Some countries or any areas all around you can block access to your dearest websites. It can be a nuisance if you don’t know what to do. After all, you want to browse websites you get your energy from. In anticipating such conditions, people often use Virtual Private Network (or VPN). People can obtain a VPN by configuring DNS through the default Control Panel and Network and Connection. You can also download VPN software and let them configure your IP addresses as you type in the URLs of the websites you want to visit.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and this technology has been in use for several decades now. Even before the publicly available Internet, VPNs were used to secure communication within vast international corporations. Today, we’re no longer talking about VPNs as overly technical solutions. Instead, VPNs have evolved to utilize numerous technologies found in their core while providing a way for regular Web users to access them.
These are subscription services available as native applications for computers, handheld devices, routers, and more. The primary goal of any VPN is to encrypt your Web traffic by letting you route your data through a secure server. Don’t worry if this sounds complicated – the underlying technology that powers VPNs is straightforward to explain, which we’ll do in the following segment of this article.
How Does a VPN Work?
- VPNs work by creating a secure tunnel for your data. Instead of having your Web data flowing openly, VPNs mask it by encrypting it, making your date ‘unreadable’ by anyone else on the Web. Let’s take a closer look at explaining this technology: To use a VPN, you need to have corresponding software installed. New VPN services bring incredibly simple and highly polished applications that can be used by just about anyone. In other words, you don’t have to be an expert at security-related technologies, as VPNs typically bring a smartphone-like user interface;
- With the VPN running on your device, you select the desired server. You’ll usually see a long list of countries and individual cities. Double-clicking on any of them will instruct your VPN to make a secure connection.
- After a few seconds, you’ll be connected to the chosen VPN server. From this moment, all your Web data will flow through a secure VPN tunnel. This means that your data will be encrypted, so no one will be able to see what you do online – not even your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Websites that you visit and your ISP will know that you’re using the Web, but they won’t see what you do online.
- Finally, it’s essential to be said that even if someone collects your sensitive data, they won’t be able to read it because of its encryption. Since most of the VPNs typically uses AES-256 encryption, this makes your data practically uncrackable even by the highest standards.
What Are The Advantages of Using a VPN?
By now, you can see that VPNs are designed to safeguard your online browsing. However, it’s interesting to note that these applications bring numerous benefits, making them imperative in today’s digital world. So, here’s what you can expect from more capable VPNs out there.
VPN Makes You Invisible Online
As you already know, VPNs rely on different levels of encryption and protocols that essentially lock your Web browsing data. Since they grant you an all-new IP address, no one will know your physical location, and they won’t be able to track you online.
VPN Unblocks New Websites
By giving you a new IP address (that can be associated with another country), you can unblock websites previously locked in your region. This can be a life-saver in countries with prominent censorship. As you know, many countries block websites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and others. And there are also websites available in specific counties only (like Hulu in the USA and Japan). Well, VPNs unlock all those websites and plenty more.
VPN Fights Against Throttling
Many ISPs around the world throttle the speed of Web connections when accessing certain websites. In the USA, we’ve seen reports of ISPs deliberately throttling access to Netflix, for example. By using a VPN, you hide which sites you visit, which goes against ISP-imposed throttling and allowing you to use the full extent of your connection.
VPN Secures You Against Malware & Hacking
VPNs are mandatory if you often connect to the Web via public Wi-Fi hotspots. Browsing the Web from a local coffee shop or while traveling, can easily make you a target of a hacking attempt, which primarily applies to open Wi-Fi connections. VPNs add a security layer to all the data you send and receive, and they block any unauthorized access.
Top 3 Premium VPN Services in 2023
By downloading and executing VPN software, you will get a “new” IP from the country server you choose. It’s like, you connect to your favorite website through the country of your choice, even though you may not live in that country now. In this article, we’re going to look at VPNs in the latter categories.
These three top VPNs use powerful security technology to protect your device from any cyber threats you may encounter on free streaming sites.
- Compatible with:Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone iOS, Android TV, Linux, BlackBerry, Raspberry Pi, Chrome, Firefox, and routers
- Works with:Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, HBO GO, Sling TV, and many more
- Ads, trackers, and malware are blocked by CyberSec suite
- One NordVPN account secures six devices at the same time
- 24/7 live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Zero-logging policy
- Automatic kill switch
NordVPN is currently top on our list with a great set of security features to keep you safe and improve your browsing experience.
NordVPN connects you to one of their 5,600+ high-speed servers to keep your data private and secure with AES-256 encryption and SHA-256 authentication. This is the same level of security used by many government agencies and financial institutions.
The company hosts servers in 58 countries globally, so you are guaranteed to find a nearby server location. This is important given the best connection speeds are found when connecting to a nearby server rather than one found across the globe.
It comes with a built-in ad blocker and provides malware protection. This gives you a layer of security against invasive pop-ups that you’re likely to encounter on free streaming sites.
NordVPN also contains DNS and IPv6 leak protection through its automatic kill switch. This prevents your identity and location from being shared on free streaming sites.
It also has a zero-logging policy. This means nobody can view your activity while connected to the VPN. Not even NordVPN itself can track it and no records are kept.
With NordVPN’s ad-blocking abilities and blazing-fast speeds, this VPN is a great option for any type of streaming.
Users can also get access to geo-restricted content on Netflix and other services with tough geo-blocking through its SmartPlay DNS feature.
NordVPN can also pass China’s firewall, as well as standard restrictions put into place by schools, workplaces, and other governments.
If, for whatever reason, you have trouble streaming or browsing with NordVPN for any reason, the customer service team is available 24/7 through live chat support.
NordVPN can also be tried risk-free with a 30-day money back guarantee.
- Available on:Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Apple TV, FireTV, and more
- Works with:Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, SkyTV, Fox Go, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, and more
- Dedicated torrenting profile: No (P2P is permitted on all servers)
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
Surfshark provides unique, exclusive features with low prices.
It is focused on providing access for many devices and different applications and services.
For households and individuals that use multiple devices – as is common – Surfshark offers the bonus of an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.
Most importantly, Surfshark provides an excellent service. It features double encryption, split tunneling, kill switch protection, and the CleanWeb security suite to block ads, pop-ups, and malware.
If you turn on BitTorrent and disconnect from the Surfshark VPN, all downloads will stop. This, of course, is positive as it shows no data leaks will occur.
When used on the sites with the most intrusive pop-ups, it worked by blocking all ads.
Multiple applications (e.g., Hulu and Spotify) can be streamed at once.
“NoBorders” mode is Surfshark’s term for its additional obfuscation settings. In higher-security countries like Iran and China, Surfshark could ultimately access the outside world, though it may take some manual configuration.
Surfshark’s network has been growing, with more than 1,000 servers in over 60 countries.
The unblocking capacity and speeds (and stability of the speeds) of these servers check out well. They provided access to the libraries of many popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and more.
Surfshark’s speed is comparable to the best VPNs, like NordVPN. It had no effect on streaming, browsing, or torrenting.
It also provides something called Camouflage Mode. This works by preventing your ISP from seeing that you’re connected to a VPN. This can potentially help your connection speed by bypassing your ISP’s throttling.
Overall, we recommend Surfshark as a high-quality VPN with strong value for the price. Surfshark provides bargains with high discounts on its long-term plans.
It also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Note: For those looking to use Amazon Prime Video on a mobile phone, we could not get it to work. Prime Video, however, does work on desktop (and laptop) computers.
- Available on:Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and more
- Works with:Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Prime Video, HBO Go, AppleTV, Nintendo, PlayStation, Amazon Fire TV, NAS, most smart TVs, Chromecast, and more
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Torrenting and P2P allowed on all servers
- Kill switch
- Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
VyprVPN comes with an audited no logging policy, an effective kill switch, successful leak protection, access to Netflix, and simple and well-designed apps.
They own over 700 servers in 64 countries. On top of that, they are all self-owned. Their server network includes over 300,000 IP addresses.
It also provides competitive pricing.
Security testing checks out highly with military-grade AES-256 encryption.
The kill switch – standard among top VPNs – will prevent your traffic from being exposed if your VPN connection drops out.
VyprVPN is one of the best in the VPN world at bypassing the most aggressive web blocks and restrictions through its Chameleon security protocol.
This includes high-censorship countries, including China, Russia, UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Thailand.
Its VPN servers are never far away, so anyone from those countries should get quality speeds from them, as well.
Speeds are more than adequate to do almost anything you want online, with speed losses typically in the range of 10%-18% when connected to a nearby server.
Its Smart DNS solution also enables you to use VyprVPN with Roku, Apple TV, and gaming consoles like Nintendo and Xbox.
VyprVPN works well for streaming services blocked in your region. Netflix works well on most US servers with excellent video quality. It can also effectively unblock libraries of German, British, Japanese, and Canadian content.
It is the same for Hulu and Disney+. VyprVPN will also unblock regional-specific content on YouTube, though this is true for practically all VPNs.
Support staff is helpful and friendly and available 24/7. They also offer support in eight different languages, offering more to international users (English, Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Dutch, and Turkish).
There are a couple areas where VyprVPN could improve. VPN speeds are not quite up there with NordVPN and there are no browser extensions.
VyprVPN provides a 30-day refund guarantee as is standard for the top VPN providers. This enables you to get to a feel for the service before committing. The two-year plan costs just $2.50 per month, an 80% discount over the standard plan. The one-year plan costs a very reasonable $3.75 per month.
Overall, VyprVPN is a very good VPN. It is particularly strong in a couple of the main ways people use VPNs (Netflix, Torrenting). We can gladly recommend VyprVPN to anyone looking for greater security and privacy online.
Free VPN Providers (not recommended for business purposes)
Above we have talked about the best VPN services for your device. But there are additional options available at no cost with limited functionality. Essential, most of them are proxy services. If you are thinking to use these options for business purposes, we strongly recommend using the premium VPNs we have mentioned above. Here is our list of free alternative options if you want to use it for general use:
It is one of the most convenient VPNs you can use. Hola is easy to install. So as long as you have the Hola logo displayed everywhere in your Windows page (as well as clickable), you will be able to access your favorite URLs that are blocked all around your area. As a VPN, Hola takes a form of web extension.
It is available in Firefox and Chrome. Immediately enter your favorite URL when you click the Hola extension symbol. You can even download it anywhere on your smartphone or tablet. No other VPNs have simpler setups than Hola. Hola is even more superior in the free version. Other VPNs only have one set of country servers in their free versions (usually either the U.S. or the U.K. server). You can choose practically every possible country server in Hola, and you can even switch back to your home country.
Being a VPN that can disguise cookies and do decent data encryptions even since the free version, HideMyAss becomes one of the best free VPN. HideMyAss doesn’t stop in only being web extensions. You can even access HideMyAss through the official website for free. When you do this, you have the U.S. (NYC and Seattle), Germany (Frankfurt), the Netherlands (Amsterdam), the U.K. (London), and Czech Republic (Prague) as your choices of country servers. Or, you can opt for random country servers for fun.
When you’ve been all set with your URL and your choice on the country server, you can browse anonymously. At the same time, the free version only lets you be anonymized for only one browser tab—the paid version, in contrast, gives you unlimited access to private browsing.
The paid version of HideMyAss doesn’t only give you unlimited private browsing sessions. It also lets you browse freely on all of your electronic devices. It can even let you stream your favorite TV shows using the U.S. server and provides you with safe online banking systems. Not stopping there, any efforts to catch you using “unique” ISPs will be blocked to ensure your safety further as you choose the entertainment that pleases you the most.
If Netflix is your primary focus in unblocking contents that are not available in your area, then, PrivateVPN is your perfect choice. A specialized server for Netflix (as well as other channels as in Hulu, BBC, iPlayer, and many other more) is available to stream your favorite episodes that are exclusive for certain countries from the 59 countries.
Coupled with the High-Quality Network (or HQN) it purchases directly from the ISP, PrivateVPN provides the users with impressive download and upload speed for streaming and enjoying every part of entertainment you can.
Kaspersky has known to provide decent antivirus software with a 1-year guarantee. Now, it is also providing safe and secures private browsing experiences using the Kaspersky VPN. “Safe to do 4S”: Surf, socialize, stream, and shop—this is a sum of Kaspersky’s uniqueness compared to other VPNs. In other words, by surfing, socializing, streaming, and shopping with Kaspersky, you can be sure that this is the VPN that handles the job in a balanced manner.
Having a maximum data allowance of 200 MB per day (or 300 MB if you are logged in your My Kaspersky account) in the free version, this one has already provided you with everything you’ll ever need in unblocking contents you’d always want to unblock. If this is not enough, then, the Premium Protection or the paid version of Kaspersky VPN doesn’t have any maximum data allowance limits. Priced on around $30 per year with special discounted price offers and options to subscribe monthly or annually.
Some VPNs come at an affordable price. Some others have the extra security and encryption systems that other VPNs don’t have. There are many other VPNs with each of their uniqueness according to your needs.
We personally use NordVPN.