There are multiple reasons as to why anyone would use a VPN. For a few, the reason would be privacy and security. In other words, they would want to protect themselves when they are online. This includes their browsing activities or even their identities, which they would want to be out of reach from their ISPs or other third parties. As far as I have seen, this is the primary reason most people use a VPN. As far as the other reasons are concerned, they range from being able to access blocked content, downloading torrents, and also unblocking geo-restricted contents on streaming services.
While they might not be the main reasons, but even then a majority of the users use a VPN for these purposes. What I am trying to convey here is that there are many reasons why you or anyone else would use a VPN. But one thing they all have in common would be their concern for their data and whether using a VPN is safe or not. This is what we will be trying to find out in this article. So, without any further delays, let’s jump straight into it.
🥇TLDR: Not all VPN’s are equally safe; If you’re in a hurry ExpressVPN is the Best VPN!🥇
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Are VPNs Safe To Use?
The very first thing that would come into one’s mind would be whether using a VPN is safe or not. This is very much expected given the nature of a VPN. The answer to this would be NO. Simply using a VPN won’t land you in any kind of trouble, especially not legal ones. However, like everything else, there are a few exceptions to this as well. There are a few places where even installing a VPN or using it would land you in some hot waters with the authorities. Some of the best examples would be Iran and also recent Kashmir up to some extent. In these places, installing a VPN would land in trouble. So, if you are from any of these places where a VPN is banned, then it might land you in legal trouble. But, if you are from anywhere else, then no, using a VPN won’t land you in any legal troubles.
Now that we have established that simply using a VPN won’t land you in trouble it should be a relief for anyone, right? Well, no. Even though using a VPN is completely safe for you, how you use it might still end up becoming a problem for you. For instance, using a VPN to do illegal activities doesn’t mean that it will be safe for you. As far as what is illegal to do depends on where you are from and is usually different. In some places, it might be very strict, while in others there might be no such restrictions. For example, in some places downloading torrents, especially copyrighted ones, is illegal. So downloading a torrent even while using a VPN might still land you in some trouble. The keyword here is might because this depends on how good a VPN is up to what extent it protects you. This brings us to our next section, will a VPN be successful in protecting you?
Will a VPN protect you online?
As we have seen above, in some cases the difference between you being safe and you being in trouble is how much a VPN is capable of protecting you and your identity. So, how exactly would a VPN protect you, and from what or whom would it be protecting you? A VPN would encrypt your data, hide your identity, and provide you with additional security and protection. This will result in keeping your activities hidden from your ISPs and other interesting parties especially authorities and government agencies. It will also hide your identity online which would mean that nothing you do online can be traced back to you.
However, this isn’t the case with every VPN, especially the free and cheap VPNs. You should know that establishing the infrastructure for a VPN and maintaining them isn’t cheap at all. So, anyone that is providing you with free or very cheap services will cut costs somewhere else. This isn’t good news at all for any users. This would most probably leave the users and their privacy vulnerable. Not only this but in order to gain some extra revenue, some VPNs will sell your data to other interesting parties which won’t be good at all. Overall, using such VPNs would get you in even more trouble instead of protecting you. So just stay clear of these types of VPN at all times.
If you were to use a VPNs, stick to the few reputable providers which are also recommended a lot. But what makes them better. Here are a few things.
- Latest Internet Protocols: These VPNs use the latest and most secure protocols that are available. These protocols ensure that the users’ data and their connection is even more secure.
- No Logging: These VPNs don’t log any sensitive data of the users. So there is nothing to be sold. If the authorities demand them to provide them with the users’ data citing some critical reasons like national security then they will have to comply with them. But, since they don’t store any such data, there will be nothing for the authorities to see. This would mean better protection to the users.
- Anonymous Payments: Some of these providers also let you pay them anonymously, like using cryptocurrency or even by mail cash to them. What this means that your identity is protected at all times.
- Kill Switch: This is a feature that stops the flow of traffic if the VPN connection is disturbed and failed, hence preventing the users’ privacy from being exposed.
There are many other similar features these VPNs have that do a great job of protecting you. So, as long as we stick with these VPNs, the VPN will be safe and will also keep you protected. Now, you don’t have to go around looking for VPNs with these features because we have done that for you. Here are our favorite VPNs that come with all these and many more features that will keep you safe and protected.
Best VPNs That Will Keep You Safe And Protected
Nord VPN is one of the most famous and biggest names in the VPN spectrum. The extent of its services and features is evident from the large user base that it boasts of. Using NordVPN, you will not only be safe and protected but will also have a very pleasing internet experience thanks to its long list of features. Here are a few of those: policy and offers great speeds. Here are a few of its highlights.
