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.
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.
A Mobile VPN is a worthwhile tool to have since it increases privacy, user satisfaction and productivity, while also reducing unforeseen support issues caused by wireless connectivity problems. The increasing usage of mobile devices and wireless connectivity make it more important to ensure that your data is being transferred through a secure network. It will allow you to access the internet, while staying safe behind a firewall that protects your privileged information.
Security begins at the network, where your computer touches the wilds of the internet. To protect your devices, you need a virtual private network, or VPN, such as Hide My Ass. The name is very direct and so is the service, with an excellent, straightforward interface. This VPN makes a good impression, but it's on the more expensive side and lacks many of the bells and whistles we have come to expect. If you're taken by Hide My Ass's bright and friendly design (and its donkeys), you'll probably appreciate Editors' Choice winner TunnelBear (and its bears), or its co-winners NordVPN and Private Internet Access.
IP binding is a valuable precaution to take if you want to ensure that all torrent downloads take place over the P2P VPN. Binding your torrent client to an IP address limits downloads to a specific IP address. This means you can set the client to only download torrents while connected to a certain P2P VPN server. If the connection to the VPN drops or you disconnect, the downloads stop, adding a kill switch to your VPN without affecting other apps and services. This prevents any torrent traffic from leaking onto your real IP address.
I am not sure VPNs really do as advertised. The "modem" provided by your ISP is preset to go to the servers of the ISP. Correct? Usually, the ISP will not give you access to the settings within the "modem". Correct? So, if traffic is still going thru your ISP, are we actually bypassing data caps? And wouldn't this also apply to DNS servers? "Modem" still has to go thru ISP. I understand how the web site being addressed is fooled, but none of this does anything to/for the ISP.
NordVPN is a great all-rounder. With fast servers in 62 countries, a strong focus on privacy and a willingness to keep innovating, NordVPN easily snaps up the top spot in our Top for Torrents table! NordVPN offers an industry-leading six simultaneous connections which means that everyone in the family can use the VPN without interrupting your downloads. With clients available for all major platforms, the software looks great and works well. A three-day free trial is a nice bonus if you are looking to take it for a test drive, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee gives you plenty of time if you change your mind. As well as permitting torrenting, NordVPN works with all major streaming services; Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon instant video.
When it comes to servers, more is always better. More servers mean that you're less likely to be shunted into a VPN server that is already filled to the brim with other users. NordVPN, Private Internet Access, and TorGuard currently lead the pack with well over 3,000 servers each—NordVPN is at the forefront with 4,875 servers. But the competition is beginning to heat up. Last year, only a handful of companies offered more than 500 servers, now it's becoming unusual to find a company offering fewer than 1,000 servers.
ProtonVPN which is very new is also well worth a mention. Based in Switzerland, lots of servers in many countries, can access the Tor Network directly through the VPN connection (which I believe they are possibly the only VPN that offers this, but I might be wrong on that), no logging, and even a slower, free tier available with limited server access. The only free VPN I would ever trust.
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.
You can download torrents on all IPVanish servers. This is a huge advantage since users are not restricted to particular servers which may be slow or in different locations.  Since the online privacy provider offers an unlimited bandwidth, users are able to download content at blinding speeds. The servers also allow a variety of encryption protocols when connecting, so users can choose their security level and torrent speeds. File sharing is allowed using both uTorrent and BitTorrent protocols. T
The main drawback is that VPN.ac maintains connection logs for network security, which they clearly explain on their website. These logs do not include any browsing or activity, but instead, basic connection data and everything is erased daily. All support inquiries are handled internally by the network security professionals who run the service (no third-party support). [Learn more >]
What is notable is that Hide My Ass will store this data for two to three months, while VyprVPN stores it for only 30 days. Other services hold even less information, or they dispose of it immediately. Hide My Ass says that it retains this data for this period of time in order to improve performance, prevent fraud, and prevent bad guys from using the VPN to send spam. The company, notably, also lists file sharing as one of the illicit activities it requires this information to prevent, despite the company being fine with the use of BitTorrent on some servers.
Although it has a no logs policy, the vendor collects user activity data and could opt to share them with third parties. The service can be used for torrenting but the company warns against copyright infringements. One weak spot is the service’s customer support. It has no live chat support and it takes more than 24 hours to get a reply. However, a knowledge base is available in the company’s website.

HTTPS is a powerful tool that everyone should use because it helps keep sensitive browsing private at no extra cost to the people using it. But like most security standards, it has its own problems too. That little lock icon in your browser bar, which indicates the HTTPS connection, relies on a certificate “signed” by a recognized authority. But there are hundreds of such authorities, and as the EFF says, “the security of HTTPS is only as strong as the practices of the least trustworthy/competent CA [certificate authorities].” Plus, there have been plenty of news stories covering minor and even major vulnerabilities in the system. Some security professionals have worried about those least-competent authorities, spurring groups to improve on the certificate standards and prompting browsers to add warnings when you come across certificates and sites that don’t withstand scrutiny. So HTTPS is good—but like anything, it isn’t perfect.
Many companies proudly display “warrant canaries” on their websites. These are digitally signed notices that say something to the effect of “We have never been served a warrant for traffic logs or turned over customer information.” Law enforcement can prohibit a company from discussing an investigation, but in theory, it can’t compel a company to actively lie. So the theory goes that when the warrant canary dies—that is, the notice disappears from the website because it’s no longer truthful—so does privacy. The EFF supports this legal position, though other highly regarded companies and organizations think warrant canaries are helpful only for informing you after the damage has been done. Such notices may provide a nice sense of security, and they are important to some people, but we didn’t consider them essential.
With hide.me VPN, you become anonymous & safe on the internet reclaiming your online freedom for free. This app allows you to avoid all kind of surveillance from government agencies, ISPs, and cybercriminals. By encrypting your connection hide.me VPN protects your online identity. But that's not it; you can also use it to unblock any website or app which is blocked in your country.

VPNs can be either remote-access (connecting a computer to a network) or site-to-site (connecting two networks). In a corporate setting, remote-access VPNs allow employees to access their company's intranet from home or while traveling outside the office, and site-to-site VPNs allow employees in geographically disparate offices to share one cohesive virtual network. A VPN can also be used to interconnect two similar networks over a dissimilar middle network; for example, two IPv6 networks over an IPv4 network.[6]
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 can be either remote-access (connecting a computer to a network) or site-to-site (connecting two networks). In a corporate setting, remote-access VPNs allow employees to access their company's intranet from home or while traveling outside the office, and site-to-site VPNs allow employees in geographically disparate offices to share one cohesive virtual network. A VPN can also be used to interconnect two similar networks over a dissimilar middle network; for example, two IPv6 networks over an IPv4 network.[6]
Despite some of the drawbacks, ZorroVPN is an interesting service if you are looking for advanced online anonymity. With their OpenVPN file config generator, you can create unique VPN chains with the Tor network and proxies (up to four hops). Unlike with Perfect Privacy, however, these multi-hop configurations cannot be dynamically changed within the VPN client.
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.
Additionally, Hide.me includes support for the SoftEther protocol. It's the first VPN I am aware of that uses this particular technology, which the company says is designed to be hard to detect and block. Other VPNs offer similar features that seek to disguise VPN traffic in order to circumvent VPN blocking. TunnelBear, for instance, calls this feature GhostBear.

I found that Netflix successfully blocked me from using its service while I was connected to Hide My Ass. That's unfortunate. KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, TunnelBear VPN, and NordVPN all managed to sneak around Netflix's prohibitions. Do note, however, that VPN blocking is a bit of a cat-and-mouse game. The service that works for watching Netflix with a VPN today might be blocked tomorrow.


If you're looking to try Hide My Ass before you buy it, you're out of luck. The service offers neither a free version nor a free trial. If you're in need of a great VPN, but have nothing in your wallet, you can always try a free VPN. Most of these services place limitations on your service unless you pay, however. TunnelBear, for example, limits its free users to a certain allotment of data, while ProtonVPN's free plan limits speeds and available VPN servers.
Anonymity and Privacy: In like manner to a web proxy, the VPN service is also a hit for customers who wish to gain a measure of anonymity on the internet and also protect their identity and privacy. However, unlike a web proxy, the VPN service affects all applications on your computer, not just your web browser. This, therefore, enables users to protect their entire internet connection and not just their web browser traffic.
A virtual private network (VPN) gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public Internet connection. VPNs mask your internet protocol (IP) address so your online actions are virtually untraceable. Most important, VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections to provide greater privacy than even a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.
Avast SecureLine and Avira Phantom VPN are run by antivirus companies as complements to their primary businesses. These services are also limited to Windows, Mac, iOS and Android and don't work without client software. But they offer few features, have a couple of dozen servers at most and don't let you pay anonymously. However, the companies are known quantities, and the services are handy for occasional travelers.

We contacted each of our finalists with simple questions about its service and troubleshooting. Most VPN companies provide technical support through online ticketing systems, meaning you’ll need to wait for a response. This means that self-help support sites are even more important, since waiting for a reply while your connection is down can be frustrating. Response times to our support inquiries ranged from 20 minutes to a day.

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.
Security-wise, ExpressVPN is impressive, with strong 256-bit AES encryption and support for lots of VPN protocols. The company offers a strict no logging policy, which means no tracking or storing of personal data and that data is encrypted and hidden from all eyes, even ExpressVPN's. There’s a handy kill switch and DNS/IPv6 leak protection. A split tunneling feature for Mac and Windows allows users to protect their torrent client only, leaving other activities such as gaming unaffected by the VPN and not suffering a drop in speed. There’s also TOR compatibility for serious users and the company is registered in the British Virgin Islands, which means there are no data retention laws. 
ExpressVPN's support for bitcoin payments, great after-sale service and a 30-day money-back guarantee are all big bonuses too. You probably won't need to use that guarantee though since you're getting access to an impressively large, speedy network of 1000+ servers across 100+ locations in 78 countries. Yes, this service is a bit pricey compared to what's out there (a year's worth goes for US$6.67 a month), but you're getting what you pay for.
When it comes to reliability, you can count on Demonoid. The popular BitTorrent tracker was launched in 2003, the same year as The Pirate Bay, and it’s had its own fair share of downtime due to political pressure. The site with over 10 million users has over 800,000 torrent files and provides torrents for movies, TV series, music, books, applications, and games. Our research shows that Demonoid has more movies and TV series than other files, followed by music.
Many sites will tell you that the chances of facing legal action as a result of pirating copyrighted material are slim. That’s bad advice. While it’s true that copyright holders have bigger fish to fry than the guy that just wants to watch Age of Ultron a few weeks before it comes out on Blu-Ray, you’d be surprised how many people face at least the threat of legal action.
ExpressVPN is both the best all-round VPN and our pick for torrenting, due to its rock solid reliability for both speed and privacy. No other VPN offers such consistently fast speeds across its entire network – up to 201Mbps down and 163Mbps up with very low latency on local connections is ideal for P2P activity. If you also like to stream then uninterrupted access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other popular services is another big selling point.
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.
Not all mobile VPN apps are created equal. In fact, most VPN providers offer different services (and sometimes, different servers) for their mobile offerings than they do for their desktop counterparts. We're pleased to see that NordVPN and Private Internet Access provide the same excellent selection of servers regardless of platform. These apps received an Editors' Choice nod both for desktop VPN apps and Android VPN apps.
TunnelBear has some strong supporters among Wirecutter’s staff. The company has a public history of transparency, staff listings, and the clearest privacy policy of any VPN service we’ve found, plus TunnelBear is one of the only VPNs to release a public audit of its system. But the service was one of the least reliable we tried. In four of our 18 connection tests, we managed broadband speeds; in a handful of others TunnelBear was well below the average, and in even more it failed to provide a usable connection at all. As we were writing this guide, security giant McAfee announced that it had acquired TunnelBear. Fans of the service should keep an eye out for changes to its privacy stance and transparency as the US-based firm takes over.
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.
A Mobile VPN is a worthwhile tool to have since it increases privacy, user satisfaction and productivity, while also reducing unforeseen support issues caused by wireless connectivity problems. The increasing usage of mobile devices and wireless connectivity make it more important to ensure that your data is being transferred through a secure network. It will allow you to access the internet, while staying safe behind a firewall that protects your privileged information.
Torrenting sure is a good way to get what you need quickly. And hey, while there's no judgement coming from us about what you're rapidly downloading and uploading, you'd best be aware that there are some other folks who will show great interest in your activities. The government, law enforcement officials, entertainment studios and roving packs of bloodthirsty lawyers let loose by the former to name but a few.

