VyprVPN is a powerful contender if you’re after performance and security. It boasts great speeds due to a staggering network of 700+ serves and more than 200K IP addresses. They own and manage their servers, which translates into reliable uptime, lag-free performance, top-notch support and great speeds. Add in unlimited bandwidth and P2P support, successful handling of Netflix and Steam geo blocks, and you can check all your VPN must-have features right off the bat.
As part of our research, we also make sure to find out where the company is based and under what legal framework it operates. Some countries don't have data-retention laws, making it easier to keep a promise of "We don't keep any logs." It's also useful to know under what circumstances a VPN company will hand over information to law enforcement and what information it would have to provide if that should happen.
Better yet, a year's worth of PIA is very reasonably priced at US$3.31 a month, and we've had nothing but excellent customer service from them, too. PIA also comes with a rock solid no-log policy, crypto payment support to keep you protected when making transactions, proprietary anti-malware technology and a seven-day money-back guarantee if you get cold feet.
Most VPN providers advertise some version of a “no-logging” policy, and many are quick to say that because privacy is their business, they adhere to that policy in every way technically feasible. But some companies that have proudly claimed a no-logging policy have seen that disproven in a courtroom. A bad actor like that could easily turn your VPN connection into a huge log of personal information, which is why we think it’s so important that a VPN be trustworthy.
Price-wise, Norton WiFi Privacy is pretty generous, too. A one-year subscription (for one device only), costs just £19.99 for the first year, and a 5-connection account costs £29.99 per year. However, the price jumps up after the first year, to £39.99 for 1 device and £59.99 for 5 devices. That’s still better than some, mind, but you may want to disable auto renewal, just in case.
We also dove deeper into the desktop apps of the top-performing services. Great apps have automatic location selection, easy-to-use designs, and detailed but uncluttered settings panels. We set up each service's Android app on a Samsung Galaxy S8 running Android 7.0 Nougat. We took into account how easy each one was to set up and connect, along with what options were available in the settings pane.
ProtonVPN which is very new is also well worth a mention. Based in Switzerland, lots of servers in many countries, can access the Tor Network directly through the VPN connection (which I believe they are possibly the only VPN that offers this, but I might be wrong on that), no logging, and even a slower, free tier available with limited server access. The only free VPN I would ever trust.
TorGuard was consistently one of the fastest services we tested. When we averaged three tests performed at different times of the week with Internet Health Test, TorGuard was the fastest service when connecting in the UK and Asia, the second fastest in the US, and the third fastest in Central Europe. OVPN was the next most consistent, but that company’s small network doesn’t have any servers in Asia, and it ranked fifth in the UK. Our top pick, IVPN, was the third most consistently fast after TorGuard and OVPN. However, we tested with each app’s default settings—since we expect most people won’t change them—and TorGuard’s default 128-bit encryption gives it an advantage in speed tests over VPNs that default to 256-bit encryption, as most services do. Still, we think 128-bit encryption is fine for most people who prioritize speed, and TorGuard’s consistency makes it a good value as our budget pick.
However, if you do decide to connect through a VPN for most of your browsing, you’re handing that same power to the VPN service as the single centralized point through which all of your traffic will pass. If you use a reputable, trustworthy VPN that goes out of its way to avoid collecting data on you or your activities, it’s a good trade-off. But if your VPN is collecting data or doing a poor job securing its own network, it’s a pointless exchange.
The latter benefit is one of the main reasons that initially leads people to invest in virtual networks. Whenever you log on to the internet, your computer or mobile devices display their own unique IP address. If this address attempts to view content or multimedia that is restricted to particular regions (such as on Hulu, for example), then it will not be allowed access.
For torrenting purposes, Private Internet Access is an established competitor that provides a great balance between security, performance, and price. It also has additional features like DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and multiple device support. For subscription plans of a year or more, Private Internet Access comes in at an impressive $3.33/month.
Normally your connection—and the data carried over it—goes from your computer to your local Wi-Fi or network router, then bounces on through your ISP’s network and off to the destination server (like wirecutter.com), eventually returning with the requested data (like this webpage). At any stop along the way, someone could theoretically see the data and where it’s coming from and going to.
Another Hong Kong-based operation that boasts no logs, Ivacy is all-in when it comes to torrenting and P2P (it offers specifically optimised servers dedicated to the task). Granted, this may look like a somewhat smaller VPN operation with 200+ servers in 100+ locations, but the speeds we've experienced have been perfectly fine. We also love Ivacy's split tunnelling feature that lets you prioritise traffic (into P2P apps, in this case), plus the expected creature comforts and counter measures are in place as well. Namely, IPv6 and secure DNS leak protection, plus that all-important kill switch function.
The best VPN services of 2018 allow you to enjoy private, encrypted browsing along with worldwide access to your favorite sites and apps, free from surveillance and unwanted data collection. You can rely on our choices to be capable of buffer-free streaming and super-fast downloads thanks to our proprietary speed test tool that allows us to constantly monitor speeds in several popular locations across the globe. To see which VPN we recommend for a specific purpose, free of bias, choose an option from the dropdown menu below, or read on for the best overall picks for 2018.
