A VPN or Virtual Private Network service uses a secure, encrypted connection to keep your IP address and browsing activity private. Think of it as an exclusive tunnel for your computer to browse the web, stream videos, or use other services without revealing your actual location.
By connecting to VPN, your ISP can’t track your activity and neither can the websites you visit. You can mask your identity and protect your privacy.
Warning: Most “free VPN” service providers usually log your data, monitor your browsing activity, and sell all those details to third-party advertisers as well as bidders to earn their revenue. The following list is of highly vetted and most trusted VPN providers that ensure of your safety and privacy online.
With over 4800 servers in different locations, NordVPN strongly believes in customer privacy and follows a zero-log policy. Sporting double-VPN encryption using 256-bit AES, it may not be as fast as others. You can connect up to six devices and enjoy secure browsing.
NordVPN supports P2P and BitTorrent clients apart from a host of video streaming services through its SmartPlay feature. All these fancy features will cost you $12 per month or $84 annually. Offering well-designed clients on different platforms, NordVPN is totally worth it with is double VPN and other security features.
ExpressVPN stands right to its name by being fast, secure and promising complete anonymity. The service follows a strict no logging policy so you can use torrents and download files. ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN, IPSec, and IKEv2 protocols for encryption. With over 2000 servers in 94 countries across the world, it makes a lucrative proposition at $6.67 per month.
The split tunnel feature allows you to route traffic from select apps through VPN and rest of apps through direct internet access. It uses 256-bit encryption its own DNS on every server for maximum protection.
Hide My Ass
With over 900 servers spread across the globe, Hide My Ass does not offer any free trial. Instead, it provides a 30-day money-back guarantee if you wish to cancel your subscription. Speaking of payment, Hide My Ass turns out to be quite costly at roughly $84 per year or $48 for six months. You can use up to five devices on a single subscription, which was a recent change.
Hide My Ass uses OpenVPN protocol on Android and IPSec VPN protocol on iOS. It is also available for Windows and macOS platforms. This VPN provides robust security but relies on virtual server locations, can’t block ads and is expensive.
As a Hong Kong-based VPN service, PureVPN provides support for quite a lot of payment options. The service is set to use the best security protocol it thinks is best. But advanced users can choose one between OpenVPN, IKEv2, PPTP, L2TP, and SSTP. Or use PureVPN’s own custom security protocol dubbed Stealth. Of course, most of these protocols use 256-bit AES encryption and promise you other features such as NAT firewire and DDoS protection.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to enjoy Netflix on it. You can’t block ads either. Although PureVPN is friendly towards P2P and BitTorrents. It’s one of the few services that offer 24/7 Live Chat customer support.
CyberGhost is an interesting VPN if you care a lot about your privacy. It’s NoSpy servers located in Romania boast of 256-bit AES encryption to safeguard you from third-party snooping or surveillance. Apart from that, you can stream sports online, hide your IP and even access YouTube if it is blocked by your ISP. CyberGhost’s monthly subscription will set you back by $12. But you can buy a quarterly plan for $30 or annual plan for $60.
CyberGhost bundles seven licenses with a subscription. Unfortunately, it restricts a session to a three-hour limit and doesn’t have enough servers for North America and Asia region. At times its auto-connect behaves oddly.
The Hotspot Shield has fast servers mostly in Europe, and its performance can blow the first time users. If you go for $72 annual plan, then its mostly cost of $6 appears quite affordable. Especially with a 45-day money-back guarantee. While it allows torrents and works with Netflix, Hotspot Shield uses only OpenVPN protocol for encryption.
Hotspot Shield is alleged of working in some grey areas like promising the advertisers to serve ads to users who access a particular category of websites often. That said, the company claims of not tracking or logging user activities. On top of that, its Chrome extension tends to leak your DNS details, but that can be fixed.