8 Best Private Torrenting Sites: This is Where You Need an Invite From

Torrents have become the default way of sharing large files. Whether you’re downloading entire e-learning courses or just a few HD movies, torrents are one of the fastest and easiest ways to get the content you need. Most torrents come from public trackers, sites like The Pirate Bay or Kickass Torrents. Others come from private, invite-only services that don’t allow just anyone to download. It takes a little effort to get into a private torrenting site, so you should choose your targets carefully. Below are some of the best private torrenting services on the internet.

Before You Torrent, Get a VPN

Even though private torrenting sites are safer than public ones, your data could still be at risk. Not only are you sending raw information to servers and users around the world, but each request you make is tied to an IP address linked to your identity and location. ISPs can log this and share it with third parties or even government agencies, turning your once-private downloads into freely available information.

Best VPNs for Torrenting

A virtual private network will encrypt your traffic and assign you a different IP address, completely masking your activity from third parties and keeping you safe. But, which VPN service is best for you? We made our selections based on the following criteria, ensuring you’ll be able to download anything you want using a fast, private connection.

  • No logging
  • No limits on bandwidth and protocols
  • Anonymous payment methods
  • Large server network size

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN works to keep your torrents anonymous by wrapping everything in strong 256-bit AES encryption.

DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch ensure your personal data never sneaks through, even in the case of an accidental disconnect.

If privacy is your top concern, ExpressVPN offers one of the most comprehensive zero-logging policies on the market, covering everything from traffic to DNS requests and IP addresses.

ExpressVPN’s network of over 2,000 servers in 148 locations in 94 countries means you’ll always be able to find a speedy connection in any part of the world.

And if your downloads feel a little sluggish, just fire up the built-in speed test to locate a better server in a matter of seconds!

Pros

  • SPECIAL OFFER: 3 months free (49% off – link below)
  • Reliable and fast connections
  • AES-256 encryption
  • No logs for personal data
  • 24/7 Customer Service.
Cons

  • Not much
  • Priced slightly higher.
BEST FOR TORRENTING: ExpresVPN is our #1 choice for torrenting. Get 3 months free on ExpressVPN’s annual plan & save 49%

2. IPVanish

IPVanish makes it easy to disappear online. The company’s network of 850 servers in 60 different countries is one of the largest in the business, and with over 40,000 shared IP addresses, anonymity is practically a guarantee! Data that passes through these servers is also locked down with 256-bit AES encryption and backed with a zero-logging policy on all traffic. DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch even keep your identity safe in case you lose your connection.

IPVanish was pretty much built for online video streaming and torrent downloads. Fast servers give you the best connection possible, no matter where you live or where you’re connected, and features like unlimited bandwidth, no speed throttling, and no restrictions on P2P network or torrent traffic make it easy to sign in and get started. IPVanish even offers a few extra anonymity features to protect your identity, including an IP shuffling timer to change your IP address at regular intervals.

READER EXCLUSIVE: Get 60% off when you sign up for a year of IPVanish,just $4.87 per month! Each plan is covered by an amazing seven-day money back guarantee so you can try everything out with no risks and no worries.

Why Use Private Torrenting Sites?

Anyone who downloads files through torrenting service always has three things on their mind: privacy, speed, and availability. Public torrent sites use their high number of uploaders to ensure speed is rarely an issue, and thanks to a large audience they also have a massive selection of downloads. When it comes to privacy, though, you really can’t beat private trackers, as their gatekeeping system does a great job preventing spying third parties away from their files. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than an open door policy.

Another advantage private trackers have over public torrent sites is niche content. You’ll be able to find about 80% of what you want on the general web, especially if you’re hunting for a popular TV series or mainstream e-book. If your tastes are more obscure, however, public sites rarely have what you’re looking for. Going with a private torrenting tracker that caters to your niche is usually the best option in this case.

How to Join a Private Torrenting Site

Private trackers require registration before you can access their content. Registration isn’t as simple as entering your e-mail address and clicking the “sign up” button, however. Some restrict new account creations to one day a year, others even require interviews before access is granted. The methods can vary from site to site and often change as the years go by. Below are some of the more common methods you can use to create a membership with a private site of your choosing:

  • Open registration days – One easy method of getting access to a private tracker is to join on one of their open registration days where anyone can sign up and start downloading. These are rarely announced in advance and they can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Keep an eye on the tracking sites below for all the latest announcements.
  • Asking for invites – Some private torrent sites are invite only, meaning a current member has to grant you access. This means checking out an invite trading thread on a forum or simply begging for access. And if you know someone with invite codes, ask for one!
  • IRC or forum registrations – Some of the more exclusive private torrent sites restrict invitation codes and account creation to their own IRC channels or community forums. If you want to join the service, you’ll need to find these resources and follow the instructions within.

All of the above methods require a little bit of work, and in some cases, a little bit of luck, too! You can increase your odds by following the sites below for all the latest news on private torrent registrations and announcements.

  • Opentrackers – Private torrent tracker news, plain and simple. Opentrackers posts registration announcements on a regular basis. You’ll have to be fast to get your invite/application in, so if you’re interested in private torrents, visit the site every single day.
  • TorrentInvites – Website and forum dedicated to invitation swaps and open registration announcements.
  • /r/trackers – A subreddit dedicated to all things tracker related. Includes open registration days as well as general announcements.
  • /r/invites – A subreddit for requesting, offering, and trading private torrent site invitations.

The Best Private Torrenting Sites

Most torrent sites fall into a handful of categories, each centered around the type of content they offer. Some have a lot of music or movies, while others keep tabs on e-book releases or classic TV shows. We pulled together some of the most popular private torrenting sites that provide the best quality and largest selection in their particular niche. We also let you know how easy it is to get access to the site, as this is often one of the key stumbling blocks to using private torrenting sites.

IPTorrents – Generalized Private Torrenting Site

One downside to joining private trackers is that you need to remain an active user. Snatching, or the practice of downloading a file without seeding to an even ratio, is not only frowned upon but can often cost you your account. Unless you’re really into the content hosted by the tracker you’ve joined and plan on downloading dozens of files, your best bet is to pick a good generalized private torrent site and focus your efforts there.

