Similar to the US, copyright trolls send threatening letters to torrenters after identifying their IP address. While we’re not legal experts in German law, the consensus of what to do if you receive a letter is also similar to the US: if it doesn’t identify you by name and doesn’t come directly from the police, ignore it and just let the statute of limitations period expire.
Hosting and running a VPN is quite expensive, and nobody would do it for charity. The so-called ‘free VPNs’ are therefore not entirely free, as they use adverts and various restrictions to continue offering you service. Some even sell your data to third parties for analysis and marketing! If you don’t like restrictions & ads, check out these Paid VPNs. That said, there are still some decent free VPNs that just limit what you can do. Here are some of comprises you’ll have to do with:

Our custom-built VPN for Netflix gives you the ability to Unblock Netflix from any region. If you want to access the entire library, there is no better place to start than by accessing Netflix US. Whether you are traveling or reside abroad, you will be able to access American Netflix in a few simple steps. So if you want to enjoy the latest TV shows and movies in Ultra HD, that too without compromising your account, then Ivacy’s Netflix VPN is the way to go.
Perhaps you'll decide that all this effort isn't worth it just to secure your BitTorrent downloads. But even so, you should keep in mind that a VPN is still the best way to keep your internet traffic private and secure. Whether you decide to spring for a premium account, you're looking for a cheap VPN, or you want to dip your toe in with a free VPN, it's about time you started living the encrypted lifestyle.
Surfshark is a relatively new provider that makes it easy to unblock Netflix. There’s no trial and error here, because all of SurfShark’s servers can unblock Netflix. Most of them will redirect you to the US version of Netflix, but it does offer local versions for a handful of countries including Canada, France, and Japan. Speeds are good fast enough to stream in HD without buffering without compromising security.
Some unscrupulous free VPN providers could well be scraping users’ personal data and selling it to third parties. One such high-profile case was Hola, a free VPN provider based in Israel. Hola was caught selling users’ bandwidth, and it was criticized for being opaque about how each Hola user became a node on the network rather than hosting its own dedicated VPN servers.
A virtual private network (or VPN) is very similar to a proxy, but instead of rerouting just your BitTorrent traffic, it reroutes all your internet traffic. For some people, that’s a good thing—it gives you privacy all over the web. However, it can also be inconvenient, navigating you to different web pages for that VPN’s country or causing issues with streaming services. If you have a NAS, you can set up your VPN on it to route only your NAS traffic, which is a perfect option for downloading anonymously. VPNs are about the same price as most proxies, and I personally have found that I get better speeds with most VPNs than I do with a proxy.
Certain Kodi add-ons also source video streams from torrents. Keep an eye out in particular for a newer platform called Acestreams. Acestreams use peer-to-peer bittorrent connections so concurrent users can share the load of a stream. That means your connection is shared with others, causing potential security and privacy issues that can usually be averted with a torrent VPN. Acestreams are increasingly popular for both live and on-demand content.
Buffered previously was able to unblock Netflix in a web browser on MacOS and Windows, but this is no longer the case as of September 2017. A customer support rep told us, “As of the moment, we are unable to access Netflix US with any of our servers. A fix is being worked on and should be forthcoming fairly shortly. We have no update though as of yet.”
As with the best VPN services, Ivacy tells me that it strives to retain as little usable information as possible in order to protect customers even when presented with a legal subpoena. A representative told me, "Our servers, processes and systems do not keep any personal and sensitive information. By design, Ivacy VPN has no sensitive data to share, even when legally bound to do so."

Some VPNs redirect users to the US version of Netflix regardless of server location. NordVPN, for example, can unblock Netflix when connected to any country, but uses a DNS proxy to route Netflix requests to the US version, except for Australia, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, and UK. Opening Netflix while connected to any other country through NordVPN will return the US version. And though Surfshark users can access Netflix on any server, they all redirect to the US version except France, India, Japan, the Netherlands, and the UK. Similarly, AirVPN redirects many international users to US Netflix regardless of their VPN server’s IP address.
Most of NordVPN’s servers can unblock Netflix, although the majority will redirect you to the US version even if you’re connected to another country. Thanks to a low monthly price and the option to connect up to six devices at one time, NordVPN is a great budget option especially if you share an account with friends or family. Despite its low price, NordVPN doesn’t skimp on security or privacy. It’s pretty good at unblocking other popular streaming services as well, like BBC iPlayer and Hulu. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

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If you are going to use BitTorrent for whatever reason, good luck to you. If you are going to use a VPN, more power to you. But be sure that you take the time to read the VPN's terms of service before you start. And be aware of the local laws and possible penalties before you start, whatever your willingness to obey them. "I didn't know the law," or "I don't agree with the law," won't hold up as defenses in a court, so make sure you can live with any potential punishments should you choose to do something legally dubious.
Buffered CEO Jordan Fried suspects Netflix could put the final nail in the VPN coffin if it truly wished to do so. Instead, it has resisted avoiding losing more customers. The argument against a billing address-based filtering scheme, Netflix might argue, is that the copyright licensing restrictions apply to where content is being watched from, not where the subscriber’s money comes from.
Understanding what kind of information a VPN service collects, and how long it is maintained, can be hard to figure out. To get the answer, you may have to wade through unending FAQ pages and opaque terms of service written in arcane legalese. If the VPN company you're considering can't clearly explain what information it gathers and how long it will be kept, it's probably not a great service.
Secondly, a VPN prevents other users downloading and/or uploading the same files as you from seeing your IP address. BitTorrent is a P2P, or peer-to-peer, protocol. That means everyone who uses the same torrent file is connected in what’s known as a “swarm”. Each device connected to the swarm can see all of the other IP addresses of all the other devices in the swarm. Many BitTorrent clients even allow you to view a list of other devices you’re connected to when leeching or seeding files on the network.
Ivacy's streak of mediocrity continued into the upload tests, where it had the third-worst score recorded. Here, it reduced upload speed test results by 31.9 percent. To be fair, the worst score is far worse than that (KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, 71.3 percent), but it's also a long way from the best score. That goes to IPVanish, which slowed upload speed test results by only 2.9 percent. Again, Ivacy's international tests were a mirror of its domestic performance. Here, Ivacy had one of the better scores, reducing upload speed test results by 97.81 percent. It wasn't however, enough to unseat Private Internet Access, which reduced upload speed test results by 97.3 percent.
Unlike proxies and VPNs, seedboxes don’t route your BitTorrent traffic through another country. Instead, you actually rent a dedicated server that resides in that country, and do all your torrenting through that machine. They usually have insanely fast speeds, and if you’re on a private tracker, they’ll seed 24/7, giving you a great ratio. Once you download a torrent on your seedbox, you can just connect to it via FTP and download the file as fast as your home connection allows. Note that seedboxes also require a bit of extra setup, and some may require a little command line work to get running.
The Dedicated IP option requires an add-on purchase (discussed below). The Unblocking option defaults to a nearby country that doesn't have restricted content. If you're looking to access websites blocked by your local government, this is the option for you. I'm not clear on Secure Download options, however. When I selected it, Ivacy connected me to a VPN server in Belgium. To my mind, the Belgians are known for their excellent beer and not so much their prestige in downloading.
Secondly, a VPN prevents other users downloading and/or uploading the same files as you from seeing your IP address. BitTorrent is a P2P, or peer-to-peer, protocol. That means everyone who uses the same torrent file is connected in what’s known as a “swarm”. Each device connected to the swarm can see all of the other IP addresses of all the other devices in the swarm. Many BitTorrent clients even allow you to view a list of other devices you’re connected to when leeching or seeding files on the network.
When you download or seed a torrent, you’re connecting to a bunch of other people, called a swarm. All of those people can see your computer’s IP address—they have to in order to connect. That’s all very handy when you’re sharing files with other netizens, but file sharers such as yourself aren’t necessarily the only people paying attention. Piracy monitoring groups (often paid for by the entertainment industry either before or after they find violators) also join BitTorrent swarms, but instead of sharing files, they’re logging the IP addresses of other people in the swarm—including you—so that they can notify your ISP of your doings.
But wait, can’t the piracy groups then go to the anonymizer service and requisition their logs to figure out what you’re downloading? Theoretically, yes, but if you’re using a truly good anonymizer, they don’t keep logs, so there’s no paper trail of activity leading back to you. All the piracy monitors see is a proxy service sharing a file, and all your ISP sees is you connecting to a proxy service. If you encrypt your BitTorrent traffic (which we recommend), your ISP won’t even be able to see that you’re using BitTorrent.

BitTorrent has an unsavory reputation, one that is both unfair and yet also well deserved. At its best, BitTorrent addresses the bottleneck created when too many people try to download the same files from a single source at once—be they bootlegged tv shows, hot music tracks, DRM-free books, or photos of cats. BitTorrent turns a file's popularity into a benefit, instead of a bottleneck, by having each of the downloaders distribute pieces of the file to every other downloader. Furthermore, it's decentralized, with no main server to choke under the burden of traffic. There's no disputing that torrenting is a clever idea. While it can be used for legitimate purposes, its decentralized nature also makes it perfect for illegally sharing copyrighted content online, too.
Some VPN services offer even longer subscription periods. KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, for example, lives up to its name with an effectively life-long plan. It also offers billing periods as short as one week, which is great for travelers who want a VPN only for a vacation or business trip. At PCMag, however, we recommend using a VPN as often as possible.
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