If you torrent without VPN and you add a torrent file to your torrent client, your IP address, country, and the torrent client you use, becomes visible to everyone. By monitoring all the IPs that are downloading and uploading the same torrent file, copyright trolls are able to trace your actual location. Once they know where you are situated, they can take legal actions against you.
DNS servers are a bit like the phone books of the Internet: You can type in “thewirecutter.com,” for instance, and one of the many DNS servers behind the scenes can point you to the IP address of a server hosting the site. Most of the time, your DNS requests automatically route through your ISP, giving the ISP an easy way to monitor your traffic. Some VPN services rely on third-party DNS servers, but the best ones keep DNS servers in-house to prevent your browsing history, or your IP address, from getting out.
PirateBay is blocked in the place where I live, and it sucks! It’s been months, and unfortunately, I have been trying to find a solution but always leave with little to no success. But today, thanks to this blog I was finally able to access PirateBay with the help of a Torrent VPN. Great work on the blog, gentlemen. I hope you guys keep doing your work straight.
In Switzerland as opposed to the US, anyone seeking information will have to go to the courts with probable cause for a proper court order, not just present secret threats from the FBI. Don't trust any VPN headquartered in the US or one of the five eyes nations. I suggest visiting the torrent freak web site and search for anonymous and VPN and read the article that comes up.

This is another VPN that features a built-in killswitch, so even if leaks were detected, your torrenting security would still be protected. The problem with leaks is that they often go undetected. So an oblivious user would carry on, thinking that they were safe and secure, all the while their ISP is watching every move they make. A killswitch counteracts this vulnerability.
Whereas most providers say they log nothing, that’s not always the case. Some record very little data like the day you subscribed, the amount of data you’ve consumed, and delete those logs when you end the session. Other providers log your IP address, the servers you used, and store those logs. If they’re based in the US, UK or any other country with data retention laws, they can be compelled to hand over that data to law enforcement.
Secure remote access provides a safe, secure way to connect users and devices remotely to a corporate network. It includes VPN technology that uses strong ways to authenticate the user or device. VPN technology is available to check whether a device meets certain requirements, also called a device’s posture, before it is allowed to connect remotely.
Local download speeds typically topped a 178Mbps (peaking at an incredible 334Mbps in Paris) with local uploads almost as fast. While not as fast as our top picks, this is perfectly adequate for torrenting. A strict zero logs policy and first-party DNS servers mean no data even exists to identify you, while privacy features like the kill switch are ideal for torrenting.
VPNs are excellent for geographic-location shifting if, for example, you’re an expat looking to get news or search results localized to your original home—connecting to a VPN in your home country will make most websites think that you’re in that country. But if you’re outside the US wanting access to American Netflix, or sitting in Brazil wanting to stream the latest Doctor Who episode on the BBC, don’t count on a VPN to geo-shift you into binge-watching heaven.
Many VPN services also provide their own DNS resolution system. Think of DNS as a phone book that turns a text-based URL like "pcmag.com" into a numeric IP address that computers can understand. Savvy snoops can monitor DNS requests and track your movements online. Greedy attackers can also use DNS poisoning to direct you to bogus phishing pages designed to steal your data. When you use a VPN's DNS system, it's another layer of protection.

We chose Hide.me's Canadian servers for testing, but the network still took a long 9.5 seconds to connect, which was the longest time of all of the nine free VPN plans we tested. The Canadian server had an average latency (how long it took to respond) of 48.8 milliseconds; this was three times the pre-VPN level but not the worst among the services we tested.


Similar to the US, copyright trolls send threatening letters to torrenters after identifying their IP address. While we’re not legal experts in German law, the consensus of what to do if you receive a letter is also similar to the US: if it doesn’t identify you by name and doesn’t come directly from the police, ignore it and just let the statute of limitations period expire.
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.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is like having a PO box on the Internet – an address that is not publicly available. Instead of giving out its personal IP address when you click on a website, your iPhone or iPad gives one of ours. The result? You are securely connected wherever our VPN server is located! Plus, your communications are secured and encrypted, even when using untrusted public networks.
When we test VPNs, we use the Ookla speed test tool. (Note that Ookla is owned by PCMag's publisher, Ziff Davis.) This test provides metrics for latency, download speeds, and upload speeds. Any one of these can be an important measurement depending on your needs, but we tend to view the download speed as the most important. After all, we live in an age of digital consumption.
Any Business in any Country will handover whatever is required when they are ordered to do so by the Courts of their land refusing to do so will land them in jail. A VPN provider may not keep logs as many advertise but they keep payment records. Nothing to hide nothing to fear - it is some VPN users that use VPN's for things more serious than watching Movies, Playing Poker. People committing Crimes do not should not have the right to keep them private. When my VPN drops (it has) or they take a server down for maintenance with users on it and they do your IP is exposed and assume after a few years my Government if they know are not overly concerned with my VPN offshore poker and movies.
In short, it's time to start thinking about protecting your personal information. That's where virtual private networks, or VPNs, come in. These services use simple software to protect your internet connection, and they give you greater control over how you appear online, too. While you might never have heard of VPN services, they are valuable tools that you should understand and use. So who needs a VPN? The short answer is that everyone does. Even Mac users can benefit from a VPN.

When testing a virtual private network, or VPN, we always consider the service's price, privacy, and technology. Hide.me does well in all of those areas, offering an affordable, secure service with a good privacy policy. But while the service looks great on paper, its performance and its app didn't blow us away in testing. Hide.me will serve you well if you need a low-cost service, but we continue to recommend Editors' Choice winners NordVPN, Private Internet Access, and TunnelBear, all of which are powerful and easy to use.


Unlike most other VPN services, Hide.me has a full-fledged free tier. For the low, low price of nothing (not even your credit card information!) you can access three Hide.me VPN server locations on one device at a time. You're also limited to 2GB of data per month and are promised "best effort" speeds that Hide.me says will not go lower than 3 Mbps. Disappointingly, the free version is also limited to PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, and IPSEC (IKEv1 and 2) VPN protocols. While IPSEC IKEv2 is acceptable, it's annoying and a bit odd that Hide.me chooses to limit the better, newer, and faster OpenVPN to its paid users. The other limitations I can understand, but withholding better security technology from some users is a bit offputting.
HMA offers servers in the following countries: Brunei, Costa Rica, Ireland, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Bosnia, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Kenya, Cook Islands, Vietnam, Europe, Cayman Islands, Slovakia, Aland Islands, Palestine, Tokelau, Paraguay, Cote d`Ivoire, Morocco, Mexico, Russia, Qatar, Falkland Islands, British Virgin Islands, Belize, Portugal, Ghana, Chile, Turks and Caicos Islands, Thailand, Estonia, Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, Grenada, Ecuador, Australia, Rwanda, Dominican Republic, Latvia, Vanuatu, Philippines, Saint Helena, Pitcairn Islands, Suriname, Norway, Haiti, Slovenia, Panama, Greenland, South Korea, Seychelles, Singapore, Finland, Georgia, Uganda, Cuba, Montserrat, Myanmar, Indonesia, Kiribati, Hong Kong, Croatia, Bahrain, Botswana, Poland, France, Bahamas, Niue, Lithuania, Pakistan, Czech Republic, Greece, Switzerland, Denmark, Guatemala, Turkey, Bolivia, Macedonia, Brasil, Saint Lucia, Taiwan, Bermuda, Jordan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Canada, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, Spain, Uruguay, Anguilla, Germany, Iraq, United Kingdom, Burkina Faso, Cyprus, Guinea, Afghanistan, Dominica, Nicaragua, Malta, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Bulgaria, Christmas Island, Japan, India, Antigua and Barbuda, Norfolk Island, Iceland, Moldova, Faroe Islands, Yemen, Ukraine, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Cameroon, , New Caledonia, Netherlands, Benin, Serbia, North America, Syria, Kuwait, Namibia, El Salvador, Palau, Gabon, Colombia, Montenegro, Jamaica, Venezuela, New Zealand, Peru, Nigeria, Italy, Oceania, Oman, Albania, Argentina, United States, Belgium, Romania, China, Aruba, Sweden, Hungary, Austria, Belarus, Guyana, Macau
I subscribed to their services on June 2016 for one year @ $1.83 PM. For six months everything worked well, so I extended their service for 2 more years. Then the problems started, the nearest servers would fail and I had to always rely on distant servers with a very high ping and low speeds. Their P2P services have become terrible ! Their customer service is pathetic ! They tell you to do this and that and probably never understand what our problem is.
From a broader perspective, there are several factors that demand the use of a solid VPN while torrenting. First of all, you do not want your privacy to be compromised during torrenting. Specifics of your personal information, your IP address, your location, and even the browser you are using should stay with you only. Then, there is the question of speeds. Depending on the nature of the VPN you are using, you could feel like there is a rise or drop in the speed of downloads and uploads (learn more about this in our pros and cons to VPNs).
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.
Users looking to download torrents and watch live video streaming will love ExpressVPN, which offers blazing speed and protects your device at all times, giving you a stress-free experience with unlimited bandwidth. And of particular concern for Torrent users, Express does not keep any logs, so you do not have to worry about them having any of your information. Either way, Express is based in the British Virgin Islands, so they are not subject to any data retention laws anyhow, so users REALLY c
Tunneling protocols can operate in a point-to-point network topology that would theoretically not be considered as a VPN, because a VPN by definition is expected to support arbitrary and changing sets of network nodes. But since most router implementations support a software-defined tunnel interface, customer-provisioned VPNs often are simply defined tunnels running conventional routing protocols.
Hide.me's app falls into a weird space between being too simple and too complicated. Or rather, it's so simple that it becomes complicated. Basic actions, like changing servers, are almost hidden, but the app supports complex activities like fallback protocols and custom scripts. That's sure to excite security wonks, but average users aren't going to bother. In short, the app needs a refresh.

