Clients: Some VPNs might support only a limited selection of torrent clients, such as uTorrent and BitTorrent. However, it’s not that hard to find a VPN that brings universal support for all clients.
  • Kill-Switch: A kill switch will shut down your traffic if your VPN session ends unexpectedly, preventing your P2P data from leaking online. Make sure to learn more about what’s a kill-switch, and then check the best VPNs offering a kill-switch.
  • Split-Tunneling: More advanced users will want to try split-tunneling, helping them create two parallel tunnels. One could be used for encrypting P2P traffic, while the second one could be used for your regular Web traffic. Here are the best VPNs that offer split tunneling.
  • No Bandwidth Limit: Keep in mind that P2P traffic requires a lot of bandwidth, so you wouldn’t want any limitations. Luckily for us, every reputable VPN offers unlimited speeds and unlimited bandwidth.

So, that would be all you need to know about P2P VPN services. In case you have any questions or doubts, make sure to post your comment below. And lastly, thanks for reading!

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