Virtual Private Network (VPN) Service Recommendations?

I’m thinking of using PIA from the new year, but am wondering how it works. Do I have to log in to PIA every time I want to go online, or can I set it up so that anytime I use Chrome then it’s automatically done via VPN?

We’re going to be reliant on public wifi access for the next few years, so I want to make that secure in case that makes a difference to your advice.

We also use PIA at my office for running a web scraper that has been blocked from a specific site. We now run the scraper on a separate computer that runs all traffic through the VPN.

Is it worth it to use the PIA proxy for torrenting? I know PIA is cheap, I just don’t know if I need it. Have been torrenting on private trackers for years with 0 issues.

Ever since demonoid turned into a honeypot, I’ve used public trackers and the S5 PIA proxy. Can’t say if it’s worth it or not but I’m still here…not some dudes girlfriend in prison.


I’m not sure how they charge an account for band with. Tunneling your entire home Internet connection through one probably uses a lot.

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Expressvpn works well. Easy config on iOS via their app. PM me for a (gasp) free trial referall link.

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I’ve used PIA for years, and mostly happy with it. I use the proxy server from within Qbittorrent. I also use the VPN at the same time, mainly for double security. I recently tried NordVPN, but it seems slow compared to PIA.In terms of whether it’s worth it, it is so cheap that it’s not even worth thinking about. I pay about $3 and change per month. I spend more on coffee at Starbucks!


I think you’re right that a proxy resolves 99% of the risk. If there’s going to be an issue, it’s going to be a DMCA letter from the copyright holder sent to the IP and ISP that they see. By using a proxy, the copyright holder is only going to PIA’s IP and ISP, not yours. So the proxy is likely going to resolve a torrenting issue. And then if you couple that with the fact that more and more of the web is going HTTPS, a proxy does a lot of the work for you.

The issue is if your ISP is draconian and sniffing all of your traffic. If you’re only using a proxy, and your ISP wants to turn you in, they can see that may be able to see that you’re torrenting because your stream may not have encryption. With the VPN on, your network traffic is invisible to your own ISP as well.

The safe (perhaps overkill) thing to do is run the proxy and VPN.

I don’t think your ISP can see what type of traffic is moving across the pipe, between you and the proxy server, if the proxy is authenticated. If it’s anonymous, then maybe, but with PIA you have to use a login/password.

Then again, who knows. I have been in IT for about ten years of my career and am pretty sure that’s how it works. However, I am not a network engineer/admin so perhaps my perception is wrong or naive. Either way, I’ve only ever used a proxy for torrenting and never had an issue. But of course, I only download content I’m legally able to…

I’ve spent 0 years of my career in tech. I’ll defer to your conclusion! Thanks for putting on the seminar.

I recommend IPVanish. I know one of the techs here and it’s a good service.

Also, using it, I find the connections are very speedy.

Rolling your own is a good idea and cheaper, although in some ways it’s less private (because the IP address tied to that VPN is likely tied to you).

SSL does not require authentication, it relies on public key encryption. Proxies can use SSL I believe.

I’m not sure why you’re bringing that into the conversation. I said PIA’s proxy requires authentication with a username and password. SSL is irrelevant to the conversation…or did I completely miss something?

Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying or didn’t grasp the context.

You said “ISP can’t see the type of traffic between you and the proxy if the proxy is authenticated”. I’m saying authentication doesn’t have anything to do with hiding the traffic between two computers – SSL doesn’t require authentication.

Ok sorry, I thought you meant at a site level, not the proxy level. But I don’t believe a SOCKS5 proxy is encrypted, is it? It’s just authenticated.

With that said, in theory, your ISP could sniff and intercept traffic. Maybe PIA’s proxy is encrypted? Don’t remember.

I use Windscribe and got it from this online site: GDGT VPN Deals. Servers all over the world, speeds have been good to excellent. The lifetime deal often comes up.

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Looking through reviews of services tonight, found this line about PIA of interest:

“A major drawback, at least for some users, is that PIA is an American company and must yield to U.S. government demands.”

Again, I have no plans to do anything nefarious online, but have to wonder if this means potential exposure to litigation risk that wouldn’t exist with a provider based elsewhere.

While that is a very valid concern, and thanks for bringing it up, PIA doesn’t need to yield to anything. I think whoever wrote that meant that they are obligated to follow the law of the US. Not that the government can just come and say, “we want all of your user records for people in the last 30 days,” and PIA then has to provide them. I’d have to imagine that PIA would abide by the law, and expect “the law” to abide by the law as well. Then again, maybe I am putting way too much faith in PIA.

Part of what makes PIA a good VPN is that they don’t keep logs. They can’t connect traffic on their site to your account. So the feds can come knocking for info, but there won’t be any.

As soon at the feds pass a law requiring logging, then I’ll be looking for a non-US solution.


Is there a way to change your IP address location without using a VPN or otherwise slowing down your connection? I cannot get any servers to show up in my multiplayer games on the xbox one making them useless. Using the VPN makes them unplayable due to the speed.