Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are becoming the new norm for savvy users in the new age of government mass surveillance, copyright bounty hunters and pervasive user profiling by internet companies.
What is a VPN?
VPNs tunnel your internet traffic through securely encrypted servers located around the world. When you use the internet, either on your smartphone, computer or gaming machine, your IP address can be used to determine your location and, through your Internet Service Provider (ISP), can also be used to identify your name and address.
By encrypting and tunnelling your internet traffic, VPNs hide your IP address making it almost impossible to find your location and track your identity through your ISP. This stops ISPs from storing meaningful metadata as their records will simply record there is traffic between you and the VPN without knowing where that traffic ended up or came from. VPNs also stop copyright trolls from tracking your torrent downloading habits.
So, how do you choose the right VPN?
You should choose a VPN provider that:
- does not keeps logs of user internet activity
- has apps for your computer/PC, smartphone and tablet
- is affordable
- has fast servers!
Below is a list of VPN services for you to consider. All have apps for your Windows PC, Mac PC, iPhone or iPad and Android device (except for Overplay but is does also have a SmartDNS which is great for unblocking US Netflix).
|Service||Windows PC App||Mac App||iOS App||Android App|
|Private Internet Access||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Overplay VPN (plus SmartDNS)||YES||YES||NO||NO|
At the moment, I’m using both VyprVPN and Private Internet Access. Below are the best of three Speedtest results for their fastest (automatically selected) VPN server. You will see both are about the same speed with Private Internet Access only just topping VyperVPN (which I suggest is the same within a margin of error).