Best VPNs for Journalists to Protect Their Privacy

Working as a journalist is thrilling, but the job comes with its own challenges. Whether you are looking to do research securely, preserving your anonymity, or want to access governmental publications only available to local residents, you will need a VPN.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using a VPN for journalists; how to prioritize features when it comes to picking the right provider for your needs; and our VPN recommendations.

Choosing the best VPNs for journalists

Whether you’ve worked with VPNs before or not, getting the ball rolling is easier than it seems. Not that you have read up on the true value of VPN apps for journalists, the only thing left to do is pick the right VPN provider for you and download the right tool to start browsing securely. Before you get going with our VPN recommendations, we’ve provided you with some features to look out for when picking a VPN provider.

  • Quick ConnectionVPNs inevitably slow down the connection speed because your data is being encrypted, making the connection more secure. High-quality VPN providers make sure that the difference is minimal.  
  • Large network – The wider the proxy server network a VPN provider has, the more options you have when it comes to connecting to specific countries. For example, if you are writing a story and want to research articles in Germany, the VPN provider should have servers across Germany to give you the best connection.
  • Device compatibility –  It’s important to make sure that your VPN supports the hardware and OS you are using. For example, if you are using an Android smartphone, you need to check that there is an available app from your VPN provider that is compatible with your device.
  • No-logging policyThe no-logging policy means that none of your information, even your e-mail address, is stored online. This is important if you want to remain truly anonymous while doing your research or writing your article. This policy is one of the only ways to keep your data truly private.

Now, let’s look at the top five VPN providers proven to keep journalists safe:

1. ExpressVPN 

ExpressVPN has earned a reputation as one of the fastest VPN providers on the market and is incredibly easy to use. With 2,000+ proxy servers across 94 countries, ExpressVPN delivers breakneck connection speed no matter where you are located. Whether you are looking to stream videos in HQ, which is important if you are looking for minor details as a reporter, or browsing anonymously, the app offers a wide range of features to fit your needs.

The provider’s privacy features make this a solid choice for journalists. With 256-bit AES encryption, it would take the world’s strongest supercomputer millions of years to crack, making the code practically unbreakable. Furthermore, backed by a no-logging policy on traffic, IP address, and even DNS requests, ExpressVPN ensures that your data is not stored and even your email address cannot be traced back to you. DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch also give you a backup in case you get disconnected or experience an issue online.

While the features sound quite complicated, the user-friendly app makes using the VPN easy. The single-click interface helps you connect within minutes, and the lightweight software makes sure that you barely notice the VPN while browsing or streaming online. ExpressVPN also gives unlimited bandwidth, and you won’t see any speed caps or throttling. ExpressVPN is compatible with a wide variety of hardware and operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Chrome, Android, and even Apple TV and Kindle Fire.

Learn more in our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN

NordVPN is perfect if what you’re looking for is connecting to a wider variety of countries. With the largest server network in the industry – 4,800+ servers in 62 countries – NordVPN is constantly expanding and allows you to establish a more solid connection within any one of the countries in their network. This is double the number of any other VPN provider on the market. Some of their specialty servers include onion over VPN, anti-DDoS, double VPN, P2P, and dedicated IP address.

NordVPN also provides a range of features that keep your online identity and activity protected. With a zero-logging policy, that covers everything from IP addresses to timestamps, you can be sure that your data is not stored online during or after your browsing. This means that even if the government attempts to find information on you, they won’t be able to locate any data, and neither would other interested third parties. Furthermore, a 256-bit AES encryption on all your data, paired with double encryption servers, ensures that you will remain anonymous as long as the VPN is connected.

If you are a journalist on the go, chances are you are doing a lot of your research or writing through your mobile device. NordVPN contains almost the same features on smartphones as it does on desktop, and some of them are even simpler than those on PCs. NordVPN is available on Windows (10,8,7, Vista, XP), Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, and even RaspberryPi.

Learn more in our full NordVPN review for 2018.

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3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost’s core features revolve around privacy, reliability, and ease of use. Considered to be one of the most reliable VPNs on the market, CyberGhost gives you access to 2,700 proxy servers in 60 countries. This network size, along with unlimited bandwidth and no speed caps or throttling, allows you to get a foreign IP address within minutes and browse quickly and hassle-free.

The provider put a major emphasis on the user-friendly interface. Upon launch, you will see a colorful display that will ask you to pick one out of six configuration profiles, including “Surf Anonymously”, “Protect my WiFi Connection”, or “Unblock Basic Websites”. You can then customize the profile of your choice based on your needs; for example, you can choose to “block malicious websites” or “extra speed” if you are looking to get information fast.

The 256-bit AES encryption keeps your data secure, and other encryption protocols such as UDP, TCP and L2TP, ensure that your activity logs remain protected and your identity stays anonymous as long as you are connected to the VPN. CyberGhost is available on Windows, Mac OS, Android, and even Linux.

Dig deeper into this provider’s features with our 2018 CyberGhost review.

4. PrivateVPN

Like other VPN providers we have covered above, PrivateVPN focuses on both security and connection speed. Whether you are looking to stay updated through social media or keep your online activity untraceable, PrivateVPN allows you to do so on smartphones, PCs and even Fire TV. This makes it a solid choice for those who are interested in the service but don’t want to go through the hassle of configuring profiles or using the VPN on a regular basis.

Though PrivateVPN only has a few hundred servers in their network, they are spread around 56 countries. This is impressive because while they are behind in the number of proxies, they are definitely up to speed with the location diversity, making this a great variety for journalists. PrivateVPN locks down your data with a 256-bit AES encryption, and the automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection makes sure your privacy is not under threat while you are working or surfing the web.

To see more of PrivateVPN’s privacy features, see our full review.

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Why journalists need a VPN

There are various challenges facing journalists today. Here we take a look at a few of the most pressing issues:

Researching sensitive topics anonymously

If you are a working journalist, you’ll know that everything these days leaves a digital trail. Even the government and privately-funded companies have a very difficult time hiding their online activities without someone managing to crack them. For you, this is probably a goldmine, and whether you do so the long way or the short way, you’ll end up getting the information you want.

