VPN vs Proxy for BitTorrent

If you want to enhance the security of your torrent activities, there are two methods that you can consider: a VPN or a Proxy. Although both technologies can hide your location and identity by masking your IP address, they work in different ways. These are the main features that you can get from each of them.

VPN

A VPN encrypts your entire internet traffic and it establishes a connection through an anonymous IP address, so the real one that was assigned by your ISP, won’t be exposed to third parties. With a VPN, you can decide to which server location you want to connect to and which encryption protocol you want to use. Speaking of encryption, a VPN provides stronger protection in this area than a proxy. The main downsides of a VPN are that they tend to be slower than a proxy and can also be more expensive. That being said, it is possible to find affordable options such as PIA, which costs only $3.33 per month when you subscribe for a full year.

Proxy

Compared to a VPN, a proxy offers less advantages. First of all, it only encrypts one program or protocol, meaning that while it can be used to secure your BitTorrent client, the rest of your traffic will remain vulnerable to monitoring and other concerns. A proxy doesn’t offer the level of encryption that you get from a VPN and it doesn’t have its won software. In addition, a proxy offers less flexibility when it comes to choosing a server location. On the other hand, proxies are usually cheaper than a VPN and they can also be faster.

Anonymizing BitTorrent with a proxy

Although a VPN can provide more benefits, many people prefer to use a proxy to ensure that they remain anonymous while downloading torrents. It should be noted that if you decide to use a proxy for torrents, you should make sure that it is SOCKS5 proxy and not HTTP proxy because the latter only protects HTTP (web) traffic. When you use a proxy, your real IP address is disguised so your peers can’t see it. In addition, if you opt for a proxy service that doesn’t keep logs, you can enjoy better protection. One of the main reasons why some people prefer a proxy over a VPN is that it can be considerably faster, since there is no strong encryption applied. You can use your standard internet connection for browsing, while keeping the proxy focused on making your torrent IP anonymous.

Your BitTorrent client is configured to ensure that it only accesses the internet via the proxy server. Even if the proxy server fails, your torrent client won’t reveal your real IP address since it won’t be able to accessing the internet without passing through the proxy. This is different to what happens if a VPN disconnects, because in that case, all the applications that are connected to the internet, will move to your standard internet connection and will use your real IP address, meaning that your identity can be compromised. This is why, if you opt for a VPN, it is advisable that you select one that includes a VPN kill switch.

Best anonymous proxy for BitTorrent

If you prefer to use an anonymous proxy service for BitTorrent, there are two options that are worth considering: Torguard and BTguard. These providers also offer VPN services, but their proxy solutions can give you faster performance and lower price. Plus, they don’t keep logs and don’t throttle your connection. Both are torrent-friendly and accepts Bitcoin as method of payment, which allows you to enhance your anonymity. They are also known for offering excellent guides that will help you with the set up process.

BTGuard

BTGuard’s proxy service costs $6.95 per month, but when you pay for a full year the monthly price is reduced to just $4.99. The proxy is compatible with popular clients like Vuze and uTorrent. BTGuard doesn’t keep any logs so you can enjoy true privacy while downloading torrents.

TorGuard

TorGuard is another provider that offers a proxy option for torrent users who prefer this technology to keep their downloads anonymous. It has SOCKS5/SSH/HTTP/SSL proxies and navigate internet without exposing your real IP address. TorGuard doesn’t keep any logs and its anonymous proxy service costs $5.95 per month.

Using a VPN to anonymize BitTorrent

A VPN is also a practical way to enjoy BitTorrent anonymously and most leading providers offer easy to install software. When you use a VPN, your entire traffic is encrypted and the protection that you get is far superior than what you can expect from a proxy. However, the price to pay for the additional layer of security that encryption provides is that your connection can be a bit slower. A VPN directs your entire internet connection through the VPN server, and not only the torrent traffic. This is a feature that many users prefer since it means that even the websites visited will be hidden from their ISP and other parties. While VPNs can be slightly more expensive (although that is not always the case), if you are looking for a comprehensive solution that provides security and flexibility to access the server location of your choice, a VPN is the best option. In addition, VPNs can offer advanced security features that you won’t get from an anonymous proxy.

What is the best option for torrents: proxy or VPN?

VPNs and proxies have their own advantages and downsides. The truth is that you don’t even have to choose only one as they can be used simultaneously, which will give you the best level of anonymity. With this setting, you get an anonymous encrypted tunnel within another one, which will make your online activities and your torrents completely anonymous. In fact, there are providers like Private Internet Access and NordVPN, which include free proxy services with their VPNs. If you prefer to opt for just one option (either VPN or proxy), the choice between these two would depend on your specific needs. If you want to keep your entire internet connection protected and want stronger encryption, a VPN would be the right solution. This is also the case if you are looking for a larger selection of servers and locations. If you are only concerned about keeping BitTorrent anonymous and to enjoy fast speeds, a proxy service would do the trick.