Best VPN For LG Devices (Smartphones & TVs)

Owners of LG Smartphones and TVs can get a lot more out of their devices with a VPN. After all, the best VPN for LG will unblock geoblocked content, bypass Internet usage restrictions impose by school or work, and finally wrap your connection in an unbreakable layer of privacy-enhancing encryption.

LG Smart TV

A VPN is undoubtedly one of the best ways to ensure the privacy and security of your online activities. We want all our equipment to be protected and LG devices–smartphone or TV–are no exception. After all, both smartphones and smart TVs are constantly connected to the Internet, exposing us to all sorts of risks. This raises the question that we’ll do our best to answer: What’s the best VPN for LG smartphones and TVs?

After discussing what Virtual Private Networks are and how they work, we’ll talk about what their benefits are and what features one should be looking for when choosing a provider. Then, we’ll have a look at the specific case of LG devices and what special requirements they have. Finally, we’ll reveal the best four VPN providers that we’ve found for LG devices.

The Most Important Features Of Virtual Private Networks

There are way too many VPN providers out there, and their quality is infinitely variable. Picking the best solution can turn out to be a daunting task. We’ve assembled a list of the most important criteria to consider when selecting a VPN provider.

  • Performance and stability — Using a VPN adds some overhead that could slow down the communication. To minimize this, you need fast VPN servers. You want the service to be available when you need it, so you need a reliable supplier, one that has excellent uptime.
  • Number and location of servers — The more servers, the better the chances to find one that works and is not overused. But they need to be distributed throughout the world too so that you can bypass most geographic restrictions.
  • Strong encryption parameters — This is what makes your data almost impossible to crack. The higher the encryption, the harder traffic is to crack. Accept no less than 128 bits but 256+ is even better.
  • Available software for your platform — With the multitude of devices connecting to the Internet these days, we need to protect each and every one of them, regardless of their operating system.
  • Provision for simultaneous connections — Most of us have multiple devices that all need protection. Ideally, we want a single VPN account to protect all our devices.
  • Ease of use and setup — For obvious reasons. We want to be able to install and use the VPN easily. At the very least, it should be easy to sideload a VPN provider’s app onto your device.
  • No-logging policy — This is one of the most important privacy features. Even if your VPN provider were hacked or were forced to reveal information about your activity, they couldn’t if they don’t keep have any.

The Specific Case Of LG Devices

LG devices have special needs when it comes to VPNs. These needs are very different if you’re talking about smartphones or TVs, though. Let’s take a closer look at each platform.

Smartphones

LG smartphones typically run some version of Android. Another feature of smartphones is that they are always connected to the Internet, either through the cellular network or WiFi. This means that we need to find a VPN provider that has software available for Android. Ideally, this software that will connect automatically as soon as the phone starts to ensure we’re always connected. We need to keep this in mind when selecting our VPN provider.

TVs

Protecting LG smart TVs is a bit more complicated. The problem is that we can’t install VPN software on these appliances. There are, of course, ways around this.

One way is to use a computer as a gateway between the LG TV and the Internet. The TV connects to the computer, which itself connects to the Internet via a VPN tunnel. There are several ways to accomplish this depending on the connectivity (Ethernet or WiFi) of your TV and computer. Typically, your computer would be wired to the network and the TV would connect wirelessly to the computer.

The details of how to configure such a connection are well beyond the scope of our article. Furthermore, they vary depending on the exact model of your smart TV, your computer’s operating system and its network connectivity options.

From the standpoint of choosing a VPN provider, which is the subject of the article, what’s important is that we need to choose a provider that offers client software for your computer’s operating system.

Another way we can protect an LG TV behind a VPN is by running the VPN client software directly on our Internet router. The biggest advantage of such a setup is that all your devices can benefit from the same VPN protection. The good VPN providers all provide detailed instructions on how to install VPN software on many popular routers. Some even sell–either directly or through some partner–routers with preinstalled and preconfigured software.

Again, the specific details are beyond the scope of this article and they differ according to the provider you use and the specific brand and model of router. It is, however, another factor to consider when selecting a VPN provider and one that we’ve taken into consideration in our analysis of providers.

The Best Four VPN Providers For LG Devices

We’ve searched the web, tested several VPN providers, and come up with the best VPN for LG smartphones and TVs. All four have software available for the Android operating system but also for computer operating systems–such as Windows, Linux or MacOS–and all four support router installations and provide detailed instructions.

1. ExpressVPN

The best-known features of ExpressVPN are strong encryption protocols, blazing speeds, and a worldwide server network of over 3,000 servers spread across 94 countries.

ExpressVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol with 256-bit AES and perfect forward secrecy as a default. Furthermore, 4,096-bit DHE-RSA keys are protected by a SHA-512 hashing algorithm. They only have a partial no-logging policy, though. However, the only data they keep are the servers users connect to and the dates which they do so. Their Network Lock feature, similar to IPVanish’s kill switch will block all internet traffic if the connection ever drops.

An ExpressVPN subscription grants access to three devices simultaneously and, in addition to an Android app, there are desktop clients for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. You’re also covered if you want to install the VPN software on a router. Although they don’t offer preconfigured routers, they have detailed instructions for over a dozen models of routers from various manufacturers

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks US Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other streaming services
  • Super fast, reliable connection
  • AES-256 encryption
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Live Chat Support.
Cons

  • Slightly pricier than competition.
BEST FOR LG: ExpressVPN is our top choice for LG smartphones and TVs. Get 3 months free and save 49% on the annual plan. 30-day money back guarantee included.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN offers a true no-logging policy along with traffic encryption via 256-bit AES and 2,048-bit DH keys. DNS leak protection is also offered and enabled by default. Your subscription grants you access from six devices, one of the highest among our top providers.

Unlike other providers, NordVPN lets users pick servers based on usage preferences such as torrenting, anti-DDoS, or video streaming. They have 5,700 servers spread across 61 countries. Client apps for Android, Windows, and MacOS are offered and, although they don’t have a dedicated Linux client, they provide detailed instructions on how to set up their service on Linux. Router-wise, They offer four different models of preconfigured routers through a partnership with Flashrouters.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • Servers optimized for unblocking Netflix
  • Mind-boggling number of servers
  • Torrenting is explicitly permitted
  • Based in Panama
  • 24/7 Live Chat.
Cons

  • They can take 30 days to process refunds.
BEST BUDGET VPN: Get a huge 75% discount for signing up for the 3-year plan, taking the monthly price down to only $2.99. Also note that all plans come with a “no hassle” 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. IPVanish

IPVanish offers a fast service that emphasizes both security and privacy. They have a full no-logging policy and keep no metadata on users. Even their employees aren’t able to see what you’re doing.

By default, IPVanish uses the OpenVPN protocol with 256-bit encryption. They feature SHA512 authentication and DHE-RSA 2,048-bit key exchange with perfect forward secrecy. These parameters ensure that past activity remains unavailable, even if your account were compromised. IPVanish also features a kill switch that will disconnect the network should the VPN disconnect unexpectedly.

They have over 1,300 servers spread across 60 countries. A subscription allows five devices to connect simultaneously. Finally, there are apps for both Android and iOS as well as desktop software for Windows and MacOS. As for routers, IPVanish provides detailed instructions for most well-known router brands and they have partnerships with three suppliers offering routers with preinstalled VPN software.

Read our full IPVanish review.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: AddictiveTips readers can save a massive 60% here on the IPVanish annual plan, taking the monthly price down to only $4.87/mo.

4. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is best known for its encryption protocols which are said to be the best in the business. They offer 24/7 online customer support, a free 3-day trial, and a vast server network of some 700 servers spread out all around the planet.

