Watch For Red Flags When Choosing A VPN
#1. Avoid Free VPNs
Providing a VPN service is a costly business. There are servers to maintain, software to be developed, people to handle customer support, advertising expenses, to name a few.
All this doesnt come cheap.
Many free VPN providers have been caught selling customer data, quietly installing malware or injecting advertising. While a free VPN may be tempting, when it comes to choosing this type of service, you have two options. The first is paying a fee. The second is paying with your data by looking at excessive ads or by risking your Internet connection security.
#2. Watch Out For Poor Encryption
The VPN works by sending your data encrypted through a virtual tunnel and decrypting it on the server side. Using a strong encryption protocol and a long encryption key is essential for keeping your data secure while it travels through the Internet.
Although AES encryption with 256-bit key or more should be standard for any VPN, there are still many services that provide only 128-bit keys. Other strong VPN ciphers to look for are Twofish or Camellia. Look out for Perfect Forward Secrecy as well not many VPN services provide this essential security feature.
#3. Beware Of Snitching
VPN services encrypt your data while it travels through the Internet, but it is still technically possible for the service provider to access it as it is being decrypted on the VPN server.
How Important Is Compatibility And Versatility
Weve zeroed in on the best VPN for Windows and while this may be enough protection for some internet users, having a VPN that can support other platforms, such as Mac, Android, Linux and iOS, is non-negotiable for others.
Along the same lines, knowing how many devices youll need to protect at one time can help you navigate your way to a great VPN provider. While some services allow for unlimited devices, some can be as low as one device, especially with free or low-cost plans.
How We Chose The Recommended VPNs For Laptops
There are hundreds of VPNs on the market and not every VPN was created equally. Many VPNs have poor privacy policies that would not keep your online habits truly private. Other VPNs have badly implemented encryption, unreliable apps, or critical data leaks that make the VPN connection untrustworthy.
For a VPN to be suitable for your laptop, it must provide watertight security. It must also have specific VPN privacy features that not all VPN apps have. Below, we explain the features that we looked for when curating this list of the best laptop VPNs:
- Software for Windows laptops and MacBooks
- A VPN no-logs policy that you can trust to provide proper online privacy
- Apps for all platforms with advanced features
- Servers worldwide to allow you to unblock anything you desire
- A fast network that is suitable for HD streaming, torrenting, and gaming
- Good customer care to help you when you need it
- Servers that work with Netflix US, iPlayer, and other popular services
- Value for money
- VPN Servers that permit P2P for torrenting
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Why Should I Bother With A VPN
There are other reasons you might want to run a VPN on your own PC, the number one draw being online security. If you don’t want a network tracking your every move, the best way to avoid using a virtual private network is to avoid that. The best VPNs run a ‘no log’ policy, which means they’ll store no data about you or your activity, helping you stay secure in the face of any data breach too. Again, it will also help you get around geo-blocking. Say you want to unlock a new game early or want to subscribe to a service only available in another country, no problem.
Can I Use A Free VPN For Windows 7 8 Or 10
So-called free VPNs are best avoided. While they dont require payment like those on this list, they can actually reduce your privacy by injecting tracking cookies and advertisements into your web browser. Furthermore, they typically have data caps and bandwidth limits, not to mention a far more restricted range of servers.As a general rule of thumb, if youre not buying the product, then you are the product.
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VPN Bans In China And Russia
Most VPN services claim to work in China and Russia. The truth is that its a cat-and-mouse game where the governments work out how to block connections if they detect youre using a VPN and theyre very good at doing so.
It means that you cant know for sure if a certain service will let you access Google and other sites on a particular day, and thats one reason why it pays to subscribe to a service with 24/7 live chat support: theyll be able to help you pick the right server and settings to bypass the blocks at that time.
The same goes for unblocking streaming services: they dont like VPNs and crack down on them as much as they can. And, again, having live chat support is useful when you run into problems. At the moment, many VPNs are unable to unblock BBC iPlayer even big names such as ExpressVPN. So if this is important to you, check with the company first to see what the current situation is. Usually there is a solution: ExpressVPN offers a separate Media Streamer service which allows you to watch iPlayer content abroad.
We have lots more information and articles about VPNs here at Tech Advisor, all of which you can find over in our VPN hub.
Whats The Difference Between A Business VPN And A Personal VPN
In short, personal VPNs protect individuals who are typically consumers. Theyre cheaper and sometimes free. People usually use them to browse the internet safely and access websites or streaming content only available in certain countries.
Business VPNs protect the interests of the companies, not the employees. For instance, if youre using a business VPN, your online behavior is protected for external threats, but the administrator of the business VPN may track how you are using it. Business VPNs typically have some sort of user management dashboard and are also more expensive.
For smaller teams, solopreneurs and freelancers, a business tier VPN may not be necessary. Our list above looks at personal VPNs that have multiple uses.
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Best VPN Services Of 2022
If you havent heard this anywhere else by now, let it be known by us: ExpressVPN is the best VPN service around. From its large number of servers that connect wicked fast despite its global reach, to its incredible accessibility for users, its the VPN service that will never disappoint. ExpressVPN offers multiple security protocols including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2, and its very own Lightway protocol. Even better, it uses 256-bit AES encryption which is nearly impossible to break. That, along with its no-log policy and Perfect Forward Secrecy so your encrypted data wont be captured and deciphered later put any security fears at ease.
All that with lightning-fast speeds? Indeed, made even faster with its new Lightway security protocol. Even playing online multiplayer games isnt a bother, and its all done with a one-click connection that links to the fastest server. Speaking of, user accessibility is the real star of the show, offering easy connections for those who simply want to be anonymous, along with DNS leak prevention, split tunneling, a kill switch, and then some. It also works on pretty much every device including laptops, web browsers, smart hubs, gaming consoles you name it.
While ExpressVPN isnt the cheapest for the five devices it supports, it can also be used on a router thanks to the router app, meaning you can link all those devices and still be secure with one connection. Continue to shine, ExpressVPN.Read our full ExpressVPN review
Compare VPN Protocols For Windows
After installing your VPN software, you will find several options inside the settings to change which protocol you are using. These VPN encryption protocol options can be confusing, and it’s useful to know what each one offers before you change your VPN settings.
To help you out, here is a list of the protocols and how they stack up:
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Windscribefree VPN For Windows With A 10 Gb/mo Bandwidth
- Unblock: Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Voot, Sony Liv, and more
- Compatibility: iOS, Mac, Android, Windows, routers, Linux, and more
Windscribe is a free VPN for Windows 7, 8, and 10 with a 10 GB monthly bandwidth limit. Its free version offers you a 2 GB monthly bandwidth limit, but if you provide your email address, you get a complete 10 GB monthly bandwidth limit for your Windows device.
Windscribe offers servers in 10 countries, including the US, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Switzerland, and HongKong B and at the Top in UK.
Windscribe is one of the excellent free VPN service for Windows-based in Canada that is easy to use. It offers great connectivity, and its super simple to establish a VPN connection with any server of your choice.
With 10 GB bandwidth and servers available in 10 different countries, you can easily unblock popular streaming services such as Netflix, DisneyPlus, AmazonPrime, Hotstar, Voot, SonyLiv, and more.
The Windows app of Windscribe uses OpenVPN with 256-bit encryption and a privacy-affirming logging policy to ensure your privacy remains safe.
Since Windows is not a very privacy-friendly operating system, you can at least protect some of what you can while connected to Windscribe during your online sessions.
It also offers a feature known as ROBERT, which works as a configurable ad/malicious website blocker, among other uses.
You can learn more about this VPN in our Hide.Me review.
Best VPN Services 2022
ByDarragh Murphypublished 31 May 22
From scouring the internet anonymously to tricking Netflix, find out which VPN is best suited for you
Heres the scenario: youre about to sit down to a brand-new season of your favorite show on Netflix but, whats this? Its showing in every country except yours? Shock and horror. But dont fret, thats when a virtual private network comes in handy, and thanks to its huge surge in popularity over the years, the near-essential service is as simple to use as a click of a button.
A VPN does more than just let you endlessly browse through country-specific shows on different streaming services, as it also offers anonymity when browsing on public Wi-Fi, bypasses region-restricted websites, and keeps your online activity encrypted.
Essentially, no hacker threats, no government eyes snooping about your business, and no problems accessing the site of your choice even if youre heading to countries with heightened internet censorship like the UAE, Cuba or China.
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What Are The VPN Dos And Don’ts
The best VPN can make it look like you’re located somewhere you’re not. It’s a well-worn practice to evade online censorship, as is done in some countries, or to tap into US streaming services while in Europe or Asia. We’ve used VPNs to read the New York morning paper in Beijing, and watch US TV in London.
But there are some caveats. A VPN will give you more privacy, but not more security. If you end up on a website harboring malware, the VPN can’t prevent you from being infected.
If you just want to evade geographical restrictions on streaming content such as BBC iPlayer or Hulu, you don’t necessarily need a VPN to do so. You just need a proxy service that will make it look like you’re in the right country. There are many free proxy services available, but do your homework before choosing one some are a bit dodgy.
Finally, Netflix and the BBC are cracking down on VPNs and proxy services. There are no guarantees that a particular service will evade geographical restrictions on a particular day.
Frequently Asked Questions For Best VPNs For Pc
Below are some of the most popular questions surrounding the best VPN for PCs.
ExpressVPN offers a 30-day risk-free trial where you can access its entire set of features. If youre looking for a completely free option, ProtonVPN and Winscribe offer free VPN plans. However, your connection wont be extremely fast, and you wont have as many server options on a free VPN plan.
The truth is that you cant go wrong with either option. Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer lightning-fast speeds, a wide array of servers, and state-of-the-art security features. Both choices are great for streaming because of their strong unblocking abilities and dedicated IP address options.
VPNs started as a way to share data and browse the web securely. However, they have become a lot broader in their use cases. For example, you can geo-spoof your PCs IP address to other world regions to access different varieties of content. Furthermore, you can use a VPN to unblock restricted websites on PCs, which is why VPNs in China have become so popular.
The main reason you must use a VPN is to protect your data from hackers when youre on public Wi-Fi or casually browsing the internet. A VPN establishes an encrypted connection between your computer and the internet. This provides a private tunnel for your data and communications while using a public network.
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Improving Privacy On Windows
There are three major functionalities in Windows that use your data: general apps, Cortana, and personalize ads.
Here is how you can improve your Privacy on Windows.
While these changes can improve your privacy on Windows, it is still very much possible that the operating system collects user data from other sources that might not even be controllable for the user.
To enhance your privacy further, there is nothing within the Windows environment itself that can help you.
Instead, you will require some outside assistance in the form of tools like VPNs.
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 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, 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
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Protonvpn: Free And Unlimited Data All Month Long
- Top-notch security with Perfect Forward Secrecy
- Three server locations
ProtonVPN is quite possibly the best free VPN youre going to find. ProtonVPNs free VPN plan offers unlimited bandwidth and a simple Windows app. No other free VPN service that weve tested works without data limits while also providing such a high level of security.
On top of that, Proton even offers a free security and privacy package that comes with its own anonymous email service, calendar, and cloud storage, alongside the VPN. Want a free all-in-one solution? Then youll want Proton!
As far as security goes, ProtonVPN offers plenty of effective and reliable features. The free VPN includes AES 256-bit encryption, IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN protocols, an ad-blocker, a no-logs policy, and Perfect Forward Secrecy .
So, if ProtonVPN is the best free VPN for Windows, why should you bother with the rest of the list? Well, like with all free services, there are still drawbacks. One of those is that ProtonVPNs free version only offers three server locations . Another drawback is getting a hold of customer support. With no live chat option, users will have to rely on a ticketing system for any inquiries.
If youd like to know more about Proton, its excellent premium VPN solution, and the other services it offers, you can read our full ProtonVPN review.
Do I Need A Free VPNs For Windows
To get a free VPN or not, that is the question.
Theres no denying that free services carry many appeals, especially with so many online threats lurking around the web.
So a tool capable of protecting our privacy and security from these threats free of charge would be a godsend.
Whats more, the need for VPN services is also strongly felt when you encounter geo-restrictions on websites, especially streaming services.
With so many enticing streaming platforms surfacing on the web, such as Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, etc., theres nothing more frustrating than being denied access simply because you happen to live in a different country.
As such, the need for VPN services for Windows and other platforms is only increasing with time.
Unfortunately, the tragic reality is that, although the demand for zero-cost VPNs is high, there arent many competent providers available for free. Moreover, most free VPNs may pose a risk to your security.
This is why if youre unwilling to compromise on your online privacy, the safest bet is to use a paid VPN service for Windows, which has a proven record of boosting users privacy on the web.
Thus, if you are looking for a free unlimited VPN for Windows XP or newer versions that are completely safe, you might as well quit looking.
Nonetheless, some VPNs are still safe and available for free, with the caveat that they offer limited features.
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