When we test VPNs, we generally start with the Windows client. This is often the most complete review, covering several different platforms as well as the service's features and pricing in depth. That's purely out of necessity, since most of our readers use Windows (although this writer is currently using a MacBook Air). We currently use a Lenovo ThinkPad T460s laptop running the latest version of Windows 10. We periodically upgrade to a newer machine, in order to simulate what most users experience.
UPDATE: It took a *week and a half* for PureVPN to finally give me my money back. Every day I kept telling them I didn't want to try to fix whatever was wrong and why it wasn't working on my system, but every day they would e-mail me and tell me they're looking into getting me a refund but I should let them try to fix the problem first. *Every* day for a week and a half this went on. The same thing from them over and over and over!
as far as I have been using the internet I always connect using hotspot-shield VPN elite version which does not only secure my connection but also gives me unlimited bandwidth an 3g data ,so i can virtually do what ever I want without worrying about data or bandwidth the VPN could be connected for days and no disconnection problems to me it the best

In the UK, both HTTP and FTP downloads came in at around 9.5MB/s (76Mbit/s). Our FTP tests in the Netherlands were a zippy 10.6MB/s (84.8Mb/s) and HTTP downloads were a little slower, but still quick at 7.3MB/s (58.4Mb/s). Windscribe’s U.S. connection speeds were among the fastest we’ve seen at 6.9MB/s (55.2Mb/s) over FTP and 5.6MB/s (44.8Mb/s) via HTTP.

What sort of things should you look for when trying to find the top VPN software online? Well, in this day and age there is really no reason why internet users should settle with having all of their data tracked. Analytics tools are one of the biggest offenders, and they will harvest information relating to your gender, age, and location. Take a look at this FTC warning and recommendation on using a virtual private network while traveling. 


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.

TrackStop – Ads are basically advanced tracking to record your browsing, so you can be hit with targeted ads based on your online activity. To protect users against this threat, Perfect Privacy developed TrackStop, which is a powerful filter that blocks advertising, tracking, and malicious domains at the VPN server level. It ranked the best among different VPN ad blockers I tested.
The virtual router architecture,[22][23] as opposed to BGP/MPLS techniques, requires no modification to existing routing protocols such as BGP. By the provisioning of logically independent routing domains, the customer operating a VPN is completely responsible for the address space. In the various MPLS tunnels, the different PPVPNs are disambiguated by their label, but do not need routing distinguishers.
The service supports Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices, but manual connection through Linux, BlackBerry, Boxee Box, HP WebOS or DD-WRT is also possible. It likewise allows users to use up to five devices using the account. PureVPN’s proprietary gigabit network ensures uptime and extremely fast speeds. It offers unlimited bandwidth, which is ideal for users who like video streaming or playing online games.
TorGuard is incorporated in St. Kitts and Nevis, and operates out of offices mostly in the US. But most people shouldn’t be worried about the legal jurisdiction of their VPN’s offices—we detail the reach of government surveillance above. In short, we think a privacy-focused VPN with public leadership that can be trusted not to collect information about their customers is a better choice in any country, rather than an opaque company run from the most liberty-ensuring country on the planet.
Express VPN is positioned as a safe bet for the torrenting Internet user. Being based in the Virgin Islands, and having been in business since 2009, the company has great policies on privacy and has a track record that highlights its devotion to online privacy. They store no user logs that track online activity back to a specific IP; however, they do say that they “may collect” information on total daily data usage, times connected to their service, and choice of server location.

