Overall, Surfshark is often recommended as a good VPN for streaming (check out my article on streaming Netflix with Surfshark VPN if you want to know more) so I was curious to find out how it will do with torrenting.
It has servers optimized for P2P file sharing, utilizes strong AES-256 encryption, and has a logging policy that prioritizes user privacy. The kill switch, Double VPN, and obfuscation features provide additional protection for P2P activity and work well with popular clients like qBittorrent, BitTorrent, uTorrent, and Vuze.
Surfshark allows unlimited bandwidth and devices at affordable prices, although it may not be the fastest VPN available for torrenting – read the full review of Surfshark VPN. While it lacks certain P2P-friendly features like port forwarding, it is still a reliable mid-range option. Surfshark is easy to set up with various torrent clients and is compatible with multiple devices. So would I recommend it for torrenting? Let’s find out.
Before we dive in, it is important to recap on decision factors when choosing VPN for torrenting. These are the most important aspects to consider:
- Good encryption ensures a secure tunnel.
- Stable and fast connection speeds to avoid interruptions.
- A kill switch feature to protect your sensitive data.
- P2P-optimized servers to support torrenting.
- Minimal logging policy to ensure privacy.
- Unlimited bandwidth to avoid data caps.
- Compatibility with your devices.
- Port forwarding (optional).
Let’s break down each factor to find out how Surfshark VPN performs in these areas.
Good encryption is crucial for torrenting as it ensures the security and privacy of your online activities. A VPN with strong encryption standards is essential for safeguarding your data from hackers, cybercriminals, and other malicious entities while torrenting. In this section, I will discuss the importance of good encryption for torrenting and how Surfshark VPN performs in this area.
When you torrent, your IP address is visible to other users in the torrent swarm, which can potentially expose your identity and location. Good encryption, combined with a secure VPN, masks your IP address and protects your privacy while torrenting.
ISPs often throttle your bandwidth when they detect torrenting activities, which can lead to slower download speeds. A VPN with strong encryption helps bypass ISP throttling by making it difficult for your ISP to identify your torrenting traffic.
In some regions, governments may monitor internet activities or impose restrictions on torrenting. A VPN with robust encryption can help you evade government surveillance and bypass censorship, allowing you to enjoy a more open and secure internet experience.
The old's pirate take on this: Surfshark VPN excels in providing strong encryption for torrenting. It uses military-grade AES-256-GCM encryption, which is considered one of the most secure encryption standards available. This level of encryption ensures that your data is well-protected from potential threats while torrenting.
Fast connection speed
Having a good connection speed for torrenting is important for several reasons:
- Faster downloads: A good connection speed ensures that you can download files more quickly. When torrenting, you often download large files, such as movies, TV shows, or software. A slow connection speed can make this process painfully slow and frustrating. With a faster connection, you can download these files in less time, making for a more enjoyable and efficient torrenting experience.
- Improved seeding: Torrenting relies on users sharing (seeding) the files they download with others. A good connection speed allows you to seed files more effectively, contributing to the overall health of the torrenting ecosystem. By seeding at higher speeds, you help other users download the files more quickly and maintain the availability of the content.
- Better torrent availability: When you have a good connection speed, you can connect to more seeders and peers, which improves the availability of the torrent file. This means that you can download files with fewer seeders, increasing the variety of content available to you.
The old's pirate take on this: Surfshark's impact on download speeds is minimal, thanks to its high-speed servers and unlimited bandwidth. In my personal experience, I've found Surfshark to maintain consistently fast download speeds while torrenting, even when connected to servers in different countries. When compared to other VPN providers, Surfshark holds its own in terms of speed. Although there may be some minor fluctuations in download speeds depending on the server location, overall, the performance remains impressive.
A kill switch is an essential feature in a VPN, especially for activities like torrenting, where maintaining privacy and security is crucial. Here’s why a kill switch is important:
- Protection against IP leaks: In the event of a VPN connection failure, your real IP address could be exposed, revealing your true identity and location. A kill switch automatically disconnects your device from the internet when the VPN connection is lost, ensuring that your real IP address remains hidden, even during unexpected disconnections.
- Safeguarding privacy: When torrenting, it’s important to keep your online activities private. Without a kill switch, your torrent client may continue to upload and download data even if your VPN connection drops, allowing your ISP or third parties to monitor your activities. A kill switch ensures that your torrenting activities remain private by blocking internet access until the VPN connection is reestablished.
- Avoiding legal consequences: In some countries, torrenting copyrighted material is illegal, and getting caught can lead to fines or other legal consequences. A kill switch helps protect you from potential legal issues by preventing any accidental exposure of your torrenting activities.
- Bypassing ISP throttling: ISPs sometimes throttle (slow down) internet connections when they detect torrenting or other high-bandwidth activities. By using a VPN with a kill switch, you can ensure that your connection remains encrypted and private, preventing your ISP from identifying and throttling your torrenting activities.
