What is a VPN?
A VPN – or Virtual Private Network – is a tool that provides private and secure internet access. In short, a VPN masks your IP address by connecting you to a server in a different location/country.
For example, if you’re in the UAE and you connect to a VPN server in the US, your IP address will appear as a US IP. This lets you hide your online activities from prying eyes.
At The VPN Shop, we allow you to compare VPN prices, speed and security to help you get the best VPN deal for you.
5 Reasons to use a VPN?
Hide From Your ISP & Government
When you connect to a VPN server, your ISP can no longer log your online activities/data and sell it. Likewise, the government can no longer use the UKUSA Agreement to spy on you.
If you use the internet without a VPN, websites and advertisers can easily track your online activities. However, because a VPN changes your IP address, it’s more difficult for them to identify and track you. Some VPNs even offer built-in ad-blockers.
Access Geo-Restricted Content
Because you can connect to a server outside your local area (and in another country), using a VPN helps you access geo-restricted content from online streaming services like Netflix and and Amazon Prime.
It’s safe to assume public WiFi isn’t secure, because it rarely is. This makes it easy for hackers to steal your information, like your login details, unless you use a VPN to encrypt your data.
When torrenting, you use a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) connection. This can be dangerous if you’re using your own IP address as hackers can see your IP address and use it to hack you or install malicious software. However, with one of the best torrenting VPNs, you can torrent in a safe and secure online environment.
Compare the Latest VPN Deals
In the table below we list the best VPNs for you to compare side by side. Compare VPN prices, speeds and the streaming platforms they unblock.
How do I use a VPN?
Using a VPN is simple. While the process might be different for different VPN providers, the general how-to is:
- Choose a provider (see our guide on The Best Overall VPNs)
- Sign-up by purchasing a subscription plan
- Follow the provider’s software installation instructions
- Open the VPN client and sign-in using your login details
- Connect to a server
Can I use a VPN to unblock Netflix?
Netflix blacklists VPN IP addresses to stop subscribers from watching content restricted to specific regions. To access this hidden world of geo-restricted content, you need a VPN that can unblock Netflix.
See our guide on the Best Netflix VPNs
How to choose the Best VPN?
When choosing the best VPN for everyday use, here are a few features to look for:
- Not located in a 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or 14 Eyes jurisdiction
- Strict no-logs policy
- 256-bit encryption
- Automatic kill switch
- DNS leak protection
- High-speed connection
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Lots of servers
- P2P (Tor) connections supported
- Access to geo-restricted streaming services
- OpenVPN protocol
- 24/7 customer support (live chat preferred)
Are VPNs legal to use?
Yes, using a VPN is 100% legal in most countries. Notable exceptions where VPNs are banned or otherwise restricted include China, Iraq, North Korea, and Russia. However, any illegal activities conducted via a VPN remain illegal.
Can I use a VPN for torrenting?
Yes and we always advise you to use a VPN when torrenting. Consult our article on the Best Torrenting VPNs for a list of VPNs that support torrenting and for information on how a VPN could help you avoid a huge fine!
Can I use a VPN for my business?
There are three reasons why you should be using a VPN for your business no matter whether you’re a SME or enterprise company.
1. Protecting Business Sensitive Information whilst employees are working remotely.
In a post-Covid world, many businesses are adopting a hybrid working policy with 50% at home, and 50% in the office.
This is where a reliable VPN comes in. The VPN service will encrypt all online traffic coming and going from any device connected to its servers, protecting all of the information being accessed and discussed wherever the employee decides to work.
2. Staying Secure While Abroad
Let’s imagine your employee needs to research and purchase something for the business.
If they try to do so while abroad (perhaps meeting with a supplier), they’re going to get search results for the country they’re in! This includes any local product limitations, prices, and shipping costs.
But if they can change their IP address by connecting to a VPN server in their home country, they can place the order as they normally would from the office. They’ll see your local sites, products, prices, and shipping costs.
Perhaps even more important, a VPN might be necessary for enjoying basic access to the internet. If you’re on a business trip to China, for example, you’ll need a reliable VPN to do something as basic as accessing your WhatsApp and Skype to stay in communication.
3. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Some companies allow their employees to bring their own device to work on such as their own laptops.
And making sure each device has your small business VPN installed will ensure, whether in the office, on public WiFi at the corner cafe, or at home, your employees always have access to a safe, secure connection.
Can I get a free VPN?
Using a free VPN is a good way to save money while still taking measures to protect your online privacy. Unfortunately, most of the free VPN services out there aren’t very reliable or trustworthy.
Free VPNs are a great way to “try before you buy” and here at The VPN Shop we have found The 7 Best Free VPNs that you can trust.