How to Watch the Premier League With a VPN, Outside UK

It isn’t hard to unblock and watch the Premier League from anywhere if you have the right VPN. But which one to choose? Today’s article presents the top 4 VPNs for the Premier League, plus everything you need to know to get started streaming the match fast.

The Premier League, also known as the English Premier League outside of the UK, is an association of men’s football clubs that serves as the country’s prime source of soccer competitions. League matches are broadcast to hundreds of territories and could be watched by an estimated 4.7 billion people. Despite this wide availability, it’s not always easy to catch live football as it airs, especially with unusual region locks in place. That’s where a virtual private network comes into play.

VPNs provide an array of online anonymity and privacy features by creating a private tunnel between your device and the internet. With a VPN you can change your virtual location and stream sports from around the world just like a local. If you can’t watch the Premier League from your location, or if you want to broaden your football options, read our guide below for the best VPNs for the job.

Evaluating the Best VPN for Watching Premier League

Staying safe online is something every internet user should keep in the front of their mind. With threats like mass surveillance, nosy ISPs, and malicious hackers at large, there’s always the chance your data will fall into the wrong hands. Worse still, you’ll likely never know when or how much information was compromised, either!

LEARN MORE: Victim of identity theft? Here’s 8 things to do about it

VPNs can help protect your online identity while providing a host of other privacy and convenience features. VPNs work by encrypting your traffic and sending it through a secure tunnel to the internet. Outside parties can’t decipher the contents of these encrypted packets, allowing you to surf, download and stream whatever you like in complete secrecy.

Choosing the best VPN for sports and football streams can be an imposing task. After all, there’s a lot of information to research and compare! We’ve streamlined the process by providing a few recommended services below. We made our selections using the following criteria, ensuring you get the fastest and the best VPN for watching Premier League games.

  • Logging policy – Online privacy can’t exist if your VPN keeps traffic logs. Stored data can be accessed or even sold to third parties, turning your confidential internet activity into public information. If no logs are kept, however, your data stays safe.
  • Server network size – The more servers a VPN operates, the better your chances of connecting to a fast, lag-free node in the region of your choice. It also gives you more options for foreign IP addresses, which is perfect for watching sports broadcasts from around the world.
  • Security features – Two features are vitally important in a VPN’s custom software: DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. Both of these lock down your identity in case of an accidental disconnect. If a VPN doesn’t offer them, you should try another service.
  • Jurisdiction – Where a VPN is registered makes a difference in your online privacy. Some countries have strict data retention laws that force VPNs to keep hidden logs and share them with government agencies. To keep your data safe, always stick with a service that can put customer privacy first.
  • Payment methods – Paying with credit cards or PayPal directly links your identity to your VPN account. If you want an added layer of anonymity, go with a VPN that offers subscription via cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or litecoin. No personal details means extra privacy for you!

1. ExpressVPN

When you need speed and ease of use, ExpressVPN is the way to go. Custom software for a wide variety of platforms makes the user experience as seamless and straightforward as possible. Whether you’re on an iPhone, Android tablet, or Mac OS PC, all you have to do is open the app and tap a single icon to connect. ExpressVPN automatically finds the fastest servers and starts encrypting and protecting your connection right away.

Speed is crucial when it comes to VPNs, especially if you’re streaming live sports. ExpressVPN operates a network of over 3000 servers in 94 different countries, each offering low-lag connections to cities around the globe. A built-in speed test lets you take a look at the performance of each server at a glance. If you’re not already connected to the fastest one available, you can make the switch in seconds. ExpressVPN manages to preserve these lightning-fast speeds while delivering 256-bit AES encryption, a zero-logging policy on all traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses, and both DNS leak protection and an easy-to-use automatic kill switch.

More of ExpressVPN’s best features at a glance include deep configuration options to provide increased anonymity in countries like China and Saudi Arabia; no restrictions on bandwidth, P2P network downloads, or torrent traffic; easily break through Netflix blocks with a wide variety of worldwide servers; accepts bitcoin payments for anonymous subscriptions.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks US Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other streaming services
  • Super fast, reliable connection
  • AES-256 encryption
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Live Chat Support.
Cons

  • Slightly pricier than competition.
BEST FOR PREMIER LEAGUE: ExpressVPN enables access to fast, private Premier League streams. Get 3 months free and save 49% on the annual plan. 30-day money back guarantee included.

2. NordVPN

Need variety in your VPN? NordVPN has got you covered! The company’s top feature is its massive server network of over 5,600 servers in 60 different countries, a list that’s constantly growing as time goes by. This gives you an incredible amount of freedom when it comes to choosing a fast server in any location, and it’s perfect for frequent travelers, too. NordVPN puts some of its servers to work as feature-specific nodes, as well. If you need faster P2P downloads or double encryption, for example, all you have to do is click the server and you’re set.

NordVPN’s zero-logging policy is also worthy of praise. It covers everything from bandwidth to traffic to time stamps to IP addresses, ensuring almost none of your activity is ever recorded. Most VPNs stop at banning traffic logs, but with NordVPN you get the complete package. Rounding out the service’s privacy features are 256-bit AES encryption on all data, an automatic kill switch to prevent accidental identity reveals, and DNS leak protection keep you safe even if you lose your connection to the VPN.

Your NordVPN subscription also nets you incredible server-specific features like onion routing, dedicated IP addresses, DDoS protection, and more; well-designed and lightweight apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS; reliable access to Netflix videos even when other VPNs are blocked; and unlimited bandwidth and no restrictions on P2P or torrent traffic.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks US Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime and other streaming services
  • No bandwidth caps
  • Torrenting is explicitly permitted
  • Strict zero logs policy on both traffic and metadata
  • Live chat support is available.
Cons

  • Can’t specify City or Province in App.
BEST BUDGET VPN: Get a huge 70% discount for signing up for the 3-year plan, taking the monthly price down to only $3.49. Also note that all plans come with a “no hassle” 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. IPVanish

The best part of the IPVanish experience is how easy it is to disappear online. IPVanish combines a large network of servers with strong security features to ensure your internet activities stay safe and anonymous. For starters, all data is 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 protect your identity in case of an accidental disconnect, as well. IPVanish also comes with a variety of added port and protocol options that let you fine tune your privacy for the best balance of speed and encryption.

It’s hard not to talk about IPVanish’s server network. The company has a robust 1,300 servers in 60 different countries, offering a highly useful array of node selections. Over 40,000 shared IP addresses help keep your identity a secret, and if you need a little extra protection, an IP shuffling feature lets you change IPs automatically. All of these features come with unlimited bandwidth, no speed throttling, and unrestricted access to P2P networks and torrent downloads.

Best IPVanish features at a glance:

  • A large server network with strong and reliable connections that are perfect for live sports streams or HD videos.
  • Lightweight custom software for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices.
  • Watch movies and download content through BitTorrent with full anonymity.
  • Private access to add-ons and streaming content through Kodi.

Read our full IPVanish review.

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4. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is great for securing your online privacy. The company has a number of features that keep you safe on the internet, including exclusive encryption protocols and a wide variety of privacy-oriented configuration options. VyprVPN also owns and operates its entire network of servers, over 700 in 70 different countries. This unusual setup means third parties never have access to Vypr’s hardware, allowing them to perform all maintenance and upgrades for optimal security. Strengthening this is an array of VPN-standard features ranging from a zero-logging policy on traffic and DNS requests to an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and 256-bit AES encryption for all data.

