Do You Need a uTorrent VPN?
uTorrent is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) torrenting clients. It’s very easy to get used to, it doesn’t eat up a lot of space or memory, and it offers unlimited downloads.
But you know what would make it even better? A uTorrent VPN you use alongside it.
Well, here’s all you need to know about why using uTorrent and VPN services together is a very good idea.
Why Should You Use a uTorrent VPN?
uTorrent works pretty well on its own, so why do you need to add a VPN in the mix?
Because of these three reasons:
1. It Protects Your Privacy
When you download torrents, every single member of the Swarm (all the people uploading and downloading a torrent) can see your real IP address. It’s right there on the list in the Peers tab.
Not worried about that?
Consider this – your IP address can reveal a lot of things about you:
- What country you live in.
- What city you live in.
- Who your ISP is.
- What your ZIP code is.
Now, that’s not enough info for someone to pinpoint your location or steal your identity. However, a crafty cybercriminal could still:
- Add your IP address to a database, which they will later sell off on the deep web to scammers or other hackers.
- Use your IP address to DoS/DDoS your network.
- Locate your ISP, and target them with vishing/phishing attacks. That can result in cybercriminals getting access to your private data.
Besides that, your ISP can also see your torrent traffic. In fact, they can even take a look at what you’re downloading if they want to.
A uTorrent VPN helps with both issues by hiding your IP address and encrypting your Internet traffic, making it indecipherable to anyone.
2. You Won’t Get in Trouble With the Law
Since your ISP can see your torrent traffic, they can easily report you to copyright agencies if torrenting is a sensitive legal topic in your country.
If they do that, you might receive DMCA notices from the agencies, or they might sue your directly. If the latter happens, you’ll either have to pay a huge fine or you might end up facing prison time.
The “best” case scenario is that your ISP would terminate your service if they catch you using their services to download torrents.
Also, media companies often tend to download torrents containing their content to browse through the IP addresses associated with a specific torrent. If they (or their lawyers) download a torrent you downloaded, they’ll see your IP address, locate your ISP, and send them a threatening letter. That, in turn, can result in what we mentioned above.
But if you use a uTorrent VPN, you don’t need to worry about any of that. The service encrypts your traffic, so your ISP can’t see what you’re downloading. Also, media companies won’t see your real IP address.
DISCLAIMER: SmartyDNS doesn’t encourage or condone illegal piracy and copyright infringement. However, we are aware that a lot of people around the world are only able to get access to entertainment, work files/software, and educational materials by torrenting them.
3. It Helps You Avoid Bandwidth Throttling
Even if you don’t need to worry about torrenting being illegal in your country, that still doesn’t mean your ISP will relax when they see you’re downloading torrents.
In that case, they might just start throttling your bandwidth because they don’t want you using their data to torrent files. Basically, they’ll lower your speeds, so you’ll end up spending hours just to download an episode of a popular TV show.
If you download torrents while using uTorrent with VPN services, though, your ISP won’t be able to lower your speeds anymore since they won’t see any torrenting traffic – just encrypted data they can’t decipher.
How to Use uTorrent With VPN Services
It’s pretty simple.
First, you need to pick a VPN service, download its client, and then install it on your device.
Before running uTorrent, run the VPN client, and connect to a server. Once that’s done, you can start using uTorrent to download files. No need to worry about a thing since the VPN will encrypt your traffic, and the server will replace your IP address with its own.
Is a VPN for uTorrent Necessary? Can’t You Just Use a Proxy?
Well, you could use a proxy with uTorrent. But all you’ll manage to do is hide your IP address.
Don’t get us wrong – that’s a good way to protect your privacy, but it’s nowhere close to what a uTorrent VPN can offer.
After all, a proxy won’t encrypt your traffic like a VPN, so your ISP will still be able to see and throttle your torrent traffic.
Also, for what it’s worth, using uTorrent with VPN services is much simpler than with a proxy server. With a proxy, you need to tweak some connection and port settings in the torrent client besides installing or configuring the proxy server.
What About Tor?
Tor (The Onion Router) is an anonymity network that hides your IP address and encrypts your traffic. Based on that, it seems like a great option for downloading torrents, right?
