Downloading over file sharing networks is one of the easiest ways to get large files, but it does open your internet connection up to certain vulnerabilities.
Hackers, digital criminals and other nefarious individuals are using the same file sharing networks that you’re using, and want to take advantage of your lack of security.
Whenever you connect to another computer that’s also connected to a file sharing network, you’re creating an opportunity for your personal information to be hijacked.
Many people do not realize how insecure file sharing networks are, and connect to them without giving their own computer’s security a second thought.
If you’re going to download files from file sharing networks, you need to increase your security to ensure you do not fall victim to digital crime and identity theft.
Connecting to file sharing networks through a Virtual Private Network is the easiest way to secure your connection and ensure that your personal information stays anonymous and secure.
Why You Should Trust Us
The SecureThoughts team are digital security specialists, and have accumulated years of experience staying one step ahead of digital criminals and helping people secure their computers and connections.
We have been featured in numerous industry-leading organizations and have received multiple awards for the in-depth VPN research we perform.
Table of Contents
- Best VPN for Laptops
- Why You Should Trust Us
- Table of Contents
- Testing Methodology
- How We Tested Each VPN Service
- VPN Services You Should Avoid
- VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
- VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
- Top Three VPNs for Securing Your Laptop
- Wrapping It Up
Subscribing to the first VPN service you come across may sound like a good idea, but could create more problems for you than it solves.
There are hundreds of VPN services currently available, and not all of them are worth the money you’re going to spend to become a member.
Some provide high levels of encryption and poor customer support, while others will treat you great to get your money and then provide poor service once you’re a member.
To help ensure that you’re not wasting money, we’ve put in the time to review each different VPN service that’s currently available to find the best service for file sharing networks.
How We Tested Each VPN Service
Keeping your sensitive information secure while you’re connected to a file sharing network is simple when you connect through a VPN first.
To help ensure that your private information remains private, we’ve tested 172 different VPN services using a three-step process to identify reputable providers.
To skip learning how we test each service and go straight to our VPN recommendations, click here now.
To begin testing, we immediately eliminate any service that is based in a country where the local or U.S. government can force the service to reveal how you’re using it.
Then, we look at the remaining VPN services and remove any that lack the features needed to keep you safe while you’re connected to a file sharing network.
Finally, we put the remaining services through rigorous testing using five different criteria that allow us to determine which are worthy of a recommendation.
The five criteria we use are:
Price – The first, and arguably most important, factor that we consider while reviewing VPN services is their monthly subscription rates.
Setup Process – We also verify that the process of signing up to the service, downloading the software, installing and configuring it is simple and straightforward.
Ease of Use – Once the software is installed, we begin testing the service to ensure that it is intuitive to use and doesn’t cause excessive frustrations.
Speed – The speed of a VPN service is crucial when you’re trying to download large files, so we run speed tests from the U.S., the U.K. and Australia to verify fast and reliable connections.
Customer Service – We contact the service’s customer support on three different occasions: once before the sale, once with a technical issue and again with a payment issue.
Below are the results of the in-depth testing we’ve performed.
VPN Services You Should Avoid
We started our review process by looking at 172 different VPN services that are currently available for users looking to protect themselves while connected to file sharing networks.
To begin, we eliminated VPNs that are based in one of the “14 Eyes” countries. These are countries that will cooperate with governments to reveal how you’re using their service.
Countries that participate in the 14 Eyes program can be required to turn over their network logs to local governments. Those logs could be used to prosecute you in a court of law.
Of the original 172 VPN services, 123 of them are based out of countries that take part in the 14 Eyes agreement and were eliminated.
A small sample of the services eliminated due to their participation in the 14 Eyes program are 3Monkey, ChillGlobal, FrootVPN, GoVPN and IPPredator.
VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
Next, we verified that each of the remaining services offer seven different features that you will need while securing your internet connection and downloading files via file sharing networks.
As our review process moves forward, we will break down each of those features and only recommend a VPN service if it offers all of them as part of your subscription.
Criteria #1: OpenVPN Support
VPN services use a few different protocols to handle your connection and keep it secure. Some of those protocols are PPTP, IPSec and OpenVPN.
OpenVPN is generally regarded as the best and most secure protocol, which is why we only recommend services that offer it, at least as an option.
AnonVPN, BeeVPN, Betternet and Blockless were all disqualified due to their lack of OpenVPN support.
Criteria #2: Unlimited Bandwidth and Data Transfer
If you’re paying for broadband service through your local cable or telephone provider, the last thing you want to do is add another internet charge to your bills each month.
VPN services that provide truly unlimited bandwidth and allow you to use your account without throttling your connection speeds due to excessive usage were ranked higher during our review.
Celo, Cloak, Cryptohippie, Faceless.me and Doublehop.me were all eliminated because they do not provide unlimited bandwidth.
Criteria #3: No Data Logging Policies
When you’re using a VPN service, the provider may store logs of your usage activity to help them troubleshoot problems that occur on their network.
However, some services will turn these logs over to local governments, allowing the logs to be used to prosecute their subscribers in a court of law.
To ensure that you are safe and secure while you’re using one of the services we recommend, VPN services that have data logging practices were immediately disqualified.
Hola!VPN, Seed4Me, Spotflux and SunVPN are just a few that were eliminated because of their data logging practices.
Criteria #4: Support for Multiple Operating Systems
If you connect to the internet with multiple different devices, you’re going to need a VPN service that is compatible with several different operating systems.
VPN services that offer support for all current operating systems, such as Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux were ranked higher during our review process.
SunVPN, Overplay and IntelliVPN are all examples of VPN services that were eliminated for not supporting multiple operating systems.
Criteria #5: Support Multiple Concurrent Connections
When you have multiple devices all connected to the internet, you’re going to need to secure each of them individually.
VPN services that allow you to connect with multiple devices at the same time without becoming unreliable were ranked higher during our review process.
HotVPN, IBVPN, In-Disguise and Insorg were all eliminated due to their lack of support for multiple concurrent connections.
Criteria #6: No Peer2Peer Blocking
Some VPN services will block your access to Peer2Peer and file sharing networks that you’re using to download large files.
To ensure that you’re able to connect to your favorite file sharing networks without worrying about having your account disabled, services that block P2P access were disqualified from our review.
LibertyVPN, SunVPN, UnoTelly and VPN.sh were eliminated because they block access to Peer2Peer and file sharing networks.
Criteria #7: Free-Trials, Refunds and Money-Back Guarantees
The VPN industry is incredibly competitive, which means that there is no room for services that do not offer free trials, refund policies or a money-back guarantee.
To save you the frustration of spending your money on a service that doesn’t live up to your expectations, we only recommend services that have a valid money-back guarantee.
VPN Shield, VPN Unlimited, VPN Arena and VPNBaron were eliminated because they do not offer free trial periods.
VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
To help narrow the list of remaining VPNs, we looked at reviews from customers on other websites, and removed any services that scored less than 3 out of 5 stars, or 6 out of 10 stars.
By sifting through other reviews on more than 100 different websites, we managed to weed through the remaining VPN services. Three services were left standing.
Top Three VPNs for Securing Your Laptop
After eliminating services due to poor network performance, poor customer service or missing features, our list of 172 VPN services was narrowed down by 169, leaving three for us to review.
Each of the remaining services have been reviewed using the following criteria:
- Setup Process
- Ease of Use
- Customer Service
After performing a thorough review, we’ve found a clear winner for keeping yourself secure and anonymous while you are downloading files via file sharing networks.
#1 ExpressVPN – (9.5 / 10) – The Best VPN Service for File Sharing Networks
ExpressVPN is the best VPN service currently available for users looking to keep their internet connection safe, secure and anonymous while downloading via file sharing networks.
When it comes to pricing, ExpressVPN isn’t the cheapest or most expensive. At $12.95 per month, or $8.32 when 12 months are paid in advance, they fall in the middle of the pack.
To connect to the ExpressVPN network, you simply need to download the software, click install and then choose a server that you want to connect to.
The ExpressVPN service is straightforward and easy to use. It’s easy to see that they devote a lot of resources to providing a seamless experience.
During testing, ExpressVPN provided the fastest upload and download speeds, and did not throttle connection speeds even after consuming large amounts of bandwidth.
The customer support team at ExpressVPN quickly responded to every message we sent. On average, it took them less than 60 minutes to respond to the problems we presented them.
Even though ExpressVPN has claimed the top spot, their pricing could be slightly more competitive when compared to other services that we’ve reviewed.
Their network connection speeds ranked #1 in the U.S. and the U.K., but only #2 when testing their servers in Australia. This could be due to the time of day that we ran the speed tests.
It would be nice for customer support at ExpressVPN to respond quicker, but with the quality of service they provide it’s easy to see that they may be busy helping other subscribers at the same time.
Summary: When you want to stay safe, secure and anonymous while using file sharing networks to download large files, very few VPNs compare to the service that ExpressVPN provides.
We did not find a single service that provided the level of customer support, the upload and download speeds or the network reliability provided by ExpressVPN.
To protect your connection while downloading via file sharing networks using ExpressVPN, click here now.
#2 IPVanish – (7.5 / 10) – Suitable if ExpressVPN isn’t an Option
If you find out that ExpressVPN isn’t available in your area or country, you may find a suitable experience with a service like IPVanish.
IPVanish is one of the cheapest services that we’ve tested, coming in at $7.50 for a single month, and only $4.87 when 12 months are paid in advance.
The IPVanish setup process is easy. They have been in business for years and have ironed out the installation process, making it easy for anyone to sign onto their network.
When it comes to using the service, they didn’t have many problems maintaining a reliable connection and providing the same level of service as ExpressVPN.
IPVanish managed to rank #2 in connection speeds when testing from the U.S. and the U.K., but ranked #3 when testing their servers from Australia.
They did take substantially longer to respond to requests that we submitted to their customer support team, though. On average, it took them 24 hours to answer messages that we sent.
Summary: While IPVanish is comparable to ExpressVPN in some cases, they cannot compare to the network strength and customer support response times that ExpressVPN provides.
For times when you cannot obtain an ExpressVPN account and want to secure your connection while downloading via file sharing networks, IPVanish may be a suitable alternative.
If you would like to know more about IPVanish, you can visit their site by clicking here.
#3 HideMyAss – (5.5 / 10) – Not Recommended
Rounding out our list in last place is HideMyAss. After a thorough review process, we find it hard to recommend HideMyAss as a viable VPN for users looking to secure their internet connection.
While we didn’t encounter any issues during the setup process, we did have issues in other areas. We experienced enough problems that we were forced to downgrade their service’s ranking.
Downloading and installing their software and connecting to their servers was intuitive enough, making it obvious that they devote a large amount of resources to providing a decent experience.
However, their network connection speeds were slow enough to cause frustrations during our tests, and caused us to experience significant lagging and buffering while streaming HD videos.
They are also among one of the most expensive VPN services that we’ve tested, charging $16.99 for a single month, and $9.29 per month when 12 months are paid in advance.
The customer support team at HideMyAss were also less than satisfactory. It took them more than three hours to respond to the requests that we submitted.
Summary: In the customer service and network strength areas, ExpressVPN substantially outperformed HideMyAss. HideMyAss caused connection reliability issues and had poor customer service.
When you’re trying to secure your connection while downloading via file sharing networks, ExpressVPN is a much better option than HideMyAss.
If you want to learn more about HideMyAss, you can do your own research by clicking here.
NOTE: Hackers rely on users with unsecured internet connections downloading files via file sharing networks to allow them to steal personal information and install malware, Trojans or other harmful software.
By connecting to a file sharing network through a VPN service, you can prevent hackers from spying on your connection and gaining access to your sensitive information.
VPN services allow you to hide where you’re connecting from, and encrypt the information that you’re sending and receiving across the file sharing network.
For protecting your connection and sensitive information while using file sharing networks, very few VPNs can compare to the service that ExpressVPN provides.
To protect your sensitive information while downloading via file sharing networks, get ExpressVPN now by clicking here.
Wrapping It Up
Downloading files via file sharing networks without giving your personal security a second thought can cause a wide range of problems, from identity theft to malware being installed on your computer.
Virtual Private Network services help keep your sensitive information anonymous and secure while you’re connected to file sharing networks.
After thoroughly testing more than 170 VPN services, we’ve come to the conclusion that ExpressVPN is, by far, the best VPN service currently available for users downloading files through file sharing networks.
To learn more about ExpressVPN and keep yourself safe while using Peer2Peer and file sharing networks, click here now.