VPN Protocols: We have already discussed the importance of the Internet Protocols used by a VPN. NordVPN, as expected, supports all of the modern and secure protocols i.e the following protocols:
Kill Switch: This feature prevents the user from being exposed or compromised in case the VPN connection fails. The Kill Switch feature of NordVPN instantly disconnects the user from the Internet by blocking all kinds of traffic in the event that the VPN connection is interrupted or failed. In other words, NordVPN will stop any kind of traffic from entering or leaving the device in such cases if the connection is interrupted or the connection fails which will ensure that the users’ private data aren’t compromised and won’t leave the network. This also prevents the users’ IP addresses from being exposed to the ISPs or other prying eyes. Hence, the users will remain protected even when the VPN connection is down.
Private DNS: NordVPN uses its private Domain Names System(DNS) through which they route and resolve the users’ DNS queries. The DNS queries are resolved on the same VPN server as the one the user is connected to which ensures that there are no activity logs or connection logs.
Advanced Encryption Standard (AES): NordVPN encrypts all its connections and requests using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) along with a 256-bit key. It also uses a 4096-bit RSA key for privately communicating with other devices on the network.
Double VPN: NordVPN uses the Double VPN feature via which it routes the users’ traffic data through multiple servers while encrypting data in each and every server. Encrypting them multiple times adds additional layers of encryption and security to the data, which ensures that it stays protected and that it can’t be decrypted by anyone.
Strict No Log Policy: NordVPN’s Strict No Log Policy states that they don’t log any of the users’ online activities and also don’t store connection timestamps, session information, used bandwidth, traffic data, IP addresses, or other data from the user. This ensures that even if the authorities request them to share the users’ data, there will be nothing sensitive data to be shared.
Servers: NordVPN consists of a total of 5679 servers in 59 countries that are spread across the globe.
NordVPN offers 4 different plans.
- Monthly: The one month plan is priced at $ 11.95 per month and is also the most expensive plan with no discounts.
- 1 Year plan: The 1-year plan is priced at $ 83.88 for 12 months. It offers a 41 % discount which saves about $ 59.52. This makes the per month cost for this plan to be $ 6.99.
- 2 Year Plan: The 2-year plan is priced at $ 83.76 for 24 months and is also currently offering an additional discount of 70% for a limited time which will save about $ 203.04 and make the per month cost for this plan to be $ 3.49.
- 3 Year Plan: The 3-year plan is priced at $ 125.64 for 36 months and has the best value. It offers a 70 % discount and will result in saving a total of $ 203.04 making the per month cost for this plan to be $ 3.49.
If there’s one VPN that has been a constant competitor to NordVPN, it is ExpressVPN. This healthy competition is the best for both its users as they are the ones who benefit the most from this. It also has all of those features that will keep you protected and safe while also providing a great browsing experience. It is a little pricey than other VPNs but its high-speed servers and a large list of features more than makeup for that. Here’s what you get from ExpressVPN.
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VPN protocols: Like Nordvpn, ExpressVPN also supports most of the modern and secure protocols. They are the following VPN protocols:
- OpenVPN with UDP
- OpenVPN with TCP
IP address masking: ExpressVPN uses an encrypted tunnel to establish a connection between the device and the internet and also masks the users’ IP addresses in the process. They mask the users’ IP with their IP address. This not only provides additional security to the user but also makes it impossible for anyone to trace back any of the users’ internet activity back to them.
Network Lock: Similar to NordVPN’s Kill Switch feature, ExpressVPN also has the Network Lock function. This feature protects the users’ privacy and security by disconnecting them if there is a disturbance or interruption in the VPN. So, this feature prevents any internet traffic from entering or leaving the device whenever the VPN connection is disturbed or is lost. This makes sure that the IP address isn’t exposed and ensures that the users’ privacy and security aren’t compromised in anyways.
Zero-knowledge DNS: ExpressVPN uses a private DNS on all of its servers which ensure that the users’ activities remain private. ExpressVPN doesn’t store any personally identifiable data on their servers, ever. This will ensure that there won’t be any activity logs or connection logs, and prevent DNS blocking and also keep third parties away.
Best-in-class Protection: ExpressVPN also uses AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256-bit keys to encrypt the users’ information and data. Also known as AES-256, this is virtually unhackable and will make sure that the users’ privacy is protected.
Bypass ISP throttling: ExpressVPN also lets you bypass any kind of speed throttling your ISPs might impose and thus providing you with the full bandwidth that you’re paid for.
Servers: ExpressVPN has a total of 3,000+ VPN servers in around 160 VPN server locations spread across 94 countries throughout the globe.
