If you opt for hide.me VPN, you get to enjoy reliable speeds, nearly flawless performance, no DNS leaks, 5 simultaneous connections, and strong encryption, as well as a variety of protocols, SOCKS proxy, zero logs of your activity, P2P file sharing, a handy kill switch, and more. Now, all that is left for us to find out is whether hide.me VPN service allows you to enjoy US Netflix content from anywhere in the world.
Well, maybe not the slammer, but there was the infamous Dallas Buyers Club case where 5,000 Australians were notified of their infringement. It was speculated that they'd only have to pay $20 for the damages and the case was eventually dropped, but it still managed to convince most of us to go running towards our closest and most trusted VPN provider.

The number of servers and the location of a VPN company's servers can have a noticeable impact on performance. Companies with only a handful of servers must funnel more customers into crowded servers, reducing the sliver of the bandwidth pie available to each person. Similarly, if a company only has a few locations for its servers, it can mean connecting to an entirely different continent just to get online. For that reason, we pay careful attention to how many servers are offered, and whether there's a good degree of geographic diversity in those servers' placement.

When we tested other aspects of IVPN's performance, it also satisfied our requirements. On the default settings, our real IP address didn't leak out via DNS requests or IPv6 routing, let alone a standard IP address checker. The DNS-requests check indicated that the app was using the company's internal DNS servers and that they were correctly configured. None of the 12 services we tested disclosed our true IP address (though some showed mismatched IPs).


VPNs are necessary for improving individual privacy, but there are also people for whom a VPN is essential for personal and professional safety. Some journalists and political activists rely on VPN services to circumvent government censorship and safely communicate with the outside world. Check the local laws before using a VPN in China, Russia, Turkey, or any country with with repressive internet policies.
It might be possible that this information could be used to correlate a user's identity to specific activity online, but it would likely be very difficult. Even with this information, an observer would have to know which VPN server to watch and then compare that activity against Hide My Ass's logs, and be able to parse out the target's traffic from everyone else using the same server.
Our review of SurfEasy Total explains these features in more detail Protect Your Mobile Data and Network Usage With SurfEasy VPN [Giveaway] Protect Your Mobile Data and Network Usage With SurfEasy VPN [Giveaway] In the Google Play Store, you'll find a whole lot of VPN clients for Android devices, but few of them are as up-to-date and robust as SurfEasy. SurfEasy offers a 3-tier account structure: Free, Mobile... Read More . Note that there is also a lower-cost subscription at $3.99/month, for torrent-free VPN use.
We summarize the protocols above, and look at them in detail in VPN Encryption: The Complete Guide. Although L2TP/IPsec is fine for most purposes, we only really recommend OpenVPN and IKEv2. OpenVPN is very secure if properly configured. Indeed, Edward Snowden’s documents showed that even the NSA can’t crack well-implemented OpenVPN. It is also supported by almost every provider.  But it is relatively slow. The newer IKEv2 is much faster and is considered secure, but has not been battle-tested in the way that OpenVPN has. It is not as well supported at present, although it is increasingly popular with providers thanks to its speed advantages over OpenVPN.

The solution is downloadable and supports platforms such as OS X, Windows and Linux. Mobile systems like Android and iOS are also supported. These capabilities enable users to use the product on desktops, laptops, smartphones or tablet computers. The software can also be downloaded onto network routers, ensuring that all devices connected to such routers enjoy the same level of protection.

Revelations from information leaked by Edward Snowden, and related reporting, claim that even low-level analysts at the NSA have had access to massive databases of information. The NSA has also sought to weaken some security standards during their development and has found exploits of others, such as the initial exchange of encryption keys, that allow the security agency to analyze otherwise secure traffic. The NSA can also siphon off a huge amount of Internet traffic to be stored and later analyzed.
Any devices that accesses the internet is assigned an IP address. For us, that means our Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigned an IP address to your router. If you’re on WiFi, your individual devices have their own assigned IP addresses. Since your IP address comes from your ISP, it has your name, location, and all your web activity attached to it. If your ISP was ever hacked, that data could fall in the hands of a bad actor. And if compelled, your ISP could hand over your data, say, in compliance with a warrant. It could also issue warnings on behalf of copyright holders if you were engaging in piracy.
Hide.me VPN for Windows is a virtual private network (VPN) utility that helps prevent others seeing your internet traffic. With this service, you can browse and download, evading restrictions on content and protecting the privacy of your data. With high download speeds and a variety of different service plans, hide.me is a leading name in the world of VPN services.
I consider the download tests to be the most important, and Hide.me performed pretty well in this category. I found that it slowed download speeds by 6.5 percent. That's right around where most of the other VPNs fell. TorGuard VPN, however, reduced download speeds by only 3.7 percent. In the international tests, Hide.me again wound up on the slightly higher side of average, reducing download speeds by 77.1 percent. AnchorFree Hotspot Shield has the best score in these tests, lowering download speeds by a mere 39.9 percent.
Even if none of the above really sound right to you, you can still benefit from using a VPN. You should definitely use one when you travel or work on an untrusted network (read: a network you don’t own, manage, or trust who manages.) That means opening your laptop at the coffee shop and logging in to Facebook or using your phone’s Wi-Fi to check your email at the airport can all potentially put you at risk.

If you listen to mainstream media, the only reason for a Virtual Private Network is to erase your online browsing habits and conceal illicit or immoral activity. There is a systematic campaign afoot, designed to blacken the concept of the VPN and ensure that nobody except criminals and perverts would even think of using it. Choosing a name like “Hide My Ass” doesn’t really give the image of a “white hat” service, either. But a VPN is like a gun – it’s not what it is, it’s how it’s used that makes the difference.


VPNs are a way for users to win back some control. Remember: All of your information and activity is known to your ISP because of your IP address. By changing your IP address, you can sidestep your ISP and mask your internet activity. A VPN lets you do that by routing your activity through its own servers. To anyone looking at your activity, you’ll have a new IP address that could be in a different state or even a different country. 

Opera VPN works only through the Opera web browser, and it shouldn't be used for sensitive communications. Once very fast, Opera's VPN connections were painfully slow in our most recent tests. The Opera VPN mobile apps, which were full-fledged VPN services that performed decently in our 2017 tests, unfortunately closed up shop at the end of April 2018. There's one good feature, though: Opera VPN streamed Netflix successfully from all of its server locations (there are only three of them), which is more than many paid VPN services can do.
In 2015, a review in Tom's Hardware said HideMyAss! was easy to use, had good customer service, and a large number of server locations to choose from, but criticized it for slowing internet speeds.[19] In contrast, Digital Trends said HideMyAss! had strong speeds and good server selection, but wasn't full-proof at ensuring anonymity, because it stored user activity logs.[10] In 2017, PC World noted that it was difficult to measure the effect a VPN service has on internet speed, because of variables like location, internet service speeds, and hardware.[20]
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.
Many companies proudly display “warrant canaries” on their websites. These are digitally signed notices that say something to the effect of “We have never been served a warrant for traffic logs or turned over customer information.” Law enforcement can prohibit a company from discussing an investigation, but in theory, it can’t compel a company to actively lie. So the theory goes that when the warrant canary dies—that is, the notice disappears from the website because it’s no longer truthful—so does privacy. The EFF supports this legal position, though other highly regarded companies and organizations think warrant canaries are helpful only for informing you after the damage has been done. Such notices may provide a nice sense of security, and they are important to some people, but we didn’t consider them essential.
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.

IVPN excels at trust and transparency, the most important factors when you’re choosing a virtual private network. After interviewing IVPN’s CEO, we’re convinced that IVPN is dedicated to its promises not to monitor or log customer activity. But a trustworthy VPN is only as good as its connections, and in our tests IVPN was stable and fast. IVPN apps are easy to set up and use with secure OpenVPN connections on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, plus a few other platforms. Extra features like automatic-connection rules and kill switches to block data on unsecured connections add protection and value that make it worth a slightly higher price than some competitors.
One of the platform’s notable features is its ability to provide fast connection speeds. VPN software are known to reduce Internet speeds significantly, but with SaferVPN, you won’t even notice any speed reduction. The service also allows multiple user accounts at both personal and business levels. Customer support is available 24/7, which include email, tickets, live chats and a comprehensive knowledge base.

If HTTP browsing is a postcard that anyone can read as it travels along, HTTPS (HTTP Secure) is a sealed letter that gives up only where it’s going. For example, before Wirecutter implemented HTTPS, your traffic could reveal the exact page you visited (such as https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-portable-vaporizer/) and its content to the owner of the Wi-Fi network, your network administrator, or your ISP. But if you visit that same page today—our website now uses HTTPS—those parties would see only the domain (https://thewirecutter.com). The downside is that HTTPS has to be implemented by the website operator. Sites that deal with banking or shopping have been using these types of secure connections for a long time to protect financial data, and in the past few years, many major news and information sites, including Wirecutter and the site of our parent company, The New York Times, have implemented it as well.