2.  Location Mode. You can manually choose the country and city where you want to connect from at the same time, plus locations that are good for streaming or P2P can be easily filtered via the ‘Quick Access’ menu. You will use the location mode feature if you need to unlock any geo-restricted website or avoid censorship. For instance, to unlock US Netflix Library you go to the US server list, select “USA NY Liberty Island” server, and you can now access Netflix. The favorites tab will allow you to quickly connect to the servers you use the most.

I had to know why Goose VPN was so named. My first order of business was to reach out to the company's co-founder and ask. Geese, I was told, make excellent guard animals. There are records of guard geese giving the alarm in ancient Rome when the Gauls attacked. Geese have been used to guard a US Air Defense Command base in Germany and a brewery in Scotland.


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.
Providers can also log less-specific data about when or how often you connect to your VPN service. In some cases, these logs are a routine part of server or account management, and can be responsibly separated and scrubbed. In other cases, VPN providers take note of every connection and use that information to actively police individual customers. Though it’s reasonable for companies to protect their networks from abuse, it becomes a dealbreaker when companies keep extensive connection data for a longer period of time. Some VPN companies we spoke with explained how a log might note your current connection for authentication purposes, but that log is deleted as soon as you disconnect. This kind of “live log” isn’t a concern, and even those culled every few hours—or as long as the end of each day—shouldn’t be confused with logs of your traffic and online destinations.
Except in the limited circumstances described below, VPN Data is stored for 30 days on our secure servers, after which time it is deleted, except in certain very limited circumstances (see below). We delete VPN Data on a monthly basis, so data is stored until the end of the 2nd month after the month during which it is created. For example, all data created in January will be deleted on 31 March.
Bandwidth throttling can be a nightmare for torrenters. Have you ever experienced a sudden drop in download speed, after downloading files up to a certain data limit? Generally, VPN providers throttle bandwidth to avoid overloaded servers. This results in a degraded downloading and streaming experience. Having said that, a premium torrent VPN service generally does not use cheap tactics like bandwidth throttling.
I received a nice 'Alleged Copyright Infringement' email from my provider the other day. I have been using utorrent for many years and never had any issues until now (decided to watch if X-men was as bad as the reviews). I've never had any pirating or redistribution notions but since the notice I've decided to start shopping for a VPN service. I noticed a lot of these are also apps and extensions for browsers. In my case would I need a full downloadable program or would a browser based app suffice?
We didn’t audit any VPN services ourselves (though IVPN, our top pick, offered to arrange such an exercise), but we did ask detailed questions about each service’s operations as a way to judge whether a company was acting in good faith. Good faith is important, because there aren’t many avenues to penalize a VPN company that isn’t following through on its promises. In the US, companies making false claims about their products are policed by the Federal Trade Commission, and to some extent state attorneys general. Joseph Jerome at CDT told us that companies violating their own privacy policy or claims about logging would be “a textbook example of a deceptive practice under state and federal consumer protection laws,” and in theory, “the FTC could seek an injunction barring the deceptive practice as well as potentially getting restitution or other monetary relief.”

They are 100% legal. All we ask is that you don’t use our service to do anything illegal. Hide My Ass! is actually part of the Avast family, which is known globally as one of the largest security companies in the world. Everything we offer from HMA! is 100% legal to download and use. However, we do recommend that you check country specific laws on VPNs when travelling as governments can change regulations.
Torrent is a decentralized file-sharing protocol which is legal and ethical. But using torrent mechanism to download or share copyright files are illegal. So copyright owners contact with the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to track down possible copyright violated users. So if you torrent a lot then you should use torrent VPNs so that your torrent activity become invisible to the ISP or NSA.
All connections are securely encrypted, and you can even opt to obfuscate traffic using a special “Scramble” feature that disguises OpenVPN connections. DNS leak protection and a kill switch are built into the apps. StrongVPN has long been a favorite among users in China, and its recent upgrades make it appeal to a wider audience including torrenters.
Several issues I have had...two services did not work consistently with Outlook smtp email and I had to cancel the subscription. One of them all of a sudden no longer supported Netgear routers - which I had been using !!! I had to flash the router with DDWRT firmware and am still in the process of implementing. So be careful out there. Use the free trial time to check everything out.
Virtual LAN (VLAN) is a Layer 2 technique that allow for the coexistence of multiple local area network (LAN) broadcast domains, interconnected via trunks using the IEEE 802.1Q trunking protocol. Other trunking protocols have been used but have become obsolete, including Inter-Switch Link (ISL), IEEE 802.10 (originally a security protocol but a subset was introduced for trunking), and ATM LAN Emulation (LANE).
TrackStop – Ads are basically advanced tracking to record your browsing, so you can be hit with targeted ads based on your online activity. To protect users against this threat, Perfect Privacy developed TrackStop, which is a powerful filter that blocks advertising, tracking, and malicious domains at the VPN server level. It ranked the best among different VPN ad blockers I tested.

