I’ve been using HMA for 5 years. I’ve never had any issues with them. For work, I have to travel a lot and keeping myself private is really important to me, HMA hasn’t let me down. As the previous review stated that some of the locations have been blocked, it’s not that important for me. They still have servers around the world which are good enough for a novice user as myself. Good provider!
You can download torrents on all IPVanish servers. This is a huge advantage since users are not restricted to particular servers which may be slow or in different locations. Since the online privacy provider offers an unlimited bandwidth, users are able to download content at blinding speeds. The servers also allow a variety of encryption protocols when connecting, so users can choose their security level and torrent speeds. File sharing is allowed using both uTorrent and BitTorrent protocols. T
The P2P servers (which you’ll need to access separately in a special menu) offer increased security and, more importantly, have a greater capacity to deal with the torrents of information passing through them. DoubleVPN servers aren’t as high-capacity, but route your connection through two different servers, giving it an extra layer of protection if you feel you need it.
BitTorrent's dubious distinction as the pirate's tool of choice has led to indiscriminate crackdowns from ISPs on the use of BitTorrent. With a virtual private network, or VPN, your traffic is encrypted and secured to ensure that no one can see what you're up to—even when you're torrenting. The catch is, not every VPN service allows BitTorrent on its servers.
DNS servers are a bit like the phone books of the Internet: You can type in “thewirecutter.com,” for instance, and one of the many DNS servers behind the scenes can point you to the IP address of a server hosting the site. Most of the time, your DNS requests automatically route through your ISP, giving the ISP an easy way to monitor your traffic. Some VPN services rely on third-party DNS servers, but the best ones keep DNS servers in-house to prevent your browsing history, or your IP address, from getting out.
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.
Using a free VPN for anonymous torrenting is generally a no-no. Due to the large amount of bandwidth required, many free VPN services prohibit P2P activity. Others aren’t secure, and many have data caps. The common adage that comes with free services is that if you don’t buy the product, then you are the product. This is especially true because a VPN isn’t just a piece of software, it’s an ongoing service that requires continuous resources and maintenance.
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.
Most of these providers do keep metadata logs, but because they use shared IP addresses they are theoretically unable to identify specific accounts based on torrent IP history. They do allow torrents (some restrict them to specific geographic servers). NordVPN fell to this range because even though they keep no logs, allow torrents, and have SOCKS proxy service included, their servers tend to be overcrowded and slow. If your connection is under 10mbps anyway, then NordVPN is a great bargain. While not optimal for torrents, VPNs in this range should still work for all but the most hardcore downloaders.
If you are not afraid of commitment, you can get a Hide My Ass subscription for $47.94 for six months or $83.88 per year. Those are decent prices for those durations, but it's worth noting that some VPN services, such as KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, offer lifetime plans, for long-term protection. Notably, KeepSolid also has a wide variety of plans—some as short as a week.
You can select the VPN protocol you want Hide.me to use, and OpenVPN is an option. By default, Hide.me uses IKEv2, so changing this might be worthwhile. You can also set up a Fallback configuration. If the VPN can't connect with your first choice of protocols, it will try again with the protocols you select. That's a neat feature, but certainly more detail than the average person needs.
One of the most important factors when you’re choosing a VPN provider is also the hardest to quantify: trust. All your Internet activity will flow through this company’s servers, so you have to trust that company more than the network you’re trying to secure, be it a local coffee shop’s Wi-Fi, your campus Internet connection, your corporate IT network, or your home ISP. In all our research, we came across a lot of gray areas when it came to trusting a VPN, and only two hard rules: Know who you’re trusting, and remember that security isn’t free.
I tried TunnelBear (Free), and at first it seemed really good, THEN, after a week, I noticed that all of my Google URLs were redirected to Turkey, which broke my eMail connectivity, and caused all searches to display in the Turkish language... TunnelBear tech support responded that the problem was caused by Google. HOWEVER, when I turned TunnelBear OFF, all Google addresses worked OK, when I turned TunnelBear back ON, they reverted to Turkey.
ExpressVPN is both the best all-round VPN and our pick for torrenting, due to its rock solid reliability for both speed and privacy. No other VPN offers such consistently fast speeds across its entire network – up to 201Mbps down and 163Mbps up with very low latency on local connections is ideal for P2P activity. If you also like to stream then uninterrupted access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other popular services is another big selling point.
Windscribe's network performance was once about average in our tests, but a recent switch in VPN protocols put it on par with Private Internet Access in head-to-head tests. Windscribe is compatible with many platforms (including routers and Amazon Fire and Kodi TV set-top boxes), offers a wide variety of connection options, has a wide geographic reach with hundreds of servers, and presents an appealing, if minimal, user interface. It was also one of the best at connecting to Netflix U.K. and BBC iPlayer, if you're into that sort of thing.
NordVPN is a trustworthy company that comes in at a reasonable price point, which gets better the longer you sign up for. It is widely regarded as the most secure VPN available – not only do they have a no-log policy, but also feature automatic double-encryption. Since security is a major concern when it comes to the world of torrenting, Nord is a popular choice among users who anticipate downloading a lot of media and files.
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.
The student/worker. This person has responsibilities to attend to, and uses a VPN provided by their school or company to access resources on their network when they’re at home or traveling. In most cases, this person already has a free VPN service provided to them, so they’re not exactly shopping around. Also, if they’re worried about security, they can always fire up their VPN when using airport or cafe WI-Fi to ensure no one’s snooping on their connection. Photo by Ed Yourdon.
NordVPN operates out of Panama, which means it has no legal obligation to record any of the activities of its users. You're free to connect to any of the 5,000+ VPN servers in 62 countries, and you can use NordVPN on up to six different devices at once. I awarded NordVPN a near-perfect score in my review, focusing on the large set of extra features, like double VPN, P2P-dedicated servers, a DNS leak resolver, and a dedicated single IP address. Grab a year subscription for about $7 a month, go short term with a $12 monthly plan, or choose one-year or six-month plans to best suit your needs.
When we test VPNs, we use the Ookla speed test tool. (Note that Ookla is owned by PCMag's publisher, Ziff Davis.) This test provides metrics for latency, download speeds, and upload speeds. Any one of these can be an important measurement depending on your needs, but we tend to view the download speed as the most important. After all, we live in an age of digital consumption.
Everything you do on the Internet has to pass through your own ISP before reaching the destination. So, when you request Google, for example, the information is sent, unencrypted, to your ISP and then passes through some other channels before reaching the server that holds Google’s website. Basically, VPN services privatize information that can be read by ISPs or any other agency that inspects your traffic.
When you connect to a VPN, you create a secure, encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN remote server. The data is essentially gibberish to anyone who intercepts it. Your ISP, government or hackers won’t know which websites you visit. And conversely, the websites you visit won’t know where you are. Typically, logging in to a VPN is as easy as entering a password and clicking a button on a VPN client or a web browser extension.
No company came closer to being a pick than ExpressVPN. It has a huge server network that performed well in our tests, plus easy-to-use applications on tons of platforms, and strong security technologies in place. A representative answered all our questions about company operations at length—except one. As noted in a PCWorld review of the service, ExpressVPN chooses not to disclose the company’s leadership or ownership. The company representative told us that this policy enabled ExpressVPN to build a private and secure product without compromise. “We think that this approach has been effective until now and that coupled with a stellar VPN product, we have succeeded in gaining a solid reputation in our industry. We are fortunate to be trusted by the many users worldwide who choose ExpressVPN.”
PPTP - PPTP has been around since the days of Windows 95. The main selling point of PPTP is that it can be simply setup on every major OS. In short, PPTP tunnels a point-to-point connection over the GRE protocol. Unfortunately, the security of the PPTP protocol has been called into question in recent years. It is still strong, but not the most secure.