Media companies are increasingly monitoring torrent traffic and collecting IP addresses from torrent swarms. Depending on where you live, you may receive copyright violation notices from your internet provider, or perhaps from a law firm that is demanding immediate payment for damages – oftentimes thousands of dollars – on behalf of the copyright holder.
When we tested other aspects of IVPN’s performance, it also satisfied our requirements. On the default settings, our real IP address didn’t leak out via DNS requests or IPv6 routing, let alone a standard IP address checker. The DNS-requests check indicated that the app was using the company’s internal DNS servers and that they were correctly configured. None of the 12 services we tested disclosed our true IP address (though some showed mismatched IPs). Every VPN we considered had to operate its own DNS servers in-house and not rely on ISP servers or public options like Google’s, which give third parties a chance to log or analyze the sites you visit. IVPN currently disables all IPv6 connectivity, though the company is looking at solutions to securely support it soon. Most companies we considered do the same; OVPN was the only company to support IPv6 addresses at the time of our testing.
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.
A company representative explained to me that bulk of the company's physical server infrastructure is located in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Miami, New York, Prague, Seattle, and Singapore. This doesn't quite jibe with what Hide My Ass lists on its website. I'd like to see future versions of Hide My Ass be clearer about when you are connected to a virtual server.
If you’re looking for mobile solutions, check out the best Android VPNs The 5 Best VPNs for Android The 5 Best VPNs for Android Need a VPN for your Android device? Here are the best Android VPNs and how to get started with them. Read More and the best iPhone VPNs The Best VPN for iPhone Users The Best VPN for iPhone Users Looking for the best VPN for iPhone? Here are some great VPN choices to protect your iPhone's browsing. Read More .

HideMyAss! offers a 1, 6, and 12-month programs, with big savings the longer you choose to subscribe. The 1-year subscription fee, at $6.99/month, nearly cuts the 1-month trial subscription fee in half, making it the most value-for-money offering. Safe, SSL protected payments can be made via Visa and MasterCard through the online registration platform, and are recurring.
However, if you’re using a top-tier VPN service, the difference in speed usually isn’t noticeable, and can sometimes speed up your connection. You can still watch streaming videos and download large files without interruption. Our VPN servers are among the fastest in the industry and we work hard to keep it that way. Download Hotspot Shield VPN and get privacy protection without sacrificing speed.
Things can get tricky when it comes to trusting a VPN. Recently, PureVPN handed over log information the company had to federal investigators building a case against a cyberstalker and general dirtbag. Some were surprised that the company had any information to hand over, or that it did cooperated with investigators at all. It seems to us that PureVPN stayed within the bounds of its stated privacy policy. But it's also true that other companies, such as Private Internet Access, aren't able to connect any of your personal information to your account information.
PirateBay is blocked in the place where I live, and it sucks! It’s been months, and unfortunately, I have been trying to find a solution but always leave with little to no success. But today, thanks to this blog I was finally able to access PirateBay with the help of a Torrent VPN. Great work on the blog, gentlemen. I hope you guys keep doing your work straight.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Taking an unusual approach to pricing, ProtonVPN has a low-speed, free service, as well as a trio of premium options. The Basic package is $5/month; the Plus package $10/month, and adds dedicated servers, added security, and Tor servers to the mix. Finally, the Visionary package costs $30 monthly, features the additional servers mentioned, and adds ProtonMail.

Firefox private browsing with tracking protection is great at protecting you from invasive trackers and keeping your browser history secret, but when you surf the web, you leave footprints that Firefox can’t erase — your IP address is logged at the sites you visit and your ISP may keep records. That usually isn’t an issue, but the sites you visit could expose you to unwanted attention from government agencies or even hackers. A VPN can hide those footprints from prying eyes and add an extra layer of security against hackers.
By now, you must have decided which VPN providers you want to go with, therefore I think it is about time we discuss VPN protocols as well. However, if you are new to VPNs and protocols, think of them as the fuel that drives the engine. In short, protocols are responsible for all the data transmission that takes place between you and the VPN server.
When we took at look at your five favorite VPN service providers, we noticed a few things. First, being the “best” is big business for VPN providers, and they’ll fight dirty to be one of them. Second, there are so many VPN providers that it’s difficult to choose a really good one. VPNs are not all created equally, and in this post, we’re going to look at what a VPN is, why you want one, and how to pick the best one for you. Let’s get started.
IPVanish wasn't the top performer in our 2017 round of testing, falling in about the middle of the pack. But it was one of the most reliable VPN services, connecting smoothly and staying connected every time we used it. IPVanish has excellent client software, although you can connect to the company's servers manually, and a decent array of about 850 connection points in 50 countries. However, its subscription price is kind of high, and its U.S. base may be a negative for some potential customers.
Your ISP may already be involved in some of these spying operations, but there's an even-newer concern. The FCC has rolled back Obama-era rules that sought to protect net neutrality, and in doing so allowed ISPs to profit off your data. The ISPs wanted a slice of that big data monetization pie that has fueled the growth of companies like Facebook and Google. Those companies are able to gather huge amounts of information about users, and then use it to target advertising or even sell that data to other companies. ISPs now have the green light to bundle anonymized user data and put it up for sale.
Every service we tested accepts payment via credit card, PayPal, and Bitcoin. That’s plenty of options for most people, and you can always use a prepaid debit card if you don’t want your billing information tied to your VPN account. IVPN and OVPN are the only ones to accept cash payment through the mail, if you really don’t want to make a payment online. Private Internet Access and TorGuard accept gift cards from other companies—IVPN doesn’t, but that option isn’t worth the additional hassle for many people when other secure, private methods are available.
Computer and software providers work hard to make sure that the devices you buy are safe right out of the box. But they don't provide everything you'll need. Antivirus software, for example, consistently outperforms the built-in protections. In the same vein, VPN software lets you use the web and Wi-Fi with confidence that your information will remain secure. It's critically important and often overlooked.
Traditional VPNs are characterized by a point-to-point topology, and they do not tend to support or connect broadcast domains, so services such as Microsoft Windows NetBIOS may not be fully supported or work as they would on a local area network (LAN). Designers have developed VPN variants, such as Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS), and Layer 2 Tunneling Protocols (L2TP), to overcome this limitation.
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP): PPTP is a ubiquitous VPN protocol used since the mid 1990s and can be installed on a huge variety of operating systems has been around since the days of Windows 95. But, like L2TP, PPTP doesn't do encryption, it simply tunnels and encapsulates the data packet. Instead, a secondary protocol such as GRE or TCP has to be used as well to handle the encryption. And while the level of security PPTP provides has been eclipsed by new methods, the protocol remains a strong one, albeit not the most secure.
Hide.me makes all the right promises in its privacy policy. Hide.me does not record your website visits, and it doesn’t store connection logs and timestamps that could match your VPN IP address in a given session with your real IP. The only thing Hide.me does track is bandwidth usage on a monthly basis, which is used for billing and network maintenance.
If HTTP browsing is a postcard that anyone can read as it travels along, HTTPS (HTTP Secure) is a sealed letter that gives up only where it’s going. For example, before Wirecutter implemented HTTPS, your traffic could reveal the exact page you visited (such as https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-portable-vaporizer/) and its content to the owner of the Wi-Fi network, your network administrator, or your ISP. But if you visit that same page today—our website now uses HTTPS—those parties would see only the domain (https://thewirecutter.com). The downside is that HTTPS has to be implemented by the website operator. Sites that deal with banking or shopping have been using these types of secure connections for a long time to protect financial data, and in the past few years, many major news and information sites, including Wirecutter and the site of our parent company, The New York Times, have implemented it as well.
ExpressVPN takes a spot on our best VPN for torrent list thanks to its blazing fast speeds and strong privacy focus. ExpressVPN consistently ranks as one of the fastest VPN providers in our official BestVPN Speed Test. This makes it a fantastic option for those looking to max out those torrent speeds. Robust encryption keeps your data safe and no usage logs means the company can’t share your personal browsing data.
Not positive but would wager Businesses cooperating with Government is not limited to the USA, nor is spying/listening/snooping. Not all personal information is legally protected. Internal policy directs distribution. Businesses require licenses to operate, issued by Government, there are many terms and conditions that apply to these licenses. Receiving a verbal request from a person in authority is an official request, a legal demand/order so to speak resulting in legal action for failure to comply. Release of personal including legally protected information is done all day long, everywhere and without a Court Order, not agreeing with it just saying. Internet terms and conditions that we agree to when we sign up on some online site, in some cases we waive our right to privacy. Inside social engineering is alive and well used, family, friends, coworkers provide volume of information most of which is provided “free” some not. Recently canceled my VPN service, lucky the Poker and Movies sites I use are now web base, so the TOR Network does what by VPN use to do for free, works nicely with 100mbps fibre connection. Mr. Whoever you are; am deaf in one ear, no need to shout I see great.
Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) can tunnel an entire network's traffic (as it does in the OpenVPN project and SoftEther VPN project[8]) or secure an individual connection. A number of vendors provide remote-access VPN capabilities through SSL. An SSL VPN can connect from locations where IPsec runs into trouble with Network Address Translation and firewall rules.
CyberGhost has been around since 2011 and has come out strongly as a supporter of "civil rights, a free society, and an uncensored Internet culture." We really liked how the company specifically showcases, on their Web site, how folks normally prevented from accessing such important services as Facebook and YouTube can bring those services into their lives via a VPN.
Inside the Preferences pane, you can also tick boxes to automatically launch or connect the app when you boot your device. Anyone using the Windows or macOS app should tick the box to autoconnect “when joining insecure WiFi networks.” You can also tag individual Wi-Fi networks as trusted or untrusted, to make sure you’re always protected even if you forget to connect the app manually. These network rules—not offered on most apps, including IVPN’s mobile apps or any of TorGuard’s apps—will make sure you don’t forget your VPN when you need it the most.
Thankfully, there's a workaround for this problem. Instead of using the VPN app from the company from which you've purchased a subscription, you can download the standalone OpenVPN app. Open it, and you can enter your subscription information from the VPN company you've decided to work with. The OpenVPN app will then connect to the VPN company's servers using our preferred protocol.
This means that, unfortunately, it is up to individuals to protect themselves. Antivirus apps and password managers go a long way toward keeping you safer, but a VPN is a uniquely powerful tool that you should definitely have in your personal security toolkit, especially in today's connected world. Whether you opt for a free service or even go all-in with an encrypted router, having some way to encrypt your internet traffic is critically important.