The problem here, however, is making sure you don’t reveal your identity when doing the research. Using a VPN to get a different IP address will make sure that none of your browsing history is being stored, as well as your personal data. This is crucial; if you appear on anyone’s radar even once, you put yourself at risk of being exposed. Considering the fact that downloading a VPN only takes a few minutes, it is a small price to pay for your own security and anonymity.

Ensuring that your sources are secure

Before the internet became the epicenter of all information and communication, source anonymity wasn’t something to worry about unless someone actually talked. As a journalist, all you needed to do was make sure that your sources remained quiet before the story was out (at least). Today, finding a source of a story is hardly a challenge to anyone, especially professionals with a specific agenda.

So, if the source of your entire story or investigation happens to be high-profile or, even more importantly, in danger, it should be your priority to hide their information. Using a VPN while contacting them, looking through their information, or even writing about them, will make sure that both your identity and the source’s identity are safe.

Securing your information

Continuing from the importance of keeping the source’s identity safe is your safety as a journalist. It would be fair to assume that writing a controversial newsworthy piece would mean that you’re pulling someone’s skeletons out of the closet. This means that not using a secure connection when writing, doing research, or even writing emails puts you on the radar.

For example, in 2004, a Chinese reporter, Shi Tao, was sentenced to prison after Yahoo disclosed his details, as well as his email address, to the Chinese government. According to them, Tao was ‘disclosing state secrets’, for which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. If he had used a VPN to secure his activity logs, his emails would never have been leaked in the first place since data encryption ensures your data is never leaked to the government or third parties.

Enabling international journalism

All security reasons aside, a VPN will also open up a world of opportunities when it comes to international sources of information. For example, if you are researching international cases or stories, and you need access to the local government’s files, you won’t be able to do so. So, if you are looking into an investigation happening in Germany but are located in the United States, chances are you’ll need a German IP address to access all the information and evidence on governmental websites. Getting a foreign IP address will grant you access to publications that are geo-restricted, and would save you time traveling abroad to get the data. In order to get a foreign IP address, you need a VPN, and preferably one with many proxy servers worldwide to give you more options (countries) to choose from.

How does a VPN work to help journalists?

As we mentioned already, a VPN can help you avoid almost all unpleasant situations related to exposing information. First of all, by using a VPN, you can make sure that communications with sources, as well as fellow journalists, stays private. Opting for a VPN provider with a zero-logging policy will make sure that your data and information is not being stored, including IP addresses and timestamps. Picking a VPN with 256-bit AES encryption will also ensure that you remain anonymous while you’re browsing or streaming videos, and no one will be able to track you down.

Secondly, a VPN will get you a foreign IP address from any country where the provider has proxy servers. This means that whilst sitting in the comfort of your writing corner at home or in the office, you can access reports and publications that are only available to locals within those specific countries. This will save you time both traveling and looking for ways to get permissions, since a secure VPN does this within minutes and hassle-free.

Conclusion

Life as a journalist can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. If you want to avoid the hassle of worrying about your privacy, or even more so, your sources’ privacy, you’ll need to make sure that your information is secure and cannot be traced back to you. By picking one of our recommended VPN providers, you will be able to keep all your information and personal data protected, and start browsing wider ranges of international content relevant to your research.

Are you a journalist? What do you intend on using your VPN for? Leave us comments and suggestions below!

Read Best VPNs for Journalists to Protect Their Privacy by George P.H. on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Get an Indonesian IP Address from Anywhere

Indonesia is growing incredibly fast in terms of internet development. Whether you are looking to stream videos online, get shopping deals or avoiding regional restrictions (geoblocking), an Indonesian IP address will help you do all that securely and anonymously.

In this article, we will explain how to get an IP address and why you should use a VPN rather than a proxy. Furthermore, we will go into detail about picking the right VPN, the steps you must follow to register and get started quickly, and how to make sure you are browsing securely. Before we get into specifics, let’s first discuss why you might want an Indonesian IP address.

Best VPNs for getting an Indonesian IP address

There is an overwhelming range of choice on the VPN market, so how do you choose? We’ve done the hard work of narrowing down the selection to the very best providers, using the following criteria:

  • Server Locations – to give you an Indonesian IP address, your VPN provider must have servers in the country. It helps if the provider you chose has many servers across Indonesia.
  • Increased security – pick a VPN with strong 256-bit encryption and a no-logging policy. This will make sure that your data remains anonymous and untraceable.
  • Encryption – encryption protects your data from corporations, criminals and the government. Conversely, not having encryption makes it easy for others to intercept your internet connection at any time.
  • Fast connection speed – although a VPN inevitably slows down connections, you can pick one that will make the difference barely noticeable. The best predicator of fast connection speeds is a high amount of servers (1,000+) and a “no speed limits” clause.
  • Easy-to-use software – go for a VPN that has a user-friendly interface. Whether you are new to using foreign IPs and VPN services, dealing with an overwhelming UI is no fun.

With these factors in mind, we can confidently present the following providers as the best VPNs to get an Indonesian IP:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is our number one choice for users who are looking for a fast connection, high security standards, and an overall user-friendly experience. Whether you are looking to use P2P Kodi add-ons or streaming videos on Netflix, ExpressVPN allows you to do so with the least impact on the connection speed. In our full ExpressVPN review, we cover more features that make this provider the fastest on the market. This, in turn, means that you don’t need to deal with buffering while streaming or waiting longer than usual for a page to load.

The 256-bit AES encryption makes ExpressVPN a very choice. It would take the world’s strongest supercomputer millions of years to crack their system, meaning that you can enjoy surfing the web knowing that your activity logs can never be traced back to you. That, along with the no-logging policy and a variety of encryption protocols (including UDP, TCP, L2TP and more), ensures that you can browse anonymously and without any lag.

With a large network of 2000+ proxy servers across 94 countries, ExpressVPN allows you to pick from a wide variety of foreign IP addresses, including Indonesia. This provider is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Apple TV, and even PlayStation and Xbox.

