What is a VPN exactly?
So you heard all of this talk at the office that VPN is a MUST in today’s cyber world. Maybe you nodded your head and laughed at a joke your coworker told about their spouse, children or parents not even being aware of what VPN is. But truth be told, you were cringing on the inside, hoping that they wouldn’t notice that you yourself aren’t actually sure what a VPN is or why it seems to be so revolutionary. Don’t worry friend, I’m here to help you out.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, I know, I know that’s a bunch of fancy “tech talk” and me simply spelling it out in words that still don’t ring a bell. Let me break it down for you.
VPN’s are used to better protect you while you are on the internet. VPN creates a heavily encrypted tunnel of information. Think of it as funneling your information into a tube, rather than just dumping it all out. This connection is secured and essentially “hides” your location, data and information and makes it harder for others to hack you, or for your data to be dispersed into the cyber sphere.
If you’re in shock right now, and thinking that how you’ve always been surfing has been completely private, I am sorry to say you have been sorely misinformed. While you are on the internet, all of the information you search, type in, like, follow or purchase is transmitted into cyberspace. That unseeable atmosphere is relatively open for hackers and third parties to swoop in and gain access to your computer’s IP address. You IP address is like your devices personal signature. When you transmit information online, even by simply searching “what to cook for dinner” in the Google search bar, you send not only your search request but your IP address and information as well. While your information floats through cyberspace making its way to a server, it’s essentially unprotect and vulnerable to being snatched up by anyone looking for an opportunity. Sounds scary, doesn’t it?
That’s why we have VPN’s. To better encrypt location and data. This is like cyber camouflage, making it more difficult for hackers or really anyone unwanted from slipping in and stealing your personal information. Of course no camouflage is foolproof, and therefore VPN is not a one-hundred percent guarantee, but compare it to being in the forest in a neon pink jumpsuit to being out there in a military grade camouflage with moss and plant covering. Which would you prefer?
Does it matter if I Use Mac or PC?
It doesn’t matter if you use Mac, PC, a tablet or a cell phone, even a streaming device. Read more about whether or not you need to use VPN for streaming devices.
VPN is accessible and helpful regardless of device preference. While I will suggest certain VPNs for Mac and others for Windows or Kodi, the beauty of VPN is that it works pretty universally across devices. I’ll break it down by which VPNs work better for certain devices a little further down.
What Can I Use VPN For?
VPN is known for its ability to change your location. Maybe you’re thinking this well help you to stay incognito, but we’ve found it comes with other benefits as well.
Imagine you’re on vacation or business in Thailand, but you’re trying to keep up on your favorite show back home. It’s thursday night and you open Hulu or Netflix, but wait, where is your show? All you’re seeing is a skimpy selection of the movies and shows you’ve seen dozens of times. Then you remember that Netflix and Hulu change their selection due to country and some laws. Well what do you do now? It you have a VPN you change your location to somewhere in America, we’ll say Miami, and there you go! Suddenly your screen in flooded with options picked especially for your binging pleasure.
Or what about trying to make last minute purchases online? Did you know that stores such as Khol’s, Target and Nordstroms are blocked in other countries? Even if you’re wanting to purchase online and have it delivered to the store for a relative or friend to pickup. You’ll get a blank screen and an “Access Denied” note scrawled across the top. But if you have a VPN you can circumvent this issue by simply changing your location.
This location change is also good for travel purchases. Searching for deals in everything from hotels to B&B’s to train and plane tickets varies based on the country you’re in. Someone in Japan searching for a flight from San Francisco to Washington D.C may find that they find tickets several hundred dollars cheaper than your average Joe in Midwest Kansas. Sounds unfair, but that’s the way it works. However, with VPN, you can change your location as many times as you need to until you find out that buying a ticket from a location in Prague was actually the cheapest way. In the long run, that’ll mean more vacation adventures for you, and more money in the bank.
Because VPN sends info from your device to their server, it means the last place to track information back to is the VPN device, not yours. So your information stays private, even from the government. They are unable to track your data transmission past the server that safeguards and reroutes your information. It’s like having a very good secret keeper. Tell them one thing and it stays with them regardless of how much someone tries to pry it out. Your data is locked up, encrypted and hidden.
Is VPN Really Worth the Purchase?
In today’s world the simple answer is yes. Yes VPN is worth your purchase and time to investigate which best suits you and your needs. Whether you are working in a business or simply from our home, VPN will provide you with opportunities to better protect and hide your device as well as unlock better deals and shows to stream online.
How much does VPN Cost Me?
Though VPN cost vary, most are actually a very affordable option. Costing approximately the same as a monthly Netflix subscription, the range is from $3-10. Often there are sales, deals and packages you can search for that will offer lower monthly costs and cheaper plans if you pay for an entire year in advance. Some brands offer premiums and upgraded plans for higher security encryption. Regardless of your personal needs, the plans are affordable for all.
Who is VPN For?
A technological advance for everyone, especially businesses.
VPN is ideal for everyone. Designed specifically for protection, VPN would be perfect for businesses wanting to ensure their clients confidentiality. Credit companies, online stores, hotel and airline businesses specifically benefit from this added security. Because the information is transmitted through a closed channel to the VPN server before going to the website itself, your clients will feel more secure punching in their credit card numbers and personal data.
For the home
For at home use, this is great for those afraid of how much the government is able to pry. The government may be able to tap into information, but if it is being routed through the VPN server then they can only get that far. You are protected from unwanted, unauthorized search.
For the avid traveller
Perfect for those who plan to travel and want to stay connected. Different countries have laws about what is permissible, and therefore block content and entire sites from being accessed. With VPN you don’t have to worry about running in to blocked screens.
Also great for searching the cheapest hotels, flights, resort stays, tours and excursions. Search the web from virtually anywhere to find the cheapest deals and maximize your travel.
What do I need in a VPN?
Okay so you’ve read through and understood what a VPN does and you’re thinking that sounds like exactly what you need. But the problem is that you have no idea what makes one VPN better than the next. Problem? Nope, because I’ll give you some simple specs to consider.
- Number of servers: more VPN servers in your network essentially means that you will have a faster connection
- Check how much data you can use without paying extra
- How many devices you can use on your VPN, don’t be surprised if you find a lot of offers for only one device per VPN
- Price: while you can find free plans, it is usually worth the few bucks a month to upgrade to a better quality plan.
- Where the company is based (specifically not in the US)
- Does it have an enabled Killswitch?
- Does the plan have a free trial
A small disclaimer for VPN is that it does bog down our internet speed regardless of how fast it is stated to stream. But what can we expect when we’re rerouting our connection through another server? If you’re worried about this particular problem, do not let it deter your security, but instead increase your VPN speed.
I’ll show you the best tricks of the trade in order to speed up your surfing without cutting your protection. I firmly stand behind the need for a VPN in this day and age but I also wouldn’t want to compromise speed, and you shouldn’t have to either.
1. What is the best VPN for a business?
NordVPN $79.00/two year plan
Regardless of what devices you are hoping to hook up, the NordVPN is the best bet for small businesses. Not only will your information be encrypted but you’ll be using an extremely fast and secure connection. I have chosen the NordVPN as the VPN that will best fit your needs not only because if it’s high quality connection but because of the maximum cap of devices you can connect. This device allows you to use up to six different devices on one network. That’s right, you can set up your company’s laptops, desktops, and tablets all on one network. And all of these devices can hook up to the VPN for approximately $12 a month. Although, there is a more cost effective way that is also looking into the future development of your company. NordVPN, like most companies, also have great, discounted deals for two- and three-year plans. The best current deal being $79 billed to you every two years, with this deal you can even test the VPN for 30 days and if you do not find it satisfactory, you can get a full refund. Depending on how many devices you’re hoping to connect, you could even purchase a few two-year plans for a fraction of the cost.
