Wi-Fi attacks, on the other hand, are probably far more common than we'd like to believe. While attending the Black Hat convention, researchers saw thousands of devices connecting to a rogue access point. It had been configured to mimic networks that victim's devices had previously connected to, since many devices will automatically reconnect to a known network without checking with the user. That's why we recommend getting a VPN app for your mobile device to protect all your mobile communications. Even if you don't have it on all the time, using a mobile VPN is a smart way to protect your personal information.
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.
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)/IPsec: The L2TP and IPsec protocols combine their best individual features to create a highly secure VPN client. Since L2TP isn't capable of encryption, it instead generates the tunnel while the IPSec protocol handles encryption, channel security, and data integrity checks to ensure all of the packets have arrived and that the channel has not been compromised.
HotSpot Shield and IPVanish did not work with my Godaddy/Outlook SMTP email. I ended up with PureVPN which I like a lot. Hundreds of servers around the world, no logging, and Hong Kong based--all good reasons to choose. Their tech support is also excellent and respond quickly and stay with you to work out any issues. Latest, they do not support newer Netgear router firmware, so they guided me through installing DD-WRT in my new router. Also, my speedtest results are faster using Pure then when not using it...
The bulk of VPN companies fall into this category. They want the extra business from torrent/p2p users, but the can't (or won't) provide all the critical privacy features torrent users want/need. This is not to say that you should never choose a VPN from this category if they have other features that are important to you. Just be aware that your connection history will never be truly anonymous if the VPN keeps any connection logs.
The country connections, meanwhile, matter most to those who want to spoof their location; however, non-spoofers should also make sure there are connections in their home country. If you live in Los Angeles, for example, and want access to American content, then you’ll need a VPN that provides U.S. connections. It won’t work to try and watch Amazon Prime Video over a Dutch VPN connection, because as far as Hulu’s concerned your computer is in the Netherlands.
There are several different VPN protocols, not all of which are used by all of the VPN services we reviewed. Most operating systems have built-in support for at least one of these protocols, which means you can use that protocol — and a willing VPN service — without client software. The full-fledged VPN services have online instructions for how to do this, as well as how to set up routers to connect directly to the services.
The short answer is that, yes, a VPN can shield your online activities from your ISP. And that's a good thing, not only if you have legally iffy torrenting habits, but also because it protects your privacy in general. An online survey of 1,000 conducted by PCMag found that 25 percent of respondents named ISPs as the biggest threat to their online privacy. That's entirely correct.
Wi-Fi attacks, on the other hand, are probably far more common than we'd like to believe. While attending the Black Hat convention, researchers saw thousands of devices connecting to a rogue access point. It had been configured to mimic networks that victim's devices had previously connected to, since many devices will automatically reconnect to a known network without checking with the user. That's why we recommend getting a VPN app for your mobile device to protect all your mobile communications. Even if you don't have it on all the time, using a mobile VPN is a smart way to protect your personal information.
Despite its impressive geographic coverage, Hide My Ass has nothing in the way of specialty servers. Editors' Choice winner NordVPN, on the other hand, has a specific server type for high-speed video streaming, another that routes your VPN connection through the Tor network, others for P2P file sharing and BitTorrent, and yet another that provides double encryption. ProtonVPN also offers built-in Tor access, and a group of specially secured servers called the Secure Core network.
Norton WiFi Privacy is a VPN solution that is specifically designed for mobile devices. It is downloadable from the App Store or the Google Play Store. The software is capable of protecting users from the dangers associated with public Wi-Fi hotspots. It has the capability to block ads, which automatically hides advertisements while preventing sites from tracking user location.
Even if a company is at fault for deceptive marketing practices, it still has to comply with legal requests for whatever information it does have. Jerome told us, “In the U.S., however, there is a big difference between a request for data regularly stored for business purposes and a demand that a company retain information. VPN providers are not required to keep records just in case law enforcement might need them some day.” That means many companies could provide a list of their customers, but if they practice what they preach when it comes to no-logging policies, innocent customers looking for privacy shouldn’t get swept up in these requests.
Hide My Ass uses the latest VPN version known as V3, it has a built-in speed test that provides fast browsing speeds whether you are using a Windows, Android, iOS or Mac device. The software will automatically choose the most ideal server for you based on what device you are using. Nevertheless, for Windows users the V2 version is still available and it allows you to do the server selection yourself.
The service has a comprehensive support forum that features an extensive, user-friendly FAQ, as well as a number you could call at any time to get support. Hide My Ass! is not only secure, but very reliable – we have had no connection issues when starting up or using the service. If you do experience any problems with the VPN, there are several ways you can resolve them; they not only have a well-maintained support website with numerous FAQs and help videos, you can also contact them through several different social media sites (including Facebook and Twitter). They also offer a live chat option which is available through the working day, the staff are very nice and quick to resolve any issues. Some regions even offer a contact phone number.
It's worth noting that most VPN services are not philanthropic organizations that operate for the public good. While many are involved in progressive causes, they are all still for-profit organizations. That means that they have their own bills to pay, and they have to respond to subpoenas and warrants from law enforcement. They also have to abide by the laws of the country in which they officially reside.
If your connection to the VPN server drops for some reason then the killswitch will immediately sever your internet connection, so it’s best to keep an eye on your torrents. There’s a few different types of killswitch, such as those that a firewall-based, either using your device’s built-in firewall (if it has one) or via their own rules. Make sure you understand how your killswitch works to avoid being caught out if your app crashes for example.

