Best VPNs For Bangladesh That Aren’t Blocked in 2018

Internet freedom has improved in Bangladesh in the last year, with a report from the Freedom House initiative declaring the country “partly free” in terms of internet restrictions and noting less violence targeting bloggers recently. However, there are still people who face criminal charges for comments that they have made online. Bloggers who write about secular issues are frequent targets of violence or arrest in the country, so people need to protect themselves when writing online.

In addition, there is an issue with websites being blocked in Bangladesh. In the last year, 35 news websites were blocked by the government – mostly websites which favoured the opposition. These news websites shared stories and information which was unflattering to the status quo and which the government wished to quash in order to prevent the spread of “rumours”.

For these reasons, it is advisable for internet users in Bangladesh to use a virtual private network. A VPN can help to both keep users safe and anonymous online, and to allow users to get around censorship and access blocked websites freely. In this article we will explain how a VPN can help and then give our recommendations for the best VPN for Bangladesh.

Keep Yourself Safe Posting Online With A VPN

If you are going to write a blog or even to post on social media about political topics, it’s important to take steps to keep yourself safe. Many people choose to post anonymously and assume that this will keep them safe from government repercussions. But unfortunately, merely posting anonymously isn’t enough as the government can still identify you through your IP address.

The problem is that whenever you use a website, including a blog, social media site, or forum, the site records your IP address, which is a unique string of numbers used to identify your device when you go online. An IP address is essential for data from the internet to be routed to your device correctly. However, even when you post on a site anonymously, that site still has a record linking your IP address to your post. Then, if the government forces the website to hand over data about their users (which legally they can do), then they can see that the post originated from your IP. The IP can then be traced to your specific location, compromising your anonymity.

In order to stay safe, you should use a VPN as well as posting anonymously. A VPN works by encrypting all of the data that your device sends over the internet, and then sending this encrypted data to a server run by your provider in another country. When the data arrives at the server, it is decrypted, assigned a new IP address, and sent on to its original destination. This means websites only see the IP of your VPN instead of your real address. In other words, it becomes virtually impossible to trace your blog post back to you via your IP address.

Get Around Website Blocks With A VPN

Another issue that a VPN can help with is getting around website blocks and censorship. When the government decides to block a website such as a news site, they send a list of URLs to be blocked to all of the ISPs in the country. The ISPs are then obliged to prevent their customers from accessing these websites. If you type the URL of a blocked site into your browser, the request is passed to your ISP, who sees that the site is on the blocked list, and refuses the connection. This means that the site won’t load in your browser. Even if you use another internet connection such as one at a cafe, you still won’t be able to access the blocked site as all of the ISPs in the country have to follow the same rules.

However, it is possible to access blocked sites from within Bangladesh using a VPN. When you connect to your VPN, all of your data is encrypted, including information about the URLs you visit. So when the request for the blocked site is passed to your ISP, they cannot block the request because they cannot see the URL. Then, your data is sent to a server located elsewhere in the world where it is decrypted. When the decrypted data rejoins the internet, it appears to originate from wherever the server is located instead of where you actually are.

This means that you can connect to a VPN server in a country like Sweden or The Netherlands that has good internet freedom and you’ll be able to access blocked sites. Because you use the internet as if you were in that country rather than your own, any content that is available there is now available to you too. This is how you can see and use any sites which are blocked or censored using a VPN.

Our Top Recommended VPNs For Bangladesh

Now you can see all of the benefits of using a VPN for privacy and security. But which VPN provider should you choose? There are many providers to choose from, although we recommend that you steer clear of free VPN providers that can sell off your data and make you less safe. We advise that you look for a paid VPN that meets the following criteria:

  1. Excellent security to keep your data safe and private, such as using strong 256-bit encryption which can’t be cracked and having a no logging policy which means that none of your data will ever be recorded or saved, so it can never be given over to a company or the government.
  2. Fast connections so that using your VPN won’t bog down your internet too much. All VPNs will slow your connection somewhat as the data has to go through extra steps of encryption, but good providers offer speedy connections that won’t be an annoyance when you’re browsing or downloading.
  3. Many servers in many countries around the world so that you can get around censorship by accessing servers in different countries which have more liberal internet policies. Having lots of servers means better options for finding a server which is fast and which meets your needs.
  4. Support for different platforms so that you can use your VPN on all of your different devices like your phone, your tablet, and your computer. You can use one VPN subscription to protect all of these devices as long as the software is available for the operating systems that you use.

When we looked at all of these factors, we came up with the following recommendations for VPNs for Bangladesh:

1. ExpressVPN – Strong In All Areas

ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPNs online as it is good in terms of speed, security, and user-friendliness. The VPN offers blazing fast connections that are perfect for streaming HD video or downloading large files, with excellent security like 256-bit encryption to keep your data safe and a no logging policy to keep your information private. On top of this, there are more security features in the options like a kill switch so you don’t accidentally send data over an unencrypted connection, DNS leak protection to keep your DNS use private, and an IP address checker to make sure that your real IP address is hidden.

There are also lots of servers available, with a total network of more than 1500 servers in 94 different countries. The software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android, plus some games consoles and smart TVs, and there are also browser extensions available for the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari browsers.

Read our full ExpressVPN review here.

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2. NordVPN – Massively Flexible

NordVPN will be the ideal VPN for advanced users who need to configure their VPN connection or to use connections for specific purposes like torrenting. The basic VPN service has the features you would expect, like the use of 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy, plus more options like a CyberSec security option for ad blocking and malware protection, a general kill switch, an app-specific kill switch and the ability to change notification settings. With fast connections in tow, the standard VPN covers all the bases.

Additionally, NordVPN offer speciality servers which can be used for particular functions such as downloading with torrents, using onion over VPN, getting a dedicated IP address, or double VPN where your data is encrypted twice over for the best possible security. In total, there are more than 3500 servers available in 60 different countries. The software has an attractive and easy to use map interface and is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, or Windows Phone.

Read our full NordVPN review here.

