The Best VPN Service Providers For 2015

The Best VPNs For 2015

In A Nutshell

There are now over a hundred VPN providers located across the world. To create this list of the best VPN service providers, I test customer service, the reliability of their network, and commitment to privacy. I also research actual customer feedback posted in online forums.

I recommend these VPN service providers:

I no longer recommend these VPN service providers:

  • EarthVPN: The service was recently hacked, and is apparently keeps logs
  • BTGuard: Numerous reports of slow connection speeds, and poor customer service.
  • StrongVPN: Fairly expensive. Confusing sign-up options. Also they do not allow P2P/Torrenting, and they able to match an external IP address to a subscriber.

I’ve also created a list of the VPN providers I do not recommend.

You may want to create your own VPS (virtual private server) and install OpenVPN. I recommend using a reliable VPS like Digital Ocean. You can purchase their $5 per month plan, and then follow these instructions to set up OpenVPN.

What Is A VPN?

What Is A VPN?

A VPN (virtual private network) is a service encrypts and redirects all the internet connections on your computer. This means all the data leaving your computer is encrypted, which adds a layer of protection against hackers and eavesdroppers. It is also very difficult for your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to monitor you or block your connections. A VPN service will also allow your to computer to appear to be Europe, the USA, or other countries at will. This is helpful if you want to access blocked media like streaming videos. VPNs differ from web proxies because VPNs encrypt and redirect all of your computer’s outgoing network connections, whereas proxies will only usually only redirect particular protocols within an application. Note that VPNs may slow down your internet connections a bit, but in some cases they may actually speed up your connections. VPNs won’t really affect direct downloads, but they will affect web browsing and torrenting (basically anything that pulls data in lots of small bursts). Personally, I don’t notice a difference unless I’m connected a very remote server in Japan or Romania (from the US). I don’t recommend using free VPNs because they are usually run by untrustworthy companies, and tend to sell your private information. If you need a extra layer of privacy when signing up to VPN services, I suggest using an pseudo-anonymous payment method such as Bitcoin or Liberty Reserve, and doing a DNS Leak Test when using a VPN. However, for most people, this kind of obfuscation is not necessary.

The Best All-Round VPN

ExpressVPN: Best All Round VPN

ExpressVPN is my top recommend VPN for many situations. They have excellent customer service and fast server connections around the world. They offer a “no quibble” 30-day money back offer. They are slightly more expensive than other VPNs, but worth if you need a reliable network. The monthly rate is $12.95.

ExpressVPN accept many payment types — Paypal, major credit cards, Bitcoin, Unionpay, Alipay, Webmoney and CashU.

The Best VPN For Privacy

Private Internet Access


Private Internet Access is a VPN service that is highly regarded by privacy advocates. It remains our top choice for a privacy-oriented VPN service. In the online discussions I’ve been monitoring, the comments are almost universally positive. It also received a PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Award for VPN services. The company operates out of the United States with gigabit gateways in the USA, Canada, UK, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. I’ve been testing their VPN service for about 12 months now, and I’ve had no problems. I use it continuously now, and I don’t notice any lag when browsing the web, or downloading files. They are also one of the least expensive private VPNs, with rates at $39.95 year, or $6.95 per month. In regards to logging user activity, the company says:

We absolutely do not maintain any VPN logs of any kind. We utilize shared IP addresses rather than dynamic or static IPs, so it is not possible to match a user to an external IP. These are some of the many solutions we have implemented to enable the strongest levels of anonymity amongst VPN services. Further, we would like to encourage our users to use an anonymous e-mail and pay with Bitcoins to ensure even higher levels of anonymity should it be required. Our core verticals are privacy, quality of service, and prompt customer support. We will not share any information with third parties without a valid court order. With that said, it is impossible to match a user to any activity on our system since we utilize shared IPs and maintain absolutely no logs.

Their VPN service supports all the major platforms: Window, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS and Android. They support the following VPN protocols: PPTP, IPSEC, OpenVPN and L2TP. You can also configure Private Internet Access to work on a DD-WRT router or Tomato router (via SSL/OpenVPN) for constant security. Their VPN client also has handy features like DNS leakage blocking and an “internet kill switch” (a feature that shuts off your internet connection if your VPN connection goes down). For payment they accept credit cards, Paypal, almost any Gift Card, Amazon Payments, CashU, Google Wallet, OKPay, Bitcoin, and Liberty Reserve, The service costs $6.95 per month, or $40 per year. Link: Private Internet Access

The Best VPN For Privacy (based in Europe)


VPN.AC, based in Romania, is an excellent choice for use in countries with firewalls and other internet censorship. VPN.AC are experts in VPN security and obfuscation.

VPN.AC hosts servers in 9 countries (US, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, France, Romania, Hong Kong and Canada) capable of reaching gigabit port speeds.

They a recently rolled out obfuscation for OpenVPN feature. Here are the details:

Obfuscating the OpenVPN protocol makes it look like regular SSL traffic — making it harder to be blocked by Firewalls with DPI capabilities relying on protocol signatures to identify known VPN protocols. This is the case in China, where default OpenVPN implementations are blocked almost immediately. While our AES 256-bit implementation is still stealthy and working in China, we added one more protocol-type to bypass the GFW. It runs on several ports including TCP port 443 (HTTPS), replacing an instance of OpenVPN Blowfish 128-bit we used with port TCP/443. With this method, the handshake packets are obfuscated so it’s not possible to identify the traffic as being part of an OpenVPN tunnel. Encryption relies on RSA 4096-bit + ECDHE for key-exchange, AES 128-bit for data channel.

They also introduced support for Elliptic Curve Cryptography along with TLS 1.2 — one of the most secure types of cryptography available today.

