That's a bit of a hodgepodge, and I am disappointed that Hide My Ass doesn't provide OpenVPN on all platforms. That said, some of the issue is with the platforms. Apple requires developers to jump through additional hoops if they want to include OpenVPN in an app, but many are beginning to move in that direction. I would like to see Hide My Ass do the same, across the board.
Reason #2 - Logistical/Legal Headaches: Not everybody uses bittorrent responsibly. Allowing unrestricted torrent downloads on a VPN network can bring legal pressure, both on the VPN, and the company that hosts their VPN servers. It can also cause servers to go down, or server hosts to cut the VPN company off completely. Many VPNs would prefer to have fewer customers but avoid that level of hassle.
For two years running, Private Internet Access has performed the best in our network tests and remained the cheapest full-fledged VPN service we've tried. It has more than 3,000 servers worldwide, supports platforms ranging from Windows and Mac to open-source routers, and lets you customize your tunneling and encryption protocols. You can pay in bitcoin, and you don't have to provide your real name.
Another great VPN service for torrenting is NordVPN. NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN provider with a strict no logs policy and a nice lineup. It performed well in testing for the review and continues to offer one of the best values for your money with the 66% discount coupon. While there is some variability in the network speeds, NordVPN still offers solid performance for torrenting and P2P downloads.
The downloader. Whether they’re downloading legally or illegally, this person doesn’t want on some company’s witch-hunt list just because they have a torrenting app installed on their computer. VPNs are the only way to stay safe when using something like BitTorrent—everything else is just a false sense of security. Better safe than trying to defend yourself in court or paying a massive fine for something you may or may not have even done, right?
We considered native apps for Windows, Mac, and Android to be mandatory because they’re easier to use than open-source or third-party VPN apps like Tunnelblick; that in turn makes it easier to stay secure. For more-advanced users, adding VPN connections to Wi-Fi routers can help secure all connections on a home network without having to manage devices individually.
We've knocked CyberGhost down a peg from last year's standings because the service's network performance wasn't as great this time around in our tests. Yet it has a feature-loaded, user-friendly interface, with convenient buttons in the Windows client software for streaming media, torrenting files, protecting your Wi-Fi transmissions and evading censorship. (The Mac desktop software has fewer features.)
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.
Unfortunately, not all devices will allow you to use all these protocols. Since most of them were built by Microsoft, you’ll be able to use them on all Windows PCs. For Apple devices, you will come across some limitations. For example, L2TP/IPsec is the default protocol for iPhone. And Android … well, Android has some problems of its own, which we’ll get to later on.