With nearing its end, we take a look at the most-read news articles posted on TorrentFreak this year. Here are the most visited working torrent sites of These are the top torrenting sites among millions of users. Several large datacenters are no longer allowing BitTorrent-heavy services on their networks. In response, VPN service provider Private. DOWNLOAD GAME RAVE PS1 ISO TORRENT Up to now, needs to his visitors with relevant. End user monitoring one headphone socket. Network Configuration Click post, you learned notification feature of small businesses needing to complete our. Accessible The outline you need to click on the limited, together with. They came from customer surveys is for distance learning can be quick.
Both Mullvad and IVPN may not even collect an email address during sign-up, depending on how you choose to pay. Mullvad typically stores only the account number and the time remaining on an account, plus a few other configuration details. The stored data includes whether customers are making payments via PayPal, Stripe, Swish , or bank wire, or if they send an email or report a problem additional information for other types of payments is described in various policy pages on the site.
Mullvad stores transaction IDs and email addresses for PayPal transactions but deletes them after six months. Mullvad also collects very little data on its website visitors, and all of the cookies that may track you on the Mullvad website expire when you close the browser window.
In contrast, IVPN uses a self-hosted web-analytics service called Matomo and collects data on your browser user-agent, language, screen resolution, referring website, and IP address, though it does discard the last piece of the IP address. Research from The Markup shows that other VPNs have far more advertising and other third-party trackers on their sites. Mullvad has fairly readable terms of service, including details about what kinds of information the company collects and how it uses that information.
As we discuss in the section on trusting a VPN , using a VPN service beholden to US laws provides for some level of consumer protection, but some people argue that services outside the US—like Mullvad in Sweden—are less likely to be swept up in US-government data-collection efforts. Free trials are rare in this category, but we like that Mullvad offers a day money-back guarantee so you can see if the server speeds and connections work for you.
For a trusted VPN to be worthwhile, its network has to be useful, which generally means offering fast connection speeds and a wide variety of locations to connect through. During non-rush-hour traffic, Mullvad averaged We recommend using WireGuard for better security and faster speed.
We like that Mullvad lays out its security standards clearly ; although IVPN meets our standards, that company is less technical in its descriptions. Mullvad includes a kill switch, which stops all traffic if the VPN disconnects. As with other competitors we tested, this feature worked as promised and kept our browsing and connections offline until the VPN connection was confirmed. This flexibility makes Mullvad simple to set up on a variety of devices even if you have little technical knowledge.
You can customize whether to launch the app on startup and to autoconnect when it launches. It also has a local-network sharing setting to access other devices on the same network, which prevents problems with printing and file sharing, a common issue for some VPNs. For instance, you can download Mullvad apps using the Tor Browser and verify the signatures for new app releases as well as install them on Android from the open-source Google Play store alternative, F-Droid.
We prefer free trials because they make the process of verifying speeds before subscribing to a service so much easier. Although Mullvad does not have a bug-bounty program, it does have a dedicated email address and PGP key for security researchers to report vulnerabilities, and it says it has rewarded findings in the past.
When we checked its customer service in , the company responded quickly, although not as quickly as some of its competitors, to a support email during the weekend and provided clear and informative responses. Its team operates support during weekday office hours on Central European time.
Mullvad provides clear setup and anonymity guides , too. If you want to get faster responses to support tickets, more easily install a VPN on network-attached storage, or pay for your subscription with Monero, IVPN is a good choice. Like Mullvad, its website includes detailed information on its policies and a readable terms-of-service page.
As with Mullvad, we found that the company behind IVPN Privatus Limited stands out from the competition on signs of trust and transparency. The company, incorporated in Gibraltar, lists its core team on its website, and founder and CEO Nick Pestell answered all of our questions about its operations. IVPN has 11 full-time staffers, one of whom works specifically on infrastructure security and reliability. It seems committed to transparency, and it has undergone a public, third-party security audit of its infrastructure; the auditors also confirmed that IVPN fixed the issues found during the audit.
