An Advanced And Reliable P2P Utility Which Lets You Better Control Your Privacy

By | 26.10.2019

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Choose the best free torrent client for fast, easy, secure downloads Shares Image credit: Shtutterstock A free torrent client can be a game-changer, making downloads faster and more secure. Gone are the days when torrents were associated solely with piracy, and if you want to take advantage of the fast download speeds that torrenting offers, you’re going to need the right software. Torrenting is ideal for those occasions when you need to download a very large file.
An advanced and reliable P2P utility which lets you better control your privacy

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These are excellent prices which match most of the quality competition. Each plan is clearly described, with none of the sneaky marketing tricks you’ll often find online. There’s no misleading headline rate, no discounts which disappear on renewal, no need to sign up for years to get what you’re promised. The website simply tells you the effective monthly rate, the billing frequency and the total you’ll pay each time, ensuring you understand the deal before you click ‘Buy’.

The positive impression continued as we worked through the signup process. There’s no need to hand over all your personal information, as NordVPN only wants your email address. If you’re not quite sure whether NordVPN is right for you, the company offers a free 7-day trial.

This isn’t easy to spot from the website, but you can find it by pointing your browser at the service’s free trial page. The company now requires card payment details when you start the trial, but cancel before the 7 days are up and you won’t be billed.

As of May , the company has retired is 7-day trial due to widespread abuse. It still offers a day money-back guarantee. Once you do sign up, you’re also protected by NordVPN’s day money-back guarantee.

Forget the sneaky clauses you might have seen with other services, where for instance you won’t get your money back if you’ve logged on ‘too many’ times, or transferred ‘too much’ data. We found no attempt to catch you out, so you’re able to use the service as much as you like, and if you’re unhappy, cancel in the first 30 days and you’ll get a full refund.

Privacy The privacy value of all VPNs starts with the support for encryption technologies. This gets you AESGCM for encryption, and supports perfect forward secrecy to regularly change keys this time using bit Diffie-Hellman , ensuring that even if an attacker manages to penetrate one session, they’ll be locked out of the next one.

This isn’t exactly a security revolution – the standard AESCBC offers very capable protection – but it does give the service a technical lead over most of the competition. Once you’re connected, NordVPN has other tricks it can employ to improve your privacy. This double layer of obfuscation will slow the service down, but also makes it extremely difficult for anyone to trace an action back to you. Best of all, you don’t have to know or understand anything at all about Onion to make this work.

There’s nothing to install or set up, just use your client to connect to one of NordVPN’s specialist Onion over VPN routers and the system will handle everything automatically. This isn’t going to be necessary, or even useful for most people, but it’s there if you can find a reason to use it, and the technology doesn’t slow you down as much as you might expect. NordVPN stands out here for having two kill switches.

A general internet switch blocks all net access when you’re not connected to the VPN this can be easily turned off if it’s inconvenient , while an app kill switch kills your chosen applications if the connection goes down. Most VPNs say much the same, but the company defines this more clearly than most, saying: That means we do not track the time or duration of any online session, and neither do we keep logs of IP addresses or servers used, websites visited or files downloaded.

What VPN providers say on the front page of the website isn’t always what you’ll read in the small print, so it always pays to check out the privacy policy and any related documents. In this case, though, we found absolutely no privacy-related surprises, at all.

The company does keep some additional information about you, but there’s nothing you wouldn’t have guessed already email address, payment information, messages you might send to customer service, cookies on the website.

And you could minimize even this level of disclosure by, say, using an email for VPN signups alone, and paying via Bitcoin. Best of all, and unlike most of the VPN competition, you don’t have to trust the company’s claims. In late NordVPN hired Price Waterhouse Cooper to run an independent audit on its infrastructure and services, and verify that its logging policy description is accurate. A November blog post confirmed that the company had passed.

The report doesn’t have much in the way of technical detail. There are lots of legal restrictions on the content, too, and for instance we can’t even quote from it. NordVPN customers and trial users can take a look, though, and we have to applaud the company for taking this step. Uncrackable encryption isn’t nearly as appealing if it reduces your internet speeds to a crawl, which is why we put all our review VPNs through some intensive performance tests.

In each case we were looking to confirm that the server was up and how long it took to connect, before running ping tests to check for latency issues, and using geolocation to confirm that the server was where NordVPN claimed it should be. None of these would give us specific information on download speeds, but they’re all important factors in the experience of using NordVPN. These first tests showed an above-average number of connection issues, with 4 servers failing to connect after even two tries.

Any VPN will have problems, occasionally, but as NordVPN had a similar proportion of connection failures during our last review, it looks this is an ongoing minor issue with the service. Once we were online, though, NordVPN performed very well. Connection times were speedy, latencies were minimal, and every server was in its advertised location. We ran further speed tests by using Netflix’s fast.

It’s unwise to trust any single speed test, so we cross-checked our results with Open Speed Test and Ookla’s Speedtest. All checks were run on a Windows 10 system via a 75Mbps fiber broadband line. The results were generally very impressive. Our test connection normally achieved around 72Mbps, and going via a UK VPN barely made any difference, with speeds reaching a very consistent Mbps. Near European servers also delivered, with speeds of Mbps, depending on location.

Performance tailed off a little in a few locations, for instance with Greece and Poland down to 30Mbps, but even these were fast enough for most purposes. The US also scored well for the most part, with east coast locations giving us Mbps, falling to around 50Mbps when connecting to California.

Switching to our long-distance ‘Asia Plus’ group finally revealed a few problems, with download speeds becoming less consistent and occasionally dropping to 5Mbps in a few locations Malaysia, Thailand. For our second set of tests, we ran manual speed checks from a dedicated server in the US. This allowed us to see how performance might change when you’re connecting from the US, while the server’s excellent 1Gbps connection meant we had the bandwidth to accurately assess even the fastest VPN.

Though keep in mind that in real world use, you’ll almost never have data center levels of connectivity, and you’re unlikely to achieve the top speeds we saw. US peak performance was excellent, with speeds ranging from Mbps. UK speeds were also high at an average of 80Mbps.

Near European connections were very similar, although speeds tailed off dramatically in a few locations Greece averaged 30Mbps. Asia and Australasia performance matched what we’d seen from the UK, with a peak of 45Mbps when connecting to Australia, dropping down to 5Mbps for Malaysia and Indonesia. Put this all together and NordVPN delivers exceptionally high peak speeds, while managing above-average results in most areas, but it can’t quite manage the speeds and consistency of the best of the competition, such as ExpressVPN.

NordVPN doesn’t explicitly claim to unblock any particular website or service, but statements that it allows you to “keep access to your favorite websites and entertainment content, and forget about censorship” sound good to us.

Measuring a VPN’s unblocking abilities is a challenge, especially when it has a network as large as NordVPN, but we’ve developed an automated test program to help.

Unblocking YouTube is as easy a task as you’ll get, but we check it anyway to confirm a VPN is doing something useful. NordVPN’s Manchester servers couldn’t get us in, but its London servers allowed us to stream whatever content we liked. Netflix is usually the biggest challenge, and many VPNs can’t unblock it at all, but again, NordVPN had no issues, successfully allowing us in with every server we tried.

That’s a very good performance, and although it doesn’t prove NordVPN will unblock other websites, its large network and wide range of security, privacy and encryption tricks give you a better than average chance of success.

Torrents aren’t supported on all servers, but the company doesn’t restrict you to a couple of options in Amsterdam, either.

Wherever you are, there should be a suitable server nearby. VPNs which only support some P2P on some servers can be inconvenient to use, particularly if you connect to a non-P2P server, launch your torrent client and find it doesn’t work. But NordVPN is smarter than you might expect, and if it detects P2P activity, it can automatically re-route your connection to a torrent-friendly alternative.

NordVPN points out that it doesn’t have any bandwidth limits, so in theory you can download as much as you like. The service small print includes a fair usage-type clause stating that you must not “take any action that imposes or may impose an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on our infrastructure”, which might allow the company to take action against very heavy users.

But many services have something similar, and we’ve seen no reason to believe that NordVPN has used this unreasonably. Along with its direct P2P support, NordVPN has a number of other features which could make it a good torrenting choice: It’s a strong all-round package, although if you’re a torrent fan, ExpressVPN is also worth considering. Some providers make this more difficult than it needs to be, but NordVPN does a very good job.

Tap the VPN Apps link, and the website automatically offers you the client download link for the device you’re using, presenting you with further links for its other supported platforms: A lengthy list of more than 50 tutorials explains how to manually set up the service, and includes coverage of many other platforms and device types Chrome OS, Windows Phone, Raspberry Pi, routers, NAS devices, more. There’s far more detail here than you might expect. No problem: It’s not all good news.

NordVPN’s own tutorials point to why this is a problem, stating that: Even when it’s obvious, you’re left browsing literally hundreds of consecutively-numbered US VPN servers for instance: Still, it’s not a huge deal.

If you use OpenVPN, you’ll only have to figure this out once; if you don’t, you won’t even realize there’s an issue. A map of available servers help you choose which location to connect to Image Credit: We visited the download page, it detected our platform, displayed the Windows download link, and we grabbed and installed the software in something under a minute.

The client opens by displaying its many locations on a map. This works much like any other dynamic map you’ve used — left click and drag to pan around, spin the mouse wheel to zoom, hover your mouse over a highlighted location to see a tooltip of its name — and left clicking any location will connect you to the service.

While this looks good, it’s not a very practical system. To access a specific European location, for instance, you’ll have to pan to that area of the map, zoom in so that the location marker isn’t overlapped by the others, and find your location amongst the others not everyone will look at a caption-free map and immediately recognize which country is Slovakia, and which is Hungary, for instance.

Your map location and zoom level are lost when you quit the app, too, so reboot your system and you’ll need to start again. NordVPN Fortunately, a left-hand sidebar displays a more standard alphabetically-sorted list of countries.

At its most basic, you can scroll to the country you need, click a button and get connected to the best server in that location. Very easy. Tap a More button and NordVPN displays a list of servers and cities within that country if there’s more than one. That’s good news for larger countries, as for instance, knowing whether you’re connecting to New York or Los Angeles might make a significant difference to performance.

However, there are problems with the way the client implements this. You can choose servers for a particular task from the Speciality list in the app Image Credit:

An easy-to-use VPN with some unusual extras

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The best free torrent client 2019

These are excellent prices which match most of the quality competition. Each plan is clearly described, with none of the sneaky marketing tricks you’ll often find online. There’s no misleading headline rate, no discounts which disappear on renewal, no need to sign up for years to get what you’re promised. The website simply tells you the effective monthly rate, the billing frequency and the total you’ll pay each time, ensuring you understand the deal before you click ‘Buy’. The positive impression continued as we worked through the signup process.


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Should you trust it with your data and how can you make it more secure? security and privacy are obviously very important for the company and its Dropbox’s promise to let you access your files wherever you are, and on to create a secure tunnel protected by bit or higher Advanced Encryption .. Latest Utilities. In this Ultimate Guide to Privacy, we provide an in-depth look at all The main problem with using encryption is that its use flags you up .. A better tactic, however, is to use the CCleaner utility (available for Windows and macOS). . gives you unparalleled control over which scripts you run on your browser. The best free torrent client will help you find the torrents you want, or something more advanced that can be extended through the use of The only way to keep yourself safe and anonymous when torrenting . the most recent of which had the potential to let hackers control key . We value your privacy.

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