Making your decision about a VPN can be tough, as a lot of providers boast similar benchmarks in tech-jargon that’s almost as scary as getting spied on. Yet with a formidable network of world-encompassing servers and a minimalist, user-friendly experience, HideMyAss! is a good go-to VPN service provider. Not to mention they have more servers than most providers with 940 around the world. A couple of downsides: They are a bit pricey compared with other VPNs who offer comparable service, and they don't have specialty servers. But, because they understand the importance of privacy, we recommend them.
Censorship: Similar to a web proxy, customers use HMA’s VPN service to bypass internet censorship. VPN’s are far more flexible compared to a web proxy as they tunnel the entire internet connection and not just your web browser traffic. As a result, there are never any rendering issues because there is no parsing of HMTL/JS, and all content will function as it should do (e.g. Flash). Speed will also be faster because of a larger network of servers in 190+ countries, and the ability to setup VPN connections on your actual router means third-party devices are able to bypass censorship without any additional configuration required.
At a minimum, your ISP keeps track of every IP address it assigned you, often for six to 18 months. ISPs mostly use these records to respond to specific law enforcement requests, often to catch truly awful criminals. But no protections are in place to guarantee that it’s the only way ISPs use these logs. In 2017, the US Department of Justice unsuccessfully demanded that a Web host hand over more than a million IP addresses, namely that of anyone who accessed a website that helped organize protests during the presidential inauguration. Compliance with that demand would have allowed the DOJ to in turn request identifying information from ISPs on anyone who visited the site—including journalists doing research, bored Twitter users clicking a link, or people against the protests who wanted a hate read. A good VPN would spare the innocent the trouble and the invasion of privacy in such a situation.

When testing a virtual private network, or VPN, we always consider the service's price, privacy, and technology. Hide.me does well in all of those areas, offering an affordable, secure service with a good privacy policy. But while the service looks great on paper, its performance and its app didn't blow us away in testing. Hide.me will serve you well if you need a low-cost service, but we continue to recommend Editors' Choice winners NordVPN, Private Internet Access, and TunnelBear, all of which are powerful and easy to use.
The service uses Advanced Encryption Standard with a 256-bit key, a common method employed by VPN services. Connections are protected using 2048-bit public key encryption. For privacy, the service offers a malware detection software. What is good about the software is that it can be downloaded and used without providing any personal information. This holds as long as you use the free version of the software and never contact customer support.

When you surf the web, your internet traffic isn't necessarily secure. Someone could be lurking on the same network as you, monitoring your activities. That's especially true when you're using a public Wi-Fi network. Clever attackers can even create bogus Wi-Fi networks that impersonate legit ones, tricking you into connecting and exposing your personal information.
Secondly, a VPN prevents other users downloading and/or uploading the same files as you from seeing your IP address. BitTorrent is a P2P, or peer-to-peer, protocol. That means everyone who uses the same torrent file is connected in what’s known as a “swarm”. Each device connected to the swarm can see all of the other IP addresses of all the other devices in the swarm. Many BitTorrent clients even allow you to view a list of other devices you’re connected to when leeching or seeding files on the network.
While I appreciate the emphasis on real-world applications for VPNs, I think it's better to just have a button to quickly get a person online safely. Most people might not be familiar with the benefits of using a VPN, or understand what the distinction is among the three modes. (Truth be told, I'm not sure I do, either.) A big, simple button similar to NordVPN or TunnelBear, with other options under the hood, seems like the best approach. Still, it's far friendlier and easier to use than, say, Private Internet Access, which is little more than a window to start your connection.
Update: yeah, I’m sick of it. The other day it treated me like I wasn’t subscribed even though I pay month to month. In fact, I should say that it consistently does this every month on the day my subscription expires, but it became permanent and the support tech told me to just reinstall the app. No. Sorry, but the proxy isn’t even that sophisticated. If you are going to make a dumbed down proxy program, at least make it work. Done with it. Switching to another proxy service.
On top of that, there’s the issue of geo-restricted content. This is content that is restricted to certain areas due to copyright laws. For example, if you wanted to access the US Netflix library, you would have to be located in America itself. Trying to access this library is impossible from anywhere else in the world (where the Netflix library will be limited and not include the usual catalog of movies and shows you are used to). With a top quality VPN, you can gain access to the US Netflix library from anywhere in the world, by simply selecting to browse from a US based server – this is known as ‘geo-spoofing’ your location.

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, allow users to securely access a private network and share data remotely through public networks. Much like a firewall protects your data on your computer, VPNs protect it online. And while a VPN is technically a WAN (Wide Area Network), the front end retains the same functionality, security, and appearance as it would on the private network.

Several issues I have had...two services did not work consistently with Outlook smtp email and I had to cancel the subscription. One of them all of a sudden no longer supported Netgear routers - which I had been using !!! I had to flash the router with DDWRT firmware and am still in the process of implementing. So be careful out there. Use the free trial time to check everything out.
Downloading torrent files without protection can be a dangerous thing. From authorities following your activity to hackers trying to infiltrate your system. A VPN is the best solution for torrenting and P2P with anonymity and peace of mind. But it’s not as simple as that, not all VPNs are good to download such files in a fast and safe way. Some of them are slow, others are keeping logs of your activity, and some are just not offering enough protection.
YourBittorrent has a somewhat controversial history. While founded in 2009, it really began operation in its original form in 2003 as a collaboration between two partners — the product of which was myBittorrent; one of the partners wanted the website eventually shut down while the other partner wanted it to become bigger. This led to a split, the product of which is YourBittorrent.
Free VPNs operate by collecting your personal data and selling it to the highest bidder. Also, they come with numerous limitations that make torrenting close to impossible. For example, you’ll be able to download 500MB per day, up to 10GB per month. This might meet your needs if you don’t plan on downloading a lot of files and if you’re ready to face a heavily throttled connection.
We’ve previously reviewed the “VPN” built into the Opera browser in these group tests, even though it’s an HTTP proxy, rather than a true VPN. However, recent changes following Opera’s sale of endpoint provider SurfEasy to Symantec in November 2017, including a drop in the number of endpoints and a performance hit for non-European services, have rendered it less useful for accessing region-restricted content, and we will no longer be including it.

I do these tests twice. The first time, I use a server located close to my physical location. This puts the emphasis on speed and performance, and is likely indicative of how most people will use the service. Then, I perform the same tests while connected to an Ookla test server in Anchorage, Alaska, and a VPN server in Australia. The vast distances involved act as a stress test of the service.
Because few VPN companies offer live support, we appreciate when they at least provide easy-to-follow resources on their websites. Detailed setup guides with step-by-step instructions are available for every platform IVPN supports, and it breaks down troubleshooting advice into language that’s easy to understand. ExpressVPN also has clear, helpful support articles, but other services aren’t as straightforward. It’s harder to find the right information on TorGuard’s support site, and its articles aren’t as novice-friendly. If you need to submit a ticket for a specific problem, you can expect a quick response from all the companies we tested—IVPN and TorGuard both responded to us in minutes, and PIA took the longest at one day. ExpressVPN was the only one of our finalists that offered tech support over live chat. (Other companies provide live chat only for sales and signup support.)
Copyright holders are often large media companies that outsource piracy litigation to shifty law firms dubbed “copyright trolls”. Copyright trolls monitor popular torrents for the unique IP addresses of devices that connect to the swarm to upload or download files. They then match those IP addresses to the internet service providers that assigned them to customers. The copyright troll goes through the ISP to send a settlement letter or a copyright violation notice to each torrenter. Settlement letters demand money and threaten legal action if the users don’t pay.
For this reason, VPNs are hugely popular with corporations as a means of securing sensitive data when connecting remote data centers. These networks are also becoming increasingly common among individual users—and not just torrenters. Because VPNs use a combination of dedicated connections and encryption protocols to generate virtual P2P connections, even if snoopers did manage to siphon off some of the transmitted data, they'd be unable to access it on account of the encryption. What's more, VPNs allow individuals to spoof their physical location—the user's actual IP address is replaced by VPN provider—allowing them to bypass content filters. So, you may live in Tehran but appear to live in Texas, enabling you to slip past the government filters and commit the treasonous act of watching a YouTube video. The horror.

