VPNs are increasing in popularity, in the light of recent security concerns that have been uncovered on the national level. There is too much access to sensitive information that can put you at risk for a lawsuit or compromise your customers’ valuable data. No matter if you are a casual internet user or someone wanting to start a blog, there is definitely a need for VPN on your home, work or office computer to keep all of your personal information and browsing history safe.
With so much discussions going on with this hot topic, I wanted to make sure I could provide you with a detailed resource that not only breaks down what a VPN is and why you should be using one, but also who some of the most reliable providers on the internet are.
What is a VPN?
VPNs are known as “virtual private networks” and they offer a way to protect your sensitive data from third parties and unauthorized views and access. This is very important to protect not only the data involved but also the credibility of your business. If the data of your customers is compromised, it is hard to build back the trust of your customers in the future.
When it comes to data, you cannot be too careful in our present age. It is being discovered all of the time just how easy it is for hackers, private organizations, foreigners, and even government agents to get into your personal data, surfing history, and other information.
As reported by IPVanish, a recent law has allowed companies like Google and Internet Services Providers to be able to track and sell your browsing history for weeks or even months, even if you deleted it from your personal browser. This creates an even more challenging situation in how to hide your digital footprint from prying eyes and third parties.
There are about as many ways to break into your data as there are websites. Hackers learn new methods every day in how to do this, and they are constantly thinking of new ways to break into passwords and security systems. So it is the smart business owner that remains vigilant to this fact. A VPN can help take some of the guesswork out of your safety when it comes to protecting your data and lower the risk of invasion by outside parties.
How a VPN Works to Protect Your Data
A VPN (virtual private network) works by putting a security system in place between you and the internet so that your data is protected from spying eyes or unauthorized persons. The VPN is like a “middle man” that stands between your customers and the data that you want to protect.
A VPN also protects your identity by masking your IP information and securing your Wifi connection. This makes it harder for infiltrators to access your data and break through your system. You can see a visual of how this funneling process of a VPN works in the graphic below, provided by IPVanish.
By putting a filter between your customers’ data and your valuable information and the internet you cut down on the potential for infiltration greatly and increase the level of trust that your customers will have when doing business with you.
How to Choose the Best VPN Service Network
When choosing a VPN network, there are some important things to consider to find the best solution. Some of the criteria you should look for are listed below.
- Speed and bandwidth– The speed of your connection should be fast enough to overcome the burden that a VPN will put on it. This requires choosing a VPN that can handle the task as well as a good ISP that can manage the load from the front end. VPNs pull from some of the bandwidth and speed, and they can slow down your connection if you do not choose the right one. So make sped and bandwidth a top priority when choosing your virtual private network.
- Ease of use– Your VPN should be easy to use and should not require an extreme amount of tweaking on your part. There should be mobile apps that you can install on all of your mobile devices so that you can connect to your VPN server quickly and easily.
- Locations and servers– By having multiple locations and servers, you will increase your ability to be versatile across many different platforms and geographical locations.
- Privacy and security– The main reason you obtain a VPN is so that you will have a secure connection. Privacy is important too. Choose a VPN that focuses on privacy and security and makes sure that your system is always safe from intruders.
The most important thing to consider when choosing your VPN is how much flexibility you need, how much speed and bandwidth you require, and how many devices you will need to connect to your private network. Some of them allow you to connect from any geographical location. Others focus on speed or usability (UX). Mobile apps are important when it comes to using your VPN so make sure that the one you choose allows you to access it via your mobile devices.
9 VPNs Providers You Need to Check Out Now
Below is a list of some of the most popular virtual private networks to check out. Look at the benefits and issues with each and then check them out to see which will work for you.
IPVanish is a good solution that allows you to “surf the web without a trace.” It protects your identity by removing your IP information while you are surfing and makes you anonymous so that your identity cannot be tracked as easily. IPVanish also states that their VPN is faster than most of their competitors and they make speed and bandwidth a top priority.
Another advantage to IPVanish is their huge network of shared IPs and VPN servers in more than 60 countries. This allows you to use the system in multiple locations without having to find additional software.
This VPN is only $6.99 per month with a 60% discount available now for WP users.
StrongVPN is a secure VPN that features the highest industry standard encryption for browsing in private without compromising your data. There is also no bandwidth cap on this service so you can feel free to use it as much as you want without limits.
Another concern today is the fact that some websites have placed censorship in place based on standards that they set to give less traffic to some sites than others. This unfair practice has been another fallout from some of the problems involved in easy access to data in our present age. StrongVPN allows you to bypass this unfair censorship of data and browsing options while protecting you continually.
StrongVPN is only $5.83 per month, billed annually.
OverPlay is a multimedia-friendly VPN that helps you to access hard-to-reach media while browsing, surfing, and working in private. The problem with online websites today and there is nowhere that is safe outside of a private network. Overplay allows you to have all of the protections that you need that you can use on all of your devices, including Smart TVs.
There has been increased concern over Samsung’s SmartTVs and others when the “Vault 7” files were exposed online about how private government organizations were using everyday technology to spy on millions of Americans.
In fact, it is now known knowledge that many devices, including Smart TVs, are being used to listen in on conversations among people who are unaware of it. This is now being investigated by authorities within the government as it is a clear invasion of privacy.
In the meantime, to be safe, you need to have a VPN such as Overplay that allows you to secure your Smart TVs and other devices so that you will know that your communications and privacy are secure.
The smart technology built into Overplay’s VPN keeps you secure and safe while allowing you unfettered access to original online media and other content. This thwarts the efforts by YouTube and Google to censor what you see and allows a full, complete browsing experience.
Plans start at $4.95.
ExpressVPN is another VPN solution that you may want to look into. Their best aspect is that they give you access to multiple mobile apps. They also offer a high level of enhanced customer service if you run into problems once you install it. It allows you to browse safely without fear or intrusion from outside parties and there is a kill switch in case you experience problems with your connection.
The only downside to ExpressVPN is that it only offers three simultaneous connections. They do have a hassle-free 30-day guarantee that allows you to get your money back if you are not completely satisfied. This is a good VPN that you can try out to see if you like it before you buy it on a monthly basis.
This VPN is $6.66 per month or $99.99 per month.
NordVPN is another VPN solution that allows you to connect to VPN and switch between locations without revealing your identity. It allows person-to-person connections as well, which is convenient when setting up collaborative networks or sharing portals. You can even use this VPN over public networks, where your connection is often less secure. There is even an automatic “kill switch” button for when you need to cancel the connection quickly with an insecure server.
The cost of NordVPN is only $2.75 per month, billed annually.
ViperVPN is another VPN service that focuses on privacy and security. Their server is based in Switzerland, and they have very good privacy laws that protect citizens from invasion of their private or sensitive data.
It has a user-friendly platform so that anyone can set up the system quickly and easily and it is easily accessible from the mobile app. They focus on speed of delivery and ViperVPN stated that their rate has improved by 2.5 times with recent tests.
You can get a basic plan for $5.99 per month, billed annually ($60 per year).
HidemyAss is a VPN that allows you to completely hide your IP address so that you can browse, surf, and shop in anonymity. No more worries about whether third parties can access you or your customers’ data. You can feel comfortable doing whatever you need to do without the fear of strangers knowing what you are doing.
This VPN also allows you to bypass any public networks to access your VPN from afar so that you can continue to use it when you are away from home.
The way it works is to let you connect to your VPN from any location. That’s why it’s called a “virtual private network.” It allows you access to whatever you do in private on a virtual server, bypassing the public networks that are more likely to be infiltrated by foreign parties.
The cost for this VPN is $11.52 per month or $78.66 per year paid in advance annually.
VPNArea is a VPN platform that allows you to not only protect yourself from spying by third parties, but also increases your speed and bandwidth as you surf, listen to music, and browse the web. VPNArea has its main server located in Bulgaria which requires a “no log” protocol. This prevents others from spying on your internet activity and providing a barrier between you and the open internet.
It also features a “DNS Leak” system which prohibits your DNS provider from spying on your activity. You may connect up to six different devices and share with others as you enjoy the enhanced privacy that it offers.
The mobile apps are easy to use and are compatible with all of the major platforms including:
- Apple (iOS)
- Android/Google Play
With so much versatility, you will be able to connect devices on multiple platforms and know that, no matter which one you use, you are protected. Easy accessibility is a factor in choosing a VPN and VPNArea seems to offer this by providing multiple portals by which to use it.
The cost of VPNArea is only $4.92 per month with a discount that is currently available.
Buffered.com offers a VPN that is, as its name implies, a buffer between you and your customers and the open internet. This allows you and them to be safe while you surf, shop, or communicate with others.
There is an increased concern about private data these days, especially with the recently discovered fact that the government, private citizens and companies, and foreigners, having too much access to your important data. With the Buffered VPN software, it puts a layer or buffer between you and the internet and hides your IP address from prying eyes.
Also, it offers protection from censorship that sites such as Google, YouTube, and Facebook are starting to implement online to push their political agendas.
Many conservative site owners have noticed that they are having to advertise pulled and actions are being taken against them all for just expressing their opinion that differs from the opinions of these companies and social media platforms.
Buffered.com allows you to break through this politically-based censorship, as well as to protect the data of you or your customers. Check out the other features on their website to see if it lines up with your requirements for a secure VPN.
The cost of Buffered’s VPN is $12.99 per month.
Virtual Private Network Summary
We hope you enjoy checking out these nine VPN solutions and that one of them will fit your needs. VPNs protect you from the control of others by hiding your information from others who might have ill intentions or who might sell your data for monetary gain.
If you are a business owner, you may want to look into seeing if you can get a business plan so that you can also protect your customers’ data. If you have your server where you store customer information, this may be an important point that you will want to look into.
If you need a VPN server for your use, many of these solutions should work for you. Just look at the different aspects that we brought out in this post and decide which one has the characteristics you want.
How to Find a Quality VPN Service
Whatever you do, find a VPN. This is the world that has opened a Pandora’s Box to your privacy and everything that you put out there is fair game. Even though many of the ways that people see or access your data is illegal, that does not seem to stop many from getting it and doing whatever they want with it. They can also sell it to the highest bidder or use it against you in ways that you could hardly imagine ever happening.
In time, regulations will hopefully take care of the gaps in the law that have allowed this situation to arise. In the meantime, you need to do whatever you have to do to protect yourself. It takes minimal effort and just pennies a month to secure your data with a virtual private network. If you care about your data, it’s the best thing you can do. And if you’d like to learn more about the technicals behind how the funneling process of a VPN works, there are plenty of detailed reference guides and resources online.
Browse safely while increasing your access and avoiding censorship at the same time with a VPN. Remember, in times like these, a virtual private network is all that stands between you and your unmasked data.