Dont Feel Like Reading Everything Heres The Tl dr Version
This article has a lot of information, and you probably just want to install a VPN so you can try to watch your favorite TV show or movie on a streaming service on the other side of the world thats unfairly been geographically restricted, or youre looking for something that can protect you while youre torrenting.
So here are our top choices and why we picked them:
- Best VPN Overall: ExpressVPNThis is the best VPN if youre looking for simple, easy-to-use clients for every Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, or Linux, blazing-fast speeds that can handle torrenting or bypassing geographic restrictions, and just a generally pleasant experience. They have a 30-day money-back guarantee as well.
- A Solid Contender: StrongVPNA great choice if youre looking for blazing-fast speeds and a VPN that can handle torrenting and bypassing geographic restrictions. The clients are a little outdated in comparison, but since its a lesser-known service it sometimes is less likely to be blocked. They have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- A Free Option: TunnelBearTunnelBear is a solid choice if youre looking for a quick VPN connection to use at the coffee shop they have a limited free trial tier and cheap prices, and while they arent quite as powerful or fast, they have a really nice service.
Again, if youre looking for a VPN to bypass restrictions, try out one of the services above. Theyve all got cheap prices and a 30 day money-back guarantee, so youve got nothing to lose.
Protect Your Privacy With Proton VPN
At Proton, we believe everyone has the right to choose how their data is shared and with whom. Using a VPN is one of the easiest ways to protect your online privacy. Our Free plan:
- Has no speed or bandwidth restrictions
- Does not display ads
- Has a strict no-logs policy
- Is protected by Swiss privacy laws
All you need to is an email address. Once youve downloaded the Proton VPN app for your device, you can connect to a server of your choice in just one click.
Why Use A VPN
A virtual private network refers to a suite of technologies that aims to increase your online privacy and security. A VPN works by encrypting and routing your internet traffic through a secure tunnel, preventing your internet service provider from tracking your online activity and the website youre visiting from seeing your real IP address.
A VPN also allows you to:
- Use public WiFi safely
- Mask your IP address and location
- Avoid censorship and government surveillance
- Use P2P file-sharing services like BitTorrent
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Choosing The Best VPN
Do you know what to look for when choosing a VPN provider? A good Virtual Private Network not only provides an extra layer of privacy and security, but also ensures a high-speed connection and access to any content around the world. There are endless VPN services available today, some reliable and some not, so its best to know exactly what youre getting when choosing a VPN provider to protect your online privacy.
How To Create A VPN Server On Your Windows Computer Without Installing Any Software
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more…
Windows has the built-in ability to function as VPN server using the point-to-point tunneling protocol , although this option is somewhat hidden. Heres how to find it and set up your VPN server.
Setting up a VPN server could be useful for connecting to your home network on the road, playing LAN games with someone, or securing your web browsing on a public Wi-Fi connection a few of the many reasons you might want to use a VPN. This trick works on Windows 7, 8, and 10. The server uses the point-to-point tunneling protocol
Note: Some people who have updated to the Windows 10 Creators Update have a problem where creating a VPN server fails because the Routing and Remote Access Service fails to start. This is a known issue that has not yet been fixed through updates. However, if youre comfortable editing a couple of Registry keys, there is a workaround that seems to fix the problem for most people. Well keep this post up to date if the issue gets formally fixed.
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VPN Location Vs VPN Server Location How Different Are They
VPN location and VPN server location seem the same thing while they are different.
A VPN server location refers to the geological position where the VPN server is located such as a country.
A VPN location usually refers to the country or district where the VPN service is provided. Generally speaking, the optimal VPN location refers to the countries where VPN service providers dont need to worry about the local laws that push them to give out users data, like Gibraltar, Moldova, Belize, or Switzerland.
What Geo Restricted Content Do You Want To Access
If you need to access content that is restricted in your country and you will need to access a server from a particular country where the content is available. For example to watch content on Comedy Central USA you will need a US VPN server location. In this case, the best VPN country for you is where the geo-restricted service is located and provided.
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To Get The Best Speed While Protecting Your Privacy
When picking a VPN server, the general rule is the farther the country, the slower the connection. If you are using a VPN tool to secure your online privacy and hide your browsing history from your ISP, then it does not matter which server you connect to.
In fact, not knowing the correct server is a huge benefit because it allows you to focus on optimizing the connection speed so that you can go with the nearest location recommended by the VPN maker.
If the VPN client does not have a recommendation or if you want to switch to a different country, then you simply need to pick a server that is next in line as far as proximity goes.
It is normal to experience speed variations with each server, so make sure to explore different options and test your connection speed using an online tool like Fast.
Which is the fastest VPN country?
It depends on where you live. And it mostly depends on the capabilities of the virtual private network service. But your safest bet is to go with the server location recommended by the VPN provider.
For example, ExpressVPN has a Smart Location. It is a feature designed to find the fastest server for you, based on distance, downloading speed, and latency.
This virtual private network product also has a Speed Test tool that calculates the speed of all supported VPN servers, in order to find the fastest server based on your speed index. If you are interested in ExpressVPN, you can get started here.
Which is the fastest VPN service?
Your Commonly Used Smart Devices Are Supported By VPN
Confirm the VPN software supports your device. Theoretically speaking, high-quality VPNs usually have a wide support range of machines and systems, the former of which include mainstream computers, notebooks, tablets, mobile phones, gaming consoles, smart TVs, routers, etc., while the latter include Windows, macOS, Linux, ChromOS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, etc. In addition, some VPNs also have plug-in versions, allowing you to install it directly on Chrome, Firefox or so.
Of course, if not necessary, you dont have to pay much attention to the platform quantity a VPN accepts. Its OK once your device or devices are on the list.
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Find A Setup Tutorial
If, for some reason, your VPN provider doesn’t offer software for the devices your business uses, check the provider’s website for guides on manual setup. Hopefully, you’ll find the documentation you need. If you don’t, search for other providers’ setup guides that use the same devices.
For example, if your business uses Chromebooks, you can search for tutorials specifically for these devices.
Ensure Your Important Locations Are Covered
Thenumber of servers and locations can be the deciding factor for some VPNs.
If you live in a less populated or developed country or are planning to travel or live there for some time, youll need a VPN that has servers in that location or nearby.
China is renowned for its limited internet service and having a VPN that can effectively tackle their censorship and restrictions is essential if you are going to live or work there.
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How Important Is Choosing The Right VPN Server Location
Its fairly important, given that it can influence your online experience. Plus, youd probably want to get the most out of your VPN usage and the money you pay for it, and choosing the right server is an important part of that.
For example, theres a chance that choosing the wrong VPN server could result in slower speeds or less privacy.
Do You Plan On Downloading Torrents
If yes, the first thing you need to make sure is that you are connecting to a VPN server that supports P2P traffic.
Wait, dont all VPN servers support torrenting?
Not exactly. You see, VPN providers need to comply with the laws of the countries they rent servers in. And some of those laws prohibit torrenting. Thats usually the case with US-based VPN servers.
A VPN server with no P2P support will just block any torrenting traffic. No need to worry, though if you pick a reliable VPN provider, they will tell you which servers support P2P traffic and which ones dont. Usually, it will be servers from places where torrenting laws arent really enforced, or where torrenting isnt a legal problem like Romania, Switzerland, Germany Bulgaria, Mexico, Spain, or the Netherlands.
Besides the P2P support, you also need to choose a server that will offer decent speeds. And dont use an unsecured protocol like PPTP just to get fast download speeds. Use a fast but well-encrypted protocol like SoftEther instead.
SmartyDNS does not encourage illegal copyright infringement or torrenting. However, we need to acknowledge the fact that many people around the world can only access the online files and content they want if they use P2P methods.
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How To Choose The Right VPN
As governments around the world ramp up mass surveillance on their own citizens, the search for online privacy has driven many people to adopt the use of a VPN. An annual VPN usage study from 2021 shows that 85% of adult internet users are aware of VPNs and what they do, up from 72% in 2020. Since a VPN is an indispensable tool in protecting your online privacy, it is important to pick the right one.
In this article, well look at the reasons you should use a VPN and the factors to consider when selecting a VPN.
Is It Safe To Connect To A VPN Server In Your Own Country
Youre probably skeptical about using a VPN server in your own country. However, as weve mentioned, it could be the ideal choice if youre looking for an option that allows you to browse at lightning-fast internet speeds.
A VPN server based in your country will function in the same way as other servers. You will still have your browsing data encrypted and secured from your internet service provider.
However, just as is the case with choosing a VPN server outside your country, your choice will depend on why you need the VPN.
If youre using the VPN to bypass government restrictions, a server in your country will not do much.
Similarly, it may not help you entirely if youre in any alliance countries and are looking to use the VPN to maintain your privacy when browsing.
In general, using a VPN in your country allows you to bypass restrictions from your Internet service provider. However, it will still be subject to restrictions that apply to your country.
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What Is A VPN Server Anyway
A VPN server is normally a standard server that is configured with VPN server software. It enables providers to host and deliver their services. Though, unlike other servers, it tends to have more logical and physical communication ports.
VPN users can connect to a VPN server, and have their own IP addresses replaced with the servers address. Also, before they actually get access to the VPN, they connect to the server which authenticates them.
VPN servers can either belong to the VPN provider, or they can be rented from third-party providers usually data centers. The servers can also be physical machines or Virtual Private Servers . Cloud servers can also be used, but they arent deemed too reliable by VPN providers since they reside in a shared virtualized environment.
Dedicated servers are more ideal since only the VPN provider makes use of them. With a VPS, on the other hand, the provider has to share the physical host machine with other clients who rent it.
Extra Toolbox Makes A VPN Even Better
In order to upgrade the user experience and improve the power of a product, many VPN developers deliberately add some more functions, such as kill switch, split tunneling, ad-blocker, speed tester, multi-factor authentication, etc.
Since these are not top-concern factors, you can decide whether to choose the VPN pre-installed with them according to your own situation and demand. After all, the more functions, the more efforts the development team will deliver, so the price will be surely more expensive.
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Does The VPN Server Allow P2p Or Not
When you are looking for the best vpn location for torrenting, it is important that the servers are located close to your home country. Contrary to popular belief it is not that easy to find locations that support P2P connections because not all countries offer this feature in their networks and many mark p2p torrenting as illegal. Usually, your vpn provider will let you choose between servers that support P2P and ones that dont. It is a better approach to understand all your requirements before selecting any VPN because VPN providers optimize the servers for the type of traffic that is giving better results to the users. The risk of running p2p torrenting without VPN may imply ISP throttling, data leakage risk, legal issues, and fines.
Are There Any Disadvantages
While setting up your own VPN server can be extremely beneficial, there are some situations when this idea might be a poor choice:
- If you use a VPN to accessregion-locked content around the globe. If you rely on your VPN provider having lots of available servers in different countries, a homemade VPN server is inferior. Commercial VPN operators can subsidize the cost of running servers in so many places by having lots of customers.
- If you arent willing to dedicate the time to set it up. While modern tools have made the process easier, theres no doubt that setting up a VPN isnt for everyone.
- If you dont want to be on the hook for security. Even though todays automation solutions help, youre ultimately still responsible for securing your server and VPN solution. Youll need to make informed decisions on security-related issues.
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Getting Started With A VPN
Once you’ve settled on a service, the first thing to do is to download the company’s app. There’s usually a Downloads page for this on the VPN service’s website. Go ahead and download the apps for your mobile devices as well: You’ll want to protect as many of your devices as you can. If the VPN service you’re considering doesn’t offer an app for the devices you use, consider finding a different service.
We have found that when releasing VPNs for Mac, companies occasionally have different versions available in the Mac App Store and on the company website. This appears to be for compliance with restrictions imposed by Apple. Figuring out which will work for you can be tricky, so be sure to read the company’s documentation carefully.
Once you’ve installed the apps, you’re usually prompted to enter your login information. In most cases, this is the username and password you created when you signed up for the service. Some companies, such as IVPN, Mullvad, and ExpressVPN have unusual login systems that provide customers with more privacy but can be confusing at first. Be sure to read the instructions carefully.
Once you’re logged in, your VPN app usually connects to the VPN server closest to your current location. That’s done to provide better speeds when using the VPN, as performance degrades the farther the VPN server is from your actual location. That’s it: Your information is now being securely tunneled to the VPN server.
The Best VPN Location For Fast Speeds
The VPN speed mainly depends on two factors the distance to the VPN server and that servers load. The bigger the distance from your real location the slower your speeds will be. A long distance to a VPN serverwill negatively affect your page load time and download speeds.This is especially noticeable in countries with an underdeveloped internet infrastructure.
VPN servers load usually means how much internet traffic is traveling via that server at a given time. The bigger the load the more it is expected that this server will slow down your internet speed. To reach the best speeds it is best to connect to the server that has the least load.
The internet speed is also influenced by other factors that are not directly related to a VPN. This might be internet rush hours, your ISP routing, or the type of internet connection you have.
The best VPN location for the fast speed is the one closest to you. Which means that it might be a VPN server in your own country. Read further to know if connecting to your one country is safe.
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