The Best VPN Services
What is VPN and why do I need it?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an internet safety software meant to protect your identity and your data when you are using the internet. Although we all hate to admit it, nobody is completely safe when they are connected to the internet. Simply being online at all puts you at risk of being more susceptible to many threats. Your IP address could, for example, be being traced right now as you read this. If you are visible online, your online activity could be being monitored by any number of people, companies, or organizations. Everything you do online unless you are taking extra security measures can be seen by someone (if they have the know-how and desire to do so).
A VPN, however, is the only software out there that can reliably make you impenetrable to such threats. What does a VPN do? Well, it essentially turns you into a ghost while you are on the internet. In other words, nobody can see what you are doing, what sites you have been to, where you are going, or where you are physically located. A VPN masks your IP address, making you essentially anonymous online. As the name implies, it is the most virtually private way to navigate the internet.
Why do you need a VPN service? Well, the people who are particularly vulnerable to online threats are those that find themselves frequently using public wi-fi connections. That means anyone who works remotely and likes to conduct business from coffee shops every now and then. That means anyone who travels often, frequently staying in hotels, motels, or hostels and using their public internet. But really that means that anyone who does anything online ever that doesn’t want their data being tracked or their sensitive information being hacked should consider getting a VPN service.
If security and privacy are even remotely on your list of concerns, using a VPN is one of the easiest, safest, and most convenient ways to make sure that you and your data is safe at all times. The benefits of VPNs, though, actually transcend mere security. They also act as highly effective proxy servers. If you live in China, for instance, connect to a server in the US for a fully free online experience with no risk to you. Again, you will be a ghost.
VPN services are also convenient for anyone who is not thrilled by the fact that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) often sell their data to third-party companies. And nearly every ISP does this, as it brings in tons of additional revenue, selling your data so that corporations can target you with advertising. Using a Virtual Private Network, however, ensures that nobody can see your data … not your ISP, not a rogue hacker.
How do I get a VPN?
Getting a Virtual Private Network is the easy part. All you have to do is choose one and install the software. It is as simple as that. Okay, maybe I am making it sound a tiny bit simpler than it actually is. But essentially that is all there is to it. The hard part, however, is choosing the best VPN service for you. Luckily, though, I have made that much easier for you. Simply browse through my list of reviews to get a rare glimpse into these services, how well they work, how user-friendly they are, and what each one charges (either per month or per year).
From there, though, it really is just a matter of clicking download, letting the software install, and then connecting to whatever server locations you like. (Oh, and a little pro-tip: if you are trying to access content that is only available in a certain country, connect to that server location and, voila, you will be able to watch … but you didn’t hear that from me!).
What is the best VPN service in 2022?
Well, this is a bit of a trickier question than it may at first appear. There are, after all, quite a few factors to take into account when deciding on the best VPN service in 2022. Also, new ones pop up all the time, which makes it hard to keep an authoritative list. That being said, here are the things you want to take into account, generally speaking, when it comes to choosing a VPN:
-How private is it? Your service of choice should completely scramble your IP addresses, make you virtually unable to be tracked, and make it so nobody can access your data or online activity. It should make you fully anonymous.
-How much is it? Prices vary quite a bit when it comes to this market. And they are usually based on server sizes, the number of server locations available, speed, whether you can stream content on them, and how effective they are. Depending on what you like to do online, you may require a more expensive Virtual Private Network service. However, there are plenty affordable out there that do everything you would expect, in case you are worried about your budget.
-Does it offer a free trial period? Many VPNs will do so. They will often at least give you a week to try out the service. then, of course, if you don’t like it, simply cancel your subscription before it gets renewed. This can be the best way to try out several different ones before committing to what often amounts to a yearlong monthly payment.
-On how many devices can you use it? Of course, the best VPNs will protect you everywhere, whether on your laptop, desktop computer, smartphone, tablet, or game console.
Can you be tracked if you use VPN?
That is the whole point … no, you cannot be tracked. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. If the federal government, for instance, or the FBI really wants to hack beyond your VPN and see what you are up to, they will have the tools and the know-how to do so; they have the best hackers and tech experts in the world at their disposal, after all. If you are concerned about the government, then, going far out of its way to track your online activity, you might feel more secure using an onion router, such as Tor, which is much harder to trace you through, as it is constantly re-encrypted.
But this is in extreme cases. 99%, I would say, of people are fine and unable to be tracked using a VPN.
How much does it cost to use a premium VPN service?
The cost can vary. Quite a bit, as I mentioned earlier. Some VPNs are free, as is the case with the Google Chrome extension, SetUp VPN. Others, however, can cost up to $10 or $15 a month. It just depends on your demands, how much server space you require, how many security features you want, and what connection speed you need. Of course, if you have a larger network (say, you are a business), your plan will be much more expensive than an individual who needs protection on about 3 or 4 devices.
VPNs, too, tend to slow down connection speeds slightly. This is because your connection is being rerouted to an additional server, which is also, in turn, scrambling your IP addresses and making it extremely difficult for your data to be tracked. So, the better VPNs, then, tend to reroute all these connections at faster speeds. And, thus, as you might expect also tend to be on the pricier end of the spectrum.
Where can I get a free VPN?
Although a free VPN is harder to come by, it is not impossible. There are a few out there, as I noted before (see: SetUp VPN). As is the case with many services, though (particularly those in the realm of security), free software is seldom as high-performing as the programs that charge. So, if you want to guarantee that you will be unable to be tracked, 100% anonymous, and entirely safe on the internet, it is probably worth at least considering a program that charges — besides, the fees are usually surprisingly low for the level of security that they provide.
The Best VPN Services
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