Which VPN Provider Is Best For Me
The first step on your VPN journey is to figure out which provider best matches what you’re expecting from the service. The easy route-one way to do this is head to our best VPN guide, scan the services and pick out the one that looks right for your needs.
If privacy is top of your list, for instance – perhaps to stay safe on public Wi-Fi – then you should look for a provider with well-engineered apps, who uses the latest and most secure VPN protocols, and has put itself through public security or no-logging audits to confirm it’s trustworthy.
But if you’re only interested in unblocking Netflix, and the most any snooper could see is which series you’re viewing right now, your priorities might change. Sure, audits are still good news, but what really matters is how many streaming platforms a provider can unblock. We test this regularly, and our best streaming VPNs article lists the winners.
It’s important that your provider supports all the platforms you need, too. Top services almost universally have apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, but if you’re looking to use a VPN to unblock streaming sites, check for apps covering Smart TVs or Amazon Fire TV, too. Support for routers is another plus, as it allows you to protect devices which can’t run VPN apps.
What VPN Providers Are There
Above we have shown you three good VPN providers but there are hundreds of companies that offer commercial VPNs. Just type in VPN in the App Store or Play Store, and youll see a dizzying amount of VPN apps, that are often free to download. And then there are also quite a few companies that offer business VPN packages.
We like to help and have tested many VPN providers already. You can find more information about testing and the results in our VPN review section.
Below youll find a selection of VPN providers to give you an impression of the amount of services out there. We also state under which jurisdiction each VPN provider falls and whether the VPN provider is located in a 5, 9 or 14 eyes country the governments of these countries exchange information.
The jurisdiction may have implications for the privacy of VPN users, as each country has different privacy laws. In practice, there are therefore differences in which user data VPN providers store. With privacy in mind, you ideally want to use a VPN that doesnt log or track anything about your internet activities.
Activate The VPN App And Start Browsing The Internet Safely And Freely
Activate the VPN by pressing the connect button, and the VPN connection will be established. Generally, you wont even notice its activated, since the software runs in the background of your device.
And thats all there is to it! While the VPN is enabled, youll be able to browse the web far more securely, privately, and freely. The illustration below will shortly review the steps youll need to take to set up a VPN on your computer:
If you want to learn how to install a VPN on a specific device, such as a smartphone or smart TV, have a look at our VPN setup section. The installation may vary, depending on your device and operating system. If you want to know exactly how a VPN works, keep on reading. Well explain that and more below.
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How Do You Enable A VPN
How you actually use your VPN can vary quite a bit, and it depends a bit on how extreme you want to go. Once setup is finished, though, all you have to do is turn it on and start browsing as you normally would. Thats it. The VPN does all the tough stuff for you without you having to even think about it.
Protecting your device: The simplest is also the most common. The majority of VPNs offer apps for popular platformsWindows, macOS, Android, iOSthat you can install on that device. Once you have it, you sign in and hit a button for complete protection.
Protecting your browser: If locking down your whole computer feels like overkill, many VPN services offer browser plugins for browsers like Chrome and Firefox that will protect that browser, specifically. That means that other apps on that device could still expose your data. If you feel safe with that, this is a good solution to have at least one protected way to get online.
Protecting your network: You can protect your entire home network by setting up a VPN through your router. This requires far more technical know-how than the other two options. Youll need to get a router that supports it, or that supports open-source router operating systems like DD-WRT or OpenWRT. This will protect everything on your networkeven your Smart Fridgeand cant just be turned off.
Adaptable To Numerous Smart Devices
While many of us may first try a VPN on a company-loaned laptop, many VPN services also protect other smart devices such as your phones, tablets and desktop computers. Each VPN company may offer slightly different protection plans and have different capacities to protect different devices, but many providers offer plans that help keep you safe on multiple devices.
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Why Do You Need Your Own VPN Server
We usually subscribe to a commercial VPN service and connect to one of their remote VPN servers closer to our location. Sometimes you may be using a free VPN that may not be as secure as you expect and opt to subscribe to a paid VPN service for better privacy.
But, you do not necessarily need to pay for a VPN because you can also create your VPN server at your home. Then you can securely connect to your home network when you are away from home.
Setting up your VPN server is cheaper than paying for a premium VPN service as most methods like hosting charge for the compute services you use. Moreover, such VPNs are disposable, meaning that you can terminate your server after you have finished using it.
In addition to that, it will be secure than commercial VPNs because you are not providing your data to an external service that could be keeping your access logs and share with third parties for many purposes.
There are several ways you can achieve this. But, you need some technical knowledge on setting up a home VPN on your own, as it can be a tricky task.
In this guide, we are going to explain different ways you can create one. We will start with the most cost-effective method: turning your computer into a VPN server.
How To Use A VPN Effectively When Is It Better To Use It
Ever wondered how it would feel to browse privately on the internet without worrying about someone monitoring your online activity? What if nobody, not even your own ISP, is able to track your browsing history or any other web related activity? And, how about streaming your favorite content on the Netflix US library or listening to Pandora radio or getting access to blocked content on the internet?
Well, all of the above-mentioned scenarios seemed impossible before VPN was introduced into the world of technology. As the technology has progressed, issues pertaining to internet safety and data security has taken a toll, letting users look for solutions that can help them stay away from online attacks. Now, a VPN has become a must for every individual. From the business professional to the entertainment fanatic, to the leisure traveler to the privacy-conscious user, each one of them is seeking help from a VPN in some way or the other. So, what on earth is a VPN and how does it actually work? Lets find out.
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Selecting A Secure VPN Provider
It is also important that you choose a VPN provider that you can trust. While your ISP cannot see your internet traffic, your VPN provider can. If your VPN provider is compromised, so are you. For this reason, it is crucial that you choose a trusted VPN provider to ensure both the concealment of your internet activities and ensure the highest level of security.
Set Up A VPN On Mac Using Tunnelblick
If you need the OpenVPN protocol only and don’t wish to use a dedicated VPN app, you can use a third-party app for this purpose. Here’s how to set up a VPN on your Mac using connections that rely on OpenVPN only.
1. Subscribe to a VPN that lists its OVPN files. Our recommendation is to pick ExpressVPN.
2. Return to ExpressVPN’s home page and select ‘My Account.’
3. Provide your credentials to access your ExpressVPN online dashboard.
4. Navigate to ‘Set Up Other Devices.’ Then, pick ‘Manual Configuration.’
5. Pick the ‘OpenVPN‘ tab on the right-hand side.
6. Make a note of your OpenVPN username and password. You’ll need those soon enough.
7. Just below, pick a VPN server and to your Mac.
8. You’ll need an OVPN client for your Mac. We recommend using Tunnelblick.
9. Launch Tunnelblick and pick ‘I Have Configuration Files.’
10. Drag and drop your OVPN file on the left side of Tunnelblick’s interface.
11. The application will now ask for your OpenVPNusername and password.
12. Finally, you can use this same interface to connect to your newly added server.
Repeat the procedure explained above to add multiple servers. That means you’ll need to return to ExpressVPN’s site, pick another OVPN file, and then add it to Tunnelblick. Feel free to rename your connections based on your chosen servers’ location, making it easy to discern them.
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Can I Use My VPN On My Phone
You can use a VPN just about anywhere you can connect to the internet. Modern VPN services offer software and configuration for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android, as well as browser plugins. There are also VPNs that you can configure at the router level if you want a project and dont have kids with important gaming appointments to worry about.
What Is A VPN Used For
A VPN is a software application that you install on any of your internet-connected devices to hide your activity from third-party threats. By routing all your activity and communications through secure, encrypted tunnels, the VPN stops snoopers and hackers from finding your location, internet service protocol provider, and other sensitive bits of information that would otherwise be freely exposed for anyone to see.
It also prevents advertisers from collecting information about your browsing and shopping habits that they can later take advantage of for their personalized marketing campaigns. Finally, it helps in situations where you want to access the internet from a different location to use services that arent available in your country like TV broadcasts and online gaming platforms.
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Heres How To Surf Securely With A VPN
A VPN encrypts your surfing behavior, which can only be decoded with the help of a key. Only your computer and the VPN know this key, so your ISP cannot recognize where you are surfing. Different VPNs use different encryption processes, but generally function in three steps:
Securely Using Public Wi
Public places are jungles filled with Wi-Fi, and some of them are poisonous. Anybody can set up a fake public Wi-Fi and hack your device.
Using a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi is a must. It doesn’t matter if you just check your Facebook, buy a new sweater online, or use Google Search in any of these cases your traffic can be intercepted. Turn on a VPN on your device and NordVPN will provide you with encryption to stay invisible from digital predators.
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VPN Uses: Access Sites When You’re Abroad
Much like streaming services, many other sites serve up different content to users in different countries. However, if you’re on a trip you’ll want to access your regular version, but you’ll be faced with a site that might be totally different and quite possibly in a language you don’t speak.
If you’ve got a VPN, it’s simply a case of relocating your connection so you appear back home, and you’ll be able to access your familiar site like magic.
This is especially useful for online banking, too. If you’ve gone away on a weekend jaunt and forgotten to tell your bank, you might face being locked out of your account. If this is a possibility, it’s worth flipping that VPN switch on and virtually heading home for a moment just to make sure your account isn’t blocked, leaving you penniless abroad.
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Setting Up Urban VPN On Firefox
When you need to unblock any website, stay anonymous & secure with 100% Free VPN for Firefox, all you require is just one click to set up Urban VPN on Firefox.
There is always the need to keep your browsing activities away from prying eyes and private. What of all those harmful advertising? You also need to think about how you protect your devices from malware and other vulnerabilities you can encounter while using the public Wi-Fi connections.
All these and more call for Firefox extension that will enable you to surf the web without the fear of losing your personal information to hackers, apart from other security risks.
With the Urban VPN on your Firefox browser, nobody stores, gather, or process your personal data. Third parties cannot track your browsing activities or sell your data. Your connection is encrypted and all your browsing activities are safe.
Though with your consent, there can be attempts to collect the ads that are blocked for you and the URLs you visit to provide AdBlocker and Safe Browsing functionality, and carry out analysis for an improved customer experience. You dont need to entertain any fear about this since the information gathered is anonymized and will not contain any personal data.
There is no need to download further software the process of setting up Urban VPN on Firefox is as follows:
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How Ssl VPNs Work
As mentioned earlier, SSL VPNs rely on the SSL protocol to provide users with remote access to applications. However, these VPNs have now replaced the SSL protocol with the newer TLS protocol.
This VPN solution is a web or a client application-based solution. It uses standard HTTP or HTTPS connection services to provide access to private networks. Some companies have specific software and web-based apps that they protect through encrypted VPN tunneling. Employees can access those programs with SSL VPNs.
Unlike a traditional IPSec VPN, anSSL VPN encrypts the whole HTTP payload. As a result, it allows for more granular access control of services, data, and applications in a private network.
VPN Uses: Watch More Live Sports
If you’re a sports fanatic, you’ll know that watching live events can get expensive pretty quickly. However, with a VPN and little bit of research, you could save a ton of cash and perhaps even find a pay-per-view event for free.
This is due to the fact that some sporting events are free-to-air in certain countries, while they’re paid-for in others. In recent times we’ve found cheaper or even free ways of catching the NBA, Super Bowl, Euros and Olympics with a VPN, so if there’s a big event on, it’s well worth checking out global broadcasting options for a better deal.
All you need to do is connect to a server in one of those countries and get watching. Plus, Tom’s Guide runs down all the big events and how to watch them, so check elsewhere on the site for info on where to catch a cheaper stream.
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When Should I Use A VPN
For the best security, you should use a VPN as often as possible, whether you’re using public Wi-Fi or working from homeall the time, ideally. But that’s an aspirational goal, and it’s not always achievable. If your VPN is causing problems and you need to switch if off, don’t beat yourself up. At minimum, you should use a VPN whenever you’re using a network you don’t control, and especially if it’s a public Wi-Fi network.
VPNs for Android and iPhones are a little trickier, particularly if you frequently move in and out of cellphone coverage. Each time you lose and regain data connectivity, the VPN has to reconnect, which adds a frustrating wait. It’s also just less likely that your cell traffic can be intercepted by bad guys, but we’ve seen researchers prove that it can be done.
Most mobile devices can automatically connect to any familiar looking Wi-Fi network. That’s out of convenience to you, but it’s trivially simple to impersonate a Wi-Fi network. Your phone may be connecting to a digital honeypot without you even realizing it. At minimum, you should use a VPN when connecting via Wi-Fi to keep your data safe, even if your device falls for an attack like this one.