If you are aware of how torrents and P2P file sharing sites work, there is a good chance you know what a Virtual Private Network is. In fact, since millions of people around the world now choose to safeguard their privacy with a VPN, you may even have tried such a service before.
But have you ever considered if the VPN you are using is good enough? Not all VPNs are created equally, and some might not be as anonymous as they may seem. There are some services which keep user logs and details of IP-addresses for many months. So, we asked ourselves, which are the best services to use if you primarily torrent and file share online. Here is what we found:
Defining the Best
VPNs are mostly used to cover your tracks online. The prime focus of using a private network service is the anonymity it offers. So, any aspect of a service that weakens the level of anonymity offered to users is regarded as a reason to not consider the service when you are looking for the best.
This could mean that any service that uses logs that can help match users to their timestamps and IP-addresses won’t be consider in the list below. The top five VPNs suggested below are all well equipped to handle DMCA takedown notices, allow torrenting on their services, use payment systems and logs that cannot be linked to individual users and have heavy encryption on their networks.
So, keeping all these factors in mind, here are the very best VPNs you can use for torrenting and P2P file sharing.
ExpressVPN is an all-time favorite. When considering all the factors mentioned above, this service comes out on top as the best overall service you could possibly go for.
The service is available in over 78 countries and the network connecting you to the rest is uber-secure. They use heavy-duty encryption to protect your data effectively. There is also the fact that your data could be routed from countries such as Hong Kong, Romania and the Netherlands, all countries with more lenient laws concerning torrenting, private networks, and peer-to-peer sharing.
There are no usage logs maintained by the company, so being linked to your online activities is out of the question altogether.
Then there is the pricing. At $8.32 a month, you get access to fantastic service which you can use on both desktop and mobile. What more could you want?
2. Private Internet Access
PIA doesn’t log any usage data either, which is why it’s on this list. The fact that they operate out of the US works in their favor. As it turns out, the US is one of only a handful of nations who do not make data retention mandatory. They believe the US is the best for privacy based VPN services.
They also say that since they do not actually host any content, they cannot be asked to take anything down from their servers. They don’t log data, so turning it over to the authorities is impossible.
PIA uses all sorts of methods of payment. Some of them are more secure than others but when you can pay with anything from bitcoin to a gift card from an anonymous email account, it’s hard to see the problem.
Even their encryption is good, ranging from RSA2048 to AES-128.
Again, IPVanish has no set log policy and insists they do not keep any user logs. They do not monitor any of their users’ activities online and insist they follow only US jurisdiction.
P2P is permitted and you can pay with the most common payment methods including credit cards and PayPal. However, payments are linked to the users as per the company’s policy. This is because the company needs user data to deal with disputes and refunds.
The company sticks to the encryption offered by OpenVPN, as they believe it offers the best encryption. Some might disagree with that.
The company is based in Canada so the jurisdiction of Canadian courts applies.
4. VPN Arena
VPN Arena is another great service you should probably check out. It’s got amazing features like DNS leak protection and statistics for servers as well as an auto-changer for the IP. Plus, it’s based in Bulgaria, so the laws concerning torrenting and data protection are based on this jurisdiction.
It’s a start-up company, but you would never guess this from the fantastic design of the main site. They offer a free 7-day trial for all customers and also a kill switch for individual apps.
They use 128-blowfish encryption for all their data, which they believe is about adequate.
This one is super secure and doesn’t store IP addresses and proxy settings. There’s also no time stamp collection going on. The company says that the way the software is configured, hundreds of users could be using the same IP address at the same time so the data is obscure for anyone on the outside trying to pry in.
They are based in the United States, but say they will move base to another country as soon as they sense the ground shift beneath them. Further, all customer billing is done outside the US and they serve over 23 countries, so it’s easy for them to shift as well.
However, BitTorrent is only allowed on certain server locations. They cannot maintain BitTorrent usage on all servers since it is bandwidth intensive, but if your data is passed through servers in countries like Hong Kong, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands and Russia, it will be allowed.
With a good range of encryption options this may be one to consider if you want to torrent regularly through a VPN.
The VPN provider market is immensely crowded now. There are many players involved and choosing the best could often be tricky. The 5 that were listed here are best for torrenting and P2P file sharing in our opinion. But you could research this further and understand a bit more about VPNs and online privacy tools to find the best VPN for your needs.