IPTorrents is a well-established private tracker that offers nearly 700,000 different torrents. Its content covers just about everything you can imagine, from music to software, games to movies. Think of it like a privatized version of The Pirate Bay without the mislabeled files and dangerous downloads.

  • Site: IPTorrents
  • Content: A little bit of everything
  • Ratio Requirements: Yes
  • Joining Difficulty: Easy

BitMe – All the Best E-Learning Resources

 

The internet is usually thought of as an entertainment resource, but it’s also perfect for learning new information. Access to e-learning courses has never been easier. BitMe was established in 2004 and continues to this day with over 32,000 torrents and 14,000 users, each of whom is just as addicted to learning new information as you are! Video courses, textbooks, and e-books centered around every topic imaginable are just a few clicks away.

  • Site: BitMe
  • Content: General learning content
  • Ratio Requirements: Yes
  • Joining Difficulty: Average

Redacted – Private Music Torrents

Albums, individual songs, full discographies, Redacted has it all. Previously known as PassTheHeadphones, Redacted is a relatively young site that focuses on music of all types and genres. You’ll get a healthy number of popular hits along with classics and even international bands. Over a million torrents and 27,000 users makes it one of the largest and most active private music trackers, so if you can get an invite you’ll be set for songs!

  • Site: Redacted
  • Content: Music
  • Ratio Requirements: Yes
  • Joining Difficulty: Easy

Bibliotik – Best Private E-book Torrents

Bibliotik has nearly 300,000 torrents and an extremely active community of 7,000 or so users. It’s been online with very few interruptions since 2009, so if you can get access, you won’t have to worry about hunting for other e-book tracker invites. Bibliotik keeps a great selection of mainstream, classic, and niche books of all types and genres. If you can’t find it on a public tracker, chances are Bibliotik has what you need.

  • Site: Bibliotik
  • Content: E-books
  • Ratio Requirements: Yes
  • Joining Difficulty: Average

GazelleGames – Private Video Game Torrents

It’s easy to make the argument that finding a reliable gaming torrent site is like stumbling across a unicorn in your living room. Private gaming trackers are rare, and they seem to shut down after only a year or two of existence. GazelleGames is a notable exception to this trend. The site has been in operation since 2010 and offers over 65,000 torrents to 14,000 users, making it the largest private gaming torrents site around.

  • Site: GazelleGames
  • Content: Video Games
  • Ratio Requirements: Yes
  • Joining Difficulty: Average

PassThePopcorn – The Only Movie Torrent Site You’ll Need

PassThePopcorn has been around since 2008, which is practically a century in online time. Its main focus is mainstream movies, classic films, and popular international releases, all presented in high quality whenever possible. Over 380,000 torrents and 35,000 users make it one of the largest private movie torrent sites on the ‘net.

  • Site: PassThePopcorn
  • Content: Movies
  • Ratio Requirements: Yes
  • Joining Difficulty: Hard

BroadcastTheNet

Founded in 2009, BroadcastTheNet focuses on high-quality TV shows and full TV series releases, everything from modern content to classics and international releases. It’s by far the largest private TV torrenting site around. You’ll find over 200,000 torrents shared by 34,000 users.

  • Site: BroadcastTheNet
  • Content: TV shows and TV series
  • Ratio Requirements: No
  • Joining Difficulty: Hard

AnimeBytes

One of the more difficult semi-niche scenes to follow is anime. General torrent sites frown upon heavy anime and manga uploads, making it even harder to access Japanese exclusive and fan subbed content. AnimeBytes is a huge private torrenting site with 16,000 users and over 141,000 torrents to choose from. If there’s a series you’re looking for, AnimeBytes will definitely have it!

  • Site: AnimeBytes
  • Content: Anime and manga
  • Ratio Requirements: Yes
  • Joining Difficulty: Average

How to Keep a Good Ratio

A large portion of private trackers enforce something called a ratio. This number represents the amount of content you’ve downloaded compared to the amount you’ve uploaded. Ideally your ratio should stay above 1.0, indicating that you give back at least as much bandwidth as you use. Some private torrent sites set hard rules about ratios and will remove your registration if you drop below the limit for too long.

Ratios are also frequently used as a sort of application requirement for torrent trackers. If there’s an interview before you’re allowed to join, the number-one question is “How many private trackers are you a member of, and what’s your ratio with them?” Providing proof of a solid ratio is an excellent tool for nailing the interview and getting access to an elite private tracker.

Keeping a good ratio on a private torrenting site is a simple matter of constantly seeding your downloads. Don’t delete a file or a torrent once you download it. Leave it running and actively uploading for as long as you can. Weeks, months, even years. Depending on the specific site’s rules you may only get ratio credit if someone is actively downloading from you. If this is the case, grab a popular file as soon as it’s uploaded to drastically increase your odds at scoring a high ratio.

Another way to keep a solid ratio is to use a seedbox. These off-site services work like a paid version of a remote torrent client that constantly seeds each file, even when your computer is switched off. Seedboxes usually work on a subscription service and cost a few dollars a month to run. Not all private trackers allow them, so check with your torrent site before signing up.

Usenet vs Private Torrenting Sites

An extremely popular yet notably niche alternative to torrent sites and torrent downloads is usenet, which is sort of like a precursor to the internet. It was developed in the 1980s as a method of sharing messages across a distributed network, as evidenced by the old newsgroup and bulletin board systems early internet users will remember. In recent years usenet has become a haven for file sharing. It’s not difficult to use, but it does require a few separate programs and a subscription to access the service, which keeps it from hitting the mainstream.

Torrents work by distributing pieces of a file from every user who downloaded it. Usenet, on the other hand, delivers content directly from a server to a client. When a file is uploaded to a usenet group, every site that indexes that group will have access to the content, normally at very high speeds, as well. You can think of usenet as a sort of inverted torrent network. Instead of connecting downloaders and having them share files, usenet servers connect to each other to form the distribution network.

Usenet carries roughly the same risks as downloading torrents. If you’re not paying attention you could download pirated content or even viruses. VPNs and virus scanners are essential tools for usenet access, as is a subscription with a reliable usenet provider.

Share Your Favorite Private Torrenting Sites

There are hundreds of private torrenting sites out there, many of which purposefully hide themselves to avoid scrutiny. This makes it difficult to discover new sites, let alone join them! Which private trackers do you use for accessing all your favorite content? Let us know in the comments below!

Read 8 Best Private Torrenting Sites: This is Where You Need an Invite From by Diego Villena on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPNs With a Kill Switch in 2019

One extremely useful but often overlooked feature of a VPN is a kill switch. This is a function which ensures that you will never accidentally send data over an unsecured internet connection. If you are concerned about security, and especially if you are downloading illegally (which we do NOT condone), then a kill switch is a key feature that you should be looking for when you choose a VPN provider.

Below we’ll explain to you more in depth about what a kill switch is. If you decide that it’s a feature which is important for you, after that we’ll have recommendations for the best VPNs with a kill switch so you can choose one which meets your needs.

What is the best VPN with a kill switch?

  1. Subscribe to one of the VPNs in this guide.

We highly recommend ExpressVPN (save 49% here), but you’ll also find four more world-class VPN services that will work great.

  1. Download and install the VPN’s client software.
  2. Connect to the VPN no matter where you’re located.
  3. Now you can enjoy unrestricted access to any websites.

What Is a Kill Switch?

You might see a kill switch referred to as an internet kill switch, a VPN kill switch, or a network lock. These are all different terms for the same thing, which is a feature of your VPN software. The idea is that the switch can be enabled or disabled as you require. When the switch is activated, no data will be sent over your internet connection unless the VPN is enabled. When the switch is turned off, your internet connection can be used normally whether the VPN is connected or not.

Why would you want to use a kill switch? Well, it’s an important feature if you’re extremely concerned about your privacy and you want to make sure that no data is ever send unencrypted over your connection. This is particularly vital if you’re going to be downloading files using torrents or other peer to peer systems, as even accidentally downloading a small portion of a file over an unsecured connection can still get you in legal trouble.

If you’re wondering how you could accidentally use an unsecured connection, it can be easier than you think to make that mistake. When you’re connected to a VPN server, after several hours the server might go down and you would have to connect to a new server. In the few seconds between disconnecting from the old server and connecting to the new one, you could send data over the internet without even realising it. Or when you turn your computer on, you could forget to start up your VPN software before opening your web browser, and then your currently open tabs would be downloaded over the unsecured network.

With a kill switch enabled, you can be sure: you’ll never inadvertently send data over an unsecured connection. And here’s another useful tip – companies which offer a kill switch in their VPN software are the companies which are most concerned with privacy. So if you want to keep your internet use private and you see that your VPN has a kill switch option, that’s a good sign.

Our Recommended VPNs with a Kill Switch

1. ExpressVPN

The Best VPNs with a Kill Switch - ExpressVPN

In ExpressVPN, the kill switch feature is called a network lock. It is available using the desktop software for modern version of Windows or Mac: that is, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite), Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan), macOS 10.12 (Sierra), and macOS 10.13 (High Sierra).

Network lock is enabled by default. Here’s how to change it: in the ExpressVPN software, click on the three grey lines in the top left to open the menu. Go to Options (or Preferences on a Mac) and then to General. You’ll see that the second section down says Network Lock. Here there’s a checkbox labelled Enable Network Lock (internet kill switch) and you can check or uncheck as you require. Then press OK at the bottom to save your settings.

Features

ExpressVPN has a stellar reputation among power users for providing the fastest connections with maximum flexibility. In addition to the kill switch, it is strong in terms of security. It uses 256-bit encryption which will keep all of your data private and secure. The company has a strict no-logging policy so you can be sure that your data will never be handed over to another company or organisation.

The service shows its flexibility thanks to the huge server network which you’ll get access to, with over 1000 server in 145 locations in 94 different countries. This means that you’ll have plenty of options for servers to connect to all around the world, including in countries with strict internet restrictions like China.

The software can be installed on Windows and Mac OS, plus Linux, Android, iOS, and Blackberry. There are also browser extensions available for the Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers which are extremely easy to use. You can even install the software onto your router to protect all the devices on your network automatically.

2. IPVanish

The Best VPNs with a Kill Switch - IPVanish

IPVanish has a kill switch feature in their desktop software for Windows and Mac. To find the switch, just open up your IPVanish software, then go to Settings on the left hand menu. Now select CONNECTION from the menu at the top. You’ll see a bunch of options under the VPN section, including a check box for Kill Switch. Just check this box and the kill switch will be enabled.

Features

If you’re looking for a VPN which has lightning fast connections that you’ll never have to wait around for, then you might like IPVanish. In addition to blazing fast speeds and a kill switch, the security is strong with its 256-bit encryption to keep your data safe and a no logging policy to maintain your privacy.

The IPVanish software can be installed on many platforms, including Windows 7, 8, and 10, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android, Fire TV, Windows Phone, and Chromebook. With this software you’ll get access to a network of 850 servers in more than 60 countries, so the service is ideal for getting around region locks to watch content from other places as well as keeping you safe.

3. NordVPN

The Best VPNs with a Kill Switch - NordVPN

NordVPN helpfully provides a kill switch option in both its desktop software and its mobile apps. The desktop version, for Windows and Mac, can shut down applications which you specify if your VPN connection goes down. The mobile version for Android and iOS disables internet access across the system if the VPN connection goes down, meaning that apps won’t be shut down but they won’t be able to communicate across the unsecured internet.

To enable the kill switch on the desktop software, open it up and click on Settings at the top, and then to General on the left. This will show you a number of options, including the Kill Switch slider. You can toggle the slider to turn the kill switch on and off. And below the slider you can add applications which should be terminated in the case of VPN disconnection – such as your web browser and your torrent client.

To enable the kill switch in the mobile app, open the app and click on the Account icon in the top left. You’ll see a Kill Switch option which you can toggle on and off.

Features

NordVPN is a highly security-minded VPN provider, and in addition to the kill switch they have extra strong double encryption which keeps your data as safe as possible by encrypting your metadata as well as the data itself.

The software can be installed on many operating systems, like Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, 8, and 10 as well as Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, and Windows Phone. So it should be no problem to protect all of your devices with this one subscription.

The large server network offers access to 1070 servers in 60 different countries so it’s easy to get around region locks. The company also has a no logging policy to maintain your privacy, so your details will never be passed onto anyone else.

4. VyprVPN

The Best VPNs with a Kill Switch - VyprVPN

VyprVPN not only has a kill switch for Mac and Windows, but also has detailed settings to let you customise it to your liking. You can see the settings for the kill switch by going to the Settings section of your software, then clicking to the Connection tab. At the top of this page you’ll see a section labelled Kill Switch. Here you’ll find a check box for Stop all internet traffic when VyprVPN is disconnected, which you should check to enable.

Beneath the checkbox are two options: App and System. App means that the kill switch will operate when VyprVPN is running, preventing internet use until you connect to a VPN server. System means that the kill switch will operate all the time, even when the VyprVPN software is not running. To access the internet, you’ll have to open up the software and connect to a VPN server first. You must choose one of these two options to activate the kill switch.

There’s also a third option below, which allows you to block LAN traffic as well as internet traffic. To enable this, check the box next to where it says Stop LAN traffic when Kill Switch is active.

Features

Users who want a kill switch for their VPN are likely to be highly concerned about privacy, and in that case they can be recommended to look into VyprVPN. This company values the privacy of its users highly, and offers a unique feature in the form of their exceptional Chameleon protocol. This double encrypts all of your data, protecting your metadata though encryption as well as the data itself.

The Chameleon protocol gives two advantages: firstly, it adds an extra layer of security, making it even harder for anyone to track or observe your internet activity. Secondly, it allows you to get around VPN blocking such as that used by the Chinese government. If you’re planning to travel to China or if you’re trying to avoid government spying, this is the product for you.

The software can be installed on Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, and your router, and it will give you access to more than 700 servers in 70 different countries. Naturally, for a security-minded company, there’s a no logging policy too.

Take advantage of 50% off your first month with VyprVPN, in addition to a three-day free trial!

5. Pure VPN

The Best VPNs with a Kill Switch - PureVPN

PureVPN offers an easy-to-use kill switch in their Windows and Mac software. To enable it, open the PureVPN software and then go to the settings icon (it looks like a gear in the top right of the screen). Then go to Advanced Options, and see the section titled Internet Kill Switch. Here you have three checkbox options: Activate Internet Kill Switch, Auto-redial if VPN connection drops, and Stop internet even if I disconnect the VPN manually. Check the first box to enable the kill switch.
Features
PureVPN stands out for having both a range of advanced user features like a kill switch, but also being user friendly. When you purchase a subscription to PureVPN, you’ll get access to a whole bundle of security software in addition to the VPN. The security suite includes bonus tools like ad blocking software, malware protection, anti-virus software, and web filtering, all of which can be used to keep your device as safe as possible.

In terms of security, PureVPN uses strong AES 256-bit encryption and can be installed on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. The network gives you access to over 750 servers located in more than 140 different countries.

Conclusion

A kill switch is a handy feature to have built into your VPN software, especially if you are highly concerned about privacy. Not all VPNs have this capability, but all of the ones that we’ve mentioned today do, along with other excellent features. We can confidently recommend each of these VPN providers for users of all kinds.

Do you use a kill switch for your VPN? Is it a feature which matters to you? Then let us know about it in the comments below!

Read Best VPNs With a Kill Switch in 2019 by Diego Villena on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Get a Kuwaiti IP Address from Anywhere

Getting a Kuwaiti IP address isn’t easy. After all, the government is rather proactive in filtering out and restricting access to internet content it deems offensive, pornographic or otherwise subversive to public order. Combined with its proximity to much larger regional powers, and you have a country which doesn’t register highly on most VPN providers’ wish-list of server locations.

Nevertheless, if you are searching for a Kuwaiti IP, you likely have a very good reason for doing so, and demand a solution. In today’s article, that’s exactly what we aim to do. We’ll first go over what makes a good VPN service, then recommend our favorite provider proven to provide outside access to IP addresses in Kuwait. We’ll then show you how to sign up, install, and configure your VPN. Finally, we’ll cover a few miscellaneous items on the subject that will help you stay safe online.

What makes a good VPN?

Picking a VPN provider is difficult enough, with all the competing claims from various services saying why they are the best on the market. Thankfully, there are a few core criteria which can help you weed out charlatans and settle on a truly reputable company:

  • Encryption – By default, everything you send on the internet is easy to view. If you want to protect your data, you’ll want to look for VPN providers who use modern, reliable encryption standards to protect your data.
  • Bandwidth and speed – The proxy routing and encryption processes add overhead to your connection speeds, but the best VPNs reduce slowdown to an unnoticeable minimum.
  • Logging policy – If a VPN doesn’t have a zero-logging policy, everything from your traffic logs to IP addresses and browsing history gets stored. This makes it easy for authorities and interested third parties to track you down. If you want to feel safe, look for providers that don’t log your info.
  • Device compatibility- If you are looking to browse on different devices, for example, an iPhone and a Windows PC, you’ll need a VPN with apps for different operating system. The same applies to video game consoles, routers, and other device types. If you want to use a VPN with your hardware, make sure your provider has the apps you need.
  • Network size – The bigger the network size of a VPN provider, the better chance you have of finding a quality connection in the country of your choice. Bigger networks also tend to have faster connections and lower latencies, since the more servers a provider has, the more routing options they have for your data.

PureVPN – Best VPN for getting a Kuwaiti IP address

PureVPN is unique in a lot of ways. For the purposes of this article, the provider stands alone in offering a server connection in Kuwait. In fact, PureVPN seems to specialize in covering the globe; their network spans 2,000+ nodes in 140 countries, with another 40 locations represented via virtual servers. This is well above the industry norm, and it’s truly remarkable that PureVPN is able to provide such variety of choice to their users.

Beyond the sheer breadth of their network, PureVPN offers incredible utility as an all-in-one cybersecurity solution. Packaged in their software is a massive variety of functionality including app filtering, DDoS protection, dedicated IP addresses, a NAT firewall, anti-spam filtering, and even antivirus software. Among VPN providers, this suite of tools is not only unusual, but practically unheard of.

