What is a VPNs & Top VPNs 2017
What is a VPN?
If you’re concerned about online privacy and want to spies away, a virtual private network (VPN) is what you require.. We round up the best VPN services for you to protect your location and allowing you to access blocked content and blocked websites.
Why you need a VPN
Public awareness of VPNs has grown over the past few years, but there are still a lot of people using the web who know nothing about them.
We all like to watch catch-up TV, however, most of the content is to be watched in home territories. The BBC iPlayer and Sky Go, to name only a couple, are only meant to be viewed in the UK, and while Netflix is accessible around the globe, the content available varies across different countries.
This means you can’t watch your favorite TV shows while travelling overseas. More importantly, though, a VPN can help protect your identity online and keep you safe from prying eyes and protects your identity from websites.
How does a VPN work?
A Virtual Private Network creates a private data tunnel over the internet to a web server. This can be located in the same country as you or located somewhere else. This means that, in theory, you can watch your favourite UK show because that’s where it thinks you are. Crucially, all data traffic sent over the VPN is encrypted, so it cannot be intercepted.
To get started you’ll need to install software on your PC, Laptop, Mac or mobile device. Once you’ve logged in, choose a server in the location where you’d like to ‘virtually’ appear. You then just carry on as normal, safe in the knowledge that your activities are protected.
Are free VPNs any good?
There are plenty of free VPNs out there, but some of them have their drawbacks. They may be slow, unreliable or collect information about your web browsing habits, which of course defeats the object. Netflix is also now actively clamping down on VPNs both free and paid, so there’s no guarantee that they will work.
How a VPN can protect you
Your ISP will keep records of all the websites you visit and your online activity and if so ordered by the government will hand over that information. If you don’t like the sound of that, using a VPN makes sense good sense.
One of the really exposed and unsafe areas of using the internet is via a public network, These are notorious for problems and you should never do online banking unless running a reliable VPN.
It’s important to know where your VPN is located. Some countries have got together to agree to exchange information freely, nominally in a bid to enhance everyone’s security. However, many groups are critical of this behaviour believing that mass surveillance impinges on our freedoms. These countries are known as the Five Eyes: USA, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. If you want complete privacy you will need to pick a VPN provider based outside of one of these countries.
Many VPN providers have different levels of logging. Some choose to log connection time, IP address and bandwidth used. Others choose to log nothing at all. Needless to say you have to trust the VPN provider that it is NOT monitoring your traffic, otherwise you are not protecting yourself.
What should I look for in a VPN?
Most VPNs support all the major platforms but some offer more unusual platforms such as Kindle or Google Chrome. Also look out for restrictions on usage – some ban P2P, while others are fine with it. Free and trial versions normally have speed restrictions, while paid-for versions should have none. Note that encryption can slow down connections. OpenVPN provides more protection, while PPTP is faster but less secure. You should be able to switch between them depending on need.
Also if you’re connecting to a server that’s geographically far away, you are less likely to get the full speed that your ISP provides. Look out for server speed claims and make sure that you conduct tests to check whether you are happy early on, so you can get a refund within the time limit if you’re not.
Top VPNs to check out
CyberGhost www.cyberghostvpn.com HIGHLY RECOMMENDED…!
Free and paid for
Total VPN www.totalvpn.com
Hide My Ass! Pro VPN www.hidemyass.com
Private Internet Access www.privateinternetaccess.com