File sharing is the simple act of distributing digital media such as audio, images, books, or video files. A virtual private network (VPN) is used to privately send and receive data over a public network. The most common method to do this through the Internet is via Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks. P2P was used years ago when Napster was a popular allowing user to share music files amongst each other. This was the beginning of the P2P protocol. Napster had copyright issues, as did several other companies that used P2P after them, which is why they were all shut down. Since 2006, BitTorrent (or ‘torrents’) has been the most popular P2P protocol available. BitTorrent P2P networking now utilizes a communication protocol that has the ability to communicate with each other without using a centralized server.
Torrents are still highly unpopular among the Motion Picture Association and the Recording Industry Association of America due to the copyright infringement issues that come along with torrenting, but private individuals love this ability to get free music, movies and more.
BitTorrent works by taking very small pieces of downloads from several different web sources at the same time and downloading them to one location. All file sharing is between the users themselves. BitTorrent ensures that all corrupt files are removed; so that users are only getting the digital media files they intend to receive. BitTorrent is one of the best at controlling this and very rarely has any issues. BitTorrent is now reaching record download and upload speeds, is completely open sourced and free from advertising.
There are several VPNs that utilize this protocol, but outlined below are the 5 best VPN’s for torrents, P2P and file sharing.
ExpressVPN is the leader in VPN providers; in fact they are typically the top provider in all reviews. They have three different subscriptions to choose from depending on whether you want a monthly subscription, a six-month subscription, or a yearly subscription. A monthly subscription will cost $12.95 per month, a six-month subscription will cost $9.99 a month and a yearlong subscription will cost $8.32 a month (saving you 35%). Of course all of these packages include the P2P protocol.
One of the biggest advantages of utilizing ExpressVPN is the large amount of servers they have, located in 78 countries and your ability to change server locations at any time. ExpressVPN is constantly adding new servers; therefore, this list will only expand. You can hide your location in any one of these countries and cities within without displaying your IP address.
The second best things about ExpressVPN is the download and upload speeds. Most speed tests found on the web show the download speed being roughly 9 mb/s and the upload speed being around 1 mb/s.
ExpressVPN also has compatibility for all of your devices and applications including all of those for Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android. There are three different protocols available: PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and OpenVPN. Each of these have security parameters with 128-bit or 256-bit encryption.
You will also indulge in 99.9% up-time and unlimited bandwidth. There is only one disadvantage; each package that you buy comes with a limit of two devices with simultaneous usage. For most of us, this is not a problem at all.
PureVPN has three subscription options to choose from right now. They are all on sale! Depending on whether you want a monthly subscription, a six-month subscription, or a yearly subscription. A monthly subscription will cost $6.95 per month, a 6-month subscription will cost $4.99 a month and a yearlong subscription will cost $2.08 a month (they have been providing lots of different sales on the subscriptions within the last few weeks). There are also business specific packages that group by the number of VPN accounts (5 VPN accounts, 10 VPN accounts or 15 VPN accounts) and provide dedicated IPs. The cost of these 3 packages ranges from $69.70 a month up to $177.25 a month.
PureVPN has a unique selling approach that is different from some of the other VPN clients on the market. They allow you to select which applications and data travel outside of the VPN tunnel. You can choose which ones flow through PureVPN utilizing the ‘Split-Tunneling’ tab in the program.
One massive advantage of PureVPN is the large amount of servers available and the amount of locations the servers are located in. PureVPN has over 500 severs in 140 countries. The largest concentration is in the United Kingdom and the United States.
PureVPN also has an Android app and a Windows app giving users a better overall experience and optimization. Compatibility is superb with VPN service on Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android and many other applications. They definitely do not discriminate and do a fantastic job of making sure all applications have the capability to work with PureVPN.
The upload and download speeds are moderate and need some work to truly stay competitive; however, for now they will work. The customer support that PureVPN provides is uncanny so you know that this is something that they will continue to work on and it will get better.
Security is also fantastic with up to 256-bit encryption and a built in ‘Internet Kill Switch’ that will pause your VPN activity if connection with PureVPN goes down. They also have the largest amount of protocol support utilizing PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, OpenVPN & IKEv2. This is privacy at its finest!
A few of the major benefits of SaferVPN are the unlimited bandwidth, unlimited accessibility, unlimited speed and complete invisibility. SaferVPN subscriptions are based on the amount of devices that can be used at a time. The basic subscription is 1 device for $5.99 per month. The premium subscription is the most popular subscription for 3 devices at a time for $8.99 a month and the small business subscription is $19.99 a month for 10 devices a month.
SaferVPN has over 100 servers across 6 continents with wide spread locations in 24 countries. You have the ability to switch your location at any time through the user interface.
SaferVPN is also compatible with all Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems on desktops, laptops and tablets. They also support handheld devices such as iOS, Android, Chrome and Blackberry. SaferVPN find it critical and important to stay on top in this type of support among VPN providers.
They also provide several security protocols, such as PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and OpenVPN while also encrypting up to 2048-bit for security. Being hacked by someone using this VPN connection is highly unlikely.
HideMyAss was one of the very first providers of VPN service providers. They provide three different subscription options starting at $9.99 a month for a 1-month subscription, $6.67 for a 6-month subscription and $4.99 a month for a yearly subscription. The biggest advantage that HideMyAss has over other VPN companies is the fact that it has over 890 servers in 210 countries equaling 310 locations. The IP address availability is extremely noteworthy and makes this company standout. The biggest concentration of serves is in the United States, then in the United Kingdom, and followed up by European countries.
The next thing that makes HideMyAss so popular is its compatibility. Its Android application is one of the best on the market. Although the compatibility with Windows apps as well as Mac are also exceptional. The only thing lacking is a client for Linux platforms.
HideMyAss offers 4 different protocols: PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN-TCP and OpenVPN-UDP. Each of these protocols offers an encryption level for security. PPTP utilizes a 128-bit encryption, while the other 3 protocols all use a 256-bit encryption. As far as speed is concerned, they tend to be stable and consistent.
The biggest disadvantage of HideMyAss is the fact that they keep the logfiles of every customer. So HideMyAss knows when you connect and disconnect from their VPN tunnel. This means you are not truly undetectable!
IPVanish VPN offers three different subscription packages, just like the other companies described above. A 1-month subscription on sale (17% off) for $10.00, a 3-month subscription on sale (25% off) for $26.99, $8.99 a month, and a yearly subscription on sale (46% off) for $77.99, $6.49 a month. These are fantastic rates compared to other similar companies and very reasonable for the services they provide.
IPVanish VPN currently has over 350 servers in 60 plus countries. They are highly integrated into the European countries and growing every day. One of the biggest advantages of IPVanish VPN is the ability to have a concurrent connection at all times which means that your two devices stay connected all time. They offer the following protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP. OpenVPN allows for 256-bit encryption while PPTP and L2TP offer 128-bit encryption. Speed tests with these protocols have been exceptional with around an 8.5 mb/s download speed and 3 mb/s upload speed.
Two very neat things about IPVanish VPN are 1) they accept Bitcoins as currency and 2) there is a zero log policy. This means that there is absolutely no tracking of your online activity. Everything you do will be anonymous as far as web history is concerned.
Last but not least, IPVanish VPN is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Android, and iOS. They have dedicated applications for all of these platforms and the user interfaces are very easy to work through with simple functionality.
This industry has only just begun and technology is continually getting better. Torrrenting will continue to grow and we will see the art of VPNs expand over the next several years. It will be interesting to see what the government does with legislation and how anti-piracy campaigns respond.