How Much Should a VPN Cost?
Depending on the VPN you get, the amount you’ll be paying would vary. As seen in our review, the best ones are on the higher-end of the price spectrum. Expensive virtual private networks have the best encryptions, server options, kill-switches, etc. They also cost a lot due to the name you’re purchasing from.
ExpressVPN is extremely popular. It’s arguably the most common VPN on the market. Its team knows this, which is why it costs so much. It’s similar to buying a luxury car – brand name plays a role.
Your best bet would be to purchase a yearly subscription. If there is a 3-year option, go for it. You’ll be paying a fraction of the cost you would for monthly packages. This is especially true in the long-run.
How much is too much? If you’re interested in a monthly package, spending over $12 every 30-days is regarded as expensive. ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are guilty of charging such fees.
Just because a VPN costs a lot, don’t think it’s good. Remember to check its reviews. You can’t go wrong with any of our 5.
Many VPNs, including the ones we reviewed offer holiday sales. You can get about 70% off if you snag a deal. VPNs like CyberGhost frequently provide. coupons and discounts.
Why Should You Use A VPN?
Having reviewed the above 5, you know which VPNs are worth your time. You know what a VPN is, but do you know how useful it can be? We’ve discussed its benefits below.
Ensure Your Privacy
As you know, your IP address is hidden when you connect to a VPN. It lets you use an IP in another location, preventing your ISP from tracking you. Although unfortunate, ISPs store your data, even selling them to third parties. They also give information to the government.
Not many people know that ISPs do this. It is a major invasion of privacy, and there’s nothing you can do about it – unless you use a VPN. As your traffic is sent to the server you’ve connected to, you’re preventing them from getting access to it.
Remember how we mentioned kill switches earlier? They make sure you’re always secure. If your VPN ever goes offline, your internet connection would be disabled instead of you reverting to your IP. This eliminates the possibility of you ever being tracked.
Ensure Your Safety
Having your privacy secured is one of the major benefits of using a virtual private network. However, ensuring your safety is a close second.
VPNs send your data in a lock so secure that hackers can’t crack it. This is especially great for public Wi-Fis. If you use public Wi-Fi, know that the internet connection is unsecured. No matter where you’re using it, or how strong it is, it can easily be hacked.
The person infiltrating the connection can get hold of your information. When you use a VPN, you prevent this as you’re adding a layer of security to your connection. Many of the VPNs we reviewed came with military-level encryptions.
Depending on the VPN you use, the degree of encryption it’ll offer will vary. All of our 5 options are great.
Ensure Freedom of Use
The internet should not be restricted but it is. Geo-blocking is a thing. This is when you can’t access a site due to the location you’re in. The location is found out by your IP.
The site you’re visiting may have content that may not be licensed in your country. Netflix uses this excuse to block out certain nations. This is also true for other streaming services.
Thankfully, VPNs exist. They hide your IP, channeling you to a server in another country. If the server is in a location that is not geo-blocked, you’ll be able to access what you need to.
This sounds easy, but it doesn’t always work. Sites like Netflix scan through the IPs in servers, blocking them. This is especially true for free VPNs. You’ll find that none of them work for the platform. Due to the sheer quantity of servers in paid ones, this is hard to do.
Speaking of streaming services, let’s talk about licensing again. Although you may have Disney+ in your country, something you want to watch may not be on it. Instead, it’s available for accounts in neighboring countries. By connecting to a server in these locations, you’ll be able to access their libraries.
Ensure Fast Internet
Bandwidth throttling is a nuisance. It’s when your ISP purposefully slows your connection down. It’s common for ISPs to throttle connections for no good reason. Most notably, to fool you into purchasing a faster internet package.
VPNs can help with this, in certain situations. Remember that your ISP can see all the sites you visit. They may be in a contract with Disney+. That’s why when they see you using Hulu, or any other streaming platform, they’ll limit your speed. Virtual private networks prevent them from seeing which sites you visit, so situations like this are avoided.
Depending on where you live, your government may not let you access certain sites. The most common reason would be them trying to censor information. This is currently taking place in China. The nation has blocked applications like Facebook and Twitter.
Unfortunately, just any VPN won’t be able to bypass the magnitude of China’s blocking.
With a VPN, you can also bypass the censorship in school and offices. You don’t have to connect to a server in another country, just any outside of the establishment.
Ensure the Cheapest Prices
The internet wants you to spend as much as possible. It does this through cookies. It tracks everything you do, finding ads, sites, and prices related to your search activity. It also does this based on where you live. How can a VPN help, exactly? Let’s take a look at the below example.
If you’re planning a trip abroad, you may find out that the flight is very expensive. If you switch your IP to a server in a low-income country, you’ll see a drop in price. Usually, there’s a $50-100 difference when you book flights from the new IP.
Why Should You Not Use A VPN?
VPNs are very useful. However, with every good thing, there’s always a downside. Let’s talk about the disadvantages of using virtual private networks.
You Might Go to Jail
For the most part, there is no issue with using VPNs. A few countries, unfortunately, have banned them. No need to fret, out of the 195 countries out there, only a handful of them have restrictions in place.
Many of them don’t even arrest you. Instead, you’re asked to pay a large fine.
You probably want to know how safe you are. Let’s take a look at the countries that have restricted/banned VPNs:
- North Korea
You’ll Be Spending A Lot of Money
A free VPN is not as effective as a paid one. But a paid one can cost a lot of money, like CyberGhost.
When it comes to VPNs, the higher the price, the more quality its services will be. You could use a cheap one, but it’ll be as effective as a free one, which we know isn’t that great.
Your Connection May Not Be the Best
When you connect to a VPN, your connection goes through quite the process. Not only are you bounced to a foreign server, but a layer of encryption is added as well. This can result in your internet being slower. When using a paid network, you won’t notice a difference. This is especially true for a quality one.
Why Are Paid VPNs Superior to Free Ones?
So far, we’ve established that free VPNs are not that great. Let’s take a look at all the reasons you’ll need to stay away from them in depth.
Your Data Is Collected
Free VPNs are notorious for collecting your data. Remember how we said ISPs track everything you do? Free VPNs do this as well. They have a log, which they sell to third parties. They’re free, so they need to make money somehow.
This is a major problem as you may be using a private connection just to ensure privacy online.
Theoretically, a free VPN with a no-logging policy would not track what you do. However, it’s up to you to decide if you can trust their claim.
This isn’t all. Some of them force-open partner pages on web browsers. This happens the moment you launch them. Not only is this an invasion of privacy, but it’s also frustrating.
You’re Bombarded with Ads
As mentioned, they need to make money somehow. A common way for them to do this is through ads. As you can imagine, free VPNs go overboard with them. You’ll see ads all the time. Sometimes, connecting to a server may even take a while as an ad will first have to load.
It’s more than likely that the team does not screen the ads showing. The chances of you being hit by inappropriate content are high. You’ll also be directed to malicious pages. This is counterproductive as VPNs are supposed to keep you safe.
You’re Not That Safe
When you use a paid VPN, like ExpressVPN, you can be sure of security. Paid VPNs offer thorough encryptions.
If you must, be wise when choosing a free VPN. You could use one that promises ample security, just to use an encryption that’s easy to crack. This would lead you to think you’re safe online, aimlessly visiting malicious sites.
The easy-to-crack encryptions not only let hackers get you, but they allow spying agencies to do so as well. The NSA in the US is known to spy on its citizens.
Your Connection Will Be Very Slow
As mentioned earlier, your connection will be slower when using a VPN. If you’re connected to a paid one, the difference won’t be noticeable, or might not even be in place. The complete opposite is true for free networks.
You won’t have an array of servers to choose from either. This effects how fast your connection can be. It will especially be slow if you’re being bombarded with ads – your device will start to lag.
Get ready for it – certain free VPNs sell your bandwidth. Depending on what they do with it, you could find yourself in legal trouble.
We touched on this earlier, but free VPNs don’t work on Netflix. They have a limited number of servers. They have all been blacklisted by the streaming service. This isn’t only true for Netflix but most streaming services available. Don’t even try to sign-up for Facebook using a free VPN in China – it’ll be a waste of time.
You Will End Up Paying
Considering all of these points, free private networks are not worth it. They know this, which is why they push you to purchase their paid variant. If you constantly use the VPN, you’ll likely consider the upgrade.
If you look at a paid VPN, you’d see that it’s always improving. The 5 we ran through frequently upgrade their servers, privacy policies, and much more. If you’re expecting your free VPN to do this, keep holding your breath.
What Are Some Bad VPNs?
Remember that the world of VPNs is immense. Even some paid ones are bad. We want the best for you, which is why we’ve discussed ones you need to avoid below.
Hot Spot Shield
Hot Spot Shield is a free VPN. It has a paid option that’s a yearly subscription, costing $7.99 a month. It has been accused of opening affiliate links into users’ browsers. Affiliate links when opened, bring them cash.
Not only is it intrusive of your privacy, but the virtual network is not the most secure. In 2018, it was found that Hot Spot has a weakness in its connections. It allows hackers access to users’ locations.
Whatever you do, stay away from Hola. It is known to log your activity. Its encryptions are also very weak. There are paid versions, but they’re scams.
Like IPVanish, PureVPN handed user information to the FBI. It promised a strict no-log policy. It isn’t just alarming that they handed information to the authorities, but that they had the information, to begin with.
It is not a free virtual private network. Its 1-month plan costs $10.95 every 30 days.
It has a 7-day trial too. However, it’s not free. You’ll pay $0.99. After the trial is done, you’ll be paying $6.49 for it a month, which may sound like a steal.
Pirate Chick VPN
It is malicious software. It is free to download but injects malicious content into your computer. It does this by running multiple tests, so it’s a very complicated, devious process.
Pirate Chick’s malicious nature is well-known in the VPN circle. You won’t be able to download it, its site has been removed. If you happen to have it on your computer, immediately click uninstall.
Why Do You Need A VPN For Torrenting?
Without a VPN, we’ve established that ISPs know what you’re doing. Not only is this bad because they can sell your data, but they can see you torrenting. We all torrent. It’s an easy way to get content we can’t afford. However, they are copy-righted. Downloading them is pirating, which is illegal in many countries.
As your ISP knows what you’re up to, they will throttle your connection when they notice you torrenting. Not only will they throttle you, but they will send you a warning. Worst case scenario – they’ll give your information to the authorities.
Some VPNs work great for torrenting. From the ones we reviewed, all 5 work well. Working with a virtual private network that heavily encrypts your data is a must. This prevents ISPs from cracking it. The network should also offer a kill-switch. This would prevent your ISP from knowing you’re torrenting if your VPN ever goes offline.
If you’re an avid torrentor, using a VPN that has a strict no-log policy is a must. If the authorities get involved, they’ll speak to the VPN to view your activity online. Their no-log policy would mean no tracking of your information, keeping you safe from the police.
As we saw, ExpressVPN is best for this. When investigated by the Turkish authorities, they found no information on their servers.
When it comes to torrenting, definitely avoid free VPNs. Their encryptions are weak, plus they log what you do, which would put you in harm’s way.
How Do You Install A VPN?
VPNs are amazing. Getting hold of one consists of a few steps. Let’s take a look at them below.
1. Get Online
You’ll need to access the internet. Depending on the device you’re using, you’ll have to download the program from the App Store or through their site. As you’re not secure yet, be vary of the internet you’ve connected to. We talked about why public Wi-fi is not good above.
2. Pick Your Poison
The world of VPNs is immense. If you’re looking for something affordable, PrivateVPN would be great. If privacy is a must, CyberGhost is better.
In our review, we discussed how much subscriptions for 5 amazing VPNs would cost. If you want to save cash, know that sales exist. You might have to wait a bit – they usually take place during the holidays.
3. Wait for It to Download
On a computer, you’ll see many prompts pop-up when the program is downloading. Like you usually would, agree to them all. This might be hard to do on an office computer. You’ll have to get a hold of an administrator.
On your phone, you just have to wait for the app to download. This shouldn’t take long.
4. Open It
With the private network installed, you’ll need to open and create an account. You’ll likely get a verification code in your email.
With this out of the way, you’ll have to optimize your settings. You may have things like kill-switches, split-tunneling, and double VPNs disabled. By going through the settings, you can enable them, allowing for the perfect connection.
The protocol enabled may not be what you’re looking for. Adjust it through the settings.
5. Connect To A Server
Depending on the virtual private network you downloaded, the number of servers available may vary. You’ll likely be recommended the fastest one. Connect to it or any that you feel like joining. If you’re using the VPN solely for Netflix, don’t forget to connect to a location that isn’t geo-blocked.
How Do You Access Netflix With A VPN?
VPNs are the only way to by-pass the service’s geo-blocks. If you use a network that has its servers blocked, you’ll get a proxy error.
1. Pick The VPN
Step 1 is to download the right VPN. The 5 we ran through work well with the streaming service. However, there are many out there that would work as well.
2. Choose Your Country
Choose the country you’d like to connect to. As discussed, different countries have different libraries. The US has almost double the content that the UK’s Netflix has.
3. Clear Your Cache
Before signing up for Netflix, clear your cookies. You’d be wiping any history of visiting the site from your computer.
4. Go to Town!
With that out of the way, you can successfully stream whatever you want!
We’ve run through everything you need to know about VPNs and which ones you should consider. You now have a better idea of the VPNs that are worth your time. ExpressVPN is the best. It offers a wide range of servers. As of now, it has 3000+ in 94 different countries. What’s so great about this is that many of them are available in Africa and South America. VPNs don’t usually offer servers there.
It also offers a very strict no-logging policy. This was put to the test in 2017. The Turkish authorities tried finding information from an ExpressVPN server, only to find nothing. Speaking of Turkey, the nation has censored their internet. The VPN works well there. It can also by-pass Netflix, Disney+, and a range of other geo-blocks.
What exactly are geo-blocks? Restrictions from websites due to the location you’re in. This is primarily due to copyright issues.
ExpressVPN is probably the most popular. If anyone you know uses a virtual private network, it’s probably this one. However, it is quite costly. It’s more expensive than the other names on our list but is not the most expensive one.
NordVPN is a close second. We would have given it first place if its rented server didn’t get hacked. We appreciate that they investigated it thoroughly, though.
If you’re looking to purchase a VPN, you’re making the right move. You’re not only securing your connection, but you’re preventing your ISP from tracking what you do. This prevents them from selling your information. Using a VPN also bypasses censorships. After all, you’ll be bounced to a foreign IP.
How? By connecting to another server. The virtual private network tunnels your connection to a server of your choice. Your data will be sent to it in an encrypted form. Depending on how tough it is, hackers won’t be able to crack it. As you saw from our review, all 5 VPNs use 256-bit military encryptions.
Yes, virtual private networks are useful. However, be careful with which you spend your time. Avoid free ones. They offer very basic encryptions. This would void the use of a VPN as your data would be easy to crack.
Free VPNs are notorious for logging users’ data too. Not only will they sell it, but they might use it to bombard you with ads – they need to make their money somehow. What’s worse is that they don’t vet the ads that they show. You just know that you’ll be hit with inappropriate, malicious content.
You’ll also need a VPN if you torrent. Although torrenting save cash, it’s pirating, which is illegal. You don’t want your ISP to know what you’re up to, which is why a virtual private network is a must. Not only will it encrypt your data, so that you’re safe, but it’ll keep your activity anonymous. This is due to its no-log policy.
If you torrent often, staying away from free VPNs is a must. Not only are their encryptions easy to crack, but their no-log policies are often not true. Sometimes, the law-authorities may get involved with the pirating. When they check through servers, they’ll find no evidence.
You now know which virtual private network is the best, and you’re also an expert on VPNs Hopefully, you found everything we discussed informative. Which points did you find the most useful? And do you agree that ExpressVPN is the best? If you have any questions, leave them in a comment below.