Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN creates a secure connection between you and the Internet , providing you with additional privacy and anonymity, allowing you to:

  • Hide your online activities and location to avoid being tracked (especially on public Wi-Fi)
  • Avoid online censorship and browse the web freely
  • Download torrents safely and anonymously with no speed limit
  • Unblock streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+ and more

It may sound complicated, but using a VPN definitely doesn’t require any technical expertise. Of the 20+ VPNs I’ve tested, ExpressVPN is my top pick for VPN newbies because it’s fast, secure, and easy to use. Users can even try it for free for 30 days without risk !

In this guide, I’ll explain how a VPN service like ExpressVPN works. Additionally, I’ll share tips and tricks for getting the most out of a VPN – even if the user is a complete novice.

Try ExpressVPN today!

1 minute short video: What is a VPN and how does it work?

A VPN is an important security tool for protecting users’ privacy online . Without a VPN, others can easily intercept and view a user’s web activity, including browsing history, downloaded files, online banking details and passwords, and more.

To make matters worse, all information can be traced back to the user’s device via the Internet Protocol (IP) address. A user’s IP address can reveal their actual location, which can be used to track their real life. It’s like sending a postcard through the post office – anyone can see what’s on the postcard and the sender’s name and address.

However, when users connect to a VPN, their network activity is encrypted and their real IP addresses are hidden . No one can see who users are or what they do, not even Internet Service Providers (ISPs), governments, or hackers.

Instead of sending a postcard that everyone can see, users are now sending a super-secure private letter that only the recipient can read. The sender address or name is not visible. If anyone else tries to peek, they’ll just see a bunch of encrypted messages.

This is how a VPN encrypts a user’s internet connection to maximize user privacy online

What can a VPN hide?

Using a VPN hides the user’s real IP address and encrypts the user’s internet connection. But what does this mean in real life?

  • Users’ browsing history is private – VPNs hide users’ browsing and search history from Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The only thing the ISP can see is the encrypted traffic going to the VPN server.
  • Users can change their online location – a user’s IP address can reveal their actual location. With a VPN, users can connect to servers in other countries and access local content (such as US Netflix, online news and torrent sites).
  • Users’ internet activity is anonymous – a VPN with a no-logs policy ensures that no one knows what users are doing online. This is ideal for users who prefer torrenting and peer-to-peer (P2P) networking.

Advantages of VPNs: What are the benefits of using a VPN

Now that you have an idea of ​​what a VPN does and how it works, let’s see how it can help us!

Unblock global sources like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Hulu and more

Users in a country where certain resources are not accessible, but still want to be able to watch their favorite shows? For example, some countries block platforms like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and YouTube. This means that users will continue to receive annoying error messages when accessing these platforms.

However, a VPN can help users bypass geo-restrictions and allow them to watch any content they like from anywhere in the world . Some service platforms, such as Netflix, have realized this and developed advanced VPN detection software to block VPN access. All users need to do is choose a VPN that can unblock these platforms .

Play geo-restricted games from anywhere

Are you trying to play an online game, only to find it’s blocked in {{China}}? You’re not alone – this frustrating problem is shared by many gamers around the world. However, with a VPN, you can change your location and play any game you like from anywhere in the world .

Safe torrenting

Torrenting can be risky because users can’t be sure what exactly is in the downloaded file. To make matters worse, if a user torrents something they shouldn’t download, there is a risk of getting in trouble with the authorities.

A VPN hides the user’s identity and protects the user. A VPN will also prevent a user’s Internet Service Provider from noticing their activity as well as throttling their bandwidth. Some VPN services, such as ExpressVPN and CyberGhost, even have dedicated torrenting servers with enhanced features to protect users from malware.

Try ExpressVPN for free

Better online privacy and anonymity

Have you sent your bank details to a friend online? Do you frequently use public Wifi networks? If so, you’ve probably left the door open to hackers, especially if you’re using a public Wi-Fi hotspot.

Premium VPNs use state-of-the-art encryption to protect users’ data. It also ensures that websites handling user data cannot see the source of the data, keeping users as anonymous as possible.

avoid censorship

Dozens of countries and regions around the world censor resources because certain resources are inconsistent with their political or religious beliefs If you plan to travel to countries with strict internet censorship, such as China, you will need a VPN to bypass these restrictions . Simple tasks like Googling or updating your status on Facebook are impossible without a VPN. A VPN can help you unblock these sites and keep your data safe from any prying eyes.

In addition to that, you can use a VPN to bypass firewalls commonly found in office or school networks.

Improve network connection and speed

Occasionally, internet service providers may deliberately slow down a user’s internet connection . why? It could be that it detected that the user is downloading torrents, or that the user has exceeded a certain traffic limit. Some ISPs even use this strategy to get users to upgrade their network connections. This practice is called “speed limiting”.

But if a user uses a VPN, their activity will remain private , and not even their internet service provider will be able to see the user’s activity. This means that it cannot limit the user’s bandwidth, so users may notice an increase in network speed.

save money

Sometimes, VPNs can actually save users money. How to save money? A lot of e-commerce platforms show different prices depending on where the user is located – so connecting to a server in another country may show a cheaper price for the user. For example, booking a flight from the US to the UK can be expensive, and a user can connect to a server in India and maybe find a cheaper and better price.

This is useful if you travel a lot or take regular vacations. With a VPN, you might be able to save a lot of money on airline tickets, car rentals, accommodation, and other online purchases .

Try ExpressVPN for free

Disadvantages of VPNs: What are the disadvantages of using a VPN

  • There may be a slight decrease in the user’s connection speed . The user’s data must be encrypted and routed out through the VPN server, which may be far from the user’s actual location. This inevitably slows down the internet, but users can opt for a super-fast service like ExpressVPN to reduce the slowdown.
  • Some sites block VPNs . When a user is using a VPN, some websites, such as Netflix, can easily detect and block the user’s access. However, the best VPNs on the market right now quickly drop any blocked servers, making these sites unsustainable in terms of detection.
  • The best VPNs cost money. There are indeed free VPNs on the market, but they tend to have limited functionality and security risks.
  • VPN providers may be logging user data. User data is transmitted through the VPN provider’s servers, so there is always a risk of data being stored by them. To minimize this risk, users want to ensure their provider implements a no-logs policy and see if it is outside of countries that require data to be shared with authorities. Users must read the VPN provider’s privacy policy to understand how it handles user data.
  • VPNs are illegal in some countries . If a user uses a VPN in a country where VPNs are considered illegal, they may be at risk of trouble with the authorities. These countries include China, Turkey and Iraq.
  • May want to share the IP address with others. There are multiple VPN users connected to each server, so your IP address may be the same as other users’ IP addresses. This can be problematic if someone misbehaves while using a VPN, as this could result in that IP address being blacklisted by some sites. In fact, you may be punished for the bad behavior of others. You can avoid this by choosing a VPN that offers a dedicated IP address.
  • VPNs don’t work with all devices . It can be hard to find VPN apps these days that work on older devices or those using less common operating systems.

How to choose the best VPN?

If you are considering subscribing to a VPN service, you should focus on the following:

  • high speed
  • Strong encryption and high-quality security protocols
  • Trusted Privacy Policy
  • The ability to access global resources
  • Multi-device and cross-platform compatibility
  • Great user experience
  • Reliable Customer Support
  • value for money

high speed

Using a VPN may slow down the user’s connection because the user’s data is encrypted and routed through another server. With some VPNs, users will barely notice this speed difference, while other VPNs can cause a significant drop in internet speed. If a VPN slows down a user’s internet speed significantly, it won’t be of much use, so users should make sure to choose a VPN with unlimited bandwidth and plenty of fast servers .

Try ExpressVPN for free

Strong encryption and high-quality security protocols

One of the main reasons for using a VPN is to make your connection as secure as possible, so when it comes to security, you can’t ignore it. Look for a VPN with 256-bit AES encryption (the industry standard) and ultra-secure protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2.

Trusted Privacy Policy

It is very important to choose a VPN provider that offers a strict no-logs policy . Otherwise, it may store user data, which may be shared with third parties such as government departments in the future . Also make sure the VPN provider is outside the 5/9/14 Eyes alliances  (these countries share surveillance data). If users are unsure of the VPN provider’s location, please read their privacy policy.