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, allow users to securely access a private network and share data remotely through public networks. Much like a firewall protects your data on your computer, VPNs protect it online. And while a VPN is technically a WAN (Wide Area Network), the front end retains the same functionality, security, and appearance as it would on the private network.
Unless you use a VPN when you torrent, your IP address is exposed to your Internet Service Provider and to every other user taking part in the data transfer. It’s not easy to find the right VPN for torrenting as you need one that offers blazing fast uploads along with robust privacy features and preferably P2P-optimized servers. We make the process as painless as possible with our extensive, impartial VPN reviews – we do the work so you don’t have to.

Most VPN services allow you to connect up to five devices with a single account. Any service that offers fewer connections is outside the mainstream. Keep in mind that you'll need to connect every device in your home individually to the VPN service, so just two or three licenses won't be enough for the average nested pair. Note that many VPN services offer native apps for both Android and iOS, but that such devices count toward your total number of connections.
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.

Secure Shell (SSH): SSH creates both the VPN tunnel and the encryption that protects it. This allows users to transfer information unsecured data by routing the traffic from remote fileservers through an encrypted channel. The data itself isn't encrypted but the channel its moving through is. SSH connections are created by the SSH client, which forwards traffic from a local port one on the remote server. All data between the two ends of the tunnel flow through these specified ports.
"ISPs are in a position to see a lot of what you do online. They kind of have to be, since they have to carry all of your traffic," explains Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) senior staff technologist Jeremy Gillula. "Unfortunately, this means that preventing ISP tracking online is a lot harder than preventing other third-party tracking—you can't just install [the EFF's privacy-minded browser add-on] Privacy Badger or browse in incognito or private mode."
Beyond those two factors, it’s difficult to make blanket statements about what makes a trustworthy VPN. At the bare minimum, a good VPN provider should not collect and keep any logs of its customers’ browsing history. If it does, that puts your privacy at risk should someone access (or even release) those logs without authorization. But deciding when to a trust a logging policy isn’t easy. As the EFF points out, “Some VPNs with exemplary privacy policies could be run by devious people.” You don’t need to have done anything illegal to prefer that law enforcement and criminals alike not have access to a browsing history that may include your bank, medical websites, or that one thing you looked at around 2 a.m. that one time.
We subsidize our free version by displaying advertisements and we do not collect or sell your personally identifiable information. Our free version provides the same basic level of protection that is included in our paid plans. If you would like to remove the ads and get additional benefits, then you can upgrade to Hotspot Shield Premium. When people upgrade to our premium version, it provides additional revenue to keep our service running smoothly.

