Best VPN for Downloading
Downloading is part of everyday life, whether you’re downloading music, movies or games to take with you wherever you go!
But, whether torrenting, P2P sharing or installing software, downloading can be dangerous for your online security. You can leave yourself open to cyber criminals, as well as being visible to authorities who may be cracking down on certain downloads, or ways of downloading.
But, there are ways to make sure you stay safe. By using a VPN for downloading, you can ensure that your data is encrypted and your browsing, and downloading, habits stay anonymous.
Why Your Information Is at Risk When You Download
Every time you connect to a website, your personal data becomes a target.
Cybercriminals could gain access to your bank account or government authorities could be clamping on down on downloading material like music or movies, or downloading torrented files.
In the time it takes for you to download a few tracks or a movie, criminals or authorities could have intercepted information including your IP address, log-in details and your online activity. This could then be used either for identity theft or as evidence in a prosecution for illegal downloading.
With torrenting, where lots of users share small pieces of a larger file to enable superfast download speeds, you could be leaving your IP address open to all of the people you are sharing with.
Fortunately, you don’t have to change your downloading habits to keep your information safe. Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) will encrypt your data and keep your online activities secure.
Why a VPN Will Keep You Safe
A VPN connection is useful for so many online activities. Basically, it allows you to pretend you are somewhere other than where you actually are, and it gives you privacy so that your browsing or downloading is not visible to hackers or authorities.
VPNs are particularly popular among those either living abroad or traveling, as you can turn on your VPN in your vacation destination, or new home, and still watch your favorite series from home.
Not only that, but a good VPN can completely protect your privacy. So, if you are downloading, or file-sharing, your data won’t be accessible to anyone else. No one will be able to see what you are viewing or downloading online.
That means if you are downloading a movie which may be banned in countries which aren’t progressive, perhaps because of gay or lesbian content, you won’t have to worry about the authorities being able to see what you are watching!
12 Things to Check When Choosing VPNs to Test for Download
So, now that you know a VPN can give you privacy and protection while downloading, the next question is: Which VPN should I choose?
Not all VPNs are created equal. Some will give you total protection with no loss of speed, while others will still leave you exposed to potential crime or prosecution as well as frustrated at the time it takes to download films, music or games.
Here are the 12 questions to ask when choosing a VPN for downloads.
#1: Is the VPN Service Part of the 14 Eyes Program?
Have you heard of the 14 Eyes Program? It’s an agreement in a number of countries which gives the government power to spy on their citizen’s internet usage.
Authorities can force internet service providers and VPN services to hand over information about your browsing and downloading habits. That can then be used to fine or prosecute you.
So, if you do want to keep your downloads private, you will need to rule out VPN services which take part in the 14 Eyes program, such as IPPredator and ChillGlobal.
#2: How Much Is It?
It goes without saying that how much a VPN service costs will be a key part in deciding which provider to choose.
With so many services available, there is no need to spend too much on a VPN. Having said that, free VPN options are usually insecure and frequently lose connection. Choosing a VPN which is secure, fast and which offers value for money is key!
#3: Is It Easy to Set Up and Easy to Use?
If your security and privacy are important to you, you will want to be able to subscribe and set-up your VPN with ease, so you can get started straight away.
Then, once you’ve downloaded your VPN, you will want a service which is compatible with your devices and which continues to be easy to use, without requiring constant calls or contact to customer service.
#4: How Fast Is It?
Just because you’re using a VPN, your connection speeds should not be slowed down in any way. The best VPN providers will have fast connection speeds from all of the countries they operate in, including America, Britain, and Australia.
#5: How Good Is the Customer Service?
While you should be able to set up and use your VPN with ease, you’ll also want to be assured that fast, and expert, help is there if you do happen to need it. The best VPN providers have a dedicated customer support team.
#6: Which OpenVPN Support Protocol Is Used
Getting into the technical side of choosing a VPN for downloading, service providers use different VPN protocols to manage your connection to their network.
When it comes to ensuring that your browsing habits and history are kept private, and that you are secure, OpenVPN is the best protocol currently in use. Any services which don’t provide OpenVPN support should not be a consideration.
#7: Do They Have Unlimited Bandwidth and Data Transfer?
If you’re downloading large files regularly, then you will need a VPN service which is both fast and reliable.
No matter how much data you are downloading, your speed should not be limited because of a provider’s bandwidth consumption policies, which could limit the amount of data you can send and receive in a given time.
#8: Is Your Data Kept on File?
Some VPN services use your activity logs to help them to diagnose any problems you may experience while connected to their network.
However, they can be forced to hand over this information to authorities. Therefore, you should look for a VPN provider which does not hold your data on file.
#9: Can You Use Different Devices?
You will probably be using more than one device to download your files.
You may want to keep your movies on your laptop, and your music on your smartphone, for example.
Therefore, you will need a VPN service which supports multiple operating systems to give you a seamless experience, no matter what you are downloading, and no matter what device you are using.
#10: Can You Connect Different Devices at the Same Time?
You may opt for a VPN service just for you, or so different members of your family can use it. Make sure your provider does not limit your connection speed or your account access for connecting with multiple devices.
#11: Is There P2P Blocking?
Some VPN services don’t allow you access to file sharing and Peer2Peer networks, making it impossible for you to download the files you are looking for.
Make sure the VPN you are looking at will allow you to access your favorite file-sharing networks.
#12: Is There a Trial Period?
If you choose one of the best VPNs for downloads, you’re unlikely to want to end your subscription. But, you still want to know the option is there if you need it.
Look at services which provide a free trial-period or a money-back guarantee in case you change your mind!
#1 ExpressVPN – The Best VPN Service for Downloading Large Files
If you’re looking for the absolute best VPN service currently available, we could not find a service that performed better than ExpressVPN.
Connecting to the Express VPN network is simple, and the software is compatible with the vast majority of operating systems. During testing, Express VPN provided the fastest download and upload speeds, even for large files.
ExpressVPN is a trusted provider with a dedicated user network. Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is not bound by data retention laws and is known for strong encryption methods.
That means even if you are downloading files or using file-sharing methods which are banned by certain authorities, you will be assured of anonymity.
Not only that, but fast connection speeds make ExpressVPN an ideal choice for downloading large files without any loss of speed.
There’s a huge range of server locations, so you can download files from across the globe, and ExpressVPN also ticks the right boxes when it comes to security. The provider protects your privacy by keeping no log of your activities.
Another feature worthy of note with ExpressVPN is split tunneling, which means you could choose to protect only your torrenting activities with a VPN and leave the rest of your online browsing VPN free.
- $12.95 for a single-month subscription
- $8.32 per month for a year’s subscription
- $6.67 for a 15 month subscription
- All packages come with a 30-day money-back guarantee
To protect yourself while downloading, sign up with ExpressVPN.
NordVPN is another high-quality provider. The NordVPN set-up is also quick and easy. You can choose your server and there are bandwidth meters so you can be confident of the fastest service.
The VPN provides top speeds, making it another good choice for downloading your favorite music and movie files.
NordVPN is particularly noted for its enhanced security features, making it an ideal option if you want to be assured that the files you download will remain anonymous to either criminals or the authorities.
It has a kill switch, ensuring that your browsing and downloads won’t suddenly be exposed even if your VPN connection suddenly drops out.
There’s also a double VPN which passes your traffic through two proxy servers for added security. There’s also a clear no-log policy so your downloads will not be kept on any data files.
- $11.95 per month
- $6.99 per month for a year’s subscription (41% reduction)
- $3.99 per month for a 2 year subscription (66% reduction)
- NordVPN also offers a 30-day free trial
Although NordVPN is not our top recommendation, its elaborate security set-up makes it a good VPN for downloading movies.
PrivateVPN is another of the best VPNs for downloading. It is another good option to ensure that your downloads remain undetected by any data monitoring agencies or authorities.
It’s a good option for first-time VPN users as there is a remote installation service, allowing a technician to set up your service for you.
It’s also a good option if privacy and security are important to you. There are a wide range of VPN protocols so it is possible to create bespoke protection to ensure that your downloads are completely private.
The service also provides a kill switch, and superior protection through the use of the most up-to-date internet protocol technology.
- PrivateVPN is currently offering a discount on all price plan
- $8.21 per month (25% reduction)
- $4.15 for a year’s subscription (a month free)
- You can trial the service for 30 days with a full money-back guarantee.
Why It’s Best Not to Use a Free VPN for Downloading
Free VPNs may seem like an attractive option, but they aren’t recommended for frequent downloads.
Free VPNs lack the robust features of premium services. Their speeds are lacking, so downloads can seem to take forever.
Not only that, they have serious reliability issues and connectivity frequently drops out, meaning that your data could quickly become visible without you even realizing that it has been exposed.
Free providers also often collect user logs which they sell to marketing agencies to create revenue, and data could be handed over to authorities. After all, they need to make their money somehow!
If you want VPN protection for your downloads, then it’s best to take advantage of free trials and money-back guarantee periods from reputable providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN to ensure you make the right choice for you.
How to Download Movies and Large Files Risk-Free
Downloading files through file-sharing networks can cause problems for you if hackers intercept your sensitive information or if authorities don’t want you to download certain material.
P2P file-sharing has hit the headlines recently with authorities cracking down on torrenting across the globe.
There have been arrests and prosecutions in the UK, India and Australia while, in the US, a woman was fined $220,000 for 24 downloaded files.
The best way to make sure that your personal information is safe from prying eyes is to connect through a VPN.
Not only will you have access to a huge variety of movies, music, games and files from across the world, but you can be assured that no one will know what you are downloading, unless you want them to.
After extensive testing of the best VPN services, we’ve concluded that ExpressVPN is the best VPN service available to download files.