Be aware that VyprVPN does not have a zero-logging policy. In fact, it’s one of the suppliers with the most logging. They store “the user’s source IP address, the VyprVPN IP address used by the user, connection start and stop time and the total number of bytes used.” They say, however, that data is retained only for 30 days and is mainly used to improve the service. They admittedly don’t log details of user activity.

VyperVPN encrypts data using the OpenVPN protocol with 256-bit AES encryption, 2,048-bit RSA keys without perfect forward secrecy and SHA256 authentication. An internet kill switch is included.

A subscription to a VyprVPN Pro account allows simultaneous connections from up to three devices. Client applications are available for Android, Windows, and MacOS. They also provide details Linux configuration instructions. VyprVPN offers a router app that installs over the Tomato OS, a customized operating system that runs on many routers from the major manufacturers. They do provide some instructions but the level of detail appears to be somewhat limited.

Read our full VyprVPN review.

READER SPECIAL: All plans include a 30-day money back guarantee at only $5/month.

What Are Virtual Private Networks?

In one sentence, Virtual Private Networks or VPN provide users with privacy and security while using the Internet. They accomplish that by encrypting all data transmitted or received using strong algorithms that render it undecipherable. We call them virtual because they establish a virtual tunnel between the protected device and a VPN server. All data in and/or out of the protected device is encrypted before being sent through the tunnel and is only decrypted and sent on the Internet when it reaches the other end of the tunnel.

How is the data secure if it is decrypted and sent on the Internet ar the far end of the tunnel, you may ask? Well, you still get increased privacy because, even though the data is not encrypted between the far end of the tunnel and its destination, it is still untraceable to you or to your equipment. Once the data exits the tunnel, it is seen as originating from the VPN server, not from your computer.

RELATED READING: What Are Virtual IP Addresses?

Furthermore, anyone (Internet Service Providers, government agencies or malicious users) trying to intercept your traffic and spy on you would do it on your end. And when using a VPN, this part of the communication is encrypted and anyone intercepting and examining your traffic only see undecipherable data between you and a VPN server.

Why Use A VPN?

There are many benefits to using a VPN in addition to increased privacy and security. Bypassing restrictions imposed by service providers, academic institutions or workplaces is possibly the main reason why people use a VPN. Accessing content that is limited to certain geographic locations is yet another use for a VPN. Finally, bypassing a country’s Internet access restrictions is also among the most common uses of Virtual Private Networks.

General Security And Privacy

The main benefit of Virtual Private Networks is an increase in privacy and security. They provide a very strong level of encryption that typically makes your data almost impossible to crack.

Feel free to type in passwords, enter credit card number of any kind or sensitive data and be assured that, with a VPN, your upstairs neighbour, the guy sitting across from you at the public library, your ISP or the authorities won’t see where you’re going or what you’re doing. Even if they intercepted your traffic, they would only meaningless garbage going to a VPN server.

Bypassing Usage Restrictions

Internet Service Providers, academic institutions, office environment and lots of public WiFi hotspots limit what you can do or where you can go on the Internet. It can be done to limit bandwidth usage, reduce time wasted by employees and students, protect copyright owners or just for better ethics and morality.

No matter what the reasons for the restriction are or the means employed to enforce them, using a VPN will usually allow one to circumvent them. It might not always work, though. As using a VPN has grown more and more popular in recent years, many organizations have gotten wiser and found ways to block VPN traffic. Fortunately, VPN client software has also gotten wiser and many can make their traffic look like “normal” traffic, thereby bypassing any VPN blocking.

Accessing Geographically Restricted Content

If you’ve ever tried to access an Internet resource only to be told that the content is not available in your region, you know what geo-blocking is. Many streaming media provider, for example, are licensed to provide content only in certain countries and will use geo-blocking. But what happens if you’re on vacation abroad and want to watch something from your home country? A VPN can help.

Geographic restrictions are usually enforced based on source IP address. If you were able to change your source IP address to one from an authorized region, you’d have access to that geo-blocked content. A VPN will do just that. All traffic reaching the destination will appear as coming from the VPN server’s IP address instead of your device’s. To access some content that’s only available, for example, in the US, all you have to do is choose a VPN server located in the US. Good VPN providers have servers in multiple countries and will allow you to pick where you want to connect.

Country-Based Restrictions

Some countries have strict limitations on Internet usage. China immediately comes to mind and many social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are blocked in that country–even Google searches are limited. And China is just one example. Several other countries impose similar limitations through methods such as destination IP filtering, transparent proxying and a handful of other techniques are used to enforce these limitations.

The means employed to restrict access are generally the same as those employed by organizations to enforce access limitation. And as such, the same features of Virtual Private Networks that allow bypassing any usage restrictions generally work for bypassing country restrictions. The major difference is that you have to make sure you are aware of the consequences of bypassing country restrictions in each jurisdiction. Unfortunately, we can’t really help with this.

Wrap up

What we’ve said about LG smartphones is probably just as true of any other smartphone running Android and what’s good for LG devices will likely be just as good for any brand. Similarly, whats good for LG smart TVs is also good for much any other smart TV, no matter what brand it is.

We hope we’ve been able to shed some light on this complicated matter. Choosing a VPN provider is always a difficult task but when you have to take into consideration some special requirements such as those of smart TVs where no client software can be installed, it can be even harder.

Did we manage to make the VPN selection process any easier for you? What is your favourite VPN provider? What main feature made you choose it and not another? Please, share your experience with us using the comments below.

Read Best VPN For LG Devices (Smartphones & TVs) by Renaud Larue-Langlois on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

11 Most Interesting (Legal) Deep Web Sites

You might be curious about the most interesting deep web sites, but intimidated by its reputation as a digital wild west. Today, we’ll show you how to explore the deep web safely with a VPN, Tor, and best security practices, plus recommend 11 of our favorite fully legal deep web sites.

Interesting Deep Web Sites 1 - Dark web surfer

Despite its reputation as a seedy underbelly of illegal trade, most estimates suggest the deep web actually has more legal sites than illegal ones. After all, some people just want anonymity, not contraband. Fire up your VPN and warm up your copy of Tor, we’re about to take a dive into the most interesting legal sites on the deep web.

Before Diving into the Depths, Get a VPN

Virtual private networks use encryption and basic anonymizing features to help you stay secure online. They wrap each packet of data in a heavy layer of cryptography, making them impossible to crack open. This affords a good level of core anonymity, and it can help you break through censorship barriers and keep your activities invisible on public networks.

Finding a decent VPN that can help keep you safe on the deep web is a tough order to fill. We combed through some of the best VPNs on the market and made a few recommendations below. Each one features 256-bit encryption by default, has a zero-logging policy on all traffic, and deploys DNS leak and automatic kill switch features, forming a strong backbone for all your online activities.

1. NordVPN

VPNs love to brag about the size of their server network. NordVPN has them all beat with one of the largest on the market, currently sitting at nearly 5,70 servers in 60 countries. NordVPN uses this incredible collection to provide some of the best privacy features around, including double encryption as well as onion over VPN routing.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • SPECIAL OFFER: 3-year plan (75% off – link below)
  • Different IP addresses aervers
  • Zero leaks: IP/DNS/WebRTC
  • Strict zero logs policy on both traffic and metadata
  • 24/7 Customer Service.
Cons

  • Not much
  • Can’t specify City or Province in App.
BEST BUDGET VPN: Get a huge 75% discount for signing up for the 3-year plan, taking the monthly price down to only $2.99. Also note that all plans come with a “no hassle” 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. VyprVPN

VyprVPN has some of the best privacy features of any VPN, largely thanks to the Chameleon protocol. Chameleon wraps encrypted data in an additional layer of cryptography, obscuring the metadata to prevent deep packet inspection. This lets it break through tough censorship barriers to keep you safe no matter where you live or which parts of the web you dive into. Choose from over 700 servers in 70+ countries worldwide to route your connection through for ultimate flexibility and anonymity.

Read our full VyprVPN review.

READER SPECIAL: All plans include a 30-day money back guarantee at only $5/month.

Preparing for the Deep Web

Assuming you’ve got your VPN in place, there are a few other things you’ll want to know before delving into the deep web.

Deep Web vs Dark Web

If the internet is like an ocean, the web we’re most familiar with is bobbing along the surface. Google, Facebook, Addictive Tips, Twitter, they’re all easy to find right at the top. A general rule is that if you can find a website by using a search engine, even if it’s tough to do, it’s part of the surface web (aka “clearweb”).

Stick your head below the waves and you’ll suddenly be in a world completely unlike the surface. Deep web content resides here, which are the sites and marketplaces that aren’t indexed by search engines. The majority of this content isn’t malicious or even illegal, it’s simply hidden membership pages blocked by login screens, private servers, or internal company websites. They’re online, but they’re secret. Going further down the rabbit hole, you’ll find dark web content–but only after some effort, as these deeper-web sites are intentionally obscured or hard to access.

Dark web and deep web are often used interchangeably, but the content most people refer to when discussing either is actually what we find in the deep web. Here, far below the surface of the great internet ocean, content is painfully difficult to find. No search engines knit sites together. If you want to find something, you have to know exactly where to look. Counterfeit goods and black markets prefer this part of the web, as it keeps out random strangers so they can cater to people hunting for something specific. There’s a lot more on the deep web than illegal stuff, though, which is what we’ll take a look at below.

Onion Links and Tor

Since deep web content doesn’t want to be found, they can’t use the kind of URLs we’re all familiar with. Getting a .com or .net address means registering with an external company, sending them your name and address, and so on. If you’re running a hidden website, you don’t want any of that. This is where .onion links come into play, and it’s one of the main reasons people use Tor on a daily basis.

Onion links are URLs that usually look like someone smashed their palms into the keyboard. This is intentional, of course, since it makes it more difficult to stumble across a site by typing words into an address bar. Completely legitimate surface level websites use onion links as a clever method of providing added privacy, as well, so don’t think of them as shadier versions of URLs. Onion links are simply site addresses that require access to an onion network to work. If you type an onion address into your regular browser, nothing happens.

This is where Tor comes into play. The Tor project is a well-used onion routing network that works seamlessly with the Tor Browser. Tor bounces your traffic through a series of anonymizing nodes, making it impossible to track a packet’s location. It’s actually a better anonymizer than a VPN, though it’s much slower in practice. By downloading the Tor browser you can access onion links and check sites on the deep web. You can alternatively use standard browser plug-ins to access onion links, but you’re sacrificing an enormous amount of privacy when you do so. To be safe, get Tor.

FULL GUIDE: How to Use Tor

Is it Legal to Access the Deep Web?

In general, yes, absolutely. Even in countries that have strict internet laws, simply using a website that’s part of the deep web or dark web doesn’t violate any laws. If the site you visit is a black marketplace, though, you’re definitely stepping across a legal boundary. Use a VPN + Tor, and stick legal deep web sites and you’ll be just fine.

A Note About Site Reliability

It’s frustrating when a link on the surface web is broken. On the deep web, however, this is pretty much the standard. Some estimates say as many as 76% of the links leading to deep or dark web content simply don’t work. This has to do with a lot of factors, most of which fall squarely in the category of “unregulated networking”.

Apart from having content available for deep web surfers, there’s very little incentive for creators to keep their content at 100% uptime. Servers reboot, sites change location, and there’s not much anyone can do about it. If a link doesn’t work, your best bet is to look for an alternative, then try again in a few days.

How to Access the Deep Web

Now that you know what you’re getting into, it’s time to make final preparations and dive in. We write a complete guide on how to access the dark web and deep web safely. Read it, follow the instructions, then come back and check out the site listings below.

Most Interesting Legal Deep Web Sites

Interesting Deep Web Sites 4 - Tor Browser

Got Tor warmed up and your TailsOS humming along quietly? Good, it’s time to check out some deep web content! While all of the sites below are completely legal, you’ll still want to use a measure of caution before stampeding across the underbelly of the web. Tor is a requirement for the onion links below, but you should also keep your VPN on, avoid downloading anything, and remember never to submit personal information to a site you encounter on the deep web.

To access each site below, simply copy and paste the onion link into your Tor browser.

1. Illinois Institute of Technology Tunnels

The IIT campus in Chicago is rich with hidden tunnels. Steam vents, service entries, abandoned telecommunications access ways, you name it. One dark net user has taken it upon himself to explore these areas and document his findings. Read all about it at the onion link below, complete with pictures.

  • http://62gs2n5ydnyffzfy.onion/

2. American Journal of Freestanding Research Psychology

Research papers are notoriously difficult to access, especially in academic fields like philosophy, science, and psychology. Journals are expensive to subscribe to, and buying reading right to single articles gets expensive fast. The onion-based journal aims to avoid that limitation. It’s actually legal to use, too, since all papers featured on the site were submitted by their original authors in an effort to make knowledge more accessible to the world.

  • http://qtsdq6tkszhxost2.onion

3. The Puzzle Room

Would you be surprised to hear that the deep web is filled with crazy conspiracy-inspired puzzles? Everything from HTML-based clicking riddles to honestly creepy ARG puzzles are linked from this single resource. The less we say about them the better. Don’t play late at night, you’ve been warned.

  • http://blueboxlxc4o7mvk.onion/

4. Hidden Clubs

Ever wanted a truly anonymous forum where you can talk or ask about anything that crosses your mind? Hidden Clubs does just that. You’ll need to create a free account to use it, which helps keep out spam and various bots. The site itself recommends using a fake e-mail address when you sign up, so do that, log in, then share your thoughts.

  • http://x7giprgefwfvkeep.onion/

5. Deep Web Radio

Wanna listen to some music? A number of creators have set up free radio streams, all linked from one central site. Stop by the page linked below, see what’s currently broadcasting, then choose a genre and start listening, secure in the knowledge that your music is anonymous!

  • http://76qugh5bey5gum7l.onion/status.xsl

6. Shadow Wallet

An interesting thing about bitcoin is that it isn’t fungible, meaning one coin doesn’t necessarily spend like another. If you know someone’s wallet address you can look up the coins they’re storing and find out their history. If a particular coin was used for an illegal trade, for example, it could be blacklisted and be essentially worthless. That’s where coin mixers come into play. Services like Shadow Wallet take the coins you store with them and tumble them around in an attempt to remove identifying markers. Think of it as an anonymity enhancement tool for your favorite cryptocurrency.

  • http://shadowrnzghb5zhb.onion/

7. Protonmail

You know the Swiss-based anonymous e-mail service? The company is so serious about online security that they provide onion access to their site. You can’t get better e-mail protection than this.

  • http://protonirockerxow.onion/

8. WikiLeaks Upload

Yes, the actual WikiLeaks. If you’re in a position to leak documents to the press but want to do so anonymously, this is how you do it. The onion address below takes you to the WikiLeaks upload page where you can fill in a few pieces of information and send your file in. There’s not much to look at if you don’t intend to add something to the service, but you never know when the link might come in handy.

  • http://wlupld3ptjvsgwqw.onion

9. not Evil

Google can’t index the dark web, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are a few sites that make it a point to index as many deep web sites as they can. not Evil is one such search engine. It’s simple, it’s slow, and you may not find what you’re looking for, but it’s the closest thing the deep web will ever get to a comprehensive search engine.

  • http://hss3uro2hsxfogfq.onion/

10. Bitmaila

E-mail is inherently unsecure and not anonymous. Even encrypted services leave some doors open for your identity to be discovered. Bitmaila works around that by providing a limited number of paid lifetime e-mail accounts that are completely divorced from your identity. You pay a small fee in bitcoin, then enjoy a simple but safe e-mail experience from there.

  • http://oxicsiwet42jw4h4.onion/

11. Dancing Monkey

An image of a dancing monkey against a color changing background. He says hello, apparently.

  • http://bf7k7vgdi73oe2um.onion

Conclusion

How do you find something that doesn’t want to be found? By tapping into the community of dark web users, that’s how! The list above only just scratches the surface of what’s on the deep web. By hitting up clearweb search engines and frequenting dark web forums, you can uncover all kinds of interesting content. Just remember to use Tor, a VPN, and a healthy amount of common sense!

Read 11 Most Interesting (Legal) Deep Web Sites by John Anthony on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

8 Best Browser Extensions for 2019

Whether you’re a casual or power user of the Internet, there are some must-have browser extensions that will enhance the utility of your favorite browser, boost your security, and overall improve your quality of life online. Today, we’ll cover the top 8 browser extensions, along with two of the best browser supported VPNs

Must Have Browser Extensions 2018 1 - Chrome Extension store

Surfing the web with a plain browser is so 1995. These days it’s all about the extensions! Browser add-ons boost the functionality of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari by providing features not included by the original developers. Many must-have browser extensions are aimed at keeping you safe online, while others add new core features or tweak websites to make them easier to use. We picked out some of the best browser extensions for 2019 that are guaranteed to enhance your online experience.

Protect Your Data with a Browser VPN Extension

Virtual private networks are the foundation of a secure online experience. They protect your identity, they keep you hidden online, and they even help you break through censorship barriers. Using a VPN is an incredible way to lock down your data so you never have to worry about your privacy again.

Dangers of Free VPN Extensions

You should never, ever use a no-fee VPN. Not on any device and not under any circumstances. The only exception is when paid services offer a free trial version of their product. Free VPNs aren’t making money off of their users, calling to mind the saying “If you’re not a paying customer, then you’re the product.”

Since free VPNs need revenue to run their servers, they have to resort to other methods, which includes but certainly isn’t limited to selling your private data. Paid VPNs are motivated to actually keep you safe, and they’re inexpensive enough that a subscription won’t break the bank.

RELATED READING: How VPNs make you less safe

Best VPNs with Browser Extensions

We compared some of the top VPNs on the market, analyzing their encryption methods, security policies, and software availability. Two emerged as top picks in the industry, and both offer simple extensions you can use to bring encryption to your browser traffic.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN is an incredible service with one of the largest networks in the industry. The list is constantly growing, but at the time of writing it sits at just around 5,700 servers in 60 countries, enough to provide lightning fast, low lag connections around the world. This network is secured by strong 256-bit AES encryption along with kill switch and DNS leak protection features, and NordVPN’s zero-logging policy covers everything from timestamps to traffic, DNS logs, and more. And if you’re looking for added features like DDoS protection, onion over VPN routing, or double encryption, NordVPN is definitely the choice for you!

NordVPN offers a VPN proxy extension compatible with all major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer (Edge). It’s a fast install, and it stays out of the way while keeping you safe on the web.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • SPECIAL OFFER: 3-year plan (75% off – link below)
  • Fast and stable connections
  • Torrenting/P2P explicitly allowed
  • Based in Panama
  • Great customer service via chat.
Cons

  • Some servers can be unreliable
  • They can take 30 days to process refunds.

2. PureVPN

PureVPN is more than just a VPN provider, it’s an all-in-one security suite that can help keep you safe on the web. Added features like virus protection, malware shields, app blocking features, and DNS level website filtering extend PureVPN’s protection beyond simple encryption. You also get the benefit of 2,000+ servers in 140 different countries, a zero-logging policy on all traffic, DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and 256-bit AES encryption!

PureVPN offers easy to install browser extensions for both Chrome and Firefox. They bring all of the services biggest features to the table, keeping you safe from privacy attacks along with malware and viruses, too.

Read our full PureVPN review.

READER SPECIAL: Save a massive 74% here on the 2-year plan, just $2.88/mo with a 31-day money back guarantee.

Best Browser Extensions for 2018

Most modern browsers support extensions of some kind. The two main ones, Chrome and Firefox, have the largest marketplaces and attract more reliable add-ons than the rest. Smaller browsers can often use these same extensions if they’re built upon a Chromium or Firefox core. Our list below includes a selection of add-ons for all the main browsers.

uBlock Origin (Chrome, Firefox, Safari)

Must Have Browser Extensions 2018 4 - uBlock Origin

The browser ad blocking marketplace has seen some fierce competition. The initial leader of the pack, Adblock, was everyone’s default install for years. In recent times the extension has been on the receiving end of several copycat scams, tarnishing the brand name to the point that many users avoid it out of habit. The extension also made the controversial move to allow certain “acceptable” ads by default. It’s a good move in theory, but as most fans were quick to point out, they should be the ones who decide what’s acceptable, not the extension developers.

While Adblock struggled to stay relevant, uBlock Origin quietly stepped up to the plate. This open-source and free extension included all the features power users wanted most without imposing its own settings. It shuts down pop-ups, blocks banner ads, kills invasive links before they appear, and much more. Everyone can use uBlock without any kind of detailed setup, and if you want to customize the experience, there are more than enough tools to make that happen.

uBlock Origin is the go-to ad blocking extension for 2018. It should be the first thing you install on a new browser, as it helps keep you safe by providing an easy to use ad-free web browsing experience.

Privacy Badger (Chrome, Firefox, Safari)

Must Have Browser Extensions 2018 5 - Privacy Badger

The web isn’t what it used to be. Back in the old days you could stumble from site to site, looking at people’s random creations without a care in the world. Now, your actions are tracked, catalogued, sold, and used to shove more advertisements in your face, all in the name of profit. This is frustrating, for sure, but it’s also an incredible breach of privacy. Can’t we just relax and look at a few websites in peace?

Privacy Badger says yes, we can. The browser extension was developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an entity that exists solely for the purpose of protecting our online freedoms. Privacy Badger stops tracking scripts before they run, preventing websites from monitoring your activity across domains. It also kills certain spying ads and prevents other data sharing code from running. With Privacy Badger active you can enjoy the web once again. No more worries about losing your personal data. You’re safe and sound with this badger on the lookout.

HTTPS Everywhere (Chrome, Firefox, Safari)

Must Have Browser Extensions 2018 6 - HTTPS Everywhere

There are roughly two types of traffic your web browser handles: standard HTTP and encrypted, secure HTTP, called HTTPS. The former has been the default protocol for decades. In fact, it’s the very reason why all URLs begin with those familiar four letters. As the internet grew and spread across the world, security concerns started to increase. HTTP is great and all, but it’s easy to intercept and doesn’t offer any kind of protection. If you log into your bank account, for example, anyone with the right software can see your information as plain as day.

HTTPS was created to add encryption to the old standard protocol. Most browsers show sites that use HTTPS by displaying a green padlock icon in the top URL bar. Seeing this means data sent by the site is secure. It’s an absolute requirement for any kind of online shopping, banking, or other transactions using personal data, but it’s increasingly being used by basic websites for added protection, as well.

The HTTPS Everywhere extension was created by the EFF to force certain websites to send all of their data in HTTPS format. This prevents unencrypted packets from sneaking in unannounced, and it ensures data stays safe even if the secure connection fails for some reason. Along with Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin, this should be one of the first extensions you add to any new browser install.

The Camelizer (Chrome, Firefox, Safari)

Must Have Browser Extensions 2018 7 - Camelizer

If you’re a living human who has bought anything on the internet in the past few years, at least some of those purchases probably went through Amazon. The retail giant practically owns the online retail space, offering a better selection, faster delivery, and better prices than smaller service can even dream about. This domination has put the company in the enviable position of manipulating prices as it sees fit. It’s easy to score deals on Amazon, but did you know that most of the time you’re still over-paying for your goods?

The Camelizer is here to save the day. This browser extension from the folks at CamelCamelCamel provides invaluable graphs and sales data for just about every product on the Amazon marketplace. Looking to buy a printer? Find one that meets your needs on Amazon, then open The Camelizer. You’ll see a recent history of price spikes and drops for both marketplace sales and third party offers, letting you see the highs and lows in one quick glance. If the product is in the middle of the road, you can wait for it to fall back to a historic minimum, as simple as that.

The Camelizer is all about saving you money. It’s easy to use, it’s free, and it turns your random Amazon binges into smart, informed purchases every single time.

DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials (Chrome, Firefox)

Must Have Browser Extensions 2018 8 - DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn’t track you, has slowly expanded its presence beyond simple web searching. The company is concerned with online privacy just like the rest of us. To that end, its newer offerings include browser extensions like Privacy Essentials. This straightforward add-on provides anti-tracking tools and easy-toggle protection settings that keep data secure across the web. It also flashes handy letter grades for each site you visit, showing you at a glance how invasive the current site is and what you can do to fix it.

Malwarebytes (Firefox)

Must Have Browser Extensions 2018 9 - Malwarebytes

Anti-virus protection these days is a minefield of unreliable apps and outright scams. Some of the biggest anti-virus companies have been caught peddling worthless software. Even if the scanner works, it probably eats up system resources and is filled with third party installs. Most people stick with their operating system’s provided scanner, which is enough to keep you safe from the biggest threats out there.

One of the few good virus scanners still around is Malwarebytes. The company has slowly expanded over the years, starting with downloadable software and eventually moving into the browser extensions world. The scanner is now available as an add-on for Firefox, bringing the power of real time scanning, malware protection, ad/tracker blocking, clickbait security, and scam protection to your browser without crippling your internet speeds.

Re-Pagination (Firefox)

In the never ending fight for better SEO ranking and higher advertising revenue, a number of popular websites have switch to a rather annoying format. Instead of presenting information on a single page, these content peddlers split things into a dozen or more pages. Want to see the top ten browser extensions? You’ll have to click through ten different pages, one per section. That’s incredibly frustrating, so much so that a lot of users simply leave those sites instead of put up with the click fiasco.

Re-Pagination looks to change this trend by organizing clickbait pages into a single screen of content. If you encounter one of these slideshows, all you have to do is right click on the screen and tell Re-Pagination to do its thing. Content will be fetched in the background and the page will slide into order, saving you dozens of clicks in the process.

Behind the Overlay (Chrome, Firefox)

Have you ever been reading a website when suddenly a message pops up in your face demanding you sign up for a newsletter? Overlays have become an incredible nuisance in recent years. They’re especially frustrating on mobile devices, as they can block the entire site without the option of closing them.

Behind the Overlay lets you get rid of these pop-overs with one quick click. No need to search for the close button or wait for a timer to count down. Just keep the extension active and blast those overlays out of the way as soon as they appear. It’s not quite as good as blocking them outright, but we’ll take anything at this point!

How to Stay Safe While Installing Extensions

Just because an extension exists doesn’t mean its safe. Add-on marketplaces are filled with broken code, data-stealing extensions, and fake add-ons that do nothing but put you in danger. You can stumble across these at any time, as they’re not always easy to spot at first glance. Use the tips below to make sure you stay safe while installing new content on your browser.

  • Stay alert while searching – If you search for a product by its name, the real thing isn’t guaranteed to pop up first. Make sure you’re installing the extension you intend by checking the details before clicking the “add” button.
  • Check the developer – Always check the developer name before downloading an add-on. It’s easy for malicious coders to snag a company’s name and use it in their unauthorized product. If you know and trust the creator, though, you’re safe.
  • Use official sources – Searching on extension marketplaces isn’t always the best place to look for new content. If you find an add-on you like, hunt down the official website and use the links they provide.
  • Read the reviews – Extension reviews let you gauge content’s usefulness. They can be fake, sure, but if there are hundreds of them with legitimate content, the add-on is likely safe to use.
  • Don’t install tons of add-ons – The simplest solution is often the most powerful. If you don’t need an add-on, don’t install it in the first place. Stick to the basics!

Also, check out our guide on the 5 essential tips for safer Internet browsing.

Conclusion

Browsers handle the vast majority of our online traffic. We use them for work, to relax, to check our social media accounts, and even to play games! Enhancing your browser experience with the right extensions is a great way to improve your daily internet routine. Got any must-have add-ons you think the rest of us should know about? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Read 8 Best Browser Extensions for 2019 by John Anthony on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPN for Netflix (Tested) Working in 2019 to Unblock Netflix

If there’s one reason most people want to use a VPN, it’s to unblock Netflix. Unfortunately, the media giant has erected some formidable barriers that run of the mill providers just can’t beat. Today, we’ll show you the best VPNs for Netflix that are tested and proven to work in 2019.

In the same way that Amazon has revolutionized the way we go shopping, and Uber has changed the way we hire a cab forever, so Netflix has fundamentally redesigned the way we watch TV and movies. And in the same way that Amazon and Uber have enjoyed huge commercial and popular success, so too has Netflix, with more than 93 million subscribers spread over more than 190 countries.

But Netflix does have one significant user issue and that is the regional variation in its service. Because although Netflix is proud that it is available in just about every country in the world, each location receives a different service and at a different price.

This is because Netflix has to buy up the rights to stream the TVs and Movies on its service and these are sold by country. That means that, apart from the programs that it makes itself unless it can buy up the rights to a show globally, it is only able to stream that show in the countries where it holds the rights.

Whilst Netflix is the biggest name in the online streaming marketplace, it is by no means the only one, and there is competition for those rights. Sadly, the upshot is that the service Netflix users receive can vary wildly.

SPOILER ALERT: These are the best VPNs for Netflix

Updated: September 3rd, 2019

How to bypass the geo-block

The benchmark for what Netflix should be offering can be found in their home country, the USA. Netflix USA offers by the far the biggest selection of shows and movies and also one of the most competitive subscription prices. This is why many global users look for a way to get access to Netflix USA rather than sign up for their own countries service. Of course, Netflix uses geo-blocking to try and stop anyone outside the USA from being able to use their Netflix US service.

This is where a VPN comes in because, with a VPN, users can change their IP Address by connecting to a VPN server based in the USA. This fools services like Netflix into thinking they are located in the USA when they aren’t and allow them to sign up and enjoy the best of Netflix wherever they are.

For users who have chosen to go with their local version of Netflix, a VPN is also a useful tool as it means when you travel overseas, you will still be able to access your local service as usual.

Can a VPN really help unblock Netflix?

The most clued up amongst you will be at this point be thinking, ah, but didn’t I read somewhere that Netflix is now blocking VPNs from accessing the service.

Yes, you did, and yes Netflix is now trying to do this. Why? Because the rights owners, most notably the major Hollywood film studios, who they do deals with are demanding it, and Netflix cannot operate if it doesn’t retain the support of those rights holders.

But the key word is trying because trying to block VPNs is not a precise science. The only real way to achieve it is to individually identify IP Addresses linked to VPNs and then block them. But this is not easy to do.

Firstly, there are countless VPNs out there and most will offer users hundreds if not thousands of different IP Addresses to choose from. Secondly, VPNs are adding new IP Address all the time and either replacing or rotating IP Addresses that users are connected to.

This means that what Netflix have done is create a ‘Cat and Mouse’ game where they try and catch the IP Address, but as soon as they do the VPNs can change them. When the Netflix crackdown first started, many people thought Netflix would soon tire of this game when they realized it was one they couldn’t win. But Netflix has been persistent and has had an impact on users of quite a few VPNs.

But not all of them. There are still plenty of VPNs that can allow you to use Netflix regardless of where in the world you are. And in this article, we are going to outline our pick of the very best ones.

RELATED READING: How the Netflix VPN Block Works (and How to Bypass it)

How we tested

To make it onto our list of the Best VPN for Netflix, a VPN provider must meet the following criteria:

Best VPNs for Netflix

Using the criteria above, we have analyzed and road-tested all of the top VPNs across the market to assess which offer the best service for accessing Netflix USA. Our conclusions are that these four VPNs are the best around for users who want to be able to access Netflix USA:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is just about the best VPN on the market period. It offers an overall service which has almost nothing to criticize and is available on all the main Operating Systems. Their security is fantastic, with their entire network being SSL secured with 256-bit encryption. Their privacy policies are top of the range too. Being based in the British Virgin Islands mean they can offer a guaranteed no-logs rule you can trust. They also own their own DNS Servers, which adds an extra layer of privacy protection.

But why are they one of the best VPNs for Netflix? Firstly, they are fast. Their connection speeds are amongst the fastest I have found with any VPN provider. And equally importantly, their connections are also consistently quick. I have run Netflix across different servers and never encountered a change in performance.

As far as the number of servers goes as well, they are also right up there with the very best. They currently have 3,000+ servers in 145 cities across 94 countries. For Netflix users, the import server figures are in the USA, where ExpressVPN offers numerous servers in locations including New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Most importantly, can they offer guaranteed access to US Netflix? Yes. A look at the dedicated Netflix page on their website suggests that it is service as usual for ExpressVPN customers. That’s not quite true. But they do guarantee a number of selected US servers will connect to Netflix at any one time. These may change occasionally, and ExpressVPN has requested that we don’t identify these servers publicly. But once you have subscribed their live chat helpdesk will tell you which ones to use, and I can vouch for the fact that they work, and work well.

ExpressVPN is also one of the few services that does work with the Netflix app too. This means it is a great choice for those who like to watch Netflix content on the move, or just prefer the convenience an app offers.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • SPECIAL OFFER: 3 months free (49% off – link below)
  • 94 countries, 3,000+ servers
  • OpenVPN, IPSec & IKEv2 Encryption
  • No logging policy well enforced
  • Great support (24/7 chat).
Cons

  • Month-to-month plan has high cost.
BEST FOR NETFLIX: ExpressVPN is practically tailor-made for unblocking smooth, international Netflix streams. Get 3 months free and save 49% on the annual plan. 30-day money back guarantee included.

2. NordVPN

Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN is a long-established and highly regarded name in the VPN Market. This reputation has not developed by chance either as they are another provider which offer a top of the range service across all the main platforms, and which also works with the Netflix app.

Their encryption isn’t quite as strong as ExpressVPN’s but they still offer 256-bit encryption on OpenVPN with 2,048-bit Diffie-Hellman keys which is still better than many of their other competitors. They are based in Panama which means their privacy policies are faultless and their no-logs guarantee is another you can rely on.

One area where they could perhaps improve is on connection speeds. I should stress that running Netflix across various servers for this article I did not encounter any speed problems. But in the past, I have found that speeds can vary depending on which server you connect to and this is something they should be working on.

As far as server locations are concerned, NordVPN offers just around 5,700 servers across 60 countries. A total of 1,906 of these are based in the United States. However, connecting to Netflix through NordVPN is not quite as simple as just choosing a server and then logging in.

NordVPN has been targeted by the Netflix block, as they readily admit online, but they do have an additional tool which helps them get around the problem. They call this their SmartPlay technology and using it allows access to all online streaming platforms, including Netflix.

They are understandably reluctant to explain how it works, and I am not going to spend time speculating here, but It is a type of proxy service, and most importantly it does work. I can vouch for that personally.

Smartplay used to not be available across of NordVPNs apps, with the iOS app not offering it. But it has now been built into the core VPN software, meaning that when needed it is triggered automatically, without the need for users to turn it on and off. This is a definite improvement and a good reason why NordVPN is a great option.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer without breaking a sweat
  • Extensive server park of over 5,400 different servers
  • Strong security features
  • Extra-secure Double VPN for data encryption
  • Customer Service (24/7 Chat).
Cons

  • Refund processing can take up to 30 days.
BEST BUDGET VPN: Get a huge 75% discount for signing up for the 3-year plan, taking the monthly price down to only $2.99. Also note that all plans come with a “no hassle” 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is operated by Golden Frog and is another well-known name in the VPN world. Their encryption is as good as any of their rivals and they also offer a guaranteed no-logs policy with regards to the content of sites and services that you visit.

However, they do keep connection logs, which include data such as the User’s home IP Address, the VyprVPN IP Address you connected to, the connection start and stop time, and the amount of data transferred. If you are using your VPN purely for streaming content on Netflix and are not concerned about your online privacy, not trying to stop your ISPs recording and selling your online information, and planning to download any Bittorrent files, this won’t be a problem.

But we know that many users want a VPN to provide privacy protection as well as access to Netflix, and if that applies to you, then the other VPNs on this letter are a better choice for you.

VyprVPN’s speeds are fast, but if I am being completely honest, not the fastest in the world. For the average Netflix user, they should be more than sufficient to stream what you want to watch. I have certainly never had problems using it.

They have increased the number of servers they offer users dramatically over the past 12 months too. Today they have more than 700 available around the world. In the US, they have servers available in Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC.

The VyprVPN website confidently claims that they not only offer access to Netflix but that it is the fastest access you will find. I’m not so sure about the second part, but it is certainly true that all of the US servers I have tested have worked and the service has functioned well.

They do also offer a service called Chameleon which they claim is a specialist tool for defeating VPN blocking. However, VyprVPN officials insist that this is not needed to connect to Netflix USA and in my experience, they are correct. It’s a good thing too, as Chameleon is only available with their more expensive premium package.

Read our full VyprVPN review.

READER SPECIAL: All plans include a 30-day money back guarantee at only $5/month.

4. StrongVPN

Like all of the other VPNs on this list, StrongVPN operates across all the major operating systems and offers a level of encryption which is more than sufficient for most users. Their default protocol is OpenVPN with 256-bit encryption and SHA512. They are based in the USA, which means that whilst they proclaim to have a no-logs privacy policy, they will be required by US law to retain certain information about user activity.

As with VyprVPN, some Netflix users will not be concerned about this, but others might be. StrongVPN does, however, own their own servers, which is an extra level of privacy guarantee which not all providers can offer.

In my experience, StrongVPN’s speeds are good, without being outstanding, across all servers. The number of servers they offer is not as high as some others, with a total of 650+ servers but spread across just 24 countries and 46 different locations. The US is well represented though, as would be expected from a US-based provider.

At the time of writing, there were two US-based StrongVPN servers (Miami and Atlanta) which were unable to connect to Netflix. But the rest of the servers worked well.

If you encounter more problems than I did (and there is no reason to think you will) StrongVPN do offer a workaround solution. However, I wouldn’t recommend giving it a go unless you have at least a basic degree of technical knowledge.

One downside to StrongVPN is that their service will not allow you to stream content on the Netflix app, so if you are planning to watch Netflix content on the go, StrongVPN are not the best choice for you.

SPECIAL OFFER: Sign up for a yearly plan with our 42% discount, just $5.83/mo. Get an extra 20% off with coupon code TAKEOFF20, plus enjoy a 30-day money back guarantee.

Concluding thoughts

The VPN market is a crowded one and with Netflix a big draw for users, almost all VPNs claim to be able to access it. But the hard truth is that Netflix has had success with its attempt to block VPNs and some of these claims are more reliable than others.

With VPNs discounting hard to get people to sign up for longer periods, it is easy to mislead users and then, once they money has been paid, reveal that the service isn’t quite as good as was advertised. But in this article, I have identified four VPNs which genuinely do offer access to Netflix, no matter where in the world you are.

All are established names, but all have their strengths and weaknesses, so it is up to the individual user to decide which one is right for me.

For me, a VPN is a security and privacy tool as well as a means to access Netflix and for that reason, ExpressVPN and NordVPN, whose privacy provisions are marginally more reliable that the others would edge ahead in my reckoning.

But if you are looking for a VPN solely to enable you to access Netflix, then all of these will do the job, and do it well.

Read Best VPN for Netflix (Tested) Working in 2019 to Unblock Netflix by David Spencer on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Most Secure Web Browser: What’s the Best for PC or Mobile?

It’s never been more important to ensure you have the most secure browser on your device. Today, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about what makes for a secure browser, how to identify the best choice for your system, and how to bring your Internet privacy to the next level with a VPN.

Most Secure Browser

Every time you connect to the internet, the first thing you do is open a web browser. These unassuming pieces of software are our portal to the online realm. They can also make or break our anonymity and privacy, making them a key target for hackers and malware developers.

With security gaining prominence in the public eye, a number of browser developers have begun focusing on creating a more private environment in their products. We’ve collected the most secure of these browser below, ensuring you stay safe no matter which device you use.

What Makes a Browser Secure?

The most secure web browsers put a premium on our privacy. They block malicious scripts, they prevent ads from tracking us, and they can even encrypt our data to make sure no one can follow our online activity. There are a few main areas browsers focus on to help keep us safe on the web, including the categories below.

Built-in Features

Most modern browsers have a robust security section in their configuration page. These come with a few basic privacy features that help keep you safe online, including things like Do Not Track requests, password managers, cookie settings, and so on. A few offer malware and phishing protection through third party services, but this feature is far from standard.

Extensions

Third party extensions provide services and features browser developers can’t include on their own. Some of them are useful, some are just for fun, and some turn your standard web browsing into a powerhouse of online security. Most modern PC browsers based on a Chromium or Firefox core will accept extensions by default. You can use them to add new security features like encryption, ad blocking, script blocking, or VPN protection. Make sure you only access reliable third party extensions, however, as they can also be used to steal your data and compromise your security.

RELATED READING: Are VPN Browser Extensions Safe?

Preventing User Error

Simple user error is the biggest cause of privacy breaches, things like leaving your web history intact or forgetting to log out of an account on a public device. Browsers usually can’t do anything about this issue, though there are some that include incognito or privacy tabs that help keep your activity safe from local attacks.

LEARN MORE: 5 Essential Tips for Safer Browsing

Better Browser Security with a VPN

Virtual private networks can help you take your online security to a new level. They provide base-level encryption for all your internet activity, and they also protect your identity by routing traffic through a non-local server network. Using a VPN with the above browsers is an incredible way to lock down your data so you never have to worry about your privacy ever again.

We took a look at some of the most popular and well-respected VPN services on the market, evaluating each one for speed, security, and ease of use. Below are our top picks for the best VPN to use for general web browsing. Some even include browser extensions you can install for premium protection.

1. ExpressVPN

The ExpressVPN service is fast, friendly, and easy to use, making it one of the best VPNs around. The service’s software is designed for quick one-click access to a high speed connection, no fussing around with ugly menus or complicated configuration pages. You also get to take advantage of 256-bit AES encryption, a zero-logging policy on all traffic, and both kill switch and DNS leak protection.

ExpressVPN’s 3,000+ servers cover 140 locations in 94 different countries. This means better speeds and lower latency scores no matter where you live, work, or travel. Many of ExpressVPN’s apps even offer built-in speed tests so you can verify you’re getting the fastest connection possible.

ExpressVPN comes with browser extensions for three major platforms: Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. You can install it on any browser built on the same core as these products, as well.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks American Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu
  • Reliable and fast connections
  • Govt-level AES-256 encryption
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Great support (24/7 chat).
Cons

  • Slightly pricier than competition.
BEST FOR BROWSERS: ExpressVPN is secure browser’s best friend, with incredible encryption and a powerful server network. Get 3 months free and save 49% on the annual plan. 30-day money back guarantee included.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN has stayed near the top of the VPN lists for years, all thanks to the company’s incredible network of servers. The list is always growing, but right now it sits at just around 5,700 servers in 60 countries, the largest in the industry. This massive number of nodes means you’ll never have a hard time getting fast downloads, no matter where you live. NordVPN also delivers strong 256-bit AES encryption for all connections, offers kill switch and DNS leak protection, and deploys a thorough zero-logging that covers timestamps, traffic, DNS logs, and more. NordVPN also has dedicated servers for added DDoS protection, onion over VPN routing, and double encryption, making it one of the most secure VPN providers around.

NordVPN offers VPN proxy services compatible with all major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer (Edge). There’s no dedicated extension or plug-in app, but it’s a great way to double up on your browser’s security.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • Highly affordable plans
  • Fast and stable connections
  • Strong encryption is used on all connections
  • No logs and encrypted connections for total privacy
  • Money back guarantee policy (30-days).
Cons

  • Some servers can be unreliable
  • Apps can sometime be slow to connect.
BEST BUDGET VPN: Get a huge 75% discount for signing up for the 3-year plan, taking the monthly price down to only $2.99. Also note that all plans come with a “no hassle” 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. PureVPN

Looking for more features from your VPN service? PureVPN is the way to go. This unusual provider goes far beyond the usual encryption and geolocation options to provide a ton of added security benefits for subscribers. Ever wanted virus protection, malware shields, app blocking features, or DNS level website filtering? PureVPN’s got it all, each one integrated into the service for easy and complete online safety.

PureVPN’s dedicated VPN features are nothing to ignore, either. The company offers 256-bit AES encryption, a zero-logging policy on all traffic, DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch, all backed by a sturdy network of over 2,000 servers in 140 different countries for fast connections worldwide. You can even install PureVPN using Chrome and Firefox extensions.

Read our full PureVPN review.

READER SPECIAL: Save a massive 74% here on the 2-year plan, just $2.88/mo with a 31-day money back guarantee.

4. IPVanish

IPVanish offers a superb balance of speed and security, features most other VPNs struggle to get right. The service is ideal for video streaming, torrents, and anyone who enjoys Netflix, YouTube, or Kodi. IPVanish keeps you safe and secure with 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch, along with smart privacy practices that include a zero-logging policy on all traffic. IPVanish also operates a network of over 1,300 servers in 60+ different countries, meaning you’ll get a fast connection and incredibly low latency no matter your location.

Read our full IPVanish review.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: AddictiveTips readers can save a massive 60% here on the IPVanish annual plan, taking the monthly price down to only $4.87/mo.

The Most Secure Browser for PC

Mobile devices have been growing in popularity over the past decade, but they still haven’t surpassed desktop web browsing in terms of raw use. Desktop browsers have more features, better performance scores, and are generally more secure than mobile browsers, making most of them a better choice when you need privacy.

Tor Browser

When it comes to raw security and privacy, nothing can beat the Tor Browser. Nothing. The browser is built upon a Mozilla core that leverages onion routing and the Tor Network to encrypt every packet of data that leaves your device, no VPN required. Data is then passed through a series of nodes that send packets back and forth to obfuscate the origin, making it practically impossible for anyone to tell where a packet came from. This means everything you do in the Tor Browser is about as anonymous as you can get.

Apart from its built-in encryption and onion routing, the Tor Browser also comes with a host of default security features that eliminate possible breaches of identity. Technologies like Flash, Java, or embedded applets are disabled by default, as they’re known to pass private information to external servers regardless of your browser settings. Preventing access to these means a lot more security, but it also cuts down on overall web usability.

Browsing with Tor means sacrificing a few other features, as well. For starters, the Tor developers suggest you never log into private accounts on the Tor Browser unless you have to, as there’s always a slim chance something could go wrong and your privacy becomes compromised. When you do log in, you’ll find onion routing slows your connection to a crawl, a fact that makes complex tasks painfully frustrating to complete. And even though you can install some Firefox-compatible add-ons on Tor, doing so will likely break your anonymity, so you shouldn’t.