The ability to access global resources

One of the great things about VPNs is that they allow users to bypass censorship and geo-restrictions. But not all VPNs are created equal in this regard. If you want to use a VPN to access specific sites like Netflix , or use a VPN to bypass a country’s firewall, do your research and make sure the VPN provider has these capabilities before purchasing a VPN. Users can also test the VPN with a free trial and money-back guarantee.

Multi-device and cross-platform compatibility

Users definitely want all their devices protected, so look for a VPN that allows multiple simultaneous connections . Also remember to check that the VPN is compatible with all devices.

Great user experience

Don’t waste your money on VPNs that are slow, unreliable, or have an unfriendly user interface. Do your research before buying to make sure the VPN provider has good reviews. A good way to do this is to read review articles .

Reliable Customer Support

If something goes wrong, users need to be confident that it will be resolved quickly. Find a VPN that offers 24/7 live chat support as well as email support. It’s even better if users can call customer service when things go wrong.

value for money

When paying for a service, users need to be confident that the service is worth the money. That doesn’t mean picking the cheapest service, but finding a VPN that’s affordable and has all of the above features .NOTE: All of this may seem overwhelming and overwhelming, but don’t panic! I have tested and checked all major VPN providers like ExpressVPN and Cyberghost to help users decide.

Try ExpressVPN for free

Which type of VPN is right for you?

So, how do users choose the best VPN? It depends on what the user needs the VPN for. Take a look at the following scenarios and see which one best suits your needs. Later I will also share some tips for finding the best VPN:

  • Unlock global resources
  • Protect privacy and anonymity (especially when using public networks)
  • Download torrents safely
  • bypass censorship

If you want to find out if a VPN has some specific features (like a kill switch or an app for smart TVs), check your VPN provider’s website. Usually its website will list all the features, but also all the available applications.

Unlock global resources

VPNs allow users to change their virtual location and access content that is not accessible in the user’s country. This includes restricted sites like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, etc. Make sure to download a VPN with the following features:

  • The ability to unblock global content – Not every VPN can unblock restricted websites and apps. Netflix is ​​especially difficult to unblock with VPNs, so be sure to find a VPN that is proven to unblock Netflix .
  • Fast speeds – The speed requirement to play HD quality is at least 5 Mbps, and for UHD quality, at least 25 Mbps. If the speed is slower than 5 Mbps, there will be buffering and lag.
  • Global Server Network – Get a VPN with servers in all the required locations. For example, if a user wants to watch US Netflix, Hulu or HBO Max, a VPN with servers in the US is required.
  • Dedicated apps for multiple devices – See if there are dedicated apps for all streaming devices, including laptops, smart TVs, or Amazon Fire Stick.

ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that can easily unblock Netflix worldwidePro tip: The best way to know if a VPN is right for you is actually quite simple: try a VPN. Users can sign up for a free trial to test the VPN and see if it has the features you want and how well those features work. A review article is also a great option – but nothing beats testing a product yourself!

Protect privacy and anonymity (especially when using public networks)

Public WiFi networks are notoriously unsafe, so it’s best to use a VPN when using public networks to keep users’ data safe. This section is also useful for users who want to remain anonymous at all times.

  • Ultra-secure encryption: Your VPN of choice should have military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, the most secure in the industry. This will ensure that user information is safe from hackers.
  • Security Protocol: Make sure the VPN has OpenVPN or IKEv2 available. These are the strongest protocols available and keep user data private.
  • DNS leak protection : Sometimes, even with a VPN, a software issue can cause a user’s IP address to be visible. When users use public networks, this is not desired! what to do? Some VPNs, like ExpressVPN, have built-in protections that stop this from happening.
  • Kill Switch function: If the VPN connection fails, this function will disconnect the user’s network connection. This is important because it ensures that user data is never exposed to others on the same network. Not all VPNs have a kill switch, so make sure you choose a VPN that does.

Download torrents safely

Torrenting is risky. User devices can be attacked by malware, and government agencies can get in trouble if they download content they shouldn’t. A good VPN can protect users from both of these risks.

  • Ultra-secure encryption: If users want their activities to remain as private as possible, a VPN with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption is required.
  • Speed: A fast connection is very important when downloading torrents, so make sure your VPN provider lists “unlimited bandwidth” on their website, and check the reviews to see how fast their servers are.
  • P2P Support: Some providers have detected that users are throttling users’ bandwidth when downloading torrents, so check their website to see if they support P2P. Other providers, like ExpressVPN, are great for torrenting and even offer dedicated P2P servers for torrenting.
  • Security Protocols: As mentioned above, make sure the VPN uses OpenVPN or IKEv2. This way, no one else will know what the user downloaded.
  • Kill Switch feature: If the VPN connection fails, this feature disconnects the user’s network connection so that the user’s activities are never exposed. This feature is a must if users are worried about the government getting in trouble.

bypass censorship

VPNs can help users bypass censorship in workplaces, universities, and even countries where internet access is severely restricted. Using a VPN is illegal in some countries, so be aware of the risks and don’t compromise on security.

  • Ultra-secure encryption: The VPN you choose should have military-grade 256-bit AES encryption. This is especially important if VPNs are illegal in the user’s country, as users want to make sure they don’t get caught.
  • Ability to evade censorship: Most VPNs can easily bypass internet restrictions in the workplace, but overcoming The Great Firewall of China is another story. If users plan to travel to a country with strict censorship, choose a VPN service that is verified to be available in that country, such as ExpressVPN.
  • Security Protocol: Make sure the VPN uses OpenVPN or IKEv2. Again, this is most important in countries where using a VPN can be troublesome.

Quick Guide: 3 Best VPNs for Beginners

  1. ExpressVPN – #1 ranked, easy to install, fast to connect, allows users to automatically connect to the best of thousands of servers in seconds.
  2. CyberGhost – Offers servers optimized for streaming, torrenting, and general downloads, but slightly slower.
  3. PrivateVPN – Simple, one-click setup, but no way to unblock Netflix.

Free VPN vs. Paid VPN: Do You Really Need to Spend This Money?

Users don’t necessarily have to pay to use a VPN – it all depends on what the user does online .

If you only need a VPN for a few weeks, you can take advantage of a premium premium VPN with a money-back guarantee. For example, users can sign up for ExpressVPN, use it for free for 30 days , and then take advantage of its money-back guarantee to request a refund. I tested it myself – it works! I applied for a refund via live chat 24/7 and received it with ease.If you don’t like ExpressVPN, you can easily get your money back (just use its 30-day money-back guarantee)

If you’re going to need a VPN for a longer period of time, you can take a look at the best free VPNs of 2022 (like Hotspot Shield or TunnelBear) . Users don’t have to pay anything up front — some don’t even need to provide an email address. However, these companies limit users’ speed, bandwidth and server locations in an attempt to lure users into upgrading to paid plans. These restrictions can be frustrating, but at least users’ private data is fully protected with military-grade security features and a strict privacy policy. This is a good option if users only need a VPN for light internet browsing or extra privacy on public WiFi networks .

If you want to watch HD videos, download torrents, unblock the likes of Netflix, or bypass government firewalls, then it’s best to buy a premium paid VPN . Users don’t have to deal with slow speeds, bandwidth limitations, or overcrowded servers. Users can even find hidden deals and discounts and save a lot on subscription fees !

warn! Don’t just install a free VPN without doing your research.
If a free VPN looks too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. Operating a VPN network is expensive—even if users don’t pay, companies still need to make money. As a result, many free VPN companies use shady tactics to fund their services, which may be endless pop-up ads that annoy users, lure users into downloading malware, or even collect and sell user data.

3 Top VPNs for Beginners (Updated February 2022)

Still not sure which VPN to choose? Below are my top 3 recommendations.

1. ExpressVPN – Simple to use VPN with user-friendly apps for all devices

ExpressVPN is a premium VPN service that is widely known for its ability to reliably bypass internet restrictions in China. It prioritizes security, in part because of its diskless servers (so no information is stored on them), and a solid no-logs policy backed by its privileged location in the British Virgin Islands. It also runs very fast, and with its huge global server network, users can always find reliable servers without any problems. With its proven and highly secure infrastructure, users can also download torrents at high speeds and securely without fear of being tracked.

From initial download to successful login, it took only 5 minutes to download and install ExpressVPN . After logging in, users can automatically connect to the best server by simply clicking the connect button, or they can select a server from a list to connect to. ExpressVPN establishes a connection in seconds and instantly protects users while keeping them anonymous! ExpressVPN’s service is high-quality, and the price is higher, so users need to be more sure before buying. Fortunately, we can take advantage of its money-back guarantee to try ExpressVPN for free for 30 days .