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3. CyberGhost – A Beginner Friendly VPN

CyberGhost is the VPN that we recommend for users who don’t have a lot of technical knowledge or experience and who want a simple, easy to use VPN that they can start using straight away. To connect to the VPN, you just open up the software and then choose an icon from the homepage. These options have functions like browse anonymously, torrent anonymously, or unblock streaming sites. Once you have clicked on an icon, a server will be chosen for you and configuration will be automatically applied. This means that it’s simple to use even if you have no prior experience with VPNs.

As well as ease of use, CyberGhost offers excellent security with the use of 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy, and the connections are fast. If you want to connect to a server manually then you can do this too, and you’ll find a network covering 1300 servers in nearly 60 countries. The software is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS.

Read our full CyberGhost review here.

4. PrivateVPN – Great For Unblocking Sites

PrivateVPN is a great choice for users who want to get around regional restrictions and to unblock sites of all kinds. Many VPNs don’t work to unblock streaming sites like Netflix or Hulu, but PrivateVPN does. This means that it’s a great choice for users who want to stay safe and unblock the internet. The security is good, with 128-bit encryption used by default and an option for 256-bit encryption for those who prefer a higher level of security. The provider keeps no logs of traffic, meaning records of your activity can never be used against you since they don’t exist. And there are hundreds of servers in 56 different countries, and connecting to these servers is super fast with some of the best speeds we’ve seen from any VPN.

The software is minimal which means that it is easy to use, and it is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire Stick, or it can be installed as a browser extension for Chrome.

Read our full PrivateVPN review here.

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5. PureVPN – VPN Plus Extra Security Software

PureVPN a VPN and so much more. The core VPN has all the essential features that you would hope for, like an option to use strong 256-bit encryption and a no content logging policy to protect your privacy. There are lots of servers available to get around regional blocks, with a total network of 750 servers in 140 different countries which you can connect to. The connections are fast and can be used for web browsing, streaming, or downloading large files.

In addition to the VPN service, a subscription to PureVPN includes access to a set of extra security software such as anti-malware and anti-virus protection to keep your device free from invasive software that you didn’t agree to install, an anti spam filter to keep your email inbox free from clutter, DDoS protection, app filtering, a kill switch, a dedicated IP address, and a NAT firewall. The software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Android TV devices, plus there are browser extensions available for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.

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Conclusion

In order to stay safe and to use the internet freely, users in Bangladesh benefit from having a VPN. A VPN allows users to connect to a server in a different country, which has the benefits of promoting anonymity, protecting from cyber attacks, and allowing access to blocked or censored content. We have recommended several top VPNs that are ideal for users in Bangladesh to stay safe and use a more open internet.

Have you had problems with blocked content in Bangladesh? Have you tried out one of the VPNs we recommended? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.

Read Best VPNs For Bangladesh That Aren’t Blocked in 2018 by Georgina Jones on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best Anonymous Chat Apps for Android and iOS of 2018

Online privacy is a growing concern for internet users around the world. With governments tracking and censoring citizens and ISPs monitoring chat and VoIP activity, it’s difficult to communicate with friends and family without sacrificing your privacy. And once you consider chatting on mobile Android and iOS devices, the options for staying safe get pretty thin.

In recent years there has been a surge of anonymous chat apps for a variety of platforms. Not only do these let you meet random strangers, but they can be used to exchange messages without divulging your personal details. Below we take a look at some of the best anonymous chat apps for Android and iOS so you can have private conversations once again.

Safety and Security through a VPN

Just because you’re using an anonymous chat app on your iPhone or Android phone doesn’t mean you’re safe. Data leaks are extremely common on smartphone devices, and they’re also prime targets for hackers on unsecured public Wi-Fi. To keep you and all of your data safe, you need to deploy a reliable virtual private network on every one of your internet-connected devices.

VPNs create a safe tunnel between you and the internet, encrypting everything that leaves your computer or phone so that no one can tell what you’re downloading or who you’re talking to. They also provide added anonymity by removing identifying IP addresses from each packet of information and replacing them with anonymous addresses. With a VPN in place, your entire connection to the internet will be secure and private.

Choosing the best VPN to use with your Android or iOS device along with an anonymous chat app can be a difficult venture. There’s a lot of information to research, and many services to select from! We’ve provided a few recommendations below to help keep you safe and sound no matter what.

1 – ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN

ExpressVPN is a fast VPN that packages all the best features to provide a smooth online experience. The apps are easy to use and work on a wide variety of devices, including Android and iOS. You also get access to hundreds of servers that cover 94 countries around the world, allowing a new and unique private and anonymous IP address each time you connect. Some versions of ExpressVPN’s software also offer a built-in speed test to verify your connection and find a faster server, so you never have to worry about slowdown or lag.

For privacy, ExpressVPN delivers 256-bit AES encryption on all data to keep information secure, along with a zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. ExpressVPN’s software for multiple platforms also comes with DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch to ensure your identity never escapes.

Learn more about ExpressVPN’s features in our full ExpressVPN review.

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2 – NordVPN – Strong Protection

NordVPN has a well-known reputation in the VPN world for being one of the strongest services around. It also boasts a massive server network that includes over 4,000 nodes in 60 different location– that’s more than twice the number of most of its competitors! This ensures you’ll never have a hard time finding a fast connection, even if you live in a small town in the middle of nowhere. NordVPN also uses this network to deliver exclusive features like double encryption, onion over VPN routing, and DDoS protection.

NordVPN’s tough security provisions are hard to beat. The company has a thorough zero-logging policy that covers bandwidth, traffic, time stamps, and DNS access, more areas than just about every other VPN service in the industry. You also get an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection features for most devices, along with full 256-bit AES encryption on all data.

Read all about NordVPN speed tests and security trials in our full NordVPN review.

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3 – CyberGhost – Superb Security

CyberGhost combines speed, security, and superb privacy features in one amazing package. The company runs an impressive network of over 1,200 servers, covering 60 countries for great connection speeds around the world. It also delivers 256-bit AES encryption on all data, a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP address, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch! With CyberGhost in the mix, you can keep your anonymous chats safe and private no matter what, and you’ll never have to worry about sluggish internet speeds again.

