Torrenting With Private Internet Access (PIA): A Complete Guide

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Private Internet Access, also known as PIA is among the best VPN service providers across the world that offers its users exceptional services. 

Private Internet Access has a ton of servers in the world, offers excellent customer support services to its users, and is among the VPNs that are easy to use. In short, Private Internet Access is an all-around VPN. 

But the question that aspiring VPN users are yet to find out its answer is: how is Private Internet Access’s performance when torrenting? 

Torrenting is an area where most VPN service providers don’t offer the best services. In most cases, peer-to-peer sharing of files is blocked because of many reasons. 

That said, Private Internet Access refers its users to other servers to ensure that their speeds are maintained at all times. 

But what’s even surprising is that even some of the most popular VPN service providers can fail when it comes to torrenting. That said, let’s look at how Private Internet Access does with torrenting. 

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Can I torrent using Private Internet Access without Inconvenience? 

If you check Private Internet Access’s homepage, you’ll see that the VPN service provider centers on privacy protection, beating censorship, as well as the ease of configuration. 

And did you notice something? We didn’t talk about torrenting, and that’s not something new because we are aware that most VPNs offer torrenting features, but won’t make it their Unique Selling Point. 

If you go to the bottom of the page (that’s on the Private Internet Access homepage), you will notice that they offer P2P support under the features of their VPN plan/ package. 

Unfortunately, you will find very little information when you try to get some more details about torrenting or their torrenting policy. That means that you will have to dig deep to get in-depth facts about torrenting. 

All the same, you can still share peer-to-peer files using PIA, and there should be no cause of alarm. 

Features of PIA torrenting 

In this section, we are going to look at the features offered in Private Internet Access torrenting: 

  • Robust protocols – Private Internet Access provides its users with leading protocols such as L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN. 
  • Excellent encryption – As a Private Internet Access subscriber, you will have an option to choose from 256-Bit or 128-Bit encryption, which are more than secure. Additionally, you have the freedom to go for 128-Bit AES that has no authentication to help increase your speeds. This will do away with your encryption, though. 
  • A ton of servers – PIA has 3,300+ servers, which means that you will easily find fast connections. Unfortunately, these servers are only available in 17 countries, which may leave some users desperate to find alternatives that could be near their residence, Additionally, due to this limitation in the number of countries, users may experience sluggish speeds, especially in Asian countries. 
  • Zero logging – Private Internet Access is one of the VPN service providers with no-logs policy, which means that they don’t store your data during your online activities. 
  • Test before you commit yourself – If you have the option of trying a service for 30 days before you can commit yourself, that’s better and a good deal too. The good news is that Private Internet Access offers its users a 30-day refund if you are not pleased with their services. 
  • Unlimited bandwidth – The advantage of Private Internet Access is that you will have unlimited bandwidth to download without experiencing any inconveniences. 
  • A variety of platforms – If you are using Private Internet Access, you will have the freedom to use it on Linux, iOS, Mac, as well as Windows. Additionally, PIA offers its users various extensions such as Opera extension, Chrome extension and Firefox extension. 

The features we have discussed above can boost your torrenting activities when using Private Internet Access. And you might be wondering whether there are any limitations of using Private Internet Access. 

Sure, Private Internet Access is located in the United States, and as you know, the United States has stringent rules to copyright violations. 

In their privacy policy, Private Internet Access states that “comply with all valid subpoena requests.” And while the company says so, the VPN company will remain protective to its users. 

And Private Internet Access users will be more than pleased if they realized that the no-logs policy had been tried in a court of law and they PIA honored their policy. 

Any negative customer feedback about PIA torrenting?

One of the issues or significant VPN preferences users is performance. If you can get the performance you expected, there’s no reason why you should stay committed. You may decide to quit and move to a VPN service provider that gives preference to torrenting. 

Some of the Private Internet Access customers have complained about disconnections when sharing P2P files, though others have found some relief by using Private Internet Access Socks5 proxy. So you can try that if your major priority for using VPN is to torrent. Also, PIA provides its users with a kill switch feature to protect them from leaks. 

There has also been a heated debate about PIA on Reddit. Most customers have been lamenting about Private Internet Access’s speed, while others have complained about technical errors, which may have also inconvenienced them in one way or another. 

The thing is that Private Internet Access is suitable for torrenting. The catch is that you must get your facts right about how you can set P2P client set up correctly. 

Establish the Socks5 proxy for torrenting with major P2P clients

There are a variety of torrenting clients, including uTorrent and qBittorrent. These have proven to attract the most PIA users attention. 

For best performance; however, it is best if you deal with them separately to identify unique pointers as they both require a bit of modification before the VPN can start working. 

Note that with uTorrent and qTorrent, setting up Socks5 on your torrent client isn’t necessary – connect to a VPN server for maximum protection as well as privacy.

Configuration of a Private Internet Access qBittorrent Socks5 setup

Establishing a Private Internet Access qBittorrent Socks5 configuration can be easier than you’d have imagined. Below are the steps to set up one:

  1. Set up the qBittorrent client. 
  2. Head over to the Tools menu, then select “Options” and “Connection.”
  3. Beneath the “Type” section, write Socks5.
  4. Under the “Host” write
  5. Specify the Port as 1080.
  6. Enter your PIA username and password.
  7. “Disable all the connections not supported by proxies” and “Use proxy for peer-to-peer connections” before pressing the “Apply” button. 

How to Configure a Private Internet Access uTorrent Socks5 setup

If you want the best out of uTorrent along PIA, then setting up the Socks5 proxy on your torrent client can be a great option. Below is how to do so:

  1. Open your uTorrent client.
  2. Head over to the Settings menu and select “Preferences” and “Connection.”
  3. Under the “Type” field write Socks5.
  4. Beneath the “Proxy” field, enter the following:
  5. Set the “Port” as 1080.
  6. Once that is done, remember to flag the following boxes: “Disable all local DNS lookups”, “Disable features that leak identifying information”, “Use proxy for peer-to-peer connections”, “Use proxy for hostname lookups”, and “Disable connections unsupported by the proxy”, and “Authentication”.

    7. Finally, enter your username and password for Private Internet Access.

General ideas about optimizing PIA for torrenting

Optimizing your uTorrent and qBittorrent for PIA puts you in a safer place during torrenting. Nevertheless, if you experience slow speeds when downloading files, there are some criteria you opt to consider.

First, you’ll think of contacting PIA’s customer service. You can reach out to them via their website, where you’ll find P2P feature as the primary key of the software. From there, they will help you achieve the desired speeds you need. 

You may alternatively enable port forwarding to solve your problems. This can be done by following the five steps:

  1. Firstly, you’ll need to disconnect from the Private Internet Access servers. 
  2. Select the “Settings” menu in the VPN client, then “Advanced”.
  3. Select “Enable”, at the right-hand side of the option marked “Port Forwarding” then click save under your settings bar.
  4. To reconnect to the VPN, you’ll be assigned a specific port, where you are required to find a 5-digit code number. 
  5. Finally, open your torrent client and head to the settings bar. Enter the 5-digit code in the required field under settings.

Once you understand the above procedure, you shouldn’t experience poor speeds. If so, try and disable the UTP protocol in your torrent client, minimize on “global connections”, or opt for a different service provider. 

Poor connection speeds may be as a result of distance – being far away from the server makes your speed rate unreliable.

Wrap Up

We can conclude that Private Internet Access is easy to use, fast and offers its users robust security features. Additionally, you can configure PIA qBittorrent Socks5 and uTorrent. 

As you have seen how different customers have different opinions about Private Internet Access, some customers have thrown in the towel and said goodbye to the American-based VPN service provider. 

The only sure-fire way to be sure is to try the service before committing yourself. Maybe you can try it for seven days and then cancel if you are not pleased with their services. 

We can’t deny the fact that Private Internet Access is suitable for torrenting. Still, most VPN users who want to torrent will give the cold shoulder to PIA because its located in the United States, a country with very stringent rules regarding privacy violations.

Felix Olsson

Felix Olsson

Felix Olsson is a VPN and web security expert. He is a tech enthusiast who loves testing VPN services and the latest developments in the cybersecurity world. You'll often find him either reading privacy policies or testing a new service or device.

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