- Maintaining peace of mind: A kill switch provides an added layer of security and peace of mind, knowing that your privacy will be protected even if the VPN connection fails. This allows you to focus on torrenting without worrying about potential privacy breaches.
The old's pirate take on this: The Surfshark kill switch is included in their Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS VPN apps and I found no problems using it. According to a Reddit post, some users have experienced problems with the kill switch feature, such as being logged out of the client and the VPN dropping, which disables the kill switch. It is worth noting that the issues reported by users may be specific to their devices or configurations, and not necessarily a widespread problem with the Surfshark kill switch feature.
If you don’t want to rely on killswitch, it’s recommended to bind Surfshark VPN to your torrent client.
To bind a torrent client to Surfshark VPN, follow these step-by-step instructions:
- Open the Surfshark app on your device and connect to a server. Take note of the server’s IP address. [see screenshot below]
- Download and launch the torrent client on your device.
- Click on “Options” > “Preferences” and select the “Advanced” tab.
- Type “Bind” in the Filter field to find the relevant setting.
- Click on “net.bind_ip” and enter your Surfshark IP address in the Value field.
- Click “Set” and then “OK” to save the changes.
Alternatively, you can bind the torrent client to the network interface used by Surfshark:
- Identify the network adapter that Surfshark uses on your device (usually labeled “TAP” or “TUN” in Windows).
- Open your torrent client’s settings and navigate to the “Advanced” or “Network Interface” section.
- From the list of available network interfaces, select the VPN interface you identified earlier.
- Save your settings and restart the torrent client.
P2P optimized servers
P2P optimized servers play a significant role in ensuring a smooth and efficient torrenting experience with a VPN. These servers are specifically designed to cater to the unique requirements of P2P file-sharing, offering improved performance, stability, and security. In this section, I will discuss the importance of P2P-optimized servers and how Surfshark VPN supports torrenting with its extensive network of P2P-friendly servers.
The Importance of P2P Optimized Servers for Torrenting
- Enhanced Performance: P2P optimized servers are configured to handle P2P traffic more effectively, resulting in better download and upload speeds for torrenting.
- Greater Stability: These servers are designed to manage high-volume P2P traffic, ensuring a more stable and reliable connection throughout your torrenting sessions.
- Improved Security: P2P-optimized servers often come with additional security features to protect your privacy and anonymity while torrenting.
The old's pirate take on this: Surfshark VPN offers a vast network of P2P-friendly servers across various locations, ensuring that users can find a suitable server for their torrenting needs. These servers are optimized for P2P traffic, providing excellent performance and reliability while torrenting. One of the features of Surfshark VPN is its automatic server selection for P2P traffic. When you connect to a non-P2P server and start torrenting, Surfshark automatically reroutes your P2P traffic to a P2P-optimized server, ensuring that you enjoy the best possible performance without manual intervention.
A solid logging policy is essential for maintaining privacy and security while torrenting. A VPN that retains minimal or no user data ensures that your torrenting activities remain anonymous and cannot be traced back to you. In this section, I will discuss the importance of a strong logging policy for torrenting and how Surfshark VPN performs in this area.
Why a Strong Logging Policy Matters for Torrenting
- Privacy Protection: A VPN with a strict no-logs policy guarantees that your torrenting activities are not recorded, keeping your online activities private and secure.
- Legal Compliance: In some regions, copyright holders may take legal action against users who share copyrighted material without permission. A VPN with a no-logs policy ensures that your torrenting activities cannot be traced back to you, protecting you from potential legal consequences.
- Resistance to Government Surveillance: A strong logging policy makes it difficult for governments or other entities to monitor your torrenting activities, allowing you to enjoy a more open and secure internet experience.
Surfshark’s Logging Policy & Jurisdiction
Surfshark VPN has a strict no-logs policy that ensures the privacy and security of your torrenting activities. They do not collect or store any data related to your online activities, such as browsing history, IP addresses, or bandwidth usage. This means that even if Surfshark were to receive a request for information from a government agency or a copyright holder, they would have no data to provide.
Surfshark’s commitment to user privacy is further demonstrated by its transparency initiatives. They have undergone independent security audits by reputable firms like Cure53, which verified their no-logs policy and security practices. This level of transparency and third-party validation builds trust and confidence in Surfshark’s logging policy.
Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction with no mandatory data retention laws. This means that Surfshark is not legally required to store any user data or comply with requests for information from foreign governments, further protecting your privacy while torrenting.
The old's pirate take on this: Surfshark never had an issue with their "no-log" policy. On top of that, it is audited and based in privacy-friendly jurisdiction so no issues here!
Unlimited bandwidth is an essential feature to consider when choosing a VPN for torrenting. A VPN that offers unlimited bandwidth allows you to download and upload files without worrying about hitting data caps or experiencing throttling. In this section, I will discuss the importance of unlimited bandwidth for torrenting and how Surfshark VPN performs in this area.
