How can you best protect your identity and data when you’re navigating the online world? The simple answer is with a virtual private network, or VPN. That’s the easy part covered, but how do you select a VPN that works for you and your lifestyle? That’s a trickier question.
We know the decision process can be tough, so we’ve tried to help you out. Based on customer reviews, we have compared the best VPNs to help you find something that ticks all of your boxes. But first, we should talk about what these services actually offer, and why you should consider signing up.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a connection method used to add security and privacy to private and public networks. VPNs are becoming increasingly popular as cybersecurity becomes a priority. A VPN improves online privacy because the user’s IP address is replaced with one from the VPN provider. Those subscribed to a VPN can obtain an IP address from any gateway location the VPN service provides.
If this all sounds a little complicated, try thinking about a VPN as an encrypted tunnel through which all of your online traffic passes through. Nobody can see into the tunnel, and everything inside the tunnel is protected against online threats like viruses, hackers, and malware
Do you need a VPN?
Without a VPN you are basically cruising the online world naked, baring all to the world. A VPN keeps you covered up by hiding/changing your IP address, hiding your location, and encrypting your data transfers
VPNs are primarily designed to provide online security, but that’s not all. Millions of people use these services to stream more content from around the world. By hiding your IP address and connecting you to a server in another location, you can trick leading streaming services into thinking that you are based in a different country. This means you can bypass content restrictions to watch all extra shows and movies from global libraries.
So the two key benefits to using a VPN are cybersecurity and streaming.
Should you use free VPNs?
The final question that’s important to consider is whether you need to pay for a VPN. The answer really depends on your priorities. A free VPN is generally going to lack the most advanced features. A paid VPN will tend to offer faster connection speeds, servers in more locations, and better customer support (but not always). If anonymity is top of your list of priorities however, then a free VPN may be the better option as a free VPN provider won’t usually ask you to sign up to use its service.
It’s important to carefully research the wide selection of free and paid VPNs before making any decision. Whether you need to pay for a service or go with the free option comes down to what you need from your VPN. Data limits are another stumbling block when it comes to a free service, so if this doesn’t bother you, go right ahead. If you do however need more data, more locations, and more servers from your VPN, then a paid service is the solution.
It’s also worth noting that pretty much all of the best VPNs offer money-back guarantees, so if you’re sneaky, you can work this system and use these services for a limited amount of time without fully committing with your cash. We don’t recommend this tactic, but you can use the best VPNs for free if you cancel your subscription before the guarantee period comes to an end.
What is the best free VPN?
Before making your selection, you should think carefully about what you want from a VPN and which aspect of the service you want to prioritise. Once you’ve given that some thought, we recommend checking out the options we have lined up, including popular services like NordVPN, CyberGhost VPN, and ExpressVPN.
There is something for everyone and every budget in this list. All of these VPNs offer free trials or money-back guarantees, but we’ve also highlighted the cost of subscribing in case you’re tempted to upgrade.
These are the best free VPNs in 2023.