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.
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.
These VPNs all keep zero logs, and use shared IP addresses. All but AirVPN also have anonymous SOCKS proxy service as well (some include it free, others sell it separately). Several of these VPNs (Torguard, BTGuard) offer preconfigured torrent clients with the proper SOCKS proxy settings already installed. Learn more about VPN vs. Proxies for torrenting.
Another thing to consider when choosing a VPN is data leaks. An encrypted tunnel is not foolproof and your activity may be exposed. This is known as a domain name system (DNS) leak. If a website you visit requests your IP address and what’s returned is your original IP address, you have a DNS leak. A quick Google search can point you to a resource listing leaky VPNs.
Thank you for compling this list. awesome site, and great informative topic, one of which is always top of mind for me. I learned a good deal from the article and the kind folks who shared their uses. I was (and have been in other - though not as thorough, and well-written) surprised not to see more about (if anything about AirVPN) - thought as the previous poster as of this writing, notes it. I have been using it for years too. I needed absolute security, and legitimately based. Written by hackers in Spain after a conference, I feel comfortable using their services. Legally, they stand up, and anonymity are valued. They have solid legal backing pretty bullet proof from what I understand. I do feel that this is an excellent service and have never had any issues with it and in fact, feel it is just another excellent layer of steps to protect my right to privacy. Not that I need to hide anything -- well, everyone says that :) - I do feel that these guys know what they are doing. Service is excellent, and I certainly don't mind paying for it - great service. I like that I can - go anywhere in the world and pick and choose various servers. They don't keep log files, and what they do and how they do it is legit. They also have been recognized as the previous poster state been around for a few years indeed, and that is something that further is something, if I were newer to this to consider. Free VPN, I'm not knocking it - it is good, and I will check these other players out. This was a top contender for privacy in a security/'hacking' in a very 'paranoid' legit review of privacy/security services including VPN. SpiderOak was in that review, a while back as well for cloud based storage, which also is encrypted, and pretty damn secure- they don't know who I am ok with that. Better not lose your pw through, they won't help you - seriously.SImilarly to your discretion to a large degree is true with AirVPN, your privacy is valued at least I feel so, you can be as transparent as you wish or obscure as you wish. Thanks for a stimulating and informative article folks and author!!!! Great one to research for sure!
The app likewise prevents websites from collecting users’ private data, allowing for safer and more secure web browsing. To make things even better, the solution automatically connects whenever an unsecure Wi-Fi connection is detected, ensuring constant protection. It connects to the nearest server, resulting in optimum speeds. But one can also connect manually and be able to choose a preferred server.
Hide.me VPN for Windows offers many options for customers, with multiple price points that allow differing numbers of connections and differing data caps. Clients exist for most operating systems, with instructions for setting up hide.me on systems without a client. Customers can also make use of 24/7 customer support chat if they need any additional support. One of the most important parts of the hide.me service is the customer agreement, which strictly limits the data the company can collect. If you're worried about advertisers or other companies getting their hands on your information, Hide.me VPN for Windows protects you from that risk.

Windows remains the default computing platform, and is by far the well-supported platform by VPN services. Windows users always enjoy the full range of features on offer, and all but the most fledgling VPN company offers a custom Windows VPN client. Unsurprisingly, our pick of BestVPN services on this page exactly mirrors that on our best VPNs for Windows page.

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.
The solution is also able to bypass firewalls through stealth connections. Additional security is provided through an ad and malware blocker, which can be switched on and off. For those who enjoy torrenting, the software supports such process, with certain servers optimized for P2P networks. This is designed to keep high-speed browsing on other connections. However, the service warns users to keep torrenting activities confined to specific cities around the world.
Normally your connection—and the data carried over it—goes from your computer to your local Wi-Fi or network router, then bounces on through your ISP’s network and off to the destination server (like wirecutter.com), eventually returning with the requested data (like this webpage). At any stop along the way, someone could theoretically see the data and where it’s coming from and going to.
While a VPN can protect your privacy online, you might still want to take the additional step of avoiding paying for one using a credit card, for moral or security reasons. Several VPN services now accept anonymous payment methods such Bitcoin, and some even accept retailer gift cards. Both of these transactions is about as close as you can get to paying with cash for something online. That Starbucks gift card may be better spent on secure web browsing than a mediocre-at-best latte.

Second is the number of servers. Unless you purchase a VPN server yourself (which you can do!), you'll have to share that server with other people using the VPN service. For each person added to the server, your slice of the bandwidth pie shrinks a bit. The more servers a company has on hand, the less likely you are to find yourself crowded in with a bunch of other downloaders. If you're keen to have a VPN server to yourself, you can purchase static IP addresses from TorGuard VPN, or take advantage of KeepSolid VPN Unlimited's Personal VPN Server offering. Or roll your own VPN with Outline.


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.
A VPN client on a remote user's computer or mobile device connects to a VPN gateway on the organization's network. The gateway typically requires the device to authenticate its identity. Then, it creates a network link back to the device that allows it to reach internal network resources -- e.g., file servers, printers and intranets -- as though the gateway is on the network locally.
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.
One of the main differences between macOS apps offered by Hide.me is which protocols the apps support. A company representative said that the App Store version supports only IKEv2, which is a secure, modern option. The version from Hide.me's site supports IKEv1 and L2TP/IPSec. Hide.me's representative did tell me that this version will support OpenVPN soon.
Our picks for the best VPN services for torrenting allow you to use P2P software in private. Our top-class proprietary speed testing tool allows us to monitor VPN speeds in loads of countries worldwide, so you can be sure you won’t be sacrificing speed for the sake of security. Hands-on testing reveals which services have the best apps and privacy features.

VPNs are excellent for geographic-location shifting if, for example, you’re an expat looking to get news or search results localized to your original home—connecting to a VPN in your home country will make most websites think that you’re in that country. But if you’re outside the US wanting access to American Netflix, or sitting in Brazil wanting to stream the latest Doctor Who episode on the BBC, don’t count on a VPN to geo-shift you into binge-watching heaven.
When we ran our recent Hive Five on VPN service providers, we heard from VPN providers begging to be included, angry CEOs who claimed their company was maliciously left out, and others accusing some of the contenders of illegal or unethical behavior. We took at look at the poll and the claims, and while there’s no definitive proof the poll was gamed, we decided to come up with our own top five, based on our own research rather than reader feedback, that are great whether you’re the privacy advocate, the student, or the downloader.
ExpressVPN has a wide range of client software, a dedicated proxy service for streaming media and its own DNS service. But in our 2017 tests, it dropped many connections and its overall performance was in the middle of the pack. It also allows only three devices to be connected simultaneously per account, and it's one of the most expensive services we evaluated.
Central America isn’t the first place you’d think of when it comes to cutting edge technology, but NordVPN is up there with the best VPN services in 2018. It has 1015 servers in 59 countries, supports up to six devices simultaneously, runs 2048-bit encryption and has a feature list including an automatic kill switch, dedicated IP addresses, strong DNS leak protection and the ability to pay in Bitcoin. For relatively short connections performance was superb, although we did notice a little latency creeping in from time to time for very long distance connections. However, browsing remained snappy and performance wasn’t degraded significantly. We’d recommend hunting the site for its free trial and if you like it, signing up for the 3-year plan which is currently going for just $99!

We chose Hide.me's Canadian servers for testing, but the network still took a long 9.5 seconds to connect, which was the longest time of all of the nine free VPN plans we tested. The Canadian server had an average latency (how long it took to respond) of 48.8 milliseconds; this was three times the pre-VPN level but not the worst among the services we tested.


When I review VPNs, I read the company's privacy policy and speak with representatives in order to better understand how your data is used and stored. In the case of Hide My Ass, the company should be commended on its clear privacy policy. It says that Hide My Ass logs your username, the timestamp of connection and disconnection, the amount of data transmitted, your actual IP address, and the IP address of the server you connected to. This isn't radically different from what's offered by other services. In fact, it's very similar to Golden Frog VyprVPN's policy.
I am using hide.me for the last 3 years, and they are getting better every day. Their support is excellent and speeds also! Before I was using IKEv2 and SSTP protocol, but my ISP has started to throttle almost all VPN protocols. They recommended that I try with SoftEther, and now I have speed 300 - 350 Mbit over VPN. I cannot say anything about a free plan, but I am happy to pay a bit extra for this kind of speed.
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).
However, this ability to virtually hop around the globe is most widely used to watch streaming video services from other regions or, while you’re travelling, to avoid missing your favourite TV programmes from home. This is frowned upon by international media rights holders, and streaming services such as Netflix have undertaken increasingly effective efforts to block proxy and VPN services. While every service worked with US-only YouTube content, only a handful enabled us to view US Netflix or UK iPlayer content from overseas.
Hide My Ass is no newcomer to the industry, having been around since 2005. They’ve wasted neither time nor resources and are currently sitting at 120,000 IP addresses on 940 servers in 190 countries. No matter where you are on the map, you can access content pretty much anywhere else in the world using either HMA’s free service or the paid Pro package.
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.

A virtual private network, more commonly known as a VPN, allows you to perform any online activity without compromising your personal information and data. If you are looking for the best VPN in 2018, then you have come to the right place. There are many uses for a VPN, including security, streaming TV, movies, and music, watching sports, and much more. Since we are always connected to the Internet these days, via desktop computer or mobile device, business and private individuals are increasingly looking to VPN services to secure their devices.


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.
Avast SecureLine VPN offers good overall performance and steady connections, and it was the best of the limited-feature services we tested in 2017. But at $80 per year for software installation on five devices, it's more expensive than any full-fledged VPN service that doesn't limit installations. A single Mac or PC license is $60, while iOS or Android licenses are $20 each.
PPTP - PPTP has been around since the days of Windows 95. The main selling point of PPTP is that it can be simply setup on every major OS. In short, PPTP tunnels a point-to-point connection over the GRE protocol. Unfortunately, the security of the PPTP protocol has been called into question in recent years. It is still strong, but not the most secure.
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