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.
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.

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.


In the past few years, I had terrible luck with VPNs... one provider didn't work with Netflix at all, and the other one very cluttered app interface which drove me crazy, so every time I used it, I felt frustrated. Now I'm testing Nordvpn. I'm not very trustful with big names, and its price seems too high for my pocket, but I thought I should give it a shot. In a few months of using Nord I didn't see any bugs or issues, so I feel that it's better to pay a few extra bucks but have a stable service like this, so in the long shot, it's totally worth the price I paid. Don't be afraid to invest, people.
Christian, you might check into the affiliation of Opera browser with SurfEasy. As of (I believe) version 38 of the DEVELOPER version of Opera, SurfEasy access is included in Settings and free to use. I don't know what their plans are for moving that free access into their beta and regular channels, but I think it's also accessible now on Android Opera.

HMA offers servers in the following countries: Brunei, Costa Rica, Ireland, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Bosnia, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Kenya, Cook Islands, Vietnam, Europe, Cayman Islands, Slovakia, Aland Islands, Palestine, Tokelau, Paraguay, Cote d`Ivoire, Morocco, Mexico, Russia, Qatar, Falkland Islands, British Virgin Islands, Belize, Portugal, Ghana, Chile, Turks and Caicos Islands, Thailand, Estonia, Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, Grenada, Ecuador, Australia, Rwanda, Dominican Republic, Latvia, Vanuatu, Philippines, Saint Helena, Pitcairn Islands, Suriname, Norway, Haiti, Slovenia, Panama, Greenland, South Korea, Seychelles, Singapore, Finland, Georgia, Uganda, Cuba, Montserrat, Myanmar, Indonesia, Kiribati, Hong Kong, Croatia, Bahrain, Botswana, Poland, France, Bahamas, Niue, Lithuania, Pakistan, Czech Republic, Greece, Switzerland, Denmark, Guatemala, Turkey, Bolivia, Macedonia, Brasil, Saint Lucia, Taiwan, Bermuda, Jordan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Canada, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, Spain, Uruguay, Anguilla, Germany, Iraq, United Kingdom, Burkina Faso, Cyprus, Guinea, Afghanistan, Dominica, Nicaragua, Malta, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Bulgaria, Christmas Island, Japan, India, Antigua and Barbuda, Norfolk Island, Iceland, Moldova, Faroe Islands, Yemen, Ukraine, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Cameroon, , New Caledonia, Netherlands, Benin, Serbia, North America, Syria, Kuwait, Namibia, El Salvador, Palau, Gabon, Colombia, Montenegro, Jamaica, Venezuela, New Zealand, Peru, Nigeria, Italy, Oceania, Oman, Albania, Argentina, United States, Belgium, Romania, China, Aruba, Sweden, Hungary, Austria, Belarus, Guyana, Macau


Logging Policy: In our selection, there are only VPNs that do not log the user’s activity. All these providers state very clearly in their privacy policy that they do not log anything. In case any government or agency asks the VPN company for user logs, they have nothing to show them. In our opinion, a VPN that saves the activity of their users is not respecting online anonymity. Therefore, it does not deserve a place on our list.

A VPN kill switch halts all internet traffic in the event that the VPN unexpectedly drops the connection for any reason. This prevents your real IP address and torrent traffic from leaking onto your ISP’s unencrypted network, which could otherwise expose your activity to your ISP, copyright trolls, and hackers. This is why it’s very important to either bind your IP (see below) and/or use a kill switch.
We asked TorGuard detailed questions about the company’s internal policies and standards, just as we did with five other top-performing services. TorGuard CEO Benjamin Van Pelt answered all our questions, as he has done for other outlets multiple times since the company launched in 2012. Though TorGuard’s answers weren’t as in-depth as some other companies’ responses, Van Pelt is a public figure who has been willing to talk about TorGuard’s operations at length. In 2013, ArsTechnica got a close look at TorGuard’s engineering and network management skills as the company rebuffed repeated attacks on its servers. Even though the company’s marketing is wrought with overreaching claims about being “anonymous”—an inaccurate boast that makes some experts cringe—the technical and operational standards of the company are focused on protecting customer privacy. In one interview with Freedom Hacker, Van Pelt notes that if there were problems on a server, such as someone using it for spamming, the company couldn’t restrict a single user. “Rules would be implemented in that specific server which would limit actions for everyone connected, not just one user. Since we have an obligation to provide fast, abuse free services, our team handles abuse reports per server – not per single user.”

They even offer the most generous simultaneous connection count, with six simultaneous connections through their network, where everyone else offers five or fewer. NordVPN's network isn't as large as some of their competitors, so if you're trying to obfuscate your tracks, you might want a company with more servers. Otherwise, this company is clearly providing a winning offering.
IVPN also performed well in our speed tests. Though it wasn't always the fastest in the 54 measurements we took on each service, it ranked near the top on many servers at different times of the week—especially compared with the most trustworthy services. Private Internet Access, one of the most visible, privacy-focused VPNs, had slower speeds when connecting to most servers and less reliable connections than IVPN. For US servers (which we expected to be the fastest locations because we tested from California), IVPN ranked behind only OVPN and TorGuard. We liked OVPN—especially its speed results—but we thought that company's small team and small selection of servers and locations were too limiting for some people.
Christian, you might check into the affiliation of Opera browser with SurfEasy. As of (I believe) version 38 of the DEVELOPER version of Opera, SurfEasy access is included in Settings and free to use. I don't know what their plans are for moving that free access into their beta and regular channels, but I think it's also accessible now on Android Opera.
If you’re not looking to take advantage of its Channel Bonding functionality, users still benefit from a few tools designed to ensure users have a stable connection at all times. This includes its error correction algorithm that reduces packet loss and its automated, seamless network switching that acts as a failsafe should users step out of WiFi range or their primary connection fails.
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.
Some consumers might be concerned about a VPN company's use of virtual servers. These are software-defined servers that make a single physical server effectively operate as several servers. Virtual servers can also be configured to behave as if they are in one country when they're really in another, which is a problem if you're worried about where your data is traveling.
Max Eddy is a Software Analyst, taking a critical eye to Android apps and security services. He's also PCMag's foremost authority on weather stations and digital scrapbooking software. When not polishing his tinfoil hat or plumbing the depths of the Dark Web, he can be found working to discern the 100 Best Android Apps. Prior to PCMag, Max wrote... See Full Bio
IVPN also performed well in our speed tests. Though it wasn't always the fastest in the 54 measurements we took on each service, it ranked near the top on many servers at different times of the week—especially compared with the most trustworthy services. Private Internet Access, one of the most visible, privacy-focused VPNs, had slower speeds when connecting to most servers and less reliable connections than IVPN. For US servers (which we expected to be the fastest locations because we tested from California), IVPN ranked behind only OVPN and TorGuard. We liked OVPN—especially its speed results—but we thought that company's small team and small selection of servers and locations were too limiting for some people.
With hundreds of VPN services and clients available, it can be difficult to decide which one to use. We've extensively tested several popular VPN services that met three requirements: They had both desktop and mobile client software (with one exception), they had VPN servers in many countries, and they offered unlimited data use, at least in their paid versions.

As Internet security has become paramount in today’s world, more and more companies have been adopting VPN software. As a matter of fact, the global VPN market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13% by the end of 2022 and reach $106 billion. This growth is seen to be driven by the growth of the cyber security sector, the increase in the number of security proliferation, the growth of industries and increase in the use of mobile devices. However, this projections could be hampered by high deployment cost and lack of technical skills.

Think about it this way: If your car pulls out of your driveway, someone can follow you and see where you are going, how long you are at your destination, and when you are coming back. They might even be able to peek inside your car and learn more about you. With a VPN service, you are essentially driving into a closed parking garage, switching to a different car, and driving out, so that no one who was originally following you knows where you went.


The number and distribution of those servers is also important. The more places a VPN has to offer, the more options you have to spoof your location! More importantly, having numerous servers in diverse locales means that no matter where you go on Earth you'll be able to find a nearby VPN server. The closer the VPN server, the better the speed and reliability of the connection it can offer you. Remember, you don't need to connect to a far-flung VPN server in order to gain security benefits. For most purposes, a server down the street is as safe as one across the globe.
Note: Unless otherwise noted, most of the discussion here addresses ISPs and law enforcement in the United States; situations are different in other countries. For instance, the European Union has specific rules on collecting and protecting customer data but also has a complicated history with laws requiring certain data be collected for law enforcement.

There’s no point to a VPN that interferes with or logs your traffic—your ISP already does that. Free VPNs, such as Facebook’s Onavo, explicitly gather traffic data to resell or use it for marketing. We looked carefully at the privacy policies and marketing claims for each company we considered. In some cases, companies we considered had sworn in court filings that requests for data were impossible to fulfill. In other cases, we asked companies about their internal security and privacy standards to gauge the trustworthiness of their statements on logging.
StrongVPN, fast, secure, large number of servers they, supports most if not all VPN protocols, do not overload their servers. You can configure your openvpn config file from your account on their Web site where they supply different preset configurations for the end user some includes built in defaults, alternate proto/port, Speed, Ultra Secure, TCP/UDP ports 443/500 after making your choice the file is prepared then you download and use it. Great Live Chat, Remote and email support. This is my third year with StrongVPN and am happy camper as some say.
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.
Mullvad is not that easy to use, with a bare-bones desktop interface and, unlike every other VPN service we've reviewed, no mobile client apps. (You do get instructions on how to manually set up OpenVPN apps.) This service's network speeds were far from great in our tests, and it's fairly expensive, with no discount for paying yearly instead of monthly.

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.
The second ‘Location Mode’ offers a bit more flexibility, enabling you to choose the location – right down to the city! - of the server you’d like to access the web through, thus allowing you to access content that’s otherwise blocked in your region – a good example are pesky YouTube videos that the uploaders have made unavailable in your region – thought you wouldn’t be able to see those guys jump into a cactus didn’t you? Well, you totally can (and totally should!).
Hide.Me aims to help you ‘take back your freedom’ with a combination of advanced security, absolute privacy and the liberty to enjoy the web without censorship or other limitations. Hide Me largely succeeds in these aspirations, and it has a great range of features. However, slow connection speeds and higher than average prices mean we wouldn’t recommend Hide Me as one of the best VPN services you could choose.
One of today’s leading VPN providers and another worthy mention on our list of top 20 VPN services, PureVPN is known for its service quality and customer support. The service has 450 servers in 101 countries, allowing users to surf the Internet and use any online solution without having to reveal their IP address. This is very useful to those who want to bypass Internet censorship.

In Switzerland as opposed to the US, anyone seeking information will have to go to the courts with probable cause for a proper court order, not just present secret threats from the FBI. Don't trust any VPN headquartered in the US or one of the five eyes nations. I suggest visiting the torrent freak web site and search for anonymous and VPN and read the article that comes up.
A VPN masks your IP address so that other devices in the swarm only see the IP address of the P2P VPN server. The best VPNs for torrenting typically use shared IP addresses, meaning dozens and even hundreds of users are assigned the same IP address. This large pool of users makes it next to impossible to trace torrenting activity back to a single person. Furthermore, if you use one of the logless VPNs on this list, the VPN provider won’t have any user information to hand over when hit with a DMCA notice or settlement letter.
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.
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.
Although it’s often mentioned in one breath with many other torrenting-friendly VPNs, the glory days of IPVanish are over, as you can read in our IPVanish review. The service made its mark in the early days of copyright tracking, but since then has made few improvements and at time of writing it’s unclear whether it does, in fact, make your IP vanish. Take care when using this service.
By many accounts, Buffered is one of the best VPNs for torrenting. The service provider is based out of Gibraltar and it uses shared IPs. The use of shared IPs makes it very difficult to track the user. It has consistently slain the speed test and that is especially relevant when it is torrenting that you are looking for. In addition, you get to use the service on six devices simultaneously. Yes, you can use it for any six devices in the house.
Look on their homepage and you'll see that the good folks at ExpressVPN do in fact express (sorry) an acceptance of torrent downloading. Couple that with a policy of zero traffic logging, in-built DNS leak protection, kill switch support and 256-bit strong encryption, and this is one solid choice for keeping your P2P activities very much to yourself.

Then there’s the widespread surveillance by local and foreign governments. Through the Snowden leaks and years of follow-up reporting, we know that the worldwide surveillance structure is vast in scope and reach. While it would be illegal for police officers to search your home without a warrant, your browsing activity, messages, social media content, and other online information can be monitored, retained and shared among various government agencies, including across country borders.
These VPNs offer solutions that will mask your online presence to keep you safe. But remember, VPNs might not be as private as you think 5 Ways Your VPN Is Not as Private as You Think It Is 5 Ways Your VPN Is Not as Private as You Think It Is Your VPN is not as secure or private as you think it is. We explain why you and your browsing history might not be anonymous after all. Read More .
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 .
Like Avast, Avira got into the VPN business to complement its antivirus offerings. Phantom VPN is easy to use and gives you up to 1GB of data per month for free, making this service ideal for vacation travelers who just need to check email. Its unlimited paid plans are reasonably priced, but it had slow downloads and dropped connections in our 2017 tests.
Using a VPN makes your web traffic jump through more hoops than normal, or optimal. As a result, you're probably going to see some slowdown in your online experience while the VPN is in use. To get a sense of this impact, I compare the average results from Ookla's speed test tool to find the percent change with the VPN on and off. (Note that Ookla is owned by Ziff Davis, which also owns PCMag.) Ookla measures latency as well as speeds for uploads and downloads, which I use in my testing.
With TorGuard, anonymity is the name of the game, so copyright pirates as well as Usenet fans and deep web visitors have nothing to worry about using the service. The downside is that TorGuard’s best servers need to be subscribed to separately, which will set you back a few extra dollars per month on top of the subscription fee. Then again, that could be worth it.
Yes, it can! We've mentioned a few times that VPNs will always have a negative impact on your speeds. So how can a VPN improve speed? Well, all ISPs have some form of traffic management policy. Internet service providers use traffic management or "traffic shaping" to protect the integrity of their network. If you ever find that your speeds (downloads or uploads) are throttled after periods of heavy use… that’s your ISP shaping your traffic. Even if you pay for "unlimited broadband", your provider will monitor how you use the internet and curb your speeds accordingly. 

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.
When choosing your VPN, do your research and mind the legal aspects. Countries like Germany, France or Japan are cracking down on copyright infringement, while the members of the 14 Eyes treaty have draconian data retention laws and extensive surveillance. So, if you’re looking to maximize your privacy, you might want to avoid connecting to servers in those countries.

If you are not afraid of commitment, you can get a Hide My Ass subscription for $47.94 for six months or $83.88 per year. Those are decent prices for those durations, but it's worth noting that some VPN services, such as KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, offer lifetime plans, for long-term protection. Notably, KeepSolid also has a wide variety of plans—some as short as a week.

However, if you do decide to connect through a VPN for most of your browsing, you’re handing that same power to the VPN service as the single centralized point through which all of your traffic will pass. If you use a reputable, trustworthy VPN that goes out of its way to avoid collecting data on you or your activities, it’s a good trade-off. But if your VPN is collecting data or doing a poor job securing its own network, it’s a pointless exchange.
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