What Is the Best Free VPN?

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for “virtual private network”. The easiest way to describe this is to imagine your private network at home, which only you can access, being expanded to be accessible to people on devices outside your home with your approval. It makes your private network available over a public network, but people still require approved access to use it.

VPNs are heavily favored with businesses, as they allow employees to work remotely and still have full access to all the relevant programs and information they would only otherwise be able to use in the office. They allow business private networks to be used anywhere a person has access to the internet, provided they have the correct credentials.

Some VPNs might also make use of encryption software to enhance security, but this is not a required feature. The basics of how a VPN works is by tunnelling under the existing public networks, to sort of piggyback along these connections, but remain secure.

There are three main types of VPN: remote access, intranet-based site-to-site, and extranet-based site-to-site. The site-to-site variations tend to be most commonly used by businesses while individuals often favor the remote access options.

Which free VPN is the best?

So what is the best free VPN you can use? Because the best VPN varies completely depending on your needs, this is not a simple question to answer. To be able to determine this, you need to consider whether you intend to use your VPN for business or personal activities. Companies and individual users have completely different needs when it comes to networks, and you need to make sure the VPN you choose will be able to support what you are wanting it to do.

Most free VPNs are targeted at individual users. This is because individual needs tend to be far less complicated and taxing than that of businesses. That is not to say there are no free VPNs that could support your business needs. But you will need to check their specifications closely to make sure they can handle the amount of traffic and users that will be relying on it.

Is there a completely free VPN?

Some VPNs are advertised as free, but some with sneaky hidden costs. Such is the nature of the Internet. While this is not necessarily companies being deliberately deceptive, they can sometimes come across as misleading. There are VPNs that are completely free and will never cost you a cent. But be aware that they tend to come with less features and flexibility than other versions that may attract a cost.

When searching for a free VPN, it’s worth your time to look closely and make sure that it is indeed totally free. Check the advertisement and company website closely to see if there are any hidden costs or fees. And also check that the VPN has everything you need to support your personal or business needs.

Is free VPN safe?

This is a common question, as one of the most important things to consider in choosing a VPN is safety. Whether you plan on using your VPN for personal or business needs, you will likely be accessing and sending sensitive information through it. Nobody wants to run the risk of unauthorised persons, or even criminals, obtaining access to these details. Some paid VPNs will boldly advertise themselves as being safer than free versions — and with good reason. This is an important marketing tactic, given the high premium people place on safety in general, with lack of education and alarmist advertising making online threats seem far more prevalent than they really are.

In truth, cyber-attacks on individuals are extremely rare. Small businesses likewise are unlikely to be targeted by hackers. When such attacks occur, it tends to be larger businesses that are at risk. This is because hackers need to go through similar processes in accessing VPNs, regardless of their size and risk versus reward is a key consideration. Bigger businesses usually hold more bankable information that is attractive to hackers.

Athough cyber-attacks on individuals are rare, they can lead to devastating consequences. Identity theft can not only be immensely stressful, but it can also end up costing a significant amount of money.

The good news is that most free VPNs are safe. As long as you select one that only allows access to people of your choosing, you can rest assured of your data likely remaining secure.

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What is ExpressVPN?

To some, the technology term VPN means very little. To others, it’s a solid form of online security that can help keep them safe with cruising the web. Given the amount of time that many of us are spending on our computers and smartphones accessing information via an internet connection, it’s perhaps good practice to investigate how a VPN can provide such security.
ExpressVPN is a VPN provider. But what is ExpressVPN and how does it differ from other services? Here we answer those questions plus list the pros and cons of the service are as a VPN provider.

What is ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN is a company that providers VPN software to its subscribers. That software and subscription allow users to establish a VPN or Virtual Private Network which provides another layer of security to a person using the internet. A VPN does this by encrypting the data that is transmitted over the connection and transferred through one of the VPN tunnels. Additionally, by establishing a VPN with one of ExpressVPN’s servers, the company also provides its users with the appearance of a new IP address. By masking a user’s true IP, ExpressVPN manages to stop that user from ever being tracked or traced.

What makes a good VPN?

Before looking at what the advantages of ExpressVPN are, it’s important first to highlight what makes a good VPN provider in the first place.

Connection speeds

A VPN needs to be able to provide a seamless user experience to all subscribers. If the resulting internet connection is slow and sluggish, the result is that users will simply not use the VPN software at all as it materially impedes their ability online.

Security features

A VPN must have good security features like a Kill Switch for example which cuts the internet connection automatically if the VPN drops out.

Military-grade encryptions

One of the ways that VPNs provide security is through encryption of the data transmitted. However, not all encryption was created equal. The best encryption will make use of 256bit encryption keys which are used by the US Government.

What are the advantages of ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN is a market leader down to the following important advantages it offers its customers:

Quick connectivity

When users establish a VPN with ExpressVPN’s software, they will experience little to no difference as they would do with a naked internet connection. As a result, customers use ExpressVPN each and every time they connect to the internet, thus keeping themselves safe at all times.

Large, worldwide network

Many people use VPNs to access sites that are only available in certain parts of the world. These geo-restrictions are put in place for various reasons, both legal or cultural. However, as ExpressVPN provides users with another IP address, users can appear to be in a country where certain sites are accessible. As ExpressVPN has a large worldwide network, it’s easier for users to connect to a server that will provide them with the required IP location that they need.

Excellent encryption

ExpressVPN uses the very best encryption methods, thus giving users peace of mind and allows them to browse anonymously with confidence. It uses the aforementioned AES-256 Bit protection but also makes use of its own private, encrypted DNS on each and every server it has. The result is that its entire network is optimized to provide the ultimate security for its customers.

What are the disadvantages of ExpressVPN?

With a market as big as the VPN market, there are going to be a few disadvantages to ExpressVPN when compared to its peers. They include:

Competitor pricing

Some may feel that ExpressVPN is too expensive for them. There are certainly cheaper alternatives on the market — though in terms of value per dollar, it’s hard to beat.

Simultaneous connections

Some of ExpressVPN’s peers are now offering unlimited amounts of simultaneous connections whereas ExpressVPN only allows five devices connected under one subscription plan.

ExpressVPN – Key takeaways

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs available on the market. It has a whole host of features that all work towards improving customer online security while never impacting a customer’s online experience. It should always be considered when looking at buying a VPN subscription as it continues to push the boundaries on what a VPN provider can and should offer its customers.

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Is NordVPN Safe?

Given the current global situation, many people are spending an increasing amount of time online. Even before the pandemic forced us all into being indoors and in our homes more, we were all using an internet connection for all manner of activities.
However, the rise of cybercrime and hacking is something that every internet user should be aware of. Cybercrime is a very real threat to all of us as hackers try ever more sophisticated ways to get us all to part with personally sensitive data. There are a number of ways that we can help protect ourselves online and one such means is a VPN, like one offered by NordVPN. But are VPNs safe? And more specifically, is NordVPN safe to use?
In this article, we look to answer that question by outlining the pros and cons of NordVPN’s packages and software. In doing so, we explore whether it’s safe for you to use while you’re online.

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It means that when you establish a VPN with a VPN provider such as NordVPN, you are setting up your own individual network — and therefore making it much harder for hackers to infiltrate your connection. Different providers offer different amounts of protection through VPNs, but at a very basic level, a VPN will encrypt any data that you send across a VPN making it impossible to read unless you have the encryption key.

Advantages to NordVPN

There are many advantages to NordVPN’s product that helps keep you safe online. They include:

Use of AES 256 Bit encryption

NordVPN uses military-grade encryption by employing the use of AES 256-bit keys. In short, this means that when your data is transferred, it’s almost impossible to crack into. In fact, no known hack has been able to do so as there are too many combinations needed to unencrypt the data that is transmitted.

No logs

Importantly, NordVPN does not take logs of its users’ activity. That means that whatever you do online with a NordVPN established, it’s not recorded. This means that those records cannot ever be given to third parties.

Kill Switch feature

The kill switch feature for NordVPN’s product means that your internet connection will cut out automatically if, for whatever reason, the VPN drops as well. This means that none of your data is ever exposed — even for a split second.

Hide IP address

Masking your IP address is one of the ways that a VPN makes you safe, and with so many servers to provide you with a different IP address, NordVPN has a big advantage over many smaller VPN providers. Masking your IP address makes it hard to track you online.

Disadvantages to NordVPN

NordVPN became a market leader for good reason, but there are still a few drawbacks that may put some people off using it for their safety concerns.

Some sluggish connectivity

It has been noted by some users in some countries, like Malaysia for example, that connection to those servers is a little slow. This can affect a VPN’s ability to provide security as it means that users are actually less likely to use a VPN at all.

Torrenting

Torrenting or peer to peer file sharing is one of the biggest reasons that people like to use a VPN, as it’s an extra layer of security. However, not all VPN providers offer this ability. While NordVPN does have a torrenting feature, the speeds at which it supports it are not very quick. 

Slow start up connection

On some platforms or apps for different operating systems, the initial connection to a NordVPN server can be slow. While it’s often well under a minute to establish such a connection, this is still far slower than many of us would like to see. The knock on effect could be that we don’t use a VPN at all and thus put ourselves at risk.

Is NordVPN safe?

Bearing in mind the safety features that NordVPN has in place, alongside its excellent connectivity, it’s often seen as an extremely safe VPN to use. Importantly, it does not log any of your online activity either. It means that you are safe while you are online and also after you have stopped using the internet. For the price of a cup of coffee a month, you can provide robust internet safety to you and six other devices under the same VPN subscription plan with this provider.

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Are VPNs Illegal?

VPNs are increasingly popular with individuals who travel a lot, who use the internet a great deal, or who are trying to improve their network protection and online privacy. But this technology remains controversial despite being around for years now. In this article, we examine what a VPN is and answer the question, “Are VPNs illegal?”. In doing so, we will eradicate much of the gray area that has arisen from the use of this technology.

What is a VPN?

A VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network, is a piece of software that hides your computer’s IP address and transmits data through an encrypted tunnel. The result is that VPN users are far safer from being hacked due to the encryption techniques used, but they are also difficult to locate given that their computer’s address is hidden.

The latter idea can be helpful when trying to unblock certain websites and get around the geographical restrictions that some pages have. For example, Netflix has different libraries of content depending on what country a user is in. If that user employs a VPN connection, however, they can mask their true location and thus access whatever Netflix library they choose.

VPNs – legal or illegal?

For the most part, using a VPN is legal. However, it’s important to note that using a VPN to carry out illegal activity is prohibited. What is illegal activity will depend on the country you are in. For example, looking at porn or accessing gay websites is illegal in some Middle Eastern countries yet legal in many Western countries.

While that may sound extreme to some, it’s imperative to remember that if you do use a VPN simply to get around a geo-restricted site while travelling, you’re still breaking the law. This is most commonly done when accessing video libraries like the aforementioned Netflix. Netflix only has the licenses available in certain countries to stream its content there. When you’re accessing Netflix content in a country that has not been licensed, you’re breaking the law.

So why use a VPN?

Using VPNs for other purposes can prove helpful and prudent in the quest to stay safe online. VPNs are a fantastic resource to tap when trying to up your cybersecurity. By masking your identity and encrypting your data, you’re making yourself that much more difficult to hack. Online criminals will not only find it difficult to access your data, but if they do, they then can’t read it as they won’t have an encryption key.

In what countries are VPNs illegal?

As briefly alluded to above, VPNs can be legal, but using them to commit illegal activity is a criminal act. However, there are some countries where VPN usage is totally illegal and in others, their usage is plagued by confusing bureaucracy. Here is a brief list of a number of countries where VPN usage can get you into hot water – though many people do still use them.

  • Belarus – Those using VPN services in Belarus are breaking the law.
  • China – China likes to monitor its civilians’ internet usage where VPN usage is banned or must be licensed by the government.
  • Iran – Any VPN services in Iran must be licensed with the Government and citizens can be penalised for using a VPN.
  • Iraq – VPN services are banned
  • Oman – If individuals are found using a VPN when in Oman, they can face a $1000+ fine.
  • Russia – Not all VPN providers have been approved in Russia. The ones that have will block particular content and sites.
  • Turkey – The authorities have started blocking VPN usage and can investigate users if they have been caught using one.
  • Uganda – ISPs in Uganda recently blocked all VPN services, though no law is in place saying they are illegal.
  • UAE – Using a VPN here to make a VoIP call is illegal as is using a VPN to access sites whose content is prohibited
  • Venezuela – recently VPN technology was halted by Venezuela’s biggest internet provider

Conclusion

Knowing how, where, and why to use a VPN is key to staying on the right side of the law. Knowing where you can use one legally and to access particular content is critical if you don’t want to find yourself in any legal trouble — especially in a foreign country.

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Do Phones Have IP Addresses?

Have you ever wondered if your phone has an IP address, or how exactly to access it? Maybe you’re curious whether it’s possible for other internet users to connect to your IP address. All these questions and more will be answered below.

What is an IP address?

First things first, let’s get a good understanding of what an IP address is. The abbreviation “IP” stands for “Internet Protocol”, while the address itself is a string of unique numbers. IP address is the special set of numbers given to any device connected to the internet, in order to enable the device to communicate with websites and other devices.

Similar to other devices connected to the internet, your phone has an IP address that enables websites to send messages to your device as well as tells other devices how to find you. For instance, when you go online to chat or shop, your message needs to be sent to the desired target, and the response needs to come back to you directly. Your IP address helps your device to successfully carry out this task.

Your IP address is usually assigned automatically by your internet provider, and you might not ever need to change it. Some individuals do not pay much attention to their IP addresses as it changes constantly.

Private versus public IP address

All devices connected to the internet have two IP addresses: private address and public address. The public address is what Wi-Fi uses at home. This address is referred to as public because other devices and computers around you are connected to this address to create a local network. Your public IP address is pretty much the same whether you’re using your phone, laptop, or desktop computer at home.

Know that if you are in a restaurant down the road your home IP address does not go with you; it will change because away from home you will be using a different network to connect to the internet.

Unlike the public address, a private IP address allows only one device to have a certain address on a particular network, although the same address can be used by another device that must be connected to a different network.

How to find your IP address

Interested to know exactly what your IP address is? You can figure this out pretty easily. When you check your IP address, you will either see an IPv4 or an IPv6. IPv4 addresses are usually shorter and limited in distribution compared to IPv6 addresses. To access your Android phone’s IP address, follow these tips:

  1. Go to Settings. on the Wireless & Network section
  2. Click on Wi-Fi or WLAN and select your own Wi-Fi connection. (Ensure you are connected to a Wi-Fi network)
  3. Click on the three dots at the top right corner
  4. Select the Advanced option

You should find your IP address and some other information about your network here. The IP address is usually at the bottom of the page. Read the guide explaining what an ip address is

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