VPN.AC offers one VPN package, which grants you access to all of their international servers ($9 per month or $58 per year). For payment they accept Alipay and Unionpay, Paypal, BitCoin, CashU, Paysafecard and UKash.

Link: VPN.AC



AirVPN is a VPN provider located in Italy that puts a great deal of attention on providing a truly anonymous service. The company says “When we built our infrastructure we had in mind access from people who live in freedom of expression extremely hostile areas, where identity disclosure can lead to critical threats to physical safety and to personal freedom.” Their servers are located in the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, United States and United Kingdom, and in each country there’s at least a 1 Gbit/second server. The company says:

All servers come with dedicated uplink ports. IP addresses are shared with option to forward ports from the control panel. Servers exit-IP and entry-IP are different, against correlation attacks. No logs are kept, and there’s no traffic limit.

For payment, Air VPN accepts Bitcoin, Paypal and credit cards.  The price of the service is 7 euros ($9) per month, or 54 euros ($72) per year. Link: AirVPN

The Best VPN For Torrenting and P2P

Not all VPNs are BitTorrent friendly. In fact, some explicitly prohibit the use of file-sharing software. However, there are some VPNs that welcome torrenting and do not log your online activities, thereby preserving your privacy. If want to torrrent without being bothered, it is essential that the VPN you use does not track your online connections. We now recommend these providers for torrenting and P2P:

Best VPNs For Unblocking Hulu, Netflix and YouTube

See my SmartDNS article for more info.

The Best VPN For Mobile Devices

A number of VPNs now support mobile devices like Android phones and tablets, iPhones, iPads and Windows phones. On most devices, you’ll be using the PPTP or the L2TP protocol, and you’ll have to enter your VPN connection information manually. We recommend using L2TP where possible, because this protocol is more secure than PPTP. Currently, you can’t use OpenVPN on iPhones and iPads, due to Apple restrictions. You can use the GuizmOVPN app on a jailbroken iPhone or iPad. On Android you can use FeatVPN app, or on a rooted device running Android 4, you can use the OpenVPN Settings app. Our top picks here are those VPN providers that provide good documentation for setting up mobile devices:

  • ExpressVPN (great set of mobile apps)
  • Private Internet Access (reliable apps, good documentation, doesn’t keep logs)
  • IPVanish (provides step-by-step instruction for setting up mobile devices, note that they do keep logs)

VPNs That I Do Not Recommend


They ask for your bank info during registration. I also did not enjoy my interactions with their customer service representatives. They declined comments about privacy, locks your account immediately if you get a DMCA notice.


The service was recently hacked, and is apparently keeps logs.


Numerous reports of slow connection speeds, and poor customer service.


Poor customer service. Requires a phone number.


Fairly expensive, confusing sign-up options, and does not allow P2P and are able to match an external IP address to their subscribers. They limit the number of times you can change servers and changes your username and password each time you do.


They don’t support torrenting. They don’t respond to people’s questions.

Hotspot Shield

The software constantly generates banner ads and pop-up windows, and it forcibly changes your search engine to Bing. Also, many sites will still be blocked using Hotspot Shield, and the company makes money by tracking your online activities and reselling this information to third parties. They state on their privacy policy page (

AnchorFree allows other companies, called third-party ad servers or ad networks, to serve advertisements within the Hotspot Shield These third-party ad servers or ad networks use technology to send, directly to your browser, the advertisements and links that appear on the Hotspot Shield. They automatically receive the virtual IP Address assigned by AnchorFree when this happens. They may also use other technologies (such as cookies, javascript, or web beacons) to measure the effectiveness of their advertisements and to personalize their advertising content. AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield Privacy Notice does not apply to, and we cannot control the activities of, such other advertisers or other web sites visited by Users. . .


Keeps logs, doesn’t support torrenting.


Customer service fairly slow and minimal. Some (very limited) logs are kept, slow speeds, limited servers. Also costs $97.76


Limited support, some slow connections including “Multihop” mode (mostly unreliable)


Keeps logs, they say they support P2P, but shut down account as soon as they receive DMCA notice.


Awful customer service, constant disconnection issues.


Requires your personal info when signing up, doesn’t respond to request for refunds.


Essentially a scam, customer support non-existent.

Private Tunnel

Only supports OpenVPN, limited number of servers.


      • Junior Delgado says

        Thanks for the update. I agree with you with the VPN providers you don’t recommend. Could you add this provider on “providers you recommend” : Ironsocket. I’ve been using them for like 6 months now. I was in Singapore in last time, I used them as for my VPN and they’re really good. Thanks.

        • Eric says

          their websites says don’t log but on privacy policy they can see what is your ip address, what site you’re browsing etc . Then how can it be anonymous vpn ?

          • web master says

            They have a policy of “no logs” and they used shared IPs, which is good for privacy. They do keep a record on the number of sessions you create.

    • Steve says

      Dont touch Pure VPN they have a 3 day trial only service works fine on a fast pc with a good internet connection however forget it if you need to use on Ipad or mobile whist away from home.
      you will be lucky to get 1mbit d/l speed.

      customer service is a joke …you been warned

  1. Nick says

    Could you (the author) please look Into SurfEasy VPN and tell me what you think? They seem to be very good as far as I can tell (I’ve been using them on my iPhone for about a month now) but I rarely hear anything about them, good or bad. What’s your take?

    • Sam Rollins says

      SurfEasy is good if you are streaming less than HD quality from sites like netflix and also if you don’t need or want to connect to too many countries…they let you connect by region (U.S., U.K) – Where other providers like IPVanish offer connectivity in 47 or so countries. Speeds are decent at surfEasy, but if you want to download anything or watch HD content, you need a pay provider like IPVanish, Their servers are some of the fastest around.

