We handpick servers that live up to our high standards of security and privacy. They're access controlled, and we are the only ones that operate them — no one else. They do not store IP addresses, nor do they store logs. Each server supports all popular protocols, including: PPTP, L2TP, IPsec (IKEv1 and IKEv2), OpenVPN, SoftEther, SSTP and SOCKS. With the very best server locations and low ping times, the internet is yours for the taking — wherever you might be.
The company claims its VPN is simple to use with one click connection and intuitive software that's compatible across devices, with apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and Google Chrome. The service can be used across five connections at the same time and download speeds are fairly impressive for a cheaper VPN too, although speeds are notoriously difficult to measure overall.
For privacy concerns read the 2016 article on Torrentfreak's website regarding the locations and privacy policies of various VPNs ( I believe NordVPN which is promoted here comes out fairly well), and there's also the suitability of VPNs to avoid the geo-blocking policies of media streamers like Netflix. Makeuseof had an article on that recently, and I was surprised to see Hotspot Shield do well in that category, among others.

Second is the number of servers. Unless you purchase a VPN server yourself (which you can do!), you'll have to share that server with other people using the VPN service. For each person added to the server, your slice of the bandwidth pie shrinks a bit. The more servers a company has on hand, the less likely you are to find yourself crowded in with a bunch of other downloaders. If you're keen to have a VPN server to yourself, you can purchase static IP addresses from TorGuard VPN, or take advantage of KeepSolid VPN Unlimited's Personal VPN Server offering. Or roll your own VPN with Outline.
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.
Even though Tor is free, we don’t think it’s the best option for most people. If you aren’t familiar with Tor, this handy interactive graphic shows how it protects an Internet connection, and this series goes into more detail about how Tor works. Runa Sandvik, a former researcher with The Tor Project who is now part of the information security team at The New York Times (parent company of Wirecutter), described it as “a tool that allows users to remain anonymous and uncensored.” When we asked expert Alec Muffett about whether he personally used a VPN, he told us he actually spent most of his work time using Tor. But Tor has a reputation for slow connections, can be blocked by some websites, and isn’t suitable for some peer-to-peer applications like BitTorrent.
Most services provide perfectly adequate internet speed when in use, and can even handle streaming HD video. However, 4K video and other data-intensive tasks like gaming over a VPN are another story. Some VPN services, such as NordVPN, have started to roll out specialty servers for high-bandwidth activities. And nearly every service we have tested includes a tool to connect you with the fastest available network. Of course, you can always limit your VPN use to when you're not on a trusted network.
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!
VPNs can seem overwhelmingly complicated to newbies, but CyberGhost boasts a simple interface with simple language to explain all its features, making it way less daunting. It’s fast to set up — claiming to be a "one-click solution for your digital needs" — and has intuitive apps for a variety of popular devices. There’s friendly support via chat or email and lots of troubleshooting guides if anything goes wrong. Despite this accessible approach, it still packs a punch by anyone’s standards.
I consider the download tests to be the most important, and Hide.me performed pretty well in this category. I found that it slowed download speeds by 6.5 percent. That's right around where most of the other VPNs fell. TorGuard VPN, however, reduced download speeds by only 3.7 percent. In the international tests, Hide.me again wound up on the slightly higher side of average, reducing download speeds by 77.1 percent. AnchorFree Hotspot Shield has the best score in these tests, lowering download speeds by a mere 39.9 percent.
PrivateVPN is a zero-logs Swedish provider. It features a firewall-based system Kill Switch and application-level kill switch, which is great. Full IPv4 and IPv6 DNS leak protection is also built-in to its client. We have been particularly impressed by PrivateVPN’s high level of customer service, which even features remote installation for technophobes! A cracking 6 simultaneous devices, port forwarding, HTTPS and SOCKS5 proxies all make PrivateVPN a very enticing option for those that want to get the most out of their VPN.
There is one way around any VPN device restrictions, however. If you want to protect all the devices on your network, you can use Hide My Ass's handy guide for installing VPN software on your router. Installing VPN on a router means that every single device on your network—from your laptop to your smart fridge—gets the benefit of VPN, and it uses only one of your licenses.

Speed – Every VPN will have a negative impact on your download speed, so the challenge is to find one that has as negligible an impact as possible. BestVPN.com is the only VPN comparison site to run a fully automated speed-testing platform. Our servers are running 24 hours a day, analyzing VPNs to ensure we only recommend the fastest products on the market.
Our next pick for best VPN of 2018 is IPVanish. The service permits torrenting and throws in a free Smart DNS service for all customers. The biggest downside is that it’s based in the US —not an ideal location since the NSA is notorious for its intensive and often illegal surveillance. To combat this, IPVanish doesn’t keep logs and does provide DNS leak protection. Despite being a little stripped-down, works very well.
Hide.me makes all the right promises in its privacy policy. Hide.me does not record your website visits, and it doesn’t store connection logs and timestamps that could match your VPN IP address in a given session with your real IP. The only thing Hide.me does track is bandwidth usage on a monthly basis, which is used for billing and network maintenance.
NordVPN operates out of Panama, which means it has no legal obligation to record any of the activities of its users. You're free to connect to any of the 5,000+ VPN servers in 62 countries, and you can use NordVPN on up to six different devices at once. I awarded NordVPN a near-perfect score in my review, focusing on the large set of extra features, like double VPN, P2P-dedicated servers, a DNS leak resolver, and a dedicated single IP address. Grab a year subscription for about $7 a month, go short term with a $12 monthly plan, or choose one-year or six-month plans to best suit your needs.
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.

Various countries around the world restrict access to one type of online content or another. Social networks, games, chat apps – even Google itself is not beyond the reach of censorship. In addition, many academic institutions and workplaces enable firewalls to limit access to websites for various reasons. These range from seeking to increase productivity to restricting inappropriate content.

Hide My Ass (also known as HMA) is a virtual private network (VPN) that allows you to access the web anonymously from any location around the world. It works by forming an encrypted link between your PC and the internet so as to stream content much more securely. The software is compatible with Android, Windows, Linux, iOS and Mac devices. Hide My Ass is considered to be a niche leader and is one of the most recognizable names in the VPN industry.
Borders still exist on the web, in the form of geographic restrictions for streaming content. The BBC iPlayer, for example, lets UK residents watch the Beeb to their heart's content. The rest of the world, not so much. But if you were to select a VPN server in the UK, your computer's IP address would appear to be the same as the server, allowing you to view the content.
PrivateVPN is a zero-logs Swedish provider. It features a firewall-based system Kill Switch and application-level kill switch, which is great for those that leave torrents downloading for days at a time. IPv4 and IPv6 DNS leak protection is also built-in to its client. We have been particularly impressed by PrivateVPN’s high level of customer service. A cracking 6 simultaneous devices, port forwarding, HTTPS and SOCKS5 proxies all lend themselves to the P2P cause, making PrivateVPN a very enticing option for serious torrenters.

The other concern with huge troves of data being collected and locked away is how often they tend to be unlocked. Data breaches at huge companies are so common now that the headlines aren’t even shocking anymore. If a database of Internet histories, held by an ISP or sold to a marketing partner, were to be publicly released, there’s a good chance even anonymized data could be tied back to real people. If you were to use a VPN, those logs would show only a single, steady connection from your home to a VPN server, and nothing else.


A VPN client on a remote user's computer or mobile device connects to a VPN gateway on the organization's network. The gateway typically requires the device to authenticate its identity. Then, it creates a network link back to the device that allows it to reach internal network resources -- e.g., file servers, printers and intranets -- as though the gateway is on the network locally.


If you’re just getting started with VPNs and want a basic VPN for using on public Wi-Fi hotspots or accessing region-restricted websites, there are a few good, simple options. We like ExpressVPN because they have great speeds and a lot more functionality than average including clients for almost any device—you can even get a router pre-installed with their VPN client.
If you are going to use BitTorrent for whatever reason, good luck to you. If you are going to use a VPN, more power to you. But be sure that you take the time to read the VPN's terms of service before you start. And be aware of the local laws and possible penalties before you start, whatever your willingness to obey them. "I didn't know the law," or "I don't agree with the law," won't hold up as defenses in a court, so make sure you can live with any potential punishments should you choose to do something legally dubious.

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.
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).
One of the main differences between macOS apps offered by Hide.me is which protocols the apps support. A company representative said that the App Store version supports only IKEv2, which is a secure, modern option. The version from Hide.me's site supports IKEv1 and L2TP/IPSec. Hide.me's representative did tell me that this version will support OpenVPN soon.
PPTP - PPTP has been around since the days of Windows 95. The main selling point of PPTP is that it can be simply setup on every major OS. In short, PPTP tunnels a point-to-point connection over the GRE protocol. Unfortunately, the security of the PPTP protocol has been called into question in recent years. It is still strong, but not the most secure.
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