Some ISP throttle your bandwidth if you download torrent files hence you need to use VPN so that your torrent traffic gets encrypted and your ISP won’t be able to detect whether you are downloading torrents or not. VPN is a private network that creates a tunnel in your public network and sends the data packets securely. Some users prefer Zbigz like sites for torrenting online but a VPN can give complete anonymity. If you want to download torrent files with superfast download speed in uTorrent you can follow the guide – how to increase uTorrent Download speed by using more torrent tracker. Also you may be interested in knowing the differences between Public and Private trackers and how to create a torrent file from your computer.
In this case, agencies see only the tunnel and not what is inside. They only get to view a single connection from a specific server and not who the user is, location or what is being downloaded or uploaded. VPN software also has the ability to provide agencies with user information or deny request for such. Such solution can be implemented as client and server software, hardware and software or on a subscription basis. There is also Secure Sockets Layer VPN, which enables remove users to connect by simply using a web browser.

Canada is widely acclaimed for a massive number of internet users than any other country. Being a mainstream region for tech geeks, Canadians love to stream videos online. However, popular Canadian channels are geo-restricted outside Canada, meaning that users can’t access Bravo, CBC, Sportsnet and Canal De from outside Canada. To get away with restrictions, Canada VPN provides instant access to all Canadian channels from anywhere in the world. However, I haven’t tried BTGuard yet but I would suggest users to get a decent Canada VPN like Express VPN and Ivacy for top-notch privacy, anonymity and accessibility.
You don't have this same level of choice when it comes to your ISP, which controls your home's gateway to the entirety of the internet. While there are alternatives to Google and Facebook, most Americans have limited home ISP alternatives. Some areas have only one ISP offering wired internet access. That makes recent changes that allow ISPs to sell data from their customers all the more troubling. It's one thing to opt into a shady system, it's quite another to have no choice in the matter.
In addition to blocking malicious sites and ads, some VPNs also claim to block malware. We don't test the efficacy of these network-based protections, but most appear to be blacklists of sites known to host malicious software. That's great, but don't assume it's anywhere near as good as standalone antivirus. Use this feature to complement, not replace, your antivirus.
VPNs can make your browsing private, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re anonymous. VPN services can and do log traffic (even the ones that say they don’t log do need to log some information, or they wouldn’t be able to function properly), and those logs can be requested by the authorities. Think of a VPN as being like curtains: people can’t peek through your curtains if you’ve got them closed, but curtains won’t hide your house.

Many people are wondering how to achieve the best VPN speed and overall performance. If you are using a good VPN service, you shouldn’t notice a huge reduction in speed. Of course, the extra work that goes into encrypting your traffic across VPN servers will affect speed, but usually it’s not noticeable for regular browsing – especially when using a nearby server.
If you opt for hide.me VPN, you get to enjoy reliable speeds, nearly flawless performance, no DNS leaks, 5 simultaneous connections, and strong encryption, as well as a variety of protocols, SOCKS proxy, zero logs of your activity, P2P file sharing, a handy kill switch, and more. Now, all that is left for us to find out is whether hide.me VPN service allows you to enjoy US Netflix content from anywhere in the world.
Cost - VPNs aren't too pricey, but they vary from vendor to vendor. If your main concern is price, then go with something inexpensive, or free - like Spotflux Premium VPN or AnchorFree HotSpot Shield Elite. By all means, try a free server but they do have a few drawbacks since they attract a lot of users. Free servers are often slower, and since most are ad-supported, they place adverts on the online pages you access. Others can even limit the speed of your connection, as well as your online time or amount of data transferred.
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.
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Even TunnelBear's network performance and pricing are just about average compared to other services we've reviewed, except that you can pay anonymously with cash. The company takes security and privacy seriously, explaining its policies and protocols in plain English, and you can read the results of two third-party security audits on the company website.
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).
ExpressVPN is incredibly fast and super secure, and it can unblock just about any site or service on the internet - including Netflix, Hulu, BBC, and more - with impressive streaming capabilities. It offers servers in over 90 countries, and the 24/7 live chat support is one of the friendliest and most professional. ExpressVPN gives a strong fight to NordVPN, while other VPNs lag behind.
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.
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.
A company representative explained to me that bulk of the company's physical server infrastructure is located in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Miami, New York, Prague, Seattle, and Singapore. This doesn't quite jibe with what Hide My Ass lists on its website. I'd like to see future versions of Hide My Ass be clearer about when you are connected to a virtual server.

The highest level is Hide.me Premium, which costs $9.99 per month and is what I have tested here, as it's most in line with the plans I've tested for other VPN services. That's less than the current industry average of $10.50 per month, making Hide.me an attractive deal. The Premium tier includes all of the features from the Plus accounts, but completely removes the data cap. It also raises the device limit to five. That's the industry average, but NordVPN offers six devices and CyberGhost offers seven. TorGuard goes even further, providing you a slider to simply pick the number of devices you need and then charging you accordingly.

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.

Instead of logically tying the endpoint of the network tunnel to the physical IP address, each tunnel is bound to a permanently associated IP address at the device. The mobile VPN software handles the necessary network-authentication and maintains the network sessions in a manner transparent to the application and to the user.[31] The Host Identity Protocol (HIP), under study by the Internet Engineering Task Force, is designed to support mobility of hosts by separating the role of IP addresses for host identification from their locator functionality in an IP network. With HIP a mobile host maintains its logical connections established via the host identity identifier while associating with different IP addresses when roaming between access networks.
Most of these providers do keep metadata logs, but because they use shared IP addresses they are theoretically unable to identify specific accounts based on torrent IP history. They do allow torrents (some restrict them to specific geographic servers). NordVPN fell to this range because even though they keep no logs, allow torrents, and have SOCKS proxy service included, their servers tend to be overcrowded and slow. If your connection is under 10mbps anyway, then NordVPN is a great bargain. While not optimal for torrents, VPNs in this range should still work for all but the most hardcore downloaders.
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Private Internet Access is very popular as a torrent VPN for many years. TechSpree, TorrentFreak and LifeHacker recommend Private Internet Access for completely anonymous torrenting. Private Internet Access also implemented VPN kill switch i.e. your internet connection drops if your VPN connection is not available so that you can avoid getting caught while downloading torrent files in the middle of the night. Private Internet Access has state-of-the-art “PIA MACE” technology that blocks site tracker, ads and malwares which I think a great feature for anonymity lovers. Also you will enjoy DNS leak Protection and IPV6 leak protection. If you want complete anonymity please confirm that you are using these features.
TorGuard is incorporated in St. Kitts and Nevis, and operates out of offices mostly in the US. But most people shouldn’t be worried about the legal jurisdiction of their VPN’s offices—we detail the reach of government surveillance above. In short, we think a privacy-focused VPN with public leadership that can be trusted not to collect information about their customers is a better choice in any country, rather than an opaque company run from the most liberty-ensuring country on the planet.
However, if you’re using a top-tier VPN service, the difference in speed usually isn’t noticeable, and can sometimes speed up your connection. You can still watch streaming videos and download large files without interruption. Our VPN servers are among the fastest in the industry and we work hard to keep it that way. Download Hotspot Shield VPN and get privacy protection without sacrificing speed.
The big refresh of the App after recent improvements to our VPN service means it's now better than ever! The iOS app is now faster and connections are even more reliable (thanks to the new IKEv2 protocol). The App itself now looks the same as our Desktop version i.e. fantastic. Plus, there are new localisations meaning the app can speak your language. Feeling very proud of all my herds hard work!
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.
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.

For starters, using a VPN to geo-shift may violate a streaming service’s terms of service, and possibly even local laws. But legal issues aside, we also found that geo-shifting to access streaming services was unreliable at best. When we tested 12 different VPN services for our guide, we couldn’t access Netflix through the US servers of any them. When we connected to UK servers, only four allowed us to access BBC content (and some of those had quality issues). Since Netflix began cracking down on this type of behavior in 2016, blocking VPNs has become a cat-and-mouse game for streaming services, with others like the BBC, Hulu, and Amazon following Netflix’s lead: Services and servers that work one day can be blocked the next, until VPN administrators find another workaround, and the cycle repeats.
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