File-Sharing and VPN Traffic Grow Explosively 2

Today’s Internet traffic patterns are completely different from those roughly a decade ago.

The most pronounced change in recent years has been the dominance of streaming services, mostly IPTV providers, Netflix, and YouTube.

While streaming remains the key traffic generator on the Internet today, file-sharing traffic is making quite a comeback. The early signs of this trend were already visible last year but new data from the Canadian broadband management company Sandvine show that this was no fluke.

File-Sharing and VPN Traffic Grow Explosively 3

Looking at the global application traffic share, we see that video streaming accounts for 60.6% of all downstream and 22.2% of all upstream traffic.

File-sharing has a very modest downstream market share, at just 4.2%, but it beats streaming when it comes to utilized upload bandwidth, 30.2% worldwide.

The relatively large upstream share makes sense, as that’s part of the nature of file-sharing. What’s more telling, perhaps, is the year-over-year growth numbers.

From 2018 to 2019, the share of file-sharing traffic increased by roughly 50% while the upstream share grew by 35%. Keep in mind that these numbers are relative, so in absolute terms, the traffic increases are even larger, as bandwidth usage continues to increase.

There are some regional differences in this trend. BitTorrent traffic, which is the largest chunk of all file-sharing traffic, has grown mostly in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) and APAC (Asia-Pacific) regions, for example.

BitTorrent is currently most popular in the EMEA region where it is good for 5.3% of all downstream traffic and a massive 44.2% of all upstream traffic. In the APAC region, the figures are 4.5% and 24.8% respectively.

According to Sandvine, the resurgence of file-sharing traffic can be largely attributed to the fragmentation of the legal video streaming landscape. With more legal options and a limited budget, people increasingly resort to piracy, the company argues.

“Netflix aggregated content and made piracy reduce worldwide. With the ongoing fragmentation of the video market, and increase in attractive original content, piracy is on the rise again,” Sandvine’s Cam Cullen notes.

HBO is a crucial ‘fragment’ when it comes to torrent traffic. We have previously reported on the massive impact the last season of Game of Thrones had on BitTorrent traffic and this is confirmed by Sandvine’s data, as shown below. Interestingly, this bump wasn’t visible for Kodi-related traffic.

File-Sharing and VPN Traffic Grow Explosively 4

This Game of Thrones boost may have elevated the overall file-sharing market share this year, but that will become apparent when Sandvine releases its new figures next year.

While BitTorrent and file-sharing traffic increased globally, the Americas form an exception to this trend. There, the relative market share dropped slightly. However, that doesn’t mean that fewer people are using BitTorrent or that less data is being transferred.

For one, market share is relative and a slight drop is possible even if overall traffic increased. In addition, Sandvine’s data show a growing trend in VPN usage. The company closely monitors data used by 70 popular commercial VPNs and has noticed a major boost in usage.

Roughly 2% of all global downstream traffic can now be attributed to VPN traffic. Looking at the upstream traffic this percentage is even larger, 5%, suggesting that it’s often used for upload heavy purposes, such as file-sharing.

File-Sharing and VPN Traffic Grow Explosively 5

In the Americas, this VPN boom is particularly pronounced with the percentage of IPSec VPN traffic tripling to 7.7% of all upstream data. This goes up to almost 9% for all VPN traffic, Sandvine informs us.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if a lot of that traffic comes from BitTorrent transfers.

Finally, it’s worth noting that, while ‘file-sharing’ is often linked to piracy, the majority of all unauthorized media distribution takes place through streaming nowadays. In other words, ‘file-sharing’ is only a small fraction of the piracy landscape.

The streaming piracy traffic is part of Sandvine’s “http media stream” category which, for the first time in years, has a larger market share than Netflix.

The website Openload, which is often linked to streaming piracy, is even listed separately in the top 10 of all video streaming sources. With 2.4% of all downstream video streaming traffic on the global Internet, it’s safe to say that Openload uses a lot of bandwidth.