That’s a lot of savings!
With 4000 plus servers and over sixty server locations, your security is guaranteed. As they advertise “double VPN” they encrypt their data not once, but twice. In addition to this they have a no-logs policy that simply means none of your data will be tracked or collect. That means you’re leaving no digital footprint. But that’s not all as they also equip your connection with an automatic kill-switch. This simply means that if for some reason your VPN connection was to be interrupted or dropped that they would block your device from accessing the internet without the VPN encryption. This way even if there are technological difficulties, your security is still ensured. Nordvpn offers a dedicated IP address to it’s users, rather than using a share address with hundred of people. That makes your browsing, researching, sales, and transactions unique to your business and private.
As a business, NordVPN will offer you support options as well. You will be assigned an account manager whose job is to be available to answer questions, work out any issues and generally ensure that your VPN is serving your company to the fullest extent. As a manager or CEO you will also have administrative rights to manage multiple VPN lines on one account, as well as being billed for all accounts one time. No hassling with several payments.
2. What is the best VPN for Kodi?
IPVanish/$58.49 a year
So let’s start with the question on your mind…is Kodi illegal? You’ve been hearing a lot about how Kodi is specifically for streaming illegal material, and you haven’t really heard it used for much else? Well,you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that Kodi is used a lot more often than you’d think, and legally.
You can follow the link here to our FAQ page, scroll to the bottom and I’ll explain exactly why Kodi is not illegal and how to use it in compliance with the law.
Once you get past that, you’re going to LOVE Kodi and from there you’ll be determined to find what VPN works best for all of your devices. So let’s get to that:
Because Kodi is often used for streaming music or movies I’m going to suggest for those of you using Kodi, the IP Vanish. IPVanish offers some of the highest downloading and streaming speeds of any other VPN on the market. With unlimited bandwidth, over 1,000 servers in 60 countries, your encrypted security is is not just safe but it’s incredibly fast. Stream your online movies for marathons without issue. Don’t be afraid that you’ll miss the action in your favorite games when you stream ESPN or other sporting events directly to your living room. You won’t experience choppy, slow or searching service but instead just a clear, clean picture. With 256-bit encryption you’ll feel the added layer of safety as IPVanish operates on the most up-to-date, high-tech security system.
Zero-trafficking laws, and completely anonymous when torrenting you can access virtually anything without fear of retribution. You are actually unlimited on your options for what you spend your time online for. IPVanish ups your torrenting experience by allowing you unlimited person to person traffic. Share your favorite music, movies, shows and games in seconds. There’s little wait time on this high speed VPN service.
You are able to access censored sites while traveling abroad, and to seek information in the States without fear of the government watching as well. Maybe that sounds a bit extreme, but without the VPN you are leaving your devices vulnerable to virtually anyone when you are on the internet.
With this VPN you have the option to switch servers as often as you want. For example if you’re traveling in Germany but want to access your favorite shows on Netflix, you can change your location to America. But in the next moment you want to change your focus to searching for cheap flights to Buenos Aires. After this you’ve decided to look for Air B&B’s or hotel. In this time you change your server fifteen times. Hoping from one county to the next to get access to everything you need at your fingertips. And even after this,you can change your VPN location countless times more without a cap.
With IPVanish, you can have ten connections going at one time on whatever devices that you use. As we stated Kodi is usually used for streaming so that means you can have Kodi on your phone, laptop, tablet AND your streaming device or TV box. Stream your favorite shows to your TV, surf the web on your laptop and message your friends and family from your phone all from the same VPN provider.
Lastly you’re wondering how to set it up. Like a lot of VPN sites they offer downloadable apps to your phone. But none as easy to set up and to use. Just click to download and follow the instruction on their site to begin exploring your new freedoms with IPVanish.
