5 Best VPNs for Torrenting, P2P, Filesharing

Protecting your identity is crucial online, especially when torrenting. This is exactly what a VPN does (as well as unblocking geolocked content and protecting you on public Wifi). For an in depth review of providers, read the rest of the article, but here is a quick TL;DR for everyone who wants a quick answer.

The Best VPNs for Torrenting, P2P, Filesharing

  1. Buffered
  2. IPVanish
  3. CyberGhost
  4. ExpressVPN
  5. VPNArea

The names torrenting, “downloading”, P2P (peer-to-peer), and file-sharing all basically mean the same thing. Namely, obtaining content via the BitTorrent protocol. The way the BitTorrent protocol works, however, means that VPNs for torrenting are essential if you wish to protect yourself while downloading.

BitTorrent is a very efficient way to download files, and the fact that no centralized servers are required ensure its popularity among those unconcerned with copyright issues. Unfortunately, copyright holders are concerned with such issues. And this is where the BitTorrent protocol can be something of a liability to its users

As the last two synonyms I list above (P2P and file-sharing) suggest, when you “download” a torrent file you are really sharing pieces of that file with anyone else also downloading or sharing that file.

A potentially nasty side-effect of this is that all these “peers” can see your IP address (and you can see theirs).

VPN for torrents

Here in Vuze I can easily see the IP address of everyone one else who is sharing the same file as me

It should come as a surprise to nobody, then, that copyright holders routinely monitor P2P downloads of their intellectual property (IP) in order to catch “pirates”. The good news is that if you torrent with a VPN it will protect you from this, as long as the provider permits P2P. Not all do!

Check out our list of the best VPN torrenting services below, then read on for a full discussion on this subject.

Best P2P and Torrenting VPNs Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

Buffered LogoBuffered
Read Review10/10
$8.25 / monthVisit Site

2

IPVanish LogoIPVanish
Read Review9.2/10
$6.49 / monthVisit Site

3

CyberGhost LogoCyberGhost
Read Review8.6/10
$2.90 / monthVisit Site

4

ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
Read Review8/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

5

VPNArea LogoVPNArea
Read Review7.2/10
$4.92 / monthVisit Site

*All prices shown in US dollars

* Advertiser Disclosure
Editor's Choice Award

Winner

Buffered

5/5

  • ProsPROS
  • No usage logs
  • Based in Gibraltar
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • Servers in 35 countries
  • P2P: yes
  • ConsCONS
  • Slightly pricey
  • Some connection logs
Buffered is hands down the best VPN for torrenting. Located in Gibraltar, keeps no usage logs, and uses shared IPs, which makes it impossible for anyone to identify the user. It has amazing speeds, and so has earned the crown in this list.

In addition, Buffered offers a generous six simultaneous connections and compatibility with plenty of platforms. This means that you can use the VPN to torrent on just about any device you own. Other perks of the Gibraltar provider includes servers in 35 countries worldwide and a sweet port discovery feature for public WiFi, a techie feature that no other VPN has.

Support is 24/7, so any problems you can reach them quickly, and a generous 30 day moneyback guarantee if you don’t like anything and want a refund.

Additional features: Great compatibility across platforms, accepts Bitcoin.

Visit Buffered »


2nd place

4.6/5

  • ProsPROS
  • No logs
  • Shared IP’s
  • Servers in 61 countries
  • P2P: yes
  • Accepts Bitcoins
  • ConsCONS
  • Based in US
  • So-so support
IPVanish is one of the best VPN for filesharing. Despite the NSA’s mass-surveillance programs, the United States does not have any mandatory data retention laws. IPVanish takes full advantage of this to offer a fast and effective no logs (at all) VPN service that is also torrent-friendly. And with servers in over 60 countries worldwide, you will always find one nearby. Those of you who value privacy will also appreciate the fact that IPVanish accepts payment using Bitcoins.

Additional features: Two simultaneous connections, Android app.

