The Best VPN Providers of 2021
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Everything you need to know about your online security and privacy
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Everything you need to know to find your Best VPN
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN), is a type of software created to mask your identity and traffic, making you anonymous online and your location untraceable. Surfing the Internet with a VPN ensures that all of your data, personal information, and communications always remain private and safe.
You’ve probably heard about VPNs and what they can do, but how they do that might still be unclear. Well, we’re here to sort this out for you through a series of articles focused on VPNs and online security. To get a more comprehensive overview, check out our extended VPN glossary, which explains all of the details in a more technical manner.
How does a VPN work?
A VPN creates a virtual tunnel that encrypts all of your traffic. It also routes your connection through a private server instead of that of your Internet Service Provider thus changing your IP. By doing so, the VPN keeps your online identity hidden and makes you appear in a different place than you actually are. This means whenever data is sent or received from or to your computer, only your VPN IP will be visible and your true identity will be safe.
Why use a VPN?
Privacy and data protection aren’t the only two reasons you might want to use a VPN for. Companies use VPN services to allow their employees to remotely access software and databases securely whereas individuals can make use of it to access their home servers.
A VPN service is offered by a VPN provider and those offer numerous packages at various price points. If you’re not sure which one to go for, check out our whole series of VPN reviews to find the service that best suits your needs!
Connecting to a VPN
When you run the VPN software installed on your device it gets connected to a network of servers hosted by your VPN provider. Through this network, your original IP address is masked and a random IP address is generated, which you then use to browse the Internet. This makes it nearly impossible for anyone to trace your location in any way.
How to connect to a VPN?
VPNs have come a long way since they were first created a few years ago. With a proper, premium provider, you can create a secure VPN connection within seconds and with just one click. However, to ensure your privacy, a good VPN application goes through numerous complicated steps to encrypt your traffic and create a secure connection.
Nevertheless, if you do encounter any challenges related to VPNs, you can skim through our extensive VPN dictionary, which is sure to get you through any problems. True professionals even like to set up their own VPN network, which is a good way to ensure absolute privacy considering their extensive needs.
Keeping your browsing data anonymous is more of a need rather than a want, considering the damages a data breach can do! By using a VPN, all your surfing on the internet including accessing your bank accounts becomes completely safe. Additionally, you can switch your country settings in order to bypass geo-blocks that might be restricting you from accessing necessary information. If you want to learn more about anonymous browsing, you can check out our detailed guide!
VPN for Windows
A large number of users will definitely use their Windows laptops and computers to connect to a VPN, whether that be for gaming, streaming, or just surfing in general. Luckily, most VPN providers have apps for Windows that can easily be used to connect to their services. Experienced users can even set up their own personalized network through available open-source software. But if you’re stuck in between and trying to decide, we recommend going through our VPN reviews to find the best VPN for your needs.
With the rapid growth in the popularity of smartphones, there has also been an increase in the number of ways your data can be stolen. Open networks such as public Wi-Fis are extremely dangerous and insecure, with professional hackers trying to get into your mobile phones and steal your data.
Fortunately, the number of VPN apps available for Android has also seen a steep rise. These apps are extremely easy to use and offer a level of protection that is comparable to the quality of PC VPN services.
VPN for Netflix
Geo-hopping is one of the biggest advantages of a VPN. VPN service providers have servers worldwide and can grant you an IP address from any one of those places, making you appear as a local user. This makes it possible to circumvent any geo-blocks set into place, especially by streaming services such as Netflix which don’t allow you to access all of its content depending on your region. So a US Netflix user can watch anime on Japanese Netflix with no problems at all! To read more about this, check out our extensive guide on finding the best VPN for Netflix.
VPN and BitTorrent
Using BitTorrent to obtain material is generally considered illegal, which is why most VPN providers don’t let you use BitTorrent through their service. And the ones that do allow it, do so because of their beliefs in freedom of data transfer. If you want to know more about such VPN service providers, you can check out our guide on finding the best VPN to use with BitTorrent.
VPNs and geoblocks
Don’t you just absolutely hate it when you try and access content but end up getting a notification about how that content is not available in your region? Well, we hate it too. And the reason behind these geo-blocks is the fact that media companies buy broadcasting rights according to specific regions. However, some VPNs are extensively focused on bypassing geo-blocks and you can find out more about them in our guide on geo-blocking.
Problems with your VPN
You might encounter problems with connectivity while using a VPN and in case you’re unable to resolve these matters on your own, most VPN providers offer live-chats, email support, and FAQ pages to help you tackle any issues you might be facing. Since these problems can be quite frustrating, we’ve given extra attention to these matters in our VPN reviews.
Testing your VPN
In order to test whether your VPN is working fine or not, you can do a speed check — if the connection speed is different from the one you usually have, you are using a private network. But how will you test whether your connection is secure or not? In order to do this, you can go through an extensive list that we have compiled about useful tools to check the reliability of your VPN connection.
Free VPNs do seem tempting, and there is a lot to choose from with more of them popping up every day. Why pay, when you have so many free options?. What most are not aware of, is that these free VPN service providers have to make money from somewhere, and in most cases, this comes from selling your data.
Nonetheless, a few safe and free options do exist. They are limited and restrictive, but they will give you the protection you need. So head on over to our list of the best free VPN providers!
The Best VPN
So what is the best VPN service provider? Which VPN providers offer the best value for money? We answer all of these questions and many more on our definitive Top 10 VPN list — the most honest and in-depth list you will ever find!