TorGuard Review

torguard logo

TorGuard is highly regarded for respecting privacy. They claim to not log or time stamp user actions. More service options exist than with most VPN providers. There is an emphasis on affordable, fast, and private torrent usage. In addition to anonymous VPN service, they also sell Smart DNS for accessing restricted content, DD-WRT routers and proxy service intended for torrent usage. This is a tremendous combination for anyone concerned with privacy and accessing restricted content.

 

VPN Pricing

Billing CycleAmount BilledCost Per Month
1 Month$9.99$9.99
3 Months$19.99$6.66
6 Months$29.99$5
12 Months$59.99$5

 

Torrent Proxy Pricing

Billing CycleAmount BilledCost Per Month
1 Month$5.95$5.95
3 Months$14.95$4.98
6 Months$29.95$4.99
12 Months$46.95$3.91

There are also bundle discounts if you want VPN service along with the torrent proxy. I am not quite sure why you would need both, but obviously, this package suits the needs of some.

TorVPN is one of the cheapest VPN services when you select a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual billing cycle. The monthly rate is pretty run of the mill.

Payment options include all major credit cards, PayPal, OKPAY and importantly, bitcoin. It’s always a good sign of intent to respect privacy when a VPN provider accepts bitcoin.

torgaurd pricing options

 

VPN Service Highlights

 

Proxy Highlights

 

Other Services

torguard email

smart dns

torguard dd-wrt

 

Support

Support is available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Email and live chat are available. The support email address is: support@torguard.net

In addition to the hands on support options, TorGuard offers one of the best knowledgebase sections full of setup guides and tutorials. All the major programs are covered, like Utorrent and Vuze, along with setup guides for relatively sparsely used programs, like the Opera browser. Here is a sample of the proxy setup tutorials:

poxy setup tutorials

 

Conclusion

TorGuard takes privacy seriously. They offer a myriad of services intended to anonymize the Internet and access restricted content. Support is available 24/7, but you probably won’t need it because they provide such an expansive list of helpful tutorials. If you are in the market for a new VPN, SmartDNS or proxy provider, you should definitely give their offer

Read Review | User Reviews

Is HideMyAss Good For Torrents

hidemyass torrents

 

HideMyAss isn’t our most highly recommended VPN for torrents. That honor currently resides with PIA. You can use HMA for torrents, but only on select servers. There is actually a thread on the HideMyAss site about this very issue here. Within this thread, the HMA rep actually admits that they block torrent downloads on many servers. Here is the list they recommended:

USA, Florida, Miami
USA, California, Los Angeles
USA, Washington, Seattle
USA, Georgia, Atlanta
USA, New York, Albany
USA, Indiana, South Bend
USA, California, San Francisco
USA, Nevada, Las Vegas
USA, Utah, Salt Lake City
USA, Texas, Houston
Canada, Quebec, Montreal
Romania, Bucharest
Serbia, Belgrade
Hungary, Budapest
Croatia, Zagreb

I personally wouldn’t use their U.S. servers for torrents, even though they dominate this list. This Reddit thread explains why I would avoid the U.S. servers. The user who started the thread said their account had been suspended 3 months into a 12 month subscription due to DMCA complaints, resulting from torrents. While it is unfortunate that this guy is out about $50 worth of service, he should still be damn happy that the VPN service saved him from a potential lawsuit.

Is HideMyAss Good For Torrents

Here is the letter received by the torrent user from HMA:

Hello,

We have received a file sharing complaint and the date, time, and IP address provided matches the date, time, and IP address when your VPN account was in use; as a precaution we have disabled your account for violation of our terms of service. Whilst your identity is never revealed to any third-party, we kindly ask you to confirm you will no longer share the specified copyrighted material and we will then activate your account. If you believe this complaint is incorrect, please tell use and we will re-activate your account, however if we continue to receive complaints your account may be permanently disabled.

I don’t know about you, but a letter like this would freak me. I still reiterate the fact that, despite the user’s outrage, the provider was pretty cool about how they handled the complaint. While PrivateInternetAccess is a better service for now due to their no logging and shared IP policies, it is likely only a matter of time to continue to be a safe harbor.