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. 

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.
The downside is a noticeable drop in performance compared to the more expensive options. Depending on how much you plan to torrent, this may not justify the lower price point. At the same time, consistency and uptime remain high – while there are not as many international server locations (only being in about 30 countries right now), in these regions there are thousands of servers to choose from.

In 2015, a review in Tom's Hardware said HideMyAss! was easy to use, had good customer service, and a large number of server locations to choose from, but criticized it for slowing internet speeds.[19] In contrast, Digital Trends said HideMyAss! had strong speeds and good server selection, but wasn't full-proof at ensuring anonymity, because it stored user activity logs.[10] In 2017, PC World noted that it was difficult to measure the effect a VPN service has on internet speed, because of variables like location, internet service speeds, and hardware.[20]
I am using Betternet Free) and it has been a pleasant surprise. There have been some small glitches, I had to restart the program because it was taking too long to connect and when I exited the program, it froze, but they were short and seem to be a one-time thing. I get good speed in downloading and it doesn't affect streaming. Also I have no problem accessing Hulu. I don't use Netflix.

IP Address Settings: From here you can manage your assigned IP address. You can either change it manually or schedule a change. You can decide, for instance, to change your IP address at regular intervals automatically. It is a feature that will greatly enhance your security and will make you totally untraceable. You will experience a short period disconnection every time the software changes your IP address. The IP checker instead is a handy tool to make sure your real IP is hidden, and you are not the victim of an IP leak.
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.

We’ve shown you how to roll your own VPN using Hamachi, and even how to set up Privoxy to secure your web browsing once you have your personal VPN set up. Hamachi isn’t the only option: you can also download and configure OpenVPN (a free SSL VPN) on your own home server,, or if you have a router that supports it, enable OpenVPN on your home router so you can connect back to it when you’re abroad. Combined with Privoxy, you get the privacy and anonymity benefits of a VPN without spending a dime.
When we tested other aspects of IVPN's performance, it also satisfied our requirements. On the default settings, our real IP address didn't leak out via DNS requests or IPv6 routing, let alone a standard IP address checker. The DNS-requests check indicated that the app was using the company's internal DNS servers and that they were correctly configured. None of the 12 services we tested disclosed our true IP address (though some showed mismatched IPs).

Torrenting media files creates several demands on the VPN being used. Due to large file sizes, maintaining speed is very important. At the same time, however, the nature of file sharing means that there are more security concerns than with casual Internet use, as well. It can be tough to balance these needs with other factors such as price, customer support, and access to deeper features. These 7 VPNs are all great products that will give you a great torrenting experience – the challenge is finding the one that suits your specific needs.


Technical: HMA utilizes various VPN technologies such as OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), PPTP and L2TP/IPSec. Each VPN server has a set number of IP addresses; each time a customer connects to one of HMA’s VPN servers, they are assigned a sheared IP address. HMA does not NAT customer connections, meaning the total amount of simultaneous connections they can support is the total amount of IP addresses that they offer, which is 2,800 + IP addresses.
For the uninitiated, torrenting is a way of sharing files peer-to-peer (P2P). A single user uploads a file, which is broken up into smaller pieces called "packets". These packets are then distributed to everyone downloading the same file (leechers). Once the file download is complete on the downloader's end, the packet is then distributed among other leechers. This makes the transfer of big files faster and more secure as smaller packets are being transferred from various locations (rather than in one big chunk from a single server). It's like a huge network of little bricklayers anonymously working together to construct the file that ends up on your computer – which, if you're in Australia, is probably the latest episode of Game of Thrones.
“For an affordable and reliable VPN service, you can definitely rely on hide.me. Only the best security protocols and software was used to develop this fantastic VPN to provide you with the ultimate security while you can still enjoy high speed network functionality. hide.me is available for the most popular platforms and is one of the few VPNs that allow you to connect on up to different devices at a greatly affordable rate which is a superb solution for companies or online gamers.” May 29, 2018 Bestvpnrating.com
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.

Cator promoted the tool in online forums[3] and it was featured on the front page of Digg.[2][5] After attracting more than one thousand users, Cator incorporated ads.[2] HMA! did not take any venture capital funding.[3][2] It generated about $1,000 - $2,000 per month while the founder went to college to pursue a degree in computer science.[2] In 2009, Cator dropped out of college to focus on HMA! and added a paid VPN service.[3][2][1] Most early HMA! employees were freelancers found on oDesk.com.[2] In 2012, one of the freelancers set-up a competing business.[3] HMA! responded by hiring its contractors as full-time employees and establishing physical offices in London.[3][5]
VPNs also only do so much to anonymize your online activities. If you really want to browse the web anonymously, and access the dark web to boot, you'll want to use Tor. Unlike a VPN, Tor bounces your traffic through several server nodes, making it much harder to trace. It's also managed by a non-profit organization and distributed for free. Some VPN services will even connect to Tor via VPN, for additional security.
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.
Though Proxy.sh meets many of our basic requirements, in our tests the company’s Safejumper application had constant errors when trying to connect. Given that we were looking for a simple, reliable VPN, this was a dealbreaker. We also found a story from 2013 with bizarre statements from the company about monitoring traffic on a specific server due to concerns about unlawful behavior of a user on the network. Though the transparency is impressive, the decision to actively monitor traffic is disconcerting. In a response given to TorrentFreak at the time, the company stated, “The situation also shows that the only solution we have to help law enforcement agencies find problematic use across our network, is to clearly install a logging capacity on it. As a result, we are able to either comply or shut down the servers we have in a particular location (it happened to us in Czech Republic few months ago).”
Pricing is quite flexible, with a three-day plan available for just $2. But for those who want to avail of the complete service and support, A basic plan of $5 per month, a solid plan of $10 a month, and dedicated plan of $25 per month are also available. These packages offer users access to Proxy.sh servers in different countries and unlimited bandwidth. Custom plans can be arranged, all one has to do is contact support.

You can use free browser extensions to prevent the most common ways that websites and ad networks track your browsing activity and gather information for marketing profiles. But if you’re trying to leave as few tracks as possible online, a VPN can add an extra layer of privacy by preventing tracking based on your IP address (the unique identifier for your computer or home network that makes it possible for websites and services to send information back to you).


At least in that generalization, the leak accusation isn’t entirely fair towards the VPN providers in my option. The only leaks your example in the screenshot shows are IPv6 related ones and DNS, where the latter isn’t exactly great to have but on the other hand doesn’t really cause a threat either at least when it comes to “just not exposing one’s public IPv4 address to the torrent honeypots”. As for the IPv6 leak one can disable IPv6 when in doubt, problem solved with any VPN provider.


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.
Today, more and more Internet users are turning to VPN services to provide online security and protect their privacy. With the wide range of VPN products that are emerging to meet this demand, the consumer faces a dizzying variety of choices in choosing the best service. The choice becomes more complex when some basic research shows that each different VPN will vary based on subscription plans, bottom line performance, best regions of access, and security features.
Cost: This VPN service comes in three plans: Basic, Pro, and Premier, any of which can be purchased on a six month, one year, two-year, or three-year basis. The premier plan is $5.83 /month if you pay all 36 months up front, the professional plan is $4.44/month if you buy all three years at once, and the basic plan is $3.06/month for three years. Basic also lets you pay monthly, for $5.99/month.
Typically, when you try to access a website on the Internet, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) receives the request and redirects you to your destination. As your Internet traffic passes through your ISP, they can see everything you do online. What’s more, they can track your behavior and sometimes even hand your browsing history over to advertisers, government agencies and other third parties.
Even when browsing online in the comfort of your own home, using a VPN is a pretty good idea. For instance, you may want to buy your little nephew a birthday gift online without being bombarded with toy truck ads for next six months. Or perhaps you need to do a quick research of health clinics without attracting your employer’s attention. If you live in the US, you may simply want to know that your ISP will not be able to sell your entire browsing history to the highest bidder.
Setting up a Virtual Private Network is a straightforward process. It's often as simple as entering a username and sever address. The dominant smartphones can configure Virtual Private Networks using PPTP and L2TP/IPsec protocols. All major operating systems can configure PPTP VPN connections. OpenVPN and L2TP/IPsec protocols require a small open source application (OpenVPN) and certificate download respectively.
×