5 Best VPNs for eMule that work in 2020

eMule is a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing program for Windows. In principle, it works much like a BitTorrent client, which means that it is just as important to use a VPN with eMule as it is when torrenting. A VPN will hide your activity from prying eyes and also help you unblock it, if your service provider blocks it on their network.

Best VPNs for eMule

Below our experts have listed the best VPN services for eMule. If you need more information about any of the services in our best eMule VPN list, click the links to their website or take a look at our detailed VPN reviews.

1. Ivacy

No Nat firewall / optional NAT firewall with port forwarding

  • Pricing

    From $1.50 - $7.50
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

Based in Singapore, this no logs VPN service offers a very professional product at surprisingly low prices. It keeps no logs that can threaten your privacy, technical security is great, and its Windows and Android apps feature kill switches and split-tunneling.


This last may be of interest to eMule users as it allows you to use the VPN only for eMule (and other selected programs), while leaving your internet connection unaffected for your regular apps. An even bigger pull, though, is that Ivacy does not use a NAT firewall by default, so low I shouldn't be a problem.


And if the lack of a NAT firewall worries, no problem! As a bolt-on extra you can add a NAT firewall, which comes port forwarding included to ensure it doesn't damage your High ID.


 

2. Private Internet Access

Port forwarding and eMule friday

  • Pricing

    From $2.85 - $11.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

This US-based service has a strong reputation for protecting its customers' privacy, and has had its no logs put to test in front of two courts of law!


PIA allows P2P (torrenting or eMule) on all its 3,295 servers in 29 countries, and support for (static) port forwarding through its NAT firewall for High ID performance. 


It also offers kill switches in all its custom VPN apps (Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iOS), and Linux eMulers should be particularly pleased to note that it's full GUI Linux app offers all the features available to users on other platforms. 

3. PrivateVPN

Private by name, private by nature

  • Pricing

    From $1.89 - $10.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

Based in Sweden, this no logs VPN service takes its name seriously. P2P is permitted (even encouraged!) on all its 100+ servers in 56 countries around the world.


PrivateVPN also supports dynamic port fporewding for High ID when using eMule, but not static port forwarding (for security reasons). Although this means you can’t simply select a port to listen in on in eMule since it changes each time you connect to a VPN server, this can be fixed using uPnP on your router. 


Technical security is great, and the Windows client features a system-level kill switch to ensure against VPN drops when downloading with eMule.

4. Hide.me

A great VPN for eMule

  • Pricing

    From $2.43 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux

This Malaysia-based zero-logs VPN is a little on the pricey side, but it allows P2P downloading on most of its servers (except Australia, Mexico, USA and UK, thanks to those countries rigorous copyright enforcement) permits up to 10 simultaneous connections, and supports dynamic port forwarding.


Hide.me’s Stealth Guard feature is also handy, as it allows you to specify which apps will not work in the event of a VPN failure (so is perfect for eMule). 

5. TorGuard

Good for torrenting, good for eMule

  • Pricing

    From $4.16 - $9.99
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux

As its name suggests, TorGuard is quite happy for you to torrent using its service. Which means it's also happy for you to eMule. It keeps no logs and supports static port forwarding for configuration in eMule. 


Kill switches are available on all desktop clients, including on the full Linux GUI app! TorGuard is US-based, but keeps no logs that can endanger your privacy, runs 3000 bare metal servers in 55 countries, provides 24/7 Live Chat support, offers 7-day refund, and unblocks many streaming services (including US Netflix). 

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an online privacy service that allows you to hide what you get up to on the internet from others, get around blocks and other forms of censorship, and appear to be in another country to access services such as US Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

It will also protect you from hackers when using public WiFi networks, and when using P2P file sharing networks such as eMule.

For more information on VPNs in general, please check out our VPNs for Beginners guide.

Why do I need a VPN for eMule?

eMule is a peer-to-peer file sharing application, so files are shared among other eMule users. And when files are shared among other users, you can see who they are and they can see who you are via internet (IP) address. It’s how file sharing works!

