In the age of internet restrictions, web filtering, hacking and loss of privacy; having a VPN service has become a necessity. Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are secure networks that provide security and privacy to the user while they browse online. They ensure that data sent and received between your device and the service provider is encrypted. The best VPN services also prevent DNS leaks and don’t log any user / internet activities.
How VPN Service Protects Your Information Online
A VPN service is an internet based VPN provider that lets you use their VPN for a fee and in turn provide you with security and privacy on any* internet device. This keeps all your communications secure and in most cases also lifts country restrictions since the service automatically connects you to a location outside your present country and beyond. Countries such as China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and a couple of others regularly top the ten most censored countries list by CPJ whereas countries such as UAE, UK, US, Pakistan, India, Russia, Syria are the Enemies of the Internet list.
Uses of a VPN Service
The biggest benefit of a VPN service is that it helps in protecting your privacy online and keeping your information secure when using free Public Wifi or Open Wifi connections. Yes, free is necessarily not good, and you never know if a hacker is around sniffing your internet data packets.
A VPN service is also useful if you are purchasing items from the USA and are afraid that the store will pick your location from your IP and not allow you to checkout. So make sure you use a good Android VPN service before making an online purchase from Google Play Store abroad.
Lastly, the most common use of a VPN is to bypass country restrictions and to view content or post content which is restricted or just forbidden. If you use a VPN to access information that has been limited by your country, you are breaking the law so be careful what you do with this.
What to look for in a VPN Service
Besides the most obvious: price point and payment methods available, here’s what you need to look for when choosing a VPN service:
- Check server locations and restrictions. The more locations the better and there shouldn’t be any restrictions on browsing.
- Check security. Encryption should be 256bit, DNS leak protection, kill switch etc.
- Make sure they state that they don’t log user activity.
- Check max simultaneous connections. This is important if you have number of devices and plan to share your account with family members.
- Look for apps and make sure your devices are on their list. All services mentioned below have apps for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows.
Here are some tried and tested VPN services:
If you are on a budget and a light user, Windscribe could be the answer you are looking for. For a free plan offering 10GB of data per month, 10 locations to pick from and unlimited connections, you will be hard-pressed to find a more suitable free service.
Windscribe has paid plans – and the Biannual plan comes with a 6 month Dashlane password manager’s subscription.
Bonus Plus: You can unblock Netflix USA with Windscribe version because let’s face it, it has a greater variety than ours, no? To purchase, simply use Bitcoin or PayPal or any major credit card. If you are into free account only, simply tweet about it to get additional 5GB of data on top of the free 10GB.
2Hotspot Shield (Free)
Hotspot Shield is one of the most popular VPN services in Pakistan, especially since its services are completely free. With Hotspot Shield, the user receives 500 MB of internet free per day. This service works on all types of devices and is loaded with strong data encryption.
The downside to this service is that it can be used on one device only. Also, the free version only connects to one location in America, which cannot be used to access American streaming websites such as Hulu and Netflix.
Said to be the most user-friendly service of them all, TunnelBear is one of the few free VPN services which have a free package. Albeit limited, it allows you 500 MB of internet per month and an added 1GB if you tweet about it. Since its link with cybersecurity services, the VPN has been upgraded regarding its security and data encryption as well.
If you decide the service is good but need a bigger bandwidth then you can always purchase the paid plan which differs from mobile device plans to PC plans. So please do check the prices before investing in TunnelBear.
Our special link gives you a 7-day free trial for a paid plan.
Possibly one of the best VPN service providers out there. Their service is superb and support guides detailed which makes them great in my book. They give a generous 2GB Free plan based out of Singapore, Canada and Netherlands as well as a free proxy service. They also happen to be one of the few providers who support Windows Phone via the VPN protocol IKEv2 (WP 8.1 now supports L2TP via IPSEC also).
Due to excellent setup guides and a variety of VPN protocols, they support all Desktop OS environments, Phones (including BlackBerry) and a variety of Routers.
HideMe claim they don’t keep any access logs which is good if you don’t want your activity saved anywhere. They currently have three plans; 1 free and two paid. The plus plan starts from $4.99/mo while the premium plan starts at $9.99/mo (that’s up to 45% off on yearly plans) otherwise, their standard charges are $9.95/mo for plus and $19.95/mo for premium – month to month.
The premium plan also offers five simultaneous connects and port forwarding which is extremely useful if you want to share your VPN subscription across multiple devices or household members.
HideMe offers a 14-day money back guarantee and accepts payments via all major cards, PayPal and Bitcoin.
Signup via TechVise special links and get 35% off.
5NordVPN (Paid Service)
They offer a no-credit card free trial of 3 days which you can avail if you feel like checking their service out and after that switch to a paid plan. You can pay via all major cards, PayPal and cryptocurrencies.
6ExpressVPN (Paid Service)
Known to be one of the safest VPN services, it is expensive but it is worth every cent. Express VPN provides people with unlimited access to the internet, including websites and apps. It has its own secured DNS which prevents the leakage of sensitive data. With a 30 day money back guarantee, Express VPN provides its customers with 3 options as packages to avail their services.
All kinds of websites are free and available under express VPN: Netflix, Amazon, prime and etc. It gives superb service and support to the users with superfast servers. Their setup and software are very straightforward and painless to use. It bypasses the country restrictions very well and safeguards privacy to a much greater extent.
ExpressVPN accepts payment via VISA, Mastercard, and American Express.
Use TechVise special link and get 15 months of service when you signup with a 12 month plan.
7IPVanish (Paid Service)
Available on several devices and a 7-day money back guarantee, IPVanish has been around long enough to know what you want in a reliable VPN service.
IPVanish offers 3 packages and a free trial to iOS device signups. You get 10 simultaneous connections, unlimited bandwidth, over 40,000 shared servers in 60 countries and plenty other nifty features. You can pay via PayPal and all major cards.
These are certainly not all the reliable VPN services we wanted to cover, but some of the many. We’ll be updating this feature regularly and welcome all feedback regarding these services. Additionally, if you have used a VPN service which you think should be listed here because of their speed, security and other specs, let us know in the comments below and after vetting them, will add to this list.