Virtual private networks or VPNs are more popular now than ever before and easier to find too. VPNs allow you to access the Internet over a secure connection and greatly improve the security when you browse the web and access personal information.
But the benefits don’t end there. With a VPN, you can:
- Bypass regional restrictions on web content (for example, this horrible video is not available in your country post on YouTube).
- Watch country-specific programming on Hulu and Netflix.
- Hide your true location.
- Protect personal information when using untrusted public Wi-Fi.
- Private torrenting.
VPNs have many uses that go beyond security measures, but that is where they excel.
How does a VPN work?
When you start a VPN, it encrypts your data before your local network – at home or in a cafe – ever sees it. The VPN will then connect you to the internet and to the target website. The website you are accessing interprets your data as coming from where your VPN is located, not your actual location.
It also protects your data from prying eyes. Other users cannot easily see the data, and some VPNs even use bank-level encryption to keep your information safe. Even if someone can access the data, they will not be able to understand the information.
While a VPN is not required to access a site like Reddit, it is recommended that you use a VPN for any form of online banking or other sensitive information such as business email.
So which VPN is the best?
There are dozens of different VPN services on the web, but not every one is right for every person. In this article, we’ve explored many factors to help you make the right decision, including who is the best VPN for, the number of concurrent connections, the number of servers, ad blocking, and more.
Refer to the table below for a quick reference.
|NordVPN||ExpressVPN||Private Internet||CyberGhost VPN||TunnelBear VPN|
|Number of servers||5 293||More than 3000||More than 3300||3900||More than 1800|
|Price per month||$ 11.95||$ 12.95||$ 6.95||$ 12.9 9||$ 9.99|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 days||30 days||7 days||45 days||30 days|
|Sample length||No trial||No trial period||No Trial||1 day||No trial|
|Static IP||$ 5.83 / month nth||N / A||N /||N / A||N / A|
|Count of countries||62||94||32||61||32 td>|
NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs on the Internet, and for good reason. The service offers up to six concurrent connections – more than the standard five of other services – and has over 5,293 servers in over 62 countries. NordVPN also supports P2P connections and offers one of the most affordable 3-year service plans out of all the options on this list.
Although NordVPN has discontinued its free trial, the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Plans start at $ 11.95 per month, $ 83.88 per year, $ 95.75 every two years, and $ 107.55 for a three-year plan. You can also add a static IP to your service for $ 5.83 per month.
NordVPN is primarily based in the US and UK, but has a large number of servers around the world – and even a couple of servers in Africa, which is rare among VPNs. NordVPN has dedicated servers for a variety of purposes, including torrenting and connecting to Tor.
NordVPN does not store logs, timestamps, bandwidth information, or other compromising data. This makes it one of the most secure VPNs available. This fact, combined with the pricing and feature list, makes NordVPN the best choice for VPNs.
However, the decision was close and ExpressVPN came in second.
ExpressVPN only offers three simultaneous connections, which is below the industry average. ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, P2P connections and dedicated Bit Torrent connections. The downside is that ExpressVPN is more expensive than the average VPN at $ 12.95 per month.
Like NordVPN, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a trial, but comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The monthly plan is $ 12.95 per month, $ 59.95 for six months, and $ 99.95 per year. Unfortunately, there are no options for a static IP address. You can install ExpressVPN software on your own router, which extends protection to all devices on the network.
ExpressVPN supports 160 servers in 94 countries, including countries like Vietnam and Russia, where Internet policies can be much stricter. However, these servers are not actually located in these countries, but are virtual servers. This means more privacy and security for users.
Although ExpressVPN collects information to improve its VPN services, ExpressVPN is very clear about what this information is used for and information that it does not collect . ExpressVPN does not track IP addresses, network activity, or any other information about the activities of users connected to the VPN.
Apart from a completely free VPN, private Internet access is one of the most affordable options for users. It allows you to connect up to ten devices at the same time, which is one of the highest rates of any VPN. With more than 3,300 servers in 32 countries, Private Internet Access outperforms ExpressVPN in terms of server count, but lacks dedicated servers.
Private Internet Access does not offer a free trial, but does offer a 7-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your service. Moreover, the service is affordable. Plans start at $ 6.95 per month, from $ 39.95 per year, or $ 69.95 for two years. While you can’t pay for a static IP address, Private Internet Access supports P2P and Bit Torrent file sharing.
There are 53 different server locations in 32 countries with private Internet access, which means you can find reliable access virtually anywhere in the world. There are no virtual servers either; Private Internet Access prides itself on using real servers located in the country they claim to be in.
In terms of actual privacy, Private Internet Access prides itself on its consumer-centric position. The service does not keep logs of user activity or data and claims that all income is generated from subscriptions.
CyberGhost VPN is an expensive privacy option if you pay on a monthly basis, but the two-year prepayment makes it one of the least expensive options on this list.
Of course, it would probably be a good idea to try out the service for a month to see if it suits your needs before you make such a high payment. CyberGhost supports up to seven simultaneous connections at the same time, as well as 3900 servers.
Payments start at $ 12.99 per month, but the annual plan is only $ 71.99, which brings the price down to $ 5.99 per month. Two years costs $ 88.56 ($ 3.69 per month). Best value is the $ 99 3-year plan or $ 2.75 per month.
If you decide the service is not for you, we offer a 45-day money-back guarantee. It is interesting to note that you can pay for CyberGhost’s service with Bitcoin if you want payments to remain anonymous.
CyberGhost hosts 3,900 servers in 61 countries. Of these 3,900 servers, approximately 340 are virtual, but are still in the country where the server is located. Virtualized servers provide end-user protection, especially in countries with stricter Internet policies.
According to the website, CyberGhost has a strict no-log policy.
â€œOur servers do not store logs. We do not track your online activities. No one can track you after you visit a specific website on the Internet if you were connected to the CyberGhost VPN server. â€
TunnelBear VPN (website)
TunnelBear VPN is the only service on this list that offers a free tier. This is great for users who rarely use a VPN but has a few limitations; namely, the TunnelBear free tier limits you to 500MB (yes, megabytes) of data per month.
If you tweet about the company, you can increase your usage to one gigabyte per month. It isn’t that much to work with, but it acts like a kind of free trial for users. If you are looking for a free service with more broad usage, HotSpot Shield Elite – a company not on this list – offers a 500MB per day limit.
If the free tier is too limited, overall TunnelBear VPN prices are not bad. The monthly plan costs $ 9.99 and the annual subscription is $ 59.99. You also get a 7-day free trial of the paid service, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee. Like CyberGhost, you can use Bitcoin to pay for your TunnelBear subscription.
TunnelBear supports five devices simultaneously and has over 1800 servers in 22 countries. While the distribution of these servers is limited, the company covers the basic VPN functionality. Additionally, TunnelBear supports P2P file sharing and torrenting, although the company has previously opposed this activity.
TunnelBear does not collect user data and does not disclose personal information to third parties. The company claims that its only source of revenue is user subscriptions.
TunnelBear has gone through two independent audits in the past that validated its security practices and made it one of the best security options available.
The best VPN
These five services represent our top pick for VPNs. While you may not feel the need for a VPN service for day-to-day web browsing, it’s still a good idea to have a service waiting in the wings for emergencies.
For example, you should never access banking information over public Wi-Fi. If you own a small business, any communications, emails, and documentation relating to the company must be kept confidential. The same applies if you work from home (or in a coffee shop).
A free service like TunnelBear VPN is great for the average user, but if you need to privately browse more than once on a blue moon, it’s a good idea to invest in a more reliable option like NordVPN or ExpressVPN
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