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2. NordVPN

NordVPN is a solid choice if you are looking to unlock regional content with a variety of configuration options. One of the first features that stands out is the enormous network of 5,000+ servers in 62 countries, which gives you a much wider variety of servers to connect to. You also have a range of speciality servers with NordVPN, including anti-DDoS, onion over VPN, double VPN encryption, dedicated IP, and more! Whether you are a rookie or an advanced user, there is a massive array of servers to choose from.

256-bit AES encryption, paired with encryption protocols such as UDP, TCP, L2TP, SSTP and more, means that NordVPN is virtually unbreakable. That, as well a the no-logging policy, means that your activities, IP addresses, and even timestamps, will remain anonymous. In our full review, you can see other protocols that make NordVPN a solid choice for users looking for a secure connection. The cherry on top is the CyberSec module, which enables you to filter out ads and block malware. NordVPN is available on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS and more.

Learn more in our NordVPN review for 2018

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3. CyberGhost

We recommend CyberGhost for users who are fairly new to the world of VPN. The user interface, including the colorful, minimalist display, makes it easy to use. Upon launch, you are presented with a list of configuration profiles you can choose from, including “Surf Anonymously”, “Unblock Streaming”, and “Unblock Basic Websites”. These profiles are then easy to customize, meaning you can pick features within each profile that are more important for you, for example “block ads” or “data compression”.

CyberGhost is also a solid choice for those looking for a secure, private connection. The 256-bit AES encryption via OpenVPN keeps your data untraceable, and the immaculate logging policy stores almost no information on the users; it doesn’t even keep your email address! These safety protocols, combined with CyberGhost’s massive proxy network of 2700+ proxy servers across 60 countries, makes this a great choice for all users. CyberGhost is available on Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, and even Raspberry Pi and Router.

In our full CyberGhost review, we also cover extra features available for users browsing on desktop.

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How to use your new VPN to get an IP from Indonesia

You are now ready to start using a VPN! In order to start browsing with your Indonesian IP address, follow the steps below; they will have you surfing the web, watching content and gaming in no time.

Step 1 – Download the VPN

Once you pick the VPN provider best suited to your internet needs, it only takes a few minutes to actually download it. VPNs are also made to be responsive, meaning that you can enjoy your Indonesian IP address on your mobile device as well as a PC. The steps below will get you started:

  1. Open your browser and create a VPN account.
  2. Download the app that fits your operating system.
  3. Install the VPN and open it on your computer; enter your login details.
  4. Select Indonesia from the list of servers.
  5. Connect to the server and give it a little bit of time to connect.
  6. You are ready to browse! Open the application and start browsing with an Indonesian IP address.

Step 2 – Verify your Indonesian IP address

Although this step can be omitted, we recommend going through with it in order to verify your foreign IP address. This way you’ll be able to make sure you are browsing with an Indonesian IP without revealing your identity of activity log. It only takes a few minutes!

  1. Connect to a server in Indonesia through the VPN.
  2. Go on ipleak.net through your browser; in a few moments, the page will run an IP address lookup.
  3. If you see “Indonesia” under “Your IP Addresses”, you’re good to go! If not, there may be an IP leak error and you should contact the VPN provider to look into it.

If everything looks ok, you are ready to enjoy your security connection! You can now access a variety of online content that is restricted within your country, as well as explore different shopping deals and play video games with a low latency connection.

What is an Indonesian IP address good for?

Every time you turn on your computer and connect to the internet, you are assigned an IP address by your internet service provider. Though all of this happens behind the scenes, it has a massive impact on your online experience because websites, apps and online services all affect the online content you can enjoy. Here’s why this is so important.

First of all, your IP can restrict the variety of content you see on websites like Netflix, Hulu, and even Amazon Prime Video. For example, if you are located in France, you have 1,541 available TV shows on Netflix compared to the 4,579 available within the United States. The first reason is that businesses want to cater to different users around the world based on language and culture. Secondly, countries have different sets of copyright laws and agreements. As we mentioned above, Europeans and North Americans can view thousands of videos on Netflix. But if you are located in Saudi Arabia, you only have 468 Netflix shows available online overall. In China, that number is even smaller (an effective 0) because of the Great Firewall of China.

Regardless of where you are located in the world, being tied down to one IP address will always result in some sort of restrictions. This is why a foreign IP address, including one from Indonesia, will allow you to sidestep all geographical limitations and allow you to browse a wide variety of international content without leaving your home, office, or hotel room. This includes having access to more games and game servers, more videos and streaming services, better shopping deals, and so on and so forth.

Why get an Indonesian IP with a VPN?

Although the internet is a fairly new communication medium in Indonesia, the number of online users nationwide has been growing at breakneck speed. In 2017, Indonesia surpassed Japan in the number of internet users recorded, even though Japan has been consistently ahead all the years prior to that. By 2022, the number is expected to be at 139,540,000 users compared to 104,000,000 in Japan in the same year. In terms of local content restrictions, the most common reasons for filtering have been related to security, threats of violence, false information and other content that may be misleading to online users. Aside from that, the government has been very careful with laws restricting content, and in 2008 went as far as to accept suggestions from the public regarding introducing online censorship. In terms of internet freedom, getting an Indonesian IP means you can browse with few limits, safe in the knowledge that the Indonesian state will virtually never try to prosecute you.

Getting an Indonesian IP address has several other important benefits too. First, it gives you a low latency connection to nearby countries within the continent. So, for example, if you are looking to get access to great online deals or play video games with users in countries like India, Thailand, China, Australia and South Korea, an Indonesian IP address will allow you to do so whilst protecting your information and activity logs.

Another major advantage to getting an Indonesian IP address is getting around website blocks within your country. So, for example, if a website like Facebook is blocked within your country by every ISP, a foreign IP address from Indonesia – a country with fairly lax internet laws – will give you access to these websites even if they are otherwise restricted.

Why not use a proxy service?

There are two ways to get a foreign IP address – a VPN provider and a proxy service. Before we get into how you can get a foreign IP address with a VPN, we’ll explain why a proxy is not the method we recommend.