3. What is the best VPN for Mac?
ExpressVPN/ $99.95 a year
While ExpressVPN is not the cheapest option, it is the most bang for your buck. This company offers an easily downloadable app for the Mac and for your iPhone and an entire support section on their website to walk you through step-by-step instructions with videos. The best deal is for the yearly plan, though for the first time buyer there is a sale for the first fifteen months and offers you a 90 day free trial run with a 30 day money back guarantee.
Express is good choice for every device, but when looking at Apple products we see that ExpressVPN has thought extensively about how to create an easy to set up app and system for the Mac specifically. You are able to choose which of your apps will use the VPN connection and which do not need to go through the extra encryption. ExpressVPN also offers apps for the IOS on your phone, and works with a variety of Mac IOS software.
Other great features include the automatic killswitch. As we discussed before this will stop your browsing/surfing/purchasing in it tracks if the connection should be dropped. You can choose to continue without the VPN service, but you’ll be immediately notified if your security has dropped even for a second.
There is also 24 hour support provided, and a person to live chat without about any and all of your issues and concerns.
With over 140 servers in 94 countries, this service has one of the most accessible and secure systems set up.
Because ExpressVPN is based in the Virgin Islands it is not subject to some restrictions surrounding data. This VPN is also free from activity logs, and will not tap your connection or collect data from your searches.
This VPN also comes with a cap on how many devices can be in use. While it isn’t many, you can still hook up three devices to one VPN connection. That’s great for your Mac, iPhone and iPad. Perfect for a small household to share or for one person to ensure sad surfing across all of your devices.
4. What is the best VPN for Windows 10?
VyprVPN/ $6.67 per month for the Premium Program
This network is perfect for both small businesses and personal accounts, with options for both on their website. This network is not US based, but actually is organized in Switzerland, which is often considered to be a huge step in the right direction as many people do not have faith or trust in the US government. Switzerland is also known for having some of the best, highest privacy protection laws. Being non-US based gives the added security boost to not only US residents but everyone. But regardless of where it is based, you still have the option of connecting 700 servers in 70 different places worldwide. You also can choose from a wide variety of IP addresses, actually, 200,000 different IP addresses to be exact.
With a special app for the windows programs, you have a personalized network equipped with your web browsers needs. 24 hour support will also be able to troubleshoot any issues you specifically have as a Windows 10 user. For Windows 10 VyprVPN also offers what is called Chameleon technology. As you can imagine from the name, this technology acts as a chameleon in camouflaging your location. This is specific for when there is VPN blocker present. That’s right, when they developed VPN, someone else decided they needed to develop technology to block VPN users altogether. Unlike most networks, VyprVPN has found a way for Windows 10 users to overcome this problem.
Torrenting and bandwidth is also unlimited with this network meaning that you have the freedom in the palm of your hand. While most networks limit your torrenting experience or put caps on your data and bandwidth usage, VyprVPN understands that the whole point to having a VPN is to be able to access and use these features. Person to person sharing is also supported and still on the fastest network, without lags in the connection. This VPN also provides you with the killswitch feature that stops your surfing and streaming in the event of a dropped connection.
Without being able to use limitless bandwidth and torrenting, you have to ask yourself if it is really worth paying the monthly, or yearly price for privacy encryption. Speaking of prices, the basic plan starts monthly at $5, but for just a dollar fifty more, you can upgrade or protection and the amount of devices that are accessible on one network.
The major negative of this plan is that it does not support gaming. For this you would have to opt for a different, better streaming device. Overall for the cost however, the Windows programs in your life will be fully equipped to support and protect your web surfing.
Get Started with Your VPN Today
Overall my number one pic for your VPN services today is ExpressVPN as an all-around service. But you can choose which comes with the most features that fit your individual needs. As stated you can break it down by which device you are planning to use for this. Whatever your choice,ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish or VyprVPN will be able to keep your internet surfing speedy and secure.