READ ALSO: Does My ISP Know I’m Using Tor?

The Tor Browser is by far the most secure browser you can use. It’s not made for everyday internet activities, however, so you shouldn’t make the switch unless you need top shelf privacy at all costs.

Overview of Tor:

  • Built-in encryption, anonymizing onion routing, and incredibly strong privacy settings by default.
  • Security comes at the cost of speed and usability features, making it less than ideal for daily browsing.
  • Download for Windows, Mac, and Linux from the official site.

Brave Browser

Brave is an open-source browser project launched by the original co-founder of Mozilla. Its entire purpose is to deliver a secure, lightweight web experience without sacrificing usability. It’s loosely based on the Chromium engine, which powers Google’s Chrome browser, but it comes with a number of added features that make everyday web use more secure, no extensions or configurations required.

The team behind Brave thinks online advertising has gotten out of control. It’s like a zoo, and what’s the most fearsome animal at the zoo? A lion, which just happens to be Brave’s mascot. The most controversial feature in Brave is its built-in ad blocker, turned on by default. Website owners and online advertisers hate it, but if you want true privacy and security, you simply can’t let these ad publishers have access to your activities.

Apart from its built-in ad blocking feature, Brave also delivers phishing and malware protection, script blocking, browser fingerprinting protection, and HTTPS Everywhere. All of these added security features are available under the browser’s “Shields” configuration page, making it easy to switch things on or off.

If you need easy security and aren’t willing to sacrifice web usability, Brave is an excellent choice. It’s one of the most secure PC browsers by design, and it’s fast and highly customizable to boot.

Overview of Brave:

  • A newer browser built with security in mind. Includes smart privacy features by default, and works with many Chrome extensions, as well.
  • Only a few years old and doesn’t include as much polish as some users would like.
  • Download for Windows, Mac, and Linux from the official site.

Most Secure Browsers for Android

The Android marketplace is flooded with free browsers, many of which promise speed, security, and a ton of free features, including VPN protection. The vast majority of these fail to deliver on most of those fronts, unfortunately, and some go the opposite direction and steal your data while browsing. Part of staying secure is using software you can trust, which is why we made our selections below.

Firefox Focus

The tagline says it all: “Browse like no one’s watching.” Firefox Focus is a streamlined version of the mobile Firefox browser developed by the same team at Mozilla. It blocks a wide range of web trackers and ads by default, making your mobile browsing faster and more private without you having to lift a finger.

The innovative feature in Firefox Focus is clearing your browser history at every opportunity. Typed URLs, visited pages, cache content, and related information can be removed with a single tap. No need to navigate through a ton of menus, just erase it and forget about it. It’s kind of like having incognito mode always on. When coupled with the browser’s other security features, you’ve got the makings of an incredibly useful mobile app.

Overview of Firefox Focus:

  • Lightweight, easy to use, and incredibly straightforward. Some of the best default privacy setting in any browser on any platform.
  • Some websites fail to render properly, forcing you to keep a backup browser, just in case.
  • Download for Android via Google Play.

Brave Browser

Like its PC counterpart, the Brave browser for Android is built around the concepts of privacy and security without sacrificing usability. You get all of the features from the main product, including built-in ad blocking, HTTPS Everywhere, script blocking, and tracking prevention, all easily accessible from a mobile interface. Mobile exclusive features include battery and data optimization to help keep your phone in tip top health, no matter how heavy you use the browser.

Overview of Brave:

  • Blocks everything from pop-ups to cookies and trackers, all by default. Excellent for base-level mobile browser security.
  • Offers privacy features but doesn’t switch most of them on by default.
  • Download for Android via Google Play.

Ghostery

Ghostery started out as a script blocking extension for PC browsers. The team eventually expanded to the mobile browser market, bringing their characteristic blue ghost mascot with them. The Ghostery browser’s philosophy is to block everything that might track your activity or invade your privacy by default. It comes with Ghostery’s incredibly powerful security tools integrated into the main interface, making it easy to toggle features in case a website doesn’t load as intended.

Overview of Ghostery:

  • Simple privacy from a trusted source, all in a single convenient package.
  • The app itself isn’t quite as fast as other mobile browsers.
  • Download for Android via Google Play.

Orfox – Tor Browser

Built from the code that powers the Tor Browser, Orfox offers the same high level encryption and onion routing features as its PC counterpart, all in a surprisingly fast mobile interface. Orfox blocks everything from scripts to trackers to ads, and it comes with security extensions like NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere by default. Traffic is encrypted and routed through the Tor network to provide unparalleled anonymity and security. You’ll notice a bit of a connection slowdown, but if it’s privacy you want, Orfox delivers more than all the other browsers combined.

Overview of Orfox:

  • The gold standard in web browsing privacy and anonymity.
  • Security features often break websites and slow down your connection.
  • Download the Orbot Proxy first (required), then the Orfox Browser via Google Play.

Most Secure Browser for iPhone

The iOS platform has a shaky reputation with the online privacy community. While Apple goes to great lengths to ensure content featured in its walled garden is safe to use, these measures also prevent stronger security apps from reaching the iPhone audience. A number of developers have worked around these limitations, however, providing excellent privacy for iOS device owners.

Onion Browser

The Onion Browser for iOS brings the benefits of Tor encryption and onion routing to your iPhone. It’s developed by a third party source, not the same team behind the Tor Browser, but it has a reputation for being fast and reliable. With the Onion Browser you can encrypt and anonymize all of your web traffic with ease. External sites never see your real IP address, and you can even use .onion domains without the need for extensions.

Overview of the Onion Browser:

  • Top level security and identity protection made easy to use on your iOS device.
  • Onion routing makes it slower than most browsers.
  • Download on iOS via the iTunes App Store.

Brave for iOS

Surprised to see this here? You shouldn’t be. Just like its counterparts on PC and Android, the Brave browser for iOS goes to great lengths to provide a fast and secure web browsing experience that doesn’t compromise usability. It comes with ad blocking and anti-script features turned on by default, preventing things like trackers and nasty pop-ups from interfering with your online time. You’ll also find handy things like HTTPS Everywhere and malware protection, all enabled and ready to keep you safe.

Overview of Brave:

  • Incredible security that blocks everything from cookies to trackers to ads.
  • Known to be somewhat buggy and unreliable on iPhone and iPad.
  • Download for iOS via the iTunes App Store.

Make Any Browser More Secure

You don’t necessarily have to ditch your current browser to gain a little security. While the software above is better than most options by default, there are a number of incredible extensions you can install to enjoy a safe, private internet experience on a wide variety of browsers.

Each of the extensions below is available for most modern browsers, including Chrome, Opera, and Firefox. Many include mobile counterparts for Android and iOS, as well. Follow the links for more information.

  • HTTPS Everywhere – An extension made by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) that forces websites to use a secure connection.
  • Disconnect – A powerful privacy tool that helps prevent data leaks and keeps your information safe.
  • Privacy Badger – Another add-on made by the EFF. This one blocks invasive ads, spying trackers, and helps discourage browser fingerprinting.
  • NoScript – A phenomenal anti-tracking add-on for Firefox browsers. A good alternative to Privacy Badger with a few extra features.
  • DuckDuckGo – Most search engines track your data and share it with other websites, even with tracking features disabled by the browser. To ensure your privacy, use DuckDuckGo, the site that never tracks your activity.

Conclusion

Browsers are the focal point of most of our online activity. Making sure your software is safe, anonymous, and secure is vital to your web privacy. You can improve your current browser by adding the right extensions, or go with a new app that puts privacy front and center. Either way, staying safe online is something we all have to think about, even if we’re just checking our e-mail.

Read Most Secure Web Browser: What’s the Best for PC or Mobile? by John Anthony on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter