Back in 1996, a gifted software engineer from Microsoft that later became of the companies VP, by the name of Gurdeep Singh-Palli invented the “Point to Point Tunneling Protocol.” He was motivated to find a way for employees to work remotely on company tasks while keeping sensitive corporate data secured. In no small part, it is thanks to his team effort that the infrastructure of a Virtual Private Network was created. In today’s world where data privacy and online security are not only commodities but a top priority for internet users, VPN has become an indispensable security tool.
Defining a Virtual Private Network
Try thinking of the following keywords when defining a Virtual Private Network (VPN) – Private, Anonymous, Encrypted, Unrestricted. Now let’s get more technical. A VPN is an encrypted tunnel between your device (mobile phone, PC, laptop) and the internet. Think of it this way, you browse the internet using your internet provider or a public Wifi connection. This way all your web browsing information is converted into public data. In this case, there is limited privacy and your personal information, like bank account credentials, is not secure from hackers. The VPN routes these connections through a different secure server, in this way masking your activity while browsing the web. It also creates a tunnel that encrypts your information, making it harder to track and read. Not only does VPN protect data, but it allows you to access region-specific content, like Netflix series or movies. Let’s say you are located somewhere in Europe and want to see the new US movie that only streams there – just connect to your VPN provider’s server located in the US and you are ready to go. Now all you need to do is pick a VPN service.
Free vs Paid
You will have the options of Free vs Paid when selecting a VPN provider. We recommend finding a paid service since most of them come with a free monthly trial option. While you can opt for the free version remember that factors like speed, accessibility comfort are important. Free versions come with lots of ads and a limited amount of security protocols as well as limited speed.
Top 3 VPN providers
You can find a lot of VPN services on the web, but in order to simplify your search, check out our top 3 list below. They are straightforward to use and set-up so you’ll just have to pick what criteria add more value to you.
- Express VPN – based on tests it is the fastest VPN on the market, provides fantastic streaming quality, holds the top spot in many top 10 lists, due to its wide range of supported devices and has great security protocols. It is a bit more expensive than other VPNs out there. If you’re not looking for sales or holiday bundles Express VPN comes at 12,95$ a month that is fully refundable in its 1st month.
- Nord VPN – there are a lot of Youtube sponsored spots that appeared regarding Nord VPN. It comes with a lower price than ExpressVPN of 11,95$ / per month and has a variety of offers that can bee tailored to your long term needs, going as low as 3,95$/per month. They had a few security hiccups in 2019, but these were addressed by the company. It has the highest server coverage of all VPNs (covering 60 countries) and is an all-around great service.
- Vyprvpn – “the most trusted VPN provider” is stated on the website and it is well earned. The company had its publicly posted audit report and it really had an impact on the VPN market since it was a first, helping it elevate itself to top tier level. The audit proved that they hold to the “No log” policy, something that many services state, but don’t really go by. Even if they aren’t as established as other providers, we highly recommend you give them a try.
In the modern world, a VPN can provide more security regarding all things internet. While there are many services on the market, you have to thoroughly consider which ones, provide you with the best security and speed. Don’t forget these companies, still have their own challenges to face and shouldn’t earn your trust as a user. Don’t be afraid to experiment and read on user experiences across regions, to know what to expect. Use VPNs responsibly to access information more freely and limit how much you want to share with the world in terms of your location and personal info. For more details on the pros and cons of a vpn, legal aspects and features, check out our other posts and keep Techfiddling.