It will be interesting to see how these trends continue to develop during the coming years. It’s clear though, that file-sharing is not going anywhere, neither is BitTorrent, while the VPN boom only appears to be starting. A full copy of Sandvine’s latest Global Internet Phenomena report is available here.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

File-Sharing and VPN Traffic Grow Explosively 6 File-Sharing and VPN Traffic Grow Explosively 7

File-Sharing and VPN Traffic Grow Explosively 8



Source link


Back to Piracy For Adobe Users in Venezuela But Most Pirate Anyway 10

This week, Adobe delivered a worrying message to legitimate users of its software and services in Venezuela.

In response to a sanctions-related executive order (pdf) handed down by the US Government, the software company said it would have to terminate business relations with subscribers in the country.

This means that legitimate users of Photoshop and other Adobe software and services will lose access to the tools they’ve paid for. With all accounts set to be terminated on October 29, 2019, many customers will be left high and dry, with only a refund to look forward to – hopefully.

“If you purchased directly from Adobe, we will refund you by the end of the month for any paid, but unused services. We are working with our partners on the same,” the company announced.

The withdrawal of Adobe from Venezuela will no doubt deliver serious inconvenience for the country’s licensed users. However, they are in the minority. Licensing software doesn’t appear to be a mainstream activity, even in the face of decreasing price tags for Adobe products, for example.

According to Giampiero Posa of Posa Studio Creativo, a certified Adobe training center in Venezuela, the annual $200 fee for Adobe suite is still a luxury given the dire economic situation in the country. Just a few years ago, the cost was $1,780, a headline figure which did nothing to help piracy rates in the country.

The most recent Global Software Survey (pdf) published in 2018 by the Software Alliance (BSA) shows that in the previous year, Venezuela had the world’s joint second-highest rate of unlicensed software installation. At 89%, the country tied with Zimbabwe and was edged out only by Libya with 90%.

Figures from the trade group show that the situation hasn’t improved at all in eight years. In 2011, unlicensed installs accounted for 88% of the Venezuelan market, a figure that remained stubbornly stable until a 1% increase in 2017 made the situation marginally worse.

Clearly, the removal of offerings from Adobe and other companies offers no hope of a decline anytime soon but of course, alternatives do exist. Open-source tools provide a legal alternative but given high piracy rates and the comfort with which unlicensed software is apparently consumed, even more piracy seems the likely outcome.

And the possibility of consequences for that, especially factoring in hostility from the United States, seem more distant than ever.

A review of Venezuelan copyright litigation, published by Manuel Rodriguez of the Antequera Parilli & Rodriguez law firm, states that to date “there have been few cases of copyright infringements being sued before the courts.”

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Back to Piracy For Adobe Users in Venezuela But Most Pirate Anyway 11 Back to Piracy For Adobe Users in Venezuela But Most Pirate Anyway 12

Back to Piracy For Adobe Users in Venezuela But Most Pirate Anyway 13



Source link

GT KING PRO For The Audiophiles

The new flagship Android TV Box by Beelink is the GT KING PRO. That added, final “PRO” is what really distinguishes the device as long as the model name is concerned from the Beelink GT KING. We have talked in a live stream and also reviewed the GT KING by Beelink that offers a great experience and performance. But now the company has decided to release another flagship device, this one more dedicated to the …audiophiles! In fact the Beelink GT KING PRO isn’t a re-designed device, nor should you panic if you just bought the prior. The difference is in the audio compartment where it outstands the competition for even better audio.

Metal Case

The GT KING PRO has another difference with the GT KING. Now comes with a full metal body, an alloy case that is even better optimized for cooler temperatures. That should also give a boost into performance making it even a little more performing than the (almost) twin model.

Beelink GT king Pro Android 9 TV Box

GT KING PRO Specs

The GT KING PRO version comes with the Amlogic S922X-H Hexa-core CPU as well as a Hexa-core ARM G52 MP6 GPU for optimal performance. It is as a matter of fact the fastest Android TV Box in the market (not to be confused with Android TV where the Nvidia Shield TV is still the leader). Powered by Android 9.0 Pie, comes also with 4GB of DDR4 and 64GB of internal storage and Dual Band WiFi 2G and 5G. In addition to the GT KING we have now integrated the ESS9108 32bit audio DAC chip for audio enhancement that promises us the lossless sound that Beelink promotes with this device.

Connectivity

On the back of the device we find an AV out, a Gigabit 1000M Ethernet port, HDMI 2.1, the DC input and a power button which a lot of users were asking for. A peculiar addition is the RS232 port which may be an excellent tool for industrial use or a developer but with no real purpose for the average home user, at least that I can think of. On the sides we find 4 USB 3.0 (one of which is also OTG) and a micro SG card slot. The lack of a SPDIF may be a disappointing feature for some people since the device is oriented mostly to the lovers of high-end audio.

DTS Listen And Dolby Audio

Beelink GT-King Pro features DTS listen and Dolby audio decoding, that offer high-end Hi-Fi lossless sound quality for an immersive experience. The TV box supports DTS listen and Dolby Audio decoding technology. Two dedicated processors, according to the manufacturer, will provide Hi-Fi sound without loss of sound quality.

Beelink GT KING PRO ports

Buy The GT KING PRO On Sale

The best offer in order to get the GT KING PRO comes from Gearbest and is valid until October 6th for $139.99 / 128.10€ / £115.08 and you can find it here. And you can always check the “classic” model with those LEDs and the plastic case which is still a great device with almost identical performance. And since we talked about sales, a great tablet is also on special offer and it sells like bread. The Teclast T30, a 10.1 inch 4G/LTE tablet with a massive 8000mAh battery and Dual Band WiFi is now offered just for $199.99 / 183.00€ / £164.40 which is a great price! For more info please check here.

Beelink GT KING PRO Specifications

GeneralBrand: Beelink
Model: GT-King Pro
Type: TV Box
GPU: Arm Mali-G52 MP6
System: Android 9.0
CPU: Amlogic S922X-H
Core: Hexa Core
RAM: 4G
RAM Type: DDR4
ROM: 64G
Maximum External Hard Drives Capacity: 4TB
Color: Blue
Media SupportedDecoder Format: H.263, H.264, H.265, HD MPEG4
Audio format: AVI, DAT, ISO, MKV, MP4, MPEG, RM, WMV
Video format: AVI, DAT, ISO, MKV, MP4, MPEG, RM, WMV
Photo Format: BMP, GIF, JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIFF
Support 5.1 Surround Sound Output: Yes
Product Details5G WiFi: Yes
WIFI: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1 + EDR
Power Supply: Charge Adapter
Interface: CVBS/L/R,DC 12V,HDMI,LAN,OTG,RS232,SD Card Slot,USB2.0,USB3.0
Language: Multilanguage
HDMI Version: 2.1
Other Functions: 3D Games,Others
HDMI Function: HDCP
Power Consumption.: 8W
RJ45 Port Speed: 1000Mbps
Power RequirementPower Type: External Power Adapter Mode
Power Input Vol: 12V
Power Adapter Input: 100-240V / 50-60Hz
Dimensions and WeightProduct weight: 0.3800 kg
Package weight: 0.8550 kg
Product size (L x W x H): 11.90 x 11.90 x 1.79 cm / 4.69 x 4.69 x 0.7 inches
Package size (L x W x H): 19.00 x 14.50 x 6.00 cm / 7.48 x 5.71 x 2.36 inches
Package ContentsPackage Contents: 1 x TV Box, 1 x Voice Remote Control, 1 x HDMI Cable, 1 x Power Adapter, 1 x English Manual

Not that long ago, Xtream Codes was taken down as a result in a joint police task force from Italy and several other European countries under the Eurojust agency of European Union. And this case is really something we follow a lot since it’s complex nature. The platform, even though it can be used by “IPTV pirates” is totally legal and therefore it is very unique as a case. But following this case, another case of legal software related to IPTV has appeared, even though in a smaller action.

IPTV Smarters Pro, an IPTV related software that users can find on Google Play and Apple’s App Store was deleted from the Android App Store, aka Google Play. That was followed by a complaint that has not been specified yet. But what we know is that there is clearly a war on IPTV right now. While this is expected, what is strange is that the IPTV Smarters software is not related nor affiliated with any subscription based IPTV service.

What is IPTV Smarters Pro

IPTV Smarters is a video player that works on both Android and iOS devices. Unlike other video players that handle local media, this application handles online streams and streaming playlists. That is in plain words, live and video on demand streams. While this seems suspicious, the application does not supply or include any media or content. So, in order for the users to actually use it they need to provide their own content. One important thing to notice that makes the connection bigger among IPTV Smarters and Xtream Codes is the fact that the application supports Xtream Codes API.

IPTV Smarters Disclaimer

The company and developers behind IPTV Smarters is New Spark Technology and in order to avoid confusion had already placed a disclaimer as a popup on their website before this take down. That happened in order to explain they do not endorse or guarantee the use of their software by third parties for “streaming and subscriptions”.

New Spark Technology & WHMCS Smarters (We) does not endorse or guarantee the use of its softwares by third parties for streaming and subscriptions. We respects the Intellectual Property rights of others and does not endorse any of the Intellectual Property violation by third parties. Linking of New Spark Technology, WHMCS & IPTV softwares to any of the third party links or platforms does not constitute any of the its endorsement or sponsorships. New Spark Technology only provide software solution to its global clients under WHMCS & IPTV platforms. New Spark Technology is not liable for any misuse of its software by the third parties. For more details Click Here for Terms of Service.

IPTV Smarters Was Removed From Google Play

As far as we can tell, that didn’t stop the complaint for its removal. While such a take down has happened before, it is also suspicious the timing. Could it be just a coincidence? It may. But the matter of fact is that everything that has to do with Xtream Codes and IPTV is under the radar lately.

iOS Version Is Still Online

At the time of writing this article, the App Store version of IPTV Smarters is still online and therefore still installable on iOS devices. For more you can find it here. And generally Apple is more strict when it comes to reviewing and publishing third party application on the App Store. We shall wait and see if they will follow as well or in the meantime the Android version should reappear online.

Devs Are Confident To Be Back Soon

In response to the removal after the complaint the New Spark Technology company has commented that they are confident to be back soon. In their opinion and after consulting their lawyers this was a false complaint. To their knowledge this is the third time that a complaint was filled and they have already executed a procedure in order to clear the issue. And while we appreciate their confidence, fact is that the war on IPTV is still ongoing.


Popular IPTV Smarters App Removed From Google Play Following Complaint 15

People who want to view IPTV services on their mobile or set-top devices need a software player with which to do so.

IPTV Smarters is one of the most impressive and popular applications in the niche and is used by large numbers of users on both Android and iOS-based devices.

Up until today, people could just head off to Google’s Play Store to download a copy. However, visitors to the page are now advised that the URL no longer exists, a pretty clear indication that IPTV Smarters has been deleted from the service.

Popular IPTV Smarters App Removed From Google Play Following Complaint 16
The IPTV Smarters page before the deletion

Given the popularity of the software, TorrentFreak spoke with New Spark Technology, the company behind IPTV Smarters. Amanpreet Singh, who is listed as the person behind the Android app, says that the tool was indeed removed from Google Play following a complaint.

Singh says that he prefers not to share the details of the complaint, or reveal who sent it, because “it’s just a false complaint as usual.” The developer informs TF that this is the third time that the app has been deleted from Google Play and the company’s legal team is on the case.

“It’s normal [to receive such complaints] and [it has] happened three times so far. We had it sorted out last time and this time. We have executed the same procedure with the help of our lawyers,” he says.

The last time the app was taken down earlier this year it remained offline for 10 days. This time the company says it will “try to get it back as soon as possible.”

“As it’s just a video player, that’s why it will be back very soon,” Singh says.

While many people understand that IPTV Smarters doesn’t provide any content or IPTV streams to users, there are plenty out there who don’t seem to appreciate how it all works. They see IPTV Smarters getting recommended as a good IPTV-viewing solution and then expect the company to provide the streams as well.

In response, the company says it added a popup disclaimer to its site a few days ago, unconnected to the current disappearance of its app from Google Play, explaining that it doesn’t “endorse or guarantee” the use of its software by third parties “for streaming and subscriptions.”

“We respects the Intellectual Property rights of others and does not endorse any of the Intellectual Property violation by third parties. Linking of New Spark Technology, WHMCS & IPTV softwares to any of the third party links or platforms does not constitute any of the its endorsement or sponsorships [sic], it reads.”

Popular IPTV Smarters App Removed From Google Play Following Complaint 17

“We put the disclaimer on our website because many users keep asking for a subscription ( username / password and url ), that is what we don’t offer,” Singh informs TF.

“Also, many customers keep asking us why their channels are not working blah blah blah. So, to prevent us getting unnecessary questions, we updated the disclaimer.” 

At the time of writing, the App Store variant for Apple devices is still online via the web and installable on iOS devices, suggesting that the problem is, at least for now, isolated to the Android variant.

Precisely when that will return for download is uncertain but Singh appears confident it won’t take too long.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Popular IPTV Smarters App Removed From Google Play Following Complaint 18 Popular IPTV Smarters App Removed From Google Play Following Complaint 19

Popular IPTV Smarters App Removed From Google Play Following Complaint 20



Source link


Copyright Trolls Targeted Over 100,000 IP-addresses in Sweden 22

In the early 2000s, Sweden was considered to be a relatively safe haven for pirates.

The country was the home of the Pirate Bay, the birthing ground of the Pirate Party, and a place where for many citizens file-sharing was second nature.

Today, this safe haven has long disappeared. The Scandinavian country has prosecuted several torrent site operators, including The Pirate Bay’s founders, while lawsuits targeting individual BitTorrent users are a common sight.

In many ways, Sweden has become a copyright enforcement hotspot. This includes the ‘copyright-trolling’ phenomenon, in which movie companies target hundreds or thousands of alleged pirates hoping to secure monetary settlements.

The first wave of these lawsuits started three years ago but the practice has grown exponentially since. According to Swedish Internet provider Bahnhof, which has kept track of these cases since early 2017, the number of new cases has already broken a record this year.

During the first three quarters of 2019, a total of 78 new applications were submitted to the Patent and Market Court. This is up from 72 during the whole of 2018, and substantially more than the 27 applications that were filed a year earlier.

While the number of applications has grown, the cases target fewer IP-addresses in total. Last year over 50,000 IPs were targeted and the 2019 total so far is 26,274 IP addresses. Combined with the 2017 numbers, we see that more than 100,000 IP-addresses have been targeted over the past three years.

It’s worth noting that this exceeds the number of targets in other, much larger countries, including the United States.

Copyright Trolls Targeted Over 100,000 IP-addresses in Sweden 23

This type of data is not something an Internet provider would generally release, but it makes sense considering that Bahnhof is an active anti-copyright trolling advocate. The company categorically refuses to share data with copyright holders, as it also makes clear in its press release.

While Bahnhof must retain IP-address logs by law, it operates separate databases. Data is only disclosed to law enforcement authorities for specific purposes and not for this type of copyright enforcement.

“This means that Bahnhof’s customers have not suffered from this type of extortion letter,” the Internet provider notes.

Looking at the targeted ISPs over the past year we see that most of the targeted IP-addresses belong to Telia subscribers, followed by Com Hem, and Telenor. The rightsholders who file these cases are represented by a variety of law firms, including the well known Njord Law.

Copyright Trolls Targeted Over 100,000 IP-addresses in Sweden 24

While Bahnhof is indirectly using these figures to promote its own business, the company hopes that these ‘copyright-trolling’ practices will eventually end, perhaps following an intervention from the Government. According to the company, the entire process is based on extortion.

“The success factor of the letters is partly that they can easily be mistaken for genuine invoices or fines, and the threat of a legal process that drives people to pay out of pure fear, even when they are innocent. The business model is thus based on regular extortion,” Bahnhof notes.

The Swedish Internet provider also maintains a dedicated website called Utpressningskollen where it provides additional details and information on Swedish copyright-trolling efforts.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Copyright Trolls Targeted Over 100,000 IP-addresses in Sweden 25 Copyright Trolls Targeted Over 100,000 IP-addresses in Sweden 26

Copyright Trolls Targeted Over 100,000 IP-addresses in Sweden 27



Source link


Epic Games and ‘Cheating’ Fortnite Kid Settle Copyright Lawsuit 29

Frustrated by thousands of cheaters who wreak havoc in Fortnite’s “Battle Royale,” game publisher Epic Games has taken several to court.

The game developer isn’t trying to bankrupt these people financially. The main goal appears to be to stop the cheaters and prevent them from encouraging and facilitating others to do the same.

In most instances, the alleged cheaters are eager to settle the cases. However, a YouTuber called CBV, who was sued by Epic Games this summer, started out by returning fire. Despite his relatively young age of 14 years old, he showed no sign of backing off.

The alleged cheater lawyered up and responded by filing a motion to dismiss at a North Carolina federal court. Among other things, his attorneys pointed out that the Court doesn’t have jurisdiction over this client and that requiring a minor to defend himself in another state would be unreasonable.

The games company, which hit the minor (referred to as C.B. in the complaint) with several claims, including copyright infringement and breaches of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision, wasn’t planning on letting CBV get away with it though.

Epic Games countered that it had a solid case, noting that the defendant’s cheating activity continued despite the lawsuit.

With both sides choosing not to back off, the lawsuit seemed destined for a drawn-out fight. But it didn’t get to that. Behind the scenes, the parties came together to settle their differences without court intervention. This has now resulted in a settlement that’s formalized through an order of approval by the court.

With help from pro bono attorneys and his mother Kari as a General Guardian, C.B. reached a confidential settlement with Epic Games. It’s unclear whether there is a damages amount involved, but both sides have dropped their (counter)claims, effectively ending the dispute.

“Defendant’s General Guardian and Defendant agree and are satisfied that the Settlement Agreement that is the subject of this Order is fair and reasonable. In particular, Defendant’s General Guardian and Defendant believe that the terms of the Settlement Agreement properly account for C.B.’s status as a minor,” the order reads.

As part of the settlement, the defendant likely agreed not to engage in any cheating activities. This includes uploading cheat videos on YouTube, which he initially continued to do on a new YouTube channel.

The defendant also continued to develop and sell cheat software, Epic Games previously said. After the lawsuit was filed he created a new website, NexusCheats.us, which was advertised through his YouTube videos. At the time of writing, this website is no longer online.

When the lawsuit was first announced (C.B.) CBV responded with some quite aggressive language on his YouTube channel, but since then the channel has gone quiet. The last upload dates back three months and, given the settlement, it’s unlikely that any new Fortnite cheat videos will appear there going forward.

For Epic Games, these lawsuits are the only way to remove some cheat videos from YouTube. If a YouTuber continues to dispute a DMCA takedown request, as happened in this case, YouTube will restore the video unless a lawsuit is filed.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Epic Games and ‘Cheating’ Fortnite Kid Settle Copyright Lawsuit 31 Epic Games and ‘Cheating’ Fortnite Kid Settle Copyright Lawsuit 32

Epic Games and ‘Cheating’ Fortnite Kid Settle Copyright Lawsuit 33



Source link

The average person who goes on one vacation per year might not be familiar with the advantages of a VPN. However, if you travel frequently abroad, you have probably experienced several internet connections inconveniences. Whenever you leave the country, your online freedom will be limited based on your location, but a good VPN service can prevent most of these inconveniences. These services are easy to use, and many of them are free of charge. In the following lines, we will detail what a VPN is, how it works and most importantly how it can improve your travel experience. 

Based on our guide, you can check out our free VPN services list of recommendations and choose the most convenient VPN for your needs. 

What is a VPN

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. These networks were initially designed for business use, but given their practicality, they are now available to any consumer. A private network works as a tunnel, protecting the information that you send and receive. This applies to all the data that you use online, whether we are talking about your e-mails, the sites you use, login information, your location and much more. Everything is kept private with the use of a VPN. 

VPN advantages for travelers

A virtual private network is extremely useful in any situation, as we all value privacy. However, it is significantly more useful for people who travel abroad. Here are its main advantages:

  • Security – Due to high roaming costs, when traveling abroad, you might need to connect to public networks. As convenient as they might seem, public networks are very unsafe. They lack security options and they can expose you to viruses or information fraud. With a VPN, you can excess any private network without and keep your online activity away from prying eyes.
  • Access to any website – Many websites restrict their content based on location. For example, certain countries have censorship laws that block certain websites, and there are websites that only offer free browsing for certain locations. A virtual private network masks your real location and can connect you to servers from all over the world, making it seem as if you are in a different location. 
  • Prevent having your bank account blocked – If you forgot to notify your bank that you are leaving the country when you use the card abroad your account might be blocked for unusual activity. To prevent this from happening, use a VPN and connect to a server from your home country in order to access your bank account.  
most convenient VPN

Tips for choosing a quality VPN

While their basic principles are the same, the quality of a VPN can differ based on the extra features that they offer. Here’s what you should look for in a good VPN:

  • Multi-device use – Most people use VPNs for laptops, but it pays to invest in a private network that can be used on several devices simultaneously. Make sure to choose a network that is compatible with the operating systems of all the smart devices that you own. 
  • Worldwide coverage – A good private network should have servers all over the world. However, some countries have security measures that prevent the use of VPNs. Read reviews and check with the VPN protocol to make sure that you will be able to use the network in your next travel. We advise you to download and install the VPN before leaving your home country, as some countries can restrict access to VPN providers. There are also movie streaming websites such as Netflix that use VPN blockers so if you plan on using a VPN to keep up with your favorite TV-shows look for a VPN that is guaranteed to bypass the geo security measures of your favorite websites. 
  • Speed – Due to the fact that it filters your data, any VPN will decrease the speed of your connection to a certain degree. Nonetheless, how much this speed is decreased depends on the quality of the network. Our advice would be to ask for trial versions of different networks and perform some speed tests before paying for a subscription.  
  • Security – Not all VPNs offer the same level of security. Most VPNs often offer basic security features that can easily be hacked. Our advice is to opt for a network with 256-bit encryption. There are also other features that add extra layers of safety. For example, a kill switch option will automatically stop all traffic coming in and out of your device in the unlikely event that you are disconnected from the VPN service. 
  • Support and ease of use – A VPN should not be a complicated software that can only be used by tech-savvy people. In fact, good VPNs are as easy to use and install as software from an app store. Last but not least, no service is perfect, so make sure to opt for a VPN with 24/7 online and telephone support. This way, if you experience any difficulties, you can count on the support team to fix them, no matter where you are in the world. 


Landmark Russian Anti-Piracy Agreement Extended Until End October 2019 35

Last year, leading Russia-based content companies and distributors plus Yandex, Rambler Group, Mail.Ru Group, vKontakte, and RuTube signed up to a landmark anti-piracy memorandum.

It would see search engines voluntarily query a centralized database of allegedly-infringing content before deleting links to the same from their search results. However, while waiting for the terms of that agreement to be written into law, last Monday the time-limited memorandum expired.

As reported last week, content companies hoped that search engines would continue the deletions, despite the agreement expiring. It now transpires that following further negotiations, the parties have agreed to an official extension of the memorandum.

According to sources cited by Vedomosti, leading search engine Yandex didn’t disappoint rightsholders since it continued to delete ‘pirate’ links even after the expiry date. One of the signatories to the agreement added that the parties now intend to carry on with the terms of the memorandum until the end of October 2019.

The official four-week extension has been put in place so that the draft law can be finalized and introduced to the State Duma before the end of the month.

If this happens as planned, the anti-piracy memorandum will receive an automatic secondary extension until the end of the year, telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor reports.

“The memorandum has been extended until October 31, 2019. If the bill is submitted to the State Duma no later than October 31, 2019, the memorandum will be automatically extended until December 31, 2019,” a spokesperson told TASS.

While the extra month’s worth of breathing space will be useful, there is still no news of agreement on the issue said to have played a key role in the delay.

Rightsholders and content companies have demanded the introduction of a so-called ‘repeat infringer’ clause, which would see sites permanently removed from search results if they are continually flagged as hosting or linking to ‘pirate’ content.

Internet companies are strongly in opposition so a compromise may be needed, especially if the end-of-the-month deadline is to be met.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Landmark Russian Anti-Piracy Agreement Extended Until End October 2019 36 Landmark Russian Anti-Piracy Agreement Extended Until End October 2019 37

Landmark Russian Anti-Piracy Agreement Extended Until End October 2019 38



Source link


RIAA Believes The Pirate Bay Blocks US Visitors, But it Doesn’t 40

The Pirate Bay is without a doubt one of the most blocked websites around the world.

The first court-ordered blockade against the site was issued in Denmark, more than a decade ago, and dozens of other countries have followed since.

We have come to a point where ‘yet another’ Pirate Bay blockade is hardly newsworthy, but this week something quite unusual appeared on our radar. Apparently, The Pirate Bay itself jumped on the bandwagon by starting to block US visitors, its largest userbase, out of the blue.

This revelation comes from the widely respected music industry group RIAA, which keeps a close eye on the popular torrent site.

A few days ago the group sent its latest overview of “notorious markets” to the US Trade Representative. As usual, The Pirate Bay was prominently featured. It is the single most popular BitTorrent index site in the world, the RIAA says, then adding that for some reason the site no longer accepts American visitors.

“Earlier this year, thepiratebay began blocking U.S. IP addresses. However, the site remains easily accessible using a free proxy service that makes it appear the user is accessing the site from another jurisdiction,” the RIAA writes in its submission to the USTR.

RIAA Believes The Pirate Bay Blocks US Visitors, But it Doesn’t 41

That’s odd, to say the least. While the site has had some (localized) connectivity issues, perhaps due to routing problems, we had never heard of such a blockade. Interestingly, The Pirate Bay team itself has no clue what the RIAA is referring to either.

TorrentFreak reached out to a TPB moderator, who wasn’t aware of any US visitor ban and through a trusted source we learned that the people running the site are not blocking anything.

This makes sense, as we spoke to several people who can still access the site just fine from the US. Also, the United States remains the top traffic source for the site by far, as SimilarWeb data shows. That certainly wouldn’t be the case if US visitors were not allowed.

We have no idea why the RIAA believes otherwise. Perhaps the group was confused by an earlier outage that mainly affected US visitors, but it can be ‘assured’ that this is definitely not intended by the Pirate Bay team.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

RIAA Believes The Pirate Bay Blocks US Visitors, But it Doesn’t 42 RIAA Believes The Pirate Bay Blocks US Visitors, But it Doesn’t 43

RIAA Believes The Pirate Bay Blocks US Visitors, But it Doesn’t 44



Source link