There are enormous reasons why you should use a VPN, including, but not limited to, protecting your privacy by hiding your browsing history from your ISP or local network, permitting access to some geo-blocked content (e.g. playing Pokémon Go before its officially released in your country), bypassing your ISP’s internet censorship, and many more.
However, there is a tremendous number of VPN providers available at hand. When picking a VPN provider, I mainly consider three aspects, which are security (encryption and logging policy), cost, and usability. In this blog post, I will recommend three VPN providers for users based on these three aspects.
Private Internet Access
When it comes to protecting privacy online, Private Internet Access VPN (PIA) is my favorite. This is due to their clear, transparent and strict policy of not storing any logs (e.g. traffic, sessions, DNS, metadata) from their users. To demonstrate how strict they are with this policy, PIA was forced by US’s FBI to officially state that they don’t log anything, based on PIA’s Wikipedia article. PIA is very reputable and well known VPN for providing secure VPNs, not to mention their zero logging policy.
Additionally, PIA‘s app provides various security features, such as DNS Leak Protection, Kill Switch which ensures that you don’t browse the Internet unless the VPN is enabled, and malware/ads protection. PIA‘s VPN connections are encrypted with the securest and latest practical encryption (AES-256 + RSA4096 + SHA256), in addition to permitting OpenVPN connections.
BitTorrent and file-sharing traffic is totally allowed while using Private Internet Access. Moreover, you can use the service on five different devices simultaneously. PIA has clients for all major operating systems and platforms (Apple, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome). With more than 3250 servers in 25 different countries, you can access the web smoothly and globally.
In my opinion, the main weakness PIA has is that it is based out of US. Hence, if security, privacy and cost are your main concerns, Private Internet Access is your choice. You will never regret choosing it as your VPN provider.
NordVPN is the second VPN provider I recommend you to use. It provides the same encryption and no-logging policy as PIA, in addition to similar security features as of PIA.
By subscribing to NordVPN‘s standard package, you will have the choice of tunneling your network traffic through 61 different countries. Plus, you will be able to connect to the VPN from six different devices, simultaneously.
P2P activities are welcomed in NordVPN. I have noticed that streaming videos and watching Netflix over NordVPN is smoother than PIA. However, NordVPN‘s service is a bit expensive, in comparison to PIA‘s price.
If a balance between privacy, streaming videos and Netflix and cost is what you are after, I highly recommend NordVPN.
ExpressVPN is my favourite VPN provider for watching videos and Netflix. Their servers are super fast which makes your streaming videos online flawless.
Regarding ExpressVPN‘s security, they offer the same VPN protocols and encryption as the previously recommended VPNs. Nonetheless, they don’t have zero-log policy but rather no-traffic logging policy. In other words, they record some metadata to accelerate your Internet speed and provide a better service.
ExpressVPN has servers in 145 locations, but only covers three devices to be connected at a time. Like the other VPN providers recommended, you are allowed to use torrent and P2P networks.
ExpressVPN is the most expensive VPN provider, out of the recommended ones. On the other hand, it provides the least privacy (as some metadata are kept) and allows the lest number of simultaneous devices connected. As a result, I highly recommend ExpressVPN if your main VPN usage is watching Netflix and streaming videos.
In summery, subscribe to Private Internet Access if you care about privacy and cheap VPN the most. If you would like a balanced VPN, NordVPN is your optimal option. However, if you are willing to cede some privacy and spend a bit more for a fast VPN access, ExpressVPN is an excellent option. At the end, remember to never use public Wi-Fi without having your VPN on!