What are the best Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)?
A VPN can be described as an encrypted tunnel that shuttles your internet activity between your PC, Mac, or phone and a host server. While the internet is a public space, a VPN works by extending an invisibility cloak across the user's activity and allows people to send and receive data in a mostly anonymous manner. In the simplest terms, a VPN makes it hard for someone to track your online activity.
There are many different reasons people would want to use a VPN. In some countries, VPNs become a journalist's main tool to get around government censorship and geo-blocks.
It's true, there are plenty of free VPN services out there, but none that you can truly trust. You need a service that has fast speeds, even when streaming video, and you want a service that doesn't keep logs of its users' activities. To help you decide which VPN is best, here are some great options that are available now.
NordVPN is operated in Panama, which means it has no legal obligation to record any of the activities of its users. You're free to connect to any of the 785 VPN servers in 57 different countries, and you can use NordVPN on up to 6 different devices at once. To get around this restriction, however, it can be set up on your router, in which case it will handle any devices connected to your network.
The addition of Kill Switch is very welcome, as are the specialized servers for video streaming, Tor-Over-VPN, and double encryption. NordVPN offers a solid suite of security features in an easy-to-use package at an attractive price.
The NordVPN app is easy to use, and your internet speed while using the VPN doesn't take much of a hit, even when streaming 1080p video. With plenty of subscription options available — a yearly sub costs about $69 — NordVPN is one of the top services out there.
Voted the top VPN by BestVPN and rated highly by PCMag, this service has plenty of servers all over the world, it doesn't keep a log of user activity, and torrenting is allowed on all servers. In PCMag's review, it stated:
If you use it you'll enjoy decent speeds, assured zero-logging, a wide selection of servers, and one of the best-looking clients I've yet used.
The service is easy to use with a simple setup (if you get stuck, there's always a live customer support chat on its site), and, as mentioned by PCMag, it has a great-looking app. If you're ready for unlimited bandwidth, unlimited server switches, unlimited speed, servers in more than 87 countries, and more, have a look at ExpressVPN.
KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
KeepSolid has a great thing going with its flexible subscription plans. If you need only a month of VPN while you travel, you can grab it for about $6. Want a lifetime subscription? That will cost you about $150, if you don't find a deep discount like the $39 deal we have over on our Digital Offers page.
PCMag awarded VPN Unlimited an Editor's Choice award in its review, stating:
Its speed test results didn't top my list, but you probably won't notice KeepSolid is running just the same. Add to that BitTorrent support, a well-designed client, specific streaming servers, browser clients, and numerous other advanced features, and you're looking at an all-around winner.
There is no activity logging in the background, so you don't have to worry about your browser history sitting in a vault somewhere waiting to be looked at.
If you'd like to start using a VPN now and continue using a VPN well into the future (probably a good idea), you won't find a better deal than with VPN Unlimited.
Private Internet Access VPN
When it comes to a VPN and its apps, some people want a UI that has only what is needed. Private Internet Access is exactly this. With one click, you'll be connected to a server of your choosing. There are over 3,000 servers in 24 different countries, and they support torrenting without jeopardizing speeds. Know that Private Internet Access does not log its users' activity.
With government spooks, hackers, and advertisers all hungry for our personal information, VPN is bound to become a more critical and common tool. And Private Internet Access is among the best, offering a robust collection of features in a feather-light package for less than the price of a Netflix subscription.
Toss in some ad-blocking features, as well as varied budget subscription options — get a full year for just $40 — and this service might be your first choice, especially if you like your UI as simple as possible.
How do you stay anonymous?
Do you have a favorite VPN service? Have you ended up with a dud before? Let us know your experiences in the comments.