  2. Gary says

    Am I the only one who has had “issues” with the PIA software?
    I could not get it installed on Windows XP. Yes the customer service “chat line” gave me something to try; found out later that all the references were made to Windows 7.
    After three days of frustration I cancelled my one year subscription.
    For true customer service you should try EPSON or ASUS and others who has someone on a telephone line, directing you through the set-up process, if needed.
    Right now the only good experience I’ve had with PIA is that they have re credited my paypal account with the full payment amount

    • ReallyDisappointed says

      I paid for a one year subscription with PIA and have never been able to download the software on Windows 7 or 8. I’ve tried all the different suggestions they’ve given me but still no joy. Visited all the links to try and download it, trawled the internet for solutions (to try to establish whether the problem was with my computers or my ISP). The only thing I haven’t done yet is invested in a new router. I even visited a site which said that the service was down for everyone, not just me. Plus the email that they sent me for the initial connection/download is now completely blank. It’s been a month now and I’m wondering whether I’ll be able to get a refund. OP, I await your review on ExpressVPN.
      I’m seriously disappointed that this service was rated as joint number one along with ExpressVPN at the time that I signed up. It leaves me wondering what the other providers are like and whether it really is worth the frustration and the disappointing possibility of paying for yet another service that you will not be able to use.
      Any suggestions would be gratefully accepted before I finally jump ship.

      • GreyOne says

        PIA said that regarding the issues with the installers, it can be due to a number of factors but typically it’s due to security software that’s on the computers. They can try disabling the security software or generating and exception for installer_win.exe.

        PIA said they have the support desk at with a full support staff to assist users/customers with issues such as these.

  3. Timah says

    +1 for a review of SurfEasy. Seems to be similar setup to PIA and it’s based in Canada which may be an added benefit.

  4. Willow says

    I’m on the process of subscribing to VPN provider and this article (and the other one about companies you don’t recommend) proved to be EXTREMELY helpful so thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and time. I’m not good with technology and a little clueless about VPN and stuff. But I guess if I just read and follow instructions I’ll be fine. I have one question though. As there is no way I’ll be able to use bitcoin (due to my untechsavvyness) will I be fine paying with Paypal? Does that reduce my anonymity?

  5. Charles says

    Great list and really informative, Greycoder. I noticed you put TorGuard in your list that you did not recommend. I had been looking at them and noticed they got some great reviews other places. If they don’t log anything, even if you just give them a name and email address at sign up, wouldn’t that still be pretty secure?


    • says


      Thanks for the feedback.

      It’s mostly the slowness of customer service from Torguard that mostly disqualifies them here. They are not awful, just not as good as other services list here, in my opnion.

      • Charles says

        Ah good point. Fair enough. One question I just bumped into when researching was a lot of people were staying away from the US companies because they were all within a legal jurisdiction if someone came calling about torrents, etc vs a lot of the international companies. I know a couple of the good ones you recommended were US companies and was just wondering. I remember reading an article where someone was using HideMyAss for stuff and they got subpoena’d because it was in the states. Just curious.

        Thanks again. Loving your site and info.

        • says

          My reasoning goes along these lines: The US is one of only a few countries with no data retention laws for VPN services. If the VPN is truly not logging, then things like DMCA notices cannot be forwarded to users, and a valid DMCA notice cannot be issued to a VPN host because it is not a person or an endpoint and hosts no content.

          When engaging in this debate, people start mentioning NSA surveillance. However, if you are concerned about NSA surveillance you should probably not be relying on a VPN, and it’s not really relevant if you are using a VPN for torrenting. When torrenting, you basically just want to mask your IP address.

          • Charles says

            Very informative. Thank you, Sir! The two recommendations you made look very solid and would be great for keeping anonymity in online debates, message boards, etc.

  6. Limm says

    What do you think of I’ve been using them for a while without any problems, and they responded to heartbleed really fast with new certs and keys. So far, I’m happy with them.

  7. Surprised says

    Wow, I’m surprised at how blunt you are when it comes to some providers that you do not recommend, and explaining why..

    My question is what you know about – I recently signed up with them and can dns proxy, socks, openvpn and torrent on some servers. Have you had the chance to review them?

  8. Nico M. says

    I have used Private Tunnel for about a year without any issue.

    What sold me is they are USA based, they wrote the OpenVPN protocol which is so secure the NSA cant crack it…and the best part is I can pay as I go with NO SUBSCRIPTIONS OR CONTRACTS!

    • says

      I used to recommend PureVPN, but I started to get reports that their speeds could be better, and their client apps could work better. Also, their customer support seems to be hit or miss.

  9. Overdue says

    I’m curious why you say is a scam, I used them for six months and they worked pretty well, plus the customer support was responsive. I quite them cause their software sucked, never worked, but with openvpn it was ok.
    Am now using PIA and their software sucks too, though.

    • says

      PIA is a good choice for China if you use it with PPTP (OpenVPN is generally blocked, so their client probably won’t work for you). PIA does have servers in Hong Kong and they keep no logs.

      I don’t list them at the top of my “VPNs for China” list is because the other VPN providers are known to specifically support Chinese customers.

      Overall, using a VPN in China is always problematic, because their anti-VPN tactics change from week to week.

    • says

      They look all right – but I don’t recommend anyone use a free VPN provider — no incentive to protect your privacy. Try PIA instead ($3 USD/month, 100,000+ users and no logs) –or any of the VPNs recommended in this article..

      • Brett says

        FYI they offer a subscription and have an open vpn based ios app that reconnects waking from sleep and when switching between wifi and cellular data.