When you use a proxy, which routes your data through a server located in the country of your choice, your data isn’t as protected as it is with a VPN. While you will still get access to a variety of blocked websites, the lack of encryption makes this method more risky. Your ISP will be able to see your identity as well as other important information, making it that much more accessible to the government and other interested third parties. Considering the fact that VPNs and proxies cost about the same and both give you access to a foreign IP address, choosing the safer choice only seems logical.

Conclusion

Getting an Indonesian IP address using a VPN has many advantages. First of all, you can instantly avoid regional restrictions and access a wider range of content online. Within minutes, you can be streaming videos, browsing shopping websites, or playing video games with a low latency connection. By choosing one of the providers we have discussed in this article, you will be able to remain untraceable whilst browsing online, and enjoy a secure connection within leaving the comfort of your home or office.

What are you going to use your Indonesian IP address for? Leave us your comments below!

Read How to Get an Indonesian IP Address from Anywhere by George P.H. on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPN for Safe P2P Filesharing- Why You Need One

P2P filesharing now accounts for nearly half of all internet traffic. Unfortunately, being a P2P user can be risky – even if everything you’re doing is legal. In this article, we’ll cover the key characteristics a quality VPN should have, and go over the four top services designed with P2P users in mind. We’ll also explain what P2P file sharing is, what the risks are, how a VPN can help you mitigate these risks and stay safe offline. 

Why you need a VPN to use P2P filesharing

A VPN service does 2 things. First, it encrypts your data in a way that nobody else can read. This means that with a VPN, you can use P2P filesharing to your heart’s content without anyone ever knowing. Even if the government or your ISP do get their hands on some of your data, they’ll be unable to decipher it or link it to P2P filesharing. Second, a VPN service masks your real IP. Since every data packet you send is usually linked to a static IP address from your provider, this makes it extremely difficult to trace any online activity back to you.

Which VPN features do you need?

Some features are more important than others when you’re using a VPN. These are:

  • Zero-logging – logging is when an internet service provider or VPN service tracks and saves your online activities. The best VPNs don’t log much (if any) data, making it impossible for third parties to ask for records of past online actions.
  • Strong encryption – the best VPNs encrypt your data so nobody can view it without knowing a specific passcode. This means that you can use P2P file sharing without anyone ever being able to prove it. Conversely, poor VPNs don’t encrypt your data, making it easy for the government or your ISP to snoop on you.
  • No bandwidth limits – many free VPNs shut your connection off or slow it down once you’ve hit a specific download limit. The best VPNs don’t have any bandwidth limits, meaning you can download as much as you want.
  • Large server network size – free VPNs have servers in one or several countries, which can make P2P connections slow and laggy. Top VPNs have servers in dozens of countries, making it easy to get fast connections no matter where your peer network is.
  • Permissive P2P policy – some providers are against P2P filesharing applications. Before you subscribe to a service, make sure it’s P2P friendly. This will help you avoid laggy connections and low speeds.

Now that we’ve covered what you should look for in a VPN, let’s talk about specific service providers that are best for P2P filesharing.

The best VPNs for P2P filesharing

Different VPNs fit different use cases. The same service that’s outstanding for gamers may not be the best for streamers, for example. Or you might live in a country like Panama, where you can get in trouble for merely having some temporary media files in your computer’s RAM, making security a priority over speed. What’s more, many VPN providers block or restrict P2P activities on their servers.

It’s clear there are a lot of variables at play. We’ve narrowed down the market for you, bringing together this list of the top four recommended VPN providers for P2P filesharing:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is our #1 choice for P2P users for several reasons. First, the network has no restrictions on P2P connections of any kind. Whether you’re using P2P Kodi add-ons, torrenting files or doing something else entirely, you’re more than welcome to do so. What’s more, in our ExpressVPN review, we found the service to be among the fastest in the market. Subscribers enjoy buffer-free streaming, fast downloads, seamless browsing and more. Getting started is easy too, regardless of your IT skills and experience. The lightweight apps work on all common device types, from iPhones to Android tablets to desktop computers (macOS/Windows/Linux) to video game consoles and routers. The interface is intuitive, with everything you need always a click away.

ExpressVPN is also tough on security. Neither your ISP nor your government nor third-party corporations can track you when you use this service properly. The first reason is ExpressVPN’s use of military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, which is virtually unbreakable. The second is the service’s comprehensive zero-logging policy: one of the most complete in the business. Third is the fact that the service comes with a DNS leak test, which helps make sure your ISP can’t track you, and an automatic kill switch: a feature that shuts down your P2P streams and downloads when your VPN connection drops.

To top it all off, the service is registered in the British Virgin Islands: a country exempt from the 5, 9 and 14 Eye surveillance agreements between major governments. In short, if you’re looking for a P2P filesharing VPN, ExpressVPN is an all-around excellent choice.

Learn more in our full ExpressVPN review.

2. NordVPN

If you live in a country like Panama or the US, where the response to P2P file sharing can be disproportionate, you might want some extra security – and that’s where NordVPN comes in. The service uses VPN 256-bit AES encryption, which would take a supercomputer quadrillions of years to crack, to protect your data packets. It also offers a selection of premium specialty servers, including obfuscated servers that hide your VPN use – and P2P-optimized servers that are perfect for torrenting and P2P streaming.

NordVPN’s no-logging policy is one of the best in the whole business. The service doesn’t log traffic, IP addresses, timestamps, bandwidth or browsing history. Even if your ISP or government finds a way to pressure the company – which would be hard – there’s simply nothing to access. As a cool add-on NordVPN also has a built-in ad blocker and malware protector, which you can use to make sure you’re safe when using P2P services and apps. For all these reasons, NordVPN is another top choice when it comes to P2P filesharing.

If you’d like to know more, simply read our 2018 NordVPN review to learn all about the service’s speed, security and P2P download features.

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3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost offers a lot of P2P-friendly features in one of the most user-friendly packages in the business. The applications that come with the service are easy to download and install. A colorful, minimalist user interface design makes it easy to access all the features you need with just one click. What’s more, the app has 6 simple configuration profiles that make it very simple to get the features you need. For example, the Torrent Anonymously setting is optimized for P2P filesharing. This way, installing CyberGhost and getting ready for secure P2P filesharing only takes minutes.

