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    The Complete PIA Torrenting Guide

    pia torrenting

    If you’re into peer to peer torrenting, then you probably know the problems that come with it. For example, having your internet connection and download speed throttled by your internet service provider (ISP) or third-parties gathering information about your downloads.

    Although torrenting itself isn’t illegal, you can face huge fines for accidentally downloading copyrighted material through torrents.

    For that reason, you must have a safe method to guarantee your privacy and security while using a torrent client, and that’s where this PIA torrenting guide comes in handy!

    In today’s article, we’ll walk you through a brief guide about torrenting with Private Internet Access and whether it’s safe and reliable. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

    Summary: The Best Way to Torrent with PIA

    There are three different ways to use Private Internet Access for torrenting, which are through VPN, Proxy, or a combination of the two. 

    We’ll guide you through all these methods in the following sections, but here’s a quick look at each method, so you can figure out which one is best for you:

    1. VPN Only: 

    This one is a powerful option for privacy and security. It protects you from monitors by your ISP and prevents torrent blocking and throttling. 

    Your torrent IP will be the same as the browser’s and the download will be generally slower, although you can choose different servers and locations to optimize the speed.

    1. Proxy Only: 

    This gives you relatively weak encryption that depends on the torrent client you use. It might be quite faster than a VPN connection but it won’t protect your torrents from blocking or throttling.

    1. VPN + Proxy Connection:

    A great combination of both encryption features because each option will change your IP once, so it gives you a much deeper level of privacy, which is more than enough for entry-level users who want unthrottled and private torrenting. 

    Additionally,  your connecting and torrenting will be deeply encrypted with 256-bit AES encryption, which also helps in preventing any IP leaks and spares you the inconvenience of frequent internet disconnection by the kill switch.

    There are also some claims, though unproven, that using both VPN and Proxy together is faster than using VPN only.

    How to Use PIA as a VPN for Torrents

    Throughout the years, PIA has made sure that its VPN services are easy to use and implement, so here’s how you can change your IP using PIA Client:

    1. Visit PIA’s website and enter your email address to receive your login information
    2. Choose a payment method, which includes PayPal, credit cards, and popular cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
    3. Make sure that you’ve received your login information in your email.
    4. Choose your OS and download PIA’s VPN Client.
    5. Install the client and launch it.
    6. Log in using your username and password you received through email.
    7. Click the Advanced tab to optimize your security features (optional, more about them below)
    8. Choose the VPN server to connect to (Netherlands and Canada are the best for speed, but you can try different options and see what works best for you)
    9. Launch your torrenting client

    As you can see, the process is extremely easy and would be a 1-click option from here on. To optimize your security, there are some features that you may want to check in the advanced settings tab:

    • Make sure that you activate the “kill switch” option before you connect for added privacy if the VPN connection is lost.
    • Choose “udp” protocol for connection type because it offers the highest possible speed in VPN connections
    • Enable PIA additional security features, such as “port forwarding”, “PIA MACE”, leak protection (DNS and IPv6)

    Lastly, you should also enable “auto port mapping” in the connection tab of your torrent client’s preferences/settings, especially if the connection is much slower than it should.

    How to Use Private Internet Access SOCKS5 Proxy Server

    Whether you want to use PIA’s SOCKS5 proxy server alone or combined with a VPN, you must first generate a username and password to type them in the torrenting client. 

    Keep in mind that you should do this before connecting to any torrenting client out there. Here’s how to do it:

    1. Go to the PIA website and log in.
    2. Click the “account” panel.
    3. Look for a button that says “Regenerate Username and Password”, and click it. You’ll find a new username and password showing above the button.

    After that, you should head to your favorite torrenting client and enable the SOCKS5 proxy connection. 

