You may have heard about VPNs. You may already know that VPNs have something to do with the internet. But what are they exactly? This article will explain what a VPN service is and whether you should use one. You can also read about the best and cheap VPN service providers available and how to choose a good VPN.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for virtual private network. The internet, as you may well know, is a giant network connecting millions of computers, routers, and other devices. This network is connected by wires and is physical. A VPN is connected throughout this internet network using virtual tunnels. These virtual tunnels use encryption protocols to keep data safe. Basically, you can use one to connect to the internet securely, so no one else has access to the data that is transmitted between your computer and a remote server.
A VPN service essentially masks the original IP address of a user. When you connect to the internet using a VPN, you get to choose a server. For example, if you reside in the U.S., and use a server located in the Maldives, the websites you connect to will recognize your IP address as Maldivian.
VPN connections were first used by corporations to transmit data safely to remote offices. They can carry large amounts of data without compromising the security of this data. VPN networks are known to use advanced encryption protocols to secure data, which are much better than techniques like Tor.
Why Should I Use a VPN?
VPNs can make your internet connections anonymous and secure. Nowadays the internet is rife with hackers, data thieves, and government spooks. Your ISP cannot protect you from privacy violations. ISPs are basically defenseless against government surveillance programs like the one NSA has. Also, when you connect to the internet using a public Wi-Fi connection, you are basically offering your sensitive data, like bank account numbers, on a silver plate to hackers and identity thieves. VPNs make your connections secure, so no one else can trace, hack, or in any way access your personal information.
As mentioned above, a VPN can hide your original IP address and your actual location. This is ideal for bypassing censorship filters and geo-blocks. For example, if you are an American user wanting to watch videos on BBC iPlayer, you can use a VPN to bypass the geographical restrictions imposed by the site. If you are a Chinese user who wants to access Twitter, a banned site in the country, you can use a VPN to bypass Chinese censorship filters.
How Expensive are VPN Services?
Most netizens want to use one, however are concerned about the cost. VPNs can be cheap or expensive depending on the package and the provider. Most packages intended for individual users remain in the affordable range. VPNs charge per month, and the subscription fee is cheap enough for most to afford. Business users may need to pay more. However, the price will still be cheap compared to other business security software.
Recommended VPN Services
As there is a number of VPN service providers available on the market today, let’s look at some of the best ones. These providers are chosen for excellence in service, the user review scores, cheap and affordable pricing on packages, and for the features they offer.
The name says it all for this provider. IPVanish offers to make users’ original IP addresses disappear. This service offers access to over 400 servers located in over 60 different countries. Essentially, you can generate over 200,000 virtual individuals to browse the net with IP Vanish. This is great for bypassing geo-filters on any site originating from any country where IPVanish has a server. For example, if you want to access Netflix from outside the United States, you can use an American IPVanish server to easily access the site. IPVanish keeps no user logs, so no third-party will be able to monitor this activity.
IPVanish employs a diverse array of encryption protocols to make sure that your personal data, the sites you visit, and other data transmissions are kept completely safe. You can use IPVanish without worry to get around censorship filters imposed by governments, employers, or certain organizations. Your connection will remain untraceable. IPVanish software is highly user-friendly, and is available on handheld devices as well as computers. You can simultaneously log on to multiple devices. IPVanish packages are all priced under 40 USD per month. The company offers frequent discounts so you can easily get a package for less than 10 USD per month.
PureVPN is a well-regarded service with many a positive user review for performance, speed, and affordability. You can get access to over 500 servers located in over 141 countries for less than 10 USD per month with PureVPN. This company’s top-notch software is compatible with over 20 devices. You can download PureVPN apps to your smartphone to enjoy secure internet connections on the go. PureVPN connections are fast, reliable, and highly secure with state-of-the-art encryption for streaming videos, downloading torrents, and bypassing geo-blocks.
PureVPN offers access to all servers with each package. Users can also switch from each server to the next without restrictions. PureVPN uses split tunneling to control the amount of data that goes through your ISP. This feature can prevent your ISP from throttling speed. ISP throttling happens when your ISP detects heavy data use over a predetermined cap. PureVPN can prevent this. Plus, PureVPN comes with NAT firewall and DDoS protection against hacking. You can connect to public Wi-Fi with PureVPN without worrying about security. Users also have access to 24/7 customer support as well.
Having decided to reconsider the question of your online security, you can definitely place confidence in NordVPN provider. This one is an ace of the service for many reasons. Full confidentiality, unlimited access and bandwidth, secure Wi-Fi and all that’s on condition your privacy is under defense of 2048-bit SSL ciphering and usage of up-to-date protocols. Having subscribed to the service, you can easily forget about any restrictions you’ve faced while networking, because more than six hundred servers are located worldwide. Moreover, the service keeps no logs and lets using Tor over VPN, which provides you with extra anonymity. In addition, thirty-day money back guarantee and constantly-run specials will waist little time for your thoughts.
SaferVPN packages are geared towards both personal and small business users. The speedy and secure connections SaferVPN offers can transfer large files, download heavy content, and stream hi-def videos seamlessly. However, superfast connections are not the only guarantee of SaferVPN. The best feature SaferVPN offers is security. SaferVPN packages include access to over 500 servers in 30 different countries in North America, Asia and Europe. The connections are protected by 256-bit encryption, which is also how large banks protect financial transactions. Your identity will remain highly secure with this type of connection. You won’t have to worry about government surveillance, identity thieves, or hackers when you have SaferVPN.
In addition to security, SaferVPN offers users OpenVPN, IKEv2, PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec protocols. Users can pick the one they like from the list. No third parties have access to SaferVPN servers, and the company keeps no user logs. Your connections will not be traced back to you this way. SaferVPN also offers excellent customer support and technical assistance. The apps come with an automatic troubleshooting tool that is extremely useful. All users are welcome to a free trial before making a purchase.
It’s difficult to find affordable VPN packages with protection from hackers, malware, and malicious ads. The up-and-coming CyberGhost promises users all these. The company offers a free package (limited connections and speed) and two cheap paid packages for less than 10 USD per month. All users get unlimited bandwidth, an anti-fingerprinting system, top-grade encryption, and unlimited traffic with each package. All connections are encrypted using the latest techniques. CyberGhost is one of the rare service providers that balances security and performance quite well. CyberGhost is an ISO-certified service with good review scores recommended for heavy data users.
CyberGhost computer software and apps come with automatic protection against malicious websites, spyware, and other malware. The service also offers ad-free browsing. Online ads can contain viruses or tracking tools for companies to monitor your web browsing habits. If you have CyberGhost, you can avoid these. CyberGhost software has a data compression tool embedded. This is highly useful, especially when accessing the net on a smartphone. The compression tool can make your handheld device consume less data and save you money and battery life. The software is available on multiple platforms. If you are unsatisfied with CyberGhost, the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Which VPN Should I Choose?
The best VPN from the above mentioned service providers will depend on your individual needs and budget. The above packages offer a highly desirable number of features for relatively cheap prices. Do not choose a package just because it’s cheap. Pay attention to the security features, user review scores, speeds, and tools like malware protection offered. Then, think about what you mostly use the package for. If you want to stream online videos, you should choose a service provider with fast speeds that prevent buffering, and good security to get past geo-blocks on streaming sites. Narrow your search and read review material online. Once you know what you need, you will be able to easily choose the best service provider you can afford.