For features, they offer multi-hop VPN cascades, advanced firewall configuration options (DNS and IP leak protection), port forwarding, NeuroRouting, Socks5 and Squid proxies, obfuscation features to defeat VPN blocking (Stealth VPN), and a customizable TrackStop feature to block tracking, malware, advertising and social media domains. They also give you an unlimited number of device connections and offer full IPv6 support across their server network.
PIA is another great option and offers a 7 day money back guarantee. It keeps no logs, which is a claim that it has proved in court! And although optional, its security can be first rate. Its desktop software supports multiple security options, a VPN kill switch, DNS leak protection, and port forwarding. Up to 5 simultaneous connections are permitted. Its Android client is almost as good, and PIA boasts excellent connection speeds. PIA has servers located in 29 other countries.
ExpressVPN attempts to build trust in other ways, even without a public face. Court records from 2017 demonstrate that when Turkish authorities seized ExpressVPN servers in the country looking for information, they found nothing of value, as promised by ExpressVPN’s no-logging policy. ExpressVPN also highlights initiatives such as open-source leak-testing tools, developer content about how the company implements different technologies, and support for the efforts of OpenMedia and the EFF. The ExpressVPN representative even offered to arrange a confidential call between our writer and the owners of the company. However, without being able to discuss their identities or learn about other senior leadership, we believed that wouldn’t have been enough to change our recommendation, so we declined. In the end, trust is such a crucial part of deciding which VPN to use that we had to pass on ExpressVPN.
ISPs (Internet service providers) have a much broader reach than any individual website when it comes to what behavior they can track and what types of information they technically and legally can collect. But few ISPs are transparent about how much information about their customers they store and for how long, instead relying on broad disclosures in their fine print. In theory, a VPN will prevent an ISP from monitoring or logging all the traffic to and from your home Internet connection, because your data is encrypted as it passes through your ISP—at best they’d see gibberish passing from your home to a VPN server.
Christian, you might check into the affiliation of Opera browser with SurfEasy. As of (I believe) version 38 of the DEVELOPER version of Opera, SurfEasy access is included in Settings and free to use. I don't know what their plans are for moving that free access into their beta and regular channels, but I think it's also accessible now on Android Opera.
Do you like Netflix? That's too bad, because Netflix hates VPNs. The problem is that Netflix in England is different from Netflix in the US, which is also different from Netflix in Australia, and so on. Just because you can see your favorite show in one country doesn't mean you can watch it in another. The company has a complex global web of regional licensing arrangements, and it has a very real interest in making sure people don't circumvent the resulting restrictions.
Speed-wise, when connected to VPNHub’s UK and Netherlands endpoints, our FTP and HTTP downloads came in at around 10MB/s (80Mbit/s). Connecting to U.S. endpoints gave us 4.8MB/s (38.4Mbit/s) via FTP and 4.2MB/s (33.6Mbit/s) via HTTP. While that’s good enough for everyday browsing and streaming, your results may vary – we connected to U.S Netflix no problem, but, as with many VPNs on this list, BBC iPlayer promptly showed us the door.
A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running across a VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network.
Express VPN Leaks IPv6 and DNS information. I have been a customer for over two months. I found a way to plug it however it is not through their software. I informed them as well. They told me that they didn't support IPv6 thus I should have disabled it. This might or might not have been hidden in their troubleshooting section (at least I didn't see it) however, I have not seen this stated anywhere in their advertising. Nonetheless, with or without blocking the IPv6, DNS is still leaking and their advertisements about privacy are not entirely accurate.
Bandwidth throttling can be a nightmare for torrenters. Have you ever experienced a sudden drop in download speed, after downloading files up to a certain data limit? Generally, VPN providers throttle bandwidth to avoid overloaded servers. This results in a degraded downloading and streaming experience. Having said that, a premium torrent VPN service generally does not use cheap tactics like bandwidth throttling.
BitTorrent has an unsavory reputation, one that is oddly both unfair and yet richly deserved. At its best, BitTorrent addresses the bottleneck created when too many people try to download the same files from a single source at the same time—be they bootlegged movies, hot music tracks, DRM-free books, or photos of cats. BitTorrent turns a file's popularity into a benefit, instead of a bottleneck, by having each of the downloaders distribute pieces of the file to every other downloader. Best of all, it's decentralized, with no main server that might choke under the burden of traffic. There's no doubt that torrenting is a clever solution. While it can be used for legitimate purposes, its distributed, uncontrolled nature also makes it ideal for illegally sharing copyrighted content online.
PIA also has other features similar to other providers. It supports all VPN protocols, DD-WRT routers and 5 simultaneous connections. They accept a variety of payment methods and it’s affordable. The speeds are by no means the fastest. We experienced some slowdown but that’s not enough to affect torrenting and streaming. PIA is by far great but the only flaw is the limited number of countries, only 17. Nevertheless, it is still a good VPN for torrenting.