    This part will vary slightly from one client to the other, so here’s how to achieve it in some of the most popular torrenting clients out there:

    1. qBittorrent 

    qBittorent is frequently dubbed as the most popular torrenting client nowadays because of its lightweight and privacy-supporting features, here’s how to enable SOCKS5 proxy connection there:

    1. Select tools > options > connections 
    2. Scroll down until you find the “Proxy Server” box
    1. Enable “authentication” and enter the username and password that you’ve generated earlier
    2. At the “Host” box, type “proxy-nl.privateinternetaccess.com” to choose PIA’s SOCKS5 server in the Netherlands
    3. At the “port” box, type “1080”

    Optional Steps for Added Privacy:

    1. Choose other encryption features, such as “use proxy only for torrents”. This optional step will reduce the number of peers and may also protect you from throttling in some regions.
    2. Head to Tools > Options > Bittorrent
    3. Click the “encryption mode” dropdown, then choose to require a connection.

    2. uTorrent

    uTorrent has been the most popular client for quite some time and is favored by many to this day. 

    They frequently update the security and offer easy remote control settings. Here’s how to use PIA SOCKS5 with this client:

    1. Launch the client, and choose options > preferences
    2. Click the Connections tab on the left
    3. In the “Proxy Server” box, click “type” and choose “SOCKS5”
    4. Enable “authentication” and enter the username and password that you’ve generated earlier
    5. In proxy, type “proxy-nl.privateinternetaccess.com”
    6. In port, type “1080”

    Optional Steps for Added Privacy:

    1. In addition to “authentication”, make sure that you check all other boxes in the “Proxy Server” and “Proxy Privacy” tabs.
    2. On the left, switch to the “Bittorrent” tab
    3. Click the “Outgoing” dropdown, and change it to “Forced” without ticking the “Allow incoming legacy connections” box.

    3. Vuze

    Vuze is a relatively new torrenting client that is quickly rising through the ranks, thanks to its well-designed layout, built-in chat features as well as competent virus protection it offers. Here’s how to enable Proxy settings in this client:

    1. Launch the client, then click Menu > Tools > Options.
    2. Click the “User Mode” tab on the left, and make sure that you’re on the advanced user mode to be able to edit proxy settings.
    3. Switch the “Connection” tab, and choose “Proxy” from the dropdown menu
    4. In the “Tracker Communications”, box, make sure that you tick all boxes
    5. Enter the username and password that you’ve generated earlier
    6. In “Host”, type “proxy-nl.privateinternetaccess.com”
    7. In “Port”, type “1080”
    8. In “Peer Communications”, check all boxes and make sure that the SOCKS version is set to “5”.
    9. Click “Test SOCKS” to make sure that you’ve successfully set the client up.
    10. Under the “Connection” tab on the left, switch to “Transport Encryption”

    Optional Steps for Added Privacy:

    1. Check the “Require encrypted transport”
    2. Set “minimum encryption level” to “RC4”
    3. Uncheck all other boxes in the “Transport Encryption/obfuscation” section

    4. Deluge

    Deluge has managed to amass a loyal base throughout the years due to its ease of use and high customizability with plugins. Here’s how to set it up for PIA torrenting with a proxy:

    1. Launch the client, then click Edit > Preferences
    2. On the left, choose the “Proxy” tab. 
    3. You should find 4 individual proxy sections, which are Peers, Web Seed, Trackers, and DHT in order. Apply the Proxy settings for all of them so that they look exactly identical.
    4. In “Type”, choose “Socks V5 W/ Auth” from the dropdown menu.
    5. Enter the username and password that you’ve generated earlier
    6. In “Host”, type “proxy-nl.privateinternetaccess.com”
    7. In “Port”, type “1080”

    Optional Steps for Added Privacy:

    1. Go to Edit > Preferences, then choose the “Network” tab on the left.
    2. Check all boxes in the “Network Extras” section
    3. In “Encryption”, set the “inbound” and “outbound” dropdowns to “forced”
    4. Set the level to “Full Stream”
    5. Check the “Encrypt entire steam box”

    How to Use Both PIA VPN and Proxy for Torrents

    As previously mentioned, opting for both gives you the best possible security and privacy because it will make your torrent IP address different from the browser IP address all the while hiding your true IP address while you’re torrenting.

