At times, VPN providers are located strategically in countries that have ideal internet and data retention laws. Previously, users only needed to review pricing plans and security features to decide which VPN service to go with. Today, the same requires proper research & review to ensure you actually have a privacy service that protects you.
This “research & review” primarily involves scrutiny of a VPN provider’s privacy policies and country of origin. Countries including the USA, UK, China, Singapore, Norway, Australia & Canada amongst many others now require VPN providers to not only retain subscriber information but are also legally bound to comply with court orders when required to fork over the data to security agencies.
Why Choose Non-US Based VPN Providers
The US is probably in the top 5 when it comes to unsanctioned state surveillance, data retention, snooping on private calls & messages, mapping the internet and spying on ordinary people. There are no if’s or but’s anymore on this subject the NSA spied on US citizens, world leaders, foreign citizens and minorities based in the country.
The US also maintains a strict stance over illegal streaming and torrent downloads punishing websites hosting copyright material. Recent cases include KickAssTorrents, Mega Upload and ThePirateBay.
3 Best VPN Providers outside US
Given the massive web of US state surveillance and restrictions to access content, it is always helpful to have a VPN at hand, a non-US based VPN service. We reviewed the top 3 non US based VPN providers for your convenience and although there were many others these three lead the way for privacy and data security.
Based in Hong Kong, PureVPN establishes its brand name over “complete online freedom” courtesy the host nation’s lenient online laws. PureVPN offers 550+ servers across 141+ countries along with its 80,000 unique IP addresses. It offers one of the most wallet friendly pricing plans along with a 7 day money back guarantee.
PureVPN also offers:
- A brilliant 24/7 customer support service
- 5 multiple logins with one account
- Exclusive Torrent & P2P servers
- Optimized VoIP servers
- A selection of 5 tunneling protocols
- Mobile and PC apps – In-house developed
- Dedicated IP VPN addresses and much more
- Basic & Advanced level support services
Ivacy VPN is another non-US VPN provider based in Hong Kong, thus it also establishes an absolute no logs policy. With over 250+ servers located in 44+ countries, Ivacy VPN provides 12,000 unique IP address to subscribers to hide behinds. Ivacy support provides 24/7 live chat, an onsite FAQ and email for immediate help.
Ivacy VPN powers its service through four encryption protocols namely PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and SSTP. Along with three wallet friendly pricing plans (currently on offer), it offers a 7 day money back guarantee to test the service. It also supports P2P file sharing and has dedicated servers for torrent downloads.
Ivacy apps are available for Mac, PC, Android and iOS while the service is also compatible with gaming consoles, the Google Chromecast, ROKU, Kodi media player and routers. One of Ivacy VPN’s best features is it’s in app Internet Kill Switch that disconnects your internet for 30 seconds to ensure none of your online activity is revealed in case of a disconnection.
NordVPN is based in Panama, and under Panama’s jurisdiction tech providers do not collect any logs or user information. Panama has no data retention laws and is a heaven for any non-US based VPN provider.
NordVPN offers 575+ servers across 49+ countries and provides its unique double data encryption to ensure nothing gets stolen from you. It has native mobile & desktop apps with one-click connectivity and also has an automatic kill switch. NordVPN also offers customers 24/7 live chat support and an on-site FAQ for self-help. You can connect up to six devices with one NordVPN account.
Surveillance & Data Retention
According to the Stored Communications Act, VPN providers based in the US are bound by law to hand-over all user activities, connection times and personal information when presented with a FISA court order. US based VPN providers are bound by 3 or more legislations to retain user data and keep it stored within the US for a prescribed time period (2 – 5 years).
The NSA requires backdoors to almost all technology service providers that operate within the USA, which also includes VPN providers. This news maybe hard to digest but the NSA has according to the Snowden leaks partnered with AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and others to submit all user data to them sometimes without proper court orders.
USA VPN Logging Policies
As mentioned above bound by law VPN providers based in the USA have to retain your online activities & personal information. This saga began in October 2010 when P2P giant LimeWire was shut down after the US music industry sued them for copyright infringement. Now legally bound, US based VPN providers keep logs while working hand in hand with the authorities.
Always consider studying the privacy policies of US based VPN providers. Remember that these documents are complex but detailed to make sure you know everything that they retain and record. Usually, a US based provider logs in your personal details, financial information, location, real IP address, browsing activities, cookie data etc.
US data retention laws also cover services like Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Google and other tech service providers. So the next time you blog, make a video call, post a FB status, tweet or send an email remember it’s all being monitored.
Ban on Torrents
Most US based VPN providers don’t support P2P file sharing or torrent downloads anymore. Increased MPAA lobbying in the US senate has turned US cyberspace in to a highly monitored and restricted environment to operate in. While some users don’t get into trouble, it is always nice to secure yourself behind a VPN server especially one based outside the USA to ensure they have no way of getting any warrants on a foreign privacy provider.
Lawsuits against ThePirateBay, KickAssTorrents & Torrentz have proved just how powerful the MPAA’s influence can be. Downloading torrents in the US is risky given there are prison sentences and penalties prescribed for infringement. ISPs have been ordered to Monitor and maintain profiles for all users found downloading copyright material through torrents.
According to the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), all acts of copyright infringement are criminal activities, which also include an attempt of bypassing a copyright material. US based VPN providers are bound to cancel or shut down user accounts that are found infringing copyright. The alarming fact is that these same VPN providers are the ones claiming they do not monitor your online activities. Additionally, lawyers may ask the provider to identify the user for further investigation and prosecution.
In a Nutshell
So the next time you are weighing different VPN services, consider a non-US VPN provider. Since VPN providers outside US don’t keep user logs they are ideal for those interested in torrents, streaming on unofficial channels and accessing content blocked by the government.
Have a look at our exclusive list of providers, review their features and test the services before you buy. For more information access our latest editorial reviews of non-US VPN providers and let us know if you have any questions regarding the service. Remember to share our page, leave your feedback below and like our Twitter feed @VPNBest.