Torrent is a decentralized file-sharing protocol which is legal and ethical. But using torrent mechanism to download or share copyright files are illegal. So copyright owners contact with the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to track down possible copyright violated users. So if you torrent a lot then you should use torrent VPNs so that your torrent activity become invisible to the ISP or NSA.
From a broader perspective, there are several factors that demand the use of a solid VPN while torrenting. First of all, you do not want your privacy to be compromised during torrenting. Specifics of your personal information, your IP address, your location, and even the browser you are using should stay with you only. Then, there is the question of speeds. Depending on the nature of the VPN you are using, you could feel like there is a rise or drop in the speed of downloads and uploads (learn more about this in our pros and cons to VPNs).
It was chosen as an Editors' Choice at PCMag, where the site concluded its review with this: "Private Internet Access is easy to recommend, but only with an asterisk. Yes, it's incredibly robust with powerful tools and an extensive network of VPN servers across the world. It also has a strong privacy stance when it comes to protecting customer information. And it's incredibly simple, but (and this is the asterisk) it's also stripped to the bone in terms of interface."
You can use HMA for torrents, but only on selected servers. As a result they are not the fastest VPN service if you want to use it primarily for torrenting. That said, torrenting is allowed, and you can ensure that you download with complete security and anonymity. Don’t let AVG’s HideMyAss VPN, with its trendy and colorful flat design, fool you. With over 880 VPN servers in over 190 countries, the service is anything but flat, allowing you to hide your e-tracks speedily and consistently, all
Most people don’t realize that the internet is ruled by various different bodies. Without governance, it could not function the way we have come to expect and enjoy. The problem, however, is that with the continued growth of the internet and the potential it represents, governments see it as a way to further control what the masses see and think, and many have attempted to implement laws, both nationally and internationally, to exploit this.
VPNs cover several different security needs. They offer protection from mass government surveillance, in addition to protection from hackers on public networks. This means that you cannot be targeted by major governmental organizations like the NSA or even small-time cyber criminals just looking to steal your banking information. This is accomplished by routing all of the information you send and receive through a third-party server that encrypts it and keeps it safe.
NordVPN is a great all-rounder. With fast servers in 62 countries, a strong focus on privacy and a willingness to keep innovating, NordVPN easily snaps up the top spot in our Top for Torrents table! NordVPN offers an industry-leading six simultaneous connections which means that everyone in the family can use the VPN without interrupting your downloads. With clients available for all major platforms, the software looks great and works well. A three-day free trial is a nice bonus if you are looking to take it for a test drive, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee gives you plenty of time if you change your mind. As well as permitting torrenting, NordVPN works with all major streaming services; Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon instant video.
Avast SecureLine and Avira Phantom VPN are run by antivirus companies as complements to their primary businesses. These services are also limited to Windows, Mac, iOS and Android and don't work without client software. But they offer few features, have a couple of dozen servers at most and don't let you pay anonymously. However, the companies are known quantities, and the services are handy for occasional travelers.
One basic test for a VPN service is to check how long a VPN client takes to connect to a VPN server and get online. For our 2018 reviews, we installed each vendor's VPN client software on an HP EliteBook x360 1020 G2 laptop running Windows 10, an iPad mini and a Samsung Galaxy S8 Android phone. (In 2017, we used a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga notebook, an Apple MacBook Air, a Samsung Galaxy S6 phone and the iPad mini.) We used each device with each VPN service we tested.
Tip for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera users: A feature called WebRTC can, in some Web browsers, inadvertently cause your true IP address to leak out even when you’re connected via a great VPN. WebRTC assists with peer-to-peer connections, such as for video chatting, but could be exploited in some cases. You can manually disable this function in Firefox, or use an extension to block most instances of it in Chrome or Opera. For more details and instructions, check out Restore Privacy.
OpenVPN. This takes what’s best in the above protocols and does away with most of the flaws. It’s based on SSL/TLS and it’s an open source project, which means that it’s constantly being improved by hundreds of developers. It secures the connection by using keys that are known only by the two participating parties on either end of the transmission. Overall, it’s the most versatile and secure protocol out there.
Unlike other VPN providers, IPVanish is a tier-1 VPN service, meaning they own and run their own network. This gives them a speed advantage over the competition. Moreover, because there are not any third-parties involved and all your data go through their servers is totally encrypted, you will be completely anonymous online and even your ISP can’t monitor your activities. More importantly, IPvanish is a torrent-friendly provider as they do allow torrent traffic on their servers and keep no logs of your activities.
At $7.50/month and $58.49 for a year, they're obviously trying to move you towards their yearly program. We awarded the company points for Bitcoin support, and their money-back guarantee. We're a little disappointed that they only allow a 7-day trial, rather than a full 30-days. The company is generous, with five simultaneous connections. They also picked up points for their connection kill switch feature, a must for anyone serious about remaining anonymous while surfing.