Do you feel nervous while browsing the web? Scared that someone might be keeping an eye on what you do on the internet? Or are you just unable to access certain websites that you love because your ISP/College has blocked it? A VPN is all you need in these cases as it not only encrypts your data while you browse the internet but also displays a different IP address to prevent IP bans.
What is a VPN?
A VPN(Virtual Private Network) is like a Master Key that grants you access to the websites blocked by your ISP/Government while also encrypting your data. Normally, you access the internet through your ISP due to which you are not able to access the sites blocked in your country or specifically by your ISP. When you use a VPN software, your data passes through a safe and encrypted tunnel which protects you from any inspection, filtering or censoring.
Stream videos, download songs, access blocked sites and what not, the possibilities are endless while using a VPN. One of the most important uses of a VPN is that it hides your IP Address and makes sure that you are not being tracked. No matter where you access the websites, as long as you use a VPN before accessing those websites.
List of Best VPN Applications
Most of these applications will have a separate app for Android, Windows and Mac OS, however, not all of these VPN’s will provide this flexibility. Surprisingly, some might even support your consoles like PlayStation or an Xbox. Some are completely free, some offer limited features for free, whereas others require a payment but are great options.
This app is available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. However, both the VigilantBear and GhostBear options are unavailable for iOS users due to the restrictions in the iOS app design.
Hotspot shield is available for Windows, Apple users as well as Android users. The added bonus here is that it is even available as a chrome extension. When compared to TunnelBear, Hotspot Shield does not provide as many features, instead, they have focused on creating a simple app. All you need to do is open your app and tap on the connect button and you’re done. The app looks great, to be honest, but the prices are a bit high as compared to TunnelBear. It has some basic features like Launch at Startup and Prevent IP Leak feature. It will automatically start when you connect to unsafe and safe WiFi hotspots when you enable it from the settings.
Express VPN has a ton of places to select from. 148 VPN locations to be precise. It has its own set of features like the VPN Kill Switch which automatically stops all the traffic from one’s device when it disconnects from a VPN location. Express VPN also claims that it has very fast servers which hardly slow down your networks speed at all. The speedtest option inside the app also proves to be useful when you need to choose the right server that gives you the maximum speed. Its pricing ranges from $12.95/month for a monthly subscription, $9.99/month for a half yearly subscription to $8.32/month for a yearly subscription. It also gives you a free trial of 7 days to see if this suits you or not.
NordVPN also has a lot of locations to choose from and along with that, they have specialty servers as well. Their specialty servers include P2P, Onion over VPN, Double VPN, Anti DDoS, and Dedicated IP. This makes sure that different users with different needs can use this VPN with a variety of servers at their disposal. They also have some special features like CyberSec and Obfuscated Servers. CyberSec can be used to avoid ads and protect your device from malware, phishing and other threats. Obfuscated Servers are special servers that are capable of bypassing specific country restrictions. It also has a Kill Switch technology which kicks in when your VPN connection drops out by instantly shutting down the website or software to prevent any data leak. The price range is $11.95/month for a monthly subscription, $5.7/month for an annual subscription and $3.29/month for a 2-year subscription.
VyprVPN also provides you with 1 GB of free data which you can upgrade to unlimited data as well. VyperVPN gives you an option to enter a 3rd Party DNS or stay on the VyprDNS which logs zero user data. The new option here is that it allows you to choose different encryptions as per your need. The OpenVPN – 160-bit Encryption is secure and fast due to its lower level of encryption. Then comes the OpenVPN – 256-bit Encryption which provides better security and faster speeds with high latency across great distances. The third option is the Chameleon™ – 256-bit Encryption which uses unmodified OpenVPN – 256-bit protocol and scrambles the metadata to prevent blocking and throttling. It has other options like Kill Switch, Connect on Untrusted Wi-Fi and Block Malicious Sites. It has 2 different plans and the only difference between them is the number of simultaneous connections. The plan with 3 simultaneous connections charges you around $5/month annually and the other one with 5 simultaneous connections is for $6.67/month. Both these plans also provide a monthly subscription of around $9.95/month for the former plan and $12.95 for the latter one.
Alright, so this last one that we have here is a bit different than the others. It’s completely free, yup. No charges whatsoever, however, it doesn’t provide as many features as the others do. In fact, the only feature that I could find in the settings tab was the Reconnect Automatically option. Well, you can’t expect much from a free VPN now, can you? Wondering how they keep the VPN running, sponsored apps and videos are their sources of income. Users can choose to install an app or play a video and help the VPN service to remain free. However, they have a premium option as well which requires you to pay to remove the videos and sponsored apps.
If there are other VPNs that are worth a mention, let me know and I’ll add them here.