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Offer a comparison tool, and in-depth reviews that will allow you to make the best decision when it comes to choosing which VPN platform to connect on. Here you will save time, compare with ease the different solutions, and be sure to opt for the most advantageous offers that is tailored to your needs. The best VPN platforms we list are intuitive and will allow you to secure your connection in no time.
Privacy has always been an ongoing issue on the web. Numerous brute force attacks and data theft has been recorded which can be prevented if we all know how VPN works. VPN or Virtual Private Network is a service that cloaks your IP addresses and secures your browsing through an encrypted platform.
As much as VPNs are excellent in improving one’s privacy, not all people know how important it is even for casual browsing. Without your knowledge, someone is spying on your emails while you use the public hotspot on a café or while you’re checking your bank account through a shared connection.
If you’re wondering why you need one, read on.
What is a VPN provider?
A VPN provider offers their encrypted tunnel as a service so internet browsers can be anonymous on the web. It can be used on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.
Instead of connecting directly to the website you’re accessing, the VPN service would first redirect your traffic to a VPN server located in a different country. With this, you will appear as if you’re searching the web from the country where the server is located.
So why is this necessary? Most VPN services can bypass geo-restrictions of various websites. Some of these VPN basics are Netflix, BBC, Spotify, Hulu, HBO, and more.
Also, masking your original location means that the government doesn’t have a way to track you. Although there are cases when VPNs are used for unscrupulous acts, its purpose is to create a safe path where internet users can safely exist.
Whenever you want to hide your original location and use the web without a browser history, you just have to launch the app and connect to the server you like. Many VPN services allow you to select the server location that you wish to use.
Paid VPN vs. free VPN
Nowadays, you can find both free and paid VPN services on the web. But as much as all of these promise to keep your privacy, the performance will vary in speed, level of security, reliability, and more factors.
Like what they say, you’ll get what you pay for. Sure, free VPNs are enough for casual browsers but it will have strict limitations. For example, it would be a hit-and-miss when it comes to unblocking geo-restricted sites plus the amount of traffic may directly affect the speed.
Also, paid VPNs have better encryption technologies. Since you’re paying for a premium account, you’ll also enjoy industry-standard encryption which is usually AES-256. This is usually paired with strong tunneling systems like OpenVPN, IPSec, IKEv2, and more.
In contrast, free VPNs would resort to tunneling systems that are easier to set up. One good example here is the PPTP or Point to Point Tunneling Protocol. However, this tunneling system is prone to attacks and is infamous due to some security issues.
Benefits of using a VPN
Aside from hiding your IP address and having no browser history, using a VPN has many benefits. First, it offers more privacy than the usual, free proxy services. There are more layers of security applied to your traffic to ensure that it won’t be vulnerable to any brute attacks.
Here are more benefits to using a VPN service:
Unblocking geo-restricted websites
Many internet users opt for a VPN to bypass the restrictions of a website. One of the most popular nowadays is Netflix among other streaming sites. Also, a VPN is ideal whenever you want to get past through local censorship which caused websites to be banned from usual access.
From casual browsing to corporate purposes, a VPN ensures that any data communicated through the web will be secured and away from the prying eyes of hackers. As long as the security level matches the sensitivity of the data, the user will have peace of mind.
Secure file transfer
Torrenting is popular nowadays and somehow a common practice among web users. With a VPN, your browsing activities, including P2P file transfers, won’t be tracked by anyone.
Uses of a VPN
Many people will benefit from using a VPN. Here are some situations where you need a VPN:
There has been a crackdown on BitTorrent users and will be safer to have a VPN if you’re planning to use it too. Also, a VPN protects you from being tracked by the government, the website you’re visiting, and the VPN service itself.
The biggest challenge to a traveler is local censorship and geo-restrictions. With a VPN, this can be easily solved given that the provider is reliable and consistent enough.
You’re using a shared connection
Public hotspots and Wi-Fi connections are snake pits of hackers and attackers ready to steal your data. With a VPN, you’ll have layers of protection which will prevent anyone from getting into your device.
How to setup a VPN?
Almost all VPN services are accessible in every device. If you don’t know how to use VPN and how to set it up, you’ll only have to deal with a few steps.
First, you have to download the app. Make sure that you choose one that matches your platform – it could be Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, or iOS.
After that, the service provider would ask you to purchase a plan to sign up. Others would offer a free trial phase.
Once you set the application, you just have to tap the ‘connect’ button and the VPN will connect you to the optimal server based on your area. If you wish to select a specific place, you can easily choose the available locations on the application.
This would be the process of casual users. However, for those who are planning to use the VPN alongside TOR (The Onion Router), the process would be a bit more technical.
Limitations of a VPN service
Seems like the Holy Grail of internet privacy, right? But before you think of a VPN as an absolute answer to your privacy issues, you have to know that it has some limitations too. No VPN provider is foolproof.
Remember, some VPN services keep partial logs of their users’ activities. Let’s take PureVPN for example. In 2017, it was revealed that the service provider sent browser history to the FBI to track a man charged for cyberstalking. As much as the intentions are good, it still says a lot about their level of privacy.
Complete anonymity on the web is almost an impossible thing to achieve. Still, it doesn’t mean that VPNs are useless. It still protects you against attacks, illegal data collection, and hacking.
Also, VPN services don’t guarantee that advertisements can’t track you online. And if you’re hiding from government surveillance, it will take more than a VPN to get away with it.
What should you look for a VPN service?
When picking a VPN provider, you should always prioritize two things: security and speed. Those two should come hand in hand. Aside from these, you should also check the following:
Always opt for a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs. This will ensure that your browsing history is non-existent to your network provider and even the VPN itself. Also, the VPN should have zero DNS leaks. Lastly, check what type of data the VPN collects from you.
Check the protocol
The gold standard in the VPN industry is the AES-256 encryption with tunneling systems like IPSec, IKEv2, and OpenVPN.
Many large VPN services are based away from the so-called ’14 Eyes’ or the 14 countries that form a surveillance alliance where they collect and share data. Depending on your security needs, you can pick one that’s based on the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Panama, and so on.
Are you looking for the best VPN for streaming? How about a speedy one? Always consider what you need before signing up for a VPN service. As you know, not all these services are made equal.
Aside from the encryption technology, you should also check for anti-malware and anti-spyware features of your chosen platform. As much as these are just added perks, it’s also added peace of mind for your security.
Aside from knowing how VPN works, you should also know its limitations and purpose. Securing your activities online is a must. Although VPNs will cost a fee, it’s just a small sacrifice that will keep you away from hackers and attackers. Whether you are a student, employee, or just a casual browser, your privacy should always be a priority.