Best VPN service providers
While testing the vendors, we pay close attention to each software capability. We assign a rating scale according to features they provide. Our rankings are set considering many factors including VPN server locations, types of IP protocol, logging policies, data caps, price, and many others.
Providers with extra features including several simultaneous connections, different types of protocols, kill switches and double data encryption can achieve a higher ranking than the ones without such features.
We also look at the price, if a provider’s price is less than of other merchants offering similar features, then we award it with more points. Although providers offering better value could be ranked higher, it is the overall quality that will outweigh price.
Another component we highly regard is a money back guarantee and free trials. Vendors with more generous money back policies and longer free trials get more points than those that offer a shorter free trial or restricted money back policy.
What is a VPN connection?
A VPN or a Virtual Private Network is a system that lets users create a secure internet connection over a not so secure internet network. It provides you with a private internet access and also allows you to geographically appear wherever you choose to be by connecting to a VPN in a country of your choice.
One of the main benefits of a VPN service is its assurance of a full security and privacy to any of the connected devices. It is essential because existing network infrastructure isn’t often capable of providing a secure enough connection it on its own.
As an example, when you connect your device iPhone, Android or another device to a VPN, your device operates as if it’s on the same network as your Virtual Private Network. Using a tunneling protocol, it encrypts your data and traffic making your connection to the VPN secure and anonymous. Furthermore, VPN software permits you to appear in its server’s location that you have connected to. Therefore, for the users that often use public Wi-Fi find VPN especially beneficial, for example, the router at the local coffee shop will not be maintained and secured by the owners to the same degree as the VPN company.
VPNs are a great and efficient tool that users can use for wide range of things. The best services are usually easy to set up and use. There are two types of providers; remote access VPN and Site-to-Site VPNs.
What is Remote Access VPN?
A remote access VPN is a service that lets its users connect to a private network, and as a result, it allows accessing its services remotely. The connection between the user’s device and the private network is established via a secure and private internet connection.
Remote access users are both businesses and home users. Business people usually use a remote access service to access files and resources securely while traveling or working remotely.
However, private users have multiple reasons for using a VPN service. The most typical uses are to gain access to blocked websites and services, bypass regional restrictions and to enhance their online security and privacy.
What is Site to Site VPN?
A Site-to-Site VPN is also known as Router to Router VPN. Mainly large companies that have offices in different parts of the world use site to site VPNs. With this type of a VPN, corporations can connect their networks to one another even if they are in different geographical locations. When one company connects its all or several offices around the world, it is known as Intranet based VPN. However, Extranet based VPN is when two different companies use site-to-site VPN to connect their offices to one another. So, in both situations, VPN service creates a virtual bridge that connects offices based in various locations to the internet keeping communication and data fully secure and private.
Practically, site to site VPN requires routers where one of them acts as a VPN Client, and the other one is a VPN Server. Furthermore, to start the communication between those routers, it requires validated authentification.
Is VPN necessary?
It’s not mandatory to have a VPN service, however, anyone who chose to get it will truly benefit from it. VPNs boost users’ security online by encrypting your traffic and data while on a public wi fi. Therefore, all their activities on the internet stay private and anonymous. Since the communication transferred between user’s device and a VPN server is encrypted, then a hacker or any other third party spying on you wouldn’t be able to see any of your online activities. Furthermore, they can’t access any of your private and financial information including shopping details, passwords, usernames and a lot more. So, anyone interested in online privacy and anonymity should use a Virtual Private Network.
Why is VPN used?
Most of the people that use a VPN know that it is a relatively straightforward tool to protect their privacy and unblock sites, however apart from that, it allows doing a wide variety of other things. Therefore, here we have narrowed down the things it’s typically used:
- Private Internet Access: if you are accessing the internet through a public Wi-Fi then a VPN software allows you to hide your browsing activity from any prying eyes. Also, it keeps your data private from your local ISP and governments since it travels through a secure VPN connection. Thus, you can avoid from a mandatory data retention schemes that are implemented by many countries.
- Access to Home Network: While traveling, you can set up your VPN to access the home network. This is beneficial as you can connect to your Windows remote desktop, use file shares, as well as play games as if you were on your local area network.
- Access Business Network: When traveling, you can access your business network from anywhere in the world. It allows you to connect to your local network resources securely.
- Unblock Sites and Services: If you are traveling then many sites and services may be blocked outside of your local area. Therefore, you can use VPN to connect to a server in a place where the service you want to access is available and unblock it from anywhere in the world. For example, you may want to access your Netflix US account from the UK, but due to geographic restrictions, it isn’t available there. Therefore, you can use a VPN to connect to a server in the USA; it lets you get US IP address and stream Netflix as if you were at home. Another similar service that is great for unblocking geographically restricted streaming content is a Smart DNS service.
- Bypass Censorship: Many countries control or suppress what its internet users can access, publish or view online. The degree of the restrictions varies from country to country. Most of the democratic countries practice free speech, and the internet censorship is very little in those places. However, other countries may even go as far as limiting the access of information through online news and discussions between its netizens. Therefore, in countries where the internet censorship is at a high-level VPN usage is more popular. It allows bypass restrictions and access information that otherwise would be blocked. Furthermore, it lets its users feel safe and secure when accessing restricted sites and services.
- Downloading Copyrighted Files: Many people use softwares like BitTorrent and access sites like Pirate Bay to download copyrighted files. In the most of the countries around the world, downloading copyrighted files online is illegal. Copyright infringement is also known as piracy. Moreover, many countries have harsh penalties for such actions online. Therefore, VPN is a perfect way to hide your online identity if you choose to perform any illegal activities online like downloading copyrighted material through torrents.
Which VPN is best?
If you are new to Virtual Private Networks and are looking for a basic service that would protect your internet activities or allow you to unblock sites then VPNs like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and SaferVPN will be a good start. However, if you are looking for something more specific, then you can look at our “VPN for” section to find a right service for your specific needs.
We have recommendations for best VPN service providers based on different devices, operating systems, browsers, and countries. Furthermore, we have informative guides on how VPN works. Also, you can find out how to set up a VPN, how encryption works and much more.
Does VPN unblock websites?
Most of the countries around the world block certain websites based on your internet traffic. Therefore, many people are looking for a way to get access to those sites. It is proven that one of the best tools that act as a website unblocker is a VPN service. It encrypts your internet traffic while routing it through a secure tunnel. Hence, no-one can see, access, inspect, manipulate and censor your online data.
VPN not only encrypts your internet traffic but it also allows you to connect to servers around the world. Therefore, it provides you with a new IP address. It lets you access and unblock websites that otherwise would be unavailable due to censorship.
Many censored countries around the world limit its netizens’ access websites. It includes sites like YouTube, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Google, WhatsApp and much more. With a Virtual Private Network, you can quickly connect to servers outside of the location where the restrictions are in place. It lets you gain immediate access from anywhere. Also, it works with other sites that are unavailable due to geo-blocks. It includes sites and services like Netflix, Spotify, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Go, Pokemon Go, Sling TV, DAZN, and a lot more.