Through this VPN guide, we will describe the notion what is a VPN; how it works and why you need it. This term has grabbed the attentions of netizens globally. Once you have gone through this guide, you would be able to use VPNs hassle-free.
What is a VPN and why do I need it?
A VPN is considered as the best online security tool to deal with the problems of cybercrimes and online surveillance by the governments and their spy agencies. With minimum VPN encryption of 128-bit and maximum of 2048-bit, all your data remains safe from all the evils of cyber world.
A VPN protects you on two levels, first by cloaking your data transmission on the internet through VPN encryption and then tunneling all your data through a VPN server. The resultant network is an impenetrable network connection that gives you a barrage of benefits to cater to your internet needs.
You need a VPN for various reasons. Yes, you have read it correctly. Here is the list of different reasons that includes:
- For privacy
- To bypass censorship
- To watch region blocked media content
- For files sharing
- To get protection while using public Wi-Fi
You can avail a VPN service to attain three key advantages. When you connect to a VPN provider, your ISPs cannot trace your online activities. It means ISPs are unable to observe your different tasks like web surfing and others.
Likewise, government or data surveillance agencies cannot keep an eye on your online activities. This is because these organizations depend on ISPs to receive users’ personal information. Through a VPN, you can surf the web with VPN alternative IP addresses.
To bypass censorship
When it comes to using VPNs at workplaces or colleges, nothing beats their importance. A VPN offers a comprehensive list of servers to its users. Therefore, you can connect to any VPN server of your choice. By doing so, you can access any blocked from anywhere hassle-free.
To watch region blocked media content
There is no denying a VPN comes in handy when you want to unblock geo-restricted media stuff. You can watch your desired TV shows, movies, documentaries and much more through a VPN securely and anonymously.
For files sharing
You can share any file through a VPN anonymously with other users. When you use a VPN service while sharing or downloading torrents, you are able to mask your original IP addresses. Moreover, it hides the content of shared files from ISPs.
Check out our best VPN for torrenting guide to solve your torrenting hassles.
To get protection while using public Wi-Fi
When you have to use an internet while on the go, you must connect to a VPN service before accessing internet. Sadly, public Wi-Fi has become an open invitation for online snoopers as they can disclose and misuse your crucial information.
Therefore, you are bound to avail a VPN service that secures your privacy while using public Wi-Fi a great deal.
What do you know about VPN connection?
A VPN connection is a process that creates a secure connection to another network on the internet. This way, different businesses can be connected together securely over the internet. Surprisingly, you are able to access business networks from home or anywhere anonymously.
The most important thing you need to know about a VPN
Before using a VPN, you should know what you would get in return. The first and foremost objective of availing a VPN is to attain online protection at any cost. After connecting to a VPN provider, you can route your internet traffic through a secure server. By doing so, you can safeguard all your devices from surveillance or tracking issues.
Furthermore, you cannot undermine the importance of VPN protocols and encryption levels. If you have subscribed to a VPN service that offers OpenVPN protocol, you can obtain 256-bit military grade encryption feature by default. Thus, you can attain maximum online protection and anonymity under one package.
How Does a VPN Work?
Utilizing a VPN connects you to a third-party that functions as an intermediary channel between you and the internet. The VPN encryption takes place when all the data that you send/receive is utilized by protocols (data sharing methodologies designed specifically to share data securely), and serve as a barrier in between you and the internet.
The result: VPN encryption keeps your data safe, while the data tunnel created (due to the third-party’s presence in the middle) keeps you virtually invisible from the rest of the internet – and yet fully connected.
Data is transported through VPN tunnels by using headers. A header is nothing more than a piece of information that is meant to identify the start and end points of a data packet that has been encapsulated at the start of its transmission. These packets are encrypted by VPN so that they become indecipherable to any third parties that may look to intercept them but do not have the encryption keys necessary to decipher the data.
What Makes for a Good VPN?
A VPN connection is only as good as the server spread it runs through and the VPN protocols it offers. These are the fundamental factors that constitute a secure VPN service provider. Second in priority is the customer support infrastructure that the VPN service provider offers, finally followed by the pricing plan at the end. Believe me when I say, that you do not want to save money at the cost of your online security. The cybercrimes emptying bank accounts these days will send shivers down your spine!
Which VPN providers are the top rated?
Look up individual and corporate pricing plans. Compare reviews of pricing plans and see if the VPN service provider frequently offers discounts. Check to see if there is a free trial available and look up the VPN service provider’s refund policy while you’re at it.
While checking the pricing plans, also take a look at the supported protocols and identify the protocols offered in different pricing plans. Poke around to check if the VPN service is providing adequate VPN encryption.
Don’t get caught up in any additional services provided by the VPN provider if they don’t contribute/influence the VPN service directly. Add-ons, if provided, are a different thing but you might have to read a few detailed VPN reviews before you manage to get your hands on such inside information.
Payment methods need to be secure and reliable. In this regard, it usually helps if the payment method offered is from a reliable third party. You will see that almost all VPN service providers offer PayPal and accept Credit Cards.
Make sure that the operating system you are using on your machine is supported and that there is a client available for your smart-phone platform as well. It will help you get the most from your VPN subscription. This is the point where you will need to check if your VPN would work for devices as well.
For instance: will you use it on your router? Will you use it on your phone? Will you use it on your Xbox? Once you have decided the scope of your VPN use, look for the VPN service provider’s device/platform compatibility. Compatibility is a critical factor but make sure you give consideration to the software support provided by the VPN service provider. Check if tutorials are provided for each of the supported device/platform.
Rank Providers Price ($) Discount More Info 70% Off
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6 months Free
No Exclusive Offer
PureVPN is a Hong Kong based VPN provider offering its services in all the major countries of the world. Through its 2000+ servers feature, you can regain your online freedom from anywhere in no time. Likewise, you can experience tons of interesting benefits on your devices hassle-free.
- 2000+ servers in 140+ countries
- Offers 256-bit military grade encryption
- Provides a generous 31 days money back guarantee
- Does not have free trial feature
NordVPN is another VPN service delivering a list of eye-catching benefits to users from all around the world. In addition, it offers 4800+ servers in 60+ countries globally that allow you to secure your privacy straightaway.
- Provides 24/7 customer support throughout the year
- Offers an impressive list of tunneling protocols
- Has dedicated apps for different platforms and devices
- Does not offer server in Philippines
ExpressVPN is one of those VPN services that do not their users’ information. Furthermore, you can avail its 30 days money back guarantee that helps you to check the performance of the service on your desired devices.
- Based in British Virgin Islands
- Offers an excellent customer support benefit to users
- Provides multi-login feature to subscribers
- Offers an expensive monthly pricing plan
IPVanish is a US based VPN service providing 1000+ servers in 60+ countries. Likewise, it offers an appreciable multi-login feature that enables you to use the service on 10 different devices simultaneously.
- Provides dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS
- Has an amazing multi-login benefit for users
- Offers 256-bit military grade encryption
- Provider is based in the US
Ivacy is another VPN service striving hard to make a mark in online privacy industry. The service provides a detailed list of immaculate benefits that secure your privacy in no time. Moreover, you can connect to your preferred server from anywhere instantly.
- Offers 450+ servers in 100+ countries
- Provides user-friendly apps for subscribers
- Has an efficient internet kill switch benefit for users
- Does not provide free trial benefit to new users
How to get a VPN?
Luckily, the task of getting a VPN is simple and does not take much of your time. Yes, you have read it appropriately. After making online payments through various payment options, you can get a VPN hassle-free. These different payment methods are PayPal, Alipay, Bitcoin, Paymentwall and others.
Once you have selected your preferred mode of payment, you can get your desired VPN subscription. Furthermore, you can avail a VPN for various devices that include Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers, Smart TVs and others.
How to Setup a VPN?
The process of setting up a VPN is not a rocket science. Here is how you can do to achieve your mission:
- Go to system tray and tap right- click on system tray
- Click on Open Network and Sharing Center and click on setup a new connection or network
- Select Connect to workspace and click Next, choose Use my internet connection (VPN)
- Mention the server address given by the VPN provider
- Write the name for a VPN connection and check mark on both Allow other people to use this connection and don’t connect now, just set it up so I can connect later, click Next finally
- Write your username along with password provided by the VPN service, hit Create
- You will observe The connection is ready to use
- Through Network and Sharing Center Window and click on Change adapter settings from left pane
- Now, right click on the freshly created VPN connection and click on its properties
- Go to Security tab and choose Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)
- Tap on the data encryption drop down menu and select your required encryption level
- From Networking tab, you should uncheck Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and File & Printer Sharing for Microsoft, hit OK
- Through network connections window, right click on the newly developed connection and hit Connect
- After providing username and password, you must click on Connect
- You will observe a message about verification and authentication before the connection is established on your screen
- Once you are connected, you can see a connected icon in system tray
Advantages of a VPN
Without a VPN, you are at the mercy of your ISP (be it your home network or a public Wi-Fi), your ISP is not obligated to provide you any services other than connecting you to your internet. The ISPs can easily run a check on all your activities and only way to fool them into thinking that you don’t exist on the virtual world is to use a secure VPN service.
You can always install firewalls and antivirus software but that will only secure your system – and cybercriminals know that, which is why they target you once your data is out of your safe-zone. This means you need to secure your data during the sending/receiving transmission. There are countless reasons I can give you to justify your need for the best VPN for privacy, but in a nutshell:
- Data Encryption ensures confidentiality
- Data packet Authentication ensures data integrity
- Data Traffic Tunneling ensures anonymity
- Data routing ensures accessibility to blocked websites and other services
- Just about every second IT management/regulatory body recommends VPN for security
Examples of a Good VPN
A good VPN becomes crucial when it comes to using it for different purposes. Here is the list of various examples that consists of:
- Access a business network while traveling
- Access your home network while travelling
- Hides your browsing activity from your local network and ISP
- Access geo-blocked websites and bypass internet censorship
- Downloading files
Access a Business Network while Travelling
Through a VPN, you can access to your business network securely while on the go. This way, you can carry out your routine business operations straightaway. By doing so, you can safeguard your sensitive business information from the vicious eyes of online snoopers.
Access your Home Network while Traveling
The same goes for home network too. This is because a VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to connect to your home network while travelling securely and anonymously. A home VPN provides an encrypted tunnel that enables you to access country specific services outside the country.
Similarly, you can access to your home network through a VPN while opting public Wi-Fi.
Hides your browsing activity from your local network and ISP
A VPN of your choice lets you perform your online activities like web surfing and streaming media content securely. Moreover, your ISPs cannot trace your online tasks as you become anonymous by getting VPN IP address.
Access geo-blocked websites and bypass internet censorship
In the last but not the least, you can unblock and watch your preferred TV shows and movies after bypassing geo-blocking principles. As a result, you can overcome various online restrictions in a proactive manner.
You can opt a VPN while conducting task. By doing so, you can download your favorite torrenting files from anywhere. Thus, your ISPs cannot keep an eye what you do on the internet. Hence, you can deceive your ISPs and copyright holders to new heights.
What a VPN Won’t Do
Unfortunately, websites can trace your online surfing activities through cookies. Thus, you may avail an ad blocker that helps you to overcome website-tracking issues hassle-free. Unfortunately, VPN services do not block malware sometimes. Hence, you need to attain standalone antivirus software.
Similarly, you cannot use a VPN for cracking purpose. This is because the sole objective of a VPN is to provide online freedom and anonymity to users.
When not to use a VPN
There is no denying VPNs have become last resorts when it comes to living an encrypted lifestyle. It acts as online security guard since it provides an added layer of protection to its users. The only downside that I have found during my research was its ability to make your connections slower at times.
Nevertheless, you have to use a VPN in any case whatsoever. This is because it is all about safeguarding your online identity. When you are battling with different threats, only a VPN with high repute will secure your privacy eventually.
Proxy vs VPN, What is the Difference?
A proxy helps you to secure your web browser only. On the other hand, a VPN provides next level security and anonymity to its users. It encrypts all your traffic through tunneling protocols and routes your traffic with anonymous VPN server.
How does a VPN improve your Online Security?
Most of the internet users fail to address the privacy issues at the right time. They only react to such issues once they have already fallen prey to cybercrimes like hacking etc. While many people argue that complete online security is just a myth, there is absolutely no ground evidence on which they make such claims.
Many VPN providers claim to provide the best online security to their users. How do these VPN services do that? Well, they tunnel your traffic through the below mentioned (described in detail) protocols and connect you to IP addresses that are virtually invisible to hackers, snoopers and the ISPs.
Most of the users are victimized because of their lack of understanding of this delicate service, which is known as VPN. A VPN is thought to be the best tool to increase your privacy and to fend off the threats of cybercrimes.
The best VPNs for privacy make sure they are encrypting your data at the right pace to keep it safe from the tyranny of the cybercriminals. The secure VPN providers give you access to every website on the internet and make sure you don’t end up becoming a victim of any malware on the internet.
What are Virtual Private Network Protocols?
Virtual Private Network (VPN) protocols are the means by which you can route your data between your system and VPN server. There are different types of VPN protocols that offer various features to VPNs users in terms of online protection and anonymity. Here is the list of tunneling protocols that includes:
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol
The first protocol you will come across when you start looking up VPN protocols is the PPTP protocol. The PPTP protocol was designed by Microsoft and uses Point to Point Protocol for authentication. The VPN encryption takes place through ECP and Generic Routing Encapsulation packets are used for multiprotocol encapsulation. The resultant tunnel created becomes virtually invisible to applications.
The Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is the most commonly used protocol because the VPN speed is much better when it’s connected on PPTP. It is one of the oldest VPN protocols but not very secure if you compare it to its succeeding protocols. These characteristics make it ideal for regular internet activity.
The protocol is extremely device friendly and therefore frequently available for use on a large number of devices. PPTP uses IP datagrams to encapsulate PPP data frames and ensures tunnel management via the establishment of a TCP connection. Data is tunneled by using a modified version of Generic Routing Encapsulation, resulting in the following PPTP packet data form:
Layer Two Tunneling Protocol/ IPsec
The second most popular protocol is the Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP). The L2TP VPN protocol is multiprotocol in the fact that it enables PPP tunneling to be carried out over a variety of packed network types.
Unlike the PPTP protocol, the L2TP not only carries out user authentication, but also tunnel authentication. The fact that L2TP is run over UDP/IP allows L2TP tunnels to get through firewalls but becomes vulnerable to attacks unless combined with IPSec.
Using IPSec adds an element of security at the network connection’s IP layer, which is why you will often see VPN service providers provide L2TP/IPSec instead of offering L2TP alone. The Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) is a security intensive protocol and is relatively slower than the PPTP protocol for the same reason. It encapsulates data packets twice, making your data transmission virtually impossible to break-into. However, the added data encapsulation makes the protocol somewhat slow and therefore not ideally suited for data-intensive internet sessions (like streaming or gaming). The increased security makes the protocol great for internet sessions involving transactions.
Remember that L2TP and L2TP/IPSec is the same thing. IPSec is merely the VPN encryption service that the L2TP protocol uses.
Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol
PPTP and L2TP protocols are known to conflict with firewall, web-proxies and NATs unless firewalls are specifically configured to avoid losing data packets during data transmission.
The solution to the limitations in PPTP and L2TP protocols can be found in the SSTP protocol. The SSTP protocol is essentially a combination of HTTP and SSL (HTTP over SSL). What makes SSTP appealing is that it has extensive built-in support in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1.
This is a disadvantage at the same time since other platforms have not yet integrated support for SSTP. Since SSTP uses the SSL channel, IP datagrams are used to encapsulate PPP frames and tunnel management is carried out via a TCP connection. The SSTP data frame exists in the following form:
OpenVPN is the maverick of the VPN protocol world. This means that while PPTP, L2TP and SSTP are essentially managed by a regulatory authority, OpenVPN remains unleashed. The advantage is that it can be used on just about any device and platform, but the disadvantage is that it tends to come with a “some assembly required” tag.
Unlike other protocols, OpenVPN utilizes the packet data approach in an unorthodox way by splitting packets into two parts. The first part contains the packet header while the second part contains the data payload header. As a result, the OpenVPN packet structure looks somewhat like this:
Internet Key Exchange version 2 is another VPN protocol that offers a secure key exchange advantage to subscribers. Still, it depends on IPsec when it comes to encryption and authentication purposes. It is compatible with famous platforms like Windows, Mac, and Android.
A tunnel is an internet infrastructure used to carry out data sending/receiving over the network. The very presence of a tunnel causes data to be encapsulated under a header. This means that data does not travel through a tunnel in its original form. Once the encapsulated data packets have reached the destined end-point tunnel, they are de-capsulated.
In order for a tunneling connection to take place, the client and server must be in agreement over the kind of tunneling protocol to be used. PPTP uses Layer 2 tunneling protocol on the data-link layer. Data is transmitted in the form of frames and encapsulation is carried out in PPP frames. This is how a PPTP packet containing user data is arranged.
On its own, L2TP functions on the same tunneling protocol as PPTP. However, when combined with IPSec, L2TP functions on Layer 3 tunneling protocol and takes effect on the Network layer. This is how a L2TP packet containing user data is arranged when used with IPSec.
VPN Servers Guarantee Uninterrupted Accessibility
There are countless reasons you should consider about getting a secure VPN connection. It provides you with countless benefits. But perhaps the most effective benefit of all is accessibility. You see, contrary to popular belief, the internet is not free.
There are Geo-IP restrictions on internet content that tend to restrict access unless you belong to a specific region. Using a secure VPN not only keeps you safe but also switches your IP address to one region in which the VPN server is located.
Using an encrypted VPN switches your IP address to that in which the VPN server is located. So if you are accessing a website that only allows access to US based IPs, all you need to do is to select a VPN server located in the US and you are in. That means you can access Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and just about any website that dares to block access for you.
How Can I use a VPN on different devices?
As discussed above, before you make any decision to buy a VPN service, you should double-check how many devices can be connected to it and how many devices will support the VPN client? We have already talked about how the cybercrimes are always going up and how it is important to get a secure VPN for improved security.
Most of the VPN services are highly compatible with all the devices (including but not limited to) Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhones, iPads, Android Tabs, Smartphones, SmartTVs, Routers and Gaming Consoles. It is important to see how many devices your VPN provider supports because if it falls behind in the compatibility area, chances are, its services will not also be good enough.
Luckily, all the VPN services described above provide an appreciable multi-login benefit. As a result, you can connect to your desired VPN app on 10 different devices at the same time.
How to use a VPN on mobile?
Believe it or not, it has become extremely important to protect our mobile devices in these chaotic times. The stats of last three years reveal that the cyber crimes have only increased. And the online cyber surveillance also does not help the cause.
Therefore, it is recommended to every smartphone user to install a VPN on mobile because all your data might be stolen if you accidentally tap or download a malicious malware in your mobile phones. The best VPN for privacy ensures you get the best VPN encryption to keep your data safe.
Installing a secure VPN on mobile enhances your device’s privacy and plays an important role in guarding your data. Stronger encryption a VPN provides, more protected your data will be from the cybercriminals. Recent malware attacks on Android and iPhones suggest that half the users are unaware of the threats that are constantly trying to steal all their data from their mobile phones.
How do I setup a VPN on mobile Phone?
The task of setting up a VPN on your mobile phone is interesting and less time consuming. Here is how you can do:
- You should unlock your phone and open Settings app
- Through Wireless & Networks section, choose ‘More’
- Select VPN then explore + sign from top right corner and tap it
- Mention all the required information after choosing your preferred protocol
- Hit “Save”, you can connect to VPN of your choice by going back to VPN settings
- Provide username along with password, congratulations you have become anonymous
What do you know about a VPN App?
A VPN app allows you to secure your online privacy on different devices according to your own needs. These various devices include Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Routers, Smart TVs and others. This way, you can protect your crucial online tasks from anywhere without any fuss.
Why should I use a VPN on Android?
A VPN on Android allows you to protect your privacy while performing different online activities. This way, you can use public Wi-Fi on your Android smartphones while on the go securely. Moreover, you can bypass different online threats after securing Android mobile phones to another level.
Why to use a VPN on iPhone?
A VPN on iPhone provides next level security to your iPhones. Thus, you can connect to public Wi-Fi while traveling securely. By doing so, you can unblock and watch your desired media content be it movies, TV shows and others anonymously.
New VPN Users Ask for
Numerous questions can creep into your mind if you are a new VPN user. Here is the list of answers provided to VPN related questions below:
Can I opt a VPN for Gaming?
If you are an online gamer, then you must have faced the latency issues at some stage. A gaming VPN can come very handy if you experience these lag issues all the time. It allows you to connect to the native region of the server and works wonders in reducing the ping to provide you the best experience.
Since we are talking about the online gaming, a VPN can also prevent the DDoS attacks and other hack attacks on your gaming consoles. The VPNs for gaming are absolutely essential for those who are concerned about the privacy of their devices.
While using the secure VPN for gaming, the users are usually concerned about their connection speeds. We would love to burst your bubble of myth, but a VPN does not have a direct impact on your connection speed, unless the original speed of your connection is absolutely awful.
We expect you would like our guide on what is VPN and how does it work. When you set out to learn more about a VPN, you will come across some material detailing a VPN over a home-office network.
This is the second of the two existing kinds of VPNs – something like Remote Access to let you access your workplace computer system from your home. That is NOT the kind of VPN you are looking for.
You are looking for a VPN service provider that can offer you the security, anonymity and accessibility you need. The VPN industry is currently booming as the demand for VPNs continues to rise in the face of increasingly devastating cybercrime trends.
Subscribing to a VPN service provider is easy and gives you the comfort of knowing that all you have to do is log-on and you will be on your way without having to waste time configuring settings and tweaking features. It will take you some time before you become accustomed to VPNs, but you will eventually love the way a VPN guarantees uninterrupted accessibility, impenetrable security and unparalleled online safety.
A little bit of browsing around will be more than sufficient to show you that online security issues have the international internet-using community on edge – and a VPN is one of the last few options remaining to counter these threats to security and privacy.