Does Private Internet Access Allow Torrenting?

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a VPN company that has established itself as one of the leading providers on the online security market since its inception in 2010. The service offers excellent server coverage, strong encryption, a strict privacy policy, and budget-friendly pricing plans. However, its customer support is quite subpar, so we wouldn’t recommend this VPN for absolute beginners who can’t find their way around without professional help.  

This blog will explore PIA’s torrenting potential and its security levels for torrenting. So, if P2P sharing is something you use on a daily basis, stick around and discover whether PIA offers what you’re looking for.   

Is Private Internet Access Safe For Torrenting

P2P File Sharing

In order to use your VPN for torrenting, you have to make sure it allows P2P traffic in the first place. If it doesn’t, you won’t be able to use BitTorrent-based apps, which renders all uTorrents and other clients rather useless.  

Luckily for us, PIA does allow P2P, so we can continue with our security exploration. Note that PIA insists that all downloads follow the letter of the law, but we couldn’t find any mechanisms that would indicate if somebody’s doing something illegal.


Private Internet Access Safe For Torrenting

PIA offers a very strong encryption package. It supports PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN. As always, we recommend going with OpenVPN, as it is by far the best option.

PIA uses AES-256 cipher, which is an industry standard used by the military. SHA-256 is used for authentication, alongside RSA-4096 handshake. Arguably, the handshake option could even be weaker than this and still provide perfect online security. 

This VPN also comes with a kill switch feature, meaning your Internet connection will be “killed” the moment your VPN is disabled for whatever reason.

PIA is based in the US, specifically in Denver, which makes it subject to its state laws. This is far from ideal, considering potential warrants and gag orders, not to mention that the CIA and NSA are located in the US. Furthermore, the US is a member of the Five Eyes surveillance treaty. 

The company does, however, mitigate these concerns by keeping no relevant user logs. So, even if PIA was served a warrant, it wouldn’t have any damaging data to hand over.   

Torrenting On All Servers

When determining the P2P potential of any given VPN provider, we’re also very interested in whether it supports torrenting across its entire network or features just a handful of dedicated P2P servers. PIA’s entire server network is P2P-friendly, which means you’ll have more than 3,012 servers across 28 countries at your disposal.

You can also optimize your torrenting experience by utilizing the port forwarding option available on Windows, Mac, and Android. The port forwarding enabled gateways include:

  • CA Toronto
  • CA Montreal
  • CA Vancouver
  • Czech Republic
  • Berlin
  • Frankfurt
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Romania
  • Israel

Note that port forwarding can present a security risk if you don’t know how to handle it, so it is not recommended to open up your local ports for outside connections unless you fully understand the intricacies of this process. Port forwarding is not required to download torrents, but it can optimize torrent performance in some cases.

Want to find out even more about Private Internet Access? Make sure to check out our Private Internet Access Review for detailed information about this VPN provider.