Even though the internet is one of the man’s best creations, it is not only a safe place. We use the internet for almost every aspect of our lives- work, personal reasons, shopping, booking a cab, ordering food, availing a service, and so on.
However, we fail to realize that many people can use our actions against us in different ways.
A VPN or ‘Virtual Private Network’ is one of the mechanisms, which most internet users are turning to protect their data and address their privacy concerns.
VPNs enable businesses to establish secure official communications across countries and continents. In 2020, in addition to their originally intended purpose, they are being used for several other significant reasons.
In this article, we look briefly at what VPNs are and whether you need it. We also look at the five best VPN providers in 2020 for Mac, Android, and Windows and help you make a decision.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs): What are they and do you really need one?
A VPN is a completely safe and secure internet connection established between your browsing device (laptop, desktop, tablet, or cell phone) and a computer server. To understand a VPN, let me begin by explaining what happens when you try to access the internet.
Suppose you are sitting at home and want to browse the internet. Let us say; you want to see the newest Air Jordan, which has released. You open your cell phone, connect it to your data provider (Verizon, AT&T. etc.), open Google, and do the browsing.
When you do that, the data/internet provider gets access to all your browsing history. Under a new law, the provider in America can sell this browsing history to any third party. There is a reason you get promotional ads, pop-ups, and suggestions after you visit a website. You might now be asking the question, what happens when you browse the internet through a VPN?
When you connect to a VPN and browse, the VPN server essentially adds as secure and private intermediaries, to protect your identity at all times. It means that the data providers cannot do anything to track your browsing. It also involves the VPN server, changing your IP address, and giving you a new IP
A VPN is an essential end-to-end encryption tunnel that helps you stay protected, transfer sensitive documents, and keeps you safe from public Wi-Fi. You can also use a VPN to use the internet in a country where websites are banned or restricted in nature.
List of 5 Best VPNs in 2020 for Windows, Android and Mac
Please bear in mind; the following list is not a ranking. It lists the best ones, not in order of any hierarchy.
1. SurfShark VPN
SurfShark VPN’s most significant selling point is accessing the internet in the complete form ever. SurfShark has been able to give VPN users access to the most extended list of features at the most affordable price points.
Most VPN users prefer SurfShark because of one core reason. You can add as many devices as you want on one plan! Until now, no other VPN service provider has been able to do this.
Streaming, torrenting, and bypassing firewalls is something, which SurfShark does with ease. If you are want to buy the Unlimited VPN, you can use Surfshark coupons to get huge discounts and benefits. In terms of value for money proposition, SurfShark successfully devours the rest of the competition!
2. CyberGhost VPN
Even though CyberGhost is not industry-leading when it comes to speed or number of servers, it manages to have a balanced approach. It means that you get a decent combination of reliability, safety, and pricing.
While speeds are not record-breaking in nature, it is decent and all right when it comes to downloading and streaming. You also get access to great tech support, and you get 7-device support from the service.
CyberGhost offers a 45-day money-back guarantee and offers discounts and deals on pricing right through the year. However, the VPN fails the China test. If you are someone who travels a lot to China for work, maybe you should look at other options.
3. ZenMate VPN
You can say that ZenMate VPN is perhaps the most improved VPN service provider on this list. The product has come a long way in recent times and is offering healthy competition to the industry’s established players.
ZenMate VPN is one of the easiest ones on the list when it comes to usability. The clean layout and design make using it quite a hassle-free experience. Even though the numbers are not earth-shattering, it is decent when it comes to offering streaming capabilities.
ZenMate is affordable, and its fast download and browsing speeds have been well-appreciated in tech circles. The ‘Live Chat’ feature is right on the money, and you can expect help (through an email) within an hour. Where ZenMate VPN fails is bypassing the geo-blocks put in place by different governments.
NordVPN has been highly rated by reviewers, critics, and experts and for a good reason. The provider combines performance, efficiency, and pricing to offer a feature-rich product. NordVPN operates out of Panama, and states that it is away from the infamous ’14 Eyes Surveillance’.
NordVPN also boasts of having servers in over 55 countries all over the world. If you want to know about how many servers they have, the number is an impressive 5390! You can access practically all streaming platforms, including Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, and others.
The VPN boasts of exceptional speeds and uses AES-256 encryption for security. It also has specialized Torrent downloading thanks to the secure SmartPlay DNS.
5. Express VPN
Even though Express VPN falls short of Nord’s server capabilities and country offerings (Express VPN has 3000 odd servers), it is one of the fastest VPNs in the world. When it comes to iOS and Torrent downloading, Express VPN is one of the market favorites.
Express VPN is not only fast but also secure thanks to its 256-bit encryption. It effortlessly streams almost all major platforms (MediaStreamer feature). Reviewers have also placed it high on account of its ability to bypass geo-blocking in different countries.
The servers are always updated, and all servers perform the same features and functionalities no matter which country you are using. However, the expensive pricing is something that becomes a criticism when Express VPN is discussed in forums and chat rooms.
Protecting your browsing of the internet has been advocated by many civil society groups to be made into a fundamental right. However, the unholy nexus of billion-dollar telecom companies and governments mean that no one’s data or privacy is safe when it comes to browsing. VPNs are a great way to ensure that you prevent data leaks and privacy breaches from happening.