Virtual Private Network Protocols
The number of VPN protocols and available security features continue to grow with time. The most common protocols are:
PPTP – PPTP has been around since the days of Windows 95. The main selling point of PPTP is that it can be simply setup on every major OS. In short, PPTP tunnels a point-to-point connection over the GRE protocol.
Unfortunately, the security of the PPTP protocol has been called into question in recent years. It is still strong, but not the most secure.
L2TP/IPsec – L2TP over IPsec is more secure than PPTP and offers more features. L2TP/IPsec is a way of implementing two protocols together in order to gain the best features of each. For example, the L2TP protocol is used to create a tunnel and IPsec provides a secure channel. These measures make for an impressively secure package.
Open VPN – OpenVPN is an SSL-based Virtual Private Network that continues to gain popularity. The software used is open source and freely available. SSL is a mature encryption protocol, and OpenVPN can run on a single UDP or TCP port, making it extremely flexible.
Is Using A VPN Legal
Some people wonder whether its legal to use a VPN. After all, the service enables you to become a lot more anonymous online, which can be quite useful for hackers and online criminals. If those people cant be traced online, its much harder to punish them for their crimes, after all. Even so, this doesnt necessarily mean a VPN is illegal.
On the contrary: many official companies and businesses work with VPNs and recommend their use. The European Union, too, supports internet freedom, which a VPN can give you.
Many countries consider the use of a VPN completely legal. Conducting illegal activities while using a VPN, however, remains illegal. Therefore, using a VPN for legal activities, such as browsing, gaming, Netflix, and YouTube, isnt a problem at all. If you use a VPN to, for example, , however, youre most likely going against your local laws. While the VPN gives you more anonymity online and makes it a lot harder for officials to trace you down, the downloading in and of itself is still illegal.
There are a couple of countries that do consider the use of a VPN illegal. If youd like to know more about these countries and the legal and illegal use of VPNs in general, you can read this article. Using a VPN in most of the world wont get you into any trouble. On the contrary: wed recommend it.
How To Get A Discount On Your New VPN
Im a bit of a bargain hunter, so I spend a lot of time online searching for ways to save money. Ive discovered that VPN providers regularly release new coupons and special offers, but thanks to scam sites, it can be hard to work out which ones are real and actually work.
To solve this problem, my colleagues and I have created a comprehensive database of current VPN coupons, which we constantly update. Weve tested each and every offer to verify that its still working in September 2021.
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Why Do You Need A VPN
There are a number of reasons why someone would want a VPN in the first place and, according to our research on VPN usage, the biggest reasons are general security and privacy for 49 and 40 percent of VPN users, respectively. But aside from those concerns, VPNs can also provide access to content you wouldnt be able to see otherwise.
What Is A VPN And Why You Should Use A VPN On Public Wi
If youve ever wondered if its safe to use public Wi-Fi, you are not alone. In fact, according to the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, 6 in 10 consumers believe using public Wi-Fi is riskier than using a public restroom. And it is. Surfing the Web or transacting on an unsecured Wi-Fi network means youre placing your private information and anonymity at risk. Thats why a virtual private network, better known as a VPN, is a must for anyone worried about online security and privacy.
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What Makes A Peer
As already mentioned, these VPNs must firstly allow file sharing via Torrenting. Many VPNs expressly forbid this activity, either for technical reasons or due to copyright concerns.
Regarding the latter, it is always worth reminding that sharing copyrighted files is something prohibited by law. But its clearly the technical issue that weighs most heavily on VPN providers. As with video Streaming, file-sharing tends to overload the service infrastructure.
In fact, the use of VPNs for Torrenting purposes has become prevalent because of this kind of restriction, technically called Bandwidth Throttling, imposed by telecom companies and internet providers. Unlike what these companies do, a P2P VPN provides unlimited bandwidth.
Besides allowing unlimited use of the service for Torrenting, P2P VPNs have specific solutions to ensure high performance in these cases. It is common to find within these services dedicated VPN servers optimized for this particular type of activity. These servers are configured to offer high speeds, stable connections, and higher privacy and security levels.
The main goal is to ensure a better download and upload experience and make it difficult for third parties to track your Torrenting activity. By offering dedicated solutions, VPNs can prevent your ISP from strangling your internet connection, among other benefits.
Data Privacy From Your Internet Service Provider
While connected to your home Wi-Fi, you are less likely to be attacked by strangers than on a public connection. However, your data is still vulnerable.
Your ISP or internet service providerComcast, Spectrum, Verizon or other company who you pay for Wi-Fi each monthcan access all your internet data. Your ISP can see when, where and how you browse.
This data can be collected and sold to advertisers even if youre using the private browsing function, and it can be dangerous in the wrong hands in the case of a data breach. A VPN can help obscure your IP address from your own ISP.
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VPNs And Their Current Use
According to the GlobalWebIndex, the number of VPN users worldwide increased more than fourfold between 2016 and 2018. In countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and China, where internet use is restricted and censored, one in fiveinternet users uses a VPN. In the USA, Great Britain and Germany, the proportion of VPN users is lowerat around 5%, but is growing.
One of the biggest drivers for VPN adoption in recent years has been the increasing demand for content with geographical access restrictions. For example, video streaming services such as Netflix or YouTube make certain videos available only in certain countries. With contemporary VPNs, you can encrypt your IP address so that you appear to be surfing from another country, enabling you to access this content from anywhere.
Why Is It Important To Hide Your Ip Address
Your IP address is a unique set of numbers that identifies your device when you connect to the internet. Just as the postal service uses street addresses to deliver mail to the right people, IP addresses ensure that internet traffic gets sent to the right computers.
Your IP address links your device to your ISP as well as to your general geographical location. This is how content streaming platforms do geoblocking restricting content by region. Based on your IP address, you can see only the content thats available to viewers in your part of the world.
A VPN masks your actual IP address by showing the public internet the IP address of the VPN server youre using instead of your own. This prevents anyone from finding your IP address. Some VPNs cluster multiple users under one shared IP address, which further anonymizes your internet activity.
Pair that IP masking with encryption, and your online activities are kept fully private from ISPs, hackers, and government surveillance. A VPN protects you in many ways.
AVG Secure VPN enhances your privacy by masking you and other VPN users behind a single shared IP address. This makes it extremely difficult for anyone to link your web activity back to you, since multiple users are sharing a single IP address at any given time. Its just one of the many ways AVG Secure VPN keeps you safe online.
Prevent ISP tracking.
Prevent price discrimination.
So whats a VPN used for? Lets find out.
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Choosing Your VPN Service
The following considerations should help guide selection of a VPN service.
Free vs. Paid: Free services are readily available, but often come with significantly limited functionality or a catch that makes up for the revenue the VPN provider isnt making from you directlysuch as tracking you online and selling your personal or browsing data to advertisers.
Secure communications protocols: The robustness of security in VPN tunnels depends on which security protocols are used. Be sure to review these protocols with your provider to ensure appropriate levels of security.
Data privacy protection: Provider privacy agreements can vary widely. Does your VPN provider keep traffic logs? Do its servers operate in countries with strict Internet governance laws and/or oppressive governments?
Capacity and scale: Some providers significantly throttle data, or impose limits on servers and other connecting devices. Consult your providers terms of service to ensure the right capacity for your business and that your VPN wont be unduly limited.
Kill switch availability: A kill switch monitors your connection to the VPNs server, so if the connection drops or fails, your device is automatically blocked from accidental exposure. Consider kill switch functionality a last line of defense that keeps your Internet connection blocked until the tunnel can be restored.
Hiding Your Ip Address And Location
Anyone that captures your IP address can access your location, searching time, and browsing activities. Think of your IP address as the return address you would put on a letter. It would lead back to your devices.
Masking your IP address is crucial to becoming private online. Changing your location with a VPN ensures that your country, city, and torrent download history are not linked to your identity.
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What Does VPN Mean
VPN stands forVirtual Private Network, and it functions exactly as its described. It facilitates a secure internet connection that is not geographically restricted while protecting your data and activity from slippery WiFi networks.
You may be asking yourself why anyone outside of the NSA would be interested in using a VPN. That is a valid question. The primary answer for using a VPN is privacy. The reasons for security are vast, but it comes down to not being able to trust just any old WiFi hotspot in an airport, cafe, hotel, AirBnB, etc.
Your internet service provider can see everything you do. While there probably isn’t a guy at Spectrum Cable sitting in a corner office watching your every move, manyISPs do compile anonymous browsing logsand sometimes sell them to advertising companies. With that data, advertisers can tailor their content directly to certain regions or browsing habits.
VPNs encrypt your data between your computer and the server meaning only the computer with the correct decoder can read that data. Encryption via VPN permits a private connection via a public network.
For example, you can easily be hacked on a public WiFi: Unbeknownst to you, it is possible youve logged in to a fake public WiFi with a similar name.
Vice.com describes theWiFi Pineapple, a frighteningly cheap device that anyone can use to hack your connection:
Should You Choose A Paid Or Free VPN
In truth, you should never use a free VPN. As is always the case with free stuff online, you become the product. It’s an issue we saw repeatedly when we looked at the best free VPN providers.
Instead, make sure you sign up for a reputable, reliable, and secure paid VPN provider. There are lots of great paid VPNs you can choose from.
Image Credit: prykhodov/Depositphotos
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Is A VPN Safe
You may wonder how safe you are with a VPN provider. Your internet traffic is redirected and runs through the servers of the VPN provider. The provider can see everything you do if it would want to. Therefore, its important that you have confidence in your VPN service. Most VPN services do not log what you do and wont store your data.
However, there are VPN services that abuse the data that travels through their servers and sell your data to advertisers, for example. This is especially the case with free VPNs. These are often not safe. Before using a VPN, it is therefore important that you do research in advance. Well give you a few recommendations for good and secure VPN services later in this article.
Which Protocols Does It Offer
OpenVPN is the current industry standard for VPN protocols dont use a VPN that isnt providing it. OpenVPN is fast and stable while supporting AES-256 encryption, which is about as uncrackable as it gets.
Other protocols to look out for are WireGuard, a newer open-source protocol that contains around one-tenth as much code as OpenVPN , and IKEv2, which is especially good for mobile devices and macOS.
Avast SecureLine VPN: OpenVPN , IKEv2
AVG Secure VPN: OpenVPN , IKEv2
CyberGhost: OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, L2TP
ExpressVPN: OpenVPN, IKEv2, Lightway, L2TP,
IPVanish: OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, IPSec, PPTP
NordVPN: OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
StrongVPN: OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, SSTP, IPSec, L2TP
Surfshark: OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, Shadowsocks
TunnelBear: OpenVPN, IKEv2
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Can I Get A Free VPN
For a long time, it was something of a truism that “if you don’t pay for a product then you are the product”. At best you could use a very limited free service that was little more than a taster for a paid-for service that might actually want to use.
This situation has changed over the last couple of years, and there are now at least a couple of free VPN services out there which are actually quite good. Even these are limited in various ways, though, compared to more premium services. We have found that cheap VPN services are among the best on the market. VPNs with the most sought after features can be found for less than $2 a month.
How Do I Get And Use A VPN
Sign up for ExpressVPN
Visit the order page and select the option thatâs right for you. All of our plans are fully covered by our 30-day money-back guarantee.
Youâll immediately be invited to download the app for the device youâre using. Getting apps for all your other devices is just as easy.
Connect to a VPN server location
Simply hit the On Button, and youâll be instantly connected to the best location for your connection. Or pick one from our global network.
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Setting Up A VPN Connection
Join the VPN protection trend, set up your NordVPN account, and have an encrypted VPN connection wherever you go. All you have to do is:
Thats it you can now enjoy a fully encrypted VPN connection! To have more control over your VPN experience, you can explore the servers list and the Settings section. It doesnt matter if you use a Mac, an Android tablet, or a Windows laptop. We strongly believe that people shouldnt struggle to protect their home network and mobile devices. However, if you prefer to configure your VPN manually, you can. We have multiple manual set-up tutorials in our Help Center.
Protect You Against Malware
A VPN connection has no anti-virus properties. You still need to run one of the best anti-virus suites to protect yourself from the threats you’ll inevitably come across while surfing the web.
And remember, some malware has the ability to switch off your VPN without your permission, rendering it entirely useless.
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Subscribing To A Trustworthy VPN Provider
Once youve read our mentioned list of best VPNs and chosen the right one, you need to sign up and pay for it.
In most cases, your email address will be required to create an account. Most VPN providers guarantee that your email address wont be used for anything other than customer support, but you may want to set up a dummy account to add an extra layer of privacy.
You can use standard payment options such as credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal. Some allow you to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or use local payment wallets, or gift cards.
What Are The Most Popular VPNs On The Market
The most popular VPNs are not always among the best. Some of them gain audiences only because theyre free. Thats why the list below is of VPNs that have earned their popularity through merit and effectiveness.
In general, using a free VPN is riskier, although it depends on its type.
Pros: Can try out many different options without commitment
Cons: Limited server selection, bandwidth, and browsing data Potential data logging Wont get around geo-restrictions Ineffective or lack of security features
There are two types of free VPN services:
- Completely free
- Freemium, i.e., paid service with a free version
If its free, you are the product this applies to the first type of free VPNs. Usually, this means ads, but it can also mean that the VPN tracks your online activity and sells that data. Some might say, so what? but for many, thats defeating the entire purpose of using a VPN.
The second free VPN type is less risky, but theres a different issue. Because the business model of these VPN services is to sell subscriptions, the free versions are usually loaded with limitations. However, you can minimize most of these issues by choosing from the top free VPNs.
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