    Here’s a quick guide to get both VPN and Proxy running simultaneously without any conflicts or hiccups:

    1. Start by testing out your IP address, there are plenty of websites that will help you with that, such as whatismyip.com or whatismyip.org. You should find your true IP address there.
    2. Launch your PIA software and connect to any VPN server of your choice 
    3. Test out the IP address again using any of the previous websites. The IP should change to the new one. 
    4. After making sure that you’re connected to VPN, launch your favorite torrent software.
    5. Follow the earlier guide to SOCKS5 Proxy Server connection from the settings/connection tab.
    6. Check your torrent IP and compare it to your browser’s IPv4. You should find that they’re different from each other, signifying top-notch privacy

    As you can see, connecting to the VPN before Proxy is quite essential because reversing the order may lead to proxy errors. Such errors may even block you from reconnecting for some time.

    If that happens to you, don’t panic! Simply close the torrent software for a short period, reconnect to a new VPN address, then open your torrent software to continue the process.

    About Private Internet Access

    Private Internet Access, also known as PIA, PIA VPN, or PrivateInternetAccess, is one of the biggest and most popular VPN service providers on the planet. 

    The American company started in 2010 but is now owned by Private Internet, which until very recently was known as “Kape Technologies”.

    Private Internet Access is quite known for its outstanding performance when it comes to VPN and private connections, thanks to its incredibly large network of servers, which now covers up to 78 countries, spanning across more than 35,400 units!

    In addition to using a huge number of servers, the company focuses on the quality of the servers too.

    The servers utilize premium hardware components that support up to 10 Gbps networks and RAM disks to make sure that all private and sensitive information is never lost if the server’s power goes off. 

    Moreover, PIA’s applications support some of the most popular VPN protocols that are known for security and fast speed, such as OpenVPN and WireGuard. Private Internet Access has its headquarters and corporate office in Colorado, U.S.A. 

    You can access the safe and secure network of PIA VPN through a variety of operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. 

    Additionally, they exist as browser extensions and add-ons for a variety of popular ones out there, such as Chrome, Opera, and Firefox. 

    We’ve recently written a brief review of the massive VPN service provider. Click here to check it out and find out more about PIA and whether it’s the right VPN provider for you!

    Is PIA VPN Good for Torrenting?

    Now that you know more about Private Internet Access, it’s time to find out more about PIA’s features. 

    In fact, Private Internet Access is easily considered one of the best VPN providers because it offers an excellent balance of pricing, performance, and features. 

    They make a great entry and intermediate level VPN provider that will supply the basic internet user with all the necessary privacy features. Here’s a quick look at some of the top features that PIA offers:

    1. Unbeatable Privacy and Zero Logging Policy

    The data that you consume while using a VPN service is known as VPN logs. These logs are monitored by the VPN provider, as they’ll have access to all your internet activity as long as you’re connected to their VPN.

    A lot of people use VPN services to keep their IP addresses private and stay secure while browsing or using sensitive information. However, you have to trust your VPN provider to keep your information secret and secure.

    The extent to which your VPN provider can access your information depends greatly on the logging policy that they offer. 

    This includes monitoring your information and traces it back to your original IP address, the websites you’ve visited while using the VPN, and even the server you were connected to.

    Although almost all VPN providers will claim that they offer the maximum privacy, only a handful of them actually stay true to their word when it comes to logging.

    Luckily, PIA is one of the few companies out there that offers a true zero-logging policy. This is because Private Internet Access is a US-based company where VPN services aren’t required by the law to hold on to data, logs, or records of use.

    This means that while using PIA, the VPN provider won’t monitor your browsing activity or download history, nor will it retain any connection logs, which offers an excellent range of privacy.

