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How to use Private Internet Access for Torrents

Private Internet Access or PIA offers great value for money and it is one of the leading names in the VPN industry. For just $3.33 per month (when you opt for the yearly plan), you can enjoy a high level of security, advanced features and good speeds. PIA is known for its strong commitment to privacy and it doesn’t keep logs of your online activities. This has allowed it to become one of the most popular solutions for Torrent users. PIA has over 3000 servers in 25 countries and it allows P2P in its network.

When you subscribe to PIA, you get not only their VPN but also a convenient SOCKS proxy service. The fact that the two options are included make PIA a flexible option that adapts to your needs. If you are mainly concerned about the security of your data, the encryption of the VPN service will keep you safe. If you need speed for streaming or downloading, you can use the proxy, or you can use both and enjoy online anonymity. Private Internet Access offers many advantages including affordability and reliability. It is an ideal solution to protect your torrenting and in this article, you will find out how to secure your downloads and protect your identity using PIA.

Why PIA?

Before we go through the process to download torrents anonymously using PIA, let’s take a look at the features that make this provider an excellent choice. PIA gives you security and solid performance at a great price and it is ideal for new VPN users. As previously mentioned, PIA doesn’t monitor or log your online activities. In addition, they don’t keep connection logs. PIA is a torrent-friendly service and it protects your connection with strong encryption. The software is easy to use and you have the option to select the encryption protocol and key that better suits your needs. The SOCKS5 Proxy is a great addition to the service.

How to use PIA for Torrents

Since Private Internet Access offers both VPN and SOCKS proxy service, you can enjoy a versatile experience while browsing, streaming or downloading content. PIA lets you use up to five connections at the same time, which means that you can use the VPN and the proxy simultaneously. You can change your IP address using a VPN or a proxy, but they offer different benefits.

The advantage of the VPN is that it encrypts your online traffic, which means that others won’t be able to see what you do on the internet. The main benefit of the proxy is that it is faster since it use encryption.A convenient solution is to use the VPN and the proxy together because this allows you to enjoy the benefits of these two technologies. With a setting that combines VPN and proxy, you enjoy the security that encryption provides and you get an extra layer of protection for your identity because your IP address is changed twice. Plus, your browsing IP address and your torrent IP address won’t be the same.

PIA VPN for Torrents

If you opt for using the VPN, you don’t need to make any adjustments on the settings of the torrent client that you use. All you need to do is to sign up for PIA, download and install the VPN client and then you can connect to a server in your preferred location. Netherlands, Switzerland and Romania are some good options when it comes to downloading torrents. While PIA offers reliable performance, in order to keep your IP address protected even if the VPN connection fails, it is advisable that you enable the Kill switch option. If the VPN disconnects for some reasons, the kill switch will shut down the internet connection/the torrent client, keeping your real IP address hidden.

Once you are connected to the VPN and have enabled the kill switch, you just need to open your torrent client. Your torrent activity will be encrypted and your real IP address will not be exposed to your torrent peers. Signing up for PIA is easy and you can pay using anonymous payment methods such as Bitcoin and gift cards. When it comes to choosing the connection settings in the VPN, you can select UDP, which should give you faster performance. Make sure that the VPN kill switch and the DNS leak protection are enabled to hide your real IP address and your web history from your ISP. You may also consider enabling IPv6 leak protection to ensure that there are no IP leaks via IPv6 protocol.

You can also enable auto port mapping in the settings of the torrent client if you are experiencing slow speeds. Check the uPnP or NAT-PMP option to forward your torrent packets through your router and to prevent that they get lost or that they are blocked. In uTorrent, which is one of the most popular clients available, you can go to Options, then Preferences and Connection.

Get login details for PIA’s proxy

The login and password required for PIA’s proxy are not the same as the ones used for the VPN service. In order to create login details for the proxy you will first need to log in to your account panel on PIA’s website. Scroll down until you see the section that says PPTP/L2TP/SOCKS username and password. Click on “Regenerate Username and Password” and leave the window open. Then you can copy/paste the username and password that has been generated. Apart from the username and password, you will also need the server hostname /address and port to use the SOCKS5 proxy server with any torrent client. This is the information that you need:

Server Hostname/Address: proxy-nl.privateinternetacess.com
Port: 1080

Keep in mind that if you decide to use only the proxy, you should consider enabling encryption in the torrent client. Although the number of peers available will be reduced when you enable encryption on your torrent client, your ISP won’t be able to throttle your torrent traffic or see what data is being downloaded.

Setting the proxy with your Torrent client


If you are using uTorrent, you can access the proxy settings by going to Options, then Preferences and Connection. Enter the SOCKS5 proxy login details listed above. Mark all the following boxes: Type, Proxy, Port, Authentication, Username, Password, Use proxy for hostname lookups, use proxy for peer-to-peer connection, Disable all local DNS lookups, Disable features that leak identifying information, Disable connections unsupported by the proxy.


Go to Menu, followed by Tools, Options and Connection, then select proxy. In order to edit the proxy settings, you need to be in advanced user mode. This can be accessed in Options > User Mode. Make sure that the same boxes that were marked in uTorrent are also marked in Vuze.


Go to Edit> Preferences > Proxy. The proxy settings have to be configured manually for each individual service. The four settings that you need to use are Peers, Web Seed, Trackers and DHT. In each of them, you will enter the same information, which is your username, password for the SOCKS5 proxy, the host: proxy-nl.privateinternetaccess.com and port 1080.

Using VPN and Proxy at the same time

PIA gives you the possibility of using VPN along with the proxy service to enhance your anonymity when downloading torrents. This settings will allow you to secure your torrents with the encryption of the VPN and it will make your torrent IP address different from your web-browser IP. Your real IP address will remain hidden, you will avoid leaks and the speed can also be improved. In order to use the VPN in combination with the proxy, you just need to connect to the VPN and set up the PIA proxy on your torrent client (uTorrent, Vuze, etc) as mentioned in the examples above. You won’t need to adjust any settings on the VPN. Keep in mind that you need to connect to the VPN before launching the torrent client.