But don’t let the bells and whistles fool you into thinking that PureVPN’s core functionality is anything other than outstanding. Once again, this provider stands out for their unique way of doing things, with a variable encryption method that allows you to set your level of security to the max 256-bit AES protocol (which is virtually unbreakable by any means of brute force), or to drop encryption altogether for optimal connection speeds (useful when you just want to use PureVPN as a proxy service and aren’t concerned about security). There are also intermediate settings, allowing you to dial in the right balance of privacy and performance.

Rounding out the package is a handsome no-logging policy, zero restrictions on bandwidth, and broad device compatibility including Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Linux, DD-WRT routers, Amazon Fire TV devices, and even Kindle.

Getting started with your VPN

Step 1 – Download the VPN software

  1. Open your web browser and sign up with PureVPN.
  2. Download the app that is compatible with the device you’re using.
  3. Install the VPN and open it on your device; log in using your account details.
  4. Upon launch, you will be provided with a list of connection options; select a Kuwaiti server.
  5. Give the VPN a few moments to connect to the server.
  6. You are good to go! Open your browser or any app and start enjoying the internet with your Kuwaiti IP address.

Step 2 – Verify you’re safe

This step is not mandatory, but we recommend you go through with it since it only takes a few moments and verifies that the VPN is working properly. Once you complete this step you will be certain that you are connected and your information will remain fast and secure.

  1. Connect to a server in Kuwait through your VPN app.
  2. Open your browser and visit ipleak.net. This page will run an automatic IP address lookup.
  3. If you see “Kuwait” under “Your IP Address(es)”, your VPN is connected properly and you are ready to go! If you see your physical location, contact the VPN provider; there may be a DNS leak.

You are now ready to enjoy unrestricted access to the free and open internet. Have fun enjoying content without geo-restrictions, shopping for deals on everything from clothes to flights, playing video games with a low latency connection, and more.

Advantages of getting a Kuwaiti IP address

If you live or work in Kuwait, you probably have many online accounts that let you shop, bank, socialize and more. When you’re on vacation or a work trip in another country, you may find yourself unable to access these accounts and, for example, pay your credit card bill, access your social accounts or check your bank account balance. In all these cases, getting a foreign IP address using a VPN will help you access your local accounts hassle-free without being in Kuwait. This way you don’t need to worry about going away; you can access all the same websites and personal accounts without actually being back home.

Second, Kuwait is an excellent choice if you want to shop, play video games, or stream with individuals and businesses located in the Middle East. Neighboring nations include Turkey, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and United Arab Emirates. Turkey alone has 36 million active internet users, and a Kuwaiti IP lets you game with them seamlessly. Other nations, like United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, are known for their excellent shopping. Getting a Kuwaiti IP will let you enjoy what these countries’ retailers offer online, and give you access to content restricted to the area.

Last but not least, a Kuwaiti IP can remove regional restrictions that stop you from browsing the internet freely. For example, many EU countries severely restrict access to gambling websites and specific news outlets. Kuwait is fairly liberal in this department – so while it may have national blocks against some service and content categories, it can help you overcome various forms of censorship all the same.

What exactly is a VPN, and how does it work?

If you’re familiar with IP addresses, you’ve probably stumbled upon free or low-cost proxy services claiming to enable you to access the internet as though you were in another country. In many cases, such services do indeed allow some degree of flexibility in changing your IP address. However, there is a much better way to connect to Kuwait, or any other country for that matter: using a virtual private network, or VPN.

But what exactly is a VPN? Essentially, it is a software as a service which installs onto your phone or computer, then interfaces with a specially configured network of proxy servers. You can think of this network as a smuggler’s ring; you take a hidden path to reach their secret base, then they transport you discretely to your intended direction. In the process of doing so, they equip you with a new identity, and vow to keep your activity a secret from everyone.

Speaking more technically, the hidden path comes in the form of digital cryptography known as encryption, which basically scrambles all data traveling between your device and the VPN network. The only way to make sense of this scrambled data is to know the passcode, which is typically so absurdly complex, it would take a supercomputer millions of years to guess it via “brute force”. No, we’re not exaggerating that claim.

Once the link between your computer and the network is established, you choose a proxy server which will “smuggle” you into the corresponding country. In our case, we’ll choose a server located in Kuwait. From there, you’ll browse the internet as normal, sending out requests to various websites to retrieve content to display on your screen. However, the key difference is that those requests will be sent first to the Kuwaiti server, rather than your Internet Service Provider.

Why does this matter? Because the website you want to visit will recognize the request as coming from Kuwait, rather than your actual location. This has far-reaching implications, since different content is available or restricted based on your position in the world, thanks largely to copyright laws and government censorship. Your IP address is your digital passport, and being able to switch your IP at will is like handing in your French passport for a Kuwaiti, Indonesia, Japanese, or Canadian one whenever it’s convenient.

What about proxies and free VPNs?

While proxy services allow you to “spoof” your IP in much the same way, they lack the critical element of encryption, which forms the secure tunnel between you and the server network. This is inherently unsafe, and opens you up to prosecution by ISPs and governments who frown on such activity (which is to say, most of them). Worse still, many proxy services actively keep tabs on your activity, and sell this personal data off to the highest bidder. There are even free VPN providers which do the same thing–making you less safe. This is why we always recommend you go with an established and respected provider.

Conclusion

When searching for an IP address from more niche locations like Kuwait, it can be difficult to find a reputable service that enables you to do so. In this particular case, the VPN market truly offers slim pickings. Fortunately, one extremely high-quality provider is in the business of connecting you to Kuwait: PureVPN. With today’s guide, you have everything you need to get started spoofing your IP address in style. Whether you’re in it for unblocking content, accessing region-exclusive shopping deals, early access to video game releases, or just want a broader selection of media to consume, a VPN is your best bet.

What are you going to use your Kuwaiti IP address for? Leave us your ideas below!

 

Read How to Get a Kuwaiti IP Address from Anywhere by Diego Villena on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPN for Zimbabwe in 2019

There are many things to consider when picking a VPN to use in Zimbabwe. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make the best choice for yourself and your household. We’ll start by looking at why you might want a VPN in Zimbabwe in the first place. Next, we’ll cover what you need to look for while doing research on this website and around the web. Last but not least, we’ll look at which encryption standards are the best and most reliable to use when you’re in Zimbabwe.

What to look for in a VPN for Zimbabwe?

Looking at all the VPNs available online, it can be hard picking the best one for your country and use case. That’s why we prepared detailed descriptions of the 5 best services for Zimbabwe – and their features and benefits. But before we get to specific services, let’s go over some key characteristics you should look for when choosing a VPN provider in the African nation.

  • Download speed – some VPNs cap your download speed. If you want to watch videos, listen to music and download files from the internet, you’ll want one that doesn’t.
  • Encryption – this feature stops others from viewing your data and any messages you might exchange on the internet. We recommend AES-256 encryption because it has an extremely large number of combinations – 2^256, or one quattuorvigintillion- that hackers need to try to view your data. We recommend sticking to VPNs with this level of security, whether through AES-256 or an equivalent standard.
  • Logging policy – some VPNs don’t log any information at all. Others keep records of almost everything you choose to do online. A VPN service with a zero-logging policy doesn’t keep much data, if anything, providing you with the highest level of security.

Now that we’ve discussed what you should look for in a VPN, let’s talk about specific VPN services that rank well for all of these characteristics (and some others).

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs in the world. It offers quick downloads, seamless browsing, and buffer-free streaming of video and audio content. The service’s 2,000+ proxy servers, spread over 94 countries, mean that latencies are low while download speeds are high – and gives you a vast number of IPs to choose from while you’re in Zimbabwe.

In addition to being speedy, ExpressVPN is extremely secure. 256-bit AES encryption would take the world’s strongest computer millions of years to crack, and the service offers users a whole five encryption protocols. Some, like UDP, blend speed and security. Others, like SSTP, are slower – but so powerful they can beat hardcore censorship blocks, letting you safely view content that’s been blocked by the government. The service’s zero-logging policy is strong too, with no records of DNS requests, IP addresses or browsing history. In short, protection is strong and no logs of anything that can be used to ID you are kept.

In addition to its strong core features, ExpressVPN is easy to install, with a suite of cross-platform apps. Whether you have a desktop (Windows, Mac and Linux) or smartphone/tablet (Android, iOS), installation is easy and everything you need is always just a click away. There’s also support for other devices, from video game consoles to Apple TV and Firestick to most modern routers.

Learn more in our complete ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN

NordVPN is a newer VPN service, but it’s at’s already made a name for itself with tough approach to security and its long list of added features. NordVPN comes with 256-bit AES encryption that’s virtually unbreakable (learn more in our full NordVPN review, updated for 2018). In addition to this, the service comes with 6 specialty server types perfect for secure, anonymous internet connections. From the Double VPN feature that routes data through 2 proxy servers to Obfuscated Servers that hide the fact you’re using a VPN, no other service does quite as much to help its users stay safe and anonymous. The zero logging policy adds another layer of protection, with virtually no records of anything you do being stored by NordVPN.

In addition to its strong security features, NordVPN is also fast and versatile. With a server network spanning a 5,200+ nodes in 62 countries, you’ll never lack connection options for bypassing geoblocks, hiding your IP, or simply for obtaining optimal speed without sacrificing privacy. You can access virtually any country’s Netflix library at will, and customer service is always on hand to help if you need help unlocking a specific website or content library. Last but not least, the easy-to-use, attractive user interface is convenient for users of all skill levels. There’s even a graphic map that makes it easy to choose a server that lets you get the IP you need for any given situation. As an added bonus, NordVPN lets you have up to 6 simultaneous connections – meaning you can bring all these features to multiple devices without ever having to log off or pay extra.

Find more information in our full NordVPN review.

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3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a top choice for users in countries where the government controls all or some internet communications. One reason is its zero-logging policy, which is so comprehensive that the service logs virtually nothing — not even users’ email addresses. Another advantage is CyberGhost’s use of configuration profiles and extra toggles. While many other VPNs ask users to set up connections manually, CyberGhost lets you choose from 6 VPN profiles – including “anonymous surfing” and “WiFi protection” – so you can immediately get the specific setup that fits your needs. There’s also a suite of extra toggles, from “extra speed” to “block ads,” that personalize the profile you chose with powerful extra features.

In addition to being easy to use, CyberGhost is fast and reliable. The service have 3,100+ proxy servers in 59 countries, meaning you’re sure to find a working server and local IP in any part of the world. CyberGhost’s encryption protocols include UDP and L2TP/IPSec, which excel at protecting your data without slowing you down — and use 256-bit passcodes that are virtually unbreakable. Between all these features and the ability to connect as many as 5 devices simultaneously, CyberGhost is a no-brainer if you want ease of use and reliability.

If you want to learn more, you can do so in our CyberGhost review.

EASIEST TO USE: CyberGhost enables military-grade privacy protection via an intuitive interface anyone can pickup up and use immediately. Sign up with our special offer to receive 77% off the list price.

4. PureVPN

PureVPN is a well-regarded VPN that comes packaged with a lot of extra features you don’t typically see with other providers. These include app filtering, DDoS protection, dedicated IP address, a NAT firewall, anti-spam filtering, and antivirus software. Clearly, PureVPN is vying to be your all-in-one cybersecurity solution, and it does a great job of it at that.

In addition to these great security extras, PureVPN excels in all typical considerations of a VPN’s service. With a proxy server network spanning 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries, users can count on fast connection speeds, the ability to access local content libraries worldwide, and low latencies for voice/video calls. Bandwidth is unlimited, and with 24-hour live chat support, it’s easy to see that PureVPN is committed to offering users of all kinds and classes a best-in-class experience.

As far as security goes, PureVPN uses military-grade 256-bit encryption to protect your data at all times. It also offers several advanced features. One is split tunneling, which lets you choose which data you want to send through a VPN, and which through your ISP. Another is ISP throttling: a feature that removes ISP-enforced speed limits, letting you use the Internet at the highest possible speed. Unlike most services, PureVPN also gives you the option to upgrade to a dedicated IP that’s not used by anyone else: an important feature if you want to have full control over your online reputation. Whether you want to browse the web anonymously, protect your data or do something else entirely, PureVPN is a solid choice for Zimbabwe and the rest of the world.