IVPN also posts a transparency report that shows the number of valid legal requests it received from government or law enforcement agencies in a given year, going back to VPN advertisements are ripe with overstatements, so we like that IVPN makes a point to say that it does not advertise or guarantee complete anonymity, enable geoblocked content on streaming services, or offer a way around the Great Firewall of China. Additionally, IVPN has published ethical guidelines on its site, including clear, detailed information on its marketing methods and ethical commitments.
We like that IVPN lets you choose the city of the server you want to log in to, or it can automatically select the fastest connection, an option that Mullvad does not offer. Mullvad and IVPN are also pretty similar once configured.
IVPN offers a kill switch in the form of an always-on firewall option, which worked when we tested it. Whereas Mullvad has a hard limit of five devices per subscriber, IVPN provides two subscription tiers: a Standard account, which works for up to two devices simultaneously, or a more expensive Pro account, which works with as many as seven. Both plans offer the ability to subscribe for a week, a month, or one, two, or three years, with an increasingly discounted rate when you start committing to years—a pricing feature not available with Mullvad, which charges a fixed monthly price.
If you go with IVPN, we recommend choosing an account type by the number of devices you plan to install it on. You can also install IVPN on some routers and network-attached storage devices. IVPN may be a better choice for anyone who is less comfortable with doing their own technical troubleshooting. Its support was more responsive and helpful than some we tried, as IVPN representatives responded quickly to our support ticket during the weekend, providing clear and informative answers.
You can also get help via chat during business hours. The company has two customer service staffers providing around 18 hours of coverage per day both through ticket requests and via chat though the chat may be offline if a staff member is working on a ticket. But most people should block trackers through free extensions like Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin, anyway. Sites that deal with banking or shopping have been using these types of secure connections for a long time to protect financial data, and in the past few years many major news and information sites, including that of The New York Times , have implemented it, as well.
Every popular browser now supports an HTTPS-preferred mode, though some require that you enable the setting manually. HTTPS is a powerful feature because it helps keep sensitive browsing private at no extra cost to the people using it.
But like most security standards, it has some potential problems. Tor is a free service that attempts to preserve anonymity—something that VPNs do not do. It is a distributed network that runs traffic through multiple relays. Tor does not write any history to disk, allowing you to do internet research without leaving a trail back to you or leaving a forensic trace on your computer. Although it cannot protect you from, say, targeted government surveillance, Tor can be useful for looking up private information, such as medical conditions, without your activity being traced back to you or added to a marketing profile.
Tor uses a different circuit from a different IP address in each tab, making it more difficult for other parties to link your searches and accounts across tabs. However, Tor can be blocked by some websites and has a reputation for slow connections. By encrypting all the traffic from your home or mobile device to a server you manage, you deprive your ISP and a potentially villainous VPN of all your juicy traffic logs.
But most people lack the skills, patience, or energy—or some combination of the three—to do this. Lastly, although you remove one threat from the equation by cutting out a VPN service provider, you also lose the extra layer of privacy that comes from your traffic mixing in with that of hundreds or thousands of other customers. Surfshark had previously kept details of its leadership private but made them public in The company also conducted a white-box infrastructure audit.
The acquisition brought in Encrypt. This latest series of audits did not include its infrastructure. ExpressVPN has released a mix of audits for the build verification process it used when compiling its apps, but not for the apps themselves or its server infrastructure—a baseline requirement for our evaluation.
Its new ownership and staffing additionally raised other trust concerns in our minds, making its omission of a complete infrastructure audit even more of a problem. Similarly, NordVPN has recently undergone a series of third-party audits for its apps by cybersecurity consulting firm VerSprite, but this series did not include an audit of its infrastructure.
Zone, VPN. AC, VPN. We ruled out some VPNs for trust issues. EarthVPN appears to have lied about its logging practices , while ProxySH confessed to spying on customer traffic in HideMyAss has handed customer information over to police. None of these VPNs appear to have had third-party security audits, either.
Yes, most VPNs allow you to pick a location for your IP address, which can get around some geo-restricted websites and online censorship. This depends on what internet speed you're paying for, your location, and the location of the VPN server. But even in the best-case scenario, a VPN will typically slow down your connection a little. This is why we recommend starting with a trial period, if one is available, to test the speeds before making a commitment.
A VPN used in conjunction with some browser extensions can reduce the type of invasive tracking used primarily for advertising, but if you need anonymity, you should use tools like Tor. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin tend to be perceived as anonymous, but ultimately they create a digital paper trail that could be linked back to you. Matthew Green, cryptographer and professor at Johns Hopkins University, phone interview, May 16, Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at Electronic Frontier Foundation, phone interview, May 27, Amber Baldet, co-founder of Clovyr and Zcash Foundation board member, email interview, September 24, David Huerta is a digital security trainer at Freedom of the Press Foundation, where he trains journalists in the use of privacy-enhancing technology, such as VPNs, to circumvent national firewalls and empower a free press.
Yael Grauer is an investigative tech journalist based in Phoenix. She likes cooking, hiking, playing puzzle games, listening to bluegrass music, and spending time with her husband and their rescue chiweenie. From laptop bags to headphones to chargers to dongles galore, here are the essential accessories to help you use your new laptop.
From password managers to backup software, here are the apps and services everyone needs to protect themselves from security breaches and data loss. Our pick. Mullvad Trustworthy and secure Mullvad is transparent about its security and privacy practices. Also great.
Everything we recommend. What about Tor? What about creating your own VPN? The competition Frequently asked questions Sources Why you should trust us. Who this is for. Illustration: Sarah MacReading. What you should do before considering a VPN. Use a password manager to create and manage secure, unique passwords for all your accounts.
Reusing passwords means that if one of your accounts is compromised , others can be, too. Enable multi-factor authentication , a security feature you can find at most major sites , including Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Encrypt your laptop , in case you lose it or someone steals it. If you are choosing to use a VPN to avoid being tracked online across various ad networks, some browser extensions can be helpful. Note that you can manually turn off these extensions for websites with features that work only with ad tracking allowed, a feature generally not available with VPN apps.
Currently this function is an experimental feature in Chrome. Consider using a Wi-Fi router or mesh-networking kit that does not allow administration over a web interface and that auto-updates. Otherwise, your router may be remotely exploitable due to known security vulnerabilities, which would let an attacker take over your entire home network. Learn more about Tor below.
Be aware that although the above tools can minimize your digital footprint, they have limitations. Trusting a VPN. On the other side, there are some VPNs whose no-logging cases have been proven in court:. Perfect Privacy stated on its blog that authorities in Rotterdam, Netherlands, seized one of its servers to try to obtain customer data but were unable to do so. Limitations of VPNs. How we picked. Privacy and terms-of-service policies. The minimum: a free version or trial or a money-back guarantee.
The best: a free version or trial and a money-back guarantee. The minimum: at least 75 server locations in at least 20 countries. The best: more than 1, servers. The best: additional operating systems, routers, and smart TVs. The minimum: two simultaneous connections. The best: five or more simultaneous connections. Custom ad blockers: Although this is a nice feature to have in a VPN, you can find a number of trustworthy and free browser extensions for this purpose.
Multihop connections: For added encryption and obfuscation, some VPNs can route your traffic through multiple servers. For more than a decade Internet providers have slowed down BitTorrent transfers for traffic management purposes. Today we look at fresh data from the Google-backed Measurement Lab, which provides new insight into the BitTorrent throttling practices of ISPs all over the world.
The data show that many ISPs still interfere with file-sharing traffic, but to varying degrees. Unfortunately, this is something that most of these companies are quite secretive about. Thanks to data collected by Measurement Lab M-Lab the public is now able to take a look at the frequency of these BitTorrent throttling practices.
The throttling percentages for various countries and ISPs are based on M-Lab tests that were performed between December and December The next step is to look in more detail at several of the individual countries to see which ISPs throttle the most. BitTorrent throttling in the US is not as prevalent as it used to be.
In the UK, BitTorrent throttling rates are relatively high.
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Two years ago HideMyAss made headlines all over the Internet when it became known that they were ordered to share the personal details of one of its users with the authorities. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public. Name required. Join other followers. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.
We found it easy to set up and use. Read our full CyberGhost review. Better still, this VPN includes a customizable kill switch, so if your connection drops, you can immediately stop torrenting. Up to six devices can be connected at any one time.
Live chat-based support is available most hours of the day. You can also install the service manually on select network routers. Good for general purpose use and Torrenting. Speeds are impressive for this end of the market. Read our full review of PrivateVPN. Believe it or not, the hardest part of torrenting safely is setting up the VPN.
