1. Computing

Best VPNs for Torrents and P2P File Sharing, 2014

Private Encryption to Protect Your Online Data Activity

By

March, 2014

(Continued from 10 Reasons You Want to Use a VPN Connection)

If you are a torrent user looking to privately download and share files, then you will be interested in the concealment benefits of a virtual private network. As a downloader, you want a VPN service that provides very high transfer speeds for your large files, and who also makes it a policy not to log your subscriber activity.

Note on logging and privacy concerns: While transfer rates are easy to objectively measure and evaluate, logging policy is something that cannot be easily assessed. When a VPN provider claims that it does not record specific data usage about its subscribers, this claim is ultimately a matter of company integrity. Evaluating a VPN's no-logging policy relies largely on how much trust the VPN provider inspires via its verbal and written assurances. The following list represents the subset of fast VPN providers who have given verbal and written assurances that they do not log user activity.

This list is in random order. This list is populated in part by About.com users who submit their suggestions and offer their personal reviews. If you wish to add to this list, you may submit a recommendation for a VPN service here.

Note on VPN speeds: expect your VPN internet speed to be reduced to as low as 10% of regular speed. VPN speeds of 2 to 4 Mbps are common for cheaper VPN's. Speeds of 5-8 Mbps per second are good. VPN speeds over 15 Mbps are excellent.

Note on VPN encryption protocols: there are 3 common ciphering options for VPN's: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP. For most desktop users, OpenVPN is the strongest encryption and fastest data transfer.

1. Private Internet Access

Cost: $7.00/month; $40/year. Private Internet Access is a very fast service that will cloak your identity and data transferring. PIA price is also amongst the best-priced services you can get for VPN access. With near-perfect anonymity services, PIA has some very beneficial features, like auto-disconnecting you when the VPN cloaking goes offline, and concealing DNS leaks from hackers and authorities.

One particularly interesting privacy feature of PIA is their 'shared IP addresses'. Because multiple subscribers will be assigned the same IP addresses while they are logged onto PIA, it makes it impossible for authorities to match individual file transfers to any individual on the service.

Overall, Private Internet Access is a highly recommended service for torrent downloaders. Give them a try and let us know how you like the transfer speeds and ease of setup.

Visit their site: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com

2. ExpressVPN

Express VPN: a recommended service for torrent downloaders
Cost: $13.00/month or $100/year. Employs OpenVPN, plus PPTP and other protocols are available for smartphones.

ExpressVPN is a growing service that has earned substantial user loyalty during these last months. While they are an American service (which makes it easier for US authorities to access names of subscribers), ExpressVPN download speeds are very fast, where the transfer rates reach as high as 80% of non-cloaked cable transfer speeds (i.e. if your normal speed is 30 megabits per second uncloaked, you might achieve 24 mbps while connected to the ExpressVPN servers).

ExpressVPN's logging policy is that they do not record URL's, messaging, or the actual data or packets that you transfer. They only log your subscription IP address and volume of bandwidth.

ExpressVPN is a very good choice for P2P downloaders because of its speed benefits and data-logging policies. The price is a notch higher than its competitors, but the speed might make the couple dollars per month worthwhile for file sharers. The only downside to ExpressVPN is their American location, which adds some risk that American authorities could request information displaying how many megabytes you transfer each month. Visit their site: https://www.express-vpn.com

3. Invisible Browsing VPN

Cost: $11.00/month; $83/year. Invisible Browsing VPN (ibVPN) offers different tiers of service, with each tier offering access to different numbers of servers and torrent-specific access points. The premium price of 11 dollars per month par for the market, and it includes the use of torrent-specific servers. While we are unsure what this torrent-specific claim actually translates into for speed and privacy benefits, it is noteworthy that the ibVPN company chooses to openly market it services towards P2P torrent users.

ibVPN's website is not impressive at first glance, and it does not inspire confidence with its plain appearance. But they do offer a free trial for 6 hours, which separates it from the competition as this gives you a chance to see how your particular connection delivers speed and convenience results.

OpenVPN speeds were very good during our About.com testing. It was in the range of 70% of uncloaked transfer speeds, which is very competitive. Definitely give ibVPN a try with their 6-hour test drive, and see if you like the results for your P2P uses.

Visit their site: http://www.ibvpn.com/

4. BoxPN

Cost: $6.00/month; $45.00/year. Servers are available in 10 countries, including Singapore, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the USA, Canada, Israel, and Egypt. Supports L2TP and PPTP protocols.

Box Private Network yields some very fast speeds, especially when compared to other VPN's. Readers report getting over 7 megabits per second, which is very fast for a personal VPN. The parent company of BoxPN is in Turkey, which helps keep it away from the reach of the US PATRIOT Act. The company also pledges not to log any client activities, which is particularly comforting to people who participate in P2P file sharing.

Visit their site: https://www.boxpn.com/

5. VyprVPN by Goldenfrog

Cost: $20/month; $240/year. Supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP protocols. Good support for mobile devices like iPhones and Android tablets.

VyprVPN is a quality VPN service, recently grown by several new servers in Europe and Asia. Users with iPads and Android devices will definitely appreciate the Vypr mobile VPN apps. Additionally, being an offshore company incorporated in the Bahamas, there is less likelihood of the Vypr server logs being examined under the US PATRIOT Act.



Visit their site: http://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn

6. ProXPN

Cost: free option with limited features; $6.25/month for premium. Supports PPTP and L2TP.

This Dutch service gets mixed reviews. The free option is the perfect price, but it is very slow for most users at 100 kilobits-per-second, and 'nagware' will pester you to upgrade. The premium version has been reported to have moderate speeds over 2 Mbps/. The system is easy to setup, so definitely give it a try and see if you get decent free speeds at your geographical location.

Visit their site: http://proxpn.com/

7. Ipredator of Sweden

Cost: $8/month; $96/year. Supports PPTP. Servers are located in Austria, Switzerland, and Sweden.

This Swedish service offers unlimited bandwidth (no throttling), and the Swedish laws that govern the server farm there are arguably more pro-privacy than other countries. Ipredator, unfortunately, does not let you control the country of your masked IP address, and the connection can drop at times.

Visit their site: https://www.ipredator.se

8. VPN4All

Cost: $17/month; $61.40/year. Supports OpenVPN and PPTP, with servers in 25 countries.

VPN4All is a crowd-pleasing service based in the Netherlands. Users comment that the software is very easy to install and use, and little features like instant IP-switching are very useful. They offer round-the-clock chat support, full refund policy, and promise of total privacy. VPN4All comes highly recommended by About.com users, so definitely give it a try if you are seeking to do private browsing and file sharing online.

Visit their site: http://www.vpn4all.com/

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