Improve Your Internet Privacy
We tend to feel pretty secure when were browsing the web at home, but your internet service provider can see and log your activity. Similarly, the government and various websites can track your activity by using your IP address, which can tell them a lot about you, including where you are and what pages youre looking at.
Were not implying that youre getting up to anything shady, of course – its about your right to online privacy in an age where were sharing more data than ever.
A VPN excels in this. Instead of connecting directly through your ISP, a VPN allows you to browse the web through a secure VPN connection. The VPN handles your requests and deals with the response from the website, acting as a barrier between you and the site.
So, if youre thinking a VPN sounds pretty good, youd be right – but it is important to have a discerning eye when picking one. There are pages and pages of VPNs available with just a Google search – but dont worry, weve compiled a list of the best VPN services, and would recommend going with one of these options.
The Best VPNs We’ve Reviewed
Alternatively, you can install the VPN on your router. That way, all the data from your local network to the internet is funneled through the VPN, giving you all the protection without causing any of the fuss on the local level. Setting up your router to use a VPN can sound daunting, but some VPN companies will sell you a pre-configured router if you want to give it a try. Still, this solution is not for everyone It’s perhaps best left to people with a determined DIY sensibility.
While many people are using VPNs to stream online content, many streaming services are very good at blocking VPN usage. One possible solution is purchasing a static IP address from your VPN provider. These “clean” addresses aren’t associated with VPNs, giving you a better chance of slipping past attempts to block your access.
Speed will always be an issue with VPNs. When a VPN connection is active, your web traffic is going through more machines and more fiber. The result is increased latency and slower transfer speeds. Not all VPNs are the same in how much they affect your connection, but you will see some impact.
Secure Your Voip Calls
If you use VoIP to make overseas phone calls, you may have some concerns about security. And those concerns are justified, since VoIP calls are common targets for hackers.
Using a VPN while making VoIP calls solves this problem by adding a layer of military-grade encryption so you can talk to colleagues, clients, family, or friends without worry.
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Can I Use A VPN To Watch A Blacked
Sometimes it is possible to watch a blacked-out sporting event or other show, although we certainly can’t advise you to do so. Spoofing your location to bypass broadcast restrictions may get you in hot water.
Also, do be aware that some broadcasters have developed increasingly sophisticated methods to determine whether the IP address you represent is the IP address where you’re located. The VPN may be able to protect your original IP address from being seen. Still, there are characteristics of proxy communications that can be used to identify users who are trying to bypass watching restrictions.
VPN Uses: Avoid Location
Most prevalent amongst car hire and plane ticket merchants, being offered different prices depending on where you are and what you’ve searched is more common than you may think.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a digital product whether that’s Microsoft Office, a game, or Spotify taking a moment to check prices from around the world might save you a good wad of cash.
Those in lower-income countries are usually offered a cheaper price, but that’s not always the case. In practice this process is often more trial-and-error than exact science, so having a VPN with plenty of servers worldwide is worth the investment and could end up paying for itself.
This also ties into the earlier benefit of avoiding trackers. If you’ve searched for a product a number of times without purchasing, the seller will often inflate the price to urge you to buy sooner rather than later this is most commonly seen with plane tickets, but not unheard of with other products. With a VPN, you’ll be seeing the true price and potentially saving yourself serious money.
Cheap VPN save money on your VPN as well as avoiding price targeting
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Can You Be Tracked With A VPN
Dont think that VPN single-handedly solves all your privacy problems. If youre logged in to your Google account oryoure logging into various services with your Facebook login, VPN cant help you. Google and Facebook will knowexactly which sites youve visited.
Additionally, the modern internet is rife with browser-based tracking technologies cookies fingerprinting scripts,and other nefarious stuff. These can still threaten your anonymity even if your VPN is on.
To limit the risk, you should stay away from social media accounts when using a VPN. Also, youshould use addons that block intrusive tracking scripts. uBlock Origin, Ghostery, and NoScript are just a few suchtools.
VPN Uses: Maximise Your Bandwidth
Expanding on the torrenting section above, your ISP is quite likely to impose bandwidth restrictions or ‘throttling’ on you at some point.
If you notice your internet speed slowing to a crawl when doing certain things on the internet, or at peak times, your ISP may be reducing your speeds based on your activity. This is easily remedied by using a VPN.
No matter what you’re using your connection for, if you’re using a VPN your internet provider won’t be able to tell what you’re doing, and subsequently won’t be able to make the decision to throttle your connection.
While VPNs can minimally reduce your peak speeds , throttling can be far more severe than that. If you want to be able to rely on your connection 24/7, a VPN can help you get the most out of your internet service.
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What Are The Different VPN Protocols
If you opt to go the DIY route and set up the VPN manually, you will have to choose which VPN protocol you want to use. So, its a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different options that are available how they operate andtheir strengths and weaknesses. Some VPN providers, including Avast SecureLine, support multiple protocols.
One of the most popular and recommended protocols,OpenVPN is a highly secure, highly configurable open-source platform that can use AES 256-bit encryption and is especially good at bypassing firewalls. OpenVPN works on all of the major operating systems, including Android and iOS. However, it is not natively supported on any platform, which means you have to add it to your mobile device via a third-party client .
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol is a common protocol supported by most operating systems. It was developed by Microsoft and others back in the 1990s. This protocol is fast, but its considered to be one of the least secure options available today which is probably why it is no longer natively supported by iOS. We do not recommend the use of this protocol, so we did not include it in the setup sections below.
IPSec can also be used on its own and is natively supported on iOS devices.
Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol is a proprietary Microsoft protocol that can provide a very secure connection and is good at bypassing firewalls, but its compatibility is limited to Windows devices.
How Does A VPN Kill Switch Work
Kill switches can work in several ways. Most often, a kill switch will turn off your internet connection if your VPN app loses its connection to the VPNs servers. Remember, if your device isnt communicating to a VPN server, it defaults to using your ISPs DNS servers, which means your traffic is no longer private and protected.
Thats the broad-strokes version, at least. A kill switch can work on several levels, depending on how much usability youre willing to trade for security. Well go into all that in the next section, but first lets go over what might cause your VPN connection to drop.
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What To Look For In A VPN For Business
Not all VPNs are designed for businesses. If you want to use a premium VPN for your company, youll need to carefully consider your needs and then choose a service that has the features to meet them:
- Unlimited connections and users: Unless youre running a one-person operation, youll probably want multiple employees to be able to use the VPN at once. I suggest choosing a service like ExpressVPN, which offers 5 device connections to account for future growth.
- Administrative features: If you have several people connected through the same account, youll want to be able to manage them all from one dashboard. Look for a VPN that makes it easy to adjust settings for all connected devices at once.
- Affordability: A VPN subscription is just like any other business expense it has to provide enough value to justify the cost. While premium VPNs are worth paying a bit more, you dont have to break the bank. Look for a service that matches your budget.
- Public WiFi protection: Its important to ensure that no matter where your employees are working from be it the office, their home, or a café their security will never be compromised. Choose a VPN with public WiFi protection to cover all your bases.
Does The VPN Block Ads
Pop-up ads can be annoying and dangerous. They can slow your browsing speeds and clutter your screen when youre trying to watch videos or read a blog post. Even worse, cybercriminals often use pop-up ads if you click on them to infect your computer with malware.
Thats why ad blockers are so important: They help to keep these ads from showing up on your screen when youre surfing the web. This can improve speed web pages load faster when theyre not bogged down with ads and help keep your devices safe from ads littered with malware.
You want a VPN service that blocks ads, then. Again, most paid services will do this. And you can see that each VPN provider in our list does block ads.
Does the VPN block ads?
- Norton Secure VPN no
- Tunnel Bear yes
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Cons Of Keeping A VPN On All The Time
Unsurprisingly, there are some mild cons when it comes to leaving your VPN on all the time:
- Shorter battery life
- Potential data logging
- Unnecessary security warnings
They are pretty self-explanatory, but what matters is that you can mitigate them by picking a well-made and optimized VPN for your system.
VPN Uses: Access Work Or University Networks
Access to your school, college, or work’s network may be limited geographically, and many institutions formally or informally implement VPNs to allows users to access intranets or other data repositories. This is usually done through the use a static IP, something the best business VPN will offer.
However, we’ve also heard stories of students moving back home to Canada from the US, for example and ending up unable to access their school’s networks from outside the country, while others found that their location breached some kind of regulation.
- Apple users should check out the best Mac VPN options
- Keep it all in-browser with the best Chrome VPN extensions
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Do I Need To Use A VPN If My Hotel Has A Wired Internet Connection
Yes. It is almost totally unlikely that each room is on a dedicated subnet, so that means packets are traveling across a network shared by other guests. In addition, you never know whether someone in the front office has set up a packet sniffer for the express purpose of mining guest information.
So, yes, use a VPN, even if there’s a hard-wired connection to the wall.
Are There Any Downsides To Using A VPN
The added security and privacy youll get with a VPN makes them an essential tool for internet safety. VPN disadvantages are few, but one side effect might be a slight reduction in your internet speed. This is because a VPN encrypts your internet connection and redirects it through a VPN server.
The VPN marketplace is highly competitive, and many leading VPN providers are committed to keeping their services as fast as possible.
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Do I Really Need To Use A VPN On My Phone Yes And It Only Takes 10 Minutes To Set Up
Sorry, but you probably shouldn’t be using public Wi-Fi on your iPhone or Android device without a VPN.
Yes, you need a VPN on your phone.
It’s finally happened. After the long pandemic year you’re back at an airport or in a coffee shop, and you desperately need to use public Wi-Fi and save your phone’s data plan, but you’re worried about connecting securely. You’ve heard about VPNs, but they seem complicated and costly. What to do?
No worries. VPNs are easier to use than you think, and most are less expensive than you might’ve heard. Here’s how to get a VPN on your iPhone or Android phone — and get back to browsing safely — in under 10 minutes.
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How To Set Up A VPN On Chrome Os
The easiest way to set up a VPN on Chrome OS is to install a VPN extension. Visit the Chrome Web Store and search for your VPN of choice and simply add the extension to your browser from there.
If you need to set up a VPN manually Chrome has native support for L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN. To install a VPN that works with one of these formats:
- Go to Settings and in the Network section click Add connection -> OpenVPN / L2TP
- Youll need to include all the information you have from your VPN service including things like server hostname, service name, provider type, pre-shared key, username and password.
- Save your identity and password
### How to set up a VPN on an Apple device
Setting up a VPN on an iPhone or iPad is fairly straightforward, and if you download an app from the App Store it will automatically configure your settings for you. However, if you need to adjust anything or set up a VPN manually on an Apple device, heres what you need to do:
- Go to Settings -> General.
- Scroll down and select VPN, tap Add VPN Configuration.
- Select a security protocol from Type following the instructions given by your VPN service.
- Return to the Add Configuration screen and enter the VPN description, server, remote ID and local ID.
- Enter your username and password as well as a proxy if you want to.
- Tap Done.
- Finally, toggle the Status switch to on.
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Setting Up Your VPN On Your Iphone Or Android
Once youve chosen a provider, its time to set up the VPN on your phone. There are a couple of ways to do this. The first and most straightforward option is to:
- Purchase a VPN app in the Apple store or the Google Play store and download the app
- Follow the setup instructions. Generally, these applications are easy to set up, even for the novices. And, theyre easy to maintain, since you can set up and save preferences.Avast SecureLine VPN offers apps for both Android and iOS mobile devices. And, it has 256-bit bank grade encryption and is built on the strong OpenVPN and OpenSSL protocols.
Technophiles keep reading: Want more control over your VPN?
The second option is to manually set up the VPN on your mobile device, which obviously requires a bit more time, effort, and knowledge. This approach is best suited for someone who wants more control over the VPN experience, including the ability to choose a specific protocol and customize settings.
Do I Need A VPN If I’m Connecting My Phone Via Lte
That depends. Once again, your corporate IT department will let you know their policy for connection directly to their corporate network. Usually, you’ll use the VPN client built into your device’s operating system for that.
But here’s the thing: It’s up to how much you trust your carrier, where you’re located in the world, and how secure you want to be. The carriers can generally be relied upon to provide a secure connection from your phone to their network in the US.
That said, it is possible to compromise wireless phone service with a man-in-the-middle attack. This situation occurs when a malevolent actor places a device designed to confuse your phone and cause your phone to connect to what it thinks is the phone network, but, in fact, it’s a device designed for spying.
Outside the US, it depends on what country you’re in. If you are really concerned about security, simply avoid bringing any devices into a foreign nation that you intend to use after your trip. Those devices can be compromised in the country or during customs inspections.
Finally, as we covered earlier in this guide, it’s worth reminding you that some countries consider VPN use illegal. If you’re planning on traveling, be sure to research local laws exhaustively.
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