Introduction: What exactly are VPNs?
With recent revelations about the state privacy on the internet in the U.S, the U.K, and many other countries, secure web browsing has never been so important. Many people now feel that they want the added comfort of what is known as a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
VPNs are private networks that allow you to access public networks (like the internet) to create a secure network. Essentially, in this way you surf the web through a third party service provider. Because they secure your data through various layers of encryption and effectively re-route your internet presence through other IP addresses, you can use the internet securely and anonymously. What’s more, VPNs can be used on a variety of devices, including mobile phones and tablets, not just computers. As such, you can browse the web safe in the knowledge that no one is looking over your digital shoulder, wherever and whenever you like.
So, how do VPNs manage to do all of this? The short answer is that they what are known as ‘protocols’. This is just a technical name given to the ways in which they encrypt and carry the data transferred between your device and the VPN. On top of this, VPN providers tend to have a number of servers located around the world. This means that in using their service, you can assume any of the IP addresses associated with the locations of their different servers. In short then, this is how VPNs allow you to use the internet with added security as well as anonymity. What’s more, the mechanisms used by VPNs often make it possible to bypass internet restrictions and barriers, meaning that you can gain access to web based content (such as streaming sites) that you would not have been able to do so otherwise.
With so many different VPNs around though, how do you know which one’s right for you? Here we’ll be looking at some of the different VPNs you might want to consider using:
What is the Best Free VPN Service?
As with other software, some VPNs are open source and free, whilst others are paid for services. OpenVPN is a free, open source VPN, and for this reason alone it is a good VPN service. But more than saving you money, OpenVPN offers some great features. It’s widely compatible, so whatever operating system or device you’re working on, chances are that you’ll be able to use it. What’s more, there’s great online support to help you set up and maintain this software. Having said this, OpenVPN is renowned for being a little glitch at times. So whilst this is a fairly decent VPN made more attractive by the fact that it’s free, don’t expect completely smooth sailing when using it.
JustFreeVPN is another free service available for use. It has a pretty simple set up and is very user friendly, so this one is ideal for technophobes, or people who feel that they don’t want to expend any more time than they absolutely have to when it comes to VPNs. The one downside is that JustFreeVPN only have three servers, and to begin with you’ll have to log on using their internet page – meaning that you have to use the internet without the extra security and anonymity offered by a VPN before you actually start using JustFreeVPN. In this small way, there’s a tiny window of time in which using this service kind of defeats the point. However, once you’ve logged on, things couldn’t be easier, and what’s more, by making use of the robust and popular PPTP protocol, they offer a decent level of security. Having said this, other paid VPNs offer a number of different protocols, meaning that if you’re willing to spend some money, you might want to look elsewhere for your VPN needs.
What is the Best Paid VPN Service?
Unlike OpenVPN and JustFreeVPN, PureVPN is a service you must pay for. With a money back guarantee and robust online support, this looks like a top quality piece of software. However, with reports of their systems being hacked, some users feel less confident using PureVPN than they once did. There’s some ambiguity about what actually happened, and it’s still not clear whether users’ email addresses were handed over to the authorities. Still, if this is a VPN you choose to go for, there are some great features you won’t get with a free VPN. In particular, ‘Split Tunnelling’ is very useful, as it allows you to split traffic between the VPN and your local network, meaning that you can choose what you do and do not want to run through PureVPN. To check out the full features of PureVPN, check out their home page offers.
A little more trustworthy is StrongVPN. With over 300 servers around the world, they offer an IP address for any occasion, and can place you almost anywhere you care to think of. First of the bat then, StrongVPN is a great choice for those seeking anonymity. What’s more, with a seven day money back guarantee, users will have confidence that they can try before they buy, with this VPN provider. Click here to learn more about the StrongVPN program.
Private Internet Access
As the name suggests, Private Internet Access take the utmost care over their customers’ privacy. For starters, unlike some VPNs they don’t keep logs. As such, when using this VPN, you can rest easy knowing that no records of your internet activity are available for prying eyes to find. When you also consider that Private Internet Access allow users to sign up with an anonymous email address, it becomes clear that this is one trustworthy VPN provider. Click here to find out more about this program.
As mentioned in my earlier post, one of VyprVPN’s main selling points is its encryption. With a basic 128bit PPTP protocol as standard, at the very least you’ll be getting tight security. If, however, you decide you want something a little more robust, then there’s a pro package available with 256bit encryption. Another great thing about VyprVPN is that it is widely compatible, with apps for most operating systems, meaning that you’re only ever a few clicks away from this great VPN service. However, there is a downside: Logs – VyprVPN keeps records of its users’ activities. Whilst they do not publish or sell on this information, for some the whole point of getting a VPN is the comfort of anonymity. As such, where VyprVPN wins out in terms of security against other VPNs, this is one part of their service that shouldn’t go unmentioned. Click here to check out VyprVPN.
Conclusion: Which VPN Service is Right for Me?
So there we have it, a rough guide to just a few of the many VPNs that are available. As with most software, we have seen that there are free VPNs, and there are VPNs you have to pay for. Whilst there are many great open source VPNs out there, some users might find the features that come with paid for services are worth the expense. At the end of the day, if you do your research you should find a good VPN that’s right for you. But choosing the correct service also demands that you consider what it is that you want: Ask yourself, do you value privacy and anonymity? Do you mind having logs kept on your activity? Do you love to torrent and stream content online? Do you want to limit the amount of money you spend on a VPN? Once you’ve given these questions some thought, picking out the right VPN couldn’t be easier.
We personally recommend starting out with HideMyAss. They have a proven track record (been around for years) and they have the most to invest in a solid network. They have some great entry level programs for new users and are probably the most user friendly service on the market. Click here for the latest special discounted rate.