In addition to being easy to use, CyberGhost has a large server network: 2,700+ servers in over 60 countries. This means that users get fast downloads no matter where the users and servers in their P2P network are. The service also offers users 5 encryption protocols, from speedy UDP to mobile-compatible L2TP/IPSec. There’s also a range of simple toggles, including block malicious websites; block ads; extra speed. You can use these to protect your device while using P2P services, and to get a little extra speed when you want to download anything quickly.

If you’d like to learn more about this service, you can do so in our full review of CyberGhost.

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4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN has a wide range of valuable features included in all of its subscriptions. Users get up to 6 simultaneous connections, meaning you can use P2P apps on your smartphone, desktop computer and tablet and other devices simultaneously. Bandwidth, speed and server switches are all unlimited. There’s a free remote set-up service that covers all devices, including routers and video game consoles. Best of all, PrivateVPN is P2P-friendly, both for downloads and streams.

In addition to all these extras, PrivateVPN covers all the bases when it comes to core features. It features 2048-bit encryption that known computers could only crack through sheer luck. The zero-logging policy is strong. The server network spans 52 countries, meaning connections are fast no matter where you and your P2P network are. There’s also a port forwarding feature that can be used to optimize torrent performance. All in all, PrivateVPN is a good torrent for P2P filesharing.

Learn more about this outstanding VPN in our PrivateVPN review.

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What is P2P filesharing?

Let’s start by definiing what P2P filesharing is. The “P2P” stands for peer-to-peer, but for the purpose of this article, you can think of it as “person to person”. Filesharing refers to letting others stream or download the files you own. The most famous P2P filesharing apps are probably Napster and eMule. Today, most P2P filesharing happens through torrent clients and apps like PopcornTime and Kodi. While there is nothing inherently wrong with filesharing, it can be used to misappropriate copyrighted content – and as a result, using P2P websites like The Pirate Bay can lead to fines and unpleasant phonecalls from government officials.

Despite this, statistics suggest that P2P traffic accounts for 46% of all internet traffic. This means that you’re either going to use it sooner or later, or miss out on nearly half of what’s online. Fortunately for you, there’s a way to use P2P filesharing without getting in trouble. Getting a Virtual Private Network service – a VPN – can encrypt your data and hide your real IP address from the government, your Internet Service Provider and everyone else.

How to be safe when using P2P services

As we said above, there’s nothing inherently illegal or wrong with using P2P services. At the same time, you ought to be aware of the fact that you’re sharing files with other people, many of whom are anonymous. This means that you need to protect yourself from malware, viruses, and other harmful files you might download by accident. You should also look to protect yourself from governments, many of whom look to punish P2P users – even when they’re not doing anything illegal or harmful. Here are some of the main risks to watch out for:

  • Government monitoring – as we said above, governments often punish P2P users regardless of whether they did anything wrong. Simply installing a torrent client can make you a target for government surveillance or ISP tracking. If you’re going to use P2P filseharing, it’s important to make sure you’re safe from prying eyes.
  • Harmful files – malware and viruses can do all kinds of unpleasant things. They can harness your computer’s processing power for criminal activities; harvest and sell your personal data; destroy your hardware and software; even view your online activities and steal your private information, your credit card numbers, etc. Using P2P filesharing safely means having a way to pre-empt and deal with these problems.
  • Copyright infringement – the legality of P2P filesharing varies from file to file and country to country. Broadly speaking, much of what you’ll find is in the public domain; a lot isn’t protected by copyright laws; some is shared by the content creators themselves. Also, if you own whatever you’re downloading, you’re allowed to torrent it. Unfortunately, many governments will still seek to punish you for using P2P services, even if you’re not doing anything wrong. Finding ways to stay anonymous while online is the best way to deal with this specific problem. Fortunately, a VPN can help address all of these issues by doing 2 things.

Conclusion

By this point in the article, you know what P2P filesharing is – and why it can be dangerous to torrent or stream P2P files without a VPN. You also know what to look for in a VPN, how a VPN helps stay anonymous and safe, and which service providers are the best on the market. You now know everything you need to register with, install and use an excellent VPN.

If you’d like to leave a tip, comment or question, please use the form below to do so!

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Best VPN for Romania in 2018 to Protect Your Privacy

Picking a VPN for Romania can be tricky. There are many options out there, and finding the best provider can feel overwhelming. In this article, we’ll help you make the best choice for your specific situation. We’ll start by covering which features you should look for in a VPN provider, then present five providers we hand-picked for Romanian users. Last but not least, we’ll talk about what you can do with a VPN, and explain why free VPNs may not be your best choice.

What makes a good VPN?

For most other countries, data privacy and freedom from censorship are both salient factors in picking a VPN. This is a lot less true for Romania, where a benevolent legal environment means that you don’t have to worry about either too much. To help you figure out what you should pay attention to, here’s a list of characteristics that should be top-of-mind:

  • Proxy Server Network Size – a VPN provider with servers in a lot of countries means more content libraries; more gaming servers; more native browsing experiences. That’s why Romanian residents and visitors should pay special attention to a network’s number of servers and international distribution.
  • Latency – latency is the period of time between a data request and you actually getting the data. Put more simply, it’s how long it takes for a data packet – an image, a video, an audio call snippet – to reach you after you or an app requests it. Low latencies create seamless streaming, gaming, and surfing experiences. 
  • Bandwidth Limits – free VPNs usually give you finite bandwidth, slowing or blocking a connection once you exceed it. It’s best to make sure you get a fast service provider that doesn’t cap the amount of media you can download or stream.
  • Encryption Options – Romanian users don’t need to bypass strict censorship laws, which means they can benefit from fast, fluid encryption options that don’t slow them down. The specific standards to look for are UDP, which blends speed and security, and L2TP – which offers excellent speed and device compatibility at the expense of security.

Now that you know what to look for, let’s get down to business and look at the top five VPN providers for Romania!

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is our top VPN choice for Romania for several reasons. First, the service has an “all-inclusive” attitude to its services. There are absolutely no speed caps; no bandwidth limits; no restrictions on streaming from websites like Hulu or Netflix. There’s no restriction on P2P networks either, meaning that you can torrent, use Kodi and play video games to your heart’s content. Just pay the monthly fee and you’re all set. Best of all, ExpressVPN offers both UDP and L2TP encryption standards, meaning you can enjoy the web with no slowdown – even as all your data is safely protected by encryption.

Another selling point for ExpressVPN is its vast server network. With 2,000 proxy servers in 94 countries, there’s virtually no content library you can’t access and no gaming server you can’t play on. Just pick a country and go. All you need to do to get started is download ExpressVPN’s lightweight app, available for desktop devices – Windows, Mac and Linux – as well as Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. There are also installation options for browsers like Chrome and Firefox; multimedia devices like Apple TV; routers (D-Link, Linksys and more). All in all, it’s hard to go with a service that’s so powerful and easy to start using.

To learn more, check out our full ExpressVPN review here!

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2. NordVPN 

If you want to stay safe and secure while using the internet in Romania, NordVPN may be your best choice. For starters, the service has one of the most complete zero-logging policies in the VPN business. No records of your traffic, IP address, bandwidth or browsing history are stored – ever. In addition to this, NordVPN comes with a variety of specialty servers for various use cases. Gamers can make good use of the Anti-DDoS server, which prevents attacks during gametime. Users who want to make sure they’re browsing anonymously can use Double VPN servers that route data through not one but two proxies with two layers of encryption.

In addition to the above features, NordVPN has two advantages for security-minded users. First, a free DNS leak test that helps users find out if their ISP can trace their online activities. Second, the service is based in Panama: a country exempt from the Five, Nine and Fourteen Eyes surveillance agreements between major world powers. Put simply, it’s hard to beat NordVPN when it comes to security. What’s more, this service has one of the biggest server networks in the business: 4,800 proxy servers in 62 countries. This means that users can enjoy high download speeds, seamless streaming and low latency – all while knowing their data and online activities are secure.

Learn more in our NordVPN review.

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3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is the go-to VPN for users who want top-tier security and speed without all the technical difficulties. For starters, the service comes with a suite of apps that make it easy to install CyberGhost on a Windows, iOS or Linux desktop – as well as all popular mobile devices and even some routers. The apps use a colorful, minimalist display to make safe browsing easy. They also feature 6 simple configuration profiles, from “torrent anonymously” to “unblock streaming”. Getting started with the VPN is as simple as picking the right configuration and starting your connection.

Don’t be fooled by how convenient CyberGhost is, though. The service comes with a large suite of valuable add-ons and security features. For example, users can block malicious websites, block ads, block online tracking. They can also activate an “Extra Speed” switch when they need a little extra oomph. Connections are encrypted using 256-bit AES encryption which would take millions of years to crack. The logging policy is one of the cleanest in the business, with CyberGhost logging virtually nothing – not even your e-mail address. Take all these features, and a large proxy server network (2,700 servers in 60 countries), and it’s easy to see why this provider is a top choice for Romanian VPN users.

If you want to learn more about the service, check out our 2018 CyberGhost review here!

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4. PrivateVPN 

PrivateVPN is the perfect service if you want to to access the internet quickly, securely, and using multiple devices. The service comes with up to six simultaneous connections, which means you can use it on your smartphone, tablet, desktop computer and router – and still have two connections left for guests and household members. The 2048-bit, AES-256 encryption would take quadrillions of years to crack, meaning you’re virtually untraceable. The service comes with no bandwidth limits, no speed limits, and two of the fastest encryption protocols on the web: L2TP and UDP. 

PrivateVPN has a strong zero-logging policy that doesn’t store your information. It also has servers in 52 countries, meaning you can access virtually any content library in the world by getting the necessary IP. Last but not least, PrivateVPN is P2P friendly, meaning they do not stop or dissuade users from torrenting, using Kodi, etc. Between all these features and the service’s generous 30-day money back guarantee, it’s hard to imagine a better service for streamers, gamers and torrent users.

To learn more, read our full PrivateVPN review.

5. PureVPN

First thing’s first. PureVPN has a massive server network, with 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries. If you want to access specialized content – like Russian TV streams or New Zealand’s unique content libraries – this is the VPN for you. This is also an optimal service if you want to access unique features like split tunneling (a function that lets you send some of your data through a VPN, and some through your ISP). Another rare feature PureVPN offers is “anti-ISP throttling”, which removes the speed limits set by ISPs and lets you use your network to its maximum technically possible speed.

In addition to these rare features, PureVPN comes with unlimited bandwidth and a selection of dedicated streaming servers. If you want to download or enjoy music and video content, you’ll find that using these servers gives you superior speed and seamless connectivity. What’s more, PureVPN has built-in P2P protection that lets you stream and torrent with fast, reliable connections. Last but not least, the service comes with 24-hour Live Chat support, which is always happy to help you along if you get stuck while installing or using PureVPN.

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Romania, data privacy and internet freedom

Romania has always been committed to data privacy. It often led the resistance against EU’s 2006 Data Retention Directive until the latter was declared invalid in April 2014. To this day, the country is at the forefront of protecting EU and Romanian internet users’ data. Non-compliance with national privacy laws can lead to fines of up to $13,000, while transferring data to other countries is illegal. Put simply, Romania is one of the safest places in the world in terms of data privacy.

At the same time, Romania’s not perfect. For starters, there’s been some recent talk about a law that lets state authorities access corporate data with no court warrant. Second, the country does make occasional efforts to restrict or ban content. In December 2008, the National Authority for Communications tried to block 40 websites, targeting adult content in particular. In August 2010, Social-Democrat Senator Lia Olugta Vasilescu proposed to ban vulgar language on certain web forums. More to the point, the government actively restricts online betting websites: only 23 are approved to do business inside the country.

Despite these hiccups, Romania is a top country for both data privacy and censorship. The main reason to get a VPN inside the country isn’t to beat national filters or keep your data secure. It’s mostly to access foreign web content, choose which gaming servers you play on, browse the internet as if you were in another country. For example, few international and US-based streaming companies give Romanian residents their full content libraries. By getting a foreign IP, you can access the full versions of Hulu and NetflixBBC iPlayer, NBA/NFL/NHL streaming and more. What’s more, a VPN lets you play video games, shop, use social networks and surf the web as if you were elsewhere, which is handy for all kinds of reasons – from getting in touch with people back home to practicing a new language.