        I like PIA but biggest issue is they need to get their sh1t together and offer an ios app to address VPN disconnect when device goes to sleep. Or, apple needs modify ios to offer a reconnect waking from sleep option in vpn settings.

        I know you can use openvpn with PIA but they’re big enough to have an app and customers shouldn’t have to deal with workarounds. There’s even mention from pia reps in their forum about an ios app over a year ago. Still nothing.

  10. iaminvisble says

    Great article! If you have the time, could you share which VPN service would you recommend for users in Singapore where the law is impossibly strict? The service should ideally be great for both online privacy and torrents. Thanks!

  11. Jonathan Scott says

    I’d like to leave a review for Torguard. HORRIBLE! Send me an email and I’ll tell you all about it. You would be surprised and I would like an article written if possible. They have the worst customer support I have ever come across.

  12. Nsowon says

    Witopia allow me unrestricted torrenting and their 24/7 o0nline chat support has been excellent. I’ve just re-signed for a trhird year.

  13. Rach says

    Are these providers as secure as Astrill, with the add ons they have( NAT firewall and stealth) to hide from packet sniffers?

  14. Alan says

    Do you know which vpn offer static ips with a servers list,so i can choose same ip or not when i connect,not randomly assigned.

  15. ManBearPig says

    Hi, the company I’m about to start work with in Germany has recommended IAPS Security Services as a means of getting British TV etc. I’ve done some research about them and was wondering if you could give me some thoughts on them. My research indicates that PIA seems to be the preferred choice for most but I’d like an expert opinion of IAPS before I rule them out completely.

  16. says

    I am new to VPN’s. But I must say after signing up and talking with their chat team that I have found the BEST customer service in my entire life. For that fact alone I will stay with them, although there are so many more reasons. SO have no fear, PureVPN is here, well… not really. Dmitry is a ROCK STAR! 100%+ on customer Service and Support.

    • says

      PureVPN is mediocre all around in my opinion. Their speeds could be better, and their client apps could work better, and their customer support seems to be hit or miss.

      I have not reviewed ShadeYou VPN — personally, $40 a year is already cheap enough for me.

  17. Leroy Tann says

    VPN is good if you want to hide your real location. However, about content streaming, I prefer the DNS option. Currently, I am using UnoTelly and have no speed loss which allows me HD streaming with my 10mbps connection.

  18. Sam says

    Which VPN service would you suggest for Iran? Or if VPNs are not working well there any other ways to get rid of the internet censoring….

  19. says

    is hideme a trusted vpn site ?i use a free one month trial and i was wondering if it has any “secret” charges interacting with my monthly bill , or something like that.

  20. Tarek says

    Hey, between Airvpn and VPN.AC which one do you recommend more? and why? i would appreciate it, you answered, thanks.

    • says

      AirVPN specializes in circumventing blocks imposed by government censorship, as well as government-based spying. VPN.AC also focuses on privacy, but offers a more full-featured VPN service, with good customer support. Hope this helps.

  21. Mona says

    What do you think about Cyberghostvpn for torrenting and p2p? Is it better than purevpn and torguard? I would like to use the vpn for hd streaming also. Are the mentioned VPNs fast and reliable?

  22. Lois Paulino says

    Thanks for the article GreyOne. VPN is good if you want to hide your real location. However, about content streaming, I prefer the DNS option. Currently, I am using UnoTelly and have no speed loss which allows me HD streaming with my 10mbps connection.

    • Brent Hamilton says

      Lois Paulino,

      You are obviously a troll hired by UnoTelly because you wrote the EXACT same sentences as Leroy Tann did on July 25, 2014 at 9:43 am. She wrote, and I quote:

      “VPN is good if you want to hide your real location. However, about content streaming, I prefer the DNS option. Currently, I am using UnoTelly and have no speed loss which allows me HD streaming with my 10mbps connection.”


  23. browngeek says

    Firstly, excellent site, very useful information.

    Is it my imagination, but did you in the past recommend ibVPN (as opposed to iVPN?) or are they the same?

  24. Frank Van Mol says

    Thanks for your effort and VPN information.
    A long time use of PureVpn until problems with Tap V9 adapter. Did a trial with IBVPN with no complaints, but still looking. Have also tried PIA with connection issues and their support has been very slow to respond.

    I’m looking for a VPN with speed and utorrent annonimity. Can You help? Frank

  25. Rick says

    I am looking for VPN so I can stream from US using MAc. I am in Kenya.
    The provider here will set router with VPN ID. They will not let customer into router settings.

    Any draw backs? what do you suggest?

  26. Rick says

    I am in Kenya and my internet provider will not allow me to access router to connect to vpn. I want to use amazon fire tv. Is there any draw backs to allow them to enter the ip address in the router.

    Also will PIA work with Mac OSX and not drop me after 30 or 60 mins?

  27. jim says

    Any comment on proXPN ? I’ve been using them for couple of years – they seem maybe a bit pricey compared to some you recommend but the speeds seem good.

    • eurotrash says

      Could you please give some feedback on this FrootVPN. There is a lot of discussion about their validity. Because they are mainly advertising on TPB there is legitimate concerns about whether they are legitimate. I personally question their revenue model. Who would give free bandwidth out without a revenue to sustain it? There has to be a catch and it can’t be a “cause”. I’m all about a “cause” but even a “cause” has to be sustained. What is going on here?

