How To Use NordVPN for Torrenting 2024

Learn how to use NordVPN, a trusted name in cybersecurity, to torrent faster and more safely.
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Torrenting allows you to download and share large files quickly and easily; however, unprotected torrenting can expose you to malware, data leaks, and legal problems. We recommend securing your peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic with a top-tier tool like NordVPN.

Keep reading to learn how to set up NordVPN for torrenting and what makes it such a secure choice.

We do not condone illegal activities. Unfortunately, torrenting can be misused in this way. We don’t recommend or support using NordVPN or torrent clients in this manner.

In this article
Does NordVPN allow torrenting?
Why choose NordVPN for torrenting
How to set up NordVPN for torrenting
Does NordVPN support port forwarding?
NordVPN for torrenting FAQ
Bottom line: is NordVPN good for torrenting?

Does NordVPN allow torrenting?

NordVPN supports torrenting on its P2P-optimized servers. You can't torrent on regular servers, but you’ll have plenty of P2P locations to choose from. A NordVPN customer support rep informed us that most of their servers belong to that P2P group. So you shouldn't have any problems finding a fast connection.

NordVPN torrenting customer support chat

They also emphasized that Nord doesn't condone illegal activities like copyright infringement. The service should boost your privacy and security, not circumvent laws and regulations.

Why choose NordVPN for torrenting

NordVPN is the best at what it does, thanks to its tight security, P2P-friendly network, and good download speeds. It checks all the right boxes if you want to torrent with a VPN. We mainly recommend it to casual torrenters, however. Maximizing every facet of P2P traffic requires sacrificing your security, which defeats the purpose of using a virtual private network (VPN).

Read more about these points below.

Top-tier VPN security

NordVPN's security setup ensures safe torrenting without drastic speed drops. Here's an overview of its essential security features:

  • Robust encryption: NordVPN uses the unbreakable AES-256 cipher. This powerful encryption will hide your P2P traffic from prying eyes and prevent slow speeds caused by internet service provider (ISP) throttling.
  • Double VPN: This feature passes your traffic through two VPN servers instead of one. It allows you to stay safe in countries that block VPNs. However, we don't recommend using it anywhere else since double encryption can cause severe speed drops.
  • Threat Protection: This feature blocks ads, trackers, and malicious websites. It also scans downloaded files for malware and detects risky apps. It deals with all the potential dangers you can find on torrenting websites.

  • IP masking: NordVPN will hide your real Internet Protocol (IP) address from other peers in the swarm and prevent IP leaks. This means that no one can trace your P2P traffic back to your device. Your IP address is enough to find your location, identify you, and mount an attack against you. Masking it also prevents potential hack attacks.
  • Automatic kill switch: If your NordVPN server connection drops, your internet connection will immediately terminate. The kill switch prevents unprotected internet access and resulting data leaks.

  • Proven no-log policy: NordVPN doesn't monitor or record your online activity, so your P2P traffic will leave no trace that could end up in the wrong hands. If the authorities demand user data from the company, there's nothing to hand over. Four independent audits have confirmed NordVPN's dedication to user privacy.

P2P-friendly VPN server network

NordVPN operates more than 6,000 servers in 60+ countries. A large server network provides two major benefits for torrenters:

  • You'll have virtually unlimited bandwidth to work with, no matter where you live.
  • With server redundancy in most countries, you won't have to deal with server crowding and slow speeds.

Many NordVPN servers are specialized for specific functions (P2P, double VPN, and Onion over VPN). This means you'll torrent on servers optimized for fast, smooth, and safe file sharing. A lot of VPN services will throttle your speed after detecting P2P traffic. With specialized P2P servers, however, NordVPN anticipates that its users will torrent, so limiting your torrenting to those servers is actually a good thing.

A screenshot of NordVPN specialty servers settings

If you need help finding the fastest location, the client can pick the best NordVPN server for you automatically. If you're experiencing problems with server connectivity, consult NordVPN's official troubleshooting guide.

Fast and stable VPN connections

According to our tests, NordVPN provides excellent speeds. We also enjoyed seamless connectivity without any VPN connection drops or lag. While testing the UK servers from the US, we even got a slight speed increase.

Test type No VPN connection US to US US to UK US to AU
Download speed 254.5 Mbps 231.4 Mbps 254.6 Mbps 216.6 Mbps
Upload speed 5.4 Mbps 5.5 Mbps 4.9 Mbps 3.7 Mbps
Latency (ping) 23 ms 69 ms 137 ms 310 ms
Download speed % difference N/A -9.1% +0.03% -14.9%
Upload speed % difference N/A +1.9% -9.3% -31.5%
Latency % difference N/A +200% +495.7% +1,247.8%

Minor speed drops are normal when routing your traffic through an encrypted tunnel. However, if you're experiencing severe slowdowns, try these quick fixes:

  • Select servers close to your location: Finding the best NordVPN server for torrenting usually comes down to picking the one closest to you. Using nearby locations means your signal has less distance to cover. This usually results in better performance.
  • Target lower pings: Look for servers with lower ping (or latency) values in speed tests. Closer servers usually have lower pings, but you'll have to go through some trial and error if you have multiple options nearby.
  • Experiment with different VPN protocols: Every tunnel supported by NordVPN will affect your speed differently. OpenVPN UDP, for example, can cause a 30% drop, even on nearby servers. So, we recommend using NordLynx if you're on a slower network or struggling with performance.

How to set up NordVPN for torrenting

You can set up NordVPN for torrenting in two ways:

  1. Download and install the NordVPN app for your device: Most users will be perfectly comfortable with this option.
  2. Set up NordVPN's SOCKS5 proxy in your torrent client: This option is more complex and provides less security since proxy servers don't encrypt your traffic. We only recommend it if you're absolutely sure what you're doing.

Learn how to set up both options in our step-by-step guides below.

How to use NordVPN apps for safe torrenting

Download and install the NordVPN app

Go to the NordVPN website and download the right app for your system. If you’re not registered, you’ll be prompted to choose a plan and create an account.

Enable the internet kill switch

Once the app is installed and launched, you’ll want to set up a few key features to help with torrenting. The first is the internet kill switch. Head to the app settings and toggle on the kill switch. Note that you need to enable the Internet Kill Switch, not the App Kill Switch. This is important!

A screenshot of NordVPN kill switch settings

Choose your VPN protocol

For most users, this will either be OpenVPN or NordLynx — these offer the best combination of security and speed. You can find the protocol menu in the Auto-connect tab of the settings panel.

A screenshot of the NordVPN settings menu, with the VPN protocol options highlighted by a red box. The NordLynx VPN protocol is currently selected.

Enable NordVPN Threat Protection

This will turn NordVPN into a quasi-antivirus program. You can enable it in the app under the shield icon.

A screenshot of the NordVPN threat protection feature, which blocks ads, trackers, malicious files and malicious sites.

Choose the right server

When selecting your server, choose one that’s close enough to you physically to get good performance. This can be a balancing act because you may want to use one inside a specific country as well. The right balance will be unique to each individual.

A screenshot of the NordVPN server list, showing a partial list of countries, including South Africa, South Korea, Spain, and Sweden, as well as a map of the United States.

Connect to the VPN

Finally, click the blue Connect button to activate the VPN and secure your connection.

How to set up NordVPN SOCKS5 proxy in your BitTorrent client

You don’t actually need to use the NordVPN apps for torrenting. Instead, you can have the torrent client connect directly to the NordVPN proxy. This process is a lot more involved than using the app, but it can be useful if you only want geo-unblocking without any protection.

Each torrent client has its own settings page for inputting the proxy information, but the processes are pretty similar: Open up the client, find the proxy section of the settings, and enter the correct information.

uTorrent

  1. Open the uTorrent app on your device.
  2. Open the Preferences panel.
  3. Select the Connection section of Preferences.
  4. Under the Proxy Server section, set the Type to Socks5.
  5. In the Proxy field, enter one of the following servers (we recommend choosing based on proximity to your location):

      amsterdam.nl.socks.nordhold.net 
      atlanta.us.socks.nordhold.net 
      dallas.us.socks.nordhold.net 
      los-angeles.us.socks.nordhold.net 
      nl.socks.nordhold.net se.socks.nordhold.net 
      stockholm.se.socks.nordhold.net 
      us.socks.nordhold.net 
      new-york.us.socks.nordhold.net
  6. In the Port field, enter 1080.
  7. Select the following checkboxes on the Connection page:

      Authentication
      Use proxy for hostname lookups
      Use proxy for peer-to-peer connections
      Disable all local DNS lookups
      Disable features that leak identifying information
      Disable connections unsupported by the proxy
  8. Enter your NordVPN username and password in the Username and Password field. These can be found on your Nord Account dashboard.
  9. Click the Apply and OK buttons to save your changes.

qBittorrent

  1. Open the qBittorent app on your device.
  2. Open the Options page.
  3. Select Connection from the page and find the Proxy server section.
  4. Set the Type to SOCKS5.
  5. Set the host to one of these proxy servers:

      amsterdam.nl.socks.nordhold.net 
      atlanta.us.socks.nordhold.net 
      dallas.us.socks.nordhold.net 
      los-angeles.us.socks.nordhold.net 
      nl.socks.nordhold.net 
      se.socks.nordhold.net 
      stockholm.se.socks.nordhold.net 
      us.socks.nordhold.net 
      new-york.us.socks.nordhold.net
  • Set the Port to 1080.
  • Check the Use proxy for peer connections and the Authentication checkboxes.
  • Enter your NordVPN username and password in the Username and Password fields. These can be found on your Nord Account dashboard.
  • Click the Apply and OK buttons to save your changes.
  • Deluge

    1. Open the Deluge app.
    2. Open the Preferences page.
    3. Select the Proxy tab.
    4. From the Proxy menu, choose Socks5 Auth.
    5. Enter your NordVPN username and password in the Username and Password fields. These can be found on your Nord Account dashboard.
    6. Set the Hostname to one of these proxy servers:

        amsterdam.nl.socks.nordhold.net 
        atlanta.us.socks.nordhold.net 
        dallas.us.socks.nordhold.net 
        los-angeles.us.socks.nordhold.net 
        nl.socks.nordhold.net 
        se.socks.nordhold.net 
        stockholm.se.socks.nordhold.net 
        us.socks.nordhold.net 
        new-york.us.socks.nordhold.net
    7. Set the Port to 1080.
    8. Click the Apply and OK buttons to save your changes.

    Does NordVPN support port forwarding?

    Port forwarding lets incoming traffic through your Network Address Translation (NAT) firewall and other security measures. It makes you vulnerable to cyberattacks, so NordVPN doesn't support it.

    Having said that, it allows you to connect to more peers when torrenting and get better speeds. This is why we recommended NordVPN primarily to casual torrenters. Power seeders and people looking to maximize their P2P setup will likely want port forwarding.

    If not having port management is a deal breaker for you, we recommend going with ExpressVPN or PIA instead. We wouldn’t recommend using a free VPN that claims to offer port forwarding due to potential security issues.

    NordVPN for torrenting FAQ


    +

    Is NordVPN good for torrenting?

    Yes, NordVPN is a great VPN service for torrenting. It offers fast speeds and an easy-to-use interface, plus it’s got a huge selection of P2P servers to choose from. The main downside of NordVPN for many users would be the lack of port forwarding, but this won’t be an issue for everyone. Overall, we recommend NordVPN for casual torrenters in particular.


    +

    What NordVPN protocol is best for torrenting?

    The best NordVPN protocols for torrenting are either OpenVPN or NordLynx (WireGuard). They both offer a strong balance between security and performance. NordLynx is likely to be faster, but OpenVPN may be more secure.


    +

    How can I increase torrenting speed while using NordVPN?

    The main way you can increase NordVPN speed is to choose the right protocol and the right server. If you’re using OpenVPN, try NordLynx (or vice versa). For servers, try options relatively close to your geographic location.

    Bottom line: is NordVPN good for torrenting?

    Yes! We definitely recommend NordVPN as a VPN for torrenting. It combines ease of use, performance, and security in a way that we really appreciate — it’s hard to find this same combination of features at this price anywhere else.

    To learn more about this VPN service, check out our comprehensive NordVPN review.

    Customizable Coverage That is Simple to Use
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    Author Details
    Dave Schafer is a freelance writer with a passion for making technical concepts easy for anyone to understand. He’s been covering the world of gadgets, tech, and the internet for nearly 10 years, and his writing has been featured in a variety of print and digital publications. When he’s not writing, Dave can be found playing guitar or camping with his family and golden retriever, Rosie.