Virtual private network (VPN) services allow users to share data across public networks or shared networks in a way that they function as if they are using private network. There are over 300 VPN services, but many users often do not know how to chose the best and that is why we are here to provide you with the needed help. First it is important to know why most VPNs fail to serve their intended purpose. The following are the main reasons: leaking of DNS requests and IP addresses; incomplete or broken features; insecure privacy jurisdictions; exposing data to third parties.
Here are some basic information concerning VPNs. There are site-to-site VPNs that connect to networks and remote-access that connect computer to a network. By using remote-access VPNs users can access corporates’ intranet while outside company’s premises whereas they can share an interconnected network while in different geographical locations using site-to-site VPNs. Some of the factors that are considers in classifying VPNs include security level, simultaneous connections allowed, tunneling protocol, connections topology, location of tunnel termination, and the OSI layer used to connect to network.
It is estimated that in a one-month period about quarter of the internet users use VPN and the VPN market is a multi-billion business globally. Some of the top reasons for using VPN include unrestricted accessibility to entertainment content, news services access, and to remain anonymous while online. This section gives you more details to your questions concerning VPNs.
How we choose best
There are several factors that we consider when choosing the best VPN service
The server network: The best VPN provider has servers in multiple locations as it allows flexibility from one geo-location to another. Therefore, VPN provider with servers in six continents with densely populated regions are the best.
Security: We recommend OpenVPN protocol since the PPTP and L2TP have a number of security flaws. The best VPN must meet strong encryption standards.
Platforms: The original Android, Windows, Mac, and iOS apps are recommendable because of their ease of use compared to third-party VPN apps. However, the best VPN is that uses extra OSs and a set-top box, and a router.
Money-back guarantee: The best VPN should guarantee to give back the money in one week to one month in case of failure.
Trust and transparency: It is advisable to make sure that the VPN providers have undergone though third-party audits, which have then been published.
Free from leaks: The VPN service provider that does not store connection logs on its servers. This ensures that users data is not accessed or shared with the third parties.
Basic and extra features: We consider top VPN to have important feature such as AES-256 encryption, automatic protection from public Wi-Fi, and Kill switch. Other extra but equally important features that we consider include browser extensions and split-tunneling. Kill switch puts down all network flow to and from the computer whenever there is a failure in encrypted connection.
Price: Although there are some relatively great free VPNs, were recommend paid service. You to pay to be guaranteed privacy and security.
How we test VPNs
Speed test:We tested the VPN services using Internet Health Test, which showed the ups and downs of speed when subjected to numerous points of interconnection between internet providers.
To confirm if the available VPN services were efficient in hiding our IP address, we checked at IPv6 Leaks, DNS leaks, and geolocation tool.
Desktop and mobile apps:
We assessed the level of difficulty in setting up and connecting in Android for each service’s app for Android. Excellent VPN apps are simple to use and their setting panels have clear details.
Distribution and number of servers:
We analyze the number of servers that a VPN provider have currently. The higher the number of servers the effective the VPN service; it means that fewer people can be connected to one server when a VPN has many servers.
Customer support:We reached out to the top VPN providers for some inquiries about their services. There are some which have customer response support while some self-help service. We put down response time for each provider, which ranged from ten minutes to 12 hours. We concluded that the self-help service was better.
What is VPN and why we need it
VPN is a secure channel of using internet from one point to another. The VPNs help in protecting private web services from censorship, interference and snooping. The benefit of using VPN include enhanced security, functionality, and better private network management. The main uses of VPN include hiding user’s IP address and location, encrypting user’s communication, enabling user to watch content in their devices with the highest speed.
Professional and personal safety: there are times when it is necessary to hide your online presence for your own safety. For example, in some jurisdictions the government is strict on internet use and thus journalists and citizen in such location use VPN for safe communication with people from other parts of the world.
Hiding your IP address: The VPNs hide the user’s IP by blocking it the servers of the VPN provider; this way the User’s IP address cannot be tracked by any other person using the same network. In addition, other “interested” parties such as hackers and advertisers will not be able to accesses your information online.
VPN makes sure that intruders only see encrypted data hence ensuring confidentiality; to prevent unauthorized access, it requires sender authentication, and to protect transmitted information from being tampered with, it uses message integrity.
In simple terms, VPNs allows you to appear as if you are in a country that a server is and gives accessibility to things that initially you could not have access to.
Free or Paid VPNs: Pros and Cons
There are free and paid VPNs and each has their own advantages and disadvantages. There some factors you have to consider before choosing a free or paid VPN.
The free VPNs are limited in one way or another. There are those that have limited daily or monthly megabytes usage, for example, TunnelBear users are limited to 500MB to 1GB per month.
Free VPNs can limit the user on the number of devices an account can support or only a few connections at a time. On the other hand, paid VPNs allows you to use multiple devices and connections simultaneously.
Some limit the user to small number of servers. In some cases, the free VPN may not allow you to choose your server but it will do it automatically. For paid VPNs, there is a wide range of servers to choose from.
Most free VPNs earn revenue through advertisements; hence, they can share your data with the third parties. The main advantage of paid VPN is that they are minimal chances of sharing your data since they earn their revenue from the payments. In addition, paid VPN does not have the annoying advertisements.
Paid VPN providers have an active customer support hence fast in solving user’s queries unlike free VPNs that are slow to respond or even offer no real-time response at all.
However, you should note that Safety is not guaranteed in some of the paid VPNs as they will leak your data to third parties so it is good to do thorough research before spending your money on a certain VPN.
The only advantages of free VPNs include “no payment required” and anonymity. You are not required to sign up to access free VPN service. On the other hand, some paid VPN are very expensive.
How to choose best VPN
You do not just wake up one day and use any VPN; you need to carry out some research. The research includes the reasons for using VPN, when it is necessary to use VPN, and how VPN works. Such information, will give you a clue of what to expect from a VPN.
The next task is to read different VPN reviews and compares. The reviews will give you the features of specific VPNs such as location of servers, bandwidth access, payment methods, and history of the VPN provider; The compares will allow you to get the comparisons between different VPNs regarding their efficiency, effectiveness, compatibility with different devices, and usability in various geographical locations.
Then search the pros and cons of the different VPN services; this will enable you to weigh the pros against the cons of each VPN before making the decision. Different VNPs have their advantages and disadvantages it can begin from the cost of the VPN to how it works when its used. Learning the pros and cons of different VPNs is something that needs to be carefully considered before one can choose a VPN that best suites them. The disadvantages and advantages of VPNs can benefit an individual or an organization greatly especially the disadvantages of a VPN. The best VPN be able to offer the customer all the services they need.
Check the location of the VPN; there are some jurisdictions that VPN service cannot be free from tampering such as those in 5/9/14 Eyes countries.
Check the price each VPN to know if it is within your budget or if there is value for your money compared to the features described. Also, check if there is money back guarantee for different VPNs.
After doing all these you can now make a decision on the VPN that meets your requirements.