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Find Out Why to Use A VPN And See How To Choose The Best One
The acronym VPN stands for Virtual Private Network or Virtual Private Network. It consists of a group of computers that connect using a public network: the net. Some businesses use VPNs to connect distant data centres.
Employees can connect to VPNs to access the company’s local network without being physically there. It is also an excellent way to guard and encrypt your internet communication on untrusted public networks, such as airport WiFi networks.
A VPN allows remote access to resources on a local network, even if you are not physically connecte to that network. It also serves to ensure protection during the exchange of information over the internet on public networks.
When you join a VPN, you usually run a client on your computer or click on a particular link on a website, log in with your credentials, and each machine at each end verifies the authenticity of the other.
When a confirmation occurs, your communication with the internet is encrypted and threatened from interception. This is the central part of a VPN: the security it provides for your internet browsing, preventing your data from being visible to unauthorized people.
01. Why use a VPN, or what are the benefits
A VPN alone is just one way to improve your security and access resources on a network you are not physically connecte to. However, depending on usage, it can make miracles happen.
In general, VPN users fall into the following categories:
The employee has responsibilities to fulfil and uses a VPN provided by your company to access resources on these networks even when you are at home or travelling. If you do not trust the network you are connecting to, you can activate the VPN and prevent it from intercepting the connection.
What He Loves Downloads: Regardless of whether he’s downloading legal or illegal content, this type of user doesn’t want any company to blacklist him just because they’re using torrents. Via a VPN is the only way to stay safe while using these peer-to-peer networks. For him, it is better to be safe than to end up in court or paying a very high fine for something he may or may not have done.
What you love about privacy: regardless of being in a free and open environment or one with a high level of monitoring, this profile uses a VPN to keep your communication secure and encrypted, away from prying eyes, whether at home or on a trip. For him, insecure connections mean that someone is always reading what they say.
The traveller: you’re out of the country and want to watch your favourite TV shows the moment they air. Do you want to listen to internet radio stations with a country filter, or do you want to use a new service/application that looks great but is limited to a particular country or region?
A mixture of the previous ones: those that do not fit just one category but identify themselves with a cross. In any case, a VPN service can be helpful for anyone who wants protection, handling sensitive work information without being fired, or for those who are hiding from anti-piracy organs.
And even if you don’t identify with any of these cases, do you believe it is still possible to benefit from a VPN? You should use one when travelling or working on a network that you do not trust (read: a network that you do not own, nor manage or trust who you control).
As examples, we can use those moments when we open our notebook in a cafeteria or read our emails on the open WiFi at the airport. These are situations with considerable risk of having traffic intercepted.
Now it remains to know how to choose the best service.
02. What makes a VPN suitable?
The best VPN services have a good balance of resources, location of servers, connection protocols and price. Some are great for occasional use, while others are design to circumvent location restrictions that some companies apply.
There are also those aimed at people who love to download and want a little privacy while downloading. Here’s what you should keep an eye on:
Protocols: while searching for a VPN service, it is possible to come across terms such as SSL (sometimes called OpenVPN), TLS, PPTP, IPSec, L2TP, and other VPN types. SSL connections are the most used today, and all of these protocols will provide a secure connection. In any case, most of these solutions go unnoticed by the end-user.
Each protocol has its pros and cons, so you may already be aware of the problems (such as PPTP vulnerabilities) if you are concerned about them. Most users do not have to fear this.
Exit locations: depending on the use you want to make of the VPN, the service offers’ exit locations are essential details to consider. I wish to want to bypass location filters and watch UK TV channels (for example). Make sure your VPN provider has servers in the UK.
If you are worried about your secrecy and want to prevent the government from eavesdropping on your connection, it may be a good idea to choose servers outside the country where you live.
Likewise, if the service is base in the United States. They are subject to the laws of that country and can force the provider to pass information to the authorities when requested. Many people care about this more than necessary, even when the United States has these rules.
Information logging: when you connect to a VPN service, you are entrusting your data to it. Your communication can be secure against interception, but other systems on the same VPN can record information if they wish. If that bothers you, be sure to read the registration policies before registering.
VPNs located in the United States are required to maintain a record, which is not valid. Still, in any case, the government of any country can request any form that the company claims. Provided that it has some representation in it.
Protection against viruses and spyware: despite all the security provided by a VPN, this does not mean that you are free from all threats. Always make sure that the site uses HTTPS wherever possible, and be careful what you download.
Some VPN services include a program that scans what has been download to ensure that nothing is infected.
Mobile apps: you should get a consistent experience, whether on a desktop or a smartphone. Most providers offer desktops and mobile devices, but VPNs from schools and businesses may not be on the same page, but they are getting there.
Try not to use two different VPNs with two additional terms to use on your smartphone and notebook.
They may even offer incredible features, but if privacy is important to you, it’s best to avoid them. Paid services take your privacy more seriously since you are paying for the service.
Advertisements are not standard here, but the record of your activities varies from company to company. In general, they offer a free trial for you to try, but remember: just because you’re paying. It doesn’t mean you have to ignore everything you’ve read so far.
The mix of good features and attractive prices make a VPN service considered good, but many inadequate services are posing as good ones. Look for articles written by trusted sources that discuss resource-based merits.
03. What are the best VPN services?
The following are some VPN services to choose from.
Supports: Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android.
Protocols: Uses military-grade technology based on IKEv2 / IPsec and OpenVPN protocols, both with AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption with 256-bit keys, a standard recommended by the NSA to protect even information classified as TOP SECRET.
Country of origin: Panama and has a network of more than 5,600 servers spread over 59 countries, expanding.
Registration of information: does not track or collect customer data, nor does it share with governments, regulatory agencies, or third parties.
It does not record any information of your IP address data, date, duration of the connection, amount of data transferred, websites accessed, downloaded files, and used software. Promising total privacy.
Price: offers to start at $ 2.99 monthly. It also has a money-back guarantee valid for 30 days that guarantees that you will only pay if you like the service.
Support: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox extensions, Smart DNS system for game consoles, TVs, and more.
Protocols: Surfshark has vital essential technical aspects: AES-256-GCM encryption, support for OpenVPN UDP, TCP, and IKEv2, no-logging policy, and an interrupt switch to protect you if your connection goes down.
Country of origin: Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands and has more than 1700 servers in an impressive 160 locations in 64 countries.
Information collection: Since Surfshark in the British Virgin Islands, it is unnecessary to keep records of the user’s actions. Surfshark does not collect: incoming and outgoing IP addresses; Navigation, download, or purchase history; VPN servers you use; Bandwidth used; Session information; Connection timestamps; Network traffic.
Price: Surfshark’s monthly fee starts at $ 1.99, which is one of the lowest prices on the market for a full VPN. It also offers a 30-day money-back agreement so that you can try it for free.
Supports: Windows, OS X, iOS.
Protocols: SSL and PPTP.
Country of origin: The United States, with departure locations in the Netherlands, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Record of information: shallow level of history of activities. They collect your email address, payment method, bandwidth usage, connection duration, and usage times. This information is kept for up to 14 days and tells you that you never share it.
Price: they have a free plan that limits the speed to 300Kbps and restricts the place of departure to Miami, in the United States. Paid accounts unlock support for PPTP (for use on mobile devices and routers). Remove the transfer limit, and allow you to choose any of the exit locations. Prices start at $ 10 monthly.
Supports: Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android.
Protocols: SSL (sometimes called OpenVPN), PPTP and SSH tunneling.
Country of origin: Hungary with departures also in that country.
Information recording: they do not register their activities but record bandwidth to limit the monthly quota and maintain information on payment methods. They say they are committed to their privacy and will not hand over their data without a request from the Hungarian authorities.
Price: the free plan has a limit of 1GB per month before the service is cut. Paid bills start at 5 euros per month for 5GB up to 30 euros per month for 100GB traffic. They do not have a money-back policy and. Although they use the TOR network, they are not part of the TOR project.
Supports: Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, and Androids.
Protocols: SSL (OpenVPN), PPTP and L2TP (with 256 bit encryption).
Country of origin: Panama, with departures also in Holland, Romania, and Ukraine.
Information record: they value your privacy, allowing you to breathe a little more relieved. The documents are delete daily, and they only keep your payment information. They don’t even keep the times you used the service.
Price: for those who want anonymity, prices start at $ 6 monthly. For those who love torrents, prices start at $ 5 a month. For general use, prices start at $ 10 monthly.
Supports: Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, WebOS, and Chromebooks.
Protocols: SSL, PPTP, IPSec, and L2TP (with 256-bit encryption).
Country of origin: the United States, with departures in 10 cities in it plus countries in Latin America and South America, Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Information record: nothing that can identify a user is kept, and the forms are deleted weekly. What is retain are only registration data and payment information.
Price: $ 50 to $ 70 a year, depending on the level of encryption you need. They also sell a VPN router for you to take with you while travelling.
Build your VPN
You can set up your VPN using a VPS server or a home server with Hamachi, Privoxy, and OpenVPN tools. You can configure routers to use it and make the VPN cover your entire home network with the latter.
Combining OpenVPN with Privoxy. You get the privacy and anonymity of a paid service without spending a dime (unless you rent a VPS).
So, control is all in your hands. While you don’t gain all anonymity or outbound locations as a paid service for that purpose, you get the main benefits of a VPN: security, privacy, and anonymity while away from home.