Best VPNs for Android 2017
By 04 May'16 2017-01-18 00:12:10—
BitTorrent and P2P (Peer-to-Peer) technologies have been popular all around the world for more than a decade now.
Often torrents get a bad reputation, because they are seen as an infringement of the law, but believe it or not, that’s not necessarily the case for a few reasons.
First of all, any issues of legality are derived from a nation’s specific laws, which vary from country to country.
Torrenting is not illegal everywhere.
For example, the EU has different laws and regulations surrounding copyright infringement and copyright enforcement, than the US and other nations.
In many countries around the world, it is perfectly legal to download torrents, as long as they are for personal use only.
However, using them to pirate media with the intent to sell and distribute the downloaded files is a completely different story.
But please understand that not all of the files and media available for download via P2P technologies are inherently illegal. The fact is that P2P technology remains a legitimate and effective way to distribute a wealth of information.
Just take Linux distributions, for example.
There are many Linux platforms that are available for download using Bit Torrent clients, and there’s nothing illegal about.
In short, it’s not about the tool, but what it’s used for.
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P2P has several advantages over direct server downloads, such as Usenet.
One of the problems with Usenet is that files are hosted on a server with finite storage capacity.
That’s actually why Usenet needs to cycle out the files they host at set intervals of time.
With P2P technologies, however, no such constraints exists. As long as the torrent can be found, it can be downloaded.
This is due to the nature of P2P, whereby a network of users (called seeders) host files for other peers to download. This facet of the technology is both a blessing and a curse, though.
See, once a user finds the file they’re looking for, but there is only one seeder, it is likely going to take a very long time to download that file.
But everything depends on the size of the file and the respective upload and download speeds of the seeder and the leecher.
Still, P2P tech offers a better alternative to Usenet, where downloaders might not even find a link to the file they want to download.
Yet another perk to using a BitTorrent client for downloads is the fact that you can download content for free.
There are, admittedly, paid torrent hosting sites, but by and large users can usually find what they are looking for free of charge.
Usenet, on the other hand, almost always charges a monthly subscription fee (restricted by monthly data limits).
There are three main security issues which plague the majority of BitTorrent users. The first problem is being able to trust the integrity of a download.
It isn’t as large of a problem when P2P technologies first started becoming mainstream, but there are still a multitude of files hosted on P2P platforms that carry unwanted:
The best solution to this problem is to scan every – and I mean every – file that you download with security software before you open it.
In addition to viruses and similar threats, P2P users also need to be concerned with their privacy when downloading a file.
There’s no telling where another user is located in the world or what their intentions might be, and the real problem arises from the fact that others can see your IP address.
As a file downloads from BitTorrent, a download could take fragmented pieces of data from tens (if not thousands) of different users.
I don’t think anyone would want to knowingly advertise their IP address to so many strangers online.
Fortunately, all one needs to do to combat this issue is use a VPN tunnel to mask their IP address. Doing so will make it nigh on impossible for other users to trace your real IP address.
The third security concern is government agencies, the RIAA, and similar institutions. If other downloaders can see your IP address, these types of agencies can undoubtedly trace an IP address as well.
If a BitTorrent user only downloads files that are legal within their geographic region, there is nothing to fear, though.
And don’t get me wrong, I certainly advocate full compliance with the law.
Having said that, in some countries it is 100% acceptable to download copyrighted materials for personal use, but the RIAA may still try to trace your IP address, regardless of whether or not the download is legal.
Though P2P technologies are rife with security concerns, a VPN tunnel will clear up all of these issues (with exception of viruses contained in files). There are three main benefits to using a VPN tunnel when downloading torrents.
Because a VPN masks your IP address with one from the VPN server; other users, copyright organizations, and governments won’t be able to see the real IP address of your computer.
The only way to see that information would be to look at the connection meta-data from the VPN server.
A great benefit of using a VPN tunnel when downloading torrents is the fact that it masks IP addresses.
This is extremely important, because many ISPs disallow the use of P2P technologies for security and resource reasons.
It is inadvisable to expose your real IP address to so many strangers as a file download is in progress.
There isn’t any way of knowing beforehand how many people might connect to your computer over the course of the download.
Security and anonymity are essential, not optional, for users who want to download files using BitTorrent.
When downloading files from BitTorrent, every user should make good use of a feature called a VPN kill-switch.
Some providers offer this as part of their VPN service package, but other providers do not. If your VPN provider lacks this feature, it’s possible to create your own with firewall configurations or third-party software.
