We believe in total honesty and integrity and this is the primary reasons that we prefer truthfulness over sensationalism. A guide that says the Free VPNs will work with Netflix, will definitely get more clicks than us, but they will seriously undermine their own website’s credibility. We don’t do that here, so if you liked our guide, then do mention it in the comments below!
Hi Paula, thanks for the question. File sharing is indeed under fire in countries like the US, UK, Canada and Australia. But you can engage in P2P/File-sharing activity from these countries by connecting to the VPN servers of the countries where File Shharing is legal. As long as you don’t engage in any copyright infringements, you have nothing to worry about. However, anti-file-sharing measures are usually very limited and are usually always preceeded by rather harmless warning notices by the ISP so you have a bit of a margin in case you ever get flagged during a P2P session in the event of a worst case scenario.
Unfortunately, I found that Ivacy didn't always work as advertised. Part of my testing involves connecting to a VPN server in Australia. For whatever reason, Ivacy couldn't successfully connect with any of the Australian VPN servers I selected. That's disappointing. I had a similar problem when testing the Firefox and Chrome browser extensions, except those wouldn't connect to any servers. Ivacy needs to clean up its act in this regard.
The VPN services listed should allow you to unblock US Netflix in any country you might be traveling to, other than those where media is censored and VPNs are actively blocked by a firewall such as China (see our list of the VPNs working in China and pick one that works there, too). In pretty much every other country, the VPNs in our list will work. In fact, we’ve received comments or emails from people in Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, France, Israel, Spain, Ireland, South Africa, and Italy telling us they’ve successfully accessed US Netflix!
The practical upshot is that no one can intercept your web traffic as it moves from your computer to the VPN server. And if you're connecting to websites via HTTPS (which you should), your data remains encrypted for its entire journey, even after it leaves the VPN server. This is why you need a VPN. VPNs are particularly important when you're using public Wi-Fi or unfamiliar networks. In these situations, hackers may be lurking on the network or even running the network themselves, hoping to snag your personal information.
Panama-based NordVPN keeps neither connection nor traffic logs. 256-bit AES encryption with perfect forward secrecy is the default, along with optional double-hop encryption and Tor over VPN features. Speeds are great, but can be a bit volatile. DNS leak protection and a kill switch can both be toggled on in the settings. The traditional all-or-nothing kill switch is one option, or you can specify which programs get cut off from the internet if the VPN connection drops, such as a BitTorrent 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.
The Copyright Modernization Act passed in January 2014 requires ISPs send notices to copyright violators on their networks. The recipients’ identities are stored on ISP servers for six months. Copyright holders cannot sue for damages of more than $5,000 when the copy is used for non-commercial purposes, which in most cases simply isn’t worth the time or effort.
Certain Kodi add-ons also source video streams from torrents. Keep an eye out in particular for a newer platform called Acestreams. Acestreams use peer-to-peer bittorrent connections so concurrent users can share the load of a stream. That means your connection is shared with others, causing potential security and privacy issues that can usually be averted with a torrent VPN. Acestreams are increasingly popular for both live and on-demand content.
This testing works well for comparisons, but it is far from a comprehensive assessment of a VPN's overall performance. So many factors can affect network performance, from the time of day to the individual configuration of VPN servers that I cannot account for all of them. Therefore, it's useful to think of these results as a snapshot of performance.
Some unscrupulous free VPN providers could well be scraping users’ personal data and selling it to third parties. One such high-profile case was Hola, a free VPN provider based in Israel. Hola was caught selling users’ bandwidth, and it was criticized for being opaque about how each Hola user became a node on the network rather than hosting its own dedicated VPN servers.
Besides your ISP, you also need to worry about copyright monitors. There are agencies that monitor P2P networks. When they detect that users are sharing copyrighted content, they track the users based on their IP addresses. After that, the agencies often send emails threatening legal action. Some of these agencies work for major content producers, such as movie studios, while others are simply trolls trying to extort money. Using a reliable VPN to download torrents will protect you against these agencies and extortionists.
Another great benefit is the fact that most VPN services operate a network of servers located across the globe. In other words, the user can select a server located in a specific country, and have a new IP address from that country. With a VPN, anyone monitoring your traffic only sees the IP address of the VPN server. Your location, IP address, downloads, and Internet activity are masked behind the VPN.
Using a free VPN for anonymous torrenting is generally a no-no. Due to the large amount of bandwidth required, many free VPN services prohibit P2P activity. Others aren’t secure, and many have data caps. The common adage that comes with free services is that if you don’t buy the product, then you are the product. This is especially true because a VPN isn’t just a piece of software, it’s an ongoing service that requires continuous resources and maintenance.
CyberGhost adheres to a no-logs policy, uses 256-bit AES encryption with perfect forward secrecy, and has a kill switch on its desktop clients. An app-specific kill switch is buried in the settings, dubbed “app protection,” which will only cut off internet to specified programs, e.g. a torrent client. CyberGhost Pro scored well in our speed tests and can even unblock US Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Ivacy offers apps for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. There are also instructions to run Ivacy on Linux, a router, Kodi home theater software, and to connect consoles like the Xbox to the VPN via another device. An Xbox over a VPN is a nice option if you happen to play games with online competitors that like to DDoS your connection to mess with your ability to play.
When you surf the web, your internet traffic isn't necessarily secure. Someone could be lurking on the same network as you, monitoring your activities. That's especially true when you're using a public Wi-Fi network. Clever attackers can even create bogus Wi-Fi networks that impersonate legit ones, tricking you into connecting and exposing your personal information.
Ivacy puts the business address for its parent company as PMG Pte. LTD, 38 Beach Road #29-11 South Beach Tower Singapore 189767. Once again we’ve got a VPN with an exotic address. There aren’t many Ivacy employees on LinkedIn but those that are appear to work for the company out of the United Arab Emirates, as well as one person in Singapore. Previously there were also some employees working in Pakistan.
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If cost is a major hurdle, fear not. There are many excellent free VPNs on the market. Our Editors' Choice winner, TunnelBear, offers a free version with a limited amount of data available. ProtonVPN, on the other hand, limits the number of simultaneous devices and available servers to its free customers. Ivacy does not, however, offer a free version.