ExpressVPN has three different plans.
- Monthly: This plan is priced at $12.95 and would cost $155.4 for a full year.
- 6-month plan: This plan is priced at $59.95 for 6 months. The per month cost for this plan is $9.99.
- 12-month plan: This is priced at $99.95 for 12 months and provides the most value to the user. The per month cost for this plan is $8.32.
Surfshark might not be as famous as either NordVPN and ExpressVPN, especially because it is a comparatively new company established only recently, but it also boasts of a sizable user base that makes it a good enough competitor. Its biggest strength as compared to the other two is its aggressive pricing which is very encouraging. Here are a few of its highlights.
VPN protocols: The following protocols are supported by Surfshark VPN:
Logging Policies: Surfshark also has a strict no-logging policy and doesn’t collect any of the sensitive user data which might compromise the user or their privacy in any way. With Surfshark you can also use Cryptocurrency as a mode of payment to make your payment if you want the option of completely anonymous payment.
VPN Kill Switch: Surfshark also has a VPN Kill Switch function to protect the users’ identity from being exposed if there is an interruption in the VPN connection or there is a connection failure. So, whenever the VPN connection is terminated or dropped, Surfshark uses the Kill Switch to remove the user from the internet and make them completely offline by immediately preventing any traffic from entering or leaving the network. So even if the VPN connection fails, the users’ privacy and identity will remain safe and protected.
MultiHop Double VPN: Surfshark is equipped with a MultiHop feature that connects the user to multiple servers in different countries and in each of these layers the data will be encrypted. MultiHop will add extra layers of security by connecting to multiple VPN servers at a time. So routing it through each of these countries and encrypting at each layer, Surfshark will ensure that the data has been encrypted multiple times. The results of this will be additional security provided to the user.
CleanWeb: Surfshark also has a CleanWeb feature to make the web clean for the user. It will block all types of intrusive pop-ups & ads and prevent them from blocking the users’ complete screen. It will also discard any suspicious links by filtering all of the malicious websites and allowing only those websites to go through which are safe and malware-free. Cleanweb can also prevent phishing attempts as it blocks fake websites that have been created for phishing the users. Removes all kinds of unnecessary ads and websites will result in not loading any of these websites and ads and hence reduce the data used by the users’.
NoBorders: The NoBorders features of Surfshark helps the user in bypassing any countrywide restrictions or VPN blocking. NoBorders reshapes the users’ traffic in certain ways so that it seems that the user is not using a VPN and will be able to bypass the anti-VPN firewalls and other countrywide restrictions.
Camouflage Mode: Surfshark also has a Camouflage Mode that ensures that the users’ connection will remain private in every scenario. The result of this is that the connection will be indistinguishable from normal connection and even the ISPs won’t be able to identify that the user is using a VPN connection.
Whitelister: The Whitelister feature allows users to exclude specific apps or websites from using the VPN connection. It makes this possible by creating separate tunnels on the same network. So, there will be two different tunnels, one will have a VPN that will make it secure and include all of the VPN features and the other tunnel will be just like a regular connection with no VPN protection. Therefore a part of the traffic will be sent through the encrypted VPN tunnel while the other will be routed through a regular tunnel that has no protection. In this way, users can exclude a few apps from using the VPN connection.
Servers: Surfshark has 1040+ servers in 61+ countries spread across the globe.
Surfshark offers three different subscription plans. These are:
- Monthly: This plan is priced at $11.95 for one month and will cost the user $143.40 for 1 year of subscription.
- 1 Year Plan: This plan is priced at $71.88 for a full year and offers a 50 % discount which will result in saving a total of $71.52. The per month cost for this plan is $5.99.
- 2 Year Plan: This plan is priced at $47.76 for 2 years and offers an 83% discount which will result in saving a total of $239.04. The per month cost for this plan is $1.99.
Is a VPN Safe To Use – Verdict
No matter what purpose you might use a VPN for, you would want a VPN to keep you safe and protected. For these very same reasons, you should avoid free and cheap VPN providers as they often do many cost cuttings that may compromise the users. Not to forget about the aspect of them selling the users’ data to the highest bidders for some extra revenue. This is why it is recommended for you to opt for any of the reputable VPN providers as they not only keep you safe and protected but also provide you with many other features and much better service. We have listed a few of our favorite VPNs that have all these features. So, if you want a VPN to keep you safe and protected, then you would be better off by choosing any of the VPNs we have listed. No make your decision easier, we have also stated all the features that they have and why you should choose them instead of other cheaper alternatives. With all this information, we hope you will make a more informed decision.