VPNs

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Virtual Private Network:

Introduction:
A VPN extends a private network across a public network such as the internet. When we browse normally, the website knows the IP address, the approximate location, ISP and the type of connection (cable, DSL etc). However, when we use VPN, website only sees the IP address of one of the VPN’s servers. The VPN connects the device to one of its servers and the data flow is then encrypted. 

VPN provide privacy not anonymity, because the VPN server can see everything like ISPs sees normally. Worst, some VPNs log this information especially the free ones. 

Utility:

  • Privacy: ISP only sees the connection to the VPN server and nothing more.
  • Defeats censorship: By connecting to a server, where the website is not blocked. 
  • Protects on public Wi-Fi: As the data is securely encrypted. 
  • Prevents tracking: From websites and trackers like Google and Facebook. 
  • Access blocked content: By changing the IP address to an un-blocked nation. 

Best Features to Look for:

  • Privacy and Logging: They do not keep logs of user activity otherwise it defeats the very purpose of using a VPN. Also, they ask minimal personal details to create an account for using their servers. 
  • Protocols: They offer different protocols, to optimize connection speed for different activities. This is because encryption requires a lot of processing power and slows the connection down. 
  • Server location: It has servers in most countries of the world, to defeat censorship and to access the blocked content. 
  • Speed: Good upload, download and ping time. 
  • Multi platform VPN: Compatible with desktop and mobile devices we use. 
  • Affordable and competitive prices.
  • Kill switch: If the VPN connection suddenly drops, kill switch immediately kills the internet connection, to prevent sending any sensitive data across an unsecured network. 

Best VPNs:

Name: Nord VPN
URL: https://nordvpn.com/
Free Trial: 30 day money back guarantee 
Pros: 

  • Runs 2048 bit encryption, double encryption feature  
  • 5000 + servers in 60+ countries 
  • Strong customer privacy stance – Strict no log policy 
  • Kill switch, dedicated IP addresses, allows P2P, provides strong DNS leak protection and ability to pay in Bitcoins 
  • Blocks ads and other web threats 
  • 6 simultaneous connections permitted 
  • Good speed and app
  • Multi-platform – Android, ChromeOS, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux or even router 

Cons: 

  • Expensive 
  • Cannot purchase additional simultaneous connections
  • Discounts work only with longer subscriptions 

 

Name: Private Internet Access VPN
URL: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/
Free Trial: 7 day money back guarantee 

Pros: 

  • Lowest yearly price  
  • 3300+ servers in 30+ countries 
  • Good download speed 
  • Strong stance on customer privacy – No log policy  
  • Supports P2P file sharing and BitTorrent. 
  • Connection kill switch feature 
  • 10 simultaenous connections permitted 
  • Ad blocking 
  • Multi-platform support 
  • Excellent app interface 

Cons: 

  • Only 7 day refund policy 
  • Based in US

 

Name: IPVanish VPN 
URL: https://www.ipvanish.com/
Free Trial: 7 day money back guarantee 
Pros: 

  • 1.3K+ servers in 75+ countries. 
  • Supports all major protocols with bank grade AES 256 encryption 
  • Keeps zero logs and provide support to EFF
  • Offers upto 10 simultaneous connections 
  • Kill switch feature 
  • Brilliant speed 
  • Multiple simultaneous connections. 
  • Allows BitTorrenting and P2P sharing  

Cons: 

  • Belongs to US based company 
  • Slow customer support 
  • Doesn’t support TOR

 

Name: Express VPN 
URL: https://www.expressvpn.com/
Free Trial: 30 days money back guarantee 
Pros: 

  • 3K+ servers in 90+ countries. 
  • Fast servers (minimal speed loss
  • Strong privacy policy – Keeps no logs 
  • Kill switch feature 
  • Maximum 5 simultaneous connections allowed.
  • Supports all devices 
  • Supports OpenVPN protocol across all platforms. 
  • Allows P2P and BitTorrent. 
  • Simple interface. 
  • Amazing customer support 

Cons: 

  • More expensive than rivals