A reliable VPN service is crucial for safeguarding your online activities, offering encryption for your internet traffic and ensuring online privacy. VPNs shield you against cyber threats, preventing your internet service provider (ISP) from monitoring your online activities. Moreover, the best VPN services excel in bypassing regional content blocks, granting you access to restricted content on platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. When choosing a VPN, consider factors such as encryption strength, server locations, and speed, to ensure you choose the best VPN service that suits your needs.
At Utopia VPN Guide, our skilled team of experts thoroughly test different VPNs to identify those that offer top-class privacy, strong security features , fast speeds, and value for money. After testing over 124 VPNs, we have compiled a list of the 10 best VPN services of 2024. All these VPNs have shown stellar performance in terms of speed, encryption, server coverage, and overall user satisfaction. However, NordVPN performed the best overall.
NordVPN combines advanced encryption, privacy, ultra-fast speeds, and user satisfaction better than any other VPN on the market. We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone who is looking for the best VPN in 2024. NordVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing users to try them risk-free for 30 days.
All VPN recommendations on our list address different needs, from strong security for businesses to fast streaming for entertainment fans.
NordVPN is the best VPN of 2024, providing strong security features, exceptional speeds for streaming, and top-notch privacy protection.
NordVPN prioritizes security and privacy, striking a fine balance with optimal performance. The VPN service operates seamlessly on various devices, including Android, Windows, Linux, macOS, Chrome, Firefox, and routers. Its extensive network comprises over 6,000 servers across 61 countries, featuring specialized servers for Fast TV, Tor, Anti-DDOS, Standard VPN, and Double VPN.
Notably, NordVPN employs military-grade AES-256 security protocol with a Double hop VPN option, particularly beneficial for users in heavily censored locations like China. The VPN also facilitates secure connections to popular streaming services and allows simultaneous connections on up to six devices, all while adhering to a zero-logging policy.
Beyond security measures, NordVPN includes DNS leak protection, Onion Over VPN for enhanced online security, browser proxy extensions, a kill switch to prevent exposure in case of accidental disconnection, and Threat Protection guarding against malware, adware, and scams. The user-friendly client interface further enhances its appeal, making it a top choice for users seeking a good VPN with robust security measures and a variety of features.
In terms of streaming capabilities, NordVPN uses Smart Play technology to secure access to popular streaming websites. Whether you need to watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO, Sky Go, RTE Player, Hotstar India, or bypassing the Great Firewall of China, NordVPN proves to be a reliable choice for those looking to enjoy unrestricted content access.
Additionally, the VPN supports P2P, excels in gaming and torrenting, and is backed by one of the best customer support teams in the industry.
The implementation of NordLynx, based on the WireGuard protocol, enhances both speed and security. The inclusion of RAM-only servers ensures that no user data is stored on the servers, adding an extra layer of protection. NordVPN goes the extra mile by offering obfuscated servers, facilitating users in restrictive regions to access the internet freely.
Additionally, support for SOCKS5 and Dark Web Monitoring adds another layer of security, addressing potential threats proactively.
The VPN’s next-gen features also include a map-based interface, providing users with an intuitive and interactive way to connect to servers globally. NordVPN extends its compatibility to various platforms, including Android TV, Raspberry Pi, and Fire Stick, catering to a diverse range of users.
NordVPN has undergone an independent audit, emphasizing its commitment to transparency and accountability, further instilling trust among its users.
NordVPN offers a cost-effective 2-year plan starting at $3.79 per month. Alternatively, they have a monthly plan at $12.99. You get 63% discount with the 2-year plan.
Surfshark is the second-best VPN in our list of the best VPNs, offering a multitude of features to enhance your online security and privacy. With RAM-only servers and the Nexus network, Surfshark ensures a high level of data protection. The use of OpenVPN, known for its robust security protocols, further strengthens Surfshark’s commitment to user safety.
Surfshark excels in unblocking geo-restricted content on platforms like Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. This makes it a versatile choice for users looking to access a wide range of content across different streaming services.
Surfshark employs industry-leading AES-256-GCM encryption to safeguard your personal data. With a strict no-logs policy, the VPN ensures that your online activities remain private. The kill switch feature adds an extra layer of protection by disconnecting your internet if the VPN connection drops.
Private DNS, leak protection, and the camouflage feature contribute to Surfshark’s comprehensive privacy package. While the default protocol is WireGuard, users have the flexibility to switch to OpenVPN according to their preferences.
In addition to these security features, Surfshark offers unique benefits such as GPS spoofing, an ad-free search engine, and incognito mode. The inclusion of a dedicated IP address and Alternative ID options caters to users with specific privacy needs.
In our speed tests, Surfshark performed exceptionally well, making it suitable for gaming, streaming, and peer-to-peer (p2p) activities. The VPN provides obfuscation, double VPN, and CleanWeb functionalities, adding layers of protection to your online experience. Notably, the speed was good, maintaining around 81% of connection speeds on average. Split tunneling and whitelisting features give you greater control over your internet traffic.
For those interested in streaming and sports, Surfshark has you covered with Smart DNS. The VPN is compatible with major operating systems, including Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS, and supports smart TVs, Amazon Fire Stick, and other streaming devices. Remarkably, Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous device connections, making it an excellent choice for families.
Pricing is another compelling aspect of Surfshark, starting at an affordable $2.29/month with an 80% discount. The 1-year plan is priced at $3.99/month, saving you 64%, and the monthly plan starts at $10.99 with no savings.
ExpressVPN is among the top choices for the best VPN services in 2024. The VPN stands out in various aspects, especially in our comprehensive speed test where it retained an impressive average speed of 83%. This makes it an ideal choice for a seamless online experience, particularly for activities like streaming and gaming.
In terms of security, ExpressVPN prioritizes user protection with advanced features such as the Lightway protocol and ChaCha20 encryption. The Lightway protocol is designed for optimal speed and security, offering a lightweight solution for a faster and more efficient VPN connection. ChaCha20 encryption, coupled with Poly1305 authentication, enhances the security of data transmission by providing robust encryption and integrity verification.
The VPN upholds a strict no-logs policy, undergoes independent audits, and employs ultra-secure AES-256 encryption to ensure the utmost transparency and safeguarding of user data. The VPN offers Split Tunneling that allows users to route specific traffic through the VPN while maintaining direct internet access for other apps or devices.
ExpressVPN excels in device versatility, allowing users to connect up to 8 devices simultaneously. It seamlessly integrates across various operating systems, including Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS, making it accessible and user-friendly. Additionally, the inclusion of browser extensions enhances the overall experience for users on different platforms.
For streaming enthusiasts, ExpressVPN has proven compatibility with popular services such as Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more, as confirmed in our comprehensive speed test. Features like MediaStreamer, stealth servers, Threat Manager, and Network Lock contribute to an enhanced and unrestricted streaming experience.
ExpressVPN’s commitment to customer service is notable, and the provision of its .onion dark web address adds an extra layer of privacy for users seeking anonymity.
ExpressVPN offers a 12-month plan at a discounted rate of $6.67/month, providing a 49% savings. Users can also opt for a 6-month plan at $9.99 per month or a monthly plan at $12.95. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Operating out of Romania, a privacy-friendly country, CyberGhost is shielded from data retention laws and surveillance alliances, further enhancing user privacy.
CyberGhost undergoes regular audits to maintain a ‘no-logs’ policy, ensuring it doesn’t store any user data. Operating exclusively in RAM adds an extra layer of security, as all data is wiped upon each reboot. The service proudly upholds a ‘NO-SPY’ ethos, emphasizing its dedication to user privacy.
Supporting the cutting-edge wireguard protocol for improved speed and security, CyberGhost also offers dedicated IPs for users requiring a consistent, unique IP address.
When it comes to security, the VPN includes a ‘kill switch,’ crucial for disconnecting the internet if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, preventing any potential data leakage. They also have an ad blocker that enhances user privacy by blocking intrusive advertisements and potentially harmful content.
For advanced users, CyberGhost provides split tunneling, allowing customization of traffic routing through the VPN. Their smart rules feature enable users to define specific conditions for automatic VPN connections.
CyberGhost supports various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of devices. Additionally, it offers browser extensions for popular browsers, adding convenience to the user experience.
During our speed tests, we observed some buffering, and while certain apps may lack compatibility with some CyberGhost VPN feature, the overall performance is commendable.
The pricing structure includes a 2 Years + 4 Months FREE plan at $2.03/mo, a 6 Months plan at $6.99/mo, or a 1 Month plan at $12.99/mo. All plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
ProtonVPN stands out as one of the best VPN service providers, operating from Switzerland, a country renowned for its stringent privacy laws. With a steadfast zero-logs policy, ProtonVPN ensures the utmost privacy for user activities.
ProtonVPN employs high-level security features, including AES-256 encryption, and supports protocols such as OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec, ensuring a secure and private web browsing experience.
ProtonVPN has a kill switch, ensuring that internet activity is immediately cut off if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, preventing any data exposure. IPv6 Leak Protection and Alternate Routing are integral components, enhancing privacy by preventing potential leaks of user information.
In addition to these security measures, ProtonVPN provides a suite of features such as the split tunneling feature that allows users to route specific internet traffic through the VPN while keeping other traffic direct. They also have a double VPN that routes user traffic through two different servers, adding an extra layer of encryption. Tor over VPN is another of their innovative feature that integrates the Tor network with ProtonVPN, offering enhanced anonymity and privacy for users.
While ProtonVPN offers an impressive server network of 3142 servers across 71 countries, there might be occasional buffering issues. However, the VPN accelerator helps retain 84% of initial speeds on average, contributing to a reasonably fast and reliable connection.
ProtonVPN provides access to geo-blocked content through its extensive server network, enhancing the streaming experience. Notable streaming services compatible with ProtonVPN include Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
The user-friendly interface of ProtonVPN ensures ease of installation on various devices, making it accessible for users across different platforms. Beginners will find the VPN accommodating, and the quick connect feature enhances usability.
ProtonVPN offers free VPN services, but important features such as the Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, and access to specific server options are unavailable in the free version. Users of the free version may experience reduced server options, slower speeds, and lower priority for customer support.
ProtonVPN’s pricing plans start at 24 months with a 50% discount at $5.39 per month, 12 months at $6.45 per month (40% savings), and a monthly plan at $10.75. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
As one of the leading VPN services, PIA VPN is still considered a reliable and secure provider for users looking for privacy online and data protection. PIA, also known as Private Internet Access, has continued to uphold its principle of anonymity and security, making it one of the most preferred VPNs to VPN enthusiasts.
With the use of industry-standard AES-256 encryption, PIA guarantees that the user data will remain confidential and protected from potential cyber threats. This level of encryption is essential in maintaining confidentiality, especially at a time when privacy issues on the internet have become a major concern.
In addition, PIA’s large server network in 91 countries makes it possible for users to have flexibility and accessibility. With servers situated in different countries, users can easily connect to their preferred server of choice, thereby ensuring access to geo-restricted content and a stable connection. This aspect is especially helpful for users who value smooth streaming, torrenting, or online gaming.
Private VPN is one of the leading VPN services and ranks among the best in the sector. With a powerful set of security features, a user-friendly interface, and stable performance, Private VPN has become one of the most popular options for anyone in need of a secure and private internet connection.
Private VPN uses modern encryption protocols, which guarantee the confidentiality of the user’s data and its protection from cyber threats.
Private VPN is an excellent option for streaming fans and frequent travelers because they have 200 servers located in 63 countries worldwide, allowing users to bypass geo-restrictions and access content from anywhere in the world.
Private VPN has a simple and easy-to-use user interface that is great for both beginners and those that are already familiar with VPNs. Furthermore, the customer service is quick and competent, answering questions promptly.
Private VPN has a major strength in terms of performance as it maintains high speeds for streaming and online gaming.
IPvanish VPN campaigns for an open and safe internet. It has shown consistent performance in our various tests for the best VPN services.
IPvanish not only exhibits fast speeds but also has a vast collection of servers that are spread across the world. They use the military-grade AES-256 encryption and allow up to 5 simultaneous connections.
It is a 1st -Tier VPN service that’s compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Chrome-book, Fire TV, and Router.
Among the features that come with IPvanish are the DNS leak protection, NAT Firewall Protection, and an Internet Kill Switch that will disconnect your internet connection should the VPN connection drop.
TorGuard is a VPN service based in the Nevis, West Indies that provides maximum anonymity to Torrent seeders and leechers. It is excellent at unblocking websites, hiding a user’s IP address, and bypassing censorship.
As a matter of fact, the VPN supports many protocols, exhibits blazing fast speeds, provides protection against all leaks, and uses robust OpenVPN encryption.
TorGuard has over 3000 servers in more than 55 countries and supports all leading OS platforms. It offers Stealth VPN that we found to be helpful for bypassing DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) firewalls which makes it among the few VPNs that can bypass the notorious Great Firewall of China.
VyprVPN is another stellar performer that claims its place among the best VPN services. It is based in Switzerland which is a most friendly location for a VPN service.
The VPN champions for a free open web,gives you fast speeds, robust encryption, worldwide server locations, easy to use apps, and great customer support.
It is a Tier-1 server network with more than 200,000 IP addresses and 700+ servers. Non-involvement of third parties means you will get end-to-end privacy.
The wide collection of servers is helpful because connecting to a server near your location will ensure you get fast speeds. In case you are looking at accessing Geo-restricted websites, then, a server near the location of the desired site will result in excellent speeds.
I liked the VyprVPN’s Chameleon proprietary VPN technology that’s awesome for bypassing notorious firewalls like the ones in Turkey, Russia, Iran, Syria, and most of all the famous Great Firewall of China.
The chameleon protocol works by scrambling OpenVPN Metadata thereby evading deep packet inspection (DPI).
A Virtual Private Network, commonly known as a VPN, is a technology that provides a secure and private connection over the internet. It achieves this by creating a virtual encrypted tunnel between your device and a server, allowing you to transmit data securely.
In practical terms, a VPN can be accessed through various platforms, including a mobile app, desktop app, or browser extension. These applications enable users to establish a VPN connection effortlessly, adapting to different devices and preferences.
One of the key functions of a VPN is encryption, a process that transforms data into a secure code to protect it from unauthorized access. This feature ensures privacy online, preventing hackers or other malicious entities from intercepting sensitive information.
By using a VPN, you can protect your online activities from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This added layer of privacy is particularly important in avoiding data monitoring or throttling restrictions imposed by ISPs.
A VPN also helps bypass regional content restrictions, which is important for accessing streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Users can connect to a server in a different location, allowing them to access content that might be geographically restricted in their own region.
When selecting a VPN, it’s crucial to consider its effectiveness in bypassing these regional content restrictions and providing smooth streaming experiences. The best VPNs are those that not only offer robust encryption for privacy but also efficiently bypass geo-blocks for popular streaming services.
If you want to enhance privacy, secure your connection on public Wi-Fi, access geo-restricted content, ensure a safe remote work environment, or bypass censorship, a VPN is beneficial. It encrypts your internet connection, providing anonymity and protection against potential threats.
When considering the best VPN options available, NordVPN stands out as our best VPN in 2024. With a stellar 9.9/10 rating in our tests, it excels in various aspects such as privacy, usability, unmatched transparency, fast speeds, and robust security features. Choosing NordVPN ensures a comprehensive and reliable VPN experience that prioritizes user privacy and delivers impressive performance.
Following closely in the rankings is Surfshark, securing the second position among our top picks. Boasting an impressive 9.7/10 rating, Surfshark distinguishes itself by offering unlimited device connections and a budget-friendly option for users. While it may not quite match NordVPN’s commitment to privacy, Surfshark’s affordability and versatility make it a compelling choice for many.
In the third position, we have ExpressVPN. While ExpressVPN is a reputable service, it trails behind NordVPN in terms of privacy and lags behind Surfshark in terms of value. Though it may not claim the top spot, ExpressVPN remains a solid option for users seeking a balance between privacy, security, and overall performance.
Finding the best VPN service requires consideration of some fundamental factors which includes:
The location of a VPN can affect the kind of privacy you get from it. Some of the best VPN locations include Romania, Panama, Switzerland, and the British Virgin Islands.
Countries that are members of the Five Eyes Alliance (FVEY) and which includes the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand should be avoided if possible.
If you’ve never had about the Five Eyes Alliance, just know that the countries are party to the UKUSA Agreement. UKUSA is a multilateral treaty for sharing intelligence that conspires to spy on you. They intentionally spy on citizens and share the collected information. But why? Simple, to circumvent stringent domestic laws on spying.
While the Five Eyes are the main actors, you also have those I would refer to as “enablers” who also happen to spy on each other. The list grows to 9 Eyes: France, Denmark, Netherlands, and Norway. And further to 14 Eyes: Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, and Sweden. In 2013, leaked NSA and GCHQ documents (thanks to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden) laid bare the extent to which governments spy on their citizens.
VPN services based in the 5 EYES region mitigate this issue by having a strictly no logs policy. This means that even where they are slumped with a subpoena to release your logs, they won’t have any.
They also employ the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption which is arguably the perfect solution for your data security.
Some great locations for the best VPN Service include Romania, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Panama.
If you are intending to access streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC, etc. You will require an IP address from the specific country where the service is accessible.
To access the Netflix USA library, you will require a US IP address. The same goes for Amazon Prime Instant.
In the case of BBC iPlayer or ITV on demand, a UK IP address will suffice. A VPN with servers in your location means fast speeds. Proximity to servers generally reduces latency and helps in achieving faster data transfer rates.
The best VPN service should give you multiple protocols. Some of the best VPN protocols include OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, and IKEv2. While OpenVPN is often recommended for its security features, having flexibility in protocol selection ensures that users can strike a balance between security, speed, and compatibility across different devices and platforms.
OpenVPN is an open-source software tunneling application that uses SSL/TLS for exchange purposes. The protocol is famed for fast speeds even on connections with high latency and also for its ability to traverse Firewalls. OpenVPN is stable and reliable on Wi-Fi hot-spots as it creates secure point-to-point connections in bridged configurations.
VPN speed is a topic in its entirety. In brief, you need to know that a VPN encrypts and decrypts your traffic. Honestly, this requires some extra processing power which results in a deep in your internet speed.
So when you’re looking for the best VPN service, consider a VPN service like NordVPN that gives a perfect balance between privacy and performance.
Another factor that is proven to affect speed and which I have discussed above is the location of the VPN servers. The further the server you access the slower your traffic.
However, also remember that the bandwidth is equally essential. If you connect to an overcrowded server, even though it’s near your location, your speed will be disappointing.
Before I forget, a VPN protocol can also affect your internet speed. Protocols with high encryption will provide you with a secure connection but will also slow down your connection. In case your online activity does not require robust security but needs high speed, I’d recommend you use the PPTP (128-bit encryption).
I guess your answer is “hell NO!” But let’s indulge a little bit. You’ve heard of “internet throttling” by your ISP, right? Here is where your ISP deliberately slows down your internet speed.
Video streaming sites like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu, file sharing sites, and online gaming sites are mostly targeted by ISP’s because they want to regulate and minimize bandwidth congestion.
That’s where the best VPN services come to your rescue. The VPNs mask your real IP address making it difficult for your ISP to track your online activities so that they can’t know when you’re connecting to services that are on their throttling list.
Can the best VPN services increase your internet speed? A good VPN prevents your ISP from slowing down your speed so you can enjoy blazing-fast speeds while streaming, gaming, or file sharing.
When searching for the best VPN services, it is essential you go for a provider that does not log your online activities. Going by the NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden revelations, our online activities are continually monitored by the NSA.
And so, using a VPN service is more of a necessity.
But even then, it is not safe to use a VPN service that logs your online activities. Not logging means that your online activities remain anonymous because they are not stored on any server or any database.
This also means that even if your VPN service provider is under pressure from government agencies to produce your traffic history, they won’t have any.
Be careful to ensure that the best VPN service you use has an inbuilt DNS leak protection tool.
Whenever you use a VPN service, it is of utmost importance that all your traffic routes through the VPN. That way, your traffic does not leak outside of the secure VPN tunnel.
VPN services that do not provide DNS leak protection might be a threat to your anonymity because they might be giving you a false sense of protection while your data leaks and thus provide the opportunity for third parties to log your online activities.
You can use some of our tools to find out your real IP address before connecting to the VPN service, and after that, run a simple test at www.dnsleaktest.com to establish whether your DNS requests are being leaked.
An internet kill switch is another important feature that you should look for in the best VPN services. The internet kill Switch will block your internet connection whenever the VPN is disconnected. It ensures that you never connect to the internet without the VPN protection.
We all want to get a VPN service at an affordable pricing. And so, we are naturally inclined to choose a VPN based on pricing.
But just think about it, would you rather have a cheap VPN that gives you below par service or a premium service like NordVPN that offers you tight security, anonymity, unblocking Geo-restricted content, and bypassing censorship, including the notorious Great Firewall of China?
When it comes to payment methods, apart from PayPal, and major credit cards, an anonymous payment option like Bitcoin is important for those who want complete anonymity.
When using credit cards, you must provide your private information such as your full names and billing address. In the case of PayPal, your email address is normally exposed to the VPN service provider.
The problem is that such links can enable your VPN account to be traced back to you.
So where your safety or security depends on absolute anonymity, I’d recommend you use untraceable payment methods such as cryptocurrencies and the popular ones being Bitcoin and Litecoin.
Other untraceable methods would be to pay using the store’s gift cards from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Bestbuy, etc.
The number of devices that you can connect to a single VPN account is among the leading factors that can affect your choice of the best VPN service.
You might want to set up your VPN access on various devices like a smartphone, tablet, laptop, and even a desktop or router. In fact, in a family set up the more simultaneous connections allowed by the VPN, the better.
NordVPN provides you with up to six simultaneous connections, CyberGhost allows up to seven connections, IPVanish and SurfShark provides unlimited devices.
Cross–browser compatibility is also a feature to consider. The best VPN services should work with any web browser.
The kind of support a VPN service provides will undoubtedly determine the kind of user experience that you get from a VPN service.
Whenever I’m reviewing a VPN service, my team and I make sure to get in touch with their customer support severally so that I can gauge and rate their support services.
It’s frustrating and utterly annoying when you experience challenges with your VPN connection, and no quick assistance is forthcoming.
A VPN is legal in most countries and is widely accepted as a legitimate tool for enhancing online privacy and security. It allows users to encrypt their internet connections and route them through servers in different locations, making it harder for third parties to monitor online activities. However, the legality of VPNs can vary depending on the jurisdiction, with some countries imposing restrictions on their use to control internet access or prevent the circumvention of censorship.
It’s crucial for users to be aware of the laws and regulations in their specific locations and ensure that their VPN usage complies with local regulations. Engaging in illegal activities with a VPN, such as hacking or distributing copyrighted material without permission, is against the law.
Additionally, users should be mindful of any terms of service violations on specific platforms or services they use, as some may prohibit the use of VPNs. Overall, when used for legal and legitimate purposes, VPNs are legal and valuable tools for enhancing online privacy.
The cost of a VPN can vary based on several factors. One common pricing structure involves monthly subscription plans, with costs typically ranging from $2 to $15 per month.
If you’re looking for a longer commitment often find annual plans, which come with discounted rates, ranging from $30 to $100 or more. For those willing to commit to a multi-year subscription, some VPN providers offer additional discounts, with prices spanning from $50 to $200 or more.
It’s crucial to note that while free VPN services exist, they often come with limitations, such as slower speeds, fewer server locations, and potential privacy concerns. You should carefully consider not only the cost but also factors like the provider’s reviews and reputation, features, and privacy policies when selecting a VPN.
Moreover, some providers offer money-back guarantees or free trials, allowing users to assess the service before committing to a long-term subscription.
The purpose of using a VPN service is to secure and protect your online privacy. There are many Free VPN services. However, it would help to be careful with such services. How do they sustain their operations and maintain their infrastructure? There must be a monetizing angle. The free VPN service could be selling your data to third parties. A VPN is just like your ISP: it can see and track the traffic sent through its network. That’s why you need to choose your VPN wisely.
Premium VPNs do offer high quality limited free VPN options aimed at luring you to subscribe to their premium options. Another issue is the quality of service you get with a free VPN option. Since the VPN has to make money to survive, your browsing experience is riddled with ads, low speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and monthly caped data use. That’s why it’s advisable to spend some money on a premium VPN service for maximum protection.
Using a VPN is typically a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a VPN:
1. Choose a VPN provider:
2. Subscribe to the service:
3. Download and install the VPN app:
4. Install the app:
5. Launch the VPN app:
6. Log in:
7. Choose a server location:
8. Connect to the VPN:
9. Verify connection:
10. Adjust settings (optional):
To ensure that your VPN is working properly and effectively protecting your online privacy, you can perform a few checks. Here’s a guide on how to check if your VPN is working:
1. Check your IP address: Before connecting to the VPN, note down your public IP address. You can find your IP address by searching “What is my IP” on a search engine. After connecting to the VPN, check your IP address again. If it has changed, it indicates that your VPN is successfully masking your original IP.
2. Verify location: After connecting to the VPN, check your virtual location. Many VPN providers have tools on their websites that show the location of the server to which you are connected. Confirm that the displayed location matches the server location you selected.
3. DNS leak test: Perform a DNS leak test to ensure that your DNS requests are not being leaked outside the VPN tunnel. There are various online tools and websites that can help you conduct a DNS leak test. If your DNS requests are leaking, it could compromise your privacy.
4. WebRTC leak test: Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is a browser feature that can potentially leak your real IP address. Conduct a WebRTC leak test using online tools to check if your VPN is properly handling WebRTC requests.
5. Speed test: Run a speed test with and without the VPN to assess the impact on your internet speed. While using a VPN may slightly reduce your speed due to the encryption process, a significant drop could indicate issues with the VPN connection or server.
6. Check VPN client for connection status: Most VPN clients have a visual indicator to show the status of the connection. Ensure that the VPN client displays a connected status when you are actively using the VPN.
7. Visit blocked content: If you are using a VPN to access geo-restricted content, try accessing a website or service that is typically blocked in your region. If you can access the content with the VPN connected, it indicates that the VPN is effectively bypassing geographical restrictions.
VPNs serve a variety of purposes, catering to different needs of individuals and businesses. Some popular uses of VPNs include:
VPNs encrypt internet traffic, converting data into a secure tunnel, which protects sensitive information from potential threats like hackers, cybercriminals, and even government surveillance. This is particularly important when using unsecured networks, such as public Wi-Fi.
Users leverage VPNs to access content that may be restricted in their region. By connecting to a server in a different location, they can mask their actual location, making it appear as though they are accessing the internet from a region where the content is freely available.
VPNs mask users’ IP addresses, providing a level of online anonymity. This makes it challenging for websites, advertisers, and other entities to track users’ online activities and behaviors.
Businesses use VPNs to establish secure connections for remote employees accessing company networks. This ensures that sensitive company data remains protected, even when employees are working from different locations.
VPNs add an extra layer of security when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. By encrypting the data transmitted between the device and the VPN server, users can protect themselves from potential threats and unauthorized access on less secure public networks.
In regions with strict censorship, individuals use VPNs to access an open and unrestricted internet. By connecting to servers in locations with more lenient internet policies, users can bypass censorship and freely access information.
VPNs create secure and encrypted tunnels for data transmission, making them suitable for secure file sharing. In a business setting, this ensures that sensitive files are transmitted securely between employees or teams.
Gamers often use VPNs to access game servers that may be region-restricted. VPNs can also reduce latency and improve the gaming experience by connecting to servers with lower ping times.
VPNs provide a layer of privacy for users engaged in peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing or torrenting. By masking their IP addresses, users can prevent their internet service providers (ISPs) from monitoring or throttling their P2P activities.
Internet service providers may throttle certain types of internet traffic, such as streaming or gaming. VPNs can help you bypass throttling by encrypting your data, making it difficult for ISPs to identify and selectively slow down specific activities.
There are several reputable VPN providers. However, NordVPN is our number 1 best VPN thanks to its ultra-fast speeds, advanced security, strong performance and privacy features.
In terms of safety, a reputable VPN prioritizes security by employing robust encryption protocols, a no-logs policy, and other privacy features. NordVPN is known for its commitment to user privacy and security.
While there are free VPNs available, it’s crucial to approach them with caution. Many free VPNs have limitations, such as slower speeds, data caps, and potential privacy concerns. Additionally, some free VPNs may monetize by displaying ads or even collecting and selling user data, compromising the privacy benefits of using a VPN.
If you’re looking for a free VPN with reasonable privacy and security features, ProtonVPN offers a free plan with no data limits and a strong focus on user privacy. However, keep in mind that free plans often come with fewer server locations and may not be suitable for high-bandwidth activities.
Websites you visit have access to your information
YOUR CITY: Nuremberg
YOUR IP ADDRESS: 220.127.116.11
YOUR ISP: Hetzner Online GmbH
OPERATING SYSTEM: Mac OS X
YOUR BROWSER: Chrome
Use a VPN to hide this information and Protect Your privacy today!
We recommend NordVPN. It provides top-notch privacy and is currently offered at a discounted price.