What else is a VPN good for in Romania?

The key thing to remember when picking the right VPN for Romania is that while the country itself is free, the rest of the world isn’t. International websites outside Romania may reserve the right to store your data, sell it to third parties, log your online activities, and more. This personal information can then be used against you, whether to market to you or pursue criminal charges against you. Having a VPN to secure your connections and obscure your real Romanian IP can help prevent all these unpleasant outcomes.

First and foremost, though, having a Romanian VPN is all about freely accessing international services from inside the country. The VPNs above can help you stream from websites like Netflix, listen to Spotify, watch BBC iPlayer, and access TV stations’ streaming digital streams from all over the world. This is especially relevant if you want to feel like you’re back home. After all, having a VPN in Romania can literally make your computer think you’re in the US, the UK or anywhere else you’d like to be, removing the hassle of having to navigate Romanian-language search engines, game servers and more.

A word of warning about free VPNs

If you’re looking for a free VPN, you’re liable to see lots of ads for free VPNs services. While many of them use encryption, and virtually all of them let you log in from one or several countries’ IPs, be mindful of these free services. For starters, most of them log your data and sell them to third parties. This is how free VPNs make their money. Even then, using them can be problematic for several reasons. For example, most free VPNs show you ads, which can interfere with your streaming, gaming and browsing. They also have speed limits, bandwidth limits and a tiny selection of server choices. Last but not least, free VPNs virtually always ask you to upgrade to their paid versions, which are more expensive than the services on this page. If you want to save yourself some time and money, go for a reputable, recommended service instead.

In conclusion

In conclusion, picking a VPN for Romania isn’t as simple as choosing the one best provider. It’s about finding the right fit between your needs and a quality provider’s features. One thing you can do is go through several VPNs, stopping at the one that gives you the best experience. The VPNs we recommend come with money-back guarantees, which makes this easy to do.

Something else you can do is think carefully about what you really want. Is it to stream content from overseas while in Romania? Then go for a P2P and streaming-optimized service. Do you want to browse anonymously and safely, avoiding ISP and government snooping? Then choose a safety-oriented service. So long as you do your homework – which you have by reading this article – you’re almost always going to end up with a provider that you like.

Are you a Romanian citizen, or a traveler or expat to that country? What are your primary uses for a VPN? Are your hopes high for the future of internet freedom in Romania? Leave us a comment below!

Read Best VPN for Romania in 2018 to Protect Your Privacy by George P.H. on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPN for Panama in 2018 to Protect Your Privacy

Panama has some of the harshest copyright laws in the world. What’s more, state representatives reserve the right to access your personal data. If you want to use the internet freely and without worrying about fines, run-ins with the law and worse, a VPN is an excellent solution. In this article, we’ll cover what to look for when choosing a service provider, which specific VPN services are optimal for Panama, as well as why you need a VPN in the country. We’ll even briefly cover how to make best use of various VPN protocols, so read on!

What to look for in a VPN for Panama?

When you’re looking for a VPN to use in Panama, latency is less of a concern than usual. The country is very close to Mexico, the United States and Brazil, meaning that laggy connections are less of a problem. Instead, what you want to think about is security and access to online content. Here are the specific features to pay attention to:

  • Encryption – quality VPN providers have strong encryption protocols that prevent ISPs, corporations and the Panamanian government from viewing your online activities. Free VPNs tend to have weak encryption or poor encryption.
  • Data logging – providers with zero-logging policies don’t keep any of your data, meaning they can’t give it to the government even if they wanted to. Considering Panama’s harsh laws and loose internet freedom standards, strong data logging governance is a top priority.
  • Server network size – the more countries a VPN service has servers in, the more IPs you can get, and the more content libraries from around the world you have access to.
  • Download speeds – streaming and surfing the internet requires high download speeds. Good VPN providers have no speed and bandwidth caps, letting your stream and download as much content as you want.

Now that you understand what makes a good provider, here is our list of the top VPNs for use in Panama:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the #1 choice for Panamanian residents and visitors. Their service has excellent encryption and data governance standards, which makes it perfect for use in Panama. All data packets are protected using 256-bit AES encryption, which is used by militaries around the world and would take a supercomputer millions of years to crack. One of the best logging policies in the VPN business means that your traffic, DNS requests, IP addresses and browsing histories are never stored on ExpressVPN servers. Even if Panamanian authorities ask for your data logs, ExpressVPN won’t be able to provide them. Moreover, the holding company is based in the British Virgin Islands, which makes it exempt from the Five, Nine and Fourteen Eyes surveillance agreements enforced by the world’s major governments.

In addition to tough security standards, ExpressVPN offers a rich combination of features. With 2,000+ proxy servers in 94 countries, you can access content libraries from anywhere in the world freely. ExpressVPN’s software is easy and fast to install, with a single-click interface that lets you get the features you want, when you want them. There is no speed throttling, no bandwidth limit, and absolutely no restriction on P2P networks or torrents. Whether you want to use streaming services like Hulu or Netflix, download content or do something else entirely, ExpressVPN has you covered.

To learn more, check out our full review of ExpressVPN.

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2. NordVPN

If you want to beat hardcore security blocks and browse the internet as securely as possible, NordVPN is the service for you. Its 256-bit encryption is virtually unbreakable: a supercomputer could spend millions of years trying to crack your data before succeeding. The zero-logging policy is one of the most complete out there, and the service comes with a free DNS leak test to help make sure your ISP can’t track what you do online. But what really makes NordVPN special is its number of advanced specialty servers. For example, you can use Double VPN to route your data through two sets of proxy servers with two layers of encryption. Or you can use obfuscated servers to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. There are also P2P-optimized servers, and a few more options for various cyber security use cases.

