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The featured VPN Services have been recommended by:

Provider Information Review Price
1.

Works with Netflix

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Easy set-up & use

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Works with Netflix

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Get CyberGhost VPN

Works with Netflix

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Above average speed

7 simultaneous connections

Price: $5.99

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Works with Netflix

30-day money back guarantee

Easy set-up & use

6 simultaneous connections

Price: $6.99

Visit site

No logs kept!

30-day money back guarantee

Ad-blocker

5 simultaneous connections

Price: $3.33

Visit site

Express VPN

Works with Netflix

30-day money back guarantee

Easy set-up & use

6 simultaneous connections

Price: $8.32

Visit site

Works with Netflix!

30-day money back guarantee

Good for beginners

5 simultaneous connections

Price: $6.99

Visit site

Get CyberGhost VPN

Works with Netflix

7-day free premium trial

Above average speed

7 simultaneous connections

Price: $5.99

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13 Pros and Cons of Using VPN (and Reasons You Should Do Too)

What Is a VPN?

VPN is short for Virtual Private Network. It is the software that is installed on your device to establish a secure connection between the user and a VPN server.

VPNs were initially crafted to help businesses establish secure connections to protect and access proprietary data (Business VPN service). It allows employees to work securely from home or via public networks across the world. Whereas, Personal VPN service is a virtual private network for personal, individual use. In this post we are going to review how Personal VPN service works, pros and cons of VPN, why you should be using one, and, ultimately, how to choose the VPN to fit your specific privacy needs.

How Does It Work?

A VPN client allows you to connect your computer, mobile device or tablet to the internet by masking your gadget’s unique identification from the world. This identification contains a series of numbers, known as an Internet Protocol, or IP, address. VPN service sets up a secure connection with your device to hide this IP address, and ultimately, hide your location and connection details.

The point is that unencrypted data transmission are human readable. That means, whatever text you type, whatever image you send, the Internet Service Provider (ISP), hackers, or snoopers can see it and read it. And because your IP address is not hidden, it easily links back to your identity.

When using a VPN, your data (text, image, etc) is getting encrypted, IP address and location are changed. Your identity is protected.

Example of Private Internet Access VPN connection:

What does VPN do?

To be more specific about how it works, let’s get into details:

  1. First, download a VPN application to your device and activate it.
  2. When you go online, the VPN software encrypts your data traffic and sends it to the VPN server.
  3. The VPN server decrypts this data and releases to the Internet (to any online destination such as social media, bank account website, and so on).
  4. The online destination sees your data coming from the VPN server and its location (not yours!!)

Basically, the VPN server is the third party that connects to the web on your behalf.

The “virtual” in VPN means that you are essentially creating a virtual connection, as opposed to a physical connection, to securely access data online. Your privacy is maintained through encryption of information so that your internet service provider (Spectrum, AT&T,  Frontier, etc.) will only see decrypted debris instead of you text, images, online searches, etc.

Why Use a VPN?

As the world around us shrinks and we each become increasingly integrated into an expanding online community, our concern for personal privacy grows. No scan of the day’s news headlines is complete without finding multiple instances of data security breaches, invasions of privacy and monitoring of our online activities. From government sensors to internet service providers and all hackers in between, each time you access the internet to stream a movie, pay a bill or interact via social media, you are at risk. How can you protect yourself from prying eyes while online?

VPN is one of the most effective ways to keep your browsing sessions secure and private while safeguarding personal data on your electronic devices.

The threats VPN can save you from:

  1. Exposing your pictures, texts and other data to hackers while using public WiFi hotspots. Don’t let them see it and publish on the web! Yes, don’t think it cannot happen to you. It sure can.   
  2. Getting monitored and your data saved by ISP. Don’t let them use your online activity against you when they need it or requested by authorities to provide data on you.
  3. Internet throttling. When ISP intentionally limits your Internet bandwidth or speed.
  4. Allowing ones national government to see your online activity and use it against you. Remember, you may think that you don’t have anything to hide, but that’s for now..the world changes fast.   
  5. Censored content by ones national government. Website content will be unlocked when you connect to a VPN server.
  6. Identifying your location and identity by websites. Your data can be used for bombarding you with ads and other commercial targeting.

If you’re still not convinced let’s go over all advantages of VPN.

Benefits of Using a VPN

VPN is extremely useful in a variety of unique situations many of us encounter when we access data or application online. Here are the benefits it includes:

  • Masks your online browsing activityWhen you access the internet through an ISP or via a public Wi-Fi connection, the websites you visit and the activity you conduct are visible to those around you. However, when you connect to a VPN service, your session is private and secure.
  • Gives access to geographically restricted websitesSome websites intentionally block users attempting to connect from various locations across the world. If you travel overseas or wish to gain access to exclusive offers, services or content only available within a particular country, a VPN service is essential. Among the popular services users are trying to access are Gmail, Hulu, Netflix (more on VPN for Netflix), watching sports or playing online games.
  • Gives access content that is censored by your government: Many countries attempt to restrict the data citizens have access to in an attempt to manipulate the news. VPN helps bypass these restrictions and allow users to gain access to unfiltered opinions and news articles.
  • Protects your privacy when downloading online contentWhen you access websites that offer content downloading services without  VPN, your internet service provider frequently monitors the entire session. This monitoring can slow down your connection speed significantly. VPN users can maintain anonymous downloading sessions and thus experience  faster connections.
  • Secures your online shopping sessions: Do you routinely shop online? If so, a VPN can help protect your valuable credit card, Paypal or other financial account data which transmits to vendors each time you make a purchase.
  • Helps prevent third-party companies from logging details of your online activities: VPNs help keep the details of your browsing session private by avoiding or minimizing the recording of the websites you visit, the locations you visit them from and the activities you conduct while online.
  • Enjoy fast and safe torrenting. Period.
  • Blocks ads. Trackers. Malware. With the top VPN service providers you can forget about annoying pop-ups.

Cons of Using VPN

  • Price. None of the VPNs are free. In fact, you would want to use paid VPN service, simply because the only free cheese is in a mouse trap. (Read more about Free VPN vs Paid VPN). However, there are still affordable and reliable VPN service providers out there at a price that won’t break the bank. For example, Private Internet Access offers its service at $2.65 a month. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
  • VPN may slow down your internet speed. It usually happens when you already have a poor Internet connection provided by your ISP.  Check carefully your VPN provider’s speed info. 
  • Some websites do block VPN softwares! Some sites do that for a good reason, for example for minimizing spam and fraud, while others just need to access your data.
  • VPN connection can suddenly drop. This won’t be an often issue with a reliable VPN provider, however it does happen. Of course no one is thrilled about his IP address and location being revealed…What you’d like to pay attention to is for your VPN provider to have a Kill Switch feature. It instantly disconnects you from the internet in case of a server drop.

How Do I Install and Set Up a VPN

VPNs offer a wide range of advantages for users, but how do you download, install and set them up? Most VPNs, especially the top 5 VPN se

VPNs offer a wide range of advantages for users, but how do you download, is it easy to install and set them up? Most VPNs, especially top companies, walk users step-by-step through an installation and setup wizard to remove the guesswork out of the process. However, before you initiate a VPN download, it is helpful to first uninstall any existing VPN software from your system. It can help prevent system conflicts and lead to fewer hassles as you move forward in the process of setting up.

Determine your preferred VPN provider and read through the installation details. Many offer fully customized clients tailored to a variety of operating systems and platforms. During the installation, you will select from a wide range of options for your specific user preferences and also enter some information about your current connections.

While each VPN setup process is unique, almost all have online tutorials or support staff on call to help troubleshoot any issues you encounter.

Many users customize settings to only activate the VPN service on an as-needed basis. Others prefer to have it engaged at all times. Other options typically include a full suite of browser settings, preferred connections and speed settings. Once your VPN is downloaded, set up, configured and working on a basic level, you can begin the process of fine-tuning the VPN to unlock advanced features and make it more responsive to your needs.

Before you begin the installation and set up process, it is best to research the available VPN services and select the one that fits your needs.

How to Choose a VPN Provider?

With so many to choose from, how do you know which is the top VPN to meet your specific online browsing and privacy needs? It is usually best to begin by reading several reviews and comparing VPNs by examining the following factors:

  • Price: Although many free VPN providers are available, they typically only offer limited services which are not well-suited for most users. Paid VPNs run from $2 – $10 per month and provide enhanced security, better privacy configurations and more user-friendly graphic interfaces and better support services.
  • Logging: Be sure to read the fine print and find a ‘no log’ VPN provider which does not sell your internet browsing history to a third party.
  • Number of devices: How many devices do you want to connect simultaneously? Many of the free VPN services will only allow one connection at a time. If you plan to connect a mobile device, tablet, smart TV and computer all at the same time, search for a VPN which supports multiple devices.
  • Server network: Pay close attention to the VPN server network. How many unique IP addresses and locations does it offer? Many of the larger VPN services provide over 2,000 servers spread across hundreds of unique locations across the world. This large number of connection configurations provide users with ultimate flexibility.
  • Speed: Some VPN services provide enhanced security and anonymity by sacrificing connection speed. If you plan to download content or access music or movie streaming services frequently, it pays to shop for a fast VPN.
  • Other features: VPNs now offer a wide range of additional features including malware detection, Kill Switch feature, 24/7 customer support, advanced speed settings and much more.

3 Recommended VPN Providers That Meet the Criteria Above:

  1. Private Internet Access – known for its 100% anonymous service. Read the PIA’s response to FBI subpoena.
  2. NordVPN – knows for its great speed performance and allowance of 6 simultaneous devices.   
  3. TunnelBear VPN – known for its free version that comes with limited features, but not privacy compromise.

Conclusion

In today’s increasingly connected online communities, maintaining privacy and securing data are top concerns. One of the most effective ways to protect yourself is through the use of a VPN. Explore the full range of providers offered, select the one that suits your needs and then go online with the peace of mind that your identity and online activities are safe and secure!