  28. says

    This is an awesome list! Lots of customer feedback and interaction.
    Hopefully you can check service and give your review.
    I was using Astrill for China and just recently China banned them and they cant no longer be use.
    ZenVpn also has Hong Kong server and to me the speeds seems to be fine, they are also free to use. In terms of Security and all technical means would you know if they are safe to use? Hopefully to hear your insights about this. Thanks. :)

  29. says

    The best way to access blocked websites is to use a vpn service, is the best you can get,
    1Month only $3.3 | 2Months $5 | 3Months $7 | 6Months $10 | 12Months $16 |
    It has totally FREE test account.
    Works on: Windows, iPhone, Android, Mac, Linux

  30. Harreson says

    I’m British but now I live in Canada, and have a 50mb internet service, I love watching BBC and other UK tv shows, currently using PPTP to stream them but my current provider speedtests often at less than 10mb and viewing is often sketchy. Who has the fastest data vpn service to the UK for watching TV. (Would love to watch HD BBC but its a lot of data- about 1.4gb per hour of tv and it rarely will play) Any suggestions on best provider to use– seems Expressvpn keeps popping up?

  31. BigG says

    I really like PureVPN, It for me is without a doubt, one of the best VPN solutions I have used. For a start it has excellent performance alongside top notch privacy, this is what should be expected from any quality VPN service and PureVPN provides this and then some. Just everything about PureVPN has been properly thought through, from the well designed client software to the excellent guides. Top Quality support is available and always there to help with any issues. I can’t recommend this product highly enough.

  32. Sam says

    I’m in Australia, i’m looking for a VPN service (that supports VPN Routers) that would support Fast Streaming of Video from XBMC/KODI.
    What VPN provider would you recommend. and what server location would be the best for streaming and privacy.
    Also is there any server locations and providers that should not be used for streaming XBMC.

    • says

      I’d recommend using ExpressVPN. They are one of my top recommended providers, and they have a server in Australia. If you find that streaming is slow while using a VPN, consider a Smart DNS provider instead.

      In regards to your seceond question — I would stay away from providers that readily respond to DMCA requests. But streaming XBMC shouldn’t really be a problem anyway.

      • Sam says

        I would like more clarity on the difference between Bitorrent and Streaming from XBMC. are they the same or is it considered different?

        In Australia if I use a server to stream that is located in Australia, would that be worse than streaming from say Hong Kong or Netherlands or even USA. (privacy and speed wise)

        Also I understand that Australia has just introduced a 2 year mandatory data retention law for ISP’s in Australia. would this affect my watching of XBMC?

        • says


          If you are streaming from Hulu, Netflix on XBMC, you do not need a VPN. If you are streaming torrents in XBMC, then it is equivalent to using a Bittorrent client, and you’ll want connect to a VPN while streaming.

          In Australia, I recommend ExpressVPN, due the speed of their network, their non-logging policy, and their Australia-based server. Since ExpressVPN doesn’t retain any connection logs, you’ll be private if you connect to the Australian server (or another ExpressVPN server in the USA or Europe). Since you’ll be connecting via SSL, your ISP can only see that you are making a secure connection to ExpressVPN, and that is all. This will not raise red flags at an ISP level. Hope this addresses your concerns.

          • Sam says

            Thanks very much, It helps a lot to clear up a lot of confusion.
            And I have searched a lot about VPNs on the internet and I’ve found your site to have a lot of very good info about privacy on the web. the China VPN post is very informative and USEnet is something that i have know about but have had very little knowledge about how to access it. again very informative.

  33. CSP says


    I have just received the following from PIA:

    Hi CSP,

    Thanks for contacting us. I deeply apologize, at this time, Hulu is taking extensive measures to block any and all VPN services from being able to access the site. This is affecting multiple VPN providers, and unfortunately, there is little can be done to get around this. Hulu has the ability to block IP addresses much faster than a company can acquire new ones.

    Again, let me apologize for this inconvenience. Please let me know if there are further questions.


    Mitch M, Level I Tech Support
    Private Internet Access™

    Ticket Details
    Ticket ID: XXX-XXX-XXXXX
    Department: Tier I Technical Support
    Type: Issue
    Status: In Progress
    Priority: Normal

    Support Center:

    This is not the first time I get this. I had to contact support like 2 months ago. They provided a server not listed on their website. But last night it refuses any connections. It seems the support people are not reading my messages properly and giving me this type of answers instead of investigating why their server is refusing connections.

    I really think I am going to drop them and give ExpressVPN a shot.

    Thanks for the helpful insights man.

    Best regards,


  34. eurotrash says

    Could you please give some feedback on this FrootVPN. There is a lot of discussion about their validity. Because they are mainly advertising on TPB there is legitimate concerns about whether they are legitimate. I personally question their revenue model. Who would give free bandwidth out without a revenue to sustain it? There has to be a catch and it can’t be a “cause”. I’m all about a “cause” but even a “cause” has to be sustained. What is going on here?

  35. Nayail says

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you very much for your detailed and thorough research and thank you for sharing it with the rest of us.

    I would really appreciate your recommendations and advises in a matter of a choice of VPN for my particular needs. I am an absolute layman in the matter of VPNs, hence my humble plea.

    I live in Australia and I am downloading tons of videos from the torrent sites. Therefore, would you kindly suggest the best VPN exclusively for that purpose, please? I am looking for something that gives me a total security, speed and I need it solely for a torrenting purposes. Any of your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards,

  36. Robert says

    I am with IVPN (Malta) from Australia right now privacy become paramount, our country listed as unsafe to turn any computer on. IVPN you could send cash in an envelope it will be recognized. They don’t care what you do just don’t use US base server for torrent download because they been cautioned million times, not they customers whom protect to the end.

  37. Detko says

    Do you have any comments on the reliability of SwissVPN bij Monzoon Networks A.G. Switzerland?
    The same to operate OK, but I cannot find out if they do any logging of usage etc. Your remarks would be very welcome.