TorrentFreak has an extensive write up about the different VPN services good for P2P. I am skeptical of some of the entries on their list. The list relies on self reporting from the VPN providers. The most important take home message is your best bet is to stick with a provider who accepts digital currency and does not require personal details. Theoretically, you could likely still be traced through data center logs that giveaway your ISP assigned IP. It’s incredibly unlikely anyone would go through that much effort unless you were up to something far worse than sticking it to the man by downloading your favorite movie or musician from a torrent.

Read Review | User Reviews

Witopia Review

witopia logo

Witopia used to be one of the cheapest and most popular VPN services. They are still relatively cheap and popular, but they have definitely been knocked down a peg or two. The downturn for Witopia started back in 2011 when there was a high profile incident where their service was successfully blocked by the Chinese government for a sustained period. Outside of bypassing Chinese firewalls and torrent usage, Witopia is still a solid VPN provider.

 

Company Background

Witopia is based in Fairfax County (Reston), Virginia. The company came to fruition in 2005. Their listed address is:

11654 Plaza America Drive #316
Reston, Virginia 20190-4700

They claim to have customers in over 160 countries. Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal of evidence on how many total customers they have. Given the age and reputation of the service, it is fair to estimate the number of subscribers in the tens of thousands.

Pricing

Price was the key marketing advantage for Witopia a few years back. While they are still affordable, annual plans from services like Private Internet Access are a better deal for those looking for the absolute best deal.

 

Both annual plans comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. The unconditional refund period for 3 and 6 month plans is 10 days. These terms are quite generous and indicate a high level of confidence in customer satisfaction. The only comparable money back guarantee is the 30 day offer from HMA.

 

Torrent Policy

If you are looking for a VPN service to mask torrent usage, keep looking. Witopia clearly states that they don’t allow P2P traffic. The excuse they give is that they prefer to focus on privacy and security. The reality is they likely would rather avoid the legal hassle of fighting DMCA complaints from copyright holders. Here is the official statement in their FAQ:

witopia torrent policy

While this isn’t the answer most of us would like to see from a VPN provider, we should give them credit for being upfront and honest. Many VPN providers are purposefully elusive on the topic in an effort to play both sides of the fence. If you are looking for a cheap and reliable service for P2P, I would again recommend using PIA. They are well known and respected for their no logging plus shared IP pool policies.

Witopia also clearly states in their privacy policy that they log user activity. They claim that these logs are routinely deleted within 30 days. This answer is non-committal and doesn’t fill me with confidence that my privacy is of utmost important.

 

Client Software

Witopia has long been known for their easy to use connection software. It is available for download in the customer portal in for Windows and Mac machines. They also provide instructions for manual setup if you are more of a technical DIY type. Their software is easy to use and reliable. You couldn’t ask much more on this front.

witopia software

 

Servers

Witopia boasts an impressive number of servers in more than 30 different countries. You can see the full list on their Wiki here. 13 major U.S. cities have gateways along with the largest cities in Europe. From a geographic standpoint, most users will find the service more than sufficient.

Reviews Around the Web

 

Conclusion

Witopia has provided reliable VPN service with easy to use software since 2005. While they aren’t the right service for users concerned about logging or torrents, they are above average for users looking for a security boost. They also excel at helping users bypass geographical restrictions by offering servers in more than 33 different countries. Their refund policy is also extraordinarily generous. This latter feature alone makes giving the service a shot a worthwhile and risk-free prospect.

Visit Site | Read Review | User Reviews (2)

Flashrouters Review

flashrouters logo

Flashrouters isn’t a VPN service. They are an innovative company that flashes and pre-configures the highest quality routers with DD-WRT and Tomato firmware to work with a wide assortment of VPN providers. The concept is an interesting one. I would have disregarded the idea had you told it to me a few years ago because I would have assumed the average VPN user so do it yourself and technologically minded they would rebuff any such service. That said, the VPN market is expanding well beyond its ultra geeky roots and who among us hasn’t banged their head against the desk as they faced an insurmountable technological challenge. This is where the good folks at Flashrouters step in to make life easier.