To learn more about CyberGhost, see our complete CyberGhost review.

Get a 77% discount on CyberGhost’s 3-year plan, for payments as low as $2.75 per month.

The Best Anonymous Chat Apps for Android and iOS

Got your smartphone ready to go? We’ve collected some of the best anonymous and random chat apps for mobile devices below. Each one allows you to talk with strangers, create secret meeting groups for friends, and even exchange pictures and videos, all in a safe, private and anonymous environment.

Moco (Android and iOS)

The internet allows us to talk with people around the world. Anonymous chat programs make it safe by keeping personal details out of the picture, allowing users to focus on conversations. Moco is one of the best socially-oriented anonymous chat apps for Android and iOS, all thanks to its focus building connections with strangers.

Moco lets you communicate anonymously with users around the world by sending text messages and images back and forth. Once you get comfortable with a new friend, you can even fire up social games such as MatchMe or FriendShop, just to kill a little time. If you want to add information about yourself Moco doesn’t stop you, but by default it doesn’t require your real details.

  • Download Moco for iOS
  • Download Moco for Android

Chatous (Android and iOS)

A simple anonymous chat app with a simple goal: let strangers interact with each other, no personal details required. Launch the software and you can quickly find someone to talk to by scanning themed rooms and hashtags. Conversations are private and anonymous, and they’re deleted shortly after they’re sent, preventing any kind of chat history from being created.

Chatous functions a lot like Omegle and Chatroulette but with a greater focus on swapping text, images, and videos. Content is completely unmonitored, so you never know what you’ll find each time you join a Chatous room!

Scandal (Android and iOS)

Let’s be honest. One of the reasons anonymous chat apps are so fun is because you can talk about anything with anyone. Share secrets, gossip about your friends, or talk about controversial topics without worry. Anonymity frees you to be yourself, a fact the Scandal app is fully aware of.

Scandal boasts an impressive 20 million users. No registration is required to use the app, nor is any personal data required to start having a conversation. Asynchronous group chats are also possible, so even if you don’t find a live chat partner, conversations can still be had. To use Scandal, all you do is fire up the app and find people in your area who are ready to talk.

  • Download Scandal for iOS (some countries not available)
  • Download Scandal for Android

Connected2.me (Android and iOS)

This fun and friendly anonymous messaging service takes elements from social media and combines them into a single app. Create a profile then access the main interface to look for people to chat with. You can include as much or as little information you like, making it easy to share details with people you get to know over time. The Connected2.me experience is all about staying safe while making new friends from around the world.

Meet Me (Android and iOS)

Meet Me started as a dating site, but over time it grew to embrace the random and semi-anonymous chats its users were enjoying. The service now has over 100 million users around the globe, all of whom love to sign in and talk about whatever’s on their mind. There are some lingering social features such as profile views, gold stars, and admirer counters, along with a handful of web games you can engage in with your friends. Apart from that, this simple app lets you pick a random stranger and start chatting, all without sharing your private identity.

PepperChat (Android)

A straightforward anonymous chat program that includes only the basic features you need for private, secure, anonymous conversations. Profiles are not required to have any personal information, all you do is choose a chat partner and let the conversation begin. Messages are never stored on the app’s servers for long periods of time. Only users over 18 years of age can use the app, and inappropriate or offensive content is not allowed.

AntiChat (iOS)

What a name for an anonymous chat app, right? AntiChat was built from the ground up to allow users to talk with strangers with full anonymity. The service boasts over 1.6 million users around the world, and it keeps things private by not requiring personal information and deleting messages shortly after they’re sent. It’s perfect for quick-fire chats with strangers, or you can set things up to talk with a friend without divulging personal information.

AntiChat doesn’t require an account to use, which makes it more anonymous than some other programs. There are also rooms set for different languages and desires, including dating-oriented chat rooms. The AntiChat team works hard to eliminate bots, as well, so you know you’re talking to a real human each time you open the app.

Psst! Anonymous (Android)

An aptly named chat program that has all the features you need to talk with random people and secure your personal communications. Psst! functions like an anonymous social network that lets you connect with other users with just a few taps. You can add friends, send photos, exchange files, and of course, swap text messages back and forth, all with full anonymity.

The interesting thing about Psst! is that it promotes community. By following members you can set up notifications to see when they post fresh content. It’s a unique experience following someone you do not know and seeing random bits of their life pop up in your feed.

Psst! does not allow in-app screenshots and doesn’t use your information for profit. Your e-mail is required for forgotten passwords, but that’s it. All posts that appear on Psst! stay active for 48 hours and are then deleted forever.

Psst! is currently only available for Android, but an iOS version is said to be coming soon.

NoName (iOS)

Another straightforward app with a simple design. NoName combines simple social networking features with anonymous conversations. Use it to meet new people, talk to friends in private, or just stave off boredom by finding a random chat partner and talking about the weather. Either way, you don’t have to share any personal information to use NoName, so your details are safe and secure.

NoName lets you invite any number of people to chat. You can also share videos, photos, music, and of course text messages, all with convenient self-destructing features to prevent data from hanging around. This ensures your communications are as private as possible, freeing you up to talk about whatever you want.

Onymous (Android)

A newer anonymous chat app that focuses on randomness and security. Onymous lets you share text and video chats with strangers all by jumping on and rolling the virtual dice. You’re paired with available chat partners based only on your preference: male, female, or either/or. Onymous then chooses a random online partner to pair you with, then the conversation begins. Best of all, Onymous secures all communications with HTTPS encryption and doesn’t keep chat logs, so you know your conversations are private.

Conclusion

As you can see, it’s not difficult to find a reliable anonymous chat app for Android or iOS. Dozens of services are out there ready to provide you with safe and private rooms to discuss politics, share opinions, or just chat about random stuff. You can even swap pictures and videos once you get to know your new friends!

Got any crazy anonymous chat stories you’d like to share? Is there an app you think should be included in our list? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

Read Best Anonymous Chat Apps for Android and iOS of 2018 by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPNs for GDPR: Unblock Online Services in Europe

If you have been wondering why you have received so many emails recently from companies about their privacy policies, this is due to recent EU legislation called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR gives users more rights to see the data that companies have collected on them and to control what data is collected about them in the future. This law is intended to protect the privacy rights of internet users within the EU, but because so many internet companies are now international, most have chosen to update their privacy policies for all users (even non-Europeans).

Although much of the coverage of GDPR sounds dry and dull, in fact it is a very important piece of legislation and a major step forward in improving the rights of internet users. If recent scandals such as the misuse of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica for political ends have you thinking about digital privacy, then this legislation can help you to take control of your data.

One of the best ways that you can improve your privacy online is to use a VPN. Below we’ll explain what a VPN is and how you can use it in conjunction with the GDPR legislation to protect your privacy, and give you recommendations for the best VPNs for GDPR.

How A VPN Protects Your Privacy

The GDPR legislation has caused a lot of people think more seriously about the number of companies that have access to their data, thus spurring them on to tighten up their online privacy measures. Many companies (not to mention governments and cybercriminals) monitor internet activity to learn about the habits and internet use of individuals. If you want to stop companies and other outsiders from leaning information about you such as where you live, how often you go online, which sites you visit and how much time you spend on them, as well as who you communicate with online, then you need a virtual private network.

A VPN works by installing a piece of software onto your device – whether it’s your phone, tablet, or computer. This software then encrypts all of your data before it is sent over the internet. By the time your data leaves your device, it is safely encrypted so that no one else can view it or interfere with it. This encrypted data is then passed to a server run by your VPN provider where it is decrypted and sent on to its original destination. This means that when a VPN is running, you can use the internet as usual to browser web pages, watch video, play online games, or chat through text, voice, or video – but all of your data will be kept private while you do so.

If you have been taking the time to adjust your privacy settings on various websites and to delete your data from some sites because of GDPR, then now is a great time to start using a VPN as well. This will make it harder for sites to gather more information about you in the future, and it gives you control over which sites you want to be able to access information such as your real IP address or your location.

How A VPN Lets You Get Around Website Blocks

Another issue that internet users in the EU and beyond have experienced is website blocks. This happens when the EU or another government decides to prevent access to certain websites, usually for customer protection reasons. And that’s a good thing in theory – no one wants to be defrauded or to buy dangerous products online. Another reason that sites may be blocked include copyright infringement, inappropriate content, or politically controversial content.

Concealingly, EU legislation about website blocks means that sites can be blocked with no oversight, which is a worry for anyone who values internet freedom. In the past, for example, the Spanish government has used such blocking methods to prevent people from accessing websites which discuss issues around the Catalan independence movement.

If your government or the EU decides to block a web page, then all of the ISPs in the area are obliged to prevent their customers from accessing that site. When you type in the URL of a blocked site, your request is sent from your device to your ISP, which sees that the URL is on a blocked list. The ISP then redirects you to a blocked notice or simply denies the connection. Even if you try to use a different internet connection, you will still have the same problem as the site is blocked throughout the entire country.

With a VPN you can get around blocks and government censorship by connecting to a server elsewhere in the world. For example, if you are in the EU and the website that you want to access is blocked, you can connect to a server in the US or Canada. Then all of your data will be encrypted and passed through your ISP (meaning that your ISP can’t see the URL you’re accessing and so can’t block your connection) before then being routed via that server. This allows you to browse the internet as if you were physically in the country where the server is located – in this case, the US or Canada – and so you can access sites even if they are blocked in the EU.

Other Benefits Of Using A VPN

In addition to keeping your data private and letting you get around regional restrictions, there are further security advantages to using a VPN. You may not know that it can be dangerous to go on public wifi networks like those in coffee shops, as other users on the network may be able to hack your device and steal your data. With a VPN, all of your traffic is encrypted before it leaves your device so even other users on the same network won’t be able to access your data. A VPN also helps to protect you from digital attacks like phishing or vishing by disguising your real location so that data can’t be used against you.

Finally, if you play online games at a serious level then you might have been a victim of a DDoS attack, where your IP is bombarded with requests until your connection fails. A VPN keeps you safe from these DDoS attacks by hiding your real IP address.

Top VPN Providers For GDPR

When it comes to selecting a VPN provider, you’ll notice that there are hundreds of different companies to choose from. And though it might seem more efficient to use a free VPN, this is not advisable as free VPN providers often sell off data about their users or have poor security that makes you less safe. Instead, you should get a trustworthy paid VPN that meets the following key criteria:

  1. Excellent security policies, including the use of strong 256-bit encryption so that outsiders cannot crack your encryption and observe or steal your data
  2. No logging policy so that information about the sites you visit or the messages you send will never be recorded. This way, even if your VPN provider has to turn over their records to the police or government, there is no information about your internet use to be accessed
  3. Many servers in many different countries which will allow you to get around regional locks or censorship by connecting to a server in another country and access the internet from there
  4. Fast connections so that your VPN doesn’t slow you down, which is particularly important when you are streaming or downloading
  5. Ease of use software with support for lots of different platforms so that you can protect all of your different devices at the same time with just one VPN subscription

Taking all of these factors into consideration, here are the top VPNs that we recommend for users who are concerned about security and privacy in the wake of the GDPR legislation:

1. ExpressVPN – Best All Around

ExpressVPN is one of the VPNs that you’ll see recommended most often due to its strengths in all the most important areas: security, speed, and ease of use. Whether you’re an advanced VPN user who wants the fastest and most reliable connections or a new user who wants a simple graphical interface for the software, then ExpressVPN has you covered. The top-notch security includes features like the use of strong 256-bit encryption to keep your data safe and a no logging policy to keep your information private. And you’ll find more security options in the software such as a kill switch to prevent you from accidentally using an unsecured connection, DNS leak protection to keep your DNS use private, and an IP address checker which lets you view your IP address and confirm that your VPN is active and is hiding your real IP.

In addition to this security, ExpressVPN offers a large server network with more than 1500 servers in 94 different countries, and the connections are super fast and stable. The software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android, plus some games consoles and smart TVs, and there are also browser extensions available for the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari browsers.