Essentially, a VPN kill-switch will halt all downloads in the event a VPN disconnects.
If a VPN tunnel is disconnected while files are being downloaded, all of the traffic from the download would then resume outside of the tunnel, which is bad for several reasons.
Torrent downloads can take many hours to complete, and users don’t constantly monitor or supervise their downloads.
As the download resumes without a VPN connection, all of that data will be routed through your ISP’s network without encryption.
And everyone else downloading the same file will be able to see your real IP address.
Instead of risking exposing all of that information, using a kill-switch will ensure that your IP address and P2P activity aren’t accessible by others if the VPN connection drops.
With all the basics cleared up, let’s take an in-depth look at the best VPNs for torrents in 2017.
Torguard is our first choice for users who want to download files with P2P technology for several reasons. First of all, they are not based in the US, giving users peace of mind that their VPN service provider won’t be pressured or coerced by the US government.
Torguard is based out of Panama, and is well-known for their popular anonymity network that adds an extra layer of anonymity when used with a VPN service.
Furthermore, the company has an extremely attractive ‘no logs’ policy that helps to protect P2P downloaders. Their servers don’t impose bandwidth throttling or monthly data limits, so users won’t be restrained when downloading. And two of the best features of their software include DNS leak prevention and a kill-switch to protect downloads.
Other notable features of their service include 5 simultaneous connections per account and 1200+ servers in 42 countries.
BolehVPN is a clear choice for users who want to download files via P2P networks like BitTorrent.
The service has many attractive features, which are comparable to VyprVPN. For example, BolehVPN has a no-logs policy and supports P2P on their servers.
And they have a VPN kill-switch and DNS leak prevention.
Interestingly enough, their service also has a private torrent tracker called IPTorrents, which sets them apart from other providers.
In addition, they have a feature called xCloak obfuscation technology, which adds an extra layer of anonymity to downloads and makes them impossible to trace.
However, there are a few drawbacks such as the allowance for only 2 simultaneous connections per account and they only have servers in 11 countries.
Next we have NordVPN, which offers fantastic security with AES-256 encryption. However, their approach to P2P downloads is a little different than other providers.
Yes, they do allow P2P downloads on their servers, but only in countries where it is legal to do so.
We think this is fantastic for two reasons.
First of all, it means they are compliant with the law – which is a huge plus.
Secondly, because they are compliant, it is highly unlikely that they would attract any unwanted attention from other governments, the RIAA, or regulatory bodies.
As an added perk, they are located in Panama.
NordVPN has a wealth of attractive features such as a 30-day money back guarantee and the allowance for 6 simultaneous connections per account.
Cyberghost is another excellent alternative for users who need security services for BitTorrent downloads.
They offer a great service with speeds that are more than good enough to facilitate P2P downloads, but be wary of their free trial service. The free trial does not support P2P, but the premium plus plan does.
As an added bonus, they have a no-log policy.
Though they do log meta-data such as the time a user logs into their service, they don’t keep any logs regarding what websites a user visits or what traffic flows through their servers.
Also, the login times and connection data is deleted after 24 hours, because they only need it to keep statistical information about their servers to help plan for capacity needs.
Furthermore, they are based out of Romania, so no need worry about interference from the US government.
This reason alone makes them one of the best VPNs around.
PIA VPN is our last pick for people who want to secure their P2P downloads, and the service has many enticing features.
To begin with, they have 3,100 servers in 24 countries around the world, so there are plenty of connection options.
However, two reasons people really fall in love with the service is due to the fact that they allow 5 simultaneous connections per account and they are one of the lowest cost providers on the market.
With a 1-year subscription, you can get their service for as little as $3.33 per month. Divide that by 5 devices, and you’re only paying about $0.67 cents per month, per device, with an annual subscription. And despite being based in the US, they do allow P2P downloads.
Lastly, like many other providers, they offer features such as DNS leak protection and a VPN kill-switch.
By now you should have a good understanding of the potential security problems when downloading files with P2P technologies, such as BitTorrent.
Remember, anti-virus and anti-malware software needs to be used in addition to a VPN tunnel to protect yourself completely.
Without a VPN tunnel, there’s no telling who might see your IP address.
You should always use a VPN service with a kill-switch feature, or ISPs and the government will be able to see what you are downloading.
While we don’t advocate illegal activities, we do believe that everyone has a right to privacy.
To avoid attacks from other downloaders and to prevent ISPs and organizations from seeing your online activities and downloads, remember to use a decent VPN service.
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