If you are someone who values your privacy, then you know that Internet is a dark place and is full of terrors. Hackers are not the only ones monitoring your activities; even your school, office and government might try to restrict what you can or cannot do online. This is why VPN is the need of the hour today.
What is VPN?
VPN or Virtual Private Network is a wizard’s cloak of invisibility in the online world. VPN essentially works as a middleman between you and the sites you are surfing. The secure tunnel created between you and the VPN server encrypts the data and makes it impossible to read for anyone spying on you. At the same time, the websites you visit think that the remote server is doing the surfing, not you; thus, your IP and other details remain secure.
Who Would Need a VPN?
So far, you might be under the impression that VPN use people who are doing something wrong on the internet, and doesn’t want anyone else to know about it. Well, you can’t be more wrong.
According to a survey, a majority of VPN users use the tool to access websites that are geo-restricted (cannot be accessed in or outside a particular region) like Netflix and Pandora. Another huge chunk of users uses it to access torrents which are generally monitored by government agencies.
With Virtual Private Network , you can do the following tasks:
- Secure your data from hackers who are spoofing on you and trying to access private details.
- Prevent government agencies to track you for accessing restricted websites.
- Use services not available in your country or region.
- Prevent websites from storing your data that could be sold to others for marketing purposes.
- Access websites blocked by your ISP, school/college/office or the government.
- Secure your data when using a public hotspot.
How to Choose the Right VPN?
Not all VPNs are equal. Every VPN tries to focus on solving a particular problem, so others might remain unaddressed. At the same time, the user expectations also vary from person to person. Some people might be more concerned about accessing blocked websites, while others might be more interested in securing their browsing data. While buying a VPN, you must first analyze your needs and go for the right one accordingly.
In general, try to pick out what you are looking for in a VPN from the following list:
- Accessing websites that are blocked by your ISP or local Wi-Fi like school or office.
- Securing your data from hackers
- Securing your data from government and ISP
- Accessing websites that are not available in your country
- Preventing websites from storing your browsing info
Parameters for Judging a Good VPN
Like any software, there are certain parameters and benchmarks against which a VPN must be tested to know how good it is. The ones we considered are:
Ø Speed: Since the data is re-routed through a secure server, it means extra time is consumed for the same request. This time could range from ‘not bad’ to ‘too long’.
Ø Encryption Strength: The strength of encryption usually decides how secure a VPN is and how difficult it would be for a hacker or government agency to decode the data and access it.
Ø Legal Jurisdiction: Some VPNs might fall under the jurisdiction of your government and would be legally compelled to reveal your data, if need to be.
Ø Price: Perhaps the most important factor while buying a VPN is the price, as some VPNs could prove to be really expensive.
Ø Free Trial: Free trials are a great way to test-drive a VPN and see if it fits your need, before you make the purchase.
By the way, if you want not only find a VPN, but also to protect your website from Google penalties, click here.
The Best VPNs in the Market Right Now
Now that you have understood the all about of VPNs, you must be thinking which VPN service to choose in 2018. To help you in this, we have researched out a list of a few VPN services based on the customer’s feedback and their reputation in the market that will be best in 2018.
If you have even googled about VPN at any point of time, chances are that you have heard this name. ExpressVPN is arguably the best VPN in the market, thanks to the huge array of features it provides. To not make things boring, here is the summary of everything Express VPN would give you:
- High speed, which is almost equal to non-VPN browsing.
- Servers located in 94 countries across the world, ensuring that you can access more or less every website without geographical restrictions.
- A robust encryption that that handle a fair amount of attacks.
- No usage logs, ensuring that your browsing will be completely and unquestionably private.
- “Stealth” servers, located in Hong Kong, provide Chinese users access to all websites blocked by the government.
- Supports multiple platforms, including desktop applications for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, and mobile apps for Android and iOS.
- A 30-day free trial complemented with a money-back guarantee, making it clear that customer satisfaction means a lot to them.
- A continuous customer support to solve any query at any time whatsoever.
The only downside to ExpressVPN is the price, which is quite higher than other VPN services. However, given the sheer amount of features it provides, the price could be justified.
In all honesty, PrivateVPN can make the claim to be the best and we won’t blame it. The VPN provider offers some sweet features that would be difficult to find anywhere else. Here are some of them:
A complete IPv4 and IPv5 DNS leak protection, ensuring that your private DNS is not leaked to a third-party in any condition and only the remote server DNS will be used for browsing.
- A Firewall-based kill switch and aper-app kill switch to protect you in worst-case attack scenarios.
- VPN doesn’t record logs.
- Upto 6 devices could use the VPN service simultaneously.
- Excellent customer support with remote installation facility.
- 30-day money back guarantee if you decided it isn’t a good VPN.
- Additional HTTPS and SOCK5 proxies.
Furthermore, PrivateVPN supports Netflix US and iPlayer, and multiple languages including German and Dutch.
CyberGhost prides itself on a global network of servers that is unmatched. Coolness and utility rolled into one, CyberGhost offers the following features to its users:
- More than 800 servers covering the globe, making sure that no website is inaccessible to you.
- Mobile app with attractive UI.
- Strong encryption that enables secure browsing.
- A strict no-logs policy by the company which firmly believes in the uncensored Internet.
- Simultaneous connection to up to 5 devices.
- 30-day money back guarantee.
The only flaw in CyberGhost is the lack of free trial. However, enough user reviews testify the amazing performance of the VPN.
While most VPN tools have small companies, VyprVPN has the backing of an IT giant. As such, the VPN provider promises ultra-high speed on their dedicated servers. Here are the reasons why VyprVPN is a great choice:
- Servers in more than 60 countries across the globe, giving you access to unlimited content.
- Mobile and desktop apps on all major platforms.
- Advanced features like DNS leak protection, killswitch and VPN cloaking.
- OpnenVPN encryption that keep you secure while surfing the Internet.
However, VyprVPN have a few drawbacks due to which we have placed its name on the 4th rank:
- Even though no usage logs are kept, some connection logs are stored by the VPN.
- VyprVPN goes against torrenting, even though it is only in theory.
- Only a 3-day trial and 7-day money back guarantee is provided.
Private Internet Access or PIA is US based VPN which supports up to 5 connections concurrently. The software of PIA has the option to opt for a selection of security choices. For instance, it supports DNS leak protection, VPN kill switch etc. Following is a list of certain pros that follow PIA.
- It doesn’t contain any logs, it is a fact!
- PIA supports Bitcoin.
- This network, as mentioned above supports a multitude of security selections like, kill switch, port forwarding etc.
- PIA users get a 7-day money back guarantee in case they don’t like the service.
- PIA has several pros and only a few cons- it is not the most compatible with the Apple software hence it will lose its market on that front.
Virtual Private Network tools are akin to the Swiss Army knife; they have every function to save you in the jungle of Internet. Depending on your budget and particular needs, choose a VPN that is perfect for you.