If you’re unsure about whether you should get a VPN, check out our post that explains what a VPN is and when one makes sense as a privacy and security tool. But most people leave their privacy and security vulnerable in ways that can be addressed with methods other than signing up for a VPN—methods that are potentially more effective. If you have a drafty house with paper-thin walls and halogen light bulbs, you’d get far more value out of every dollar by sealing up cracks, insulating, and switching to LEDs than you would by putting solar panels on your roof. Similarly, before you rush to sign up for a VPN subscription, you should consider these other ways to up your privacy game.
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.
ExpressVPN is another excellent option for torrenting and P2P downloads. This British Virgin Islands-based service has a great lineup of custom applications and it also performed very well in testing for the ExpressVPN review. ExpressVPN offers strong protections for customer data with a solid no logs policy, very secure applications, and offshore jurisdiction.
How much will it cost? If price is important to you, then you may think that a free VPN is the best option. Remember, however, that some VPN services may not cost you money, but you might “pay” in other ways, such as being served frequent advertisements or having your personal information collected and sold to third parties. If you compare paid vs. free options, you may find that free VPNs:
Logging: When you connect to a VPN, you’re trusting the VPN service provider with your data. Your communications may be secure from eavesdropping, but other systems on the same VPN—especially the operator—can log your data if they choose. If this bothers you (e.g., you’re the privacy/security advocate or the downloader), make absolutely sure you know your provider’s logging policies before signing up. This applies to location as well—if your company doesn’t keep logs, it may not matter as much where it’s located. (There’s a popular rumor that US-based VPN providers are required to log, in case the government wants them. This isn’t true, but the government can always request whatever data they have if they do log.) For a good list of VPN providers that don’t log your activities when connected (and many that do), check out this TorrentFreak article.
I USE SPOT FLUX ON MY IMAC OS 10.10.3 AND IT PROVIDES SERVICE TO THE WHOLE MACHINE NOT JUST THE BROWSER. I USE 3 BROWSERS AND THEY ARE ALL PROTECTED BY THIS VPN. IT IS CURRENTLY FREE FOR IMACS AND THEY ALSO HAVE THE PAID VERSION. THE LAPTOPS ARE FORCED TO BUY THE SERVICE ACCORDING TO MY LIMITED INFO. IT IS BASED TO A SERVER STATESIDE WHICH MIGHT INDICATE THE ISP MAY BE MO
Advanced leak protection – Perfect Privacy offers very secure apps to ensure you are protected against any and all leaks. In the Perfect Privacy review I discuss the three different levels of the kill switch and DNS leak protection. Users are also protected from IPv6 leaks because Perfect Privacy offers full IPv6 support across their server network (giving you both an IPv4 and IPv6 address for all your devices).
I also after a year of paying month by month, I bought a 1 year subscription from one their promos. I then discovered they were also charging me for my monthly subs. Getting my money back was fairly ordinary. As soon as I disputed the monthly costs they suspended my account. In the end I got my monthly subs back, but lost the balance of the yearly sub - luckily it had been a good promo.
I received a nice 'Alleged Copyright Infringement' email from my provider the other day. I have been using utorrent for many years and never had any issues until now (decided to watch if X-men was as bad as the reviews). I've never had any pirating or redistribution notions but since the notice I've decided to start shopping for a VPN service. I noticed a lot of these are also apps and extensions for browsers. In my case would I need a full downloadable program or would a browser based app suffice?
OpenVPN: OpenVPN is very secure, open-source and widely used. Most VPN services support it, but except for Chrome OS and Linux, few operating systems do. This protocol can be used in either TCP (web) or UDP (streaming) mode; the latter is sloppier but faster. You'll need either the VPN service's client software or one of the many free alternatives. Either way, you'll still need to pay for the VPN service.
What that means in practice is that VPNs are fine for bypassing geo-blocks, for protecting your online banking and for keeping business communications free from interception. However, if you’re using the internet to fight repressive regimes or to do anything else that could attract the attention of the authorities where you live, a VPN is not a magic wand that’ll make you invisible.
When you're using a public Wi-Fi network, even a password-protected one, a VPN is your best friend. That’s because using public hotspots can be rife with hazards. From man-in-the-middle attacks to Wi-Fi sniffing, there are many different hacking methods that snoopers use to intercept your Internet traffic and steal your social media or banking passwords, files and photos.
Another example showing the value of VPNs is using these services to access blocked websites. Some governments have decided that it is in their best interest to block certain websites from access by all members of the population. With a VPN, those people can have their web traffic securely tunneled to a different country with more progressive policies, and access sites that would otherwise be blocked. And again, because VPNs encrypt your traffic, it helps protect the identity of people who connect to the open internet in this way.
However, HMA is a little tricky when it comes to torrenting. They state that “although HMA! Pro VPN does support Torrent as this is a legitimate technology for sharing data over the Internet, we do not support the use of Torrent to share copyrighted material illegally. If you use our VPN service for such activity, you will probably cause us to receive DMCA notices from the copyright holders, who monitor Torrent trackers.”

Streaming US Netflix with a VPN has become next to impossible, which is why many users are giving up on their search for the right VPN service, claiming that it is simply not worth the hassle. However, we are not so quick to throw in the towel. In this round of testing, we have decided to examine hide.me VPN, a Malaysia-based service that is not only feature-rich but also offers a limited free version, which is always good news.