Supported Providers

Flashrouters currently sells routers configured to work with the following premium VPN services.

 

This is an impressive list off the best VPN providers in the world.

flashrouters supported services

Firmware

Routers are flashed with either DD-WRT or Tomato firmware. These are the two most popular flavors of open source firmware for routers. Both have vibrant communities that strive to innovate and evolve.

Router Brands

 

Flashrouters only uses industry proven brands and models. Since the company is still relatively small, they can’t afford to stock. This is a major benefit to the consumer as they pass on the full spectrum and technological expertise to ensure customers receive the quality they expect.

Price

Prices are certainly higher than what you would pay for a router with the manufacturers’ settings sold on Newegg or Amazon. This is only fair since Flashrouters is both putting in a lot of work and making a substantial financial commitment. The vast majority of the routers they sell pre-configured to work with VPN providers cost between $100 and $200. This is by no means a bad price and certainly reasonable for anyone with a decent job. If you are the sort who craves being in front of the curve, there are a few models in the $300-$400 price range.

Conclusion

Flashrouters is an innovative company that sells quality routers. If you like the idea of having DD-WRT and Tomato open source firmware on your router with certainty it will work with your VPN provider, this is a great way to go. The prices are a little higher than you would pay for a comparable device from Newegg or Amazon, but given the added service, the premium is quite reasonable.

Visit Site | Read Review | User Reviews

Privacy.io Review

privacy.io vpn logo

Privacy.io is one of the best VPN services for anonymity and torrent usage. They do not keep logs and offer a wide variety of low cost plans. They are based in Sweden, a country known for taking a strong stance on privacy. It’s also considered by many to be one of the most torrent friendly countries.

The parents company of Privacy.io is Intlayer Pty Ltd. Their very cool tagline is, “creating inspired technology.” That’s definitely the dream for many of us. There is a sister company named Portlane AB. They provide ISP, cloud, and Web hosting services. Portlane is also the owner of a state of the art data center in Sweden. This is the sort of company background I look for in finding a reliable VPN service.

Terms of Service

The TOS specifically states that torrents are allowed. If you happen to buy a plan with access to only one protocol (PPTP or OpenVPN), you are only allowed one connection at a time. This is a bit of a burn if you are looking to share service across your entire family. The PPTP & OpenVPN allows users one connection per protocol for a maximum of two simultaneous connections.

Pricing

Prices are reasonable, but not the cheapest. Being a Swedish based company, the primary currency is Euros. For the convenience of international customers, they also break rates down by U.S. and Australian dollars along with British pounds. Customers paying in Euros receive the best deal. We especially like the fact that you can buy service for as brief a period as just 1 day.

privacy.io pricing

Setup

Installing the service will be a pain for some people. Privacy.io doesn’t offer an easy to use connection client. For the OpenVPN protocol, they point users to the standard OpenVPN community software. PPTP is a pretty simple setup, so no software is provided for it. On the bright side, easy to follow guides with pictures are provided.

privacy.io setup guides

Verdict Around the Web

The good folks at TorrentFreak rank Privacy.io as one of the best VPN services to mask P2P activities. The guys over at Best VPN received great speeds when testing the service from the United Kingdom. The rave reviews make sense because the company has a diversified product portfolio (data centers, cloud hosting, Internet service, etc). They obviously have pockets deep enough to make the VPN work as designed.

Summary

Privacy.io is a great VPN service to keep you anonymous while using torrents. They provide fast and reliable speeds at a fair price. I would be more inclined to subscribe if I lived in Europe since they cater to the European market paying in Euros.

Best Alternative

Private Internet Access is my most highly recommended alternative. They are cheap, don’t keep logs, and allow torrent usage. PIA is one of the most rave reviewed VPN providers out there.