    • says

      It depends on a number of factor including your location and the number of people using the VPN server you choose. But in general, IP Vanish made be speedier for HD streaming. Also, consider Smart DNS for streaming, which tends to be faster than a VPN.

  38. Alec says

    HI, wonder anyone not having speed problem with private internet access and some unavailable when I connected to PIA VPN and all server of PIA blocked by HULU. We no longer to access HULU with the help of PIA.

  39. Dasto says

    What about TunnelBear? I have been using them for the past year and I’m very happy with the service. I am not an expert in VPNs so would like you opinion.

  40. Steele says

    Which of these three is the fastest in your opinion: PIA, airVPN, or VPN.AC?

    I want to also know of these three which one works the best with a Mac?

    Thanks and love your blog!

    • says

      The speed depends on the connection from your location to the server your choose. PIA is probably the fastest of those three. PIA is very stable on a Mac, I had it running on my Mac Mini for about a year, and it seldom dropped a connection.

  41. Eric says

    Note:I’m using unotelly to unblock Netflix restriction but new update from Netflix (android app ) they’re using google hardcoded dns that’s hard to unblock with the help of dns. Please anybody who are using non-US based vpn with good speed ?

  42. Joshua Tree says

    GreyOne, thanks for the excellent info and feedback you have provided.

    I see you recommend Express VPN for Australians. I am on a tight budget and would prefer to use Private Internet Access, mostly for P2P file sharing. Would their service cut the mustard here in Australia?

    • says

      It looks like PIA has added new 1Gbps servers in Australia, so it may be as speedy as ExpressVPN now.

      Note that PIA also includes a SOCKS5 proxy — you can use this in most torrent clients.

      Here’s how to set up the proxy in uTorrent:

      Open up uTorrent and head to Options > Preferences > Connection. Under Proxy Server, choose Socks5 under “Type” and enter the following information:

      Proxy Type: Socks5
      Proxy Host:
      Proxy Port: 1080
      Username: Your Private Internet Access Proxy username (from step two)
      Password: Your Private Internet Access Proxy password (from step two)

      Check all of the other boxes under “Proxy” and “Proxy Privacy”. Your Connection preferences should look exactly like the image above.

  43. Ben says

    My family recently moved to Germany. What is your suggestion for the Best VPN provider to watch American and British TV including Hulu and Netflix here in Germany?

  44. Klee says

    I disagree on your comments stating BTguard has poor customer. They have no customer service, period. Tried contacting them several times because of connection issues and slow speeds. They never replied back. The only time BTguard contacted me was after I cancelled. They emailed me 3 times to tell me my payment was pass due.

  45. Daddy says

    Thank you. In my search on subject this article clarified my decision making a great deal.

    I do have a question: Can my ISP know which vpn service I am connected to? an indirect answer I found online is that the ISP will take that packet over to a vpn server, so I’m guessing it knows.

    If so, is there a way to block that?

    • web master says

      It is difficult to hide a VPN connection from your ISP (but of course they cannot see your activities within a VPN connection). You can forward OpenVPN traffic through port 443 — essentially following my recommendations for obfuscating VPNs in China.

      You could also connect to a personal VPN on a VPS. This would hide your VPN connection because the IP address would be unknown the ISP (see this article for info).

      • Daddy says

        Is the ISP able to identify the vpn company I am using?

        Can they traffic vpn connections through slowers speeds / disconnections?

        thank you,

        • web master says

          Yes, your ISP can see that you are connected securely to a VPN. That is all they can detect, however.

          It is difficult to hide a VPN connection from your ISP (but of course they cannot see your activities within a VPN connection). You can forward OpenVPN traffic through port 443 — essentially following my recommendations for obfuscating VPNs in China.

          You could also connect to a personal VPN on a VPS. This would hide your VPN connection because the IP address would be unknown the ISP (see this article for info).

  46. Anonymous Coward says

    It would be interesting to see other providers picking-up on OpenVPN obfuscation. I am all but certain that ISPs where I am throttle traffic (whether they admit it or not). They have moved from throttling P2P (which they had to back-off on since folks like Blizzard have adopted P2P distribution), to throttling VPN connections. Having switched ISPs occasionally, the exact same set-up produces very different results. For example, with the last ISP, OpenVPN connections from my DD-WRT router would stay open for months. My current ISP appears to enjoy breaking that connection, sometimes several times an hour, other times a couple of times a week.

    Of course, ultimately they’ll simply throttle anything encrypted (if they are not already). Though they sell bandwidth, they don’t like it when folks actually use it, since they are in the business of oversubscribing as much as possible.

    The anti-piracy argument is good cover for heavy-handed network management. That someone VPN’ed into a remote office and trying to transfer a Linux VM gets nailed along-with is simply collateral damage (while actually also a target; “You think you have the right to use what we’ve sold you…you are a bandwidth hog, and therefore probably a pirate!”).

    Sorry, /rant.

  47. says

    Hey man.
    How can make use of VPN with my iPhone from Nigeria?
    Is the server everywhere in the world?
    Can It work via my service provider here without them noticing my job?
    How can I crack, hack or erase my ip to foreign ip without it to change my phone number when I make call and retain my number codes.

    Do you have free credit card or easy payments that works?
    Give a site to teach me how to program and hack and spy?
    Any business online I can do from here that pay? Easy.
    Best buddies. Merry Christmas and love.

  48. Bob says

    Sorry, but some of your information is just not correct. I used Witopia for torrenting for months and it worked perfectly. Your comments regarding vyprVPN are vague and misleading; they provide all sorts of information regarding privacy. Are you posting paid endoresements?

