Best VPN to Torrent on School WiFi that Blocks VPN (Bypass Firewall)
Note: If your school only blocks torrents, but doesn’t block VPNs, you may want to refer to The Best VPN to Torrent at School guide.
College WiFi networks tend to block a number of websites such as Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Imgur, Instagram, YouTube, Netflix and Hulu. Since piracy is illegal, torrenting is also not allowed on college WiFi connections.
While many schools only block torrenting ports to ensure their students do not abuse the network, certain schools additionally block VPN services that can lift Internet restrictions and provide access to BitTorrent content.
Schools block VPN services using the following techniques:
- Ports that VPN protocols use (OpenVPN: 1194) are blocked by the firewall, but HTTP/HTTPS ports are open
- School implemented expensive traffic filtering that can detect encryption tools: Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)
Considering that DPI is quite advanced and expensive most schools block VPN ports (like port 1194 that OpenVPN uses). Regular browsing requires at least port 53 for DNS requests, port 443 for HTTPS websites (encrypted traffic) and port 80 for HTTP websites (unencrypted traffic).
For this reason port 443, 80 and 53 are always open. While ports that OpenVPN, IPsec, L2TP, PPTP and BitTorrent clients are using are blocked.
An easy workaround is to choose a VPN provider that allows OpenVPN port forwarding to port 443 because encrypted HTTPS traffic uses it by default. Even though mobile devices do not support this feature, VPN providers that we listed below offer port forwarding in their desktop software (Windows and Mac). Once port forwarding is setup, uTorrent, BitTorrent, Vuze and other torrenting apps will use port 443 to download and upload files.
Alternatively, SSTP can be used without port forwarding because it is the only encryption protocol that runs on port 443 by default. SSTP is a secure alternative to OpenVPN, but it only works on Windows. For this reason, SSTP is not an option for Mac users.
However, should the school invest into an advanced firewall that can detect encrypted traffic, a simple port forwarding can no longer bypass it. Deep Packet Inspection method is commonly used by restrictive governments like China and Iran. The firewall that uses DPI can distinguish regular browsing (HTTPs traffic) from OpenVPN data and selectively block the latter.
The most effective way to bypass DPI is to “scramble” OpenVPN data or to mask OpenVPN to make it look like regular HTTPS traffic. Chameleon (VyprVPN), StealthVPN (TorGuard) and SoftEther (Hide.Me) are custom encryption protocols specifically designed to hide VPN traffic and make it completely undetectable. More info on this in The Best VPN for China guide.
Once you’re connected to VPN servers that store no information about you, everything that you do online is encrypted and anonymized. Considering that VPN encrypts all incoming and outgoing data and replaces your real IP address with an IP address that belongs to a VPN provider, neither copyright infringement agencies nor your school can monitor your torrenting activities.
The best VPN providers to torrent on networks that block VPNs should not only have a network optimized for the best download speed, but should also provide tools that can bypass even the most advanced firewalls. Therefore, the list below includes some of the best VPN providers that offer 443 port forwarding and custom encryption tools that completely hide your VPN traffic from strict college firewalls.
MONTHLY PRICE: 11.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.75 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 6.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.91 USD/mo
PIA is a leading zero logs VPN provider with a massive amount of servers (over 3,000) that deliver excellent speeds and a very reliable service. PIA NAT Firewall does a great job protecting from cyber attacks, built-in Kill Switch and DNS leak protection features secure connection from unexpected data leaks. PIA software offers switching between UDP and TCP connections types, port forwarding to 443, 80, 110, 53, 8080, 9201. For faster streaming and torrenting, PIA allows using 128-bit or 256-bit encryption level. To read a full PIA review click HERE.
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 6.67 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 9.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 59.95 USD
Hide.me is one the most popular VPN providers on the market with servers in USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Asia, Australia. Based in Malaysia, Hide.me is a zero logs company that has custom software with a built-in Kill Switch and DNS Leak protection. The provider accepts Bitcoin along with about 100 other payment options and does an excellent job in providing fast secure encrypted network, hence, keeping its position as the best VPN service. To read a full Hide.me review click HERE.
MONTHLY PRICE: 4.99 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 29.99 USD [promocode]
Offering over 1200 servers in 48 countries, all mainstream protocols and 5 simultaneous connections, TorGuard rightfully earned its place as a top VPN provider. No Logs TorGuard features advanced security features such as Kill Switch option that ensures no data leaks when the connection drops. Their SOCKS5 and http proxy is an excellent feature for high-speed multimedia streaming and torrenting as it integrates with the main BitTorrent applications. To read a full TorGuard review click HERE.
MONTHLY PRICE: 10.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.49 USD/mo
PureVPN is a proud owner of a massive 500 servers network in over 120 countries with over 60 server locations specifically optimized for torrenting. Hong Kong based PureVPN is a security conscious provider with infrastructure protected behind NAT Firewall. Kill Switch feature guards the users from unencrypted data leaks when the internet connection drops. In case you want to limit your VPN use to specific websites/services only, Split Tunneling feature lets you decide which applications to send through unencrypted channel and which one to secure with a top-notch VPN service. To read a full PureVPN review click HERE.
MONTHLY PRICE: 4.55 EURO
ANNUAL PRICE: 35.10 EURO
AirVPN is an Italian VPN provider created by privacy activists whose main goal is data protection. AirVPN has over 100 servers in 23 countries that have Perfect Forward Secrecy through Diffie-Hellman key exchange DHE. Essentially key negotiation is performed every 60 minutes to avoid data breach if the key is compromised. Additionally, AirVPN offers OpenVPN over SSH and OpenVPN over SSL that mask OpenVPN and make the use of encryption tools invisible to some of the most advanced firewalls. To read a full AirVPN review click HERE.