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Hi, Thanks for your question. As with most of the VPNs we contacted, TorGuard support staff responded to our help ticket quickly—the response to our query came less than half an hour after we submitted it on a weekday afternoon. I will be in Saudi Arabia for 2 years. This can lead to you losing valuable data, such as passwords. Die Homepage wurde aktualisiert. Though we liked the IVPN app overall, we were disappointed in its omission of automatic server selection. Beware of apparently cheap deals:

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We can keep up Your phone is your bank, office, and arcade. We are million. For more details and instructions, check out Restore Privacy. Based on our performance tests, we whittled our list of 12 contenders down to six: We reached out to those finalists for more information about their operations to judge their trustworthiness and transparency, and five all but IPVanish responded.

We also dove deeper into the desktop apps of the top-performing services. Great apps have automatic location selection, easy-to-use designs, and detailed but uncluttered settings panels. We took into account how easy each one was to set up and connect, along with what options were available in the settings pane. We contacted each of our finalists with simple questions about its service and troubleshooting.

This means that self-help support sites are even more important, since waiting for a reply while your connection is down can be frustrating. Response times to our support inquiries ranged from 20 minutes to a day. IVPN exceeded our requirements for being trustworthy and transparent. Other VPNs we tested had faster connections at particular server locations or lower prices, but they came up short on essential factors such as transparency about who exactly runs them.

The top VPN services gave us a variety of answers to these questions, some of which were frustratingly vague. ExpressVPN was the only other company to outline these controls and assure us that these policies were well-documented and not half-practiced. IVPN goes further than the other leading candidates we considered by being transparent about who runs the service and is responsible for your privacy.

The company lists its core team on its website, and its small team has an online presence on a variety of platforms. In contrast, only one employee at ExpressVPN has a public face: We discuss ExpressVPN in more detail in the Competition section —that company was almost our top pick but for this issue.

IVPN also performed well in our speed tests. Read more in the Competition section. Our results were similar in other parts of the world, with IVPN ranking near the top regardless of the test, day, or time.

See more in the Flaws but not dealbreakers section. None of the 12 services we tested disclosed our true IP address though some showed mismatched IPs. IVPN currently disables all IPv6 connectivity, though the company is looking at solutions to securely support it soon. Most companies we considered do the same; OVPN was the only company to support IPv6 addresses at the time of our testing.

On a desktop or an Android device, the company supports only the OpenVPN protocol we recommend and uses AES bit encryption what we consider the standard at this point. Our budget pick, TorGuard, defaults to the weaker but also acceptable AES bit encryption unless you manually change it. If you do want to tweak some settings, IVPN has easy-to-understand checkboxes for most options.

When you turn the kill switch on, all traffic in and out of your computer will halt if the VPN is disabled or loses its connection. This is a must-have feature that prevents your data or IP address from leaking if your connection hiccups. Inside the Preferences pane, you can also tick boxes to automatically launch or connect the app when you boot your device. IVPN is the only service we tested to offer this option. Every service we tested accepts payment via credit card, PayPal, and Bitcoin.

Because few VPN companies offer live support, we appreciate when they at least provide easy-to-follow resources on their websites.

If you need to submit a ticket for a specific problem, you can expect a quick response from all the companies we tested—IVPN and TorGuard both responded to us in minutes, and PIA took the longest at one day.

ExpressVPN was the only one of our finalists that offered tech support over live chat. Other companies provide live chat only for sales and signup support. Though we liked the IVPN app overall, we were disappointed in its omission of automatic server selection. The closest IVPN comes is offering a latency measurement next to each server in the connection list—color-coded, so green means good and red means bad. Though IVPN has a good mix of countries and strong performance elsewhere, its presence in Asia is limited to a single location in Hong Kong.

Most of the competitors we tested had speedier servers in Japan—if that location is important to you, consider our budget pick, TorGuard, instead. TorGuard is well-regarded in trust and transparency; it was also the fastest service we tried despite being less expensive than much of the competition, and its server network spans more than 50 locations, more than twice as many as our top pick. TorGuard includes settings and labels that allow extra flexibility but clutter the experience for anyone new to VPNs.

TorGuard CEO Benjamin Van Pelt answered all our questions, as he has done for other outlets multiple times since the company launched in Since we have an obligation to provide fast, abuse free services, our team handles abuse reports per server — not per single user. TorGuard was consistently one of the fastest services we tested. When we averaged three tests performed at different times of the week with Internet Health Test, TorGuard was the fastest service when connecting in the UK and Asia, the second fastest in the US, and the third fastest in Central Europe.

Each time we checked our location via IP address, it accurately resolved to the location of a TorGuard server. No VPN offers a reliable way to access these streaming services, though: All of the VPNs we tried were blocked by Netflix, and of the four that could access BBC content on the first day, two were blocked the next. TorGuard has more advanced settings than our top pick, but only a few are easy for novices to use.

You can add scripts to execute when connecting or disconnecting the VPN. Using these apps, you can manually select a server, click Connect, and not worry about the rest.

New users are likely to find themselves out of their depth when modifying anything but the most basic functions, such as auto-connecting at launch or minimizing the app.

And it offers no option to automatically connect to the fastest server, a feature our top pick lacks as well. Compared with that of IVPN, the checkout process is clunky, and using a credit or debit card requires entering more personal information than with our top pick. The easiest option for anonymous payments is a prepaid debit card bought locally.

Otherwise, like most providers, TorGuard accepts a variety of cryptocurrencies, PayPal, and foreign payments through Paymentwall. That last service also allows you to submit payment through gift cards from other major retailers. Specifically, TorGuard uses Stunnel a clever portmanteau of SSL and tunnel to add an extra layer of encryption and make your traffic look like normal, secure Web traffic. Otherwise, the box is unclickable, with no explanation as to why.

As with most of the VPNs we contacted, TorGuard support staff responded to our help ticket quickly—the response to our query came less than half an hour after we submitted it on a weekday afternoon. TorGuard is incorporated in St. Kitts and Nevis, and operates out of offices mostly in the US. In short, we think a privacy-focused VPN with public leadership that can be trusted not to collect information about their customers is a better choice in any country, rather than an opaque company run from the most liberty-ensuring country on the planet.

Though it does the job of creating secure connections on your device, OpenVPN Connect is an ugly, kludgy app with no advanced features like network rules or automatic server selection. But if you visit that same page today—our website now uses HTTPS—those parties would see only the domain https: Sites that deal with banking or shopping have been using these types of secure connections for a long time to protect financial data, and in the past few years, many major news and information sites, including Wirecutter and the site of our parent company, The New York Times , have implemented it as well.

Browsers have increasingly long lists of privacy features baked right into their standard setups, but the HTTPS Everywhere extension can help make sure you browse websites over a secure connection whenever possible. HTTPS is a powerful tool that everyone should use because it helps keep sensitive browsing private at no extra cost to the people using it. But like most security standards, it has its own problems too. Instead, the service relied on third-party applications that could be clumsy to set up and lacked important features.

No company came closer to being a pick than ExpressVPN. It has a huge server network that performed well in our tests, plus easy-to-use applications on tons of platforms, and strong security technologies in place. A representative answered all our questions about company operations at length—except one. The company representative told us that this policy enabled ExpressVPN to build a private and secure product without compromise. We are fortunate to be trusted by the many users worldwide who choose ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN attempts to build trust in other ways, even without a public face. ExpressVPN also highlights initiatives such as open-source leak-testing tools , developer content about how the company implements different technologies , and support for the efforts of OpenMedia and the EFF. The ExpressVPN representative even offered to arrange a confidential call between our writer and the owners of the company.

But OVPN is a small startup with a limited server network: At this writing, the company has servers in just seven countries, none in Asia. That makes it less versatile for finding less congested routes or geoshifting. He noted that after an uptick in data requests from local authorities in Sweden—all of which OVPN responded to by explaining that it lacked any pertinent data—the company published a blog post to detail just how little information it keeps.

Because of its reputation and advocacy concerning online privacy and security, it has also been a Wirecutter staff pick. But whether you prioritize speed and performance or trust and transparency, our top pick is a better bet. If you find PIA attractive because of its low price, note that spending just a little more on TorGuard will buy you much better performance. PIA can also point to court records showing that when approached by law enforcement for detailed records, the company had nothing to provide.

But in our speed tests, PIA was just okay, not great. IPVanish stood out in our research for its large server network over , its support for an impressive number of platforms, and its compelling security and technical features. NordVPN has a polished and easy-to-use app with support on most platforms , a good selection of advanced options like stealth mode and multihop, and a reasonable price. But its speeds regularly wound up in the bottom half of the services we tested, and in everyday use we found that our connections frequently stalled and had to be toggled to work.

It was the only app to require administrator privileges every time it launched, and it has a clumsy design. Despite having one of the most polished apps we tried, CyberGhost ranked among the slowest services in our speed tests. Multiple servers stalled completely, and the ones that did connect were slower than the rest.

AC suffered from painfully slow connections, with multiple tests stalling out completely. Despite other admirable features , that was enough for us to dismiss it. Given that we were looking for a simple, reliable VPN, this was a dealbreaker. We also found a story from with bizarre statements from the company about monitoring traffic on a specific server due to concerns about unlawful behavior of a user on the network.

Though the transparency is impressive, the decision to actively monitor traffic is disconcerting. As a result, we are able to either comply or shut down the servers we have in a particular location it happened to us in Czech Republic few months ago. But the service was one of the least reliable we tried. In four of our 18 connection tests, we managed broadband speeds; in a handful of others TunnelBear was well below the average, and in even more it failed to provide a usable connection at all.

As we were writing this guide, security giant McAfee announced that it had acquired TunnelBear. Fans of the service should keep an eye out for changes to its privacy stance and transparency as the US-based firm takes over. We dismissed another 20 services before performance testing, for a variety of reasons.

That program was ultimately discontinued. We respect your privacy. You can change your cookie preferences to enable comments. You can also send us a note or a tweet , or find us on Facebook. Opt out or contact us at any time. IVPN Security we trust This is the most trustworthy VPN provider we found, with fast, secure connections, easy-to-use applications on every major platform, and helpful support.

What to look forward to The competition Footnotes Sources Why you should trust us Over the course of four months, we scoured articles, white papers, customer reviews, and forums to compile the pros and cons of VPN services and different VPN protocols and encryption technologies.

Use a password manager to create and manage secure, unique passwords for all your accounts. Enable two-factor authentication , a security feature you can find at most major sites , including Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Encrypt your laptop , in case you lose it or someone steals it. Android and iOS devices are automatically encrypted if you have an effective passcode. One tool of many You can head off the most common ways that websites and ad networks track you and gather information for marketing profiles by using browser extensions.

He outlined three ways that VPN traffic could be vulnerable: Placing code or hardware on VPN servers in order to compromise traffic is the most resource-intensive method of attack. Mass surveillance and decryption: Though the advantage of using a VPN in this scenario is that the government has to work for it and actively try to decrypt your data… AES, as far as [we] know, has not been broken by the NSA, let alone other governments.

From there, we dug into the details of how each one handled issues from technology to subscriptions: Trust and transparency The minimum: Published third-party audits In conjunction with information security experts at The New York Times parent company of Wirecutter , we reached out to our finalists with questions about their internal security practices. Posted privacy and logging policies The minimum: Server network The minimum: Locations on six continents, with multiple cities or regions in populous areas The more locations a VPN provider houses servers, the more flexible it is when you want to choose a server in a less-congested part of the world or geoshift your location.

Security and technology The minimum: Kill switch The minimum: Number of connections The minimum: Extra features Some VPN services provide extra features that in our view are nice to have but not mandatory.

Speed testing We tested each service using both the Netflix-operated Fast. We ran the full series of tests with each location during three time periods that we chose to see whether Internet rush hours drastically reduced performance: Thursday midday, between 10 a.

Pacific Thursday evening, between 7 p. Pacific Saturday midday, between 10 a. Pacific We eliminated any services that regularly had trouble connecting to any location. Desktop and mobile apps We also dove deeper into the desktop apps of the top-performing services. Customer support We contacted each of our finalists with simple questions about its service and troubleshooting.

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