5 Best VPN Software & Apps for 2017 Facilitating Ease of Use

VPN Software and Ease of Use

I think you’ll agree when I say: ‘It’s really hard to find the best VPN software from all the options you have available at your disposal.’

Or is it?

According to a research by a private marketing agency, on average a general internet user makes up his mind about buying the best VPN software in less than 10 seconds. While the results may surprise you, we think it is justified why users do so. Imagine going out on shopping to buy some new clothes. What will be your first priority? You would want to buy the most attractive clothes, right?

The thinking pattern of online customers is no different, when it comes to buying services and products. Therefore, it becomes absolutely essential to focus on finding the right VPN provider that meets all your privacy and security needs. With our guidelines and the factors you should look for in the best VPN software, you can easily find the most suitable VPN of your choice.

We are going to discuss some of the features in detail so as to explain the values of real best VPN software. Make sure to go through each and every heading in detail to learn more about how the VPN services work.

Top 5 VPN Software of 2017

A VPN fulfills diverse needs and requirements. It provides you the best online security and eliminates all vulnerabilities with respect to data theft. In addition, a VPN allows you to breakthrough all geo-restrictions and promotes your online freedom. A VPN can also solve your latency related issues and helps you get connected to distant servers without any hassle.

Since all aforementioned benefits of a VPN can be easily availed by using VPN service, we present you the service providers with the best software. In the table given below, there are 5 Best VPN Software of 2017. They are ranked as per the level of privacy they offer, the customized options and features integrated in their VPN software along with the ease of use.

Not every VPN user is a tech-savvy; hence, this ranking will help you decide and choose a service provider as per your convenience.

RankProvidersPrice ($)DiscountMore Info
1
PureVPN
$2.44Per Month
75% Off
Buy 1 Year Get 1 Year Free
2
NordVPN
$5.75Per Month
67% Off
Coupon Code is '50off'
3
PrivateVPN
$1.99Per Month
40% Off
Limited Time Discount
4
ExpressVPN
$8.32Per Month
35% OFF
No Exclusive Offer
5
Ivacy VPN
$11.95Per Month
86% OFF
Special Discount

How Did We Ranked The Best VPN Software?

There are various factors that go into determining the best VPN software. We rated the above mentioned VPN providers based on the following factors:

Privacy

One of the primary functions of a VPN is to protect your privacy from all kinds of cyber threats. However, that won’t be any good if the VPN provider keeps logs of your internet activity or is located in a region where it has to handover consumer metadata to the authorities. Due to such concerns, we evaluated different providers based on:

  1. Jurisdiction: The country from where the VPN provider operates. Locations such as USA, UK, and Australia are considered enemies of the internet and are part of Five Eye. We analyzed the jurisdiction of different providers and selected the ones what operate from privacy friendly regions.
  2. Logging Policy: A VPN is only secure as long as it doesn’t keep any activity logs. These are logs of your browsing activities, download history, and other internet activities while using a VPN. To find the best VPN software, we went through their privacy policy and looked for zero logging policy.
  3. Bandwidth: Many VPNs advertise unlimited bandwidth, but do they really offer what they promise. We evaluated various VPN providers to see if they limit your bandwidth or not.
  4. Anonymous Payment Method: We analyzed the payment methods offered by different VPN software and looked for any option that didn’t require personal information, such as Bitcoin.

Technical Capabilities

A VPN is capable of performing various technological tasks. It encrypts your internet traffic, allows anonymous P2P, and can be configured on multiple devices. We evaluated the above mentioned VPN software on the basis of following technical metrics:

  1. Encryption: The level of encryption plays a key role in how strong a VPN is in protecting your data. To determine the best VPN software, we analyzed the encryption algorithms offered by various providers.How VPN Encrypt your Internet Traffic
  2. Internet Speeds: The performance of a VPN is critical. We tested the VPN software on different servers to gauge the download and upload speeds. Based on the results, we rated the above mentioned providers.
  3. Compatibility: Is the VPN software available on different operating systems? Can you setup the software manually or are their exclusive apps? We asked these questions when rating the best VPN software.
  4. Protocols: Protocols and encryption go hand in hand. A VPN uses both to safeguard your data and privacy. We inquired the types of protocols offered by each provider; top marks were given to providers that supported OpenVPN protocol.

Service Quality & Business Ethics

The last parameter for rating the best VPN software was service quality and business ethics. Under this metrics, we rated the VPN service on the basis of:

  1. Price: We compared the annual plans and monthly plans for each provider along with the refund policy and money back guarantee period.
  2. Misleading Policies: There are many providers that guarantee 100% privacy and anonymity, but have misleading policies that put VPN users in harm’s way. To rule out such services, we analyzed the terms of service and privacy policy of various VPN software.
  3. Customer Support: The quality of service offered by a VPN can also be determined by the customer support it offers. We rated different providers based on the methods of support they provided, such as email ticketing system, live chat, FAQs, tutorials, etc.

PureVPN – Unleash Fast Performance with Easy to Use Software

PureVPN is on the top of the list when it comes to best VPN software. PureVPN is not only ease to use but it is also enriched with diverse features and functions. With one-click features made available to you, using a sophisticated tool like a VPN is nothing but a piece of cake.

With PureVPN’s software, you can select your desired protocol and server location at the time of connecting a VPN. Not only this, PureVPN’s software has a unique feature. It allows you to select a region with respect to your purpose of using a VPN.

Whether you are currently using a VPN for streaming or unblocking websites and social media or you require improved security or better speed; PureVPN’s software would prescribe location as per your preferences.

Top VPN Software -PureVPN

Unlike many other VPN service providers, PureVPN gives you one-click split tunneling feature in its software. You can access settings and configuration from software enabling you to change security and encryption preferences, traffic options and so on.

You get all the billing and package information without even logging in to their website. All this information is made available to you via PureVPN’s software. Nevertheless, one of the most significant features of them all is being able to contact customer and tech support. Yes! You can contact PureVPN’s support team 24/7 by using their software.

NordVPN – Excellent for Safe & Secure Browsing

NordVPN offers a neat VPN software that has an easy to use user interface. All the options are right where you want them to be and allows you to connect to your desired server. Currently, NordVPN offers 704 server spread in 54 different countries, helping you to unblock and access any website from anywhere.

VPN Software - NordVPN

If you are worried about compatibility, then rest assured as NordVPN offers software for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. The software also allows you to select the protocol of your choice. Just access the settings and chose the protocol you want.

Ivacy – Best VPN Software for P2P & Torrenting

Ivacy offers VPN software on multiple devices and operating systems. All their apps are easy to use and can be installed in quick and simple steps. We tested their VPN software on Windows and were pleased with its performance and service quality.

Best VPN Software - Ivacy

All the options were neatly presented and you can quickly connect to a server of your choice. You can also let Ivacy do all the work for you; just select your purpose of use and Ivacy will connect to the most suitable server.

ExpressVPN – Top Notch Service Quality & Privacy Features

Just like IPVanish, Express VPN’s software is pretty simple and basic. Express VPN’s software is easy to use and you will love it if you’re a first time VPN user. It only requires basic information from you and enables you to embrace the true meaning of online freedom and security.

ExpressVPN - Best VPN Software

All you need to do is enter your username and password. Tunneling protocols are selected as per your preference as well. Afterwards, the only thing you need to do is click connect. You can connect to any Express VPN server with just one click, thanks to Express VPN’s convenient software.

IPVanish – Best for Lifting Geo-Restrictions & Enjoying Streaming

IPVanish’s VPN software is simple and easy to use. Not many features though; yet, it can easily fulfill all your privacy and security requirements. In addition, it gives you access to IPVanish’s geographically dispersed server network, allowing you to evade all possible geo-restrictions.

IPVanish - Top VPN Software

If you wish to connect IPVanish via its VPN software, all you need to do it enter your username and password. You can save it if you don’t wish to type it every time you wish to connect IPVanish. After that, you need to select a server you want to connect. IPVanish’s software gives you complete information about the server network along with the response time.

Once you’re through with that, all you need to do is select a tunneling protocol as per your preferences. Now, simply click connect and you’re good to go.

What is a VPN & Why is it Used?

In case you were living under a rock, the use of VPN has been increasing significantly over the years. To help you under what is a VPN or virtual private network, it is a security tool that creates encrypted tunnels between two or more devices. It also adds layers of security to both your private and public networks.

There are many uses of a VPN service. The best VPN software will provide unparallel online security and defend your confidential and private information against hackers and others alike. This is achieved through its encrypting technology and the ability to tunnel your internet traffic through secure protocols.

A VPN also hides your true location and makes you anonymous by spoofing your IP address. Another major use of VPN software by various users is to unlock geo-restricted content. There are numerous websites and internet services that are accessible from certain regions. A VPN is used to access such services and enjoy online streaming.

What’s the Difference Between a VPN & Proxy

Just like a VPN, proxies are also popular among privacy conscious users. Proxy may offer similar benefits as a VPN, and for that reason, you will see many VPN providers offering their own proxy service. However, there is a slight difference between a proxy and a VPN.

While you can use a proxy to hide your true location and unblock any geo-blocked website, a proxy doesn’t offer the same level of encryption or tunneling as a VPN does. With the best VPN software, you encrypt all of your internet traffic and make your entire device safe. Proxies are better suited for accessing certain blocked websites or hiding your true location when using torrents.
Learn more about some of the best paid torrent VPN services to know which ones truly secure you while downlaoding torrents.

Free VPN vs. Premium VPN

Do you think that VPN software are expensive? Well, there are many companies that offer their VPN service for free. Yes that’s right, you can use a VPN for absolutely free, but there’s a catch. Free VPN software have numerous drawbacks and don’t deliver the same performance as a premium VPN service.

Here are some of the drawbacks of free VPN software:

  1. They are unreliable and slow
  2. May store logs of your browsing and download history
  3. Sell your personal information (email address, name, etc.) to third parties
  4. Have limited server choices
  5. Offer weak protocols and encryption
  6. Have limited bandwidth and server switches
  7. Can expose your identity through IP and DNS leakages

Considering these negative aspects of free VPNs, it’s much better to use a premium VPN software. Now you might ask, don’t paid services also have the same issues as free services?

Established VPN providers, with a proven track record, offer far better online security as compared to free VPNs. Because these services are charging their consumers, they offer wide variety of server choices, top tier security measures, dedicated apps for various platforms, no log policy, around the clock customer support, and have the utmost importance for their user’s privacy.

Safeguard Your Conversations From Man In The Middle Attack

Man In The Middle attack is a dangerous cyber threat that can compromise your privacy and online security. In such attacks, an attacker infiltrates your communication and acts as a middle man between your conversations. So, you might be thinking that you are talking to your friend, but in fact, it’s the attacker with whom you had been communicating the entire time.

Man In The Middle attacks are not visible to an average user and mainly originate when you connect to unsecured internet access points. The attacker can listen in to all the messages exchanged between two or more individuals, and can also alter the conversations.

Therefore, one of the best defenses against such threat is by encrypting your communication through a VPN. A VPN tunnels your Internet traffic through secure protocols and also encrypts the data packets. This way, when an attacker conducts Man In The Middle attack, he won’t be able to read your messages.

Man in the Middle attack

And, if the attacker is able to break the VPN tunnel (somehow), all he will find is encrypted alphanumeric characters. You can select anyone of the above mentioned best VPN software to protect against Man In The Middle attack. Each one of these VPN services offers state of the art protocols and top tier encryption.

Most Important Features that Best VPN Software Should Have.

The increasing restrictions and online surveillance on internet have compelled many of the internet users to opt for services that could provide them online security and access to the blocked websites. However, it is a known fact that not everyone is a tech-geek and there exist people who are not familiar with the technicalities of the VPN software.

Therefore, many of the VPN providers have not only worked on their services, but they have also worked on their VPN clients to make it as user-friendly as they can. There are several features that you will find in the best VPN client, most of the times.

Note: All the features mentioned below may not be present in all the VPN providers in our list. The list may vary in accordance with the features.

(1) Internet Kill Switch

As weird as it may sound, but the best VPN software often features the “Internet Kill Switch” option. If your VPN gets disconnected unexpectedly, you can always rely on IKS that will halt your internet traffic to pass through without a secured tunnel of a VPN.

Once your VPN is ready to work, it automatically un-pauses all the data and re-routes your traffic through one of its secured protocols. This option works best if you are surfing or downloading anything on your device and your VPN stops working. If you are concerned more about your online safety, we recommend you to look for “Internet Kill Switch” in the VPN clients.

(2) Server Selection

You would have read about many VPN providers providing you with 100+ servers all across the world. But have you ever noticed that not all of them provide you with the option to choose your desired server. Ever wondered why? Well, because their claim is rhetorical!

The best software will always provide you with the server selection option to let you choose the server of your own choice. Although it may seem ridiculously comical to you, many of the VPN providers shy away when it comes to providing the tool of server selection. So the next time you encounter a VPN client that provides server selection tool, know this for a fact that their server count is real.

(3) Auto-login Feature

There are thousands of VPN providers out there that provide you with an alpha-numeric usernames that are, frankly speaking, hard to memorize. With the auto-login feature, you can always skip the hard part, i.e. to recall your username and password. The best VPN clients offer the auto-login feature to all their users in order to save their time and save them from the login credentials issues.

(4) DNS Leak Protection Feature

Some VPN providers give you extra protection and provide you with DNS Leak Protection tab in their VPN clients as well. You can always use it to protect the DNS requests from being routed to your ISPs that might expose your anonymity.

(5) Protocols Selection

People fancy the VPN clients that are not only easy-to-use but also provide them with various options to choose from. Ideally, the best VPN clients give you the right to choose your own desired server and protocol. Almost all the VPN providers in our list do the same; they provide you with various options so you can tunnel your traffic through PPTP, L2TP, SSTP or OpenVPN.

(6) Log Policy

It is very important to go through the privacy policy of a VPN provider. It might sound like a tedious task but if you are concerned about your privacy then this section can shed important light on the VPN software you are about to use.

The best VPN software should guarantee ultimate privacy and anonymity to its subscribers by offering ‘zero log policy’. Under such policy, the VPN service should not record the usage activities of its users, share personal information of subscribers to third parties, or sell users data to advertising agencies.

(7) Mobile & Desktop Apps

The ease-of-use of any VPN service will eventually make it a standout provider in the industry. And this ease-of-use can be judged by the range of apps offered by VPN service. The best VPN software will be those that have a neat design, user friendly interface, and don’t use massive resources from your device. Some VPN services offer exclusive apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices while others offer manual configurations. Select the service that is compatible on your preferred devices.

(8) Performance (Speeds)

Performance plays a key role in determining the greatest VPN software and it should be amongst the top KPI’s on your list. Therefore, it is important to test a VPN before making the final purchase decision, usually through free trial or during the money back guarantee period. The best VPNs will not compromise your internet speeds and will offer fast performance without any interruptions.

(9) Dedicated IP

Many experts suggest the use of shared IP addresses as it keeps you anonymous over the internet. However, dedicated IP has its own perks and offers benefits that cannot be availed through shared IP. Using a dedicated IP, you can have an IP that is exclusively yours and only you control it.

This is really useful in accessing different streaming services that block VPN users (such as Netflix or Hulu). Similarly, if you enjoy online gaming then having a dedicated IP allows you to route your gaming data packets through uncongested pathways.

(10) Pricing

To many users, pricing is the most important indicator in selecting a VPN client. Some VPN services offer monthly, semiannual and annual pricing plans while others set their packages on the features or protocols they offer. When you are choosing a VPN software, the price should match the quality of service and performance offered.

Frequently Asked Users’ Queries about VPN Softwares

We have created a FAQs section that aims to offer simple and straight forward answers to most complex users’ queries. Here’re some of the most commonly faced users’ queries along with their upright solutions:

How Much Does a VPN Cost?

Generally, a VPN service may charge about $2.91 to 8.32 USD per month, depending upon privacy features, number of servers, encryption protocols and logging policy. In addition, different VPN providers offer discounted packages that are charged tri monthly, semi-annually and annually. Users can save a great deal of money with periodic plans.

Are there any free VPN services available?

There are various VPN providers which offer free service for unlimited time period. However, such providers sell your data to 3rd parties, make you their product rather than offering theirs’. But, in case you want to try a free VPN, then here’re some of the top free VPN providers you can choose from:

  1. Betternet
  2. ZenMate
  3. TunnelBear

To learn more about free and reliable VPN services, you can refer to our guide about free VPN services and explore about trustworthy VPN providers.

Which is a VPN service? What is a VPN service provider?

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a cutting-edge privacy solution that offers superior online protection against hackers, ISP monitoring, state surveillance, identity thieves and various cyber threats. A  VPN at first place encrypts your entire network traffic and spoofs your digital location with another country, making you secure, safe and anonymous online. Also, a VPN helps users into evading geo-restrictions on popular on-demand entertainment sites like BBC iPlayer, HBO Now, Fox Go, Hotstar and many more.

Which is the secure VPN for torrenting and P2P file sharing?

Torrenting or P2P file sharing is a massively adapted medium for file sharing today. But, due to illegitimate nature of file sharing, torrenting is banned in many countries. Currently, NordVPN is the safest VPN for safe and anonymous torrenting. With DNS leak protection and L2TP/IPSec protocol with 256-bit military grade encryption, NordVPN offers secure torrenting to users worldwide. To discover more about safe torrenting, read our simple guide on best VPN for torrenting.

Which is the fastest VPN for unrestricted streaming?

On-demand streaming is the hall-mark of entertainment in 21st century. But, due to content licensing and media distribution agreement, various streaming sites are geo-restricted in many countries. To evade from geo-restrictions on popular sites and services, subscribers find PureVPN as the best VPN client software for streaming. With PPTP protocol, PureVPN provides an instant access to thousands of geo-blocked entertainment sites along with blazing fast streaming experience.

Is there any reliable VPN for Windows and PC?

Microsoft Windows is a well-known and reportedly vulnerable operating system since last decade. The operating system is claimed to be vulnerable to hackers, identity thieves, snoopers, and phishers. Considering the treats to Microsoft Windows, Express VPN stands as a preferred Software VPN Solution for windows and PC with OpenVPN protocol and ultimate privacy tools.

Which is the safe VPN for Android?

Smartphones have become hub of socialization and entertainment among masses. Let it be Android, iOS or Windows phone, cyber criminals are prowling around to attack and victimize netizens. That said, IvacyVPN with its exclusive android client software delivers an air-tight data protection and privacy to Android users.

Can someone name the best VPN for Mac OS X?

Mac OS X stands as second most adapted operating system after Windows. Equipped with exceptional security features, Mac OS X had protected netizens for a long time until cybercriminals discovered ways to compromise Mac OS X’s security. Considering the cyberthreats to Mac OS X, IPVanish offers  robust data protection to Mac users. For more detail about Mac security with VPN you can check out our Mac VPN guide.

Which is the recommended VPN for Roku?

Roku is one of the leading-edge entertainment services in the US. With a massive media library, Roku offers best of the time TV shows, movies, music and much more. But, being exclusive to the US only,Roku required Roku VPN to be accessed from abroad. PureVPN is the recommended VPN service to gain restriction-free access to Roku from any corner of the world.

 

Is there a secure VPN for Linux?

Linux is a top operating system in terms of safety and reliability. But, due to a limited number of users, there’s a lack of apps to unblock sites and achieve top-grade online security on Linux. Considering the data privacy of Linux users, NordVPN is a recommended Linux VPN with OpenVPN support, strong privacy features and widespread servers across various countries.

Which is the safest VPN for iPhone and iPad?

iOS devices comes equipped with optimum security tools. However, online privacy and users’ browsing activities remain under threat by cyber criminals. IPVanish offers handy privacy features and dedicated client software for iOS to ensures top-grade online protection to iPhone and iPad users at all times.

Alternatives to Use a VPN Software

There are different ways through which a user can attain maximized security and online liberty facilitated by a VPN. You can get secure with a VPN by connecting it through customized software provided by your VPN service provider. This is the most convenient way to use a VPN.

Manual configuration is another alternative to consider though. No matter the tunneling protocols; PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP or OpenVPN, you can configure them all if your service provider and operating system support the tunneling protocols prescribed. However, a user would rarely prefer this alternative due to many reasons.

One of the most important reasons is amending and entering information about the servers you wish to connect. When configured manually, you have to enter server information at the time of VPN connection setup. Every time you wish to switch a server, you would be required to change that information or create an entirely new connection.

Same goes for the tunneling protocols. If you have setup a manual VPN connection using PPTP protocol, you won’t be able to avail the benefits of using L2TP/IPSec unless you have setup a completely new connection.

Sadly, not all VPN service providers offer VPN software. Some users are left with no option but to use an open source platform. Therefore, using a VPN via software is the most convenient option for users.

 

Wrapping Up

We have ranked the frequently preferred VPN service providers as per the features, functions and ease of use associated with their best VPN software. This would help users especially the new ones, who aren’t tech-savvy, to go for a VPN service provider as per their preference, convenience and ease of use.

We hope you have enjoyed reading the post. If you feel any query regarding torrenting, P2P file sharing, copyright infringement, unblocking or any aspect of a VPN service, then feel free to drop your message below.

Aazim Akhtar

Senior Editor

Aazim Akhtar's Biography :


A privacy advocate by day and a binge-watcher by night, Aazim Akhtar loves to write about online security, internet freedom, and all the latest technological trends. Finding ways to secure any sensitive data and protect against existing and emerging cyber threats is his passion. Follow him on Twitter to stay in touch with his work!


2 Responses to 5 Best VPN Software & Apps for 2017 Facilitating Ease of Use

  1. Sushan Gautam says:

    Believe me or not, but PureVPN is the best VPN software in my opinion. It is full of servers, has high level privacy options, and the encryption is strong enough to repel hackers and snoops. It might be hard to get use to it at first, but you’ll be fine with it in a matter of time. To all the readers in the comment section, I would prefer that all of you should give PureVPN a try. Trust me, it’s worth it.

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