Read Review | User Review (1)

LogMeIn Hamachi Review

logmein hamachi logo

I was reading this Lifehacker article today about the best VPN services. None of the providers on the list surprised me until I made it to LogMeIn Hamachi. My first reaction was LogMeIn who? Once I started reading about the service, my reaction changed to this is damn cool technology. Hamachi is a service much closer to the VPN’s many of us use at work as opposed to most of the other VPN services we’ve reviewed on this site. I say this because the service allows users to remotely and securely access networks. This is opposed to accessing networks from around the globe to increase privacy and enable GeoIP features. Their most similar competitor is GoToMyPC.

Prices

The pricing structure with LogMeIn Hamachi is fair. They offer a free plan for up to 5 computers in your network. As with most free offers, you’ll receive better service with the paid versions. Even the standard plan price of $29 per year is quite affordable.

hamachi pricing

Competitors

GoToMyPC is the most well known competitor of LogMeIn. The main difference is that GoToMyPC is a cloud based solution while LogMeIn is a real VPN solution. GoToMyPC is a more expensive solution. Anyplace-Control and RemotePC are two other similar services you might consider.

Software

The software provided is simple to use. It allows you to easily create a managed or unmanaged network. The managed network solution allows for the creation of a gateway VPN. With the unmanaged solution, no user manages the connection traffic.

Summary

LogMeIn Hamachi is a well respected VPN provider that allows users to affordable create secure networks and remotely share files. It is useful for both individuals and businesses looking to securely collaborate. Since a free plan is available, users can try the service hassle free to determine if it is right for them or their company. The software provided is simplistic enough that even novice computer users are unlikely to have trouble using the service. Overall, it is well worth a try if this feature set appeals to you.

logmeinhamachi software

The software has over 1 million downloads on CNET with a 4 star rating. The download is slightly over 8MB in size.

Read Review | User Reviews

IronSocket Review

ironsocket VPN review

IronSocket is a new name in the field of VPN providers. They were previously called HideMyNet. The service name was changed after a recent sale. The new owners seem to know their shit. Every interaction I’ve had with this company has been professional and left me with a good vibe. In other good news, IronSocket recently lowered their prices. The company is also aggressively adding new servers. In fact, 11 new servers are in the Beta phase and will soon be launched as part of the regular server pool. Not counting the Beta servers, there are already 39 servers online.

Service Highlights

 

Read Review | User Reviews

Earth VPN Review

earth vpn logo

Earth VPN is headquartered in Northern Cyprus. They have servers 110+ servers in 32 countries. The company claims to not keep logs. Installation can be a bit more cumbersome than some other providers, but this is only a brief annoyance during the initial configuration. Cost is the biggest selling point of the service with plans costing just $3.99 per month or $39.99 per year. The annual price of around forty bucks isn’t that unheard of, but 4 bucks a month is pretty damn cheap. You are probably only likely to beat that with a promotional price from Private Internet Access or ibVPN.

 

Torrents

Earth VPN is heavily going after the torrent crowd. They heavily advertise the fact that they don’t store logs, offer unlimited bandwidth, and enable P2P.

 

Cheap VPN

You really can’t beat the $3.99 monthly price. $39.99 for an annual plan isn’t too shabby either. If your nickles are few and far between right now, this is the right service for you.

Coupon - The folks at EarthVPN were nice enough to offer our readers a promo code for 25% off the first billing cycle. You can enjoy this discount by entering code REVIEWVPN.

 

Payment Options
Earth VPN accepts Bitcoin, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, AliPay, UnionPay, and WebMoney.

earthvpn payment options

 

Server Locations

Earth VPN has 110+ servers are in 32 countries across 6 continents.

 

earthvpn server map

 

Speed

 

Support & Social Details
Several support options are available, including the standard ticket based system. Here are some other resources:

 

Pre-Configured Router

The good folks at Flashrouters sell a pre-configured for EarthVPN Linksys E4200. It is a little pricey at $199.95, but if you lack the time or technical know how, this can be a great deal.

 

Controversy

EarthVPN has undergone a couple major controversies in its relatively short existence. In one incident, WipeYourData claimed that a student in the Netherlands was quickly arrested after using EarthVPN to email a bomb threat to his school. The claim is that one of that data centers EarthVPN used was logging the data, even though EarthVPN wasn’t. You can read the story here. The author doesn’t stand behind the validity of the situation as adamantly as I would like from a trustworthy source.

The other controversy was when the list of EarthVPN users was hacked. You can read the Reddit thread on this situation here. I tend to believe this case and even asked the EarthVPN folks about it. They didn’t deny the incident, but instead insisted that you are not required to provide your true identity. I would take this recommendation to heart if you decide to signup for their service.

Despite these setbacks, I get the impression this company has the best intentions to provide a secure and private VPN service at the lowest possible price. You have to take into consideration when you read these stories that hackers are constantly trying to compromise the security of a VPN provider. It’s a pretty neat feather to have in their cap.

Summary

Overall, Earth VPN is a good service at an incredibly reasonable price. They are eager to attract customers who like to torrent. Our only knock is the setup process could be refined.

earth vpn

Read Review | User Reviews

Top 10 VPN Services

VPN’s (virtual private networks) are primarily used for security and privacy. Many of us are familiar with the VPN provided by our work. A VPN from work allows the user to obtain a local network IP address and create a secure connection. Once the local IP is obtained, users can access information from their Intranet, like a dev server.

A personal VPN servers a similar purpose. Most people want to access content they couldn’t otherwise. This typically takes the form of obtaining an IP address from another country. Services like Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora are locked to users in the United States. If you use a VPN to obtain an American IP address, you can then access these services. The same theory is applicable to a myriad of worthwhile services from around the globe.

Some people use a VPN to mask their activities (P2P, torrents, etc). A few providers even claim they don’t keep logs. I typically don’t recommend using a VPN for this application. You are unlikely to end up being sued by a big bad media company, but the VPN provider might drop you from their service and keep your money if they receive a DMCA complaint. Even if the VPN provider is located in a fairly rogue company, they are still at risk of being compelled to cooperate since they likely have equipment located in law abiding countries. They wouldn’t be inclined to forfeit this equipment to protect you if push came to shove. Use a seedbox if you are a heavy P2P user.

Now let’s get to the heart of the article –

Read the rest of this entry »

Read Review | User Reviews (2)

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access VPN Header

 

Private Internet Access is owned by a company named London Media Trust, Inc. The service is oddly named given its American roots. London Media Trust, Inc. and PIA were co-founded by Andrew Lee in 2009. Interesting note, one of Andrew’s previous jobs is listed as Mt. Gox Live. The keen news junky or bitcoin afficionado is likely to remember Mt. Gox Live for once being the largest bitcoin exchange in the world. It will forever live in clouded infamy for its sudden 2014 collapse. Since this happened several years after Andrew Lee left the organization, I am confident he had nothing to do with it. Now, let’s get back on track VPN services are one of the best way to increase privacy, security, bypass firewalls and access geo-restricted content!

andrew lee co-founder private internet access vpn

                     PIA Service Overview

Servers in the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Japan, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Israel, Romania, Netherlands and Switzerland
$6.95 Per Month or $39.95 Per Year
No Download Limits
No Speed Limits
7 Day Refund Policy
No Traffic or Request Logs
OpenVPN, PPTP, and IPsec over L2TP Protocols
P2P / Torrents Allowed
Instant Activation
Many Payment Options

Read the rest of this entry »

Read Review | User Reviews (6)

Blacklogic Review

 

Blacklogic is an established player in the global VPN market based out of Canada. The website has a rather ominous feel with a shadowy man wearing sunglasses above a read out of your IP address. They have an obvious focus on privacy and advertise no provider logs. Many different pricing models are offered to suit most customers. The service is good for bypassing censorship, unblocking services like Skype, and accessing content from BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Netflix. Blacklogic supports SSTP, PPTP and L2TP/IPSec.  The service works with Windows, Linux, iPad/iPhone, and Android devices.

Blacklogic VPN Service Highlights

 

Servers in 5 Countries
82 VPN Servers
No Download Limits
No Speed Limits
Phone and Email Support
No Provider Logs
Up to 2048 bit Encryption
OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP VPN Protocols
100% Server Uptime
7 Day Money Back Guarantee
Low Price Guarantee

Read the rest of this entry »

Visit Site | Read Review | User Review (1)