— In an effort to improve transparency and trustworthiness in the VPN industry, the Center for Democracy and Technology released the answers it had received from five different VPN providers — ExpressVPN, IVPN, Mullvad, TunnelBear and VyprVPN — regarding a questionnaire the CDT had earlier distributed. The questionnaire has to do with corporate ownership and accountability, data logging and security practices. The CDT hopes to get similar answers from other VPN service providers.
That said, using a VPN service may help keep your data from being captured by some types of passive data collection, and in countries with less sophisticated and less well-funded intelligence agencies, a trustworthy VPN service is better than nothing. We asked Kalia if the standards that most VPNs use are secure against government intrusion. He outlined three ways that VPN traffic could be vulnerable:
A VPN with broad range of servers dotted across various regions offer better overall torrenting experience. As a torrent site that may be available in one country may be restricted in other. In addition to that, torrenters often face server congestion issue that results in sluggish downloading. To get rid of such issues, you can connect to a server that is near your region. It will ensure seamless torrent downloads with zero ping spikes or speed issues.
If you’re on a heavily managed Internet connection, be it government censored or just college Wi-Fi, standard VPN connections may be blocked or throttled due to deep packet inspection, a way for providers to analyze what type of traffic is passing over a network even when they can’t see the actual contents. IVPN’s desktop apps include a checkbox for Obfsproxy, which disguises your traffic as more ho-hum data to get it past those types of blocks—like kids stacked in a trenchcoat to pass as an adult, but more convincing. Our budget pick, TorGuard, and competitor ExpressVPN use different methods to disguise traffic, but we couldn’t find documentation on equivalent features from our other top performers.
With the service, user data cannot be intercepted as all traffic are encrypted. A split tunneling functionality allows users to route traffic from specific applications through the software. It likewise has a kill switch, which effectively cuts off Internet connection when the VPN connection fails. This prevents the accidental revelation of IP addresses.
If your connection to the VPN server drops for some reason then the killswitch will immediately sever your internet connection, so it’s best to keep an eye on your torrents. There’s a few different types of killswitch, such as those that a firewall-based, either using your device’s built-in firewall (if it has one) or via their own rules. Make sure you understand how your killswitch works to avoid being caught out if your app crashes for example.
Max Eddy is a Software Analyst, taking a critical eye to Android apps and security services. He's also PCMag's foremost authority on weather stations and digital scrapbooking software. When not polishing his tinfoil hat or plumbing the depths of the Dark Web, he can be found working to discern the 100 Best Android Apps. Prior to PCMag, Max wrote... See Full Bio
And they manage to do all of this without sacrificing performance, offering one of the fastest download speeds (83 Mbps out of 100 Mbps) and the best 24/7 customer support in the industry. The only downside? It’s a little on the pricey side, with monthly plans starting between $6.67 and $12.95/mo. But it’s a small price to pay for excellent performance in almost every category.