A VPN hides who you are from other eMule users because the VPN server sits between you and the internet. Other eMule users will, therefore, see the unique IP address of the VPN server instead of your real one.

A VPN will also hide what you download from your internet provider (ISP) because all data traveling between your PC and the VPN server is securely encrypted. If you value privacy when downloading with eMule you should therefore always use a VPN.

What is Low ID and Port Forwarding?

Even more so than with BitTorrent, eMule requires that you have open UDP and TCP ports to work at its best. If the open ports are not accessible from the internet, this results in what is termed low ID. You can still share files with low ID, but downloads will be much slower than if you have high ID.

ports and connection emule

Many VPN services use NAT firewalls to help protect their users from external threats, but a NAT firewall will block access to open ports on your PC, and thus result in low ID.

Some VPN services offer port forwarding, which effectively opens a hole in the NAT firewall so that connections can be routed to an open port on your computer. But eMule does not play ball very well with any modern firewall, including the built-in Windows Defender firewall. Thanks to UPnP it can usually automatically configure to work with most firewalls, but if a NAT firewall is also running, this is beyond its capabilities. 

connection test in emule

So, to run eMule with high ID while protected by a VPN you must:

a) Use a VPN which offers port forwarding, and

b) Disable your firewall.

Disabling your firewall is not as bad as it sounds as the NAT firewall should help protect you against most external threats. That said, it is hardly ideal.

How to Port Forward Through a VPN with eMule

  1. Select port numbers for eMule. Go to Options -> Connection -> Client Port. Pick any TCP and UDP ports numbers you like (eMule doesn’t care) and make a note of them. Make sure that “Use UPnP to Setup Ports” is not enabled

    connection options

  2. Open the ports in your VPN’s NAT firewall. This process will depend on which VPN provider you use. There may be an option in the client software, but more commonly it can be found in the web-based user console. This is the case with AirVPN shown below.

    showing forwarded ports in airvpn

    Open the TCP and UDP ports that you chose in eMule.

  3. Disable your firewall. If using the default Windows firewall, go to Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Defender -> Open Windows Defender Security Centre -> Firewall & network protection -> and disable the firewall on all networks.
  4. Return to the eMule connection panel (step 1) and click “Test Ports.” A web page will open which tests to see if ports used by eMule can be reached from the web.

    connection testing in emule

    Hopefully, you will see something like the above!

Consider using something else instead

I am aware that this is a page dedicated to using eMule, and that die-hard fans may be disgruntled at the suggestion, but you should consider using BitTorrent instead.

Many eMule servers are riddled with malware and spyware. To a certain extent, this is true of BitTorrent too, but this is can be mitigated by using private torrent sites which vet torrents. Indeed, even when using public torrent sites, other users’ feedback can be very good at verifying which downloads work well and are malware free.

Besides this, although eMule is still updated, the last full stable release (0.50a) was in 2010. That’s eight full years ago, and eMule is seriously showing its age! It is a simple fact that modern BitTorrent clients are much leaner, meaner, and easier to use than eMule. 

BitTorrent also performs much better even when no open ports are available (Low ID), and port forwarding with a VPN does not require you to disable your firewall.

In its day, eMule garnered a great reputation for granting access to rare and hard-to-find files. In large part, though, this was simply due to its very large user base. BitTorrent now has far more users than eMule.

Conclusion

Thanks to its peer-to-peer nature, downloading via eMule is anything but private. Using a VPN, though, makes it private. So it’s a bit of a no-brainer, really.

Written by: Douglas Crawford

Has worked for almost six years as senior staff writer and resident tech and VPN industry expert at ProPrivacy.com. Widely quoted on issues relating cybersecurity and digital privacy in the UK national press (The Independent & Daily Mail Online) and international technology publications such as Ars Technica.

