- Avast VPN is, as its name suggests, a virtual private network service, but is Avast VPN fit for your torrenting needs?
- We're going to analyze Avast VPN thoroughly and determine whether or not it's fit for the job when it comes to hiding torrenting data.
- Check out our best VPNs you can safely use with torrent clients.
- Visit our VPN Hub to discover more awesome VPN guides on protecting your privacy.
Avast VPN is, as its name suggests, a virtual private network service, but is Avast VPN fit for your torrenting needs? It’s widely accepted that a VPN should be capable of keeping both your privacy and security safe.
However, it’s been proven that certain providers only offer these amazing features on paper. Therefore, we’re going to carefully analyze Avast VPN and find out whether or not it’s fit for the job when it comes to hiding torrenting data.
What makes a good torrenting VPN?
First and foremost, a decent VPN should be able to protect your Internet activity against prying eyes. Since some users partake in P2P activities, it’s safe to say that torrenting is also a type of online activity.
Therefore, it should be shielded by your VPN of choice, by default.
We put privacy at the top of our list as we believe that this is what separates great VPNs from ones that we would never recommend. If you chose a VPN based on its server speed, then you probably shouldn’t use one, to begin with.
While torrenting, you connect with other peers, which can easily see your IP address and location. With just a bit of skill and the right tools, even a script kiddie (non-experienced, hacker wannabe) can do harm to your PC.
A good VPN won’t let that happen by doing a bunch of things. First of all, it will shield your IP address. Second, it will assign you a fake location, based on the server you connected to. A good VPN will also be leak-proof.
Last, but not least, all traffic between you and the VPN gateway will be safely encrypted. Although we placed security on the second spot, it’s actually a tie between it and privacy. No competition, they’re equally important.
You can check if your VPN‘s leaking by visiting either one (or all) of these services:
We advise you to do so before actually torrenting, as it can save you from a lot of headaches with local authorities.
3. Does it allow torrenting?
Before you go any further, it’s worth mentioning that some VPN providers frown upon P2P activities such as torrenting, while others downright forbid you from engaging in torrenting.
Thus, you’ll need to figure out whether or not your VPN provider allows torrenting. If it does, you’ll also want to know what are the terms you must follow while performing this action.
Some great ways of figuring out if a VPN allows torrenting are:
- Asking a customer support agent or company rep
- Giving a thorough read to the VPN’s Terms of Service (we know you won’t do that)
- Checking if there are any dedicated P2P servers you can connect to
Alright now, even though speed is saved for last, it’s not exactly unimportant. If your VPN has passed the privacy and security tests, you’ll obviously need it to be fast.
But not just fast. The fastest. You’ll want to look after VPNs that don’t have the habit of restricting bandwidth. Yes, they are real, just like bandwidth-limiting ISPs are still a thing in the 21st century.
How good is Avast Secureline VPN for torrenting?
1. No-logging policy
Privacy-wise, Avast VPN can be a trustworthy torrenting ally. We absolutely don’t mean that in a shady way, not just one bit. We don’t endorse any kind of unlawful activity, and neither does Avast.
We’re just saying that if you decide to download some files via torrent, Avast VPN will keep it on the hush if the authorities start asking questions.
While Avast does collect some data from you while using the service, it’s not information you can be identified after.
Data Avast VPN collects:
- Connection timestamps
- Original IP address subnet (only the last digits)
- The IP address of the VPN server you’re connected to
- How much data you transmitted
- OS version
- Avast VPN client’s version
- App events
Data Avast VPN doesn’t collect:
- Full IP addresses of its customers
- Online activity logs that may include what websites you visit or what services you use
- Any DNS queries you may make (Avast VPN uses proprietary DNS servers)
2. Great security features, no leaks
Like any respectable VPN provider, Avast VPN provides its customers with military-grade 256-bit AES standards. This means that all of your Internet traffic will be safely encrypted by the client and kept away from prying eyes.
Reportedly, the VPN service is based on OpenSSL and OpenVPN. These are some of the best and widely-used protocols in the world in terms of transparency, reliability, compatibility, and overall security.
We’ve connected to a P2P-enabled server, started torrenting a file (legally, of course), and performed the leak tests we’ve mentioned above.
You can check the results below.
- ipleak – no IP, DNS, location, Torrent address, WebRTC leaks
- IPX – no IP, DNS, WebRTC, location leaks
- BrowserLeaks – no IP, DNS, location, WebRTC leaks
The ipleak service also has a torrent address test. After connecting to a VPN server, you add a magnet link to your default torrent client and wait for the results. As you can see, there was no leak on our side while using Avast VPN.
Therefore, it’s safe to assume that security-wise, you’re in good hands while torrenting behind Avast VPN.
3. Does Avast VPN allow torrenting?
Yes, Avast VPN does allow torrenting. We wouldn’t have gotten so far with our article just to reach this point and tell you that it doesn’t.
There’s no mention of P2P we could find in the Terms of Service documentation (which is shared with other Avast products and somewhat confusing).
However, if you access Avast SecureLine VPN’s FAQ page, you’ll notice that they covered a question regarding whether or not this service allows P2P connection. The answer is yes.
To clarify things even further, there are several dedicated torrenting servers you can connect to within the Avast VPN app. Just look for the P2P category or a small P2P indicator next to the server you want to use.
4. Speed tests
Well, we’ve seen that Avast VPN can keep your privacy safe, and your connection secure, and leak-free. But how well does it fare when it comes to speed?
We’ve run some tests to determine if and how much does Avast VPN slow down your connection while torrenting.
The results are not exactly good, but they’re not awful, either. While using a P2P-enabled server, we’ve attempted to torrent a Linux distribution from its official website, with and without the VPN.
- While using the VPN, the speed peaked at about 10 MBps, give or take ~ 1 MBs
- Without the VPN, we reached a top speed of approximately 30 MBps, give or take ~ 2-3 MBs
Thus, we can assume that using Avast VPN while torrenting results in a speed drop of about 2/3. However, we weren’t satisfied with these results and decided to do one more test.
We’ve used two different speed test tools (Netflix’s fast.com and Ookla’s Speedtest.net) to see if our initial assessments were correct. Mind you that we’ve used the same server throughout our entire battery of tests. Here are the results:
- With VPN: 83 Mbps / 30 Mbps
- Without VPN: 920 Mbps / 490 Mbps
- With : 151.72 Mbps / 21.22 Mbps
- Without : 839.4 Mbps / 500.38 Mbps
Although we were hoping to notice a smaller difference between VPN/non-VPN speed values, the speed test results have yielded a huge difference between the two types of usage.
As you can see, using Avast VPN gave us an average of ~ 90% speed reduction. Thus, it’s safe to conclude that even though Avast VPN does great when it comes to privacy and security, it’s not exactly brilliant when it comes to speed.
Final thoughts on torrenting with Avast VPN
All things considered, if you’re looking for a safe VPN to use while torrenting, Avast VPN might be exactly what you’re looking for. It has a strict no-logging policy, has military-grade encryption, and is completely airtight (no leaks).
On the downside, if you care a lot about speed, you’re in for some disappointment. Neither our torrenting tests nor our standard speed tests showed great results regarding Avast VPN’s speed.
Our speed tests lead us to believe that Avast VPN has some speed restrictions, despite the fact it advertises unlimited bandwidth.