Top VPNs to Keep Your Privacy and Security in Check
If you’re looking to keep your privacy and security in check, then having a VPN is a great way to protect yourself and your data online. Here are the best ones.
How much time do you spend online every day? Probably a lot. The thing is, whenever you’re online, you’re sharing private data with the rest of the internet – and anyone can access it with a little bit of effort, and in some cases, without any effort at all.
Whenever you see an ad, you’re also seeing an online tracker. These trackers follow you around on the internet and collect information about you and then use this to target you with more accurate ads. This might not sound like the worst thing in the world, but these trackers also collect private information about you which can then be sold on to third parties for a variety of purposes.
These purposes can include some malicious intentions and some of them are outright criminal. Even the reasons that aren’t malevolent are still pitted against you. These trackers can see every website you visit, every video you watch, and where you are and your identity.
The best way to protect against this is to use a VPN. A VPN will stop your IP address from being revealed, meaning that while these trackers and websites can still see the activity you’re doing, they can no longer connect it to your identity or location, and thus they cannot track you across the internet.
Benefits of using a VPN
Aside from not allowing online trackers to follow you around the web, using a VPN has many other benefits as well. Considering how much time we spend online, we should all be using one.
Encryption: Using a VPN encrypts your data so that even if someone were to intercept your messages or online activity, they wouldn’t actually be able to read any of it – this includes your internet service provider (ISP). In other words, everything that you do is always private.
The best VPNs (and the ones that we’re going to recommend) use AES 256-bit encryption, which is the same form of encryption used by the US army and government, as well as most major banks. It’s the industry standard for beasty privacy and security.
No logging policy: Always make sure that your VPN provider has a strict no logging policy. If there’s one private policy in your life that you actually want to read, it’s the one belonging to your VPN. No logging means that your information and activity will never be stored on the VPN servers that it passes through, ensuring that no one can look at it later on down the line.
There are many free VPNs out there, and they generally log your data and then sell it on to third parties. This is how they afford to offer free VPN servers which are very expensive to run. Never, ever use a free VPN – it’s literally more dangerous than not using one.
No censorship: Another awesome benefit of using a VPN is that you can get around government online censorship – this is great for people living in repressive countries like China, Iran, and elsewhere where the internet is strictly controlled. It also means that you can access things like US Netflix and BBC iPlayer when you’re not in the US or the UK – something which many people actually use VPNs for specifically.
Protection against hackers: If you’ve ever used the Wi-Fi in a library, airport, café, or just any public place, then you’ve actually put yourself at significant risk of being attacked – and likely have been attacked by a hacker. You probably wouldn’t even realize it.
This is also true of private networks, however, like the one in your home. Using a VPN makes you much less vulnerable to being attacked by a hacker of other malicious actor. It’s a great boost to your security and could save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
Best VPN services
So, now that you’re savvy as to why you should be using a VPN, let’s take a look at the best ones to use. Bear in mind that with Black Friday coming soon, you should be able to get a great discount of some of the best VPN subscriptions.
The best of the best. ExpressVPN has long been considered the best VPN on the market thanks to the high speeds of connection, hundreds of servers, and great customer support that it offers. You can also make use of AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch to ensure your IP address is never accidentally leaked, and you can use it on your laptop, mobile, router, and more.
Another great VPN for you to use is IPVanish. This is a cheaper alternative to ExpressVPN that provides a service that is 90% as good. It still uses the same level of encryption and has great speed and lots of servers to choose from. The apps work on a multitude of devices and have some cool features that you won’t find on other VPN services.
Long considered one of the top contenders in the VPN game, NordVPN are another excellent service – however, they did recently experience a data breach which has made a lot of people question their security. Due to this, you can find a very reasonable price on their services right now.
This VPN service has a cool niche that others lack: you can enter a service that you want to access, like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and so on, and it’ll automatically connect you to a server that will support it. This makes it a great VPN to use for entertainment purposes. It’s based out of Romania and Germany and offers a good price, as well as the usual features you’d expect from a top-end VPN.
If you want to upgrade your security going into the New Year, then there has never been a better way to do it than by using a VPN (unless you simply stop going online altogether). The VPNs mentioned here are all reputable and effective. Our top recommendation would be to shell out a couple of extra dollars a month and get ExpressVPN, but feel free to use any other and you’ll still enjoy a decent service.