Some countries don't have the same protections for freedom of press, speech, and expression that most democratic countries have. In fact, some regimes resort to oppressive measures to monitor and take action against those they see as threats to the government. People who dare to stand up have to take extra precautions to protect their communications. Journalists and researchers also send messages containing data that some people may want to try very hard to intercept.

“Hide.me has proven to be a very good option in the VPN market. During our review we've been impressed by its speed and many functionalities. Hide.me is a VPN provider highly concerned about its customers' privacy and security. The no-logs policy is a big plus for this VPN. Even though performances are great and functionalities are many, we still find the price to be high compared to the competition.” Dec 28, 2017 anonymster.com
From a broader perspective, there are several factors that demand the use of a solid VPN while torrenting. First of all, you do not want your privacy to be compromised during torrenting. Specifics of your personal information, your IP address, your location, and even the browser you are using should stay with you only. Then, there is the question of speeds. Depending on the nature of the VPN you are using, you could feel like there is a rise or drop in the speed of downloads and uploads (learn more about this in our pros and cons to VPNs).
One of the leading complaints about VPN services is that they slow your browsing experience to a crawl. HideMyAss, however, gives you a high-speed browsing experience while allowing you to access servers in over 190 countries. Browse like a local practically anywhere on Earth, while securing your privacy and eluding prying eyes. It's no surprise HideMyAss was named one of PC Mag's Best VPN Services of 2016.
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.

ButterflyVPN Router is suitable for anyone who seeks a safe and secure way to access the internet and any region-blocked content. Coming in the form of a mini-size USB portable wireless VPN router, this solution is quick and easy to start up as it simply requires users to plug the device in any internet-powered area. Its portability makes ButterflyVPN Router ideal for employees out on business trips, travelers, bloggers, or anyone who is looking to access the internet on the go. It supports all types of internet-capable platform, from mobile devices and laptops to gaming consoles such as Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox.
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.
Private Internet Access, or PIA, is one of the most visible, privacy-focused VPNs available. Because of its reputation and advocacy concerning online privacy and security, it has also been a Wirecutter staff pick. But whether you prioritize speed and performance or trust and transparency, our top pick is a better bet. If you find PIA attractive because of its low price, note that spending just a little more on TorGuard will buy you much better performance.
"Hide.me is a very capable service with excellent speeds and a very easy-to-understand interface. The privacy policy is also good, with the right promises, and the payment scheme allows for a good amount of anonymity. It’s a good service and one that even beginners can enjoy, with a few customization options for power users." Aug 07, 2018 PCWorld.com
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.

Torrenting has become a hot topic recently, as major production houses and record labels began to notice a significant drop in their profits. Although the practice has occurred for years, it wasn’t until it affected producer’s income that firms decided to take offense. Today, all over the world, torrenters are facing arrests, fines and legal warning for downloading a few songs, the latest season of a TV show, a movie or two, or even a book. The fuss made by the big media businesses has even encouraged certain governments to tighten laws around P2P file-sharing.
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. 
Almost all VPN services now offer a dedicated macOS client. These are sometimes not quite as fully featured as their Windows siblings, but are often all but identical. In general, what makes a great VPN for your Macbook or Mac Mini is exactly the same as what makes a good VPN for any other system. Please check out our Best VPNs for Mac for our top macOS recommendations.
Zooqle is relatively younger compared to most of the other torrent sites featured on this list. It’s a torrent index specializing in verified torrents, and with a database of over 3 million torrents it certainly shouldn’t be taken for granted. While it features content in a variety of categories, movies and TV series are especially popular on the site.
While some torrent clients offer different encryption setup options, these will not protect you. This is because media companies run networks of monitoring nodes, which are able to join torrent swarms and collect IP addresses and connection data of the infringing parties. If your torrent client connects with one of these nodes and you are not using a VPN, your identity could easily be compromised. This is why a VPN offers the best protection when torrenting, rather than simply relying on your torrent client.