A word about encryption protocols

It would be unfair to paint Zimbabwe as a country that restricts users’ online freedom aggressively. Having said that, there are numerous precedents of people getting in trouble for the content they choose to consume. In light of that, it pays to be aware of the different encryption protocols you can use to protect your identity inside the country.

  • OpenVPN with TCP is the #1 choice for most use cases. It’s fast, versatile and highly secure. The only caveat is that OpenVPN is not supported on all devices — and not suited for seamless web access behind hardcore national firewalls like China’s. Having said that, Zimbabweans can rely on this protocol most of the time since the nation’s censorship filters are a lot less harsh.
  • OpenVPN over UDP is even faster than the above protocol. It’s perfect for low-risk, high-speed activities like streaming, video calls, and gaming. Having said that, it’s not the best option if you’re bypassing censorship protocols or discussing sensitive information because it’s a little less secure than many other options.
  • L2TP and IPSec, when used together, are highly secure. They’re also available on virtually all modern devices. Their downside is that they can be blocked by firewalls and that they’re slower than the OpenVPN protocols covered above.
  • IPSec is well-suited to mobile devices, offering near-immaculate end-to-end security and excellent compatibility. Its downside is that it’s slower than the above protocols, due to authenticating and encrypting each and every IP information packet sent in a communication.
  • PPTP is an older protocol that works well with legacy devices and networks. It’s very relevant for Zimbabwe’s residents because so much of the country’s hardware and software is dated. PPTP’s downside is that it’s less secure than the above services and only recommended for low-risk activities like gaming and video streaming.

Why get a VPN in Zimbabwe?

There are many reasons to want a VPN in Zimbabwe. In recent years, the government has made consistent efforts to gain more control over local ISPs, residents and IT systems. In 2016, WhatsApp was blocked for a short period of time because of its perceived role in facilitating communications between political dissidents. Later that year (in August), mobile data prices went up by a factor of 5, with many believing that the government was trying to make mobile internet services unaffordable for ordinary people.

Today, many people in Zimbabwe are worried about being monitored by the government and their ISP. Legally, the Interception of Communications Act means that the state has the power and authority to intercept phone calls, e-mails and more. Failure to comply can lead to large fines and up to 3 years in federal prison. These laws are rarely enforced; they’re mainly used to control dissidents like Ernest Matsapa (who faced 6 months in jail in 2016) and Earnest Mudzengi (who was detained for 8 hours while being questioned about his online activities). Having said that, most users still prefer to avoid the proverbial long arm of the law. Internet freedom is limited to say the least, and if you want to stay safe while traveling or living in Zimbabwe, a VPN service can help.

Many users also want to access country-restricted online content while in the country. A VPN can let you watch Netflix and Hulu as if you were in the US, access BBC iPlayer as if you were in the UK, and a lot more. It can also help you play video games on servers of your choice, together with players from anywhere in the world. All in all, there’s a large variety of reasons to look for a VPN if you’re in Zimbabwe – and using this guide, you’re sure to make the best choice for yourself and your household.

Conclusion

From bypassing censorship filters to using encryption to protect your data to gaining access to services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, there are many reasons to get a VPN when in Zimbabwe. Now that you’ve read this article, you know which VPN providers are the best for the country’s visitors and permanent residents. Did we miss anything? Do you have a tip, question or comment? Then let us know by using the form below.

Read Best VPN for Zimbabwe in 2019 by Diego Villena on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Unblock Messenger Calling in the UAE and Dubai

Messenger apps now have over 5 billion monthly active users, significantly more than social media’s 3 billion. It’s fair to say that messenger apps are the way to stay in touch with friends, family and work associates as of 2018. Arguably the most popular app in this category is Facebook Messenger: an increasingly important part of the Facebook ecosystem. Over a billion people use the app to stay connected each month, and its features keep expanding to add new content types like stickers, GIFs, etc.

Unfortunately, not all governments are happy about Messenger. There are several reasons for this. First, some nations simply don’t want their residents to communicate with outsiders or see certain types of content. Second, some nations have their own national messengers that they want people to use – sometimes in exchange for a monthly fee. Last but not least, Facebook makes it easy to have private, encrypted conversations via the “secret chat” feature. This is a problem for states that want to have open access to their residents’ conversations and data.

One place that blocks off Messenger is the United Arab Emirates. If you live in Dubai or elsewhere in the UAE, there’s just one way to use the app – and as you’re about to find out, it’s both legal and easy to use provided you know what to do. Below, we’ll explain how to unblock Messenger calling, texting and more from inside Dubai and the rest of the UAE.

Why you need a VPN

When using a UAE connection, you can’t access Messenger without a VPN. We don’t mean you can’t just install the app, either. If you already have Facebook Messenger installed on a mobile device, the app won’t work inside the UAE.

This isn’t because Facebook wants to stop users from accessing the app. According to the company’s President of Messaging Products, David Marcus, they’d love to offer the service in the UAE – but operators are blocking it. Specifically, the UAE’s Telecom Regulatory Authority holds the position that only licensed operators – government-owned or government-backed companies like Etisalat – can offer VoIP calls inside the country.

Fortunately, a VPN can help you continue to make Messenger calls by giving you a foreign IP (e.g. a USA IP) while you’re inside the UAE. This is both easy to do using the instructions below, and completely legal. A 2016 federal law amendment bans “false IP addresses … for the purpose of committing a crime or preventing its discovery”. This means that while the word “crime” may be open to interpretation, using a VPN isn’t illegal.

What makes a good VPN?

Each and every VPN provider is a little different. Here are the key features you need to be aware of in order to separate the wheat from the chaff:

  • Fast speeds – Messenger allows voice and video calls. Thus, if your VPN connection is slow, you’ll have to deal with low-quality, grainy videos and lossy audio.
  • Strong encryption – 256-bit AES encryption or an equivalent standard will help keep your information incredibly secure. When we’re talking about personal or work calls, this is an important consideration.
  • Zero logging – You want to use a VPN that doesn’t store your data. This also helps ensure your activity can never be used to identify you down the line.
  • Large server networks – Your ability to customize your VPN connection depends heavily on the availability of proxy servers maintained by the provider. The more servers, the more choice you have.

