Can You Torrent Safely with a Free VPN?

Free VPNs might get your attention by strategically using one of the words everyone wants to hear – free. But are free VPNs safe to use or is it just a myth? 

Most of the time, free VPNs can’t keep you safe online when downloading torrents. And if they claim they can do it, you’ll have to face 2 different situations. 

First, the free VPNs that are actually safe to use don’t support torrenting on their free plans, only on their paid plans. So yes, you can download torrents, but only if you choose a paid plan – which makes it, by default, not free

Second, if you find a free VPN that supports torrenting, they’ll limit how much data you can use. Instead of benefiting from unlimited downloads (like top paid VPNs offer), you can only download 500 MB or 2GB per month. Which is pretty low considering that a Blu-ray episode from your favorite TV shows can be around 1 GB or more. 

But are these the only cons of using a free VPN? Not really – here’s a list of reasons why we don’t recommend using free VPNs. 

The Disadvantages of Using a Free VPN

Not getting P2P support (unless you upgrade to the paid plan)  and having limited data usage is just the tip of the iceberg. Free VPNs might expose you to many risks, online threats, and other inconveniences compared to a paid VPN. 

Free VPNs Have Slow Speeds

VPNs slow down your speeds due to their encryption. Compared to a paid VPN, a free VPN can’t minimize that slowdown very well. And this happens because free VPNs don’t have speed-optimized servers or enough bandwidth. 

And even if you happen to connect to a good server, it’s very likely it’ll be overcrowded. When we used free VPNs in our tests, most servers we connected to were at 80-90% capacity. We always had slow speeds because there were too many people connected to those servers.

Free VPNs Lack Important Security Features

Everything comes with a price, even free VPNs. In many situations, they can put your online safety in danger because they lack essential security features that paid VPNs have. 

First of all, they use weak encryption, meaning it’s very easy for someone to crack their encryption and compromise your data.

Second, many free VPNs don’t have a kill switch. If your VPN connection drops, your real IP can be exposed. That means everyone in the torrent swarm can see it. Also, your internet service provider (ISP) can also see you’re accessing torrent sites and downloading torrents.

Last but not least, most free VPNs don’t have leak protection so you risk experiencing: 

  • DNS leaks
  • IPv6 leaks
  • WebRTC leaks

So your private data will be exposed even if you’re using a free VPN. 

Free VPNs Might Affect Your Privacy 

Free VPNs might log your IP address and traffic (what you’re downloading and what sites you’re visiting). Plus, they might also sell it to advertisers.

If you’re lucky, a free VPN might mention in their Privacy Policy that they store your information. In other cases, however, they don’t say a word about it and do it anyway. 

In this situation, it’s perfectly normal to ask yourself – if they have access to your personal data, what stops them from giving your IP address to copyright agencies or the police? 

Well, they might say they won’t do it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Most Free VPNs Have Buggy Apps

If you weren’t convinced until now that free VPNs don’t invest in a good customer experience, this one should definitely convince you. 

We tested 20+ free VPNs, and we always had to use apps that were glitchy and didn’t work well. Most of the time, we experienced problems like:: 

  • Crashes 
  • Freezes 
  • Long delays when tapping buttons
  • Apps not connecting to VPN servers

Free VPNs Have Bad Customer Support 

And this happens because free VPNs don’t have enough money to pay for customer support reps. They’re free VPNs, remember?

Best case scenario, they have a forum which can’t help you too much because it’s dead. Or, you might find support articles on their website but they aren very vague and hard to understand. 

And if you need help with something urgent, the best you can do is send them an email. But they might take even a few days to respond to it or you might not get an answer at all. 

Why Are Paid VPNs Better Than Free VPNs?

Because they can offer everything that a free VPN can’t. 

And that’s because maintaining a VPN service is expensive. After all, you have a lot of costs like: 

  • Good developers
  • Renting or buying VPN servers
  • Maintenance for those servers
  • Customer support
  • Legal stuff
  • Marketing campaigns

All these things cost a lot of money and a free VPN couldn’t offer the same quality simply because they’re free. 

Besides, you should keep in mind that paid VPNs aren’t that expensive. If you get a long-term plan, paid VPNs are very cheap – you’ll pay around $2-$5 per month. Plus, you’ll get a risk-free money-back guarantee – if you don’t like your VPN, you get your money back. Most top VPNs provide 30-day refunds.


Have you ever used a free VPN? If yes, what’s your opinion about it? Did you experience any problems? 

Please let us know how you feel about free VPNs in the comments and if you think paid VPNs are better or worse.