Try ExpressVPN for free

Updated February 2022: ExpressVPN has a crazy price cut for a limited time, only $6.67 per month for a 1-year plan, plus an extra 3 months for free! This offer is only valid for a limited time, so be sure to grab your chance. More information on this offer can be found here .

2. CyberGhost – Great for easy streaming and torrenting on your PC

CyberGhost has over 7,600 servers, which means users always get the best speed possible . It has a strict no-logs policy, has a kill switch, and even has self-managed servers outside of the 14 Eyes countries . Some of its servers are specifically optimized for various streaming services, so users can unblock streaming platforms like Netflix with just one click . CyberGhost is affordable and allows users to connect up to 7 devices at once. It offers a 45-day money-back guarantee , the longest money-back guarantee period of any VPN provider. Users can also try it for free for 24 hours without providing credit card information .

Try CyberGhost for free

happy Valentine’s day! CyberGhost’s crazy price reduction for a limited time, only $2.15 per month for a 3-year plan, plus an additional 3 months for free! This offer is only valid for a limited time, so be sure to grab your chance. More information on this offer can be found here .

3. PrivateVPN – A basic VPN with 24/7 live chat support

PrivateVPN offers super secure 2048-bit encryption and unlimited bandwidth. With a one-click setup program , the user’s device can be successfully connected to the VPN within a minute, protected accordingly, and very easy to use. Its customer service is particularly good, and users can directly contact its R&D personnel . Additionally, PrivateVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Try PrivateVPN for free

How to Set Up a VPN on PC, Mac, Mobile, and More

VPN providers usually offer easy-to-follow getting started guides , so users don’t have to worry about the complicated setup process! I’ve put together some simple step-by-step guides to help users set up a VPN on commonly used devices.

  • Desktops and Laptops. Jump to the guides for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • smart phone. For Android and iOS devices, follow the steps below.
  • Smart TV. See how you can install a VPN even if the unit does not support VPN.
  • router. Jump down for detailed instructions.

Keep in mind that the exact steps involved may vary depending on the VPN and operating system the user is using. If you encounter problems, users can check the guide on the VPN provider’s website.

3 Easy Steps: Install VPN on Windows, Mac and Linux

Many VPNs offer native apps for Windows, macOS, and even Linux. The installation process is similar on all operating systems:

  1. Download and install the VPN. I like ExpressVPN because it’s fast, easy to use, and users can try out their service with their 30-day money-back guarantee .
  2. Once installed, launch the VPN client and connect to a server in the country of your choice .
  3. Finish! Now, users can browse the Internet freely and securely .

Quick Guide: Using a VPN on Android and iOS Phones

Almost every VPN offers dedicated apps for Android and iOS devices. Here’s how to install a VPN on your phone:

  1. Download the VPN from the app store. I recommend ExpressVPN because their mobile app is fast and easy to use. Try it on your phone for 30 days !
  2. Open the VPN app, log in, and tap the server location to connect .
  3. Finish! Now the user’s smartphone is under the protection of the VPN.

Smart TV

Most smart TVs on the market don’t have a native VPN app available. If users want to use a VPN on their Smart TV, they must first install the VPN on the router ( see how-to below ). After that connect the smart TV to the router and it will automatically connect to the remote VPN server.

If users are running a smart TV on Android OS, ExpressVPN has a native Android TV app that may save users the trouble of connecting through a router.

Try ExpressVPN for free

router

Most people use VPNs on individual devices like laptops and smart TVs, but users can also install VPNs on routers to protect any device connected to Wi-Fi . Once this is done, users do not need to install VPNs on individual devices unless they plan to use those devices outside of their home.

Before buying a VPN, visit the VPN provider’s website to make sure it’s compatible with your router.

The router VPN installation procedure depends on the user’s router model and the specific VPN used, but generally the setup steps are as follows:

  1. Download VPN firmware .
  2. Assemble and connect the router.
  3. Connect the router to the computer.
  4. Access the router control panel.
  5. Create a username and password.
  6. Click the Upgrade Firmware tab.
  7. Upload the firmware you downloaded for the VPN earlier .
  8. Enter the activation code from the VPN settings page.
  9. Click to activate

The exact method may vary, so it is best to refer to the installation steps listed on the VPN provider’s website.

