What does VPN stand for?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is a secure way of connecting networks and devices.
In the context we're talking about it will usually be a client-server solution and not connecting whole networks or businesses.
The assumption is that most people reading this are trying to secure their internet connection, privacy and hide or change their IP address.
Why use a VPN?
There are many reasons especially now that the average person realizes there is no internet privacy (there never was) with the PRISM and other systems around the world collecting and intercepting all communications.
A VPN makes it much harder for them to spy on you and is a legitimate and legal way of protecting yourself for many valid reasons.
A VPN protects your identity, communications and also anonymizes you while changing and hiding your IP address.
What types of VPNs are there?
The most common ones are L2TP, PPTP and OpenVPN.
Most providers and people use OpenVPN and/or PPTP and some offer L2TP though it tends to be more unreliable in our experience. It is wise to have access to both because sometimes one works better than another and sometimes one is blocked (VPN can be blocked easily from most routers and is sometimes blocked by default so you may have trouble even if you're in a country that isn't known to block it).
How can I get a VPN?
There are literally dozens of companies if not more out there but we will try and cover, compare and review the top ones.
What should I look for in a VPN provider?
Since they become your ISP when connecting to them you want to make sure they are trustworthy, have a reliable network and server setup and are a established provider. For this reason we don't recommend "free or cheap VPNs" and some have surmised that the free ones may be honeypots for government agencies or are being used for other nefarious purposes to spy on people.
Privacy Guarantee & Server Logs
Why should you care about privacy even when you're not doing anything wrong (eg. maybe just watching Hulu or going to Facebook)? Because a situation could arise where you are accidentally identified for someone else's behvaior or perhaps you posted on a sensitive topic or something politcally unpopular. Think of it as insurance or like saying "why should I get insurance on my house or car unless I'm careless?".
Most companies DO NOT have any privacy guarantee or state how they will protect you if a government or law enforcement agency asks to reveal your identity. In fact many like HMA (Hide My Ass) have had scandals for freely and without any process or even challenge, have turned over customer information so it's important to be aware of the history and policy in effect.
Now it may be hard to identify you specifically because of how many people use a certain server which is good. But in some cases you may be identifiable by your provider and the question becomes what does the provider do? Do they simply turn over your information without proof of wrongdoing
Most companies don't keep server logs for long and should declare this or you can ask them.
Privacy means the provider will not release your details without a court order but will not fight it or notify you.
Extreme Privacy means the provider will not release your details and will notify you and attempt to fight any court-order to release your details.
We've ommitted unnecessary comparisons that others use such as platform since virtually all providers support every OS by the nature of the VPN. We're focusing on factors that show the company is long-term (not a fly-by-night) and not a free or cheap provider without any privacy protection.
|Name||Years in Business||Privacy||Extreme Privacy||Bandwidth Limit||Network Speed||Bandwidth Limit|
|Pro VPN Accounts||5||Y||Y||No||1000M||Unlimited|
|Private Internet Access||4||Y||N||N||Unknown||Unlimited|
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