Technical: HMA utilizes various VPN technologies such as OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), PPTP and L2TP/IPSec. Each VPN server has a set number of IP addresses; each time a customer connects to one of HMA’s VPN servers, they are assigned a sheared IP address. HMA does not NAT customer connections, meaning the total amount of simultaneous connections they can support is the total amount of IP addresses that they offer, which is 2,800 + IP addresses.
If you’re going to bother with a VPN, you should spend money on a good one—don’t trust a free VPN. Security and privacy cost money, and if you aren’t paying for them, the provider has an incentive to make money from marketers at your privacy’s expense. Though price doesn’t always equal quality, a few dollars a month more for a better experience is worth it for something you’ll use on a regular basis.

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.
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.
Hi Paula, thanks for the question. File sharing is indeed under fire in countries like the US, UK, Canada and Australia. But you can engage in P2P/File-sharing activity from these countries by connecting to the VPN servers of the countries where File Shharing is legal. As long as you don’t engage in any copyright infringements, you have nothing to worry about. However, anti-file-sharing measures are usually very limited and are usually always preceeded by rather harmless warning notices by the ISP so you have a bit of a margin in case you ever get flagged during a P2P session in the event of a worst case scenario.
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The GUI is mostly self-explanatory, but you do need to know a little about communications and what VPN is and does. After a brief amount of learning, you may start using HMA Pro VPN. It is laid out a little like the AVG malware checker. It has a similar guided user interface and very similar looking buttons. If you follow the instructions given to you by Hide My Ass, you may surf the internet anonymously where your internet service provider cannot track you.
VPN is a complete solution for torrent lovers to download unlimited torrent files including books, movies, free music and software etc. Torrent VPN is the only way through which the torrent files can be downloaded without any fear of getting caught where you don’t need to be worried about DMCA and copyright policy of your country and internet services providers because their systems will not recognize your torrent related activities. VPN torrent hides your original IP address and assigned you a temporary IP address to surf internet and download torrent anonymously.
The best use of a VPN is to add security to your connection when you’re on public Wi-Fi from someone you don’t know—at cafés, hotels, airports and airlines, and even car dealerships while you’re waiting for your vehicle’s fuel-line recombobulator to be replaced. A bad actor or mischievous network owner can intercept and steal your personal data on these types of networks. (If you need anecdotes to be properly worried, this article follows as a hacker collects private information on dozens of people connecting to an Amsterdam café’s Wi-Fi.) Though network security has changed since 2014, a more recent vulnerability shows that so too have the exploits and methods miscreants use to break it. A properly secured VPN can help deter this type of attack because it encrypts your connection starting with your computer, through the network, and out to the far-off VPN server.
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