TorrentFreak’s ‘Which VPN Services Keep You Anonymous’ 2018 edition

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TorrentFreak is a trusted source of information about VPN services. 

It’s out! TorrentFreak’s highly anticipated annual VPN questionnaire results are now out for 2018. Read it here.

It’s always one of TorrentFreak’s most popular and commented upon posts every year.

TorrentFreak’s questionnaire focuses mostly on VPN logging policies but also on other privacy and security aspects too. The target audience is the p2p file-sharing community.

This year’s review covers 39 VPN services. Unlike some former years, TorrentFreak has kept all of the responses this year on a single post rather than breaking them up over multiple posts.

The first 3 VPN services listed are ones that Cogipas.com recommends, ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access VPN and NordVPN. 🙂  TorrentFreak stresses that the order of the VPN services in its 2018 review is not a ranking, “The order of the list holds no value.” The very end of the post also states, “Note: several of the providers listed in this article are TorrentFreak sponsors. We reserve the first three spots for our sponsors, as a courtesy.”

As the first 3 VPN services on TorrentFreak’s list coincide with our recommended VPN services, let’s take a closer look at some of the relevant information. Here are some highlights of those results:

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN logo

ExpressVPN: No logging

ExpressVPN gives probably the most comprehensive answer when it comes to no logging, “ExpressVPN doesn’t keep any connection or activity logs, including never logging browsing history, data contents, DNS requests, timestamps, source IPs, outgoing IPs, or destination IPs”.

ExpressVPN is established in the British Virgin Islands, a jurisdiction that “has no data retention laws” (question 2) and “does not identify or report users as a result of DMCA notices” (question 5).

PIA VPN logo

PIA VPN: "we do not log, period"

Private Internet Access (PIA)

Private Internet Access describes their logging policy very simply, “we do not log, period”. PIA is well-known for its strong non-logging policy and being very torrent-friendly. That, along with its low price, explains why it has been and remains a favorite VPN of the torrenting community.

Interesting is that PIA’s answer to question 7 reveals that in some cases it routes torrent traffic through a second VPN. Cool, though that might impact speeds.

PIA does keep your signup email on file (question 6) but cannot link payment data to user activity (question 8). In other words, for maximum privacy, it might be a good to use a temporary email address when signing up for PIA to retrieve your account password without having to share your personal email address.

NordVPN logo

No logging NordVPN

NordVPN

NordVPN’s answers make clear that it is based in Panama and, as the country is outside the legal jurisdiction of DMCA, NordVPN ignores such notices (question 5).

However, NordVPN would respond to orders issued by courts in Panama, but that is yet to happen (question 6). Anyway, that wouldn’t seem to matter as “our zero-log policy means that we don’t have any information about our users’ online activity” (question 6). Also, NordVPN’s payment system “cannot be linked to any Internet activity of a particular customer” (question 8).

Conclusion

By boldly declaring “Which VPN Services Keep You Anonymous in 2018”, TorrentFreak is setting expectations very high.

However, given the answers above and the fact that all 3 of these top VPN services also have kill switches, DNS leak protection, IPv6 safeguards, and use their own non-logging DNS servers, any of them would keep your torrent activities safe and private.

We all owe TorrentFreak a debt of gratitude for their survey over the years and, through it, for keeping torrent VPN providers on their toes and having to constantly up their game.

Happy downloading!

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