  49. Anonymous Coward says

    As-of January 1st, Canadians will enjoy:

    It will be interesting to see how the rule of unintended consequences plays-out. Obviously, Canada-based VPN providers are going to have an interesting go of it. Canadian hosting outfits (sorry, “cloud providers” in new-speak) could also find themselves in questionable situations.

    Copyright trolls, in the meantime, are surely salivating.

    Meanwhile, muscle is being flexed via Netflix:

    Both are interesting in the VPN sphere.

  50. Brooklyn says

    I should have looked into VPNs a long time ago but didn’t. I am now. I am still researching but there is a ton of ever changing info. I am looking for a VPN to use for P2P sharing via torrents. I understand what to look for in privacy (logging, data retention, etc) but I am unclear on speeds. I used a trial of VPN and it seemed to kill my download speed. When last checked (Speed my download speed is 85-90mbps and upload was 20-21mbps. With a good “fast” VPN provider what speed should I expect to see when downloading and uploading based on my original results? Also, are you recs of PIA and ExpressVPN still good at this rate? Thanks!

    • Greyone says

      Personally, I found that ExpressVPN was fastest for torrenting on the East Coast US — 2-3 times as fast as PIA. However, since download speed depends on your location and the server location, you should try connecting to different VPN locations and see which one is fastest. Here’s a page from ExpressVPN on improving download speed.

  51. dave says

    ipvanish keeps zero logs and have not for a while. They have servers all over the world. They also encourage torrenting and are faster than any other vpn i have tested.

  52. Sara says

    VPN Shield is the WORST VPN! I have had it for 4 unfortunate months in China and it NEVER connects for more than 45 minutes to hour at a time, and sometimes won’t even connect for days. Each time I have complained to the support email address, a lovely lady named Olga responds to tell me they are experiencing technical difficulty. 2 weeks ago I purchased Astrill VPN and it has worked for me.

    I have made numerous attempts to write a review on iTunes warning other potential customers against purchasing VPN Shield but conveniently, my reviews never load :(

    Stay away from VPN Shield!!!

  53. says

    hi, this review has been extensively helpful. but nothing has been said about the servers in Norway which happens to be dreadfully unavailable by good vpn providers like PIA, . which vpn best works for Norway servers? as well as dating websites like Match, Zooks e.t.c

  54. Doc says

    Great comments. Seems PIA and Express are constantly on top amongst viewers. Has anyone any definite info on Tunnel Bear?? I’m a noobie to VPN, so I’m doing a lot of reading on this.

  55. Crux says

    Hi, wondering if you have done any research on Mullvad? I’ve used their free trials and are ok. Decent speeds around 10 mbps. I’m in the US, West Coast and trying to decide between PIA vs Mullvad. I can’t try PIA free and don’t know what speeds are like, but their price is nice compared to Mulls. Your insight would be appreciated.

  56. Dave says

    Do you know of any VPNs that work in Oman? It’s one of the 2 countries that have blocked Skype and I’m very far from home.

  57. Jimmy Ward says

    Hi GreyOne,

    I’m in the USA and am basically VPN clueless. What service do you recommend for me that is quick and secure? Do I have to worry about using a U.S. VPN giving all my info to the government. Any other tips or advice is greatly appreciated.

  58. Nick Medino says

    I found this provider for myself – ICanVPN. Their connection speed is relatively good for torrenting while the price is in the same range with all popular vpn providers (5 bucks if paid yearly).

  59. tauseef says

    I am using various vpn tools for linux and all are working fine on my system. Vpnranks[dot]com offering a list of best providers with highest features.

  60. LT says

    Hi! I am taking a yearlong trip to 22 countries around the world and need a VPN mostly to protect my banking information, which I will need to access online while I travel. I am also keeping a blog for the trip that I need to be able to update.

    Countries I am visiting are: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Morocco, Australia, Japan, Turkey, France, Croatia, Macedonia, England, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain and Montenegro.

    Which VPN provider would you recommend? What’s most important to me is protecting my banking information while I am in these countries.

    Thank you!

    • web master says

      Sounds like quite a trip. All my recommended VPN providers listed on this page will encrypt your data before it leaves your computer. This adds a layer of security if you are accessing your bank from a cafe or hotel.

      Since you are visiting so many countries, I’d recommend ExpressVPN – they have servers in 78 countries.

  61. LT says

    Hi! I just sent a comment but forgot to include that I will be using a 2014 Macbook Air and an iPhone 4S on my trip. Thanks!

  62. tyron says

    Hi. I am living in the uk. A newbe to the world of VPN/DNS/Proxy Etc… Would you advise me what my best option is for downloading torrents please? I am looking for something that will give me total privacy, with good speeds..I am on Fibre Optic and my download speed is 24mb.

    Thank you in anticipation

      • says

        Thank you for your time on this subject.

        My question is; Is it possible to try try the IPVanish or PIA before buying. The reason for this is because I’m using Zen VPN on trial but it hardly stops anything. My ISP is really blocking anything that looks like torrenting. It simply bypasses Zen.

        Could this be because I’m on trial. I want to try your recommended VPNs but I’m worried it might end up like Zen. I’m really new and worried I might just waste money for nothing

        My ISP is very ruthless at the minute.

        Also IPVanish and PIA being US based, does this make a difference. Would they be keeping log etc

        Please help

        • web master says

          If you are using Zen VPN your torrenting should be encrypted and your ISP would not be able to throttle your connections.

  63. Sean says

    I was using PIA (was fast) but stopped using it as it is US based. I fear that if FBI and NSA want to get info they can do it if the vpn is US based.

    I have now switched to NORD VPN. But the speed is very slow on most of their servers.Their VPN client for windows crash (getting Could not find file ‘C:\Program Files\NordVPN\config\.ovpn’. error) most often and I was told to uninstall and reinstall it by the Nord VPN support. I had to do it 7-8 times, but the support havent come up with a solution for this issue. The DNS server by default they use is US based.