An incredible addition to the VyprVPN experience is Chameleon, a unique protocol exclusive to Vypr’s service. Chameleon takes encrypted packets and wraps their metadata in an extra layer of encryption. This defeats deep packet inspection (DPI), which is often used by ISPs and governments to spy on user activity or throttle download speeds. Chameleon can even help break through tough censorship blocks like the Great Firewall of China, keeping you safe while ensuring open access to the world wide web.

VyprVPN’s best features include:

  • Wide variety of encryption protocols to select, including exclusive Chameleon technology for improved anonymity in China.
  • Highly customizable apps for PC, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.
  • Unlimited bandwidth and no restrictions on P2P or torrent traffic.
  • An incredible self-owned network of private servers.

Read our full VyprVPN review.

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Access Premier League Streams Through Kodi (Worldwide)

If catching football/soccer on local channels or navigating subscription service contracts isn’t your thing, the open source media center Kodi offers some good alternatives. With the right add-ons you can access live sports, broadcast TV channels, blockbuster movies, and tons more, all from the comfort of your favorite device.

To get your Kodi installation ready to stream, check out our step-by-step guide for the best Kodi add-ons for Premier League.

How to Watch English Premier League Soccer in the U.S. – Subscription

Even though the Premier League is a UK-based organization, soccer fans in the U.S. enjoy some of the most flexible access to the sport’s broadcasts. A lot of this is thanks to a solid partnership between Premier League and NBC Sports. NBC rolled out its Sports Gold service with a specially designed Premier League Pass subscription just for soccer fans.

The Pass includes 130 games from every club in the League. You can watch the matches live or on-demand from your PC or a wide array of mobile devices, including Android, iOS, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV. The pass is $50 per season and replaces all League games featured on NBC Sports, so if you want access to soccer, you’ll need to subscribe.

NBC’s Premier League Pass terms of service specify that only users within the United States are intended to watch these broadcasts. VPNs aren’t specifically forbidden, which means if you have the Pass and are traveling abroad you should be able to switch virtual locations and keep streaming soccer. Unfortunately, a U.S. credit card is required to sign up for the service, so if you aren’t a resident you won’t be able to use a VPN to sign up for the Premier League Pass through NBC Sports Gold.

How to Watch English Premier League Soccer in the U.S. – Online Streams

If you only want the best football matches and need streaming access to more devices than just your TV, you might want to consider the sources below. You won’t get as many matches as the Pass option above, but you’ll save a fair bit of money and will be able to keep up with the biggest games each season. Better still, you can watch from the comfort of your own smartphone, if you like!

  • Sling TV – Add the English Premier League channel to your account and watch the top matches every weekend for just $25 per month, starting with a free seven-day trial. Sling TV also lets you stream to mobile devices, tablets, and TV box sets.
  • fuboTV – Subscribe to gain access to NBC Sports Network’s coverage of the League’s games, including all broadcasts on multiple devices, including smartphones, Roku, and Chromecast. After a free seven-day trial you’ll be prompted to subscribe for $15 a month, by far the cheapest way to watch the English League in the U.S.

How to Watch Premier League in the Middle East

Football fans residing in Middle Eastern countries and North Africa will have access to Premier League matches through the beIN Sports network. When the beIN Sports Premier League HD channel launches in 2017-2018, fans will have access to 24-hour coverage of all 380 Premier League games, complete with pre-match coverage, highlights, interviews, and post-game analyses. You’ll even get limited access to videos and score updates through the beIN Connect mobile app.

Watching Premier League clips through beIN Sports with a VPN is surprisingly straightforward. All you have to do is visit the beIN videos site, find the highlight or interview you want to watch, then click to start streaming. Some content may be restricted in certain regions, so to gain better access simply switch to a VPN server located in the Middle East. If you need a hand unblocking beIN Sports with a VPN, check out our guide for a step-by-step walkthrough.

How to Watch Premier League in Canada

Two networks jointly hold Canadian rights to broadcast Premier League Matches in English: Sportsnet and The Sports Network (TSN). Both channels are available through cable TV subscriptions and will air a combined 190 games each season. On-demand content isn’t available, unfortunately, so you’ll need to catch the matches as they’re broadcast.

Where to Watch Premier League Football Live

Rights negotiations for Premier League matches are incredibly complex. There are hundreds of countries and billions of people under the organization’s umbrella, meaning several dozen broadcast and cable channels are involved in distributing content around the world. There’s no one reliable source to get the best access to the most games in every region. Most soccer fans will need to rely on local broadcasts to catch the latest content, which means TV-only access for the majority of households.

If you can’t use one of the above methods with a VPN for streaming access, here are a few suggestions for catching League football on your local TV channels:

  • United Kingdom, Ireland – Sky Sports, BT Sport
  • Germany, Austria, Switzerland – DAZN
  • India, Nepal, Pakistan – STAR Sports
  • China (mainland) Tencent, PPTV
  • Central America – SKY Sports
  • Australia – Optus Sport, SBS
  • Japan – J Sports, NHK

Wrapping up

By now you have a solid plan to unblock Premier League football no matter where you are in the world. We’ve shown you various methods depending on your means and location, all of which rely on the central tactic of downloading and using a VPN on your device.

How do you get your Premier League football fix? Share your thoughts (and secrets) in the comments below!

Read How to Watch the Premier League With a VPN, Outside UK by Diego Villena on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPN for StreamLord: How to Stream Movies on Stream Lord in Safety

The search for the best VPN for StreamLord stops here. Our top 5 VPNs unblock StreamLord movies and TV series in just minutes. We’ll show you how to download, install, and configure your VPN to watch your favorite content while keeping your connection secure and private.

Finding reliable sources for high-quality movies and TV shows is a tough order to fill. Not only do many sites disappear without any warning, but those that manage to stick around often charge high fees or have region locks in place to stop certain viewers from streaming. One site that consistently ignores those trends is StreamLord. The service features thousands of HD movies and TV series available to watch with just a few clicks. Getting started is as easy as visiting the website and finding your film, but before you start streaming you’ll want to take a few precautions to keep your activity safe and private.

Evaluating the Best VPN for StreamLord

Watching movies through StreamLord can raise some red flags with third parties such as your local internet service provider. ISPs are known to log user activity, share it with authorities, and even throttle connection speeds. To keep yourself safe from those hazards you’ll want to use a solid virtual private network each time you stream.

VPNs turn ordinary internet traffic into encrypted data that’s both sent and received through a private tunnel. Your activity can’t be tracked and your identity can’t be seen, which makes streaming movies a lot safer. Choosing a VPN that delivers the right combination of speed and security is a complicated task. We’ve made things easier by providing a few recommendations below. Each was chosen based on the following criteria, so you know you’ll get the best StreamLord movie watching experience possible.

  • Logging policy – Online privacy simply doesn’t exist if your VPN keeps detailed traffic logs. Storing data makes it possible for government agencies to obtain copies and match activity to user accounts, destroying any hope of anonymity in the process. If no logs are kept, however, your data can never be used against you.
  • Reputation – It can be tough to measure a VPN’s reputation, but it’s one of the most important factors in choosing a reliable service. If you can’t trust the VPN to keep your data secure, what’s the point? Our recommended services below have been in business for years and have a large base of customers who can attest to each VPN’s reliability.
  • Security features – Not all VPNs are the same. Some have added security features or even exclusive configurations that provide increased privacy. At the very least a VPN should include DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch to keep your identity hidden. We put a high priority on VPNs that go the extra mile to keep your data secure.
  • Jurisdiction – The country of registration matters when selecting a VPN. Depending on local laws VPN may be required to keep data logs and share information with government agencies, all without notifying users. The best VPNs are based in countries with no mandatory data retention regulations.
  • Payment methods – For an added layer of anonymity, try paying for your VPN using a cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. Using a credit card or PayPal account associates your name with the account, but if you choose a digital coin, no such information will be available.

CHECK OUT: Best Bitcoin alternatives

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has a well-deserved reputation for two things: incredible speeds and user friendly software. The service’s custom apps work on all modern platforms and devices, everything from Windows, Mac, and Linux to Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Once you’ve installed and signed in, getting the fastest connection is as easy as tapping the big “on” button. It’s easy to find new servers in different countries, as well, and ExpressVPN is set up to provide maximum security right out of the box.

Fast downloads are the second big selling point for the ExpressVPN experience. The company has a network of over 3,000 servers in 94 different countries, all offering low-lag connections to cities around the world. A built-in speed test lets you take a closer look at the performance of each server, just in case you’re not getting the fastest downloads possible. You also get privacy benefits such as strong 256-bit AES encryption backed by a zero-logging policy on all traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. DNS leak protection and an easy to use automatic kill switch provide an extra layer of privacy to ensure none of your personal information ever leaves your device.

ExpressVPN features at a glance include a robust array of custom security protocols for safer connections in places like Russia and China; zero restrictions on bandwidth, P2P network downloads, or torrent traffic; and reliable access to Netflix streams through the website. ExpressVPN also accepts bitcoin payments for truly anonymous subscriptions.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks US Netflix
  • Super fast servers (minimal speed loss)
  • Torrenting/P2P allowed
  • Strict no-logs policy for personal information
  • Live chat support available.
Cons

  • Expensive month-to-month plan.
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2. NordVPN

NordVPN’s most impressive feature is its massive network of servers. The list is constantly growing, but at the time of writing it sits at 5,600+ servers in 60 different countries, easily twice the size of many of its competitors. This massive array of options lets you quickly find fast connections the country of your choosing. NordVPN puts many of these servers to interesting uses by providing features like faster P2P downloads and double encryption, all you have to do is connect and enjoy.

NordVPN’s zero-logging policy is also incredible. It covers everything from bandwidth to traffic, time stamps, and even IP addresses, one of the most comprehensive around. This creates a perfect shield of privacy for all of your online activities, including movie downloads through StreamLord. 256-bit AES encryption provides the backbone for this security, and features like an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection keep you safe even if something goes wrong.

More of NordVPN’s best features include an array of unique server offerings with features such as onion routing, dedicated IP addresses, and DDoS protection. They also offer lightweight and easy to use apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and more; steady access to Netflix streams even when other VPNs are blocked; and unlimited bandwidth and no restrictions on P2P or torrent traffic.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks American Netflix
  • GooglePlay users rating: 4.3/5.0
  • Up to 6 simultaneous connections
  • Extra-secure Double VPN for data encryption
  • Money back guarantee policy.
Cons

  • Automatic server selection can be unreliable
  • Refund processing can take up to 30 days.
BEST BUDGET VPN: Get a huge 70% discount for signing up for the 3-year plan, taking the monthly price down to only $3.49. Also note that all plans come with a “no hassle” 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. IPVanish

IPVanish is built around the idea of total online anonymity. The service provides this by combining a wide server network with excellent security practices, all designed to keep you safe while you surf and stream. Digital security starts with 256-bit AES encryption on all data, cryptography that’s virtually unbreakable. IPVanish backs this with a zero-traffic logging privacy policy, as well. DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch lock down your identity, and if you’re concerned about censorship blocks, IPVanish comes with an array of port and protocol options for top quality privacy at any time.

The IPVanish network is another excellent selling point, as with over 1,300 servers in 60 different countries it’s one of the largest in the business. A combined 40,000 shared IP addresses builds better anonymity from the ground-up, and with an IP shuffling feature you can continuously change your virtual IP for even more security. You can take advantage of this privacy with StreamLord or any other video streaming service, all thanks to unlimited bandwidth, no speed throttling, and unrestricted access to P2P networks and torrent downloads.

Best IPVanish features at a glance:

  • Tons of servers with strong, fast, and reliable connections, perfect for streaming high-quality videos.
  • Download TV shows and movies through P2P or BitTorrent with full anonymity.
  • Custom software for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices.
  • Private access to add-ons and streaming content through Kodi.

Read our full IPVanish review.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: AddictiveTips readers can save a massive 60% here on the IPVanish annual plan, taking the monthly price down to only $4.87/mo.

4. PureVPN

PureVPN wants to be more than just a VPN service. The company’s custom software includes a host of unique extras that go beyond the basic encryption and private tunnel features. If you’re streaming movies, for example, you can set PureVPN to optimize everything for speed, prioritizing faster servers and dialing down on the extra encryption settings. If you need privacy above all else, one click can turn on ad-blocking software, malicious website filters, and even anti-virus protection, all without sacrificing a connection to a fast and private server.

PureVPN owns and operates its entire network of servers, all 2,000 in 141 different countries. This is an important feature for boosting your privacy, as it prevents third parties from gaining access to data. A zero-logging policy on all traffic backs this up nicely, as do DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and 256-bit AES encryption on all information. PureVPN’s apps make it easy to access all of these features, turning an ordinary internet experience into an all-around private and secure one.

PureVPN’s best features include:

  • Custom apps for a wide variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and even Chrome, Safari, and Firefox extensions.
  • No restrictions on torrent or P2P traffic, no speed caps, and unlimited bandwidth for all users.
  • Optional advanced anti-virus protection, web filters, and anti-phishing features.
  • Unlimited server switching and five simultaneous connections.

Read our full PureVPN review.

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5. VyprVPN

Privacy is VyprVPN’s biggest feature. The company behind the service owns and operates its entire server network of servers, over 700 nodes in 70 different countries. This means outside parties never have access to their hardware. VyprVPN handles all upgrades and maintenance, creating a thoroughly private environment for the entire network. Strengthening your security are things like a zero-logging policy on traffic and DNS requests, an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection, and 256-bit AES encryption for all data on all devices.

Chameleon is one of VyprVPN’s most unique services. The exclusive protocol takes encrypted data packets and wraps their metadata in an extra layer of encryption. This process defeats deep packet inspection (DPI) used by ISPs and governments to spy on user activity. In other words, Chameleon busts through the toughest censorship firewalls and keeps even the most vigilant third parties at bay. All you have to do is choose the protocol and start streaming–it’s that easy.

Some of VyprVPN’s best features include:

  • Chameleon protocol helps defeat tough censorship blocks and maintain anonymity.
  • Smart, customizable apps for desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.
  • Unlimited bandwidth and no restrictions on P2P or torrent traffic.
  • An incredible self-owned network of private servers.

Read our full VyprVPN review.

READER SPECIAL: All plans include a 30-day money back guarantee at only $5/month.

How Does StreamLord Work?

StreamLord is extremely easy to use. Once you have your VPN up and running, all you have to do is visit their website. The home page shows off some of the more popular movies and TV shows for the week, and if you want to start watching one of them just give the banner a quick click. The top of the screen has a search bar along with the two main categories you’ll use:

  • Movies – Browse by genre, including everything from animation to thrillers, romance, horror, sci-fi, westerns, and documentaries.
  • TV series – Browse by newest releases, alphabetically, or by overall rating.

Signing up for an account with StreamLord offers basic watch list and community features, including a discussion forum. You can also contribute to the site by uploading subtitles for shows that lack them. Donating to StreamLord lets you download videos in mp4 format, request TV shows and movies to be added, and experience the site without any kind of advertisements.

StreamLord’s selection of films and shows isn’t exhaustive. The site focuses on high-quality content, popular releases, and reliable stream sources, letting you watch shows without encountering dead links or rough videos. In other words, you exchange quantity for quality, something most users would do in an instant.

Is StreamLord Safe to Use?

Like many websites, StreamLord uses advertisements, cookies, and other tracking software to monitor user activity and monetize the site. Most of these are more annoying than unsafe, but you can encounter intrusive ads or privacy-invading scripts from time to time. We visited StreamLord both with and without our ad- and tracker-blocking software enabled. The site was surprisingly safe even without the extensions turned on, though we always recommend leaving them enabled just in case.

RELATED READING: Top browser extensions to keep you safe

StreamLord is a relatively safe experience with easy access to in-browser movie streams. You should always take basic precautions to keep your data and your PC secure, however. Follow the tips below to go the extra mile.

  • Keep your VPN active – You should never use a site or service like StreamLord without a VPN. VPNs keep your stream private and your identity a secret. Without it, your ISP may track your activity and throttle your download speeds.
  • Use an ad-blocking extension – StreamLord deploys some unusual ads, including link redirects and some intrusive banners. An ad-blocker such as uBlock Origin will keep you safe from these annoying and potentially harmful features. If you want to support the site, make a donation and the ads will disappear.
  • Install a tracker blocker – Certain scripts and site add-ons can track your activity from website to website, even after closing your browser. To keep your identity secure, install Privacy Badger on your favorite browser to shut down the trackers automatically.
  • Use anti-virus software – Most operating systems come with anti-virus software pre-installed. While we didn’t encounter any virus or malware content on StreamLord, keeping your scanner active is one of the best ways to keep your PC safe.

Reach Out to Us

What has your experience been like using StreamLord? Did our guide help you out? Know a hidden gem available on the site you think everyone should watch? Let the world know in the comments below.

Read Best VPN for StreamLord: How to Stream Movies on Stream Lord in Safety by Geoffrey Walters on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Qatar VOIP Ban: Unblock VOIP Calls and Facetime (2019)

Today’s guide will show you how to beat the Qatar VoIP ban easily using a VPN. With one of our recommended VPN providers installed onto your desktop or mobile device, you’ll be able to unblock VoIP and other sites and services banned by the Qatari government.

Government censorship is nothing new. It might seem like governments are cracking down more frequently on free and open communication channels but they’ve always done this. It’s just more noticeable in the digital age because communication is so much faster. When a communication channel breaks down, people notice it more quickly. The people in Qatar did notice when, during the past few weeks, VOIP apps like Skype and WhatsApp stopped working. It seems the government has banned these two apps though there isn’t any official confirmation and ISPs are denying any role in the Qatar VOIP ban.

Qatar Blocks VOIP Apps

This ban has been on-going since early September. According to Doha News, the problem started early in this month with no explanation behind the cause. It appears FaceTime isn’t working either though, it may not be related to this particular ban.

These are the best VPNs to unblock VOIP calls in Qatar

In countries like UAE, FaceTime is banned altogether and the iPhones sold there simply do not have the app. Perhaps Qatar is implementing something similar. Even if that were true, the disruption in Skype and Whatsapp cannot be overlooked. WhatsApp has had global service problems this past month but it was nothing like what people in Qatar are experiencing at the moment. Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority promised to look into the matter but has remained silent since.

While it appears that most users are experiencing trouble with Skype and WhatsApp, other messaging services like Facebook Messenger and Instagram Video Calling have also been effected.

It’s not clear why Skype has been blocked though, Whatsapp might have come under scrutiny because of its end-to-end encryption that prevents governments from intercepting messages. VOIP services are banned in religiously conservative countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE but Qatar has never had a problem with them in the past. At present, there doesn’t seem to be any reason that might motivate the government to consider a ban on these services either.

Unblock the Qatar VOIP ban with a VPN

Users in Qatar have been getting around the VOIP ban by using VPNs. VPNs are already popular in the country among users who seek to access regionally restricted content on services like HBO Go and Netflix. It seems that while VOIP services have been blocked, many VPN services in Qatar continue to work without a hitch. They are, therefore, one of the simplest ways to get around the VOIP ban.

If you’re trying to make voice or video calls, you need a VPN service that doesn’t throttle speeds and that has a reliable connection. You also need the connection speed to remain constant and not fluctuate too much or it will impact the call quality. The VPN service should work on both desktop and mobile so that you can use your VOIP service of choice on the go. Lastly, if this does turn out to be a government initiated ban, you want to use a service that can protect your privacy as well.

Best VPNs for Qatar

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is an old and reliable VPN services that is used all over the world to circumvent regional restrictions and government bans alike. It has servers in countries like USA, UK, Hong Kong, Germany, Japan, and Australia. The service is particularly known for its high speed and reliable connection. It’s the go-to service for anyone looking to stream online media which means it is more than capable of handling voice and video calls.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks Netflix and other streaming sites
  • Reliable and fast connections
  • Govt-level AES-256 encryption
  • No logging policy well enforced
  • Live Chat Support.
Cons

  • Month-to-month plan has high cost.
BEST FOR QATAR: ExpressVPN is our top choice for when in Qatar. Get 3 months free and save 49% on the annual plan. 30-day money back guarantee included.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN has more servers than any other VPN service currently in operation, numbering 5,600+ nodes in 60 countries. That is its strong suit and when it comes to government sanctioned bans, you need just such a service to get around it. Of course, it’s also very fast and above all, it has 256-bit AES encryption backed by a strict zero-logging policy which means your browsing is kept private. It has apps for all major desktop and mobile platforms so regardless which device you want to use Skype or Whatsapp on, NordVPN has you covered.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • SPECIAL OFFER: 3-year plan (75% off – link below)
  • 5,400+ servers globally
  • Allows multiple connections (6 devices)
  • Retains no metadata of your browsing
  • Great support (24/7 chat).
Cons

  • Some servers can be slow and unreliable
  • Apps can be a bit cumbersome to use.
BEST BUDGET VPN: Get a huge 70% discount for signing up for the 3-year plan, taking the monthly price down to only $3.49. Also note that all plans come with a “no hassle” 30-day money-back guarantee.

Are VPNs Legal In Qatar?

As mentioned earlier, people in Qatar have been using VPNs for a long time and for a whole host of services. They are perfectly legal in the country with just one stipulation; you cannot use them to do anything that is illegal in the country. For example, if the government rules that accessing Wikipedia is illegal, then using a VPN to access it might be construed as a crime. Since there is no official statement on the Qatar VOIP ban from the government, using a VPN to access Skype and Whatsapp is perfectly legal.