Many sites will tell you that the chances of facing legal action as a result of pirating copyrighted material are slim. That’s bad advice. While it’s true that copyright holders have bigger fish to fry than the guy that just wants to watch Age of Ultron a few weeks before it comes out on Blu-Ray, you’d be surprised how many people face at least the threat of legal action.
If you're of the iPhone persuasion, there are a few other caveats to consider for a mobile VPN. Some iPhone VPN apps don't use OpenVPN, even if the VPN service that made the app supports the protocol. That's because Apple requires additional vetting if a company wants to include OpenVPN with its app. VPN app developers have slowly started jumping through those extra hoops and are bringing support for protocols such as OpenVPN to iOS.
Free VPN Providers are more likely to log your activities and serve contextual ads while you’re connected. They’re also more likely to use your usage habits to tailor future ads to you, have fewer exit locations, and weak commitments to privacy. They may offer great features, but if logging and privacy are important to you, you may want to avoid them. However, if you just need quick, painless security while traveling on a budget, they’re a great option.
L2TP/IPsec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with Internet Protocol Security): L2TP is not secure itself, so it's generally paired with the IPsec secure-networking standard. The combination of the two was once thought to be very secure when properly implemented, but some VPN services suggest that you use OpenVPN instead. L2TP/IPsec has native support in Windows, OS X/macOS, Android, Chrome OS and iOS. Most VPN services support it.
Fergus is the chief editor and resident curmudgeon of Cloudwards.net. After finishing a degree in history at the University of Amsterdam he bid farewell to the cold northern climes and started a career as a newspaperman in the Far East. Realizing after a few years that online publishing is way more fun than the paper kind, he now bosses the team around over the internet and works himself into a lather on behalf of consumers everywhere. Contact him at fergus [at] cloudwards.net, though be warned that he has a very low tolerance for drivel.
Are you so used to Wi-Fi that you've stopped worrying about your data as it travels over the air—and about who else might be spying on it or stealing it? If so, you're in the majority, and you ought to consider using a virtual private network, or VPN. In fact, when PCMag ran a survey on VPN usage, we found that a shocking 71 percent of the 1,000 respondents had never even used a VPN. Even among those who support net neutrality—who you might think would tend to be well informed on security and privacy issues—55 percent had never used a VPN.
Netflix blocking paying customers might seem odd, but it's all about regions and not people. Just because you paid for Netflix in one place does not mean you're entitled to the content available on the same service but in a different location. Media distribution and rights are messy and complicated. You may or may not agree with the laws and terms of service surrounding media streaming, but you should definitely be aware that they exist and understand when you're taking the risk of breaking them. Netflix, for its part, lays out how that it will attempt to verify a user's location in order to provide content in section 6c of its Terms of Use document.
VPNs also only do so much to anonymize your online activities. If you really want to browse the web anonymously, and access the dark web to boot, you'll want to use Tor. Unlike a VPN, Tor bounces your traffic through several server nodes, making it much harder to trace. It's also managed by a non-profit organization and distributed for free. Some VPN services will even connect to Tor via VPN, for additional security.

The Center for Democracy & Technology brought just such a complaint against one VPN provider last year, though no enforcement action has been announced. Many privacy sites suggest finding a VPN service outside the prying eyes of US intelligence agencies and their allies, but FTC protections could be an argument for finding one in the US so that there’s a penalty if it deceives its customers.
The service has around a hundred servers around the world, in all continents. Server switching is facilitated on the line from just about anywhere. This feature is ideal for use by those who need to reach different locations or those who are in obscure places. Connection speed is relatively fast, with the service offering unlimited bandwidth. Albeit significant lag can be experienced during connection, such is resolved in just a few minutes.

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands which, although a British Overseas Territory, isn’t beholden to the strict data retention laws of the UK’s Investigatory Powers Act. If you’re after anonymous payment options, you can buy your subscription with bitcoin if you wish – and if you don’t want to, then ExpressVPN has a clearly stated no-logging policy. This has been put to the test by the Turkish authorities, who seized endpoint servers last December, and found no logs.
VPNs can make your browsing private, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re anonymous. VPN services can and do log traffic (even the ones that say they don’t log do need to log some information, or they wouldn’t be able to function properly), and those logs can be requested by the authorities. Think of a VPN as being like curtains: people can’t peek through your curtains if you’ve got them closed, but curtains won’t hide your house.
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.

When choosing your VPN, do your research and mind the legal aspects. Countries like Germany, France or Japan are cracking down on copyright infringement, while the members of the 14 Eyes treaty have draconian data retention laws and extensive surveillance. So, if you’re looking to maximize your privacy, you might want to avoid connecting to servers in those countries.

For the most part, VPN clients are the same for both Windows and macOS. But that's not always the case, and I have found marked performance differences depending on the platform. I have split out reviews of Mac VPN applications, in case you're more into fruit than windows. Note that you can skip client apps altogether and connect to the VPN service simply using your computer's network control panel. You'll still need to sign up with a VPN service, however.
If you’re going to use torrents, however, life is easier if you use a VPN—especially if the network you’re on blocks torrenting. There are many VPNs among our top picks that could be used for downloading torrents, but our preferred choice is Private Internet Access. This no-frills VPN has an absolute ton of servers, good speeds, and a nice amount of country locations to remain relatively anonymous. (Read our full review.) The price is right at less than $40 a year, and its privacy policies have been tested in court. Plus, advanced users can adjust their level of encryption for data encryption, data authentication, and handshake.
The other concern with huge troves of data being collected and locked away is how often they tend to be unlocked. Data breaches at huge companies are so common now that the headlines aren’t even shocking anymore. If a database of Internet histories, held by an ISP or sold to a marketing partner, were to be publicly released, there’s a good chance even anonymized data could be tied back to real people. If you were to use a VPN, those logs would show only a single, steady connection from your home to a VPN server, and nothing else.

Basically, torrenting isn't easy to track and the aforementioned legal entities and entertainment conglomerates know this. To hold illegal pirates accountable, these parties will often go straight to the ISP and request data logs of your online activity. If you're living in a country with data retention laws and you're not using a VPN with a "no logging" policy, it's the slammer for you, chief.
At least in that generalization, the leak accusation isn’t entirely fair towards the VPN providers in my option. The only leaks your example in the screenshot shows are IPv6 related ones and DNS, where the latter isn’t exactly great to have but on the other hand doesn’t really cause a threat either at least when it comes to “just not exposing one’s public IPv4 address to the torrent honeypots”. As for the IPv6 leak one can disable IPv6 when in doubt, problem solved with any VPN provider.
Reason #2 - Logistical/Legal Headaches: Not everybody uses bittorrent responsibly. Allowing unrestricted torrent downloads on a VPN network can bring legal pressure, both on the VPN, and the company that hosts their VPN servers. It can also cause servers to go down, or server hosts to cut the VPN company off completely. Many VPNs would prefer to have fewer customers but avoid that level of hassle.
The practical uses for a VPN service are plentiful. Want to access a website that your ISP has blocked? A VPN puts that website just one click away. Want to access the US version of Netflix from the UK? Just set your VPN to a US location and you're there. Want to access porn without your ISP or your business knowing about it? Want to download torrents without being blocked by your ISP? It's easy.
Known for its speed, ease of use and native clients, HideIPVPN supports Windows, Mac, iOS and Android platforms. Its Smart DNS service is known to be able to unblock some sites. The service supports a variety of protocols, which include SSTP, OpenVPN, SoftEther, PPTP and L2TP/IPSec. With the service, torrenting is allowed although only on German and Dutch servers, this is due to the fact that it only has seven server locations in North America and Europe.
ManyVPN providers are trustworthy and vow to keep customer info private, but some are downright nefarious. Researchers recently tested 300 free VPN apps on Google Play and found that nearly 40 percent installed malware or malvertising on users’ machines. (NPR has a brilliant article about VPNs and privacy here.) The lesson? Pick a VPN provider you can really trust.
A good VPN will have plenty of servers spread out over a large number of locations and countries, and you generally want a service that's based not in your own country or in a country that's good friends with the one you live in. Support for OpenVPN, the current standard for VPN protocols, is preferred, and you want to be able to connect multiple devices simultaneously.

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.


Our top picks for torrenting have the very best performance in our latest speed tests in terms of upload as well as download speed across their server network. We also only considered VPN providers with strong, user-focused privacy policies and terms of use. Our picks are all zero or near-zero logs, making it near-impossible to trace activity back to individual users. We also looked for VPN apps with a killswitch that are easy to use and install and offer a good level of customer support.
When using a VPN network like VPN Master for streaming sports, you will want to make sure that the transfer of data is high speed; only the best VPN services can ensure that. This way, you avoid having a glitchy viewing experience using your VPN. The speed of your VPN shouldn’t drop below 15-20% in order to avoid delays due to buffering. We will help you decide which VPN work best for you in order to watch your favorite sports games.
With Kodi, you can access your media over a local connection (LAN) or from a remote media server, if that's your thing. This is, presumably, where concerns about VPN enter the picture. A device using a VPN, for example, will have its connection encrypted on the local network. You might have trouble connecting to it. Using Chromecast on a VPN device just doesn't work, for example. Kodi users might have the same issue.
And dark they are: thanks to the DMCA (and its European counterparts), all the big sites such as The Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents have been taken down and their place taken by proxy sites and other alternative torrent sites (we try and keep that list updated). If you torrent, you’re running a serious risk unless you run the connection through a VPN tunnel.

Trusting a VPN is a hard choice, but IVPN's transparency goes a long way toward proving that its customers' privacy is a priority. Founder and CEO Nick Pestell answered all of our questions about the company's internal security, and even described the tools the company uses to limit and track access to secure servers. IVPN goes further than the other leading candidates we considered by being transparent about who runs the service and who is responsible for your privacy.
Thank you for compling this list. awesome site, and great informative topic, one of which is always top of mind for me. I learned a good deal from the article and the kind folks who shared their uses. I was (and have been in other - though not as thorough, and well-written) surprised not to see more about (if anything about AirVPN) - thought as the previous poster as of this writing, notes it. I have been using it for years too. I needed absolute security, and legitimately based. Written by hackers in Spain after a conference, I feel comfortable using their services. Legally, they stand up, and anonymity are valued. They have solid legal backing pretty bullet proof from what I understand. I do feel that this is an excellent service and have never had any issues with it and in fact, feel it is just another excellent layer of steps to protect my right to privacy. Not that I need to hide anything -- well, everyone says that :) - I do feel that these guys know what they are doing. Service is excellent, and I certainly don't mind paying for it - great service. I like that I can - go anywhere in the world and pick and choose various servers. They don't keep log files, and what they do and how they do it is legit. They also have been recognized as the previous poster state been around for a few years indeed, and that is something that further is something, if I were newer to this to consider. Free VPN, I'm not knocking it - it is good, and I will check these other players out. This was a top contender for privacy in a security/'hacking' in a very 'paranoid' legit review of privacy/security services including VPN. SpiderOak was in that review, a while back as well for cloud based storage, which also is encrypted, and pretty damn secure- they don't know who I am ok with that. Better not lose your pw through, they won't help you - seriously.SImilarly to your discretion to a large degree is true with AirVPN, your privacy is valued at least I feel so, you can be as transparent as you wish or obscure as you wish. Thanks for a stimulating and informative article folks and author!!!! Great one to research for sure!

With VPN, you have no need to be worried about this issue, specially your online privacy protected by VPN companies. By providing you fake IP address, the BitTorrent and uTorrent clients failed to recognized your original identity while storing your online activities did not helped them to trace the user back because the VPN has changed your IP address which makes your online identity totally anonymous. So, with VPN, you can download torrents through torrent clients without fearing of getting caught and your online privacy.
Local download speeds typically topped a 178Mbps (peaking at an incredible 334Mbps in Paris) with local uploads almost as fast. While not as fast as our top picks, this is perfectly adequate for torrenting. A strict zero logs policy and first-party DNS servers mean no data even exists to identify you, while privacy features like the kill switch are ideal for torrenting.
Depending on the local law of the country where the VPN was established, the company may be forced by court order to share whatever records they have regarding your activity — and there can be international agreements between countries to share information in these cases. If you do enough research, you may find a VPN established in a country that doesn’t have any such agreements in place with your country.
Cost - VPNs aren't too pricey, but they vary from vendor to vendor. If your main concern is price, then go with something inexpensive, or free - like Spotflux Premium VPN or AnchorFree HotSpot Shield Elite. By all means, try a free server but they do have a few drawbacks since they attract a lot of users. Free servers are often slower, and since most are ad-supported, they place adverts on the online pages you access. Others can even limit the speed of your connection, as well as your online time or amount of data transferred.
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