8 Comments

michael gloggnitzer
on June 27, 2018
Reply
thank you - but emule doesn't download any longer when i use a openvpn with linux - i dont know how to continue the downloads, regards, michael
Robert
on January 19, 2018
Reply
I have IPVanish and it's the same deal there, low-id. I have no problem getting high-id with VPN disconnected so it's not an issue with my PC or router. Can imagine it's the same deal for all VPN providers, that they do not allow port forwarding and therefore you will not be able to get high-id https://support.ipvanish.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002080173-Port-Forwarding
Steven
on January 7, 2018
Reply
Hi Stephen, I also picked ExpressVPN on your advice. But it won't give me a High Id in eMuleno matter what I try. My question is, did you personnaly tried eMule with Expressvpn or did you assumed it would work since it says it supports p2p. If you tried it and it works, would you please tell us how you setup the connection in the eMule options and if you had to modify anything in your firewall/router ports setup. Tx Steven
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/12/95d7f2f4-90bb-48a4-8b34-f113d651a368png-avatar_image-small.png
Stephen Cooper replied to Steven
on January 12, 2018
Reply
Hi, Steven, There are three reasons why you can't get incoming connections in eMule and gain that High ID -- one is that your Firewall is blocking the incoming connection, the second is that your router is blocking the connections and the third is that ExpressVPN is blocking your connections. The fastest way to check which of these three is causing the problem is to turn your firewall off and then connect to eMule without being connected to ExpressVPN. If you don't get a connection, then the problem is with your router. Try the following in eMule: Go to Options and then Proxy. Make sure everything in that screen is blank. Press OK. Go to Options and then connections. Enter TCP: 10298 and UDP: 1194. Click OK. Still with the VPN turned off, click on the Connect button in eMule. To set up port forwarding on your router, you will need to refer to instructions for your particular make of router. The same is true for your firewall. If you have Windows and you are using Windows Firewall, click on the menu button and click on the cog symbol in the Start menu. In the Settings menu search for Windows Firewall. Select "Allow an app through Windows Firewall" from the resulting list of options. Scroll down in the list to find eMule. Click on the entry and then on Change Settings. check both the PUblic and Private boxes. Click on OK. If that doesn't solve the problem Click on the Windows button and "R" at the same time. This will open a small window with one field. Type in WF.msc and hit return. This will open Windows Firewall with Advanced Security. Right-click on Inbound Rules and select New Rule from the context menu. Select Port as the Rule Type. Select TCP and "Specific local ports." Enter 10298. In the next screen select Allow the connection and in the screen after that, leave all boxes checked. In the last screen, make up a name for the rule, such as "eMule port rule" and then click on Finish. Close eMule down and open it again, just to be sure and then try the connection again. Basically, you need to make sure that it isn't your firewall or router blocking the connection. If the connection works, disconnect, close eMule, open ExpressVPN, connect to a server, open eMule and try the connection again. If it doesn't work then, you should contact the ExpressVPN help desk. Cheers, Stephen
jim
on December 15, 2017
Reply
expressVPN does not support port forwarding and gives low ID. So, why are they in your list? Just good referral payouts?
Arthur replied to jim
on January 1, 2018
Reply
Hello. I'm about to cancel expressVPN as neither their router or app solution will produce a HighID on emule. Their rep I spoke with was really no help and did not know what HighID or LowID was. If you have a solution that works I would love to hear it. Thanks
J replied to jim
on January 3, 2018
Reply
Here is a VPN solution for eMule https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/forum/search?Search=emule
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/12/95d7f2f4-90bb-48a4-8b34-f113d651a368png-avatar_image-small.png
Stephen Cooper replied to jim
on December 15, 2017
Reply
Hi, Jim, ExpressVPN is on the list because the company states that it supports P2P downloading -- any VPN that advertises itself as permitting torrenting on its service is liable for collusion and therefore more likely to put up a fight to protect your identity. This VPN also has fast speeds, which is an important factor when picking a VPN for downloading. You honestly don't need port forwarding to use ExpressVPN for eMule. If you connect the VPN through the app rather than through the browser extension, your traffic on eMule will carry a temporary IP address instead of you own. Job done. eMule will work in exactly the same was as it does when you don't have a VPN.
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