As we go through the best VPNs you can use in Dubai and the UAE, keep an eye out for specifics on each of the above features.

Top VPNs for unblocking Messenger in the UAE and Dubai

Below, we list the top 4 VPN providers on the market proven effective at unblocking messenger in the United Arab Emirates:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the best VPN you can use in Dubai. For starters, it’s incredibly fast. When using Messenger through ExpressVPN, you can enjoy high-quality video, low-latency connections on voice and video calls, and otherwise use Messenger seamlessly. The service features over 2,000 proxy servers spread around 94 countries, which makes it the largest server network out of all VPN providers on this list – and ensures your connection stays fast no matter who you’re talking to. Bandwidth is unlimited, so you can stay on calls for as long as you want each month with no restrictions.

ExpressVPN is strong in other ways, too. Their 256-bit AES encryption is so resilient; it’d take a supercomputer millions of years to crack it. Its 5 encryption protocols – UDP, TCP, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP and SSTP – give you plenty of security options. At the same time, installing the VPN on any device is intuitive and easy. Whether you’re using a Mac, Windows or Linux device, or an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, or even a Playstation, you’ll be able to install ExpressVPN in just minutes by downloading the right app and following simple instructions. After that, you’re free to use Messenger!

On the privacy side of things, ExpressVPN delivers with a zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. Along with encryption, both of these features help keep your data safe from prying eyes, allowing you to access blocked websites without leaving a trail of breadcrumbs behind. You also get DNS leak protection and automatic kill switch features with ExpressVPN’s custom software.

Learn more in our full ExpressVPN review.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is another excellent VPN that’s very strong on security, with virtually unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption. It also offers a zero-logging policy for traffic, IP addresses, timestamps, bandwidth and browsing history. On top of these gold-standard features, it has a few that are rare or unique in the VPN industry. For example, you can use a double VPN to route traffic through two proxy servers to make sure nobody’s hacking into your Messenger calls. You can also use an obfuscated server that hides the fact you’re using a VPN if you want further peace of mind in the UAE.

NordVPN’s large network of 5,100+ servers is spread across 62 countries. You can use an IP address that’s located close to the person you’re talking to ensure high speeds and low latency. As a side bonus, NordVPN is easy to install across mobile and desktop devices – Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux and Android – and convenient for accessing services other than Messenger.

Want to learn more? Check out our NordVPN full review.

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a powerful VPN that’s easy for anyone to install, no matter their experience level with computers and applications. For starters, downloading and setting up CyberGhost is easy no matter the device you’re using. You can even get it on your router to protect your whole Wi-Fi connection! In addition to this, there are 6 intuitive configuration profiles like “surf anonymously” and “unblock basic websites”. All in all, getting set up with CyberGhost takes just minutes, which makes it an excellent choice for anyone who wants to use Messenger without worrying about the details too much.

In addition to its VPN features, CyberGhost has convenient toggles for blocking malicious websites, blocking ads, improving speed and more. This means that in addition to encrypting your connections, you can use these extras to improve your user experience while using Messenger and other websites and services. Last but not least, CyberGhost’s computer network, while a little smaller than ExpressVPN’s and NordVPN’s, has 3,100+ proxy servers in 59 countries, meaning your Messenger calls will be fast and low-latency.

Take a look at our full CyberGhost review for more.

4. PureVPN

PureVPN is perfect if you want a VPN that does more than unblock Messenger inside the UAE. It has an entire suite of features like app blocking, malware blocking, anti-virus protection and toggling all these extras is easy. You just install the app, start using the internet, and use the intuitive interface to activate any features you need.

PureVPN’s server network is structured a little different than those of the other providers on this list. It has 2,000+ servers in over 140 different countries, which is less in terms of overall numbers, but more in terms of how many countries’ IP’s you can connect to. Like the other services on our list, PureVPN’s servers come with 256-bit encryption and a zero-logging policy on virtually all traffic types. The result is a versatile, powerful VPN service that’s also strong on protection.

What you should and shouldn’t use VPNs for

First and foremost, you shouldn’t do anything that can be constituted as a crime in the UAE while using a VPN. As safe as the services on this page are, you don’t want to put yourself in that kind of danger. Outside of that, though, there are several other things you should and shouldn’t use VPNs for while in the UAE.

What you shouldn’t use a VPN for:

  • High-end gaming. Generally speaking, a VPN increases your latency and slows down your internet speed. This difference is negligible when you’re making Messenger calls, but if you’re playing bandwidth-hungry AAA game title, you may notice enough of a difference to negatively impact your enjoyment of the game.
  • Complete anonymity. A VPN’s encryption and anonymous IP addresses go a long way towards erecting technical barriers between you and third-party snoopers, but they can’t completely guarantee your privacy. Make sure you make use of an anonymous e-mail address, as well as safer browsing practices in addition to your VPN.

What you should use a VPN for:

  • Streaming music and videos. Many streaming services don’t work inside the UAE. Others, like Netflix, are restricted to countries like the US. With a VPN, you can enjoy geoblocked streaming media with no buffer time.
  • Extra security. In addition to helping you use Messenger in Dubai and the UAE, the VPNs on this list can simply make your experience that much more secure.

A word of warning against free VPNs

As you do your research on different VPNs available on the market, you’ll likely run into many free VPNs. To learn why these are dangerous, check our free VPN guide here – but the gist is this: Even though they don’t charge you directly, “free” VPNs still need to make money somehow. Some do this by bombarding with you ads, while others go as far as harvesting your personal data, decrypting it and then selling it off to other companies. Our earnest advice is that you steer clear of free VPNs, and go for the affordable options on this page using the links above.

Conclusion

Now you know everything you need to in order to start making Facebook Messenger calls. With the VPNs on this list, you’ll be able to stay safe; enjoy high-quality video and audio connections; enjoy streaming services and websites not usually available in the UAE.

We hope you found our tips useful. Is there anything you feel we could add to this page? Do you have any questions about using Messenger in the UAE? Then please leave a comment, question or tip below to let us know!

Read How to Unblock Messenger Calling in the UAE and Dubai by Diego Villena on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter