Port Forwarding - Should I? and which VPN?

Ahoy! I know this has been asked a lot already, I’ve been following up and doing some research online but I’m still confused. Sorry.

1-I’m not exactly tech savvy. (Ok. I’m thick as a brick) 2-I’m a very casual BitTorrent user. I’ll go months without torrenting.

3-I do stream more frequently.

4-I travel often, meaning I don’t often have admin access to the networks I connect to

I currently have Nord. I heard it’s no longer as trusted as it used to, and since my subscription is ending I’m wondering if I should jump ship.

I read I should be using Port Forwarding, and I get the concept of it somewhat but I’m still not sure if I need it (considering my casual torrent use, so far… I’ve been ok?), and also, I have no idea how to set that up. (would #4 be a problem?).

Now, VPN: Mullvad, AirVPN, and Proton seem to be the most reliable ones. Is that right?

Air has good pricing atm, and port forwarding. I heard it’s not too user friendly though? (#1)

Mullvad seems to have a solid rep. but no port forwarding (It used to? Their website doesn’t say much unless I create an account?)

Proton: has PF, seems good too

Or should I just stick with Nord?

TLDR which VPN should I go for considering 1,2,3,4, and should I consider port forwarding in my decision?


Chewy7324 ,

Port forwarding allows connecting to seeders who don’t have port forwarding themselves.

So I’d really recommend choosing a VPN which supports port forwarding. This sadly means no mullvad, altough I used them happily before they decided to no longer support port forwarding.

bingbong ,

Does anyone here know how to set up port forwarding in proton while on linux? I know how to do it in windows but would prefer to seed on linux and it doesn’t seem to be supported by the native linux app

Alimentar ,

This is their official documentation

On the bottom under manual configuration they tell you how to configure it on Linux.

Though personally I ended up opting for AirVPN only because I didn’t want to mess around with scripts to keep proton’s ports from expiring.

loudWaterEnjoyer ,
@loudWaterEnjoyer@lemmy.dbzer0.com avatar

They only allow port forwarding with openVPN configs as far as I know

azurefirefly ,
@azurefirefly@lemmy.basedcount.com avatar

Good vpns are mullvad and proton

Chewy7324 ,

Not mullvad in this case, since they no longer lffer port forwarding.

matey ,

If you’re running docker, you can use a gluetun container for your VPN networking; it supports port forwarding, and you don’t need to mess with your router.

I recommend Proton.

Autumn , (edited )
@Autumn@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Thanks for suggesting gluetun! I’ve never heard of this project, and it sounds exactly like something I need. :)

janguv ,

You’ve been gluetun-free all this time?

Autumn ,
@Autumn@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

My phone autocorrected it to gluten 😅

Imgonnatrythis ,

Setting up port forwarding can be a little tricky, but lots of good sites to explain. Search for Port forwarding AND your torrent client. Spoiler - it’s done through your router.

You will get better performance. AirVPN way to go for best results right now and it’s not that bad to setup. I use Tixati for torrents, and their DHT support is robust. Even without forwarding I can get pretty good torrenting results.

Mothra OP ,
@Mothra@mander.xyz avatar

I see. So if I don’t own the router and I change location every two weeks, port forwarding is probably going to be more a hassle if not impossible for someone like me.

fluffman86 ,

The info given above is incorrect. Normally, you’d need to forward ports on your router, but if you’re on a VPN your router doesn’t come into play. The VPN creates a tunnel directly from your PC to the VPN provider’s server, and whatever ports are open from that server are then forwarded to you, assuming they’re allowing port forwarding.

I used Nord a couple years ago and didn’t renew after they were breached and failed to disclose it to their users. I then tried Mozilla, but it regularly crashed when torrenting too fast. Slowing my torrents down to under 100mbit worked but sucked when I have a gbit connection. Then a family member passed away with an active expressvpn account so I used it and it was pretty fast for normal browsing, and just as good as Nord and better than Mozilla for torrents.

Now that ExpressVPN is expired, I just switched to proton and HOLY COW it is so much faster for torrents. Just check the button for port forwarding, and you’ll be assigned a random port. Plug that into qBittorrent and you’ll connect and start downloading so much faster it’s insane. Also go into the advanced setting in qBittorrent and you can set it to only use the ProtonVPN network connection, then if proton disconnects, qBittorrent won’t keep downloading on your normal ISP connection.

Mothra OP ,
@Mothra@mander.xyz avatar

Thanks for clarifying!

drkt ,
@drkt@feddit.dk avatar

I cannot answer regarding VPNs as I live in a country where VPNs are irrelevant for torrenting, but I can answer the port question-

If you don’t have an open port for torrenting, you can only connect to other clients who do have an open port. If you have an open port, you can connect to all other clients. Either client in a P2P setting will need an open port to communicate. If neither have an open port, they cannot communicate.

It is beneficial to be able to open a port for torrenting, but keep in mind that you are essentially broadcasting your intentions with an open port (unless you use a VPN). If you live in a country where ISPs can hand over data to anyone who asks, they will use your open port against you. (unless you use a VPN).

Mothra OP ,
@Mothra@mander.xyz avatar

Thanks for that! First time I see explained why port forwarding in layman’s terms, it really makes it a lot easier to understand. I think I shouldn’t worry about it then considering my circumstances. It makes sense for more dedicated torrenters though.

walden ,

I’ve been happy with AirVPN.

Mr_Blott ,

I tried AirVPN after Mullvad stopped supporting PF, it’s clunky as hell and restricts a fibre connection way too much. They were nice and gave me a full refund though

walden ,

Who did you switch to?

I used to connect to AirVPN using their Eddie client, but now I use wireguard and it’s very stable.

YeezyUmplebutter ,

I’m in the states and just use Private Internet Access in conjunction with qBitTorrent. You can make qBitTorrent use the PIA virtual network interface only. I believe PIA also has a kill switch to keep data from bypassing the VPN. I will say that I have never setup port forwarding for my VPNs. I have port forwarding setup for other hosting services I have, but PIA was a one stop shop for me and I haven’t had an issue with their service for 2+ years. Unsure about how it does with streaming!

kura ,
@kura@noc.social avatar

@Mothra I use Mullvad. It is an excellent service. I buy 12 month scratch off cards for added privacy. Totally unlinking my Mullvad from card details.

I don't use the service that often, but I like having the option.

You are correct that it no longner supports port forwarding. I don't torrent at all but my understanding is you should still be able to do that fine without port forwarding.

I would ditch NordVPN asap. They do some shady shit. Switch to Mullvad, use Wireguard.

Mothra OP ,
@Mothra@mander.xyz avatar

Thanks. Ok ditch Nord, got it. Why do you recommend Wireguard? Isn’t Mullvad enough already?

kura ,
@kura@noc.social avatar

@Mothra Mullvad supports Wireguard and OpenVPN. Of the two Wireguard I just better and faster. 😁

If you're on Linux it's also super simple to configure Wireguard and have it constantly running in the background, super lightweight. I use it this way for site-to-site VPN of my servers in different hosting environments.

Mosfar ,

I love mullvad and I’m using it for years as I don’t torrent. But beware that mullvad doesn’t support port forwarding since this summer

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