VPNs and which is right for you
VPNs — or virtual private networks — are very popular right now. In addition to receiving a lot of ad time on popular digital media formats, including heavy rotation on podcast and YouTube advertising arenas, the enterprise is seeing viral growth among many demographics. There’s an interest for cryptocurrency traders, enthusiasts, and miners, as well.
VPNs provide a number of services and come with a variety of features, including:
- Blocked website access
- Change to IP address
- Encrypted data transfers
- Hidden IP address
- Location masking
Here are some examples and breakdowns of VPNs, but make sure you do your own research to better select the correct one for your needs.
CyberGhost has one of our favorite logos of all VPNs, except for maybe Nord, which we’ll get to later. They’ve been around for a while, so they know their business and the landscape. There are a lot of customization options with these guys, too. They’re very dedicated to user anonymity, prioritizing the democratization of internet culture in a free and open society, promoting civil rights and individual responsibility.
Did you know the ancient Romans used geese as guard animals. These guard geese would sound the alarm when Gauls attacked the city. Geese have been used and guards and sentries in Germany and Scotland, as well. This is how Goose VPN got its name, anyway, and overall it’s pretty good at what it does. It features unlimited simultaneous connections across multiple devices, and rate-wise, it could be one of the lowest on the market, depending on your data usage rates.
IPVanish is ideal for anyone out there big into the open source Kodi streaming media player. There’s a plugin for that sort of thing in some Kodi builds, too. A great added feature of this service is that IPVanish keeps zero logs. Even in the event of a data breach or security exploit, there is no logged user data to be compromised. They take digital privacy — your digital privacy — very seriously, which is a nice thing to hear these days.
NordVPN is getting the highest marks for overall performance, and has a relatively generous simultaneous connections allowed feature (though not unlimited as Goose VPN) compared to other VPNs at their level of development and sophistication. While it’s a great overall service, it is limited by a comparably smaller network. If covering your digital footprints is the most important VPN feature, you might want to go somewhere with more servers.
StrongVPN has an excellent infrastructure and a strong no-logging position within the industry. Their monthly services are priced about where the market is, but their yearly subscriptions are the lowest on this list. It’s a robust network with a lot of power and bandwidth behind it, all getting strong recommendations. (Needless to say, it also has the worst logo of the bunch. If not “the worst” than definitely the most boring. What is that supposed to be, a Mobius shield?)
This one operates on a bit of a smaller network than the others, but it makes up for that with some nice special features. It can mask the fact that you’re connected through a VPN, it can bounce your signal across multiple countries for added security, and it will allow access to restricted regions; just ensure you have the legal right to do so based on your location.
Around for the last 10 years, ExpressVPN is something of a gold standard for VPN services. They have a strong, multi-country network with fast servers and a variety of digital protections, protocol support for the more tech savvy, and a very detailed FAQ and setup guide. As an added benefit, they also allow payment in Bitcoin.
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