    PIA servers run on RAM memory only. This means that all the data stored on them are automatically wiped when the servers restart.

    2. Excellent File Sharing and Torrent-Friendly Features

    In addition to the great level of security and privacy that the company offers, when it comes to torrenting, not many VPN providers would top Private Internet Access. PIA supports torrents and Peer to Peer (P2P) traffic on all of their servers. 

    They won’t block or ban any torrent downloads nor do they restrict the torrents to a specific location or a server. They also offer a wide variety of features that make them an ultra torrent-friendly VPN provider, such as:

    Torrent Rerouting Solutions

    The service even helps in rerouting heavy Bit torrent activity to torrent-friendly countries, although this has a significant impact on the download speeds. 

    They also help you bypass the download speed throttling that some ISPs force on any torrent downloads.

    Port Forwarding

    PIA also supports seeding and port forwarding through its VPN client on both PCs and Android devices. 

    Keep in mind that PIA supports port forwarding on more than 29,000 servers, which are all their servers except for the ones in the U.S.A. This feature helps in pumping up the speed while torrenting through a heavily restrictive network.

    WireGuard Integration

    The WireGuard Integration helps Private Internet Access achieve a decent download speed for an extremely torrent-friendly VPN provider. 

    One thing you should know is that they’re not necessarily the fastest, but they’re pretty decent, especially when taking other features in mind.

    Kill Switch and Leak Protection

    No matter how solid a service or a connection can be, there’s always a chance for something to go wrong. 

    The problem is, if the connection to the VPN drops accidentally while you’re torrenting, your data and IP address will be exposed and leaked.

    To prevent all this from happening PIA has incorporated a safety kill switch. This one will kill your internet connection as soon as it triggers if the VPN disconnects for any reason. 

    The kill switch comes with various settings and you can adjust it to specific triggers for convenience.

    Additionally, PIA protects you from other kinds of IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks by automatically blocking their traffic and routing them through their proprietary DNS servers instead.

    Free Access to SOCKS5 Proxy Server

    A SOCKS type proxy will create a TCP connection channel with other servers behind the firewall, then exchanges packets of network between torrenting clients and servers.

    Many torrenting clients, such as qBittorrent, u Torrent, and Vuze, allow you to use a proxy connection for extra privacy. 

    The advanced Netherlands-based SOCKS5 that PIA offers with a subscription allows you to go through it for a faster and more private download. 

    High Compatibility

    PIA doesn’t force you to use a specific torrenting client. Instead, they’re compatible with a huge variety of torrent clients, such as qBittorrent, u Torrent, Vuze, Deluge, and more.

    Split Tunneling

    If you want to keep your torrenting data secure but you don’t want all your internet surfing data to go through the same filter, PIA gives you the ability to choose what goes through them and what goes directly to your ISP, which is a great way to enjoy a balance between speed and security!

    3. Military-Grade Security 

    PIA’s software offers end-to-end 128 and 256-bit AES encryption, which is one of the highest levels of communication encryption protocols out there.

    Final Thoughts

    This wraps it up for today’s guide about PIA torrenting. As you can see, PIA is one of the best VPN service providers out there that will guarantee your privacy and security while torrenting.

    Although the download speeds might not be the best, they’re still an excellent choice for a beginner or someone suffering from throttling. 

    However, if you want a torrenting service that will give you high download speed while guaranteeing your privacy, you might need a pricier alternative like ExpressVPN

    Tim Robinson

    Tim Robinson

    I research, write, and publish about VPN and other privacy tools.

    My first VPN setup was over ten years ago, and since then, it is an essential part of my internet experience. I surf the internet, stream, and work with a VPN.

    Tim Robinson

    Tim Robinson

    I research, write, and publish about VPN and other privacy tools.

    My first VPN setup was over ten years ago, and since then, it is an essential part of my internet experience. I surf the internet, stream, and work with a VPN.

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