    Which is the best VPN (Non US based) that you would suggest for UK and Ireland. I want a VPN with no logs, Shared IP, VPN kill switch feature etc.

    Is is a good option for me for absolute privacy and speed? Any other good option for me?


  64. Neil says

    I’m from the UK but moving to New Zealand soon and wondered what you recommend as the best VPN to help unblock geofences so that I can watch UK tv and access uk websites online?

    From what I read here it looks like PIA or Express VPN, can you recommend which one of these two will give the fastest download speeds in New Zealand?

    Thanks in advance, Neil

  65. Sean says

    [VPN.AC would be a good choice. Another non-US provider to consider is Ironsocket – they have no logs and shared IP addresses.]

    VPN.AC keeps logs for 30 days. ironsocket keeps logs for 3 days. This is what the the support of the respected companies told me when I contacted them. Express VPN doesnt have a VPN kill switch. So it would connect to the local ISP if the VPN connection is lost.

    NORD vpn connection is very slow, but has many features. PIA was the fastest I used, with most of the features, but it is based in US.

    GreyCoder, Would you be able to suggest any other VPN with the following features –

    VPN kill switch
    DNS leak protection
    Loging Fully Disabled

    • web master says


      I don’t think any VPN service will fulfil all your requirements. Mullvad may come closest to what you want.

      You may need to create your own VPN, see this article:

      Every VPN provider does do some limited system network logging. They do this to stop abuse of their network. Usually these logs are deleted after a couple of days. When companies like PIA advertise “no logs” it indicates that they don’t retain the kinds of identifying logs that could be requested by law-enforcement agencies.

      A few companies that have kill switches are: PIA, TorGuard and VyprVPN. Many VPNs (like PIA) offer their own DNS, for DNS protection purposes.


  66. Askatron says

    Wondering if anyone has feedback or commentary for VPN Unlimited, as a paid service? They had a “lifetime” deal recently, wondering if this is a sucker punch for the unwary? Seems to me that services can’t be run endlessly, unless you’re harvesting user data a la Google, Facebook, etc. I’ve only found PR pieces online, little critical analysis from users. Is it a good ‘un or a Steer Clear? Input welcomed, especially for Mac users and Aussies more about privacy from overreaching government tossbags and crooks than torrenting! 😉

  67. Jill Owens says

    It’s good to see IronSocket on the list. I’ve been using them here in the states and in Australia. Works well with Netflix and others. A lot of Aussies use IronSocket at the moment, though. One good thing I like about IronSocket is that they are easy to deal with, you know.

  68. Hmm says

    IP Vanish NO longer keeps logs:

    Also, regardless of the provider you choose, if you choose one that is based in the USA, they must conform with the laws of the USA include DMCA act and regulations.

    PIA tends to be more complicated and not recommended if you’re simply looking for a “plug and play ” VPN.

  69. says

    Im using free vpn services which outside the us. Best option is ZPN that gives you huge amout of free usage. Monthly 10gb free is enough for me and they promises to not keeping logs after all. Best free vpn so far.

  70. AnD1 says

    Can’t believe no one has mentioned BolehVPN? Easily one of the best VPNS I have ever used, hell even a lot of security forums recommend it (without spamming, just do a search and you’ll see), either that or Mullvad, which I used to use but I get far better speeds with Boleh and I’m in Australia, so I highly recommend it.

  71. says

    You can get the same traffic-hiding technology from AirVPN or VPN.AC.

    VyprVPN customer service is pretty bad, and there are many attempt at up-selling their other products. They also log extensively:

    The company policy says that logging data “is maintained for use with billing, troubleshooting, service offering evaluation, [Terms of Service] issues, [Acceptable Use Policy] issues, and for handling crimes performed over the service. We maintain this level of information on a per-session basis for at least 90 days.”

    On Usenet forum NZBMatrix several users have reported having their VyprVPN service terminated after the company processed “a backlog” of DMCA notices which pushed them over the “two-strikes-and-out” acceptable use policy.

  72. Anonymous Coward says

    I was on Vypr, via Golden Frog, for some time. What they do have is pretty amazing throughput. What they don’t have are balls. They passed-on a DMCA to me, telling me they would lock the account until XYZ occurred, yet the account wasn’t locked. Strangely, it cited something that I’m not sure was ever provided from my endpoint, but when facilitating copyright trolling, one does not quibble about details. Being someone outside of the US, that first/last notice was enough. I concluded that whatever the Vypr/Golden Frog business model is, it does not include anonymization.

    I switched to iVPN for some time. They are alright; good coverage, simple set-up, and so-on. Their speeds started falling-off, and they had to react to legal issues by blocking P2P in US (not a big deal for me, but odd for a company that purports to be based on the Island of Malta).

    The iVPN multi-hop is interesting, but ultimately of no value. If you want to multi-hop, you VPN to somewhere and jump into Tor, or some other service. Bouncing a VPN connection through multiple countries on the same provider doesn’t provide anything more than a single hop, IMHO. If someone roots a management box at provider ACME, you can hop around their systems all day long, but you’re still cooked.

    Thanks to this review, I’m giving PIA a go. So far, so good. DD-WRT guide was okay (nobody really has perfect guides on this, but the assumption is the end-user knows what they are doing). Speed is okay, variety of jump-out points is pretty good (interestingly, at least one is exactly where iVPN jumps-out… could there be a convergence of hosting providers… let’s say, AWS/Azure/Google CP… leading many VPN providers to the same watering holes?). Will follow-up as time goes-by.

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