The internet can be a magical place filled with information that can improve our lives and help us tackle complex problems. We meet new and interesting people, get to share our ideas and thoughts with millions of people from all over the world, all without leaving the comfort of our homes or from where ever we might be, and engages us in a way no other single piece of technology has been able to do since modern civilization. This technology comes with its own set of rules and, sadly, dangers but the most important aspect of the internet that one has to be concerned about is “Control”.
Yes, you can choose which sites to visit, what to purchase on eBay and Amazon, and what videos you should watch on Youtube. But you are not in as much control as you might imagine. Various sites track what you do, where you are connected from, how long you stay on and a multitude of other activities that happen around your internet experience both with and without your knowledge. This is not always a bad thing as it helps certain services feed you better search results, for example, or let you know what is available within your geographic region. But you also expose yourself to tracking by advertisers, geo-restrictions of certain content by your ISP or country/region, spying/logging of your internet activities by your ISP and other not so favorable activities.
You might think none of this applies to you because you don’t do anything secretive or illegal online but you are more at risk than you think. Ever do a search about a particular item, say a car, and now all of a sudden every site you visit has ads on cars and how you can get a great deal on one model or the other, or you travel to another country and now all of a sudden your Netflix no longer allows you to watch certain content. You start the realize just how little control you have over your internet usage and privacy while you are online.
The simple and most practical solution to this is to get a VPN [Vitual Privat Network] service. Simply put, a VPN creates a secure connection over public networks such as the wi-fi in public transport, hotels, or your favorite café, as well as home networks like the one provided by your internet service. By routing your traffic through specialized servers and encrypting your data, VPNs hide your online activity, allows you remove geo-restrictions and protects you from the many dangers on the web including hacker attacks to data selling, identity theft, and much more. This data encryption makes it such that it becomes impossible to track your activities and spy on you, plus with most VPNs offering the ability to set your location, you can appear to be browsing either from your home country when you are overseas or from other locations if your country blocks certain contents.
So now that you have decided it’s a good idea to get a VPN, the question now becomes which VPN service to go for? This can be very tricky because there are lots of good ones and bad ones out there and sifting through the various services to find the one that is best for you can be a rather daunting task. Here is our list of top 5 VPN services that should get you started in finding out what’s the best VPN for you:
1. ExpressVPN: It has long been recognized as one of the world’s top VPN providers, with fast speeds and solid customer support. its has over 148 locations in 94 countries and available through plenty of clients, it’s considered the best services in its class. Regardless of your platform, you will find a native client, as ExpressVPN offers clients for Mac, Windows, Linux, but also iOS and Android, and even BlackBerry (albeit limited to a handful of models). Plus ExpressVPN also offers routers with custom firmware and VPN browser extensions, making it an all-around great service.
3. IPVanish: This VPN provider has its key selling point is the quality of service. The company claims to offer “the world’s fastest VPN”, with more than 40,000 shared IPs, almost a thousand VPN servers spread across 60 countries, unlimited P2P traffic, five connections and lo logs. But it doesn’t come cheap, but IPVanish is a serious contender with fast speeds, plenty of locations to choose from and a well-built client for the most part.
5. CyberGhost: No need to be afraid of this ghost, With over 10 million users, plus covering Microsoft’s and Apple’s operating systems, but also iOS and Android, its easy to see why it’s considered one of the best VPN service out there. The interface is not the best and could definitely use some work, but these disadvantages are easily overshadowed by the various features this VPN offers. on of these cool features is the ability to start when specific apps are launched. Torrent users will be happy to hear that this service supports them on most of its servers. Performance-wise it is solid.
Depending on your need and budget one of the above should be a good match for you. But there are others out there that offer varying features and services so don’t feel limited to our top 5 selection. The main takeaway is to secure your online presence and browsing experience. We hope that this little guide has helped you to find out what’s the best VPN for your use case is.