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A virtual private network (VPN) is a digital service that provides anonymized access to the internet. Instead of relying on public and open access protocol, a VPN gives its users a higher level of security and privacy when accessing the internet in different contexts.

But why would you need a VPN since it’s always possible to gain access through a public internet service provider (ISP)? Read on to find out in the other sections of this post.

Even though most modern websites are HTTPS compliant in terms of data protection guarantee, it is still not enough for some use cases or contexts. One example is when anonymity is a high priority for certain classes of internet users.

Moreover, using standard public access doesn’t bypass geoblocking protocols. That is a system of blocking access to internet content or website based on the user’s geographic location. If you have ever experienced denial of access based on your current geographic location, geo-blocking is the system responsible for that.

Benefits of Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

  • Gain access to blocked content or services
  • Bypass censorship restrictions
  • Higher level of network security
  • Personal data protection
  • Avoid bandwidth throttling
  • Secure connection and communication for remote work
  • Avoid data throttling
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Is Using A VPN Legal?

As a potential new user interested in exploring the benefits of using a virtual private network (VPN), it is also worth considering its legality. Hence the question is, are VPNs legal?

Perhaps, the most important fact to keep in mind is this. The legality or otherwise of VPN usage is dependent on geographic location. That is because the laws regulating internet activities often differ from one country to the other.

The other point you should keep in mind is that using a VPN to do what is illegal within a country will always put you at risk. Below are some of the countries where VPN usage is illegal.

  • North Korea
  • Iraq
  • Belarus
  • Russia

How A VPN Works

Virtual private networks work by routing the connection of a device through dedicated private servers instead of using the one provided by your internet service provider (ISP).

Through a proper routing process, a VPN can change and, hide your visible IP address. Instead of routing traffic through your device, a VPN makes use of the provider’s server location.

Based on the fact that VPN providers often have private services across hundreds of locations, you can choose any location of choice for your internet activities. For example, a VPN can help you choose Germany as your virtual location while operating from a different location like the United Kingdom.

That’s how VPN can guarantee an anonymous internet browsing experience. To a large extent, using a VPN also provides a higher level of security.

How VPN Tunnel Work

In simple terms, a VPN tunnel is an encrypted link between an outside network and your device (computer, tablet, or smartphone).

It is a connection protocol that hides IP addresses while encrypting all the data generated through your online activities. When you connect through an encrypted VPN tunnel, your online activities will be protected from being tracked by other websites, the government, and other entities.

Assuming you are the type of person that often logs in through public Wi-fi at places like coffee shops and hotels, using a VPN will help you eliminate some vulnerabilities.

Different Types of VPN Protocols

  • OpenVPN – This is an open-source VPN protocol that gives developers access to the underlying code. With this access, developers can build compatible applications. Assuming you have the expertise, you can use this VPN protocol to create point-to-point or site-to-site virtual connections. For high-level data encryption, this protocol uses AES-256 key encryption with 2048-bit RSA authentication.
  • L2TP/IPSec – This one is said to be a replacement for the PPTP VPN protocol. Instead of providing security protocol independently, the L2TP is usually paired with the IPSec security protocol. Among other things, this protocol is known to provide reliable speed. And you can always expect a lower level of security vulnerabilities when using this protocol.
  • SSTP – This acronym stands for secure socket tunneling protocol. Based on its seamless integration with most of Microsoft’s operating system, this protocol had gained some popularity over time. Technically, you should bear in mind that SSTP is a proprietary protocol developed by Microsoft. Based on this fact, the underlying code is not accessible to developers like you’ll find with OpenVPN. However, you should expect great support from native and third-party clients.
  • IKEv2 – Internet Key Exchange version 2 is another VPN protocol commonly used for secure exchange sessions. When it is paired with IPSec, IKEv2 proves reliable when it comes to re-establishing links after a temporary loss of connection.Moreover, this protocol also works well in terms of switching between different network types. An example is a simple switching from Wi-fi to cellular connections. Unlike others, IKEv2 stands out with the proven capability for open-source connection, mobile-friendliness, seamless network switching, and support for native clients.
  • PPTP – Talk about the oldest form of VPN protocol, point to point tunneling is just one of them. Having stood the test of time over the years, you can count on PPTP for different reliability factors. For users who may not need heavy encryption, this is the best VPN protocol for the job.However, you can count on PPTP for high connection speeds in different contexts. When fast data speeds and dependable support are high priorities, here is one of the best VPN protocols you may want to use.

Who Needs A VPN?

Having understood what a VPN is and how it works, you may start thinking in the line of – do I need this? If it seems like you need a VPN, when?

Everyday People

In some sense, it may look like only techies should care about using a virtual private network. But think about this. Do you know that public Wi-fi networks are phishing grounds for cybercriminals? Unknown to some of us, these people are constantly looking for ways to hack into vulnerable devices.

With some of the best VPN software in the market, you can increase the security of your devices as well as your private data.

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Remote Friendly Companies

When you have a distributed team of remote workers working from different locations, and time zones, security isn’t something that should be left to chance. In this case, you need maximum protection of the data and flow of confidential communication between your company and the staff. Don’t let your remote team members access company resources or data without a sufficient level of digital security.

Freelancers Working Online

Even if you are an independent freelancer working online, the best VPN software can help to protect you from hackers. Besides bringing the way you work into focus, your data might be at risk if you are not using a VPN for maximum protection.

People In Over-Censored Countries

Do you live in a country or are traveling to a country where access to certain types of websites or content is blocked? If your answer is yes, then using virtual private network software will give you access to those things that people in other countries enjoy without stress.

These are some of the scenarios that warrant buying VPN software for private or company use. Look around online, and you will find some VPN products you can buy without spending too much money. Let’s move on to highlight some of the things to consider before you buy VPN services.

What To Look For In A VPN

Especially for potential new users, understanding the things that matter most when buying VPN software is hardly an easy thing. In addition to clarifying your intended use cases, there are some other salient factors you ought to consider.

While you are at it, please remember that the cheapest is hardly the best. Neither is the most expensive. Let’s check below.

Performance Speed

There is no point in buying into a VPN service that will keep you stuck with slow-loading pages or apps. Besides your ISP’s speed limit, a typical VPN will always affect how your use the internet. In most cases, you’ll be better off going with a virtual network service provider that will give you an unlimited speed limit or bandwidth.

That means you can always use your internet access without any slow down or downtime. That could give you the basis for looking into the best VPN software comparison. Focus on the speed or bandwidth difference.

Multi-Device Availability

If you are like most people, there is a chance that you are constantly accessing your internet connection on multiple devices.

Based on this fact, you have to check if the VPN product you want to buy will give you that multi-device access without any hitches. The question is, how many devices are supported on the plan you want to buy? And that’s another basis for comparison the best VPN services in the market.

Static IP Address

A static IP address does not change from one context to the other. Moreover, static IP addresses are usually assigned to a single user instead of multiple users.

As a potential new user, you may not need it in the first instance. But when you get into certain digital contexts, access to your preferred sites or content will require buying into a new VPN subscription plan that includes a static IP address feature.

In terms of digital security, having a static IP address will give highly regulated websites the confidence to accept you as a trusted user. In most cases, it is always better to start with a VPN subscription plan that will give you access to this feature from the get-go.

Encryption Reliability

Assuming you are a potential user with high-level privacy, and security concerns, reliable encryption is another feature to consider when looking into the best VPN software comparison. Instead of using a single server to serve your needs, dependable VPN providers will use multiple servers to maintain your inbound and outbound internet traffic.

Even when you are not technically savvy, you may want to contact some VPN providers, ask specific questions and use the answers given to you to compare the best VPN services in the market.

Peer To Peer Functionality

There are certain times when it makes sense to share VPN accounts or resources with your peers.

For example, if your distributed remote team uses VNP for their daily work, then it is in your best interest to consider peer-to-peer features before you commit to any company. Another difference you should think about is this.

Even though some providers don’t offer bandwidth thresholds, they do not support seamless peer-to-peer usage. The best thing is to consider your intended use cases and decide whether you need this P2P feature or not.

Torrenting Permission

Torrenting is a digital process of sharing files between peers. When heavy files like music, movies, games, and software are involved, torrenting makes sharing easy without putting the hosting burden on a single server.

But then, some VPN providers often implement bandwidth throttling to limit this process of sharing heavy files. In some cases, torrenting is not allowed at all. But then, if you have this specific use case in mind, you’ll be better off looking into the best VPN for torrenting.

Such providers often have dedicated servers that support torrenting. Good examples are NordVPN and CyberGhost.

Geo-Blocking Bypass

As you can see from the previous sections of this post, people buy VPN software tools for different use cases.

Type ‘the best uses of VPN software’ into Google, and you’ll understand more of what I mean here. Interestingly, the simple intention to bypass geo-blocking systems implemented within some websites or apps is one use case. When a specific website or app is blocked from being accessed from certain locations, you can use a VPN to bypass such systems.

However, not every VPN in the market can bypass some of the sites or apps you have in mind. Again, your best bet is to find out if the one you want to buy has such capabilities to bypass the specific sites or apps you have in mind.

Technical Support

As it is with some other type of software, getting what you want from a VPN can be somehow technically challenging, especially if you are new to this. Based on this fact, you should consider the nature of available support before you buy one of these tools. To get a higher level of clarity on this, check the specific VPN subscription plan you want and confirm the type of support available on that plan. The most common channels for providing support are emails, phone, and live chat.

VPN Provider Reputation

Besides the glossy words, and images you’ll see on each provider’s website, you should give some time to think about the provider’s reputation. How long have they been in the market?

What are the most common complaints about each provider?

Moreover, it will also be helpful if you go to some online communities and ask questions. From here, you’ll get real insights provided by different segments of experienced users. It is through these sources and processes that you will also find good support information.

Price of VPN Software

After considering some of the most important features you need to fulfill your specific needs, the next question often goes like this – what is the price of VPN software?

While looking into the price, there are some factors you should keep in mind. The first thing is to look into the subscription plans offered by a specific provider. Consider the difference between these plans. This consideration will help you understand the features, benefits, and limitations associated with each plan.

When you choose the plan that suits your current needs, you can take that as the basis for comparing the subscription plans from other providers.

When you have these things clarified, it will now be easy to compare the price of VPN software provided by different companies. The key point is to avoid looking at price differences only. Consider the difference in features, benefits, use cases, and limitations.

Does A VPN Make You Anonymous?

Even though a VPN will increase the level of privacy you will enjoy as an internet user, 100% anonymity is rarely guaranteed. While the direct connection between your devices and a VPN is encrypted, the connection between the websites you visit and the VPN servers is not 100% encrypted.

However, what a VPN does is that it prevents unauthorized tracking that may be for research purposes, targeted advertising, or criminal hacking. Moreover, if you have ever bought a product or service online with a credit card that has your name or bank information, VPN services cannot provide anonymity in this case.

Regarding the level of anonymity that most VPN providers claim to offer, below are some factors to keep in mind. Keep this in mind before subscribing to any of these services.

  • No Log Policy – For a higher level of anonymity and privacy, it is important to find a VPN with a proven no-log policy. That means that the VPN provider does not collect and store any information about your details and online activities. With the best no-log VPN providers, even your original IP address won’t be stored in their server.That means your real location won’t be detected at the time of using a virtual private network to access the internet.
  • Powerful Encryption – Since the whole essence of using a virtual private network is privacy, you need to consider how your data and online activity history will be encrypted. Through the connection between your device and VPN tunnel, packets of your online activity are usually encrypted and decrypted in a way that makes them unreadable by external third parties.According to some experienced security experts, AES-256-bit encryption is said to be the most powerful option in the market. Interestingly, it is in your best interest to find a VPN service that offers this level of encryption.
  • DNS Leak Protection – Protection against DNS leaks is another feature of the best VPN software in the market. But what is a DNS leak, you may ask? DNS leak is a situation where your internet connection queries go through the default DNS servers provided by your ISP. When this happens, it means your online activities can be intercepted by third parties, including criminal hackers.To prevent such things from happening, you may want to look into DNS leak protection tests. That will help you understand your current status and determine how a VPN can help.

What A VPN Won't Do

  • It doesn’t provide 100% again phishing attacks.
  • A VPN will not improve internet speed and performance
  • A VPN will not remove device-centric vulnerabilities
  • It doesn’t guarantee protection against powerful malware
  • VPNs won’t anonymize online payment details or purchases

6 Reasons to Avoid Free VPNs

It’s easy to sign up and start testing some of these tools with a free subscription plan. However, the important to ask is this – are free VPNs safe? If not, why should you avoid them?

  1. Free VPN providers can sell your data.
  2. DNS protection leak is unavoidable when you use a free VPN
  3. A free virtual private network can leak your IP address
  4. You’ll be vulnerable to disruptive advertising
  5. Free VPN users are prime targets for cyberattacks
  6. They are not blocked by Netflix


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What is the difference between a VPN and a Proxy?

Even though both can hide your IP address, only a VPN will give you maximum data protection through an encrypted tunnel.

Another interesting difference is this. A VPN will provide complete security of your network traffic while proxies often work on an application level only. Before signing up for any proxy services, please note that your online activity logs, DNS requests, and other sensitive data are prone to unauthorized access. That’s why we recommend getting premium VPN software solutions.

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Do I need a VPN on my phone?

The answer is an absolute yes. Assuming you live in a country heavily censored, the best VPN service providers can help you access any website or app of your choice.

Besides, it’s impossible to use your laptop or desktop while on the go. At any moment you want to access public Wi-fi with your phone while on the go, you’ll need to have one of the top-rated VPN software in the market.

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Can I use a VPN while watching Netflix?

When you are using a VPN, the service provider will hide your IP address and location. Based on this fact, Netflix will only show you content is available to all regions that the company is serving. According to Netflix,

you can access content only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such content”.

Though it is possible to watch Netflix while using a VPN, it is your responsibility to confirm if it is a legal activity within your country or current location.

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Is a VPN worth the money?

It doesn’t matter your intended use cases. The answer is yes. A VPN can help you prevent phishing attacks and the potential losses that often result from them. Moreover, if you are the type of person that values online privacy and personal security, it wouldn’t cost a fortune to get an affordable VPN software.

Pros And Cons of Using A VPN Software


  • Increase the privacy of your online activities
  • Prevent authorized government surveillance
  • Eliminate mobile device vulnerability when using public Wi-fi
  • Enjoy anonymous torrenting without speed throttling
  • Unblock and gain access to geo-blocked sites and apps
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  • Some people are not comfortable with the monthly subscription fees
  • Using a free virtual private network can leak your identity, online activity logs, and DNS requests to anyone, including cybercriminals