There are many reasons why you should consider using a VPN service. In the past, they were used by companies that required secure access to company data for their employees working in a remote office. Today they are used increasingly by individuals who rightly believe that their internet activity should be private and protected from the prying eyes of governments, copyright trolls, and ISPs. New laws permitting the invasion of our privacy by monitoring our online activities, and geographical restrictions that block access to digital media, are just two of the reasons why we need find trustworthy VPN services. While these generic reasons why you should consider a VPN are compelling in themselves, for some online activities a VPN is even more essential.
One activity that almost always requires a VPN is BitTorrenting. If you download and seed torrents, even those that are 100% legal, your ISP will recognize that you are sharing torrents. For various reasons ISPs do not approve of their clients using Torrents and are likely are likely to punish you one way or another for doing so. We will look at this in detail below, but first, I would like to say a little more about what a VPN service has to offer.
VPN's at a glance
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a network of servers through which you connect to the internet. All data traveling between your computer, tablet or smartphone and the VPN is encrypted securely. With a VPN your online activity remains private and cannot be viewed by your ISP or copyright trolls. You are also able to avoid geographical restrictions from websites like Netflix and Hulu. The result is you can use peer-to-peer services safely.
So what is it that ISPs have against peer-to-peer file sharing with BitTorrent? In total bit torrent traffic accounts for around 8% of all internet traffic. Although that is much less than in 2008 when it accounted for around 31%, it is still claimed to be a congestion problem. Because of this many ISPs throttle it, in other words, slow it down. Your downloads will take much longer than they should. The truth is BitTorrent traffic does not contribute to congestion. ISP's do not like it because they are increasingly becoming the content creators and do not want anyone sharing that content without paying for it. Regardless of how terrible the content is.
Benefits of using a VPN for BitTorrent
With a VPN your ISP will not be able to detect that you are downloading bit torrent traffic, so the download will not be throttled. You will enjoy faster torrent download and upload speeds; even more so if your VPN uses port forwarding or assigns public IP addresses to optimize BitTorrent performance.
During 2017 ISPs are expected to send out 2.5 million copyright infringement notices to UK bit torrent users. That is despite the fact that most ISPs have already blocked UK users from accessing most BitTorrent sites, Although receiving a copyright infringement notice is not as much of a big deal as it might seem, it can feel quite disturbing and is certainly best avoided. Many people are sufficiently disturbed by receiving such a notice that they stop using torrents altogether. With a VPN you will never receive a DMCA notice because your online activity is not visible, and you will be able to access blocked torrent sites.
Not all VPN services are good for torrenting. Many limit P2P to a few servers or do not provide public IP addresses. The best ones for torrent downloads use BitTorrent-optimized servers distributed across many different countries and locations with thousands of IP addresses being available for users. They should come with a VPN Kill Switch at the very least. Ideally, you want to find one with a built-in firewall. If I could give you one word of advice it would be to find a VPN service that provides dynamic IP addresses and allows BitTorrent on every server.
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