In addition to a strong position on security, NordVPN has one of the biggest proxy server networks in the world. With 5,000+ servers in 62 countries, download speeds are high, and accessing the online services you want is easy. If you can’t access what you’re looking for, the service’s customer support is always on hand to help you out. Last but not least, permanent residents will be happy to know that they can connect up to 6 devices (including WiFi routers at once) to share the VPN with their household or office.

Learn more in our full NordVPN review.

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3. CyberGhost 

CyberGhost is the perfect VPN if you want to get powerful features without having to use an advanced, complicated interface. The service comes with a variety of apps for macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux and more. Each app is easy to install in minutes, and equipped with a colorful 1-click interface that makes finding what you need easy. Once you log into CyberGhost, you’re presented with 6 simple configuration profiles: anonymous surfing, anonymous torrenting, streaming access, website unblocking, WiFi protection and custom. With these versatile VPN profiles, protecting yourself in Panama is easy and intuitive.

Just don’t think that CyberGhost’s ease of use means it’s weak on features. Its 256-bit encryption means that data packets are virtually unhackable by criminals and governments. The logging policy is immaculate to the point that not even your e-mails are stored. And for users who want a little extra protection, there’s a series of 1-click toggles that block ads, block malicious software, block online tracking, and more. With 2,700+ proxy servers in 60+ countries, unlimited bandwidth and no speed caps, CyberGhost is perfect for streaming, downloading, gaming and more.

To learn more, check out our full review of the easy-to-use VPN here: CyberGhost 2018 review.

4. PrivateVPN 

PrivateVPN is a feature-rich service that’s attractive to Panamanian users for several reasons. First, its encryption uses 2048-bit DH keys that are so tough no quantum computer in existence can crack them. Second, there’s a comprehensive zero-logging policy that stores virtually none of your information and keeps your online activities anonymous. Even if someone did ask PrivateVPN to provide your information, there would be virtually nothing to share. With the service, your data is safe even when you’re using public hotspots, cafe and hotel WiFis and other shared-access areas.

PrivateVPN’s strongest suit, though, is its speed. In our 2018 review of the service, we found that it consistently demonstrated high speeds, stable connections and low latencies. This makes this service perfect for playing video games; streaming from Hulu, Netflix and other websites; downloading large files. The service is P2P-friendly too, meaning it won’t penalize you for using Kodi, torrenting, etc. Another feature worth mentioning is the kill switch, which stops your computer from sending data packets to your ISP if your VPN connection drops, protecting your anonymity and data.

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Panama’s copyright laws

Panama’s copyright laws are among the toughest in the world. State employees aren’t just encouraged to find and punish trespassers; they’re rewarded for it with bonuses. The higher the fines, the bigger an official’s reward. What’s worse, it doesn’t matter if what you own or do is legal elsewhere. If it’s illegal in Panama, you’ll be punished based on local laws including Bill 510, which many have called “the worst copyright law in history”.

Under Bill 510, you can be punished for copyrighted data held in your computer’s RAM (Random Access Memory). This means that simply streaming content from services like HuluNetflix and Spotify can result in fines of up to $200,000 for repeat offenders or $100,000 for first-timers. That’s right: the country reserves the right to levy 6-figure fines on users who use popular streaming services. As if that weren’t enough, you might also have to pay for the publication of a press release declaring that you’ve been found guilty of, and fined for, online piracy. Needless to say, this is all pretty harsh – and using a VPN to hide your data and get a foreign IP when you’re in Panama is just good common sense.

Internet freedom in Panama

On paper, Panama’s internet users have free access to the web. Despite this, there have been numerous anecdotal reports of government officials accessing private e-mails – ostensibly to hunt down cyber pirates, but possibly to access residents’ personal information. You’re especially at risk if you’re a journalist or reporter. The NGO Reporters Without Borders and the Inter-American Press Association have both gone on record to criticize the Panamanian government for its repeated efforts to silence the press. Although Panamanian law does promise fair and free access to the internet, you’re better off using a VPN to obscure your online activities while you’re in the country.

Understanding and using VPN protocols

Something to keep in mind while using a VPN in Panama is that not all encryption protocols are created equal. Some are faster, others are more secure, while a few offer superior mobile device compatibility. Below, we cover the most popular formats you’re likely to run into – and explain which are best for Panama. 

  • OpenVPN With TCP – this is your overall best choice. It’s fast, it’s secure, and it has built-in error correction. If a file, data packet or website fails to load, it gets re-transmitted so your experience remains seamless.
  • OpenVPN With UDP – this standard is like TCP, but it doesn’t have the error correction feature. This makes it a little faster, which can be better for streaming, gaming, P2P downloads and other activities that benefit from speed.
  • L2TP/IPSec – the combination of L2TP and IPSec is extremely secure. This makes it a good choice for Panama. The problem is that this encryption combo is slow and easily blockable by firewalls. Reserve it for situations that don’t need high speeds or low latencies.
  • PPTP – this older protocol is fast but less secure than the ones above. It’s suitable for gaming and public hotspots that block other VPN protocols. Not recommended for high-risk activities like P2P streaming and downloading.
  • SSTP – SSTP is a protocol created for Windows. It’s very slow, but extremely secure. It’s also capable of beating hardcore censorship blocks. In Panama, SSTP is a good choice if you’re looking to bypass national filters and/or keep your online activities hidden.

In Conclusion

When you’re in Panama, low-risk activities – watching streaming videos, using apps like Kodi and listening to your favorite tunes on Spotify – can result in a hefty fine. It’s best to use a VPN with strong encryption standards if you want to stay safe. To this end, any of the services we recommend on this page are a great fit, having been personally tested by us. Still, we recommend that you remain vigilant, especially when you’re using public WiFi spots.

In addition to keeping you and your data safe, VPNs can help Panama’s tourists and residents access overseas content easily. For example, if you want to watch North American sports games, just get a VPN with Canadian servers and watch CBC. If you want to watch European and UK content, use your VPN to get a UK IP and use BBC iPlayer – and so on and so forth.

Did we miss anything? Do you have a tip, comment or query? Then please use the form below to let us know. We look forward to reading your feedback!

Read Best VPN for Panama in 2018 to Protect Your Privacy by George P.H. on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter