Top VPNs For Your Browsing Security
The importance of online security and privacy cannot be overstated. With the ever-present threat of cyberattacks, data breaches, and invasive surveillance, it's essential to take proactive steps to protect your personal information and online activities. One of the most effective tools in your arsenal for safeguarding your digital life is a Virtual Private Network, or VPN.
A VPN is a powerful solution that not only enhances your online privacy but also adds an extra layer of security to your internet browsing. By encrypting your internet connection and masking your IP address, a VPN ensures that your online activities remain hidden from prying eyes, whether it's malicious hackers, government agencies, or nosy advertisers. But with a multitude of VPN providers saturating the market, how do you choose the right one for your browsing security needs?
In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the world of Virtual Private Networks and unveil the top VPNs that stand out in terms of security, speed, and reliability. Whether you're a seasoned privacy enthusiast or just beginning to explore the world of online security, we've got you covered. Join us as we explore the cream of the VPN crop, helping you make an informed decision to fortify your digital fortress and browse the internet with confidence.
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If you're looking into getting a VPN, you'll almost certainly have come across NordVPN. One of the most reputable names on the market, NordVPN has long had a reputation for delivering strong security and fast speeds for an affordable price.
NordVPN stands out from the crowd with its additional offering of specialty servers and its impressive fleet of 5,710 servers in 60 countries. This makes it an ideal choice if you want to stream region-restricted TV shows.
On top of this, it also provides users with 24/7 customer support, six simultaneous connections, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. For all this, plans start from a very reasonable $3.49 a month. But while NordVPN looks good on paper, is it the right choice for you? We've put this VPN through its paces by testing everything from its download and upload speeds, to its installation and setup process and its security features in our in-depth NordVPN review to see if we can class it one of the best VPN services. Let's get started.
Installation and setup
Getting up and running with NordVPN is fast and efficient. Once you've signed up for a subscription, you'll be given the option to download the app. On the desktop, it downloaded and installed in under a minute. Handily, it also gives you a QRcode for the mobile app, so you can set it up on your phone without having to search through your app store.
It took a few seconds to download on my mobile. Then, all you need to do is log into your NordVPN account, and you're all set.
As soon as you launch the app on any device or platform, you're immediately greeted with NordVPN's impressive array of server locations. Once you select the location you want to connect to, it gets you set up in seconds. It makes it easy to switch between servers, and you'll find additional security settings available in the sidebar.
Nord VPN - Enjoy a 30 day free trial
NordVPN has all the features you'd expect from a VPN, plus a few extras. First off, it has industry-standard AES-256 encryption to keep your data completely private. And it has a customizable kill switch, along with sophisticated DNS leak protection to ensure your data remains hidden at all times. It also offers support for split tunneling, so you can choose which apps you want to be routed through your VPN server and which ones you don't.
But NordVPN goes beyond the features you'd generally find at this price point by giving users a range of specialty servers. These include obfuscated servers, a P2P server for torrenting, and its very own unique double-VPN servers that route your traffic through two VPN servers to give you an additional layer of protection.
And speaking of features unique to NordVPN, it has its very own NordLynx protocol, which delivers fast and reliable speeds that allow for buffer-free streaming and gaming.
Perhaps even more impressively, though, NordVPN's Meshnet essentially lets you route your traffic through another one of your devices. This means activating Meshnet can allow you to route traffic to and from other NordVPN users if you invite them.
NordVPN server locations
When it comes to both quality and quantity, NordVPN has one of the strongest server fleets around. It boasts a robust collection of 5,800 servers across 60 countries, including 1,970+ in the US and over 2,100 in Europe. This means that it's a great choice if you want to unblock region-restricted content, such as the latest Hollywood blockbusters, must-watch TV shows, or national sports tournaments.
It also has a reasonable supply of servers in Asia. But its offering in Africa is slightly lacking. So if you want a VPN to unblock content that is restricted to an African nation, this may not be the best solution for you.
Like many VPN providers, NordVPN shut down its servers in India In June 2022 after a new law was established that would force VPN services to collect data and hand data over to India's governing bodies if requested. While this is a reassuring standpoint as far as security goes, NordVPN won't be the best choice for you if you want to access Indian services, such as Disney+ Hotstar, SonyLIV, or ALT Balaji.
The servers themselves run on RAM, meaning all your data will be wiped with every reboot, thereby making it even more secure. And in practice, connecting to servers is quick and painless. Each one we tested performed well and could unblock the content we wanted without any issues.
Nord VPN - Highly trusted by experts
Performance and speed
If you want a VPN that won't slow you down or negatively impact your performance, you can't go far wrong with NordVPN. It uses its own NordLynx protocol to deliver fast and reliable speeds, so you can stream and game without having to deal with buffering.
I ran a speed test during peak time (about 8 pm) and found that there wasn't much of a change in speed when I was connected to a NordVPN server. Before connecting to a server, my download speed came in at 273 Mbps. And when I connected to a server in another country, my download speed dropped slightly to 259 Mbps. On a slower connection that usually runs at around 37 Mbps, our testing saw only a 1.5 Mbps drop. It made a similarly negligible difference to my upload speeds of just 5.3 Mbps.
This slight dip made absolutely no difference to the performance. In fact, I forgot to disconnect the server and continued to work from home and take part in video calls the following day without noticing any lag.
I also performed an extended DNS leak test, which NordVPN passed with flying colors. It didn't leak any true information and instead showed information about the IP address provided by NordVPN.
In practice, this meant I could unblock region-restricted content on sites that are set up to identify and block VPN traffic, such as Netflix. And I could also stream shows completely buffer-free.
Nord VPN - Highly trusted by experts
In the grand constellation of VPNs, NordVPN shines as a celestial gem. It weaves an impenetrable tapestry of security features, fortified by military-grade encryption, customizable kill switches, and advanced DNS leak protection. Its residence in privacy-friendly Panama, along with a no-logs policy, ensures your data remains in a black hole of anonymity.
But NordVPN isn't just about security; it's a gateway to a universe of high-quality servers. With 5,800 servers spanning 60 countries, it grants you access to the cosmos of geo-blocked content and a fast, buffer-free online experience.
Speaking of speed, NordVPN's NordLynx protocol catapults you to warp speeds, while its unique Meshnet feature connects you with fellow travelers. All this comes at a reasonable starting price of $3.49 per month, offering exceptional value.
NordVPN isn't just another VPN; it's your cosmic companion through the digital universe, ensuring your safety, speed, and access to the stars. With NordVPN, your online journey reaches new heights, free from the gravitational pull of security concerns. So, embark on your interstellar adventure with NordVPN today and explore the boundless expanse of the internet without limits.
Surfshark VPN, the 2018 newcomer that's taking the world of virtual private networks (VPNs) by storm! If you're on the hunt for top-notch online privacy and blazing-fast speeds, Surfshark might just be your new go-to companion. With over 3,300 servers spanning 100 countries, this VPN juggernaut boasts an enticing array of features that'll make your digital life smoother than ever before.
But hold on to your hats because this Surfshark review isn't just your run-of-the-mill tech talk. We're about to dive into the fascinating world of online privacy and security with the flair and enthusiasm of a seasoned tech enthusiast. So, let's embark on this thrilling Surfshark journey together!
What Is Surfshark VPN?
Surfshark VPN isn't just any VPN; it's your trusty sidekick for all things online. Picture this: unlimited device connections, compatibility with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, and a rock-solid no-logs policy. This Dutch-based VPN operates under privacy-friendly laws, meaning your data remains safe and sound. Plus, they throw in a 30-day money-back guarantee just to sweeten the deal.
Privacy and Security
Now, let's talk shop about security. Surfshark employs the gold standard of encryption – AES-256, ensuring your data remains under virtual lock and key. But here's the kicker – their Surfshark One bundle goes the extra mile. It's like having a cyber guardian on your shoulder, blocking ads, thwarting malware, and even warning you about potential data breaches. Who wouldn't want that?
Why Surfshark is different
But what truly sets Surfshark apart from the crowd? Two words: unlimited devices. Unlike most VPNs, Surfshark lets you connect to as many devices as your heart desires. Say goodbye to juggling between devices or paying extra for device limits. Plus, they've got servers sprinkled all over the globe, from the USA to the Middle East and beyond. No matter where you need to connect, Surfshark's got your back.
Oh, and did we mention their stellar upload and download speeds? In a speed race against other top VPNs, Surfshark proved itself a champ. But hey, don't just take our word for it – try it for yourself and let us know what you think.
Surfshark VPN - Get it on unlimited devices
Surfshark Core Features
What's under the hood of this VPN wonder? Surfshark comes packed with a plethora of features:
- Anonymous Browsing: It masks your real address, entering “camouflage mode” to keep your VPN usage hush-hush.
- Dedicated IP: Well, they might not offer this feature, but Surfshark's got plenty of other tricks up its sleeve.
- Kill Switch: If your VPN connection drops unexpectedly, it swoops in like a guardian angel to cut your internet connection, keeping your data safe.
- Split Tunneling: Say hello to Bypasser, the elegant solution that lets you choose which apps and websites access the internet directly.
And don't forget about MultiHop, a nifty feature that simultaneously connects you to two different VPN servers, providing an extra layer of security while potentially improving your internet speeds. Surfshark is a feature-packed delight!
Surfshark Pricing (see below)
Let's talk dough. Surfshark offers flexible pricing options, from month-to-month to one-year subscriptions. They even throw in a fantastic BOGO deal that gets you two years for the price of one, plus a bonus month. Payment options? They've got you covered, whether you prefer credit cards, PayPal, or even cryptocurrencies. Check out the pricing details below:
- Monthly: $12.95
- Annual: $3.99 per month, billed at $47.88 every 12 months
- Introductory offer: two years, plus one free bonus month: $2.30 per month, billed at $59.76 for the first 28 months, and then annually thereafter.
Surfshark Setup and Ease of Use
Getting started with Surfshark is a breeze. Purchase your preferred subscription, download the app, follow the instructions, and voilà! You'll be connected in no time. Their user-friendly app offers a one-click connect button for quick server access, making the whole process a walk in the digital park.
Surfshark - Pricing and features
Surfshark Servers and Locations
With over 3,300 servers in 100 countries, Surfshark blankets the world with its network. From the Americas to Europe and everywhere in between, they've got the globe covered. Need a server in a specific country? Chances are Surfshark has one waiting for you.
Surfshark Speed and Performance
When it comes to speed, Surfshark is the hare among the VPN tortoises. According to our tests, it ranks high in both download and upload speeds, ensuring your online activities won't be hindered. Sure, VPNs can slow you down a bit, but Surfshark minimizes that speed bump.
Surfshark Security and Privacy
Security is the name of the game, and Surfshark plays it well. They've been independently audited multiple times, leaving no room for doubt about their commitment to your online safety. Their no-logs policy, adhering to industry standards, means your personal information stays personal.
Plus, Surfshark offers two-factor authentication (2FA) for added account security. It's like having an extra layer of digital armor.
Surfshark Customer Service and Support
Need a hand? Surfshark's got you covered. Whether through email or live chat, their customer support is quick and helpful. We even connected with an agent in under five minutes! They've got a treasure trove of tutorials on their website, including videos and written guides.
Welcome to the exciting world of ExpressVPN, a powerhouse in the realm of virtual private networks. In this in-depth review, we'll take you on a thrilling ride through the ins and outs of ExpressVPN, highlighting its blazing speeds, formidable security features, and a little-known gem called Aircove. So, fasten your seatbelts, dear readers, as we embark on this exhilarating journey into the realm of online privacy!
How Does ExpressVPN Compare?
In our thorough examination, ExpressVPN emerged with a stellar 9.2 out of 10 rating, chiefly due to its robust security features. However, we'll also delve into areas of concern, such as pricing, device limitations, and customer support. But don't worry; we've got comparisons galore, pitting ExpressVPN against other VPN titans like NordVPN, Surfshark, and Private Internet Access.
How ExpressVPN is Different:
ExpressVPN boasts an extensive network of over 2,000 servers scattered across 160 global locations. This not only disperses user traffic, preventing congestion, but also provides travelers with a smorgasbord of IP addresses to choose from.
Pro Tip: Always use a VPN when traveling to shield yourself from the perils of public Wi-Fi. It's our top travel essential, but we've got more tricks up our sleeves.
ExpressVPN's Unique Locale: British Virgin Islands
Hailing from the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN enjoys a unique advantage. While technically a British territory, it operates under its own laws, free from the clutches of international surveillance alliances. This means your data remains beyond the reach of prying government agencies. To add another layer of security, the British Virgin Islands has no data retention laws of its own.
ExpressVPN comes equipped with RAM-only servers, erasing all traces of browsing data after each power cycle. Coupled with its strict “no-logs” policy, ExpressVPN maintains its reputation as a secure and private VPN provider, despite its intriguing company ties.
ExpressVPN - Pricing
ExpressVPN Features Unveiled:
In our comprehensive testing, we left no stone unturned. From various internet connections to minute details like data logging and encryption protocols, we've got the full scoop.
Will ExpressVPN Log My Data?Negative ghost rider!
Of course, no VPN operates entirely without logging some data. ExpressVPN collects minimal non-VPN activity data during the signup process, such as device information and app versions. Payment information is also collected unless you opt for an anonymous method like cryptocurrency. This practice is common among VPN providers.
Does ExpressVPN Have a Kill Switch?
Yes, indeed! ExpressVPN comes equipped with a kill switch, a vital feature that safeguards your privacy by cutting off your internet connection if the VPN connection drops. In our testing, ExpressVPN's kill switch proved reliable, only activating when needed due to server timeouts or network changes.
What Kind of Tunneling Does ExpressVPN Have?
ExpressVPN is all about flexibility, and that extends to its tunneling options. It offers the highly convenient split tunneling feature, allowing your device's traffic to traverse both encrypted VPN networks and regular, unencrypted networks simultaneously.
Not all apps play nicely with VPNs, and some, like mobile banking apps, block VPN traffic. ExpressVPN's split tunneling lets you choose which apps connect directly to the internet while the VPN cloaks the rest. This ensures seamless functionality for essential apps like Slack, even while the VPN shields sensitive data sharing.
Can I Use Netflix with ExpressVPN?
Absolutely! One of the primary reasons for using a VPN is to unlock global streaming libraries. ExpressVPN excels in this arena, granting you access to Netflix libraries from around the world. So, whether you're in the United States craving content from the UK, Australia, or Japan, ExpressVPN has your back. It's a boon for TV and movie aficionados.
ExpressVPN also plays nice with other streaming platforms like Prime Video and, of course, enables torrenting with ease.
ExpressVPN - Simple and easy to get up and running
ExpressVPN - Privacy that matters