It is important to stay secure online and online security it is now becoming a complicated issue. There are several companies out there trying to collect and sell data to make money. All those companies just want your attention and information about your interests. Though it is not possible to achieve a hundred percent online security, there are ways to protect your personal information.

Hackers and cybersecurity threats are on the rise these days. But you can make yourself less vulnerable to threats of all kinds by following certain things like avoiding using public WiFi networks, installing unknown apps and not clicking on unknown links.

The other way to make yourself completely anonymous online is by using a Virtual Private Network, commonly known as a VPN. Here’s a quick overview of VPNs that will boost your privacy and help you stay safe online.

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What Is a VPN and When Do You Have to Use It?

A VPN encrypts your data by creating a secure tunnel between your device and the Internet. This means a VPN will hide your IP and transfer the data you send through one of the VPN server’s IP addresses. This will greatly prevent your online activities from being spied on even by your Internet Service Provider and the websites you visit. Whether you are browsing the web from your home or outside, a VPN will secure your data. A VPN will hide your browsing activities and protect you from snoopers and hackers by routing your traffic through the VPN’s servers, thereby protecting you from identity theft and other cybersecurity attacks.

Why Should You Use a VPN and How Does it Help You?

If you are someone who travels often and if you tend to use public WiFi networks at airports, cafes, etc, you can use a VPN to be safe from cybercriminals and hackers who can steal your personal information as public WiFi networks are an easy target for such criminals. Likewise, a VPN will be useful to people who are concerned about their security and who want to prevent the government from spying on them. If you are traveling to countries that have strong online restrictions like China or if you use online banking at a hotel or your workplace, you can use a VPN to bypass restrictions and stay secure.

A VPN will connect your device to a server in a different location and allow you to browse the web using that server, which will make it appear as if you are browsing the Internet from that country. Likewise, many use VPNs to torrent files and bypass regional filters and watch content that is restricted in their particular locations.

Here are the benefits of Using a VPN

  • Helps bypass internet filters and access blocked websites
  • Unblocks Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and other streaming services and offer fast streaming speeds
  • Stay completely anonymous by hiding your true IP address and location
  • Stay secure while using untrustworthy public WiFi hotspots and from hackers
  • Help hide your torrenting traffic and activity

How to Choose the Right VPN?

When it comes to VPNs, there are a lot of paid VPN services as well as free services. But are they reliable and will they offer you the protection and security you need?

With hundreds of VPN services available in the market, people unaware of how VPNs work find it difficult to pick one. Many also think all VPN services are the same, which is not true. Here’s a simple checklist that will help you pick the right VPN that will best suit your needs.

Here are a few questions you must ask before choosing a VPN service.

  • How many servers does the VPN service have?
  • Where are the servers located?
  • What are the supported protocols?
  • How many simultaneous connections do they allow?
  • Does the VPN service feature a kill switch?
  • Do they keep logs?
  • Do they limit bandwidth?
  • Does the VPN service throttle traffic?
  • What are the accepted payment methods?
  • In which location is the VPN service based?

When it comes to protocols, you need to make sure the VPN service you choose supports recommended protocols like OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPSec and not protocols that are considered outdated, like PPTP, L2TP/IPSec. Here’s our detailed article on VPN protocols that will help you understand what protocols are and which one to choose.

The VPN service you choose must have enough servers across the globe, else you will be restricted to only certain regions. If the VPN service features a wide range of servers, you will be able to easily switch servers and enjoy faster speeds.
The kill switch is another important feature that you must look for in a VPN. This switch is important because this will block online traffic when the VPN connection drops.

The location where the VPN service is based in also matters a lot. You have to go for a VPN service based in a country that has the most liberal laws when it comes to internet privacy.

Make sure the VPN service you choose follows a no-log policy. Not all VPN services follow the same logging policy. You have to check the VPN’s privacy policy to understand what kind of information is logged and for how long. While some VPNs keep connection logs which include the time, connection data, and date, some log browsing history and IP addresses. We recommend avoiding VPNs that log usage data as your logs could be leaked resulting in reducing your privacy.

Many think using a free VPN will solve their problem without spending a dime. But remember, free VPNs could be shady. No one knows what a free VPN could do with your data. Likewise, the connection speeds may be slow. So you will have to think twice before you go for a free VPN as they are not reliable in most cases.

Top 4 VPNs – Our Recommendation

  • NordVPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • PureVPN
  • SurfShark VPN

1. NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the fastest and safest VPNs. It features a wide range of servers and is a good choice for those who value anonymity. NordVPN is sure to deliver the best results.

NordVPN is a zero-logs VPN service that prioritizes its users’ security and privacy. It offers strong encryption and offers top speeds for streaming and torrenting.

It has over 5445 servers in over 60 countries and it offers Double VPN, Onion Over VPN, obfuscated, dedicated IP, and P2P servers. NordVPN offers strong device compatibility and it supports Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, and iPad.

While you can secure all your devices with NordVPN, five different devices can be connected to the VPN at the same time. NordVPN is good at unblocking Netflix, Hulu, ABC iView, BBC iPlayer, HBO Now, and Disney+ and more. Read our expert review of NordVPN that details all the features of NordVPN to know more.

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  • 5200+ servers in 62 countries
  • Use up to 6 devices
  • Next-generation Encryption
  • Double VPN Feature
  • Strict no-logs policy

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN offers super-fast speeds and is the best all-round VPN when it comes to privacy and unblocking. It offers strong encryption strength and extensions for Firefox and Chrome. Five parallel connections are allowed and you can secure your PC, iOS, Android, and Mac.

It offers IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection. It offers reliable speeds and unblocks Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, HBO GO, and more. It is also P2P and torrent-friendly. ExpressVPN offers Network Lock which is its kill switch that will block the internet connection when the VPN connection blocks.

You can access blocked websites from across the globe by connecting to one of ExpressVPN’s servers in around 90 countries. It uses AES-256 encryption technology to protect your personal information. Likewise, unlimited bandwidth is an added advantage as you can watch any show or movie at any time you wish. Read our extensive review of ExpressVPN to know more.

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  • 160 server locations
  • Network Lock kill switch
  • Zero-knowledge DNS
  • VPN split tunneling
  • Stream Sports online

3. PureVPN

With a wide range of over 2000 servers in more than 100 countries, PureVPN offers decent speeds and all the required privacy features. Split tunneling, unlimited bandwidth, kill switch, 256-bit encryption, IP, and DNS leak protection are the top features of PureVPN.

PureVPN works with smartphones, PCs, routers, Smart TVs, Kodi, and Amazon Fire Stick. You can effortlessly unblock Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and SkyGo. It also has servers dedicated to streaming and torrenting.

With up to five multi logins, you can connect all your devices to the VPN at the same time, including your mobile phones, tablets, and PC.

To know more about PureVPN, read our detailed review of PureVPN.

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  • 2000+ Secure Servers
  • 3 Million+ Satisfied Users
  • 10-Multi Logins
  • One-click Software
  • 31-Day Refund Policy
  • 24/7 Customer Support

4. Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN sports strong privacy and encryption features and is great for beginners. It is a great choice for staying anonymous online. With 1040+ servers in 61+ countries, Surfshark VPN offers great speeds and is great for torrenting and streaming shows online.

Its kill switch will make sure your data does not leak in case your VPN connection fails. Surfshark VPN apps are available for Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Windows, macOS, Fire TV, and Linux. It is good at unblocking Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more.

Surfshark VPN’s unique feature CleanWeb will keep you safe from ads, malware, and trackers. Likewise, with its Whitelister feature, you can whitelist apps and websites you wish to access using your internet connection bypassing the VPN. This is a great option for mobile banking apps. Read our Surfshark VPN review to understand more about its features.

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  • Connect unlimited Devices
  • AES-256-GCM encryption
  • IP & DNS leak protection
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free Browser Extensions
  • Strict no-logs policy

Summary

Safeguarding your privacy while browsing the web is a complicated issue. One of the main reasons to use a VPN is to keep your online activities private and secure. But it does not stop there and a VPN allows you to access services like Netflix, Hulu, etc. that might be blocked in your location and allows you to torrent files, as well. By choosing the right VPN, you can boost your privacy and stay secure online.