Pro tip: Here are some quick download guides (available on multiple devices) to help users set up a VPN.

  • ExpressVPN Quick Download Guide
  • CyberGhost Quick Download Guide

VPN FAQs

Are VPNs Legal?

For the most part, VPNs are perfectly legal. However, some heavily censored countries (such as China, Turkey, and Iraq) do disable VPNs . If caught, the penalties can be a bit heavy, so be sure to keep this in mind when traveling.

Are VPNs Really Safe?

It’s hard to give a straight yes or no answer because different VPNs don’t have exactly the same security features. The security of a VPN depends on the technology and protocols used by the VPN provider. Find VPNs that have 256-bit AES encryption, use OpenVPN or IKEv2 protocols, and other features like DNS leak protection and kill switch/kill switch for maximum security.

A VPN provider’s location and privacy policy can also affect its security. If users want to choose the most secure VPN, please check if the VPN provider is outside the 5/9/14 Eyes security alliances .

Which VPN protocol should I use?

OpenVPN used to be the most popular choice , but now many people are switching to the new WireGuard protocol. Ultimately, what VPN protocol to use depends on the security and speed you need , as well as your device.

Below are the most common VPN protocols.

  • OpenVPN: Popular open source protocol supported by almost all VPNs. It is the most secure protocol out there and no weaknesses have been found.
  • WireGuard: An open source protocol with superior speed and strong security. It is expected to overtake OpenVPN as the most popular protocol, but it’s still relatively new, so there may be weaknesses that haven’t been discovered yet.
  • IKEv2: Fast, secure, and beloved by mobile users. The biggest disadvantage is that it is not open source and cannot be audited.
  • SSTP: A less popular protocol, mainly compatible with Windows. Good for bypassing firewalls, but average speed.
  • L2TP/IPSec: Mainly used on iPhone, but is obsolete, so you should try to avoid it.
  • PPTP: Insecure, has been cracked by the NSA.

Does a VPN allow users to remain anonymous on the web?

While many VPN providers claim to provide users with complete anonymity while browsing the web, the truth is that VPNs offer privacy rather than anonymity. The VPN assigns the user a new IP address from a server located elsewhere, but the VPN provider can still see the user’s browsing data.

No VPN server can function without logging, and a VPN cannot resolve DNS requests or troubleshoot connections without logging. The key difference, however, is that the best VPN providers don’t keep logs of users’ personal data . This means that even if they receive a court order to hand over information about users’ online browsing activities, they cannot provide any information. If they do not belong to any of the above alliances, there is no need to provide any information.

While you can’t completely keep your users anonymous, using a VPN is still a great way to increase your privacy while browsing the web. If users want complete anonymity, they should use a VPN in conjunction with an onion router ( Tor , an open network that doesn’t collect any user information) .

Do VPNs Slow Down Your Internet Speed?

A VPN may slow down a user’s internet connection because user data must travel through the VPN server. Not only that, but VPNs are encrypting and decrypting user data, which all take longer.

However, different VPNs experience varying degrees of slowdown, so it’s important to compare their speeds. While speeds dropped slightly, ExpressVPN and CyberGhost were consistently able to stream videos, download torrents, play games, and browse the web without lag.

The speed of a user’s internet connection depends on the server they choose. Generally, the farther away the server is, the slower the internet speed will be because it takes longer for the data to reach the server. If a user connects to a nearby server, the difference in internet speed may hardly be noticed.

Do I need an internet service provider to use a VPN?

A VPN cannot replace an internet service provider. Internet service providers allow users to connect to the web, while VPNs simply protect users’ data while they perform web-based activities.

Is it possible to use VPN on multiple devices?

Yes. Most VPN providers have dedicated apps for different types of devices and operating systems.

If you want to use the VPN on multiple devices, make sure the VPN provider you choose allows multiple devices to be connected at the same time and has an app for your preferred device.

Which devices can VPNs be used for?

It depends on the VPN provider. Most premium VPNs are available on Apple, Windows and Android devices. Some even run on Linux, Kodi, smart TVs and even routers.

Usually, free VPN services can only be used on specific devices. Be sure to check with the provider before signing up or buying to avoid disappointment.

Do VPNs keep logs?

Yes, most VPNs keep logs. Even if a VPN claims to keep “zero logs”, you need to read the fine print of its privacy policy. You’ll likely find that most VPNs log your IP address, bandwidth usage, payment details, and connection timestamps. However, the best VPNs don’t log any identifiable data , which means that none of your online activity while connected to the VPN is associated with your personal information.

Should I use a VPN when downloading torrents?

Yes, absolutely should. When users download and upload torrents, they expose their IP addresses to all other users. This puts user devices at risk of cyber-attacks. There may also be legal disputes with governments and ISPs if users download copyrighted or illegal files. Users may receive warnings, fines or even jail time.

I strongly recommend that users protect themselves with a VPN suitable for torrenting . A VPN encrypts a user’s internet traffic and assigns a new IP address to the user’s device, so no one knows who the user is or what they download. Just be sure to choose a VPN that allows torrenting on their servers (many VPNs don’t support torrenting). Users also want to ensure that the VPN enforces a strict no-logs policy, unlimited bandwidth, and fast download speeds.

Is it possible to watch Netflix with a VPN?

It depends on the VPN provider the user chooses. While Netflix is ​​available in more than 100 countries around the world, it offers different shows and movies in different countries due to different licensing agreements. But a good VPN can help.

Netflix and other streaming platforms such as Hulu and BBC iPlayer block users based on their location, which they identify from their IP address. To avoid being banned or watching shows on Netflix that are only available in a specific country , users simply connect to a server in that location.

Netflix is ​​getting better at blocking users who use VPNs, but many good VPN services can tell users which servers can unblock Netflix.

Is it possible to use a VPN on Android?

Yes, if the VPN provider of the user’s choice has a dedicated Android app. All major VPN providers such as ExpressVPN and CyberGhost offer Android apps. Be wary of free Android VPN services, as research shows that many of these apps leak user information or contain malware.

Is it possible to use a VPN on iOS?

Yes. Before choosing a VPN, make sure the VPN provider has a dedicated iOS app and that the company is reputable. All major VPN providers offer iOS apps.

Is it possible to use a VPN with Kodi?

Yes, a VPN can help users add a layer of privacy while watching Kodi . It also helps users access resources normally inaccessible due to location, and play from plugins securely without worrying about hackers and other third parties.

For best results, choose a VPN that supports P2P , such as ExpressVPN or CyberGhost. Also, make sure your VPN provider has an app that works on all devices that use Kodi.

Is it possible to use a VPN on a Smart TV?

Yes. When choosing a VPN for your smart TV, make sure the VPN you choose has an app for your device. ExpressVPN has apps for almost all smart TVs, while Cyberghost has apps for AndroidTV. Some VPN providers offer detailed instructions for manually setting up a VPN on a smart TV if the user cannot find a suitable app.

How to use VPN with Onion Router (Tor)?

Using a VPN over the Onion Router (Tor) network is the key to maintaining complete anonymity. All the user needs to do is:

  1. Enable VPN connection
  2. Open the onion router browser

This setting provides users with additional privacy protection, but may also slow down network connections. Users may run into problems if they are downloading very large files, so this is only useful for safely browsing the web, streaming and gaming.

When should I use a VPN?

Some key reasons to use a VPN include:

  • Hide browsing data from third-party snooping
  • Encrypt user online activities
  • Hide user geolocation and unlock geo-restricted resources
  • Protect yourself when using public Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Get better prices when shopping online

VPNs are used whenever users need extra privacy, anonymity, and security online.

When Should You Not Use a VPN?

There is no reason why users should not use a VPN all the time. A VPN will keep users safe from governments, ISPs, advertisers and even hackers.

What is the difference between a VPN and a proxy server? Which should be used?

A proxy only masks a user’s IP address, while a VPN also encrypts user data. Therefore, it is better to use a VPN as it is more secure.

Will I be tracked for using a VPN?

It depends on which VPN you use, so learning to identify a good VPN provider is crucial. If you download a VPN with a poor privacy policy, you can get caught even if you connect via Tor or with the help of advanced features like multi-hop or code obfuscation. You also can’t always trust the marketing rhetoric of VPNs – it turns out that many “no log” VPNs do exactly the opposite of what they claim.