Visit IPVanish »


3rd place

4.3/5

  • ProsPROS
  • High speed for ultra-fast streaming
  • More than 800 servers & global coverage
  • Multiple usage on up to 5 devices
  • No Logs Policy, guaranteed security and encryption
  • ConsCONS
  • No longer offering a free version (but does offer 30 day money-back guarantee)
CyberGhost has more than 800 servers & global coverage. The CyberGhost app is really funky and will appeal to a fashion-conscious, young crowd. CyberGhost are based both in Romania and in Germany, the latter being responsible for most of the software development. With both teams united by a common credo for internet anonymity, CyberGhost is a major supporter and promoter of civil rights, a free society and an uncensored internet culture.

Visit CyberGhost »


4th place

4/5

  • ProsPROS
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • No usage logs
  • Servers in 78 countries
  • Three simultaneous connections
  • Great customer service
  • ConsCONS
  • Connection logs
  • A bit pricey
Although ExpressVPN does keep some connection logs (but no usage logs), it is based in the British Virgin Islands. This means it can happily protect its P2P-using customers with little fear of legal retribution. As a more general VPN service, ExpressVPN is also excellent, with a strong focus on great customer relations. Its 30-day genuinely no-quibble money back guarantee is is an industry leader in this regard, as is its 24/7 customer support.

ExpressVPN offers powerful but easy-to-use apps for Windows, OSX, iOS and Android, and operates stealth servers in Hong Kong that can help defeat not just the Great Firewall of China, but internet censorship everywhere.

Additional features: “Stealth” servers in Hong Kong, free SmartDNS.

Visit ExpressVPN »


5th place

3.6/5

  • ProsPROS
  • No logs at all
  • Based in Bulgaria (no DRD)
  • Five simultaneous devices
  • Great Windows client
  • P2P: yes
  • ConsCONS
  • Uses VPS instances
VPNArea ranks among the best P2P VPNs. This friendly Bulgarian provider keeps no logs at all, and uses excellent encryption. In addition to this, being based outside a Fourteen Eyes country means no direct NSA or GCHQ spying, and little real threat from copyright holders. VPNArea’s desktop client is a custom version of Viscocity, and offers DNS leak protection, disables IPv6, and provides a per-app kill switch. The auto-IP feature changes your IP every five minutes, which is interesting.

Additional features: Great customer service, seven day money back guarantee, servers in 51 countries, WebRTC leak protection, DNS leak protection.

Visit VPNArea »


Torrenting and P2P VPN Considerations

How do VPNs for torrenting protect me?

Using a VPN creates an encrypted connection between your computer and a VPN server run by a VPN provider. This VPN server then acts as a proxy, sitting between you and the internet. For a full discussion on the benefits this provides, check out my VPNs for Beginners guide. With regards to P2P, however, the key points are:

  • Your ISP cannot see what you get up to on the internet as all data that passes between your computer and the VPN server is encrypted. This means that your ISP cannot see that you are torrenting, or indeed what you are torrenting.
  • Anyone watching from the internet (e.g. copyright holders who monitor the IP addresses of torrent users who download their content) will see the IP address of the VPN server, not your real IP address. In other words, using a VPN hides your real IP address. This does, of course, mean that VPN providers end up facing the heat from copyright holders instead of you…
  • By connecting to VPN servers located in countries that do not censor websites on copyright grounds, you can access torrent sites that are usually blocked to you.

Choosing a Good Torrent VPN

In terms of the technology, just about any VPN service can do a good job of protecting you from copyright holders. Many, however, don’t.

This may be on ethical grounds, or (more commonly) because the legal situation where they are based is too hostile to copyright infringement to make permitting P2P on their servers worth the trouble. It is for a similar reason, in fact, that some VPN providers allow torrenting on some of their servers, but not others (often servers located in the US or UK).

It is worth noting that that free VPNs for torrenting do not, basically exist (with one exception that I know of). Dealing with irate legal demands from copyright holders is simply far too much hassle to deal with when users are not even paying for the service!

Many paid-for VPN providers, however, do very good business protecting their P2P-using customers. And if a VPN provider permits torrenting using its service, then its business reputation rests on its ability to do this.

So if a provider allows P2P, you are safe. Just be sure to check first. If not, then it may pass on DMCA and similar warnings to your ISP (which will then send you nasty letters). It could even hand over your details directly to copyright holders’ lawyers…

Vuze

The Vuze BitTorrent client allows you to bind Vuze to your VPN interface so that it will only download (and seed) when your VPN connection is active. See here for instructions on how to do this

Speculative invoicing and other such nastinesses

Countries such as the UK and India are getting tougher on online copyright offenses (at least on paper), but in most places piracy remains a civil rather than a criminal offense. Although this means that won’t end up in jail if caught, it does not mean that you can just walk away scot-free.

The most common punishment is warning letters from your ISP. If you ignore too many of these then you may find your service throttled, or even cancelled. In theory you can also be taken to court for civil damages by copyright holders, and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in compensation.

In reality, obtaining such convictions is not easy. So copyright holders often employ “copyright trolls” to monetize the piracy of their IP. This is done via the tactic of “speculative invoicing” – threatening victims accused of copyright offences with full legal action (and the associated court fees) if they do not pay a reduced cash settlement out of court.

If this happens to you, then consult the UK government’s official guidance and (much more useful in my opinion) TorrentFreak’s Speculative Invoicing Handbook. Both these documents relate to the UK, but the advice given in them is also broadly useful if you live in Europe or North America.

If you use a VPN for torrenting, however, this should never be a problem.

How to check that your VPNs for torrenting are protecting you

While connected to your VPN service:

  1. Visit IPLeak.net. If you cannot see your real IP address or one belonging to your ISP, then you are protected.

You don’t really need to do anything else, but if you are a paranoid android, then you can specifically test whether your BitTorrent client is leaking your real IP address. To do this:

  1. While till on the IPLeak.net web page and with your VPN connected, scroll down to “Torrent Address detection,” and add the magnet link to your torrent client.

IPleak.net will monitor the IP address of anyone else sharing its uniquely generated test torrent file (i.e. you). After a few minutes, the IPleak.net web page will start to display the results

torrent address detection

Again, as long as none of the IPs displayed belong to either you or your ISP, then you are good

Note that you should always use a kill switch of some kind when downloading stuff. If you don’t, then VPN dropouts can result in your IP being exposed for all the world to see. Often for hours at a time if you leave your downloads unattended!

Port Forwarding

Some P2P VPNs support port forwarding. This is (at least in theory) great for file-sharers, as it can overcome problems related to the use of NAT firewalls. Most VPN providers use NAT firewalls to shield users from incoming traffic from the internet. But when this incoming traffic includes P2P traffic, it can cause problems.

VPN NAT firewalls can affect not just you, the individual user, by making your downloads slower, but can slow down the entire P2P network for all users. The solution to this problem is port forwarding, which allows you to open a port in the NAT firewall in order to allow P2P traffic through.

This should improve your personal download speeds, and help make the entire P2P network more efficient. In order to gain maximum benefit from port forwarding, your torrent client needs to know which port is open. It can then listen for incoming connections.

On some clients, this needs to be configured manually, while others support technologies such as NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) and UPnP port mapping. These aim to make your job easier by automating the process.

The qBit Torrent client

qBittorrent is a lightweight open source BitTorrent client that supports UPnP / NAT-PMP port forwarding

Best Torrenting VPN Summary

In Switzerland, downloading copyrighted content for personal use is legal. And in many places outside Europe or the English-speaking world, nobody really cares. If you live somewhere that does care about copyright piracy, however, you are frankly mad to P2P download without the protection of a VPN.

Best P2P VPNs Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

Buffered LogoBuffered
Read Review10/10
$8.25 / monthVisit Site

2

IPVanish LogoIPVanish
Read Review9.2/10
$6.49 / monthVisit Site

3

CyberGhost LogoCyberGhost
Read Review8.6/10
$2.90 / monthVisit Site

4

ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
Read Review8/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

5

VPNArea LogoVPNArea
Read Review7.2/10
$4.92 / monthVisit Site

*All prices shown in US dollars

* Advertiser Disclosure

Douglas Crawford I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. Find me on Google+

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59 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Torrenting, P2P, Filesharing

  1. I cannot find in AirVPN’s website information about in which country it is registered and in which country its website data and emails are hosted physically. AirVPN only states that it is based in the European Union.

    I find this a bit strange because the above are basic information which everyone looking for an VPN provider will want to know and in other VPN providers’ websites such information is readily available and can be easily found. You have any idea why AirVPN is so secret about such information?

    Do you know where AirVPN is registered and where its website data and emails are hosted physically?

    1. Hi Norman,

      AirVPN is based in Italy. According to its ToS:

      “13) GOVERNING LAW AND JURISDICTION. This Agreement will be governed by and construed in accordance with the Regulation 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union and under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and the courts in Italy. You hereby consent and submit to the personal and exclusive jurisdiction of such courts for the purposes of litigating any action. ”

      As I note in my AirVPN Review:

      “Another potential issue is that AirVPN is based in Italy, a member of the Fourteen Eyes spying alliance that cooperates with the NSA and GCHQ. This is defiantly not ideal, and Italy is also not very friendly when it comes to copyright piracy.

      On the other hand, though, even before the EU Data Retention Directive was declared invalid by the European Court of Justice on human rights grounds, Italian VPN providers were not required to keep any logs. AirVPN says if any such demands were ever made of it by any EU country it operates in, it would bring the case in front of the ECJ.”

  2. Hi Doug,

    I’m considering to use VPNArea as recommended by you.

    In your reply to Jo Jo dated October 19, 2016, you said “…..VPNArea relies quite heavily on VPS instances in order to offer the number of server locations it does. Whether this is a problem is your call ….. “.

    What does this mean? What is VPS? What is the problem of VPNArea relying quite heavily on VPS instances?

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Eddie,

      A VPS is Virtual Private Sever – space rented on a cloud server. Almost all VPN providers use servers rented from third party cloud providers in order to offer IP addresses around the world. Using bare metal servers, however, is considered much secure than using VPSs. This means that the entir servers is rented from the cloud provider, and is maintained entirely by the VPN provider. Full disk encryption is standard practice for bare metal servers. When it comes to VPNArea, this comment was made on the basis of something VPNArea told me quite some time ago. I must admit that that I am no longer sure it is true (or if it ever was, is now). VPNArea is a good service, and will protect you when torrenting.

  3. Hello, I would like to find out if you have a review on VPN unlimited. They offer lifetime subscription as well as Pure VPN. I like streaming videos and file sharing.

  4. This is a great site to know a good list of VPN’s, I use AstrillVPN for torrenting and it is
    also reliable like express that I use before but my subscription is over so I try different VPN. I’ve been using AstrillVPN for about 2 weeks and so far I don’t have any issue’s while downloading, playing online games and surfing the internet.

  5. Thanks for all the great VPN info. I’ve heard the Torguard is supposed to be a good VPN for torrenting (fast, secure, anonymous), but I didn’t see any mention of it here. What’s your opinion?

    1. Hi Bob,

      We have a TorGuard Review, but IMO reviewer Dmitri (who is not longer with us) is somewhat off the mark. I think that TorGuard offers a good service overall. It is a little on the pricey side, strong encryption is only available on a very limited number of servers (and could be better even there, although this might have changed since I last looked), and the software is very basic (even the Viscosity license adds only moderate improvements for most users). But it balances these flaws with a great attitude to privacy (despite it being fundamentally a US company and therefore subject to NSA tampering), and very good performance (although this can drop badly at peak times).

  6. Hi Douglas,

    I really appreciate all the info you have provided on your site. Excellent read and excellent recommendations especially for VPN providers who allow P2P/torrenting. For the last 5 months I have been using VPNSecure as my VPN provider and I must say they are pretty good in general but also for P2P/torrenting. But I am considering a change because they are based in Australia and especially because data retention law has gone active Down Under. VPN.Asia is my next pick. Could you provide your thought about that provider? Your review from 2015 was really positive about them.

    Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Lux,

      I am not personally familiar with VPN.Asia, I’m afarid, but as you say, our review of the service is very positive (and Charles is an excellent reviewer, so his word should be trusted). Indeed, a quick glance at the highlights of VPN.Asia looks great- based in Belize, no logs at all, great OpenVPN encryption, and decent speed test results. So looks like a winner!

  7. Are there any documented legal actions that PIA, NordVPN, or ExpressVPN have been involved in? I think that these companies can claim whatever they want on their websites and in their EULAs, but it would take them being threatened with an actual legal action to test their claims.

    I would love to see a report showing that either the government or other corporations attempted to obtain access to the VPN providers data and were unsuccessful, either because the data really didn’t exist, or because the provider didn’t corporate.

    Does anyone remember the highly-praised and well reviewed hush mail (operating out of Canada). The business supposedly did not keep copies of the encryption keys for customer’s email accounts. They stated that if you lost or forgot your passphrase, then there was no possible way to recover the data. Yet, “Hushmail turned over cleartext copies of private email messages associated with several addresses at the request of law enforcement agencies under a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the United States.;[12] e.g. in the case of U.S. v. Tyler Stumbo. In addition, the contents of emails between Hushmail addresses were analyzed, and 12 CDs were turned over to U.S. authorities. ” [wikipedia]. The legal case and the technicalities of it have been fairly well documented in other places.

    1. Hi Grim Echo,

      Yes, the Hushmail case was unsettling. PIA, at least, has proved its privacy chops. Last year it successfully resisted resisted an FBI subpoena demanding that it hand over details about a hoax bomb suspect on the grounds that it kept no logs, and therefore had nothing to give the FBI. From my soon-to-be-published 5 Best No Logs VPNs article:

      How Do We Know a VPN Can Be Trusted?

      A VPN company may say it keeps no logs, but how can we know this is true? The short answer is that we can’t. However, your ISP is definitely logging your data and has no reason whatsoever not to share it with whoever asks (or sell it!)

      Most VPN companies’ business model, on the other hand, relies on offering privacy. Failure to protect their customers’ privacy would be a commercial disaster. So it comes down to a matter of trust: do you trust your ISP (lol hysterically!) or a reputable VPN company that is in the business of providing privacy?

      Also, if that VPN company is based in another country, then it has very little incentive whatsoever to hand over the data it does have when asked. This should preferably be one with as few political and/or legal links to yours as possible.

      Self Interest

      Another point to consider is that the more logs a VPN company keeps, the weaker its position when it comes to handling legal demands. A no logs VPN provider can, on receipt of a National Security Letter, subpoena, or court order, honestly turn around and say, “sorry, we are happy to help in every way we can, but we have nothing to give you.”

      This will put it in a much stronger position than a company that keeps logs and whose staff then have to decide between betraying their customers (and therefore destroying the reputation of their business) and facing legal action. Just remember that no VPN company staff member will be willing to go to jail to protect your privacy!

      So keeping no logs is the safest thing (from a purely selfish standpoint) any company that is even half-way serious about privacy can do!

      Here at BestVPN.com we are investigating ways to independently audit the claims made by VPN companies. This is a fledgling project, and will require broad cooperation from across the VPN industry. We are hopeful that we can leverage our influential position in order to improve standards and bring about increased transparency in this burgeoning industry.”

  8. Have an iPhone and iPad as does my wife plus MacBook Pro. Want protection in free wifi space e.g. Airports, and to protect financial info., any health data on devices or emails I send to doctors, security for bank and investment bank web sites on devices, etc. some but limited tech ability. Loads to emails on aol, hotmail, etc. what service do you recommend? Thanks

  9. I am curious why Private Internet Access is not mentioned here?

    Is imho one of the cheapest, at least more cheaper then any of the above mentioned here, and works like a charm. The support is good too.

    1. Hi Amok,

      PIA is indeed a very good service. I personally only stopped using it because I became uneasy about it being a US company in the wake of Ed Snowden’s revelations. But we can only pick 5 services for these lists. I definitely think PIA deserves an honorable mention, however.

  10. HI Douglas,

    Need a faster VPN service for torrenting only , as in my country(India) torrent sites browsing & downloading has been banned recently.

    Can you please suggest me 1-2 good VPN service with decent price range.?
    (I’ve download speed of 3-4mbps at Utorrent(usually 1-2mbps average but with some local peers it reaches 3-4mbps))

    –Prakash

    1. Hi Prakesh,

      NordVPN can be rather slow, but other than that, the services listed above are all good recommendations and cover pretty much the full spectrum when it comes to pricing.

      1. Barring ExpressVPN , are the others in the list big names ? In other words , will they be around for one year ( assuming one takes annual membership) and not go down ?

        1. Hi Iceman,

          Short answer: yes. Longer answer: ExpressVPN, AirVPN and IPvanish are all well-established companies that have been around for years now. VPNArea area and Buffered are smaller and newer, but both have been going for around three years.

  11. im planning to buy private internet access but i wanna ask if its good for torrents and i live in middle east and all ports are closes thats why i consider pia over nord vpn since it has port forwarding feature what do u think is best for me pia or nord ? my isp throlls my speed much and it annoys me especially at torrenting thats why need an advice what to choose between both of them

    1. Hi mallahata,

      Yes. I would day that PIA us a good choice, for precisely the reason you mention. And NordVPN can be rather slow.

      1. thank u very much its just seen some reviews that says pia slow and stuff that why got confused between it and nord vpn but yet over all nord is much slower since it has double encryption and tor over vpn feature thats probably bad for downloaders like me since i have low internet speed i have like 400-900 kb download speed only since im in a poor country

        1. Hi mallahata,

          I’m afraid that NordVPN can be slow even when double encryption or tor over VPN are not used.

    2. Hey mallahata, I was a customer by PIA but i did found out that the Servers PIA is using are some dark net and fishy Servers used by other people too. This doesnt means that PIA is in any way connected to those matters, but I would hate to see that I connect my computer to a VPN, in order to hide my IP and protect my data from the goverment or from data companies and then join and be part in a server that is being used for DarkNet activities, such as pedophiles, drugs etc.

      When I contacted the customer support and gave them the IPs and Servers in Netherlands they wanted, they refunded and gave me my money back. It sucks to be a bitcoin farming machine. Cheap is not always good.

      Consider some extensive research before choosing imho.

      Cheers!

  12. For Torrenting and streaming i would say Ivacy Vpn is really good. I have been using it and til date its working great. This Black Friday they are offering 1 year free with 1 year subscription for $1.50/mo. I think that’s a pretty good deal with some really good features such as
    200+ Servers in 100+ Locations
    P2P Optimized Servers with Unlimited Bandwidth
    5 Multi-Logins
    Split Tunneling
    Internet Kill Switch
    Live Chat Support
    Unlimited Data Transfer and Server Switching
    And also supports different devices such as
    Windows
    Mac
    Android
    iPhone
    iPad
    Kodi
    Linux

  13. VPNArea does a perfect job with P2P. They have plenty of servers to choose from to torrent with. They have stated some servers don’t like torrenting and don’t allow VPNArea’s users to torrent with (Probably due to copyright strikes they keep getting). The servers are marked and still there are plenty of other servers that allow torrenting.

  14. Again, what a dishonest review, no offence. Or at least skewed.

    You put it as a con that VPNArea runs VPS instances (which also makes logging easy, despite the “no-logging” claims btw) and then you list AirVPNs con as “not enough locations”, EVEN THOUGH most of these services should be downgraded, as most of them use VPS instances! Air doesn’t, though. If you went to the trouble of checking all the services you review, with an eye towards VPS-use, most VPN services on your site would get the same con as VPNArea did.

  15. PIA VPN says it has a kill switch but when I tried to activate it I was advised not to use it as it reset my configuration, So why advertise it?

    1. Hi Lamptable,

      The problem with the PIA kill switch is that following a VPN disconnect, the VPN client does not attempt to reconnect the VPN or to reset your computer’s DNS settings back to their defaults. This is a bit of a pain in the butt, but it is not difficult to reset your DNS settings manually. I therefore do not consider the issue to be a fatal flaw.

  16. Anything kind free? I want to know what’s good for torrenting but I am on a limited income so I can’t afford one more than 4.99 a month. I currently have Unblock-Us but it doesn’t hide my IPS. I use it for Hulu as I am not based in America.

    1. Hi Quinn,

      Betternet is a free service that permits torrenting (in fact it is the only free one I know of to allow this). Far better, however, would be pay for an annual subscription with AirVPN or VPNArea – these come in at under $5 per month…

      1. Can it be that Betternet isnt “free”, maybe for the user, but they are selling the data to third parties? Or they are using your machine/IP for mining?

        1. Hi Nick,

          Please see my Betternet Review, in which its funding model concerned me enough to add a “How does Betternet make money?” section. This is not something I usually do. I concluded,

          Hmm. Perhaps I am being over-suspicious, but Betternet’s funding model worries me a little…

          A recent paper outlining how how insecure many free Android apps are, which I discuss in this article, singles Betternet out by name,

          “Since most VPN apps intend to provide online anonymity, the lower presence of tracking libraries is actually meaningful. However, we identified the presence of at least one tracking library in 75% of the free VPN apps claiming to protect users’ privacy. 8% of all VPN apps have more than five. In particular, two VPN apps (Flash Free VPN and Betternet), which combined have more than 6M installs, have the highest number of embedded tracking libraries: 11 and 14 respectively.

          So yes, I think what you are suggesting is entirely possible.

  17. I just installed and used VPNArea. I had several issues.
    1) I got disconnected approximately every twenty minutes and there is no automatic reconnect setting.
    2) When I disconnected from their VPN, their client was supposed to kill my internet connection. They provide two options to do this, neither of them worked.
    3) Their “safe” DNS setting connected me to my ISP’s (Comcast) DNS servers (which are not safe).
    4) Their app attempts to uninstall from the default location instead of the actual installation location, which implies a) you might have difficulties uninstalling their client, and b) their software engineers suck.

    So, even though all your site does is find “the best” VPN’s, you recommended a truly shitty one to me.

    What the fk?

    1. Hi Dan,

      Hmm. Definitely seems something is wrong. For Windows, VPNArea uses a custom version of the Viscosity OpenVPN client, which has always worked fine for me. Have you contacted VPNArea’s support about your problems? I have always found it to be very keen to assist…

    2. @Dan Lokemoen

      – There is automatic reconnection setting in “Settings”
      – Killswitch does work, tested by thousands of users.
      – Did you actually put different DNS servers in the “Anti DNS Leak” section? The “Anti-DNS Leak” section is tested by thousands of our users and it Works perfectly. It also has “Extra DNS Leak protection” setting that prevents the special DNS leak in Windows 10 Home.

      We asked you for more information regarding the issues you described so that we can guide you through fixing them but we received no reply.

  18. Nord VPN vs VPN Area which would you choose? Which is faster and best for torrenting? I like the idea of VPN Area’s Anti DNS, ipv6, and web rtc leaks. I also like the level of encryption on Nord. Thoughts?