Share Your Thoughts

Have you been affected by Qatar’s VOIP ban, and if so how have you dealt with it? Did you find our VPN recommendations useful? Let us know about your situation in the comments below.

Read Qatar VOIP Ban: Unblock VOIP Calls and Facetime (2019) by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best Gaming VPN 2019: No more Buffering and Lag

If you’ve been searching for the best VPN for gaming, this article will provide you with everything you need to know. Whether it’s bypassing an IP ban, beating ISP throttling or defying DDoS attacks, a VPN can be used for these issues and more. We’ll narrow down the crowded VPN market to the best providers for gamers who demand the perfect mix of privacy, performance, and cost.

Privacy and anonymity are usually the top concerns when people shop for a VPN. Gamers, on the other hand, are in the market for speed. VPNs have a reputation for being slower than the average local internet service provider, making it seem counter-productive to pair them with online gaming.

The practical benefits of using a VPN for gaming far outweigh the possibility of reducing your ping. Worldwide server availability makes it easy to access geo-restricted game servers otherwise inaccessible in your country. You can also use a VPN’s variable location to snag games hours or even weeks ahead of release in your region, as well as gain a layer of protection against DDoS attacks.

Evaluating VPN Providers

When looking for a good VPN to use for games, speed is the number one priority. Nothing kills online gaming like a laggy connection. If you can’t keep the latency down, you might as well just go offline and play solo. Using a VPN can cause a 10-20% reduction in your overall connection speed, which just isn’t acceptable for online gaming. To keep that sacrifice at a minimum, we made sure the providers below kept speed as a number one priority.

  • Upload and download speeds: Speed tests with VPNs will produce a wide variety of results depending on your location and the location of the server you’re testing. Raw upload and download numbers still matter, of course, so we sifted through the data to find VPN providers with the best overall speeds on the market.
  • Bandwidth and traffic caps: A fast connection won’t do you any good if you’ve reached your bandwidth allocation for the month. Even though the practice is losing popularity, some VPNs insist on throttling connections after a certain threshold has been met. The providers below all feature unlimited bandwidth with no caps or limiters in place, period.
  • Server availability: The farther your data has to travel, the greater your lag. Although it can be nice routing everything through servers on the other side of the world, this will have a noticeable impact on your connection speed. We picked VPN providers with a wide network of servers available in a number of locations, ensuring you won’t be short of choices when looking for a closer, faster connection.
  • Simultaneous connections: An often overlooked limitation of VPN providers is the number of devices that can be connected at once. If your PC, phone, tablet, laptop, and gaming console all share a connection, you might not be able to go online with them at the same time. This usually doesn’t cause problems for gamers themselves, mostly just other people who share the household internet. The providers we selected allow between three and six simultaneous connections, and several have options to increase that number through software upgrades or plan boosters.
  • Blocked file types: Some VPNs will block certain types of traffic, including P2P and torrents. While this won’t directly affect most of your online gaming, it can severely impact related activities as well as the time spent downloading the games themselves.
  • Logging policy: Speed is number one, but there’s no sense in giving up your right to privacy in the process. Local internet service providers have the ability to collect and even sell unencrypted data to third parties, all without your consent. VPNs employ deep encryption to keep that information scrambled. An important side feature of that encryption is a strict zero-logging policy. If a VPN doesn’t keep data on file, they can’t give it to third parties, end of story. You should never use a VPN that doesn’t detail a no-logging policy right up front.

Top 5 Best VPNs for Safer, Faster Gaming

With the above factors in consideration, we tested out all the major VPN providers on the market. Our research was conclusive, showing the following recommendations to be the very best VPNs for gaming:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is serious about speed, and they’re not afraid to show it. The biggest standout feature for this provider is the ability to run a speed test directly from their software. If you’re running the Windows, Mac, or Android versions of the ExpressVPN app, all you have to do is connect to a server, then choose “speed test” from the main menu. You’ll get a quick set of numbers that shows exactly how fast your connection is, complete with stats for latency, download speed, and overall index. It’s absolutely perfect for gaming and could be the main feature that makes ExpressVPN a little better than the rest.

Outside of its built-in speed tests, ExpressVPN pushes the envelope by providing over 3,000 servers located in 94 different countries, a large number even among the main VPN providers. Unlimited speed, unlimited bandwidth, and no file type restrictions are also part of the package, as is a no-exceptions zero-logging policy.

A potential downside to ExpressVPN as a gaming VPN is the device limitation. The standard is just three simultaneous connections at a time, meaning a PC, a gaming console, a phone, and that’s it. Additional device licenses are available to expand that number if you need it, so at the end of the day it’s not much of a deal breaker.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • SPECIAL OFFER: 3 months free (49% off – link below)
  • 3,000+ super fast servers
  • Torrenting allowed
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • 24/7 Customer Service.
Cons

  • Slightly pricier than competition.
BEST FOR GAMING: ExpressVPN is by far the fastest and most secure VPN for gaming online. Get 3 months free and save 49% on the annual plan. 30-day money back guarantee included.

2. NordVPN

Overall, NordVPN isn’t the fastest VPN on the list, but it makes up for it with high speed spikes and a number of features users will appreciate, especially gamers. The standard quality marks of unlimited bandwidth, no traffic caps, and no file type restrictions are all here, along with NordVPN’s signature double encryption for the best in online security. Zero-logging and an automatic kill switch round out its privacy features, making it one of the sturdiest general use VPNs around.

Winning features of NordVPN include the company’s ever-growing list of servers: 5,600+ nodes covering 60 countries across every continent except Antarctica. All of these are available to users with unlimited switching. Furthermore, NordVPN configures its servers to optimize them for different tasks. Downloading something via BitTorrent? There’s a server for that, and the speed difference is noticeable.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • SPECIAL OFFER: 3-year plan (75% off – link below)
  • Most VPN servers with different IP addresses
  • Up to 6 simultaneous connections
  • Based in Panama
  • Great customer service via chat.
Cons

  • Some servers can have average d/l speeds
  • They can take 30 days to process refunds.
BEST BUDGET VPN: Get a huge 70% discount for signing up for the 3-year plan, taking the monthly price down to only $3.49. Also note that all plans come with a “no hassle” 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. PureVPN

PureVPN aims for speed with a strong lean towards privacy. The service targets online gamers with some extremely attractive features, things like unlimited server switching, unlimited data, ISP throttling workarounds, and simultaneous connections for up to five devices. These options are spread out across 2,000 servers in 141 countries, huge numbers any VPN provider would be proud of.

PureVPN manages to deliver all this speed without sacrificing security. Encryption is a solid 256-bit AES, no exceptions, and it comes with a smart kill switch, IP leakage protection, and a great zero-logging policy. PureVPN is also one of the few VPN providers to offer software specifically made for gaming consoles.

Although speeds for the PureVPN network are high overall, they can vary greatly between servers. Users in the UK, Germany, France, and Canada enjoy some of the fastest download and upload speeds, while US users in cities like Atlanta and Chicago get the best of the group. These numbers change throughout the day and may not be the best for your country or location. The company’s other features make it well worth trying out, however.

Read our full PureVPN review.

READER SPECIAL: Save a massive 74% here on the 2-year plan, just $2.88/mo with a 31-day money back guarantee.

4. IPVanish

Dodging censorship and providing fast connection speeds are two of IPVanish‘s top priorities. The company has over 1,300 servers in 60 countries, all with 256-bit AES encryption, easy to use apps and software, and of course, a hefty zero-logging policy.

Apart from its speed, IPVanish offers several features gamers will definitely appreciate. Unlimited bandwidth, P2P traffic, and torrenting are at the top of that list, as is unlimited server switching. Up to five simultaneous devices can connect to your IPVanish network at a time, which should be plenty for your gaming console, PC, phones, and other hardware.

IPVanish’s speed tests produce some impressive numbers. Users in Atlanta, Chicago, Toronto, and Los Angeles routinely get a sturdy 60 Mbps download rate, while other major cities clock in at roughly half that. Overall the speeds are higher than your average VPN, with a greater difference between the highest and lowest cities on the list

Read our full IPVanish review.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: AddictiveTips readers can save a massive 60% here on the IPVanish annual plan, taking the monthly price down to only $4.87/mo.

5. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is something of a favorite among gamers. The company owns and operates its entire server network, over 700 in all with 70+ locations represented. This means the encrypted data that passes through their servers is never seen by an outside company, which is perfect for privacy conscious users out there. Sweetening the deal for gamers is unlimited bandwidth, no traffic or file type blocks, no logging, and ISP throttling workarounds using the company’s own Chameleon technology.

VyprVPN consistently ranks in the top five fastest VPN services in the world, delivering connections well above the 50 Mbps benchmark to a number of cities. Part of the reason they achieve this is due to owning and operating their own server network. All hardware and all code has been designed from the ground-up with speed in mind.

Gamer specific bonuses of VyprVPN over other providers includes its NAT Firewall protection, a clever measure put into place to stop DDoS attacks before they kill your connection. The service also smartly handles network congestion to bypass slow networks, keeping your lag at an absolute minimum.

Read our full VyprVPN review.

READER SPECIAL: All plans include a 30-day money back guarantee at only $5/month.

Are VPNs Really That Slow?

VPNs are rapidly becoming indespensible tools for the modern internet user, but that added privacy, location variability, and anonymity comes at a cost: speed. Depending on your current connection and the quality of the VPN provider’s servers, your internet speed may drop between 10-20% when using a VPN. Even assuming variables such as port throttling and traffic congestion are equal, a speed deficit will still be present, no matter what.

The top factor in VPN connection speed is location. Your home and the server you’re connecting to may be on opposite sides of the globe, forcing data to travel a greater distance to accomplish the same task. Switching servers usually mitigates this problem, and you can often use VPN servers located in your own city for maximum benefits. But to get the most out of a VPN you’ll be switching countries on occasion, and that inevitably slows things down.

Encryption is the second factor of slow VPN speeds. Encrypting information eats up processing power and adds data, increasing the size of the packets your computer sends by 20-50% even for basic tasks such as browsing the web. The stronger the encryption the larger the packet size, and more data traveling those greater distances adds up to some serious lag.

It’s also worth noting that, for the most part, a VPN can only be as fast as your own internet connection. If your local service provider doesn’t deliver good speeds there’s very little a VPN can do to remedy that. Before blaming the VPN provider, run speed tests on your connection without the VPN software active, then compare the numbers.

How to Speed up a Slow VPN Connection

Even with the fastest VPN providers on the market, you’re bound to encounter a slow connection from time to time. Fortunately there are a number of easy workaround that can boost your speed or eliminate the lag entirely.

Switch Servers

Server location is the number one cause of slow VPN speed. Data has to travel back and forth between your computer or gaming console and the VPN’s server, and if that server is on the other side of the globe, lag is inevitable. Switching servers can provide an immediate speed boost. Even if your gaming requires servers in a certain country, most VPNs have redundant locations in the same IP range, so you won’t have to give up your virtual location to snag a bit of speed.

Use a Wired Connection

Wi-Fi isn’t the most reliable way to connect to the internet. Crowded channels or physical obstacles can make a connection slow or spotty, both of which can be subverted by simply plugging your computer or console directly into a router.

Wait an Hour

It’s not the answer anyone wants to hear, but waiting it out is often the best way to fix a slow connection. Server congestion can happen when a high number of people try to connect at once. Even if it’s the middle of the night at your home, the server you’re using might be experiencing a swarm of users on their lunch break. Wait a few minutes, then try again.

Disable Your Security Software

If you’re gaming on a PC, you might have a firewall and antivirus software running in the background. These programs scan incoming packets for signs of suspicious activity, which can create lag. Disable them while you’re gaming to see if that provides a boost in speed.

Change Ports

VPNs use specific ports to connect to the internet. Some ISPs throttle these ports without your knowledge, restricting your speed each time you activate the VPN. To fix this, check your VPN software’s options and look for a place to change ports.

VPNs and DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service attacks are unfortunately common in the online gaming world, especially in competitive matches for high profile games such as Dota 2, Hearthstone, or League of Legends. A DDoS attack can be targeted at players or at game servers, but a VPN can help protect you from the former.

With a VPN in place while you game online, DDoS attacks are barely a concern. VPN networks make it more difficult to pinpoint your actual IP address, cutting DDoS attacks off before they even begin. VPNs also tend to be hardier than local service providers, and many of them have specific measures put into place to stop the swarm of inbound requests that make up a DDoS attack.

Gaming Around the World

Region restrictions are a source of endless frustration for gamers, especially those who play MOBAs or MMORPGs with large groups of randomly distributed users. Some servers are locked to a certain range of IPs, restricting who can connect and play at any given time. Others censor or cut out content based on the IP address of the person connecting.

With a VPN, both of those restrictions can be neatly averted. If a server only allows clients from certain countries to play, all you have to do is set your VPN location to match that country. It really is as simple as that. Experiment with foreign servers to find the fastest connection, then continue your online gaming as normal.

Get New Games Early with a Virtual IP

A hidden benefit of using a VPN is the ability to download games before they’re released in your country. Publishers often stagger releases in different regions, switching downloads on in North America days or even weeks before Europe or Australia, for example. This is a major point of frustration with gamers, especially the ones who are always the last to get the newest titles. With a VPN, those frustrations are no more.

To snag a game before its release in your country, all you have to do is change your VPN virtual location to a server where the game is already out. If a new title is weeks from release at home but already live in the US, just log into your VPN, set it to a North American server, then start the download.

This early release trick also works across time zones. If a game releases worldwide at midnight on a certain day, you can start downloading hours early simply by switching VPN locations. You support game developers by purchasing titles upon release, and you don’t have to be a victim of region restrictions.

FULL GUIDE: Save money on Steam games by changing your location with a VPN

Bypass IP Bans with a VPN

Most gamers at least know someone who has been banned on a temporary or permanent basis. In most cases, well-meaning moderators and admins levy bans to discourage poor or abusive behavior and to enforce the rules, but sometimes innocent players can be unjustly targeted by overzealous individuals or faulty algorithms.

All bans are not created equal, but in a large number of cases they target individual IP addresses (Fortnite is a high-profile example). In such cases, it can be useful to swap out your IP address for a different one using a VPN. By masking your IP with a false one, you can effectively let yourself back into the game unhindered. Just be sure to observe the rules and terms of service once you’re there!

Conclusion

Gamers have enough to worry about without getting bogged down in inferior connections. Whether your ISP is throttling your gaming binges, you’re the target of a DDoS attack, or you live in a place with unfair e-store prices for your favorite titles, a VPN can help. Today we covered the basics of speeding up your connection while locking down your privacy, plus recommended a few of our favorite VPN providers for gaming.

What are you currently playing online? Do you use a VPN? What are your ideal settings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Read Best Gaming VPN 2019: No more Buffering and Lag by Geoffrey Walters on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

No Logs VPN 2019: Best VPNs That Keep No Logs

The search for the best no-logs VPNs isn’t easy, especially since VPNs with “zero-logging” policies often do entail some recording of your personal data. Today, we’ll show you the difference between the different types of logs, plus review the top VPN providers with iron-clad logging policies you can trust to guard your anonymity.

Best No-Logs VPNs For 2017

When it comes to online privacy, the less visible you are the better. Services like virtual private networks encrypt your internet activity to make it unreadable to prying eyes, then strip it of local IP addresses for added anonymity. The end result is a packet of information that only you and your VPN can decipher, leaving hackers and invasive ISPs completely in the dark.

There’s a catch to the whole VPN setup, however: you have to trust them with your data. It’s a huge pill to swallow, especially since VPN users tend to be more privacy conscious than your average internet citizen. Most paid VPN services go to great lengths to prove their reliability, including disclosing all logging policies right up front.

Because logs are one of the most fundamental aspects of online privacy, you’ll want to make sure your VPN has a strict zero-logging policy across the board. Read on for more info about logs, how they work, and learn about some no-log VPNs you can trust with your data.

Why Are VPN Logs a Bad Thing?

There’s nothing wrong with logs themselves. They help collect data and can be used by VPN services to improve their network and run things more efficiently. Problems arise when those logs are kept long term, opening up a world of possibilities for data theft, seizure, or even buying and selling user information (free VPNs like Hola are especially guilty of abusing their users).

The dangers in VPN logging all come down to one thing: accountability. Let’s say you log into your VPN and browse a couple of websites. No big deal, right? Later, it turns out that website was illegal in your country and everyone who visited it will be subject to fines. If you didn’t use a VPN, all the government has to do is contact your internet service provider, look at their DNS request and traffic logs to see which IP addresses visited that site, compare those addresses to account holders, then come knocking on your door.

Even though VPNs encrypt traffic and make everything unreadable, if they keep detailed logs it’s still possible to trace activity back to a single IP address, then figure out which individual person accessed the content in question. The nature and structure of a VPN’s business makes it more difficult than an ISP, even with logs in place, but the more data that’s stored the easier it is for third parties to track your activity. If there aren’t any logs, it’s extremely difficult (if not impossible) to locate evidence and track a single user down.

Critical Features of a Good VPN

Hundreds of VPN services flood the marketplace, each promising incredible privacy, strong encryption, fast speeds, and the best custom software. Choosing the right one is largely a matter of personal preference, but there are some features that can make some stand out more than others. We used the criteria below to find the best no-log VPNs to keep you safe online.

  • Logging policy – The cornerstone of online privacy. All of our recommended VPNs have a sturdy no-log policy that keeps your most sensitive information out of third party hands.
  • Jurisdiction – Closely tied to the logging policy issue, if a VPN is registered in a country with strict data retention logs, they might be forced to store information and share it with authorities. Privacy friendly countries do exist, so make sure your VPN operates under their jurisdiction.
  • SpeedEncryption overhead can make a VPN sluggish. Lag can also be introduced if you’re connected to a server across the world. Top quality VPNs work around these issues to provide excellent speeds without sacrificing encryption strength or privacy.
  • DNS leak protection and kill switches – An often overlooked feature of custom VPN software. DNS leak protection locks down your internet connection to make sure your real IP address is never shared. Automatic kill switches perform a similar function and immediately stop traffic if you lose your connection to the VPN. Both are necessary for complete online privacy. All it takes is a few moments to announce your location to the world.

Best VPN Providers with Zero Log Policies

No VPN’s privacy policy is perfect, but we’ve found a few providers which come close. Here are 6 top VPNs with excellent no-logging policies you can trust:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN’s number one feature is its incredible speeds. The service operates 3,000 servers in 94 different countries, most of which have consistently high scores on speed tests to cities and users around the world. You can even check the latency and download speeds yourself using built-in speed tests in several versions of its software. ExpressVPN sweetens the deal with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited server switching, no restrictions on torrent or P2P network traffic, and custom apps for every modern operating system and mobile device.

ExpressVPN specifically states it does not keep traffic logs, DNS request logs, or IP address logs. This gives users an incredible amount of privacy to surf the web, download files, and stream movies at their leisure. Other crucial privacy provisions include strong 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and automatic kill switch features, making ExpressVPN a robust package indeed.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • SPECIAL OFFER: 3 months free (49% off – link below)
  • Super fast, reliable connection
  • AES-256 encryption
  • Strict no-logging policy
  • Live chat support available.
Cons

  • Limited configuration options
  • Priced slightly higher.
BEST PRIVACY VPN: ExpressVPN offers the perfect blend of encryption, speed, and anonymity with its excellent no-logging policy. Get 3 months free and save 49% on the annual plan. 30-day money back guarantee included.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN has an incredible reputation for strong privacy practices and all-around excellent service. The company has been in business for years, providing lightning fast connection speeds through an enormous network of over 5,600 servers in 60 different countries, quite possibly the largest in the VPN marketplace. Unlimited bandwidth and no restrictions on torrent or P2P traffic make it an even smoother experience, and features like DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch protect you even if something goes wrong.

NordVPN has always been forthcoming about its logging practices, simply because it has none. No traffic logs, time stamp logs, bandwidth logs, or IP address logs, end of story. This is one of the more all-encompassing logging policies in the VPN world, which makes NordVPN a great choice for a privacy conscious individuals.

More of NordVPN’s best features include specialized servers that deliver double encryption, onion routing, and anti-DDoS; reliable, open, and private access to the internet even in countries like China; company jurisdiction in the privacy-friendly country of Panama. It is also one of the few VPNs that maintains reliable access to Netflix.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • SPECIAL OFFER: 3-year plan (75% off – link below)
  • Different IP addresses aervers
  • Tor over VPN, double VPN
  • “Double” data protection
  • Great customer service via chat.
Cons

  • Not much
  • Sometimes slow in procesing refunds (but always do).
BEST BUDGET VPN: Get a huge 70% discount for signing up for the 3-year plan, taking the monthly price down to only $3.49. Also note that all plans come with a “no hassle” 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. IPVanish

If you want to stay hidden on the internet, IPVanish is the way to go. The service is ideal for privacy conscious users who want a fast and anonymous connection to the internet. IPVanish runs a network of 1,300 servers in 60 different countries, one of the largest in the VPN marketplace. This gives you plenty of options for new IP addresses and lag-free connections no matter where you live. IPVanish backs this up with unlimited bandwidth, absolutely no speed caps, and unmonitored access to P2P and torrent traffic. It’s your internet, and IPVanish helps you take full advantage of it!

IPVanish states up front that it doesn’t store traffic logs of any type. This keeps your most sensitive information safe and prevents leaks via major data breaches.

IPVanish also includes the following features:

  • DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch to help keep your connection private.
  • Easy to use custom software and apps for all major operating systems and devices.
  • Fast and secure servers allow for incredible video streams through Kodi.
  • Download torrents with full privacy and anonymity.

Read our full IPVanish review.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: AddictiveTips readers can save a massive 60% here on the IPVanish annual plan, taking the monthly price down to only $4.87/mo.

4. PureVPN

PureVPN hits all the right points for a fast, friendly, privacy aware VPN service everyone can enjoy. The company runs a network of over 2,000 servers in 141 countries, casting a wide net around the world to help ensure everyone can find a lag-free connection no matter where they live or travel. Strong 256-bit encryption helps keep prying eyes out of your personal information, and you’ll even be able to use VoIP and instant messengers with complete privacy.

PureVPN states right up front that they don’t keep any kind of activity logs on their users, plain and simple. This ensures your traffic can never fall into the wrong hands.

PureVPN’s features at a glance:

  • Excellent compatibility with custom apps for all modern operating systems, smartphones, and more.
  • Advanced features include anti-virus protection, ad-blocking, and anti-phishing measures.
  • Self-owned network of servers for enhanced privacy and security.

Read our full PureVPN review.

READER SPECIAL: Save a massive 74% here on the 2-year plan, just $2.88/mo with a 31-day money back guarantee.

5. VyprVPN

VyprVPN has some of the most unique privacy features in the entire VPN ecosystem. The company owns and operates its entire network of servers, over 700 in 70 different countries. This allows them to perform all maintenance and upgrade tasks themselves, keeping third parties out of the picture entirely. VyprVPN’s unique Chameleon technology gives it the ability to defeat throttling and VPN blocking efforts in the most extreme of situations, including within the borders of censorship heavy countries like China.

When it comes to logging practices, VyprVPN is surprisingly straightforward. The company has a strict ban against both traffic and DNS logs, the two pieces of data most often used to track users.

VyprVPN also includes the following features:

  • Support for a wide variety of operating systems, including desktops, Android, and iOS smartphones.
  • Incredible privacy features for the best VPN access in China and the Middle East.
  • Unlimited bandwidth and no restriction on P2P traffic or torrent downloads.

Read our full VyprVPN review.

READER SPECIAL: All plans include a 30-day money back guarantee at only $5/month.

6. StrongVPN

StrongVPN is aptly named. The service keeps a relatively small network of several hundred servers in 45 different cities, allowing them to focus on unbeatable privacy features that lock down and secure your online presence like no other VPN. The standout feature is up to 2048 bit encryption, which is exponentially higher than similar services. You’ll also have access to a variety of security protocols (L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN) as well as router software for faster, easier to use VPN service for all of your devices.

StrongVPN clearly states it does not keep any kind of user activity logs. Records of your traffic will never be stored, which keeps them safe from third parties.

More StrongVPN features:

  • Free lightweight software for multiple devices, including desktop operating systems and smartphones.
  • Easily mask your IP address and prevent online surveillance.
  • No bandwidth limitations, speed caps, or throttling.
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What Are the Different Types of Logs?

Logging or “zero logs” is often used as a catch-all term when it comes to VPNs. In reality, there are several different types of data a VPN can archive, some of which are more likely to harm your privacy than others. Below is a quick overview of the main types of logs and how they might affect your online privacy.

  • Traffic logs – The most frightening type of log is also the most frequently banned in the VPN marketplace. Traffic logs keep track of things like the type of downloads you engage in, such as torrents or P2P networks, and even specific websites that you visit.
  • DNS request logs – Every time you type a URL into your browser, a DNS service looks up the name, compares it to a list of numbered domains, then redirects you accordingly. VPNs run their own DNS servers and it’s possible they can keep tabs on which site names you access.
  • Time stamp logs – Commonly kept by many VPNs, time stamp logs simply show which users logged in, when they logged out, and at what time of day each event occurred.
  • Bandwidth logs – How much traffic is each user consuming? Bandwidth logs answer that question and help VPNs scale their network accordingly. They’re another commonly kept type of log.
  • IP address logs – A simple log that contains users’ physical IP addresses at the moment of VPN connection.

Free VPN Providers Usually Keep Logs

No-cost VPN services can be found all across the internet in app stores, browser extension marketplaces, and more. They make the same claims as standard VPN providers, only they promise to deliver without charging anyone. This seems like a fast and simple solution to the problem of online privacy, but in reality it often makes the situation much worse.

The vast majority of no-cost VPN services freely admit they keep logs of user activity, everything from traffic to DNS requests and IP addresses. Some have been discovered selling that information to third parties. Even if the service doesn’t admit to storing logs it’s highly likely they do, as free VPNs need to bring in some sort of income to keep their network online. If that income doesn’t come from paying customers, it has to come from somewhere.

Part of the appeal of paid VPN services is these companies are in the business of protecting their users. VPNs have every incentive to keep your data safe and private, even if government agencies demand access. After all, if they fail they won’t stay in business very long. It’s always better to invest in a reliable, low-cost VPN provider instead of using a free service. Your privacy just isn’t worth the risk.

What Are the Benefits of Using a VPN

In addition to added online privacy, running a VPN on your connected devices offers a number of extra features. Think of them as a useful byproduct of securing your data. After a few days or weeks of using a VPN, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.

Watch Videos from Other Regions

Services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube often restrict which videos are available to stream in different countries. If you like in the UK you’ll have one set of TV shows available, but if you travel to the U.S., you won’t be able to watch them anymore. Most streaming services use simple IP address grids to determine a user’s location. With a VPN you can quickly and easily change your IP address to fool them into thinking you’ve moved across the world. All you have to do is click, connect, and start streaming.

Secure Voice and Text Communications

If you use Skype, Discord, MSN Messenger, or any other VoIP program, chances are your data is being recorded and logged by an ISP. Conversations you have with friends and family are sitting on a server somewhere, ready to be sold to a third party. By activating a VPN you’ll encrypt this data and keep it invisible from prying eyes.

Protect Cloud Storage Services

Services like Dropbox and Google Drive are useful for saving videos, files, and other pieces of sensitive data. Using cloud storage sends unsecured data across an open connection, however, which puts your information at risk. Always use a VPN to ensure nothing leaves your computer without first being encrypted.

Access Censored Websites

Government level censorship is a growing problem in the world, especially if you live in or visit countries like Syria, China, Iran, UAE, and Russia. To keep your access to the internet open and free, simply run a virtual private network on all of your devices. You’ll be able to access blocked content as if the censorship filter didn’t even exist.

Stay Safe While Traveling

Traveling carries its own set of risks, especially if you access public Wi-Fi or rely on hotel internet connections. These networks are frequently monitored by hackers and surveillance teams, and the ISP you’re utilizing most likely stores every piece of data you send. Staying safe while traveling means using a good VPN on your laptop, tablet, and smartphone at all times. Encrypted data keeps your information safe no matter which network you connect to. To up your security even further, be sure to encrypt your iPhone and encrypt your Android devices to ensure privacy even when you’re not online.

FULL GUIDE: Essential Travel Security Measures

Conclusion

By now, you should have a more thorough understanding of what VPN user logs are, and why it’s important to pick a provider that minimizes the data they keep on you to an absolute minimum. Each of our recommended VPN services has a solid reputation in the industry, and has proactively taken measures to ensure your privacy on all fronts.

Does your current VPN keep logs? What concerns you most about the practice of logging? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Read No Logs VPN 2019: Best VPNs That Keep No Logs by Geoffrey Walters on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter