What Is The Best Free VPN
After extensive testing, we conclude that PrivadoVPN is the best free VPN service in 2022.
Other good free VPN providers are ProtonVPN, Hide.me, TunnelBear, Atlas VPN, Windscribe, and ZoogVPN, with each option having its own unique advantages and features.
Our top list of free VPNs can be summarized as follows:
The Potentially More Difficult Way
If your TV doesn’t run on the Android operating system, then one of the ways you can set up a VPN on your smart TV is by running a VPN connection through a router. But proceed with caution. Not all routers support VPN connections, so if you don’t already have one, you’ll need to purchase a compatible router — which can get pricey if you want a router that can handle the VPN connection and deliver a smooth streaming experience. Also, installing a VPN on your router won’t necessarily be plug-and-play, and you risk ruining your router or voiding its warranty if you botch the installation process.
Fortunately, the best VPN providers on the market do offer step-by-step instructions for router installations for a variety of VPN-compatible router models in their help sections and have support staff on hand to help you. So you don’t have to go it alone completely, but the process still isn’t entirely risk-free. If you don’t want to complete the install yourself, some VPNs, through a company called FlashRouters, are happy to sell you routers with VPN compatibility already preinstalled on them. This could be the way to go if you don’t want to risk installing it yourself, but keep in mind that you’ll be paying a premium of probably about $100 to $150 over and above retail for your preconfigured VPN router.
The 2021 Netflix Crackdown
However, in August 2021, it seemed that Netflix had finally gained the upper hand: in one fell swoop, servers all over the world stopped working in what we at How-To Geek dubbed the VPN crackdown.
One of the ways VPNs had eluded Netflix was by using residential IP addresses. These are IPs that arent linked to rented server space like VPNs usually use, but instead ones that are linked to residential addresses. Netflix had gotten wise to this and blocked those, too, causing some annoyance with people who were not using a VPN and were still blocked.
On the other hand, Netflix now lets you stream Netflix Originals if it detects youre using a VPN. Youre not blocked from streamingyou can just only stream shows that Netflix has a worldwide license for
It was a fairly elegant solution overall and it worked to block VPNs for about a week. Some VPNs quickly caught up with Netflixs tactics, and it seems that once again ExpressVPN and NordVPN, to name but two, offer servers that can connect to Netflix libraries in other countries.
It looks like the game of cat and mouse is continuing.
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How To Set Up A VPN On Windows Xp
Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP. There are still two ways to install and use a VPN on Windows XP, though.
The first method involves signing up to VPN service that still maintains a Windows XP application, like ExpressVPN and Windscribe.
The second method is undoubtedly harder, and involves manually configuring a VPN connection using Windows Dialler.
Heres how to set up a manual VPN connection on Windows XP using Windows Dialler and the ExpressVPN L2TP/IPsec protocol:
Skip The Manual Setup And Get A VPN App
Before diving in, does manually setting up a VPN sound like a daunting task? The best option is to use a VPN service provider that offers VPN apps that you can set up with a double-click of a button.Surfshark VPN offers applications for a wide range of devices, so you dont have to worry about manually setting up your VPN or reading the rest of this guide.
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Setting Up A VPN On Windows With VPN Software: A Step
Installing a VPN on Windows 10 using official VPN software is very easy and goes as follows:
Nordvpn Secure VPN Connection For Widnows 10
- Compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10
- 5500+ servers in 59 countries
- 6 simultaneous connections
- 82 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Unblocks Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, NBC, TF1, DStv, and more
- Also works with macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, routers, browsers, and more
NordVPN undoubtedly provides the most secure VPN connection for Windows 10. It offers an easy-to-use Windows app for Windows 7, 8, and 10 with tons of security features.
Its desktop app features a map interface that is very easy to navigate. Instead of choosing the server from the list, you can server location from the map. It does, however, take a lot of screen space which might be annoying for some users.
NordVPN offers 5500+ servers in 59 countries. With so many servers, you can easily bypass geo-restrictions and access any website you want. NordVPN works with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and many more.
Not all NordVPN servers support P2P. Its P2P-optimized servers are available in 40+ countries along with a SOCKS 5 proxy. It works with all major torrenting clients like uTorrent, BitTorrent, and more.
Some of NordVPNs standout features include CyberSec , Double VPN, Onion Over VPN, and Dedicated IP servers. NordVPN also offers obfuscated servers that disguise your VPN traffic as normal HTTPS traffic, so no one can know you are using a VPN.
You can learn more about its features in our NordVPN review.
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Solution : Static Ip Address
One possible solution is to get your ISP to assign a static IP address to your office. This eliminates the whole problem caused by dynamic IP addresses. The down side of this solution is that ISPs charge for static IP addresses. It may be that they charge such a small amount, that you will be happy to go with this solution.
Enable The Kill Switch
Many VPN services have a kill switch that will stop any data being sent over the internet connection if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly. This helps to protect your privacy by ensuring your real location is never leaked.
Often you have to go into your VPN apps settings to enable the kill switch, as its not turned on by default. A kill switch may not be available in all the apps a VPN provider offers. Some, such as NordVPNs iOS app, dont show a kill switch option because its permanently enabled and you cant turn it off.
Theres a good reason why kill switches arent on by default, though: you wont be able to access the internet unless the VPN is connected.
If available, you might prefer to use the App Kill Switch option which Nord offers in its Windows app. This lets you pick which apps should have their internet connections cut off if the VPN stops working, and leaves all others working as normal.
A similar feature called split-tunneling lets you choose which apps use the VPN connection and all others use the normal connection.
There are other options, but thats really all you need to do to: using a VPN is very easy.
The only other tweak you might want to make is to get the VPN to connect automatically if your device connects to an unknown Wi-Fi network. This ensures you dont forget to enable the protection a VPN offers.
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How To Install A VPN Connection On Your Smartphone
As already mentioned, there are also VPN connections for Android smartphones and iPhones. Fortunately, smartphone VPN services are easy to use and generally include the following:
- The installation process usually only downloads one app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. Although free VPN providers exist, its wise to choose a professional provider when it comes to security.
- The setup is extremely user-friendly, as the default settings are already mostly designed for the average smartphone user. Simply log in with your account. Most apps will then guide you through the key functions of the VPN services.
- Switching on the VPN literally works like a light switch for many VPN apps. You will probably find the option directly on the home screen.
- Server switching is usually done manually if you want to fake your location. Simply select the desired country from the offer.
- Advanced setup is available for users requiring a higher degree of data protection. Depending on your VPN, you can also select other protocols for your encryption method. Diagnostics and other functions may also be available in your app. Before you subscribe, learn about these features to find the right VPN for your needs.
- In order to surf the internet safely from now on, all you have to do is first activate the VPN connection through the app.
Download And Install VPN Clients
The simplest way to get your VPN up and running is to install clients from your VPN provider. However, they may not offer software for every platform you need, such as Windows, iOS, and Android. Even if they don’t, it’s better to install what they offer first and then confirm that your VPN account is operating correctly.
Look for the “downloads” page on your VPN provider’s website. You should also download apps for the mobile devices that your workers use since youll want to protect connections from as many devices as possible.
If the initial client you install works right off the bat, then you can contact the VPN provider about clients for other platforms. And if you cant log in at all, then you can pass along that information to the VPN provider’s support team.
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Troubleshooting Steps To Reconnect Your VPN
When your VPN won’t connect, try these solutions:
Check your internet connection. It may seem obvious, but make sure your network connection is working. If you can’t connect to the internet, check whether your device is connected to the correct access point.
Check your login credentials. Not having the correct or up-to-date login credentials is another obvious but often overlooked detail. If you use a free VPN service, check the website to see if the credentials supplied by the VPN service have changed or your password needs to be updated.
Change the VPN server connection. VPNs generally offer a selection of servers you can connect to. However, sometimes the server you’re trying to connect to is having issues and you’ll receive one of several common VPN error codes. Try a different server and see if that resolves the problem.
Restart the VPN software or browser plug-in. If changing the VPN server doesn’t work, restart the VPN software or browser plugins. Don’t just disconnect from the VPN server quit and restart the software. In the case of browser plugins, fully close down and reopen the browser. You may need to clear your browser cache to get the plug-in working again.
Check that your browser is up-to-date. To eliminate common browser-based issues, use a browser that’s supported and endorsed by your VPN provider. Also, make sure that you have the latest browser updates installed.
The Best Customer Support
Even though the NordVPN app is easy to use, you still might run into technical difficulties or payment issues. Find help whenever you need it our award-winning customer support agents are there 24/7. Cant connect to a server? Having trouble with the app? Write us an email, or hop over for a live chat well sort it out.
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VPNs Have Other Benefits
Some VPNs can block ads and prevent malicious sites from infecting your device with malware and trackers. These features can usually be turned on in your VPN settings. They let you enjoy websites like YouTube without annoying ads and further protect you against hackers and tracking, which is very handy when torrenting.
Another benefit is being able to bypass regional geoblocks on geo-restricted sites like Netflix. The content thats available to you on these platforms depends on the location of your IP address, so changing it can give you access to different content. This is especially handy if youre traveling abroad and want to watch shows from back home.
VPNs can give you access to international gaming servers and unblock regionally restricted games. This enhances your gaming experience by letting you compete against different opponents. Additionally, you can get different game packs and bonuses that might not be available in your region.
A VPN will also help to get around online restrictions and network firewalls to restore your online freedoms. This even includes firewalls like the Great Firewall of China. It overcomes these problems with obfuscation features and protocols, which mask your VPN traffic and tunnel through firewalls as a result.
Setting Up A VPN Server On A Mac Desktop
The More You Know: You cannot connect to a macOS Big Sur server locally. It will only work if youre outside of the home network.
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Tunnelbear Best Free VPN If Youre Looking For Many Server Locations
TunnelBear is one of the most reliable providers offering a free VPN solution.
|Visit the TunnelBear website|
What benefits does the free TunnelBear VPN application provide?
TunnelBear is another good option if youre looking for a free VPN. The interface is clear, fun, and easy to use. The visual style is unique and very recognizable. The website is easy to navigate and the installation of TunnelBear software is quick and simple.
Additionally, the security and encryption are up to par, and the free version of TunnelBear doesnt cap speeds.
Even with its free version, TunnelBear allows you to choose from all of its available servers in countries like the USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Spain, France, Brazil, India, and Italy.
TunnelBear is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Moreover, their free VPN can be used on multiple devices at the same time, just like their paid one.
This VPN provider has some limitations but is still a very good free VPN. If you want to download the free version, click Pricing at the top of their website, then select the free subscription.
Downsides of the free version of TunnelBear
Verdict on TunnelBear
Is It Legal To Bypass VPN Blocks
If VPN usage is legal in your country, its also legal to bypass VPN blocks. Sure, it might be against the Terms of Service of some platforms , but usually, you wont face any consequences for doing so. However, it depends on the service for example, most online casinos will terminate your account for using a VPN.
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