The only downsides to Private Internet Access are that you can't select your own username — you've got to stick with an assigned random ID — and that you've occasionally got to reinstall a balky driver in Windows. (There's a button to do this.) Selecting Private Internet Access as our VPN service of choice was almost a no-brainer, but because it's based in the U.S., anyone wary of the FBI may want to consider another service.


Some people may have concerns about VPNs using virtual servers. That's when a single, physical server plays host to multiple virtual machines. Those virtual servers can in turn be configured to appear as if they are in a different country than the machine hosting them. If you're very concerned about precisely where your data is headed, that can be an issue.
Our review of SurfEasy Total explains these features in more detail Protect Your Mobile Data and Network Usage With SurfEasy VPN [Giveaway] Protect Your Mobile Data and Network Usage With SurfEasy VPN [Giveaway] In the Google Play Store, you'll find a whole lot of VPN clients for Android devices, but few of them are as up-to-date and robust as SurfEasy. SurfEasy offers a 3-tier account structure: Free, Mobile... Read More . Note that there is also a lower-cost subscription at $3.99/month, for torrent-free VPN use.
Using a VPN will prevent most kinds of DNS attacks that would redirect you to a phishing page, but a regular old page made to look like a legit one in order to trick you into entering your data can still work. Some VPNs, and most browsers, are pretty good about blocking phishing pages, but this attack still claims too many victims to be ignored. Use common sense and be sure to verify that websites are what they say they are by looking carefully at the URL and always visiting HTTPS sites.
Since we last tested VPNs, we've given special attention to the privacy practices of VPN companies and not just the technology they provide. In our testing, we read through the privacy policies and discuss company practices with VPN service representatives. What we look for is a commitment to protect user information, and to take a hands-off approach to gathering user data.

If you frequent ThePirateBay, uTorrent, RARBG, Putlocker or KickassTorrents, however, chances are what you download from these torrenting sites is not legal. Government authorities can fine you for committing a civil offense, while ISPs and copyright holders will threaten and in some cases follow through on legal action. While it’s unlikely that a record company will take someone to court, they might seek damages through settlements.
When choosing a VPN to use for downloading Torrents, you’ll want to find one with a secure enough encryption process to protect your identity while you are engaged in P2P file sharing. Also, many networks are becoming more sophisticated at detecting and blocking out VPNs. By choosing a provider with a high level of encryption, you’ll be more easily to penetrate firewalls and access the files you wish to download more freely.
To verify that each service effectively hid our true IP address, we looked at a geolocation tool, DNS leaks, and IPv6 leaks. When connected to each service’s UK servers, we noted whether we could watch videos on BBC iPlayer, and using US servers we noted whether we could stream Netflix. We also visited the sites of Target, Yelp, Cloudflare, and Akamai to check whether our VPN IP addresses prevented us from accessing common sites that sometimes blacklist suspicious IP addresses.

Copyright holders are often large media companies that outsource piracy litigation to shifty law firms dubbed “copyright trolls”. Copyright trolls monitor popular torrents for the unique IP addresses of devices that connect to the swarm to upload or download files. They then match those IP addresses to the internet service providers that assigned them to customers. The copyright troll goes through the ISP to send a settlement letter or a copyright violation notice to each torrenter. Settlement letters demand money and threaten legal action if the users don’t pay.


With 1,000 physical servers in 136 geographical locations across 87 countries, ExpressVPN’s focus is on speed. You don’t want a slow VPN when you can have a fast one, and ExpressVPN offers privacy on top of this with PTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN protocol support. For $6.67/month on a 12-month plan with 3 months free, you get a wide range of top VPN features, no logging, and Tor support (ExpressVPN has a .onion website, too).

Our review of VyprVPN VyprVPN: Minimal Logging, Cross Platform VPN for Everybody VyprVPN: Minimal Logging, Cross Platform VPN for Everybody VyprVPN is great a VPN service, with the unified desktop and mobile approach. coupled with the refreshingly honest and open approach to logging being the main reasons why you should choose VyprVPN. Read More tells you more.

Think about all the times you’ve been on the go, reading emails while in line at the coffee shop, or checking your bank account while waiting at the doctor’s office. Unless you were logged into a private Wi-Fi network that required a password, any data transmitted during your online session was likely vulnerable to eavesdropping by strangers using the same network.


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.
The service supports Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices, but manual connection through Linux, BlackBerry, Boxee Box, HP WebOS or DD-WRT is also possible. It likewise allows users to use up to five devices using the account. PureVPN’s proprietary gigabit network ensures uptime and extremely fast speeds. It offers unlimited bandwidth, which is ideal for users who like video streaming or playing online games.
Cost: To pay for NordVPN on a monthly basis will cost you $11.95/month. However, you can get it cheaper at $6.99/month if you buy 12 months at once for $83.88 or for $3.99/month when you purchase a 2 year plan for $95.75. Nord is also running a special that allows you to purchase 3 years of service for $2.99/month when you pay the full $107.55 upfront every three years. There's a 30-day money back guarantee and a free 7-day trial option.  
At a minimum, your ISP keeps track of every IP address it assigned you, often for six to 18 months. ISPs mostly use these records to respond to specific law enforcement requests, often to catch truly awful criminals. But no protections are in place to guarantee that it’s the only way ISPs use these logs. In 2017, the US Department of Justice unsuccessfully demanded that a Web host hand over more than a million IP addresses, namely that of anyone who accessed a website that helped organize protests during the presidential inauguration. Compliance with that demand would have allowed the DOJ to in turn request identifying information from ISPs on anyone who visited the site—including journalists doing research, bored Twitter users clicking a link, or people against the protests who wanted a hate read. A good VPN would spare the innocent the trouble and the invasion of privacy in such a situation.
Censorship: Similar to a web proxy, customers use HMA’s VPN service to bypass internet censorship. VPN’s are far more flexible compared to a web proxy as they tunnel the entire internet connection and not just your web browser traffic. As a result, there are never any rendering issues because there is no parsing of HMTL/JS, and all content will function as it should do (e.g. Flash). Speed will also be faster because of a larger network of servers in 190+ countries, and the ability to setup VPN connections on your actual router means third-party devices are able to bypass censorship without any additional configuration required.
These folks have been around since 2010, and don't log anything. They provide a generous five connections, a connection kill switch feature, and some good online documentation and security guidance. Our one disappointment is that their refund policy is 7-days instead of 30, but you can certainly get a feel for their excellent performance in the space of a week.
Finding the best free VPN is an exercise in balancing those restrictions. TunnelBear, for example, lets you use any server on its network but limits you to 500MB-1GB per month. Avira Phantom VPN lets you use as many devices as you like and any server you like, but also restricts you to 500MB per month. AnchorFree Hotspot Shield also places no limits on the number of devices, but restricts you to 500MB per day and only US-based servers. Kaspersky Secure Connection also doesn't limit your devices but doesn't let you choose a VPN server—the app does it automatically.
Right now, their cheapest plan is an annual subscription that comes out to around $8/month. This puts it firmly on the high end of VPN prices. In exchange, the user gets custom clients for different operating systems and great configuration guides for mobile devices. This places Buffered as more of a niche product for customers who want to get a lot of mileage out of deeper VPN features, but would like to do so with the aid of tutorial videos and documentation.

Early this year, the U.S. Congress rolled back Internet privacy rules, giving service providers free reign to track, store and sell browsing data. In July, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) issued a warrant to DreamHost, asking for a list of everyone who visited DisruptJ20.org — a site used to plan protests at President Trump’s inauguration. Both events raise important questions about online privacy, and many consumers are turning to Virtual Private Networks (VPN).
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.
One basic test for a VPN service is to check how long a VPN client takes to connect to a VPN server and get online. For our 2018 reviews, we installed each vendor's VPN client software on an HP EliteBook x360 1020 G2 laptop running Windows 10, an iPad mini and a Samsung Galaxy S8 Android phone. (In 2017, we used a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga notebook, an Apple MacBook Air, a Samsung Galaxy S6 phone and the iPad mini.) We used each device with each VPN service we tested.

As we previously noted, we don’t recommend relying on our picks to get around geographic restrictions on copyrighted content. The practice is likely illegal, and it violates the terms of service of your ISP, VPN, and content provider. On top of that, it often doesn’t work—we couldn’t access Netflix over any of the services we tried, and of the four streams we loaded on BBC iPlayer, only two worked a few days later.


The service supports Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices, but manual connection through Linux, BlackBerry, Boxee Box, HP WebOS or DD-WRT is also possible. It likewise allows users to use up to five devices using the account. PureVPN’s proprietary gigabit network ensures uptime and extremely fast speeds. It offers unlimited bandwidth, which is ideal for users who like video streaming or playing online games.

One of the leading complaints about VPN services is that they slow your browsing experience to a crawl. HideMyAss, however, gives you a high-speed browsing experience while allowing you to access servers in over 190 countries. Browse like a local practically anywhere on Earth, while securing your privacy and eluding prying eyes. It's no surprise HideMyAss was named one of PC Mag's Best VPN Services of 2016.


Early data networks allowed VPN-style connections to remote sites through dial-up modem or through leased line connections utilizing Frame Relay and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) virtual circuits, provided through networks owned and operated by telecommunication carriers. These networks are not considered true VPNs because they passively secure the data being transmitted by the creation of logical data streams.[3] They have been replaced by VPNs based on IP and IP/Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS) Networks, due to significant cost-reductions and increased bandwidth[4] provided by new technologies such as digital subscriber line (DSL)[5] and fiber-optic networks.


We subsidize our free version by displaying advertisements and we do not collect or sell your personally identifiable information. Our free version provides the same basic level of protection that is included in our paid plans. If you would like to remove the ads and get additional benefits, then you can upgrade to Hotspot Shield Premium. When people upgrade to our premium version, it provides additional revenue to keep our service running smoothly.
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.
PIA is another great option and offers a 7 day money back guarantee. It keeps no logs, which is a claim that it has proved in court! And although optional, its security can be first rate. Its desktop software supports multiple security options, a VPN kill switch, DNS leak protection, and port forwarding. Up to 5 simultaneous connections are permitted. Its Android client is almost as good, and PIA boasts excellent connection speeds. PIA has servers located in 29 other countries.
Using a VPN, all data traffic is confined to a private, encrypted tunnel until they reach the public Internet. Destinations cannot be accessed until after the end of the VPN tunnel is reached. VPN services are quite useful in workplaces, especially for those who use mobile devices in accessing data from a work server. However, the most common use of VPN software is to remain anonymous to ISPs, websites or governments. This is true for users who download files illegally, such as in the case of copyrighted torrent files.
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.

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!
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.
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.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to connect to the internet via a privately encrypted network. The network acts as a private gateway between your computer or mobile device and the internet. There are a whole host of VPN servers that you can choose from all over the world. So you can make it seem as though you are browsing from another country or location entirely. With a VPN you can not only fool your internet server into thinking you are browsing from a different geographical location, but also totally hide your IP address and make all of your internet activity anonymous.
Geographic distribution of those servers is also very important. Lots of locations means more to choose from for spoofing purposes, but also ensures that no matter where you travel there will always be a nearby server for the best performance. Hide My Ass has a very impressive 286 server locations across some 220 countries. It's easily the broadest list among the VPN services I have reviewed.
These folks have been around since 2010, and don't log anything. They provide a generous five connections, a connection kill switch feature, and some good online documentation and security guidance. Our one disappointment is that their refund policy is 7-days instead of 30, but you can certainly get a feel for their excellent performance in the space of a week.
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.
Though PIA doesn’t list its leadership on its website, that information isn’t hard to find. The founder, Andrew Lee, has been interviewed by Ars Technica; the CEO, Ted Kim, is also on the record; and privacy activist and Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge is listed as Head of Privacy on the company’s blog. PIA can also point to court records showing that when approached by law enforcement for detailed records, the company had nothing to provide. PIA boasts a huge network of servers and locations around the world, and though the PIA app isn’t as polished as those of some competitors, it is easy to use. Like our top pick, IVPN, its iOS app also added OpenVPN support in mid-2018. But in our speed tests, PIA was just okay, not great. When we averaged and ranked all of our speed tests, PIA came in fifth, behind our top picks as well as OVPN and ExpressVPN.
Individuals that access the internet from a computer, tablet or smartphone will benefit from using a VPN. A VPN service will always boost your security by encrypting and anonymizing all of your online activity. Therefore, both private and business users can benefit from using a VPN. Communications that happen between the VPN server and your device are encrypted, so a hacker or website spying on you wouldn't know which web pages you access. They also won't be able to see private information like passwords, usernames and bank or shopping details and so on. Anyone that wants to protect their privacy and security online should use a VPN.
As compare to other types of internet users, the torrent users and torrent lovers face the most issues while downloading and uploading the torrent files because downloading torrents is not only illegal in many countries but also we have seen many cases in past few years that how some company’s owners who offers place to download and upload torrents has been jailed and heavily fined by the government. Other than legal issues, many telecom companies who provides internet, restrict their users to download and upload torrents because this effects the internet speed for the other users who are using internet on same telephone line.
Inside the Preferences pane, you can also tick boxes to automatically launch or connect the app when you boot your device. Anyone using the Windows or macOS app should tick the box to autoconnect “when joining insecure WiFi networks.” You can also tag individual Wi-Fi networks as trusted or untrusted, to make sure you’re always protected even if you forget to connect the app manually. These network rules—not offered on most apps, including IVPN’s mobile apps or any of TorGuard’s apps—will make sure you don’t forget your VPN when you need it the most.
Perhaps more importantly, free VPNs are inconsistent when it comes to security. The connection regularly drops out, leaving your data vulnerable to surveillance. To ensure your privacy, it’s essential to use the very best VPN for torrenting. If you want guaranteed safety for low-cost, we recommend taking advantage of the trial and money-back periods offered by premium clients.
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...

Hide.me is a no-logs VPN based in Malaysia. It is rather expensive for what you get, so I had hoped to find a VPN that justified the cost. And in many ways Hide.me is indeed, good. It uses extremely strong encryption, is quite fully-featured, and has a great regard for privacy. I detected an IP leak, however, and speed performance is very unexciting.


Moreover, by selecting your specific location or country it’s possible to continue watching subscription services that you have already paid for, including any other local content you may be interested in. Likewise, those who don’t stay in America can essentially choose to be in the country virtually, so as to access blocked websites from outside the nation.
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.

What you're going to need is some increased privacy to get a boost in anonymity, so you can do what you do without prying eyes. If you think the answer to that conundrum is “get a VPN, any VPN” you're on the right track, but still not considering all the angles. How good is that “no log” policy being sold to you? Does the service actually support torrenting in the first place – or does the VPN say it supports it publicly but throttles your traffic on the sly?
We're not cryptography experts, so we can't verify all of the encryption claims providers make. Instead, we focus on the features provided. Bonus features like ad blocking, firewalls, and kill switches that disconnect you from the web if your VPN connection drops, go a long way toward keeping you safe. We also prefer providers that support OpenVPN, since it's a standard that's known for its speed and reliability. It's also, as the name implies, open source, meaning it benefits from many developers' eyes looking for potential problems.

The best use of a VPN is to add security to your connection when you’re on public Wi-Fi from someone you don’t know—at cafés, hotels, airports and airlines, and even car dealerships while you’re waiting for your vehicle’s fuel-line recombobulator to be replaced. A bad actor or mischievous network owner can intercept and steal your personal data on these types of networks. (If you need anecdotes to be properly worried, this article follows as a hacker collects private information on dozens of people connecting to an Amsterdam café’s Wi-Fi.) Though network security has changed since 2014, a more recent vulnerability shows that so too have the exploits and methods miscreants use to break it. A properly secured VPN can help deter this type of attack because it encrypts your connection starting with your computer, through the network, and out to the far-off VPN server.
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