Therefore, I recommend that you choose a VPN with a solid no-logs policy and a strong privacy record . For example, ExpressVPN is one of the safest options out there. In 2017, the Turkish government required ExpressVPN to provide user logs for its domestic investigation, and ExpressVPN is not legally obliged to comply with this request as it is not governed by Turkish law (the company is based in the British Virgin Islands). Plus, its strict no-logs policy means no information is ever shared. As it turned out, Turkish authorities seized its servers without finding any identifiable logs or user data.

Is it safe to use a VPN for online banking transactions?

Safe, VPN provides extra security for online banking. VPNs are especially useful if you need to use public wireless networks for online banking transactions while on the go or at a coffee shop, hotel or library, as they encrypt your traffic and hide your IP address before connecting to the bank so you can Your personal financial data will be protected from monitoring by any third party, especially hackers.

How much does a VPN cost?

If you subscribe to a long-term plan (2 years and above), you can easily find VPNs for as little as $2 a month . A one-month plan costs about $10, and a one-year plan costs about $6 a month. However, price should not be the only consideration , but also the quality and functionality of the VPN.

Should I use a VPN on my phone?

Yes, if you value your online privacy, it’s best to install a VPN on your smartphone . Mobile phones, like desktops and laptops, are vulnerable to third-party surveillance and data leakage. Unfortunately, a plethora of apps containing malware and trackers specifically target Android and iPhone users.

With a VPN, you can keep your personal data safe and encrypted. You can also unblock restricted websites (if your country has internet censorship) and unblock streaming platforms around the world like Netflix and Disney+.

Do you really need a VPN to stream Popcorn Time?

Yes, I highly recommend using a VPN for Popcorn Time to stay safe .  Popcorn Time is not like Netflix, YouTube or other streaming platforms – not using a VPN can be dangerous. Popcorn Time is a torrent client that uses a P2P network, which makes it easy for other users to see the user’s real IP address.

Not only is the user’s privacy at risk, but disputes with government authorities and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are also possible. Users may have inadvertently viewed copyrighted material. Torrenting may even be illegal in the user’s country. All of these problems can be avoided by using a VPN to protect your privacy while playing Popcorn Time.

Glossary of common VPN terms (demystifying technical terms)

  • 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance :  An international security alliance that collectively collects and shares mass surveillance data. Any VPN provider located in any country in the alliance can log and transmit user online activity. Here are the countries in each alliance:

  • Encryption : Scrambling data with a code so that it can be transmitted securely.
  • Global Resources: Resources that are restricted in certain countries but can be accessed via VPN.
  • IP Leakage : VPNs fail to successfully hide the user’s IP address.
  • Internet Service Provider (ISP) : ISP stands for Internet Service Provider, i.e. Internet Service Provider. A user’s Internet service provider is the company that provides the user with access to the Internet.
  • Kill Switch : A VPN feature that automatically terminates a user’s Internet connection if it is not secure. This ensures that user data is always encrypted, helping to avoid IP leaks.
  • Logs : Data retained by VPN providers about users and their online activities.
  • Multi-hop : A feature of VPNs that delineates your internet route through 2 (instead of 1) VPN servers, making your device harder to track.
  • Proxy server : A server that acts as an intermediary between a user’s device and the rest of the Internet. User privacy can be increased since the user does not communicate directly with other servers, which means that the user’s IP address is not visible.
  • Router: A device that sends data between computer networks. The user’s Internet service provider usually provides the user with a router to allow the user to access the Internet.
  • The Onion Router (TOR) : A piece of software that allows users to communicate anonymously online. It sends user data through a global network run by volunteers, making it difficult for anyone to find the source of the data.
  • VPN Client: A program installed by the user on the device that allows the user to connect to the VPN server.
  • VPN Protocol: A set of programs that VPN clients and servers use to communicate securely with each other. Different protocols have different security, and some protocols are more secure.
  • VPN Server: A computer managed by a VPN provider to which users can connect using a VPN client. User data is sent through the server, thereby hiding the user’s real location and IP address.
  • VPN Service: A service that increases security by encrypting Internet traffic and masking IP addresses. It also bypasses censorship by making users appear to be elsewhere.