A. Why Unlimited Bandwidth Matters for Torrenting
- No Data Caps: Torrenting can consume a significant amount of data, especially when downloading or sharing large files. A VPN with unlimited bandwidth ensures that you can torrent without worrying about hitting any data limits.
- Consistent Speeds: Some VPN providers may throttle your connection speeds once you reach a certain data threshold. With unlimited bandwidth, you can enjoy consistent speeds while torrenting, regardless of the amount of data you have consumed.
- Flexibility: Unlimited bandwidth allows you to torrent as much as you want, whenever you want, providing you with the flexibility to enjoy your favorite content without restrictions.
The old's pirate take on this: Surfshark VPN offers unlimited bandwidth for all users. There are no data caps or restrictions, allowing you to download and upload files without worrying about hitting any limits. On top of that, you can use Surfshark on unlimited number of devices as well.
Compatibility is another essential factor to consider when choosing a VPN for torrenting, as it ensures that you can use the VPN with your preferred devices and torrent clients. In this section, I will discuss Surfshark VPN’s compatibility with various devices and popular torrent clients.
Surfshark VPN offers broad device compatibility, allowing you to use it on a wide range of platforms. Some of the most common devices and operating systems that Surfshark supports include:
- Fire TV
- Apple TV (via Smart DNS)
- Routers (with custom firmware)
Surfshark VPN is compatible with a wide range of popular torrent clients, ensuring that you can use it with your preferred software for torrenting. Some of the most commonly used torrent clients that work seamlessly with Surfshark include:
Setting up Surfshark with these torrent clients is easy and straightforward, allowing you to enjoy a secure and anonymous torrenting experience with just a few simple steps.
Port forwarding can enhance your torrenting experience by improving download and upload speeds, as well as the overall performance of your torrent client. However, not all VPN providers offer this feature, and Surfshark VPN is one of them.
Why port forwarding is important for torrenting?
- Improved Speeds: Port forwarding can improve the connection between your torrent client and the peers in the torrent swarm, resulting in faster download and upload speeds.
- Better Connectivity: Some torrent clients may have difficulty establishing connections with peers if certain ports are blocked by your VPN or router. Port forwarding can help resolve these issues by directing incoming connections to the correct port on your device.
- Optimal Seeding: Port forwarding can enhance your ability to seed files to other users in the torrent swarm, contributing to the overall health of the network and improving download speeds for everyone.
The old's pirate take on this: Surfshark VPN does not currently offer port forwarding as a feature. However, in most cases, the impact of not having port forwarding is minimal, and Surfshark's other features, such as P2P-optimized servers and strong encryption, still provide a satisfactory torrenting experience.
If port forwarding is crucial for you, you may want to consider alternative VPN providers that offer this feature. Some well-known VPNs with port forwarding capabilities include:
- Private Internet Access (PIA)
So, is Surfshark VPN good for torrenting?
Yes, Surfshark is a good option for torrenting as it offers good speed, a lot of P2P optimized servers, a good no-log policy, strong AES-256 encryption, and compatibility with various platforms and torrent clients. If you don’t need port forwarding and can go around issues with a killswitch, Surfshark VPN will be a great choice considering its compelling price. If you want to try it for yourself, check out my guide on how to get a free trial of Surfshark VPN. So there you go, happy torrenting my fellow pirates!
Does Surfshark protect torrenting?
Yes, Surfshark provides protection for torrenting through its secure VPN servers and by supporting P2P file-sharing on its network.
Is Surfshark safe for pirating?
While Surfshark offers a secure VPN service, we do not condone or encourage piracy. Engaging in pirating activities is illegal and could result in severe consequences.
Does Surfshark have any restrictions on torrenting?
Surfshark does not impose restrictions on torrenting, but users must ensure they are abiding by copyright laws and not engaging in illegal activities.
How to set up Surfshark for torrenting?
To set up Surfshark for torrenting, first sign up for a Surfshark account. Then, download and install the Surfshark VPN app on your device. Launch the app and log in with your credentials. Connect to a VPN server that supports P2P file-sharing. Finally, start your torrent client and begin torrenting securely.
What are the benefits of using Surfshark for torrenting?
Using Surfshark for torrenting offers enhanced privacy and security through encryption. It also protects you from ISP throttling and monitoring while giving you access to geo-restricted content. Surfshark supports P2P file-sharing on its servers and maintains a strict no-logs policy.
Does Surfshark have any special features for torrenting?
Surfshark offers several features that are beneficial for torrenting. The Kill Switch feature protects your privacy in case the VPN connection drops. Private DNS and leak protection ensure your IP and DNS requests remain secure. The Whitelister feature allows specific apps to bypass the VPN for better performance. Lastly, CleanWeb blocks ads, trackers, and malware while torrenting.