Read our full ExpressVPN review here.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Sign up for a year with ExpressVPN at $6.67 per month and get 3 months FREE! There’s also an amazing risk-free 30-day money back guarantee, just in case you’re not completely satisfied.

2. NordVPN – Customisable Connections

NordVPN is great for advanced VPN users and those who want to be able to perform specific functions with their VPN such as downloading torrents, protecting from DDoS attacks, or using a dedicated IP address. The security is excellent, with strong 256-bit encryption and a solid no logging policy so that you can be sure your internet activities aren’t being recorded or monitored. Other security features in the software include the CyberSec option which avoids ads and protects you from malware, phishing, and other threats, plus a general kill switch, an app-specific kill switch, and the ability to change notification settings. With fast and reliable connections, you can easily download large files safely.

The best feature of NordVPN is its specific function servers. As well as the regular VPN servers, you’ll find specialist servers for functions like P2P downloading, anti-DDoS protection, or onion over VPN. In total, there is a huge network of servers totaling 3500 in 60 different countries. The software has an attractive and intuitive map interface and can be installed on devices running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, or Windows Phone.

Read our full NordVPN review here.

HUGE DEAL: Get a 77% discount on the 3-year subscription, just $2.75 a month! All plans are backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.

3. CyberGhost – Best For New Users

CyberGhost is the VPN we recommend for new users who want a simple VPN that they can use and configure without worrying about complex technical information. If you don’t know anything about setting up or using VPNs then don’t worry – CyberGhost makes it easy. You just open up the software and then choose from the icons what you want to do – such as surfing the web anonymously, using torrent downloads anonymously, or unblocking streaming sites. Click on the option of your choice and you will be connected to an appropriate server with all of the required configuration done for you automatically.

The security is good, with the use of 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy, and the connections are fast and can be used for streaming video or downloading files. If you want to connect to a server manually then you can choose your server from a network of 1300 servers in nearly 60 countries. The software is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS.

Read our full CyberGhost review here.

Get a 77% discount on CyberGhost’s three-year plan, for payments as low as $2.75 per month.

4. PrivateVPN – Ideal For Streamers

If you love to use streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, you might be frustrated that most VPNs don’t work with these websites. Fortunately, PrivateVPN does work and is the ideal VPN solution for streamers. If you want to unblock Netflix, Hulu, and more, then you can connect to any of the hundreds of servers located in 56 different countries and stream content without restrictions. By default, the VPN service uses 128-bit encryption, but there is also an option to use strong 256-bit encryption instead if you prefer maximum security. In terms of privacy, PrivateVPN keeps bandwidth logs but not traffic logs, meaning that the sites you visit will never be recorded.

PrivateVPN really excels in terms of speed. Our testing found it to be one of the fastest VPNs, with no drops in speeds or annoying bursts. This combination of fast speeds and working with Netflix and Hulu makes this VPN the ideal choice for users who stream often. The software is minimal but effective, and is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire Stick, and can be installed as a browser extension for Chrome.

Read our full PrivateVPN review here.

Get an extra 5 months FREE on the yearly plan with PrivateVPN – just $2.54 per month. If you aren’t completely satisfied in the first 30 days, get your money back in full, no questions asked.

5. PureVPN – Lots Of Security Features

PureVPN is more than just a VPN. As well as a VPN to keep your data private, you’ll also get access to a bundle of other security software to improve your overall digital security. To start with the key facts about the VPN: it has good security with the option for using strong 256-bit encryption, and a no content logging policy so no one can see what you have accessed online. The connections are fast enough for regular use and there are lots of different servers to choose from, totaling 750 servers in 140 different countries.

The other security features that are included are things like anti malware and anti-virus protection which prevent your device from being infected with unwanted or malicious software, and DDoS protection to keep your device safe from coordinated direct denial of service attacks. If you want to use the VPN for only certain apps, for example just for your torrent program or internet explorer, then you can use the app filtering feature. And there’s a kill switch to prevent you from accidentally sending data over an unsecured connection. The software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Android TV devices, plus there are browser extensions available for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.

OFFER: Take advantage of an amazing 73% discount on a 2-year plan, just $2.95 per month! You can even try it risk-free with the company’s seven-day money back guarantee.

Conclusion

The recent introduction of the GDPR legislation has brought security and privacy issues to mind for lots of users in the EU and beyond. If you have been wanting to beef up your privacy and security to prevent companies, organisations, or governments from accessing data about all of your online activities, then a VPN is an essential tool in your digital arsenal. With a VPN you can prevent others from tracking you or recording your info, you can get around regional restrictions or blocks, and you can keep yourself safe from hacks and other digital attacks.

We’ve recommended some of the top VPNs that you can use to keep yourself safe. Have you tried out any of these VPNs? What was your experience with them like? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Read Best VPNs for GDPR: Unblock Online Services in Europe by Georgina Jones on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPNs to Get Static IPs and Control Your Online Identity

If online privacy is important to you, chances are you’ve researched finding a static IP address once or twice. VPNs with static IPs give you an extra layer of reliability when it comes to accessing online content. You won’t have to worry about finding your IP address banned due to another anonymous public user. Instead, it’s just you, a private connection to the internet, and your safe static IP address.

Confused about static vs dynamic IPs? Not sure how you would even use a static IP address with your VPN? Don’t worry, we’ve got all the answers you need, along with the best VPNs for static IPs. Read on to find out more!

Basics of IP Addresses

An IP address is a series of unique numbers assigned to every device that connects to the internet. Your smartphone will have an IP, so will your computer, your tablet, your game console, even your smart refrigerator. An IP address is a lot like a mailing address, as without them data could never find its way from the internet to your screen.

Pros and Cons of IP Addresses

While the system of IP addresses currently deployed in the world is surprisingly efficient, it’s not without its drawbacks. IPs were conceived long before online privacy was a major concern. While they’re extremely useful for delivering data, the catch is they can also be used to track a user’s location. Every IP address essentially has an embedded code that points to a country and city. If someone knows your IP, chances are they can find you on a map.

Another drawback of the current IP address system is it’s easy to use for censorship purposes. If a website doesn’t want to display certain content to people in a different country, it’s easy to set up a system that denies access or shows alternate information to select IP addresses. Netflix famously uses this to prevent most users from accessing videos from outside their home country.

The good news is it’s not all gloom and doom. IP addresses aren’t hard-wired into place. You can, in fact, change your IP by using a proxy or VPN service, and it requires almost no effort at all. This is a fast and easy way to protect your privacy and uncensor the web.

IP Addresses and VPNs

One of the key advantages of using a VPN is the ability to change your IP address. These virtual IPs allow you to surf the web safely and anonymously, preventing things like trackers or censorship blocks from affecting you.

VPNs change your IP address by sitting between your device and the internet. When you have VPN software active, your connection passes through your modem and through your internet service provider, like normal. The ISP then routes your traffic through your VPN. Here, the VPN service changes your IP address to match one of their local, shared IPs. Your request is then completed using an anonymous set of numbers.

Static IP vs Dynamic IP

Almost everyone reading this sentence will be using a dynamic IP address. Service providers use dynamic IPs and most VPNs by default use dynamic IPs, as well. In this model, each time you connect to the internet you’re assigned a new IP, it’s that simple. This is largely transparent unless you host content on your device or engage in a lot of online gaming, so for the most part, dynamic IPs are fine.

With VPNs, the story is a little more complex. Because hundreds of people are accessing the same IP every day, and because those users connect through anonymous channels, the odds that some sort of abuse is happening can increase dramatically. IPs that abuse sites are likely to get blacklisted and blocked. If you’ve ever tried to access WhatsApp or an online shopping site through a VPN’s IP address where someone was abusing their anonymity, you’ll know exactly why this is frustrating.

Having a static IP with a VPN protects you from this vulnerability. Your IP address stays the same each time you connect, and public figures won’t be accessing it all the time. And because it’s with an anonymous service, you can connect without sacrificing your privacy.

Best VPNs for Static IPs

VPNs create a private tunnel between you and the internet by encrypting everything as it leaves your device. They also provide anonymity through virtual IP addresses, allowing you to bypass censorship blocks and unlock new movies from Netflix or Hulu. Adding a static IP to your VPN is just icing on the virtual cake.

Not every VPN service offers static IPs. We’ve selected some of the top VPNs below that let you connect to the internet with lightning-fast speeds, perfect security, and an affordable static IP address.

Benefits of VPNs with a Static IP

Having a static IP with your VPN means you’re in control of your online identity. Below are some of the most notable benefits to staying anonymous while keeping a persistent IP address.

  • More secure online banking – Restrict access to just your IP and your account is much safer.
  • Reputation protection – Ensure all online services see you as you, not a public IP.
  • Remote access – Set up your static IP for secure remote access to your home network.
  • Secure FTP transfers – SFTP connections often require a static IP.
  • Two-factor authentication – Lock down almost any online account with 2FA and your static IP.

1 – NordVPN – Powerful Protection

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market. It also happens to be one of the best VPNs for static IPs. When you sign up for an affordable plan with NordVPN you get access to one of the largest server networks in the industry: over 4,300 servers in 62 different countries, more than twice the size of the nearest competitors. This gives you plenty of options for fast and secure a connection to the internet. It also gives you some unique features not found in any other service, including DDoS protection, onion over VPN, and double VPN encryption.

NordVPN’s thorough zero-logging policy on bandwidth, traffic, time stamps, and DNS access ensures your activity remains safely hidden, and both automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection features work hard to keep your daily identity secure. 256-bit AES encryption keeps every packet of data locked down tight for a sturdy foundation of online anonymity.

The dedicated IP service provides a static IP in four different areas: U.S., Germany, UK, and the Netherlands. This service is available on a yearly subscription at an affordable flat fee. NordVPN guarantees that with a static IP from their VPN, you will be the only person using the assigned address.

Learn more about the pros and cons of using NordVPN in our full NordVPN review.

HUGE DEAL: Get a 77% discount on the 3-year subscription, just $2.75 a month! All plans are backed by a 30 day money back guarantee.

2 – PrivateVPN – Stable and Secure

PrivateVPN is one VPN that’s absolutely true to its name. The service focuses on security above all else, delivering a private, safe, and anonymous online experience without sacrificing much in the way of speed or usability. PrivateVPN runs on smartphones, desktop PCs, and even Fire TV, and its app interface is sleek and lightweight, making it incredibly easy to log in and connect.

This premium provider runs a strong network of 100 servers in 56 different countries, just enough to provide the location variety you need. PrivateVPN locks down all of your data with 256-bit AES encryption, keeps your connection safe with an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection, and features a zero logging policy on all online traffic, setting the perfect foundation for a wonderfully private online experience.

PrivateVPN offers shared public IPs (like all VPNs), along with a unique dynamic dedicated IP address system. This lets you connect using a pseudo-static IP from a limited set of locations, delivering many of the benefits of a dedicated IP without costing users extra.

Read more about PrivateVPN’s features in our complete PrivateVPN review.

3 – PureVPN – Privacy and Much More

PureVPN offers an absolute treasure trove of exciting and useful features. Like most VPNs the service keeps your data safe and your identity secure on a wide variety of devices, that’s a given. But PureVPN goes the extra mile and provides built-in features such as malware shields, app-blockers, DNS website filters, and anti-virus protection in a single lightweight package. All you have to do is install the VPN app and you get all of these bonuses included!

The server network is fast and reliable, with over 750 nodes in 14o locations around the globe. Data that passes through this network is secured with 256-bit encryption and protected by a strong zero-logging policy on traffic. Smart DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch on the company’s software further protects your identity from accidentally being discovered.

PureVPN has one of the most affordable dedicated IP services around. You can include an added static IP into your subscription for just a few dollers per month, less than a third the price of some of its competitors. Static IPs are also available in a wide variety of countries, including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany, Malta, UK, U.S., and Singapore. You’ll gain all the benefits of a stable IP address without having to break the bank to get it.

OFFER: Take advantage of an amazing 73% discount on a 2-year plan, just $2.95 per month! You can even try it risk-free with the company’s 7 day money back guarantee.

How to Add a Static IP to Your VPN

If your VPN service offers a static IP address service (often called “dedicated IP”), you’ll need to manually add it to your account before you can use it. Many VPNs list this as an add-on feature when signing up for an account. If they don’t (or if you already have an account with a good VPN) you’ll simply add it separately.

This process will vary depending on the service you’re using. Below we’ll cover the basics of adding a static (dedicated) IP address to the VPNs we recommended above.

Dedicated IP Address with NordVPN

With an active subscription to NordVPN, you can add a dedicated IP address with just a few clicks. Visit their home page and sign in with your credentials. You’ll be taken to the NordVPN dashboard. At the very top is a section labeled “Additional Services”. Beneath that is a red button that says Get Dedicated IP.

Click the dedicated IP button, then confirm the request when a new window pops up. You’ll be able to choose your static IP location shortly and will then be charged an additional fee per month based on the cost of the added service.

Using Static IPs with PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN’s pseudo-dedicated IP works a little differently than other services. You don’t need to add it to your account or pay extra to access it. Instead, simply connect to one of the dynamic dedicated IP servers from the app’s server selection menu. You will then receive an exclusive static IP address that will remain yours for as long as you stay connected.

Getting a Static IP with PureVPN

Sign into the PureVPN member’s area from the main website. On the list to the right, choose the Pricing tab located near the bottom. You will then see a list of plans at the center of the screen. Below is a section marked “Select Addons”, with Dedicated IP listed just below that. Choose the option, complete the payment process, and you’ll be able to choose a static IP and use it right away.

Conclusion

Dedicated (static) IP addresses are simple but clever solutions to some of the problems of shared anonymous IPs. They let you add extra security to many of your online activities, they provide speed and privacy, and they’re extremely easy to use. Not all VPNs offer static IP address services, but with our recommendations above, you can cut to the chase and start surfing right away.

What will you use a static IP address for? Does your current VPN offer it as an option? Let us know in the comments below!

Read Best VPNs to Get Static IPs and Control Your Online Identity by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPNs for Pakistan in 2018 That Aren’t Blocked

Pakistan has been rated as “not free” by the Freedom House report on internet freedoms for the past 6 years. There are problems with extreme censorship, not only of pornography but also of political content and other material that is (arbitrarily) deemed inappropriate. There have also been incidents of whole areas having mobile internet simply cut off, such as the shutdown of mobile internet in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in June 2016. In August 2016, the government introduced the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act which gave even more powers of surveillance and censorship over online activities, with a lack of oversight from non-governmental bodies.

Most concerning, however, is the intimidation and punishment of citizens by the government for opinions that they have expressed online. And it isn’t only those who write opinions online who are at risk: in September 2016 a teenager was arrested just for liking a post on Facebook that was deemed blasphemous. Bloggers and social media personalities have been arrested and jailed for criticising authorities, and there are even accusations of the torture of people for material posted online.

Due to these extremely harsh restrictions on internet use, a VPN is essential for internet users in Pakistan. A VPN can help to keep users safe and protected by obscuring their identities when they go online. In this article, we’ll discuss the uses of a VPN and then share our recommendations for the best VPNs for Pakistan.

Protect Yourself From Government Snooping With A VPN

One of the biggest concerns for internet users in Pakistan is that the government will see what they have posted and pursue some kind of criminal action against the user. This is why many bloggers or social media users choose to use an anonymous account instead of using an account under their real name. However, the government can track users through their IP address, even if they have an anonymous account.

IP tracking works through following the chain of servers that an individual has used to connect to the internet. Even if your name is not anywhere on your blog, for example, the government will still be able to trace the origin of that blog to your particular location and pursue actions against you. This is because whenever you connect to any internet network, your device is assigned a unique IP address (a string of numbers that refers to your particular device). When you post onto a website, your IP address is recorded, even if you do not have an account or if you use an anonymous account. Then the government can force websites to hand over the IP addresses of particular users that they want to investigate, and then use this information to trace back to you.

In order to keep yourself safe, you need to use a VPN as well as having an anonymous account. A VPN works by funneling all of the data that your device produces through a separate server before it is sent on to any website. The data is encrypted on your computer and is sent to the server in its encrypted form, which means that no one can trace it or see what you are doing online. Then, at the VPN server, your data is decrypted and you are assigned a new IP address. This way, when you post to a website, your real IP address is hidden and your activity can only be traced to your VPN provider. The government cannot know your real IP address or your real identity. This means that you can post on websites without being tracked by the government.

Access Censored Websites With A VPN

As well as people being worried about repercussions for what they post online, another major problem of internet freedom in Pakistan is when certain websites are censored or temporarily blocked. This happens when the government decides that they do not want people to be able to access a website – either because the content that it contains is deemed inappropriate or is critical of the status quo. Then, the government compiles a list of sites that they want to be blocked whether permanently or temporarily.

This list of websites to be blocked is then sent to all of the internet service providers in the country. These ISPs are then legally required to prevent their customers from accessing the sites using their connections. Usually, ISPs achieve this by redirecting any queries for the websites in question to either a blank page or a restriction notice. This means that if the government decides to block YouTube, for example, you can still open your browser and go to youtube.com. But the webpage won’t load. This is because your ISP has specifically disallowed connections to youtube.com and so your browser can’t access it. Even if you tried to use the internet connection of a neighbour, or a public internet connection such as free wifi, you still wouldn’t be able to access the site because all of these other internet networks are supported by ISPs who have to follow the same rules about blocking websites.

The good news is that you can still access blocked or censored websites using a VPN. You can use a VPN to connect to a server somewhere else in the world that has better internet freedom – such as Sweden or The Netherlands. Once you have connected to a server in another country, all of your internet traffic will be routed via this server. That means that you will browse the web as if you were in this other country instead of Pakistan. You’ll be able to access a blocked website as the site is available from this other country. In the example above, YouTube might be blocked in Pakistan but it is still available in Sweden. So you use your VPN to connect to a Swedish server, and when you go to youtube.com in your browser, this request is sent via Sweden where the site is available. Thus can content be displayed on your device even if it should be blocked?

Top Recommended VPN Providers For Pakistan

These are just some of the reasons that internet users in Pakistan may want a VPN. However, when you come to choose a VPN you’ll notice that there are a huge number of different providers out there. So how do you know which VPN provider is right for your needs? You might be tempted at first to use a free VPN, but you should know that these free VPNs have major security issues and often make you less safe. Instead, you should use a reputable paid VPN that meets the following key factors:

  1. Strong security. In order to keep you safe, you need a VPN with excellent security features such as the use of strong 256-bit encryption so that your data can’t be cracked by others. You also want a VPN with a no logging policy so that there is no chance that your data could be handed over to the government or other organisation.
  2. Fast connection speeds. When you use a VPN, it will have a small impact on the speed of your internet because the data has to go through an extra step of encryption and decryption. However, a good VPN will offer connections that are so fast you barely even notice that it’s there.
  3. Plenty of servers all around the world. When you want to get around regional restrictions or censorship, you need to connect to a server located in another country so that you can access the internet as if you were physically present in that country. This allows you to view even censored content. To do this, you need a VPN provider who offers servers in many different locations around the world. Also, you want plenty of servers to choose from so that you can find one which is fast and reliable.
  4. Software that can be installed on many different platforms. Your VPN isn’t just for your main computer – you can also use the same subscription to simultaneously protect your phone, tablet, second computer, or other device like games consoles or smart TVs. As long as your VPN provider offers software that is compatible with the device that you use, you’ll be able to protect all of the data generated by that device.

Taking all of these factors into mind, the following are the VPNs that we recommend to stay safe when using the internet in Pakistan:

1. ExpressVPN – Best Overall

ExpressVPN is a top choice among VPN providers thanks to its strengths in all the key areas. It has everything you need from a VPN to keep you safe: excellent security, easy to use software, and fast connections. In terms of security features, you’ll find the essential security tools like 256-bit encryption to keep your data safe and a no logging policy to keep your information private. Plus, in the software you can find additional security features like a kill switch to stop you from accidentally sending unencrypted data, an option for DNS leak protection to prevent anyone from tracking you through your DNS use, and an IP address checker so you can ensure that your VPN connection is working before you use it.

In total, the proxy network is expansive, including 1500 servers in 94 different countries. True to its name, ExpressVPN offers extremely fast connection speeds, ensuring a smooth and seamless experiencing when downloading or streaming. Dedicated applications are available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android, plus some games consoles and smart TVs. There are even browser extensions available for the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari browsers.

Read our full ExpressVPN review here.

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2. NordVPN – Advanced Options

NordVPN is a VPN that is well suited to advanced users who want to be able to customise and tweak their VPN connections. As well as the basic features you look for in a VPN like the use of 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy, there are also advanced options like a CyberSec security option (which avoids ads and protects you from malware, phishing, and other threats), plus a general kill switch, an app-specific kill switch (which is ideal for torrent users) and the ability to change notification settings. The connections offered are fast and can easily handle HD video or large file downloads. And finally, in addition to the regular VPN servers there are also special servers which you can connect to for specific functions like P2P downloading, anti DDoS protection, or onion over VPN for the ultimate in anonymity.

All these features don’t complicate the user experience, however, which is intuitively organized and displayed. When you install the software on your device running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, or Windows Phone, you’ll find that it has an easy to use map interface which makes it a breeze to connect to whatever country or server that you need. Overall, you have a huge range of choices totalling 500 in 60 different countries.

Read our full NordVPN review here.

HUGE DEAL: Get a 77% discount on the 3 year subscription, just $2.75 a month! All plans are backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.

3. CyberGhost – Easist To Use

CyberGhost is ideal for those who are looking for a simple, easy to use app that doesn’t require you to have a lot of technical knowledge about how VPNs work. To use CyberGhost, you just open up the software and you’ll see a selection of icons for different kinds of connections. You just select the option that you want – for example, to browse the web anonymously, to unlock streaming websites, or to use torrents anonymously – and the connection will be automatically configured for you. You don’t need to worry about choosing a particular server or changing your settings. You can simply click and go, knowing that you are fully protected!

Matching the ease of setup is the depth of security offered by CyberGhost, with the use of 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy. The connections are plenty fast enough for streaming video or downloading files, and if you choose to connect to a server manually then you’ll find a network covering 1300 servers in nearly 60 countries. The software is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS.

Read our full CyberGhost review here.

DEAL: Get a 77% discount on CyberGhost’s three-year plan, for payments as low as $2.75 per month.

4. PureVPN – A Complete Security Package

PureVPN is not just a VPN, but includes a whole suite of digital security software. The VPN has the features that you need, like the ability to connect to servers located elsewhere in the world to keep yourself safe and to get around regional restrictions or censorship. The connections are speedy enough for everyday use, and there is an option for using strong 256-bit encryption on your data stream for unbreakable security. Perhaps most importantly, you can rest easier knowing there is a no content logging policy in place to protect your privacy. Finally, there are plenty of servers available for the VPN, with a total of 750 servers in 140 different countries.

In addition to this VPN service, a subscription to PureVPN also gives you access to a whole lot of extra security features such as anti-malware and anti-virus protection to keep your device free from unwanted software, an anti-spam filter for your email inbox, DDoS protection, app filtering, a kill switch, a dedicated IP address, and a NAT firewall. The software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Android TV devices, plus there are browser extensions available for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.

OFFER: Take advantage of an amazing 73% discount on a 2-year plan, just $2.95 per month! You can even try it risk-free with the company’s seven-day money back guarantee.

Conclusion

Internet users in Pakistan need a VPN to keep them safe and to be able to use the internet freely due to the restrictions and censorship on the internet there. With a VPN, the data about your online activities won’t be visible to the government or to any other outside observers, and you’ll be able to get around restrictions to access any page of the internet freely. We’ve recommended a selection of VPNs that are well suited to the needs of users in Pakistan.

Have you had issues with internet restrictions in Pakistan? And have you tried using a VPN there? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.

Read Best VPNs for Pakistan in 2018 That Aren’t Blocked by Georgina Jones on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter