Should you use a VPN with Stremio and Torrentio?

Divitia
4 min readFeb 3, 2024
should you use a VPN with Stremio and Torrentio

Imagine you’re settling in for a movie night. You’ve got your snacks ready, your favorite spot on the couch claimed, and you fire up Stremio, ready to dive into a world of endless movies and TV shows. With my article on using Stremio and Torrentio, over 50,000+ of you (according to Medium stats) have unlocked a treasure trove of content, streaming seamlessly from torrents directly to your screen.

Now, with Real-Debrid to the mix, and you’re in streaming heaven with high-quality links and faster downloads. But as you navigate through this vast sea of digital content, a question looms over: Should you be using a VPN?

That is the question I have been asked in comments, on reddit and in real life as well. I have experienced all scenarios personally and that’s what I will share with you now. Let’s have a short discussion so you make your own choice.

Why Consider a VPN for Stremio and Torrentio?

A VPN encrypts your internet traffic, hiding your online activity from prying eyes, which is crucial when accessing content from torrent sources.

Torrentio and similar add-ons for Stremio source their content from torrents, which tread into the murky waters of piracy. Streaming pirated content is illegal in many countries, and using a VPN can provide a layer of anonymity and security.

The Case for Using a VPN

  1. Privacy and Security from ISP and Other Users: A VPN protects your identity online by masking your IP address. This is particularly important when using Torrentio with Stremio since torrenting can expose your IP address to everyone in the swarm (the network of people downloading and uploading a torrent). Your ISP may also send you a notice for copyright infringement as they can see what you are doing very clearly.
  2. Avoiding ISP Throttling: ISPs (Internet Service Providers) may throttle (intentionally slow down) your internet speed when they detect heavy streaming or torrenting. A VPN helps avoid this by hiding the nature of your internet traffic, ensuring consistent speeds.

These are the reasons to advice a VPN and considering one costs about $4 a month, there is little reason not to protect yourself.

The Case Against Using a VPN

  1. Cost: For some, the cost of a reliable VPN service might be deterrents. However, considering the benefits, this investment is often seen as worthwhile.
  2. Potential Impact on Speed: While modern VPNs are designed to minimize speed loss, encrypting and rerouting your traffic can sometimes impact streaming buffering. You will never notice that if you are choosing a paid high-quality VPN service.

So far it is has been very simple. In my research, most people use a VPN for streaming on smart TV’s especially Nvidia Shield and any Google TV supporting TV. Its just another app if you have a VPN that supports it, like I use the Nord VPN app on both my Shield and Google TV. The tricky question comes below.

What about using a VPN for Stremio, Torrentio and Real Debrid?

This is where it gets a little difficult to choose. Having a Real Debrid account in your setup means you are accessing cached content and not torrents. In this case you do not need a VPN at all. There are no advantages.

But, when you use this setup for long enough and you are a streaming junkie like me, you will find out that you will need to use Torrentio without Real Debrid every now and then for some rare content that is not cached. That is when you will have to make the same choice that people made in the last section. Or you can manually cache it in Real Debrid, but the easiness of everything is why we chose this setup, so you should weigh your options carefully.

Which VPN works with Stremio and Torrentio?

There is no point in using free VPNs. Been there, done that. The VPNs either block torrents altogether or slow them down enough to remind you of the 80s.

Now, for using actual paid VPNs, I started with Windscribe years ago, then used Cyberghost, Surfshark and a couple more. Had a lot of different kinds of issues with all of them, not always related to streaming though.

The VPN that I use and I know works with this setup seamlessly is Nord VPN. One simple reason I use it and why I think you will choose it too is that it reminds me of the ease of using Stremio, Torrentio and Real Debrid. It just worked with a few clicks for me! Here is all where I use it for streaming without any issue:

I will not elaborate much on this as it is not a VPN ad or comparison post. It is your right to test all VPNs you want and settle on what you like. To be honest, I also went for Nord VPN as it is very cheap (reminds me of Real Debrid ), and yet it comes with all apps + proxy support which I really needed for my Sonarr and Radarr setups. This made it an all rounder for me.

Conclusion

Whether it’s to protect yourself from legal repercussions, prevent ISP throttling, or simply to ease your mind, the pros and cons of using a VPN are clear. Yet, the decision ultimately rests with you, the user.

Would you sail the high seas of streaming without a VPN’s protective cover?

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Divitia

Helped hundreds achieve financial freedom. With 12 years of experience, I try to share proven strategies for building wealth & achieving financial independence