You can’t really rely on Tor to properly hide your IP address since it used to have a serious flaw that leaked user IP addresses. Sure, the issue was fixed, but who knows if it’ll pop up again?
Also, Tor has problems with malicious nodes that try to monitor user traffic. And if that wasn’t enough, researchers also found that hostile exit Tor nodes can be used (and were used for a period) to decrypt user traffic.
Plus, just how much faith can you have in the network? Tor actually receives funding from a US government agency, and it has collaborated with the FBI too.
Other issues include the fact that:
- Governments can block the Tor network (China and Turkey already did it).
- ISPs can block Tor traffic.
- Tor offers slow speeds since there are too few servers (around 6,000) for the total number of users (approximately 2 million).
And if that’s not enough to convince you, maybe Tor’s devs will. They clearly said that nobody should use Bittorrent (the protocol uTorrent uses) over Tor because it’s too taxing for the network, and because doing that is not good for your privacy at all.
Are Free uTorrent VPN Services an Option?
Not really. If you want to make sure you enjoy top-notch privacy when downloading torrents with uTorrent, you shouldn’t rely on a free VPN.
Because there’s a good chance the service doesn’t configure the encryption properly, so your ISP might still be able to see your torrent traffic.
And if the encryption isn’t working well, the servers might experience problems too. That doesn’t just mean slow speeds, but IP address leaks too.
Here are other reasons you shouldn’t use free VPNs for uTorrent:
- They can sell your data to advertisers.
- Free VPNs can expose you to malware infections.
- Free VPNs will also spam you with annoying ads.
- They can steal your bandwidth, and use it as part of a botnet.
- Dealing with problems? Free VPNs rarely offer responsive support.
All in all, you get a much better (and safer!) experience with a paid uTorrent VPN.
Can a VPN Slow Down Your uTorrent Speeds?
Yes, there is a chance that something like that might happen.
Now it is true that a VPN can offer you better speeds while downloading torrents if your ISP is throttling your bandwidth.
However, depending on various factors (encryption, distance from the server, CPU power, capped server bandwidth, etc.), your torrent speeds might take a hit. Not necessarily a big one, mind you, but you might notice it.
For example, some uTorrent users have said on forums that using a VPN lowered their download speeds from 10 Mbps to 1.5/2 Mbps. That’s not really a bad download speed, but it’s worth mentioning.
Of course, slow speeds can also happen due to the torrent client’s configuration.
For example, if you head to Options>Preferences>Bandwidth, and you see that the “Apply rate limit to uTP connections” option is enabled, that can interfere with your speeds.
Many users have said that disabling that option helped them out.
Another thing to try is going to Options>Preferences>Bittorrent, and unchecking the “Enable bandwidth management [uTP]” option.
How to Choose the Best VPN for uTorrent
So how do you know you found the right VPN for torrenting?
Well, there’s no special formula for it. But you can make sure the service meets the following requirements:
- Most important of all – P2P support on their servers;
- High-speed servers;
- Unlimited bandwidth;
- Military-grade encryption;
- Lightweight VPN protocols (IKEv2, SoftEther, L2TP/IPSec);
- A no-log policy;
- A Kill Switch.
If it does, you shouldn’t have to worry about your privacy being in danger when using uTorrent, or dealing with inconvenient speeds.
Need a Reliable VPN Service?
We here at SmartyDNS offer high-speed VPN servers with military-grade 256 bit AES encryption and highly-secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, SoftEther and IKEv2) and we adhere to a strict no-log policy.
Our VPN servers double as proxy servers and we also offer a Smart DNS service that lets you unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other 300+ worldwide geo-restricted websites.
We offer user-friendly VPN apps for Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad, Android, and Fire TV/Stick and browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
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Oh, and we’ll also have your back with our 30-day money-back guarantee.
So why should you use a uTorrent VPN?
Well, mostly to protect your privacy from other members of the Swarm, to make sure your ISP can’t spy on your traffic to throttle your bandwidth, and to not end up in any legal trouble.
A VPN is much better than a proxy and Tor since it provides better security and convenience (the uTorrent VPN setup is much more straightforward). Just make sure you pick a VPN provider whose servers support P2P traffic.