Max Eddy is a Software Analyst, taking a critical eye to Android apps and security services. He's also PCMag's foremost authority on weather stations and digital scrapbooking software. When not polishing his tinfoil hat or plumbing the depths of the Dark Web, he can be found working to discern the 100 Best Android Apps. Prior to PCMag, Max wrote... See Full Bio
Some combination of the above. Odds are, even if you’re not one of these people more often than not, you’re some mix of them depending on what you’re doing. In all of these cases, a VPN service can be helpful, whether it’s just a matter of protecting yourself when you’re out and about, whether you handle sensitive data for your job and don’t want to get fired, or you’re just covering your own ass from the MPAA.
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Even if none of the above really sound right to you, you can still benefit from using a VPN. You should definitely use one when you travel or work on an untrusted network (read: a network you don’t own, manage, or trust who manages.) That means opening your laptop at the coffee shop and logging in to Facebook or using your phone’s Wi-Fi to check your email at the airport can all potentially put you at risk.
Security is second to none with NordVPN. Its kills switch feature always monitors traffic between devices and the VPN servers. If for some reason, the data stream breaks, the kill switch will automatically terminate the connection, ensuring that your traffic is protected from prying eyes. Also, a DNS leak feature changes your DNS to point to the VPN server, ensuring that hackers cannot steal data from your default DNS.
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.
For mobile devices, the situation is a little thornier. Most companies offer VPN apps for Android and iOS, which is great because we use these devices to connect to Wi-Fi all the time. However, VPNs don't always play nice with cellular connections. That said, it takes some serious effort to intercept cellphone data, although law enforcement or intelligence agencies may have an easier time gaining access to this data, or metadata, through connections with mobile carriers or by using specialized equipment.
First, it prevents your ISP and anyone else on your local and ISP network from seeing that you are torrenting. Because all of the files you download and upload via BitTorrent are encrypted when they pass through your ISP’s servers, their contents cannot be identified. It would take a monumental time- and resource-consuming effort for an ISP to even attempt to crack the encryption put in place by your VPN service.
A P device operates inside the provider's core network and does not directly interface to any customer endpoint. It might, for example, provide routing for many provider-operated tunnels that belong to different customers' PPVPNs. While the P device is a key part of implementing PPVPNs, it is not itself VPN-aware and does not maintain VPN state. Its principal role is allowing the service provider to scale its PPVPN offerings, for example, by acting as an aggregation point for multiple PEs. P-to-P connections, in such a role, often are high-capacity optical links between major locations of providers.
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.
A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated connections, virtual tunneling protocols, or traffic encryption. A VPN available from the public Internet can provide some of the benefits of a wide area network (WAN). From a user perspective, the resources available within the private network can be accessed remotely.[2]
Music streaming is one of the most common ways people consume music. The number of great streaming apps has grown in recent years, with popular options like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. Many of the aforementioned music applications are restricted in countries outside of the United States and Europe. Using an unlimited VPN is a great option to use to listen to your favorite music streaming app in the allowed geographic region and if you are looking for a VPN download for this purpose, you have landed at the right website. 
If you’re on a heavily managed Internet connection, be it government censored or just college Wi-Fi, standard VPN connections may be blocked or throttled due to deep packet inspection, a way for providers to analyze what type of traffic is passing over a network even when they can’t see the actual contents. IVPN’s desktop apps include a checkbox for Obfsproxy, which disguises your traffic as more ho-hum data to get it past those types of blocks—like kids stacked in a trenchcoat to pass as an adult, but more convincing. Our budget pick, TorGuard, and competitor ExpressVPN use different methods to disguise traffic, but we couldn’t find documentation on equivalent features from our other top performers.
NordVPN is a trustworthy company that comes in at a reasonable price point, which gets better the longer you sign up for. It is widely regarded as the most secure VPN available – not only do they have a no-log policy, but also feature automatic double-encryption. Since security is a major concern when it comes to the world of torrenting, Nord is a popular choice among users who anticipate downloading a lot of media and files.
We considered native apps for Windows, Mac, and Android to be mandatory because they’re easier to use than open-source or third-party VPN apps like Tunnelblick; that in turn makes it easier to stay secure. For more-advanced users, adding VPN connections to Wi-Fi routers can help secure all connections on a home network without having to manage devices individually.
Christian Cawley is a Deputy Editor at MakeUseOf, covering security, Linux, DIY and programming, with extensive experience in desktop and software support. Christian is a regular contributor to Linux User & Developer magazine, as well as specials including Raspberry Pi for Beginners, and Raspberry Pi for Kids. He's a Raspberry Pi tinkerer, Android user, podcaster and foodie.
Torrents get a bad rap, and if we’re honest, that’s for good reason. Using torrents is the number one way to download pirated material including movies, TV shows, music, and games. But that’s not all there is to torrenting. It’s a very efficient way to download legitimate software such as Linux distributions and authorized content from sites such as BitTorrent Now.
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).
This app does what it claims to and is normally effective but does slow your browser a bit, sometimes a lot. Also it wont be recognized to allow for signing into some things or sites. Its fairly simple to set up and use but often signs off or drops the connection, still not sure what the different settings do but that could be better explained. Will continue to ise for now until cheaper and better comes along.
Some VPNs offer great service or pricing but little to no insight into who exactly is handling them. We considered feedback from security experts, including the information security team at The New York Times (parent company of Wirecutter), about whether you could trust even the most appealing VPN if the company wasn’t willing to disclose who stood behind it. After careful consideration, we decided we’d rather give up other positives—like faster speeds or extra convenience features—if it meant knowing who led or owned the company providing our connections. Given the explosion of companies offering VPN services and the trivial nature of setting one up as a scam, having a public-facing leadership team—especially one with a long history of actively fighting for online privacy and security—is the most concrete way a company can build trust.
If I could give it 0 stars, I would. I decided to try it out since they claimed that I could get my money back if it didn’t work for me. Well, it didn’t work for me and thus I required a refund. I used it for exactly one day and was subsequently denied a refund telling me I had used 40 GIGS during that one day that I was actually using the service. Avoid at all costs!!

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.
The biggest advantages of ExpressVPN is that it is extremely fast and very secure. ExpressVPN is consistently among the fastest VPNs I have found when running comparison tests. In the past year they have overhauled their VPN apps to protect users against rare leak scenarios that plague many VPN providers. This allows you to torrent without worrying about an IP leak, because the network lock feature will block traffic if the VPN connection is interrupted for any reason.
A VPN with broad range of servers dotted across various regions offer better overall torrenting experience. As a torrent site that may be available in one country may be restricted in other. In addition to that, torrenters often face server congestion issue that results in sluggish downloading. To get rid of such issues, you can connect to a server that is near your region. It will ensure seamless torrent downloads with zero ping spikes or speed issues.
A VPN, or virtual private network, is not a magic bullet for online privacy, but it may be a useful tool in some circumstances. A VPN encrypts all the Internet traffic between your computer and the VPN server, preventing anyone on your local network, or connection points along the way, from monitoring or modifying your traffic. Beyond the VPN server (in other words, on the rest of the way to whatever Internet server you're connecting to), your traffic mixes with traffic from other people on the VPN and the rest of the Internet. Ideally, that makes your traffic traceable only to the VPN server, not to your home, office, or computer. Though the extra steps and encryption layers slow down any Internet connection, the best VPN providers have connections that are speedy enough to keep browsing and online services snappy.
In addition, ExpressVPN certainly isn’t a cheap provider but you do get what you pay for. If by any chance you end up unhappy about any segment of their service, just contact the friendly customer support team that is available 24/7. They will first try to help you with any problems that might be affecting their service but if it still doesn’t work out, you can demand a refund under their 30-day money-back guarantee. 
NordVPN is a popular no logs VPN service based in Panama. It performed well in testing for the latest update to the NordVPN review and offers very competitive prices. While the speeds can be somewhat variable, the latest speed test results were good with the servers I tested. To improve speeds, NordVPN has added hundreds of servers to their network, so there is more available bandwidth for users.
Over the course of four months, we scoured articles, white papers, customer reviews, and forums to compile the pros and cons of VPN services and different VPN protocols and encryption technologies. That One Privacy Site and privacytools.io stood out as two of the most thorough and unbiased sources of information. We interviewed Electronic Frontier Foundation analyst Amul Kalia about government surveillance and VPN efficacy. We also got answers from Joseph Jerome, policy counsel for the Center for Democracy & Technology’s privacy and data project, about how accountable VPN providers are for their policies and terms of service, and how that relates to trustworthiness. Alec Muffett, a security expert and software engineer, also shared his views on the usefulness of VPNs to protect against various threats.
We used to advise people to do banking and other important business over their cellular connection when using a mobile device, since it is generally safer than connecting with a public Wi-Fi network. But even that isn't always a safe bet. Researchers have demonstrated how a portable cell tower, such as a femtocell, can be used for malicious ends. The attack hinges on jamming the LTE and 3G bands, which are secured with strong encryption, and forcing devices to connect with a phony tower over the less-secure 2G band. Because the attacker controls the fake tower, he can carry out a man-in-the-middle attack and see all the data passing over the cellular connection. Admittedly, this is an exotic attack, but it's far from impossible.
That level of trust is easier to achieve depending on where the company is headquartered. If the VPN service is located in the U.S., you should be more cautious over any no-log claim. That’s because the U.S. has intelligence agreements with 14 other countries. The core group, known as the Five Eyes alliance, is an intelligence-sharing agreement between the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Other countries have joined this alliance with varying levels of membership. The full alliance, known as 14 Eyes, includes the five countries and Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Spain, and Sweden. If a VPN is headquartered in one of these 14 countries, they may be sharing personal data. 
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