    1. Hi JoJo,

      They are both good services. The main problem with NordVPN is that many of its servers can be slow. Fast ones do exist, but some trial and error is needed to find them. VPNArea relies quite heavily on VPS instances in order to offer the number of server locations it does. Whether this is a problem is your call (I’m pretty sure NordVPN also does this).

  19. You state that AirVPN doesn’t have many servers worldwide. From what I can tell they have a LOT of servers. PrivacyTools.io lists 162 servers. While not the most, it seems to be a large number. How many servers sis your higher-rated VPNs have?

    1. Hi David,

      I meant to say that AirVPN offers servers is an a fairly limited number of locations worldwide (15). Compare this to ExpressVPN which offers servers in 87 countries, and IPVanish which offers servers in 60+ counties. AirVPN does have much greater control over its own network than most providers, however, and is therefore more secure. It all depends on what you want out of a VPN service. I have modified the text to clarify that I refer to server locations rather than total number of servers per se.

  20. Doug – your link to TorrentFreak’s Speculative Invoicing Handbook does not work!
    TF claims there’s nothing there, even if you use TF’s own search function it also faikls to locate any such item (other similar download links from other sites for downloading this same resource also provide the same failure-result.)

    1. Hi xp,

      Hmm. That is certainly interesting – it is the link address provided by TorrentFreak itself in this article. Anyway, a copy of it can be found here (and I have updated the link in the article). Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  21. Than i wish them good luck taking me and de rest of the 500.000 people in this country to court! They will never do that…

  22. Hi Douglas,
    UK has stricter policy on piracy.
    In the Netherlands they will not so fast target downloaders.
    They also don’t like restrictions on internet like blocking certain sites….

    1. Hi MV,

      I know that :). Dutch law allows the copying of material for personal (non-profit) purposes, but this has been ruled illegal by the European Court of Justice. You are still relatively safe downloading stuff for personal use in the Netherlands, but this does not mean that you cannot be taken to court by copyright holders (or persecuted by copyright trolls).

  23. For only downloading torrents, i’m not scared to have no VPN!
    VPN gets important when you start uploading torrents and also when you are seeding
    files for really long periods!
    But maybe i’m naive to think that nothing’s wrong!
    In the Netherlands they recently began targeting the big time uploaders of copyright material.

    1. Hi MV,

      It’s up to you to assess the risk, but I think you are being over-complacent. Certainly here I the UK I would not feel comfortable downloading without a VPN!

  24. Express VPN is mostly recommended nearly everywhere and why are they more highly recommended over Private Internet Access when it seams that PIA has more security features? More IPs to choose from doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. I’m looking for a good VPN but due to the fact that PIA is US based am not confident in them eventually ever tracking you. I heard people have been caught torrenting downloading using their service which doesn’t give me much confidence in them. I am also not confident with a non US based service either as I hear a lot of over seas services are not trustworthy, and that the US are not restricted to go after data. I have been doing a lot of reading and want the very best no logging VPN service. I am a little skeptic as to which is the best VPN to use for total privacy.

    1. Hi joseph,

      People use VPNs for various reasons. Our research shows that ExpressVPN ticks just the right boxes for a great many of our users. It is very easy to use, has excellent performance, has great customer service, and its 30-day genuinely no-quibble money back guarantee is a doozy. It is not the most secure or privacy-focused VPN service out there, but it is secure and private enough for most VPN users’ needs. Personally I would not use a US-based VPN service because I simply cannot believe they are not compromised by the NSA. This is one reason why I stopped using PIA.

  25. Great site…just a quick question…
    If ExpressVPN keeps some logs, how is it number one on the torrenting friendly list? Shouldn’t this list be similar to a no-log list? I’m in Canada by the way.

    1. Hi A,

      ExpressVPN will protect users from copyright holders (being based in the British Virgin Islands helps with this). If you are worried about the NSA or GCHQ, you should choose a genuinely no logs provider, however.

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