OVPN was regularly the fastest VPN in our tests regardless of the time of week or location. We also liked the app’s clean design and its simple and well-labeled settings pane. But OVPN is a small startup with a limited server network: At this writing, the company has servers in just seven countries, none in Asia. That makes it less versatile for finding less congested routes or geoshifting. OVPN also hasn’t released an Android app yet, so even non-iOS device owners will have to resort to the clunky, third-party OpenVPN Connect app on their phones. When we reached out for details about the company’s operational security, founder and CEO David Wibergh was open to questions and gave us answers that led us to believe that the company acted in the best interest of its customers’ privacy and security. He noted that after an uptick in data requests from local authorities in Sweden—all of which OVPN responded to by explaining that it lacked any pertinent data—the company published a blog post to detail just how little information it keeps.
The second is Location Mode, which lets you select whatever server you desire. You can search the extensive list by country or city, and you can save favorite servers, too. The fast server selection of Location Mode is very handy, but it doesn't offer specialty servers or information about the traffic load on the servers. You're on your own. IVPN and NordVPN, among others, provide stats about each server that can help you decide.
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.
When you browse the web while connected to a VPN, your computer contacts the website through the encrypted VPN connection. The VPN forwards the request for you and forwards the response from the website back through the secure connection. If you’re using a USA-based VPN to access Netflix, Netflix will see your connection as coming from within the USA.
Despite leaks and disclosures about government data-collection efforts in recent years, it’s hard to determine the exact reach of current operations and how vulnerable encryption technologies like VPNs are to those efforts. Given the more immediate threats to security and privacy from other avenues, none of the experts we interviewed highlighted government data collection as the foremost reason for most people to get a VPN. A VPN could help prevent some types of passive data collection—and a trustworthy VPN certainly can’t hurt—but there’s no guarantee against government tracking.
With a StrongVPN account, customers have the ability to choose which server location they want, even down to the specific city. This type of personalized, user-friendly service is also seen with their unlimited server switching, as well as the ability to have up to six simultaneous connections on different devices. StrongVPN supports Mac, Windows, iOs, Android, and even multiple routers, which is a huge plus. 
Have been using it for over one year. No complains. Works all over the world. Very important if using public WiFi spots while traveling and trying to do stuff on the net (like banking) that requires highly secure connections. Also allows me to watch TV over the net when I am in another countries, all I need to do is to chose a secure US based server.... highly recommend.
IVPN exceeded our requirements for being trustworthy and transparent. It also offers good performance without sacrificing security, and it’s easy to set up and use on nearly any device running Windows, macOS, Android, or iOS. Other VPNs we tested had faster connections at particular server locations or lower prices, but they came up short on essential factors such as transparency about who exactly runs them. If you’re ready for a VPN, we think IVPN is worth the price, even considering competitors with cheaper options. If you’re not ready to commit, you can try it out with a seven-day money-back guarantee. It’s easy and obvious to turn off automatic billing, too.
With a StrongVPN account, customers have the ability to choose which server location they want, even down to the specific city. This type of personalized, user-friendly service is also seen with their unlimited server switching, as well as the ability to have up to six simultaneous connections on different devices. StrongVPN supports Mac, Windows, iOs, Android, and even multiple routers, which is a huge plus. 
The service prides itself with airtight security achieved with the help of its split-tunneling feature which lets you route some of your device or app traffic through the VPN while other devices or apps maintain direct access to the internet. This is an especially useful feature when it comes to torrenting as you can choose to protect only the torrent client, while all your other online activities remain unaffected.
Along with securing your private information and activity online, a VPN for home is a great way to stream your favorite TV shows and movies. When using a VPN, you can be sure that your online activity is secure and private, so you can simply enjoy your TV show or movie. You will notice that media content libraries vary from location to location, and different streaming applications have different regulations. For example, Netflix offers various content libraries in countries around the world, and BBC iPlayer can only be accessed with a UK IP address. Be sure to choose the best home VPN for your needs, such as one that works well with Windows, to help make movie and TV show streaming a possibility for you.  
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.
IPVanish wins bonus points for its special proxy server protocol known as SOCKS or Socket Security. Basically, it lets you (the slightly more advanced user) enjoy the benefits of a VPN without having to download any software to any device. The only downside we can see to this entire package is that our experience with IPVanish's customer service has been less than optimal, but it was nothing worse than long response times.
Security is the main reason why corporations have used VPNs for years. There are increasingly simple methods to intercept data traveling to a network. WiFi spoofing and Firesheep are two easy ways to hack information. A useful analogy is that a firewall protects your data while on the computer and a VPN protects your data on the web. VPNs use advanced encryption protocols and secure tunneling techniques to encapsulate all online data transfers. Most savvy computer users wouldn't dream of connecting to the Internet without a firewall and up-to-date antivirus. Evolving security threats and ever increasing reliance on the Internet make a Virtual Private Network an essential part of well-rounded security. Integrity checks ensure that no data is lost and that the connection has not been hijacked. Since all traffic is protected, VPNs are preferred over proxies.
×