Credit: Opera VPNAlso, although your data is encrypted as it travels between you and the far-off VPN server, it won't necessarily be encrypted once it leaves the VPN server to get to its final destination. If the data isn't encrypted — and that depends on the website you're connecting to — then the traffic might be intercepted and read. (One well-known VPN provider was recently accused of inserting ads in users' web browsers, which would violate users' security and privacy.)
If you don’t mind doing a little extra tinkering in a more complicated app to save some money, we recommend TorGuard because it’s trustworthy, secure, and fast. TorGuard is well-regarded in trust and transparency; it was also the fastest service we tried despite being less expensive than much of the competition, and its server network spans more than 50 locations, more than twice as many as our top pick. But TorGuard’s apps aren’t as easy to use as IVPN’s: TorGuard includes settings and labels that allow extra flexibility but clutter the experience for anyone new to VPNs. And unlike IVPN, TorGuard doesn’t natively support OpenVPN connections on iOS, making it a significantly worse choice on Apple devices than it is if you use Windows, ChromeOS, or Android.

There is no way to try this product without a free American server. Clearly, the developers decided to take a gun and shoot themselves in the foot here. Wouldn't recommend to anyone. I did try the trial through the Canadian server and even then speeds were slow. There are plenty of other products that offer free American servers, and I definitely recommend trialling a VPN before paying anything to the developers. A clear let down.


In our exchanges with security expert Alec Muffett, he suggested, “Some privacy activists expend great effort in ‘hiding from the man,’ where ‘the man’ really doesn’t care about them. So they just make excess work for themselves.” Bill McKinley, head of the information security team at The New York Times (parent company of Wirecutter), went further, saying, “If you really feel that what you’re doing online is that valuable to government x, then you probably shouldn’t be leveraging the Internet.” We’re not saying it’s hopeless, but even if you seriously overhaul how you conduct your activities online, there are no guarantees you won’t get caught up in a database somewhere.
A “kill switch” goes by many names, but the term describes VPN software that shuts off all network traffic in and out of your computer if the encrypted connection fails. A hiccup in your Wi-Fi or even with your ISP can cause a VPN to disconnect, and if you then maintain an unsecure connection—especially if the VPN software doesn’t alert you that it’s no longer protecting your traffic—that wipes out all the benefits of your VPN. We considered kill switches to be mandatory. And although we looked for apps that made it easy to add rules about when to activate kill switches, we considered special config files or manual firewall tweaks to be too complex. (iOS doesn’t support any kill-switch features; we address a few iOS-specific problems that apply to all VPN services in a separate section.)

Now lets look into the extra features IVACY VPN offers for torrent lovers. First of all, IVACY VPN has torrent and P2P optimized servers which offers blazing fast download speed for torrent files. On top of that you can enjoy more than 200 servers worldwide for anonymous torrenting. IVACY VPN allows you 5 multi-logins so that you can enjoy 5 devices at the same time. Your computer, tablets, mobiles all can be connected simultaneously.

I prefer torrent for watching TV shows, movies and popular videos. However, I suggest users stay away from torrent software as it can spread malware on your system. So, I was in search of a decent VPN for a reliable protection while torrenting, and eventually I came up with PureVPN. With a range of strong encryption protocols (L2TP\IPSec) and wallet-friendly plans, it is the safest and economical solution for P2P downloads.

Mass surveillance and decryption: What’s less clear is how much traffic government agencies capture—encrypted or otherwise—with a broad, untargeted net. Kalia said, “If you take the ‘Upstream’ NSA program for instance, the government can just store all your VPN encrypted data and try to decrypt it later using various tools in its possession. Though the advantage of using a VPN in this scenario is that the government has to work for it and actively try to decrypt your data … AES-256, as far as [we] know, has not been broken by the NSA, let alone other governments. The problem is also that while AES-256 is unbroken, how it’s implemented in a particular software solution is what can create an attack.”


It was chosen as an Editors' Choice at PCMag, where the site concluded its review with this: "Private Internet Access is easy to recommend, but only with an asterisk. Yes, it's incredibly robust with powerful tools and an extensive network of VPN servers across the world. It also has a strong privacy stance when it comes to protecting customer information. And it's incredibly simple, but (and this is the asterisk) it's also stripped to the bone in terms of interface."

IVPN was one of the fastest providers when we tested US servers using the Internet Health Test. Our budget pick, TorGuard, was faster, but it defaults to the less secure 128-bit encryption. Our non-VPN connection tested at roughly 300 Mbps down. Some tested services are not listed because connection failures prevented some of our tests from completing.


A powerful VPN service, SaferVPN is very useful in hiding users’ IP addresses. It also allows access to blocked websites or safely share information. Privacy is also ensured as the service uses high security protocols. It offers a unique Automatic Wi-Fi Security feature which instantly activates a secure and encrypted VPN connection as soon as someone’s device connects to an unsecured Wi-Fi connection — automatically protecting them from public Wi-Fi threats. Likewise, it features single-click applications for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Chrome.


Internet speed and Bandwidth: Torrent is all about downloading. VPN you are selecting for torrent download should have ultra fast internet speed with unlimited usage of bandwidth so that you can download as much as torrent you want without worrying about bandwidth usage. Our best VPN for torrent includes the VPN services with unlimited bandwidth and VPN with fast download speed which will help you to pick the best among all.
As VPN services allow you to access online content as though you were physically located in a different country, they’re extremely useful if you’re travelling on business and need to access location-restricted services or if you need to see how and whether a particular website or service works properly for users elsewhere in the world. With servers in over 190 countries, Hide My Ass! is by far the best equipped VPN provider in this respect, on the off-chance that you ever need to see what your website looks like to users in Burkina Faso.
PIA is an established name in the VPN world and is among the cheapest of the well-known offerings, claiming to be the "highest quality for the lowest price." Designed for torrenting, PIA doesn’t monitor or restrict any connections including peer-to-peer file sharing and can be used with any torrenting client without the annoyance of being blocked or throttled.
However, the company’s zero logging policy ran into trouble when in 2017 a user was arrested partially due to Pure VPN session logs. The VPN isn’t the only one to record session data (when a user connects to a server and the incoming IP address and bandwidth used is recorded) but it did hit the tech press headlines, no doubt rattling some users who may be using the service in less than legal ways. This is probably of little concern to the average user though.
In the domestic latency tests, Hide My Ass had an impressively small impact, increasing ping time by only 42.9 percent. TorGuard VPN had the best score in this category, actually reducing latency by a slight 6.7 percent. Results were less rosy in the international latency tests, where Hide My Ass increased latency by 400.3 percent. TunnelBear had the best score in this round, increasing latency by 270.3 percent.
The main drawback is the price, at about €8.95 per month. But your subscription also gives you an unlimited number of connections to use with all devices, along with advanced features, such as TrackStop and NeuroRouting, which you won’t find with other VPN providers. For an in-depth analysis you can read the review or check out their website here >>
For those who are unaware, net neutrality is the much-discussed concept that ISPs treat web services and apps equally, and not create fast lanes for companies that pay more, or require consumers to sign up for specific plans in order to access services like Netflix or Twitter. Federal net neutrality rules would ensure that the internet effectively continues to operate the way it has for its entire existence.
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.
First and foremost, using a VPN prevents anyone on the same network access point (or anywhere else) from intercepting your web traffic in a man-in-the-middle attack. This is especially handy for travelers and for those using public Wi-Fi networks, such as web surfers at hotels, airports, and coffee shops. Someone on the same network, or the person in control of the network you're using, could conceivably intercept your information while you're connected.

An impressive and fast VPN service, Buffered VPN offers total online security and world-class customer support. The service boasts of providing access to content from any country in the world. This is achieved through the service’s server locations in 45 countries. It supports Windows, Linux and Mac platforms, but can also be set up on Android and iOS. The service offers excellent latencies and fast upload speeds, very good for browsing.
Though TorGuard’s support site offers in-depth information, finding specific info is harder, and the site is not as easy to follow as those for our top pick or ExpressVPN. TorGuard provides helpful video tutorials, but they’re two years old now and don’t show the latest versions of the company’s apps. As with most of the VPNs we contacted, TorGuard support staff responded to our help ticket quickly—the response to our query came less than half an hour after we submitted it on a weekday afternoon. Still, if you’re worried about getting lost in VPN settings or don’t like hunting for your own answers, IVPN is a better fit.
Hide.me VPN is simple to use and gives you freedom to use the internet however you like, wherever you like. You can get set up in just a few minutes and have access to a number of helpful user guides if you do need any extra help. Choose a server location anywhere in the world to bypass regional content blocks and find the fastest server speeds to experience the internet at its full potential.
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.”
The more locations a VPN provider houses servers, the more flexible it is when you want to choose a server in a less-congested part of the world or geoshift your location. And the more servers it has at each location, the less likely they are to be slow when lots of people are using the service at the same time. Of course, limited bandwidth in and out of an area may still cause connections to lag at peak times even on the most robust networks.
Nevertheless, the point of a VPN is to remain private and to have your internet activity kept as private as possible. For that reason, we’re choosing Mullvad as the best overall VPN (see our full review of Mullvad). The company recently released an overhauled desktop client, and the VPN does a great job at privacy. Mullvad doesn’t ask for your email address, and you can mail your payment in cash if you want to. Like many other VPNs, Mullvad has a no-logging policy and doesn’t even collect any identifying metadata from your usage.
One of the biggest things that can put people off the idea of using a VPN is that they slow down your internet. This is mainly because you are adding an extra leg to the journey your data must take to reach its destination (via the VPN server). These days good VPN services are very fast and if you connect to a server near to you, you will often get 90% or more of your raw internet connection speed. 

Private Internet Access (or PIA to those of us into acronyms) has no beef against decentralised file-sharing. Heck, their insanely large network of 3342+ servers in 24 countries includes multiple VPN gateways built specifically for the purpose of torrent traffic (and all of them offering the usual 256-bit military-grade encryption). PIA also delivers further peace of mind in the form of an in-app kill switch as well as secure DNS leak and IPv6 leak protection.
Yes. Although Netflix is now available almost everywhere, some places – notably the United States – enjoy a much larger catalog of titles than everywhere else. And some people want to access regional catalogs. In theory, all you need do to watch a local version of Netflix from somewhere else is connect to a VPN server in that country. You can sign into any regional Netflix page with any active Netflix account, no matter where that account is registered. The snag is that due to pressure from its content producers, Netflix now tries to ban IP addresses that it knows belongs to VPN and proxy services. Many VPN services have found sneaky ways around this ban, but it is a cat and mouse game.  Please see our best Netflix VPNs for a list of services which still work with Netflix (most of the time).
Better yet, a year's worth of PIA is very reasonably priced at US$3.31 a month, and we've had nothing but excellent customer service from them, too. PIA also comes with a rock solid no-log policy, crypto payment support to keep you protected when making transactions, proprietary anti-malware technology and a seven-day money-back guarantee if you get cold feet.
What you're going to need is some increased privacy to get a boost in anonymity, so you can do what you do without prying eyes. If you think the answer to that conundrum is “get a VPN, any VPN” you're on the right track, but still not considering all the angles. How good is that “no log” policy being sold to you? Does the service actually support torrenting in the first place – or does the VPN say it supports it publicly but throttles your traffic on the sly?
However, you've got no choice but to run TunnelBear's client software (unless you use Linux), which may concern some privacy-minded users, and there's no option to set up TunnelBear connections on routers or other devices. Last but not least, this tiny Canadian firm is now owned by U.S. antivirus giant McAfee, which may mean TunnelBear is subject to U.S. search warrants.

Control channel: an AES-256-GCM cipher with RSA-8192 handshake encryption. Additional authentication is not required with GCM, but HMAC SHA384 hash authentication is also specified in the encryption suite. Perfect Forward Secrecy is " is enabled by default." I will assume this means a standard Diffie-Hellman Exchange (DHE) is used, but it may be higher.
IPVanish has over 165 servers in 60 countries and supports diverse protocols. Recently, they just added a Kill Switch option to their new application. It ensures you will never connect to the Internet without VPN protection. The download speeds are generally just as fast as our normal connection and we can stream Netflix without buffering. Note that VPN may slow down your connection speed a bit but it does protect you from tracking. Prices start at only $4.87 a month (billed annually) with 7-day money back guarantee, you can simply cancel your membership at any time.
That said, using a VPN service may help keep your data from being captured by some types of passive data collection, and in countries with less sophisticated and less well-funded intelligence agencies, a trustworthy VPN service is better than nothing. We asked Kalia if the standards that most VPNs use are secure against government intrusion. He outlined three ways that VPN traffic could be vulnerable:
Torrenting has also become one of the main forms of sharing files online. If you are looking for a quick VPN download for this purpose, then you have come to the right place. Torrenting itself is not inherently illegal, but it is important to check for the copyright holder’s consent before you use your VPN windows to download. In order to torrent without sharing your IP address, you can use one of the top VPNs like IPvanish for secure torrenting. You no longer have to lose sleep worrying that the government is snooping on your torrenting activity. It’s not at all difficult to look for a VPN for windows; just take a look at our pick of the best VPN for torrenting. You can find VPNs for the Ukraine, USA, UK, or almost any other country. 
A remote-access VPN uses public infrastructure like the internet to provide remote users secure access to their network. This is particularly important for organizations and their corporate networks. It's crucial when employees connect to a public hotspot and use the internet for sending work-related emails. A VPN client, on the user's computer or mobile device connects to a VPN gateway on the company's network. This gateway will typically require the device to authenticate its identity. It will then create a network link back to the device that allows it to reach internal network resources such as file servers, printers and intranets, as if it were on the same local network.
They are 100% legal. All we ask is that you don’t use our service to do anything illegal. Hide My Ass! is actually part of the Avast family, which is known globally as one of the largest security companies in the world. Everything we offer from HMA! is 100% legal to download and use. However, we do recommend that you check country specific laws on VPNs when travelling as governments can change regulations.
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.

Whereas most providers say they log nothing, that’s not always the case. Some record very little data like the day you subscribed, the amount of data you’ve consumed, and delete those logs when you end the session. Other providers log your IP address, the servers you used, and store those logs. If they’re based in the US, UK or any other country with data retention laws, they can be compelled to hand over that data to law enforcement.
The mighty Vikings at NordVPN not only allow P2P traffic, but they also offer military-grade encryption, no bandwidth limits, fast download speeds and a guarantee on the protection of your private data with a no-log policy. What's more, the sprawling Nord network of 5100+ servers in 62 countries is purposefully optimised for P2P activities in different locations all around the world. And it doesn't get more secure than NordVPN's “double VPN” encryption option (mind you, you'll take a sizeable speed hit for the privilege).
The more locations a VPN provider houses servers, the more flexible it is when you want to choose a server in a less-congested part of the world or geoshift your location. And the more servers it has at each location, the less likely they are to be slow when lots of people are using the service at the same time. Of course, limited bandwidth in and out of an area may still cause connections to lag at peak times even on the most robust networks.
Company backround: HMA was started in 2005 by a 16 year old boy called Jack Cator, he decided to build the internet proxy site on one random afternoon as a way to get past his school firewalls. Soon afterwards, he discovered a large number of people were interested in what he had created.  Currently, there are more than 400 million users subscribed to HMA VPN including the inventor himself who goes by the pseudonym ‘Jack the donkey. The firm is incorporated in the United Kingdom. The Hide My Ass VPN Company is also part of Avast family, the biggest and most trusted security firm in the globe.
A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated connections, virtual tunneling protocols, or traffic encryption. A VPN available from the public Internet can provide some of the benefits of a wide area network (WAN). From a user perspective, the resources available within the private network can be accessed remotely.[2]
PureVPN has a huge choice of 750 servers in 141 countries and counting. The sheer volume of features, toggles, and tools they provide makes it a top contender for the advanced users. There is a stealth browsing mode, online banking security, secure FTP access, multiple protocols and more. They have server lists optimized for P2P and video streaming, so switching is easy.
"Hide.me is a very capable service with excellent speeds and a very easy-to-understand interface. The privacy policy is also good, with the right promises, and the payment scheme allows for a good amount of anonymity. It’s a good service and one that even beginners can enjoy, with a few customization options for power users." Aug 07, 2018 PCWorld.com
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.
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 .
Nope, you’ll need a VPN for that. While a proxy can allow you to appear as if you’re located elsewhere, it only allows you to choose from a small number of servers. In order to stream global content from your paid subscription services you’ll need to be connected to specific VPN streaming servers. Have a read of our streaming guide to find out more about how you can do this.
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.

PureVPN has a huge choice of 750 servers in 141 countries and counting. The sheer volume of features, toggles, and tools they provide makes it a top contender for the advanced users. There is a stealth browsing mode, online banking security, secure FTP access, multiple protocols and more. They have server lists optimized for P2P and video streaming, so switching is easy.

PIA is another great option and offers a 7 day money back guarantee. It keeps no logs, which is a claim that it has proved in court! And although optional, its security can be first rate. Its desktop software supports multiple security options, a VPN kill switch, DNS leak protection, and port forwarding. Up to 5 simultaneous connections are permitted. Its Android client is almost as good, and PIA boasts excellent connection speeds. PIA has servers located in 29 other countries.
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.
If you torrent without VPN and you add a torrent file to your torrent client, your IP address, country, and the torrent client you use, becomes visible to everyone. By monitoring all the IPs that are downloading and uploading the same torrent file, copyright trolls are able to trace your actual location. Once they know where you are situated, they can take legal actions against you.

Some VPNs have tools that are particularly useful for torrenting. NordVPN is one of several companies that offer static IP addresses for purchase, which can desirable in some circumstances. TorGuard VPN has built its entire reputation around protecting torrenters. In addition to the usual VPN protection, TorGuard also offers static IP addresses and access to special high-bandwidth connections, for an additional fee.
Know that not all kill switches are created equal. A simple dropped connection is fairly easy to plan for, but the kill switch might not be equipped to handle other types of network disruptions, crashes, and configuration changes. You can read more about leaks that occur in these scenarios in our VPN leak testing analysis, which we will extend to more VPNs as time goes on. The two types of leaks most pertinent to torrenters are IP address and IP traffic leaks.
Hide My Ass uses OpenVPN on Windows, with an older version of the app that supports L2TP, and PPTP, too. There are also two different versions of the macOS app that, taken together, support IPSec (IKEv1 and v2), L2TP, and PPTP. Note that these older versions of the app are being phased out by the developer. The iOS version uses only IPSec, and the Android app uses only OpenVPN.
However, the company’s zero logging policy ran into trouble when in 2017 a user was arrested partially due to Pure VPN session logs. The VPN isn’t the only one to record session data (when a user connects to a server and the incoming IP address and bandwidth used is recorded) but it did hit the tech press headlines, no doubt rattling some users who may be using the service in less than legal ways. This is probably of little concern to the average user though.
To get a sense of the impact from each service, I use the Ookla internet speed test tool. This test measures latency, upload speed, and download speed, so those are the three areas that I focus on as well. (Note that Ookla is owned by Ziff Davis, which also owns PCMag.) I first run a series of tests without the VPN active, drop the lowest and highest results, and then average what remains. By comparing those results to ones taken when the VPN is active, I can find a percent change between the two. I then perform this comparison again, but using a VPN server in Australia and an Ookla test server in Anchorage, Alaska to see how the VPN performs when connecting to distant servers.
Obfuscation – Obfuscation is a key feature if you are using a VPN in China, schools, work networks, or anywhere that VPNs may be blocked. However, if you are not in a restricted network situation, obfuscation is generally not necessary and may affect performance. (See the best VPN for China guide for a great selection of VPNs with built-in obfuscation features.)
It’s jurisdiction lies in the United States, which makes it a part of the Five Eyes Surveillance Alliance. So, if Uncle Sam came knocking on TorGuard’s door, they’d have no choice but to comply. Any information the federal government gathers on you would then be shared with the other member countries, which include the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
Cost: To be billed every 7 days, you can subscribe to ZenVPN on a weekly basis for $2.95, which is equivalent to around $11.80/month. Another option is to just buy it a month at a time for $5.95/month. A third option is to buy a whole year at once (for $49.95) for what comes out to be $4.16/month. The unlimited option is more expensive, at $5.95/week, $9.95/month or $7.96/month if you pay $95.50 for the whole year.
TunnelBear is designed for a very specific group of people: people who want a VPN service but don’t want to mess around with configuration or become IT experts to make their connections more secure. And it caters brilliantly for that market, with a very straightforward interface and jargon-free writing. In truth, all of the VPN services these days do this but TunnelBear tries very hard to stand out. It’s not for power users - there isn’t much you can change - but with up to five simultaneous connections, servers across 20 countries and decent performance on US and Canadian websites.  Longer connections can be slower, though: it’s when the relatively small number of server locations makes itself obvious. There’s a free version that limits you to 500MB of monthly traffic, and if you pay annually the price of the full version drops from $9.99 to $4.99 per month.
To narrow the hundreds of VPN providers to a manageable list, we first looked at reviews from dedicated sites like VPNMentor and TorrentFreak, research and recommendations from noncommercial sources such as That One Privacy Site and PrivacyTools.io, and user experiences and tips on various subreddits and technology-focused websites like Lifehacker and Ars Technica.

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.
ExpressVPN attempts to build trust in other ways, even without a public face. Court records from 2017 demonstrate that when Turkish authorities seized ExpressVPN servers in the country looking for information, they found nothing of value, as promised by ExpressVPN’s no-logging policy. ExpressVPN also highlights initiatives such as open-source leak-testing tools, developer content about how the company implements different technologies, and support for the efforts of OpenMedia and the EFF. The ExpressVPN representative even offered to arrange a confidential call between our writer and the owners of the company. However, without being able to discuss their identities or learn about other senior leadership, we believed that wouldn’t have been enough to change our recommendation, so we declined. In the end, trust is such a crucial part of deciding which VPN to use that we had to pass on ExpressVPN.
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.
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