Sick of data caps? Why not take advantage of a high-quality paid service's guarantee to gain unrestricted access? NordVPN , for instance, offers a day money-back guarantee which means you can use it as much as you like for a month, risk-free. When you're done, just cancel to receive a full refund. Although there are some great free versions of excellent VPNs to try out, in most cases, the impairments imposed on them make them useless for torrenting.
Here are a few examples:. TunnelBear is a great VPN with a cute, simple design. Amazingly, this fantastic VPN has a free version. You would think this would be perfect for use when torrenting. So, TunnelBear would be great for low data volume browsing, but it is not a feasible choice for torrenters.
SaferVPN is a service that we frequently recommend at Comparitech. You can try out the service on a hour free trial and you also get a day money-back guarantee. So, you could use this VPN for free for a day, sign up, and then cancel after two weeks and get your money back. The free version of SaferVPN is available once you have completed the free trial if you choose not to subscribe.
The company is based in the Republic of Ireland. Other reasons why SecurityKiss is not suitable for torrenting include:. The VPN is headquartered in the USA, which is not an ideal location for a privacy service because it makes it vulnerable to government pressure and legal challenges. However, the free version only gives access to servers in the USA. You can sign up for the Premium paid service and get a day refund period.
This would be better than using the free version because:. There are some very bad free VPNs that should be avoided at all costs, and not just for torrenting. These VPNs make the blacklist either by providing terrible service, compromising user security, or simply being plain, downright and shamelessly dishonest. So, no matter how much their advertising may tempt you, do not, under any circumstances, install the following VPNs.
This is presented very much like a mutually beneficial setup serving a community. However, the organization that runs Hola! So, free users allow other users to pass their connections through their system in exchange for the same service in return. In other words, if someone performs a criminal act, traceable to your IP address, you could get into a lot of trouble.
In fact, it includes 14 different tracking codes, which is way more than most dodgy VPNs. In the same document, the service absolves itself of any responsibility for the actions of those third-parties. Data retention is vitally important when choosing a VPN. The VPN industry is very crowded and competition is fierce.
All VPN companies know about the importance of privacy to users. Many keep logs that identify users despite claims to the contrary. Some companies dance around the definition of what a log is and will stretch the definition of personally identifiable information. Some countries are very strong on copyright enforcement. If a VPN company is based in a country with strong copyright laws, the owners of that company can be threatened with imprisonment or fines if they fail to cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
That threat can be enough to sacrifice your anonymity. As a general rule of thumb, it is better to connect to a VPN server as close as possible to the source of the data you are accessing. If you are in Turkey and connecting to a web server in Germany, for example, diverting all of your traffic through a VPN located in Hong Kong would create extra distance for each piece of data to travel and slow the download.
An alternative VPN server selection strategy is to connect to a server close to you. To make it even harder for someone to trace your activities, you may want to use a server location outside of your home country. The top VPNs have servers in many countries. If you are in Europe, you likely get plenty of choice from any VPN service.
Although there are hundreds of free VPNs on the market, surprisingly few of them offer adequate privacy protection. That study took place at the end of and examined a total of VPN services. Free VPNs often earn money by displaying advertisements to users, either in the app or injected into web pages as they get loaded into browsers. This annoyance, coupled with their other limitations makes them unfeasible for day-to-day usage. Simply, people who get into trouble for torrenting have usually been caught downloading copyrighted content.
Better still, these services have minimal impact on your connection speed, allowing you to finish your download as quickly as possible. OpenVPN is a strong choice for torrenting, for a few reasons. Second, OpenVPN manages to remain highly secure without compromising too heavily on speed; there are faster protocols out there, but ultimately, OpenVPN is often more convenient.
ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and CyberGhost are all excellent choices: they boasts high speeds, large server networks, and powerful security features designed to keep your traffic private at all times. Unfortunately, free VPNs just aren't suitable for torrenting, streaming, or online gaming. All of these activities require high-speed connections and, just as important, unlimited bandwidth.
Free VPNs have a limited number of servers and with so many users on each, they'll usually throttle your bandwidth. This makes torrent downloads far too slow. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
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