Considering the commonality of freely
available Wi-Fi signals in coffee shops,
airports, and elsewhere, odds are good
that you may at some point end up on a
seemingly innocent network that hides
prying eyes who want to hijack your
personal information and files. A Virtual
Private Network–or VPN for short–allows
you to safely encrypt your information
when using public networks via a group of
networked computers and faraway
VPNs have seen a hectic amount of
growth in the past years as many
competitors have entered the market and
VPN services have begun to converge
with general privacy and unblocking
services. That’s good news for you,
because it means you get more features
at lower prices: Let’s take a look at the
best! Here are our seven favorite VPN
Norton Wi-Fi Privacy ($30 annually)
Norton is a notable mainstay among
antivirus software, but the California-
based company does more than just
protect your machine from potential
malware — it also offers a robust “bank-
level” security option for your mobile
devices when using public networks. This
includes ad tracking removal, tech
support, international support, and a
money-back guarantee. Note that
downloads are free, but you’ll have to pay
for the service itself.
It’s also important to note this is a
scaled-down version of the original
software, which covered a variety of
devices. Norton decided to change the
service to cover only iOS and Android
devices, because, well, that’s what most
people use on the go. On the plus side,
this change in focus led to a massive
decrease in price. If you mostly work on
Apple or Android devices, this could be
the best solution for you.
Private Internet Access ($7 a month, or $
40 annually)
If the happy family on the homepage isn’t
enough to convince you, maybe the fact
that it’s one of the most reliable VPN
services on the market will. It does
everything you could want from a good
VPN: hides your IP address, encrypts your
information, and scrambles your
browsing activity using a variety of
encryption methods.
Moreover, you don’t have to download
anything given the software will
automatically start when you register —
meaning you can quickly set up protection
without taking up space on your hard
drive — and the service is available on
nearly every mobile device and desktop
platform at your disposal.
The program creates a tunnel that filters
your information and browsing history
through an encrypted space, thus
scrambling everything and making you
anonymous. The service is also incredibly
quick, regardless if you’re connecting to a
server overseas or within your region, and
the customer support and technical
assistance is also unparalleled in the
field. As an added bonus, PIA will even
unblock Facebook so you can mock your
friend’s baby at work.
TorGuard ($6 to $12 a month)
With a name like
TorGuard, the software
better offer strong
protection — or at least
some sort generic floor
cleaning. The
software’s hallmarks
lie in its ability to
connect to a melange
of services for different activities, with
four different packages available based
on various needs.
Like most VPN services, the program will
prevent websites from viewing your
personal IP address, thus preventing
others from identifying you or your
geographic location. A number of stealth
and proxy services also make your
privacy a bit more proactive, if you prefer
to hide as much of your identity as
From offshore email to unlimited server
switching between 1,600 servers across
the globe, TorGuard offers some pretty
impressive scaling. Skilled geeks and
professionals alike should take a look at
the service, along with the discount
bundles that come packaged with
VyprVPN ($7 to $9 a month)
VyprVPN offers a full-service solution
that’s divided into Pro and Premier
packages. The company’s Chameleon
technology utilizes an unmodified, open
VPN protocol to scramble your metadata,
preventing VPN blocking and unwanted
throttling known to slow your streaming
speeds when using popular services like
Developer Golden Frog even owns and
manages the VPN servers instead of
having another third-party company host
its severs, ensuring reliable speeds and
quick maintenance should a server go
You can have up to five simultaneous
connections with VyprVPN, so it’s suitable
for both families and small businesses.
There are no price hikes based on data
usage either, and nearly every platform is
supported, including routers, Blackberry
devices, TVs, and Linux hardware. The
service is focused primarily on the United
States and Europe, with only 50 servers
NordVPN ($6 to $8 a month)
With double, 2048-bit SSL encryption, it’s
easy to see that NordVPN values your
privacy. But the company has also
worked hard to build up its server network
to include 561 server locations in 49
countries around the world. The service
also comes with a variety of security tools
for encrypted chat and proxy extensions,
and you can use up to six devices
simultaneously, which is higher than
many companies are willing to go.
The theme running throughout this
service is personal security. From
protected DNS queries to automatic kill
switches, NordVPN wants you to know
that your information won’t fall into the
wrong hands. It makes sense, then, that
the company also accepts Bitcoin for
payments. However, compatibility may be
a bit of an issue — iOS and Android
compatibility are in the works but not yet
ExpressVPN ($8 to $13 a month)
Price: $8 to $13 per month, based on
length of contract
ExpressVPN’s “Fastest VPN on Earth”
claim may be a bit difficult to prove, but
the service offers a compelling list of
features nonetheless. It also constantly
tries to make consistent improvements in
speed and simultaneous streaming
capabilities, and with support for all
major platforms (Windows, Mac OS X,
Android, etc.), you won’t need to worry
about compatibility.
With a presence in 136 cities in 87
countries, you also won’t need to worry
about international travel. There aren’t
thousands of servers, but the existing
servers are all well placed throughout
common travel destinations and urban
centers. Any package will land you
unlimited bandwidth and speed, a
guaranteed 99.9-percent uptime, 24-hour
customer service, and simultaneous
connections for up to three devices. With
so many guaranteed features, it’s no
wonder this vendor is considered among
the best.
CyberGhost (free, or $6 to $9 a month)
CyberGhost is
a long-
favorite. The
software has
been on the
market since
2004, providing a simple solution for
anonymizing your location and encrypting
any data you send or receive through your
internet connection.
The company offers six different services
for customizing your experience, whether
you need to unblock a website or choose
your specific VPN server. There are no
bandwidth or traffic limits either, and
there is a free version of the software
available for Windows, Mac, and Android.
However, to bump up network speeds and
get support for iOS, you’re going to need
to pay. Fortunately, for just around $6,
you get 600 servers in 30 countries. An
additional $3 nets allows you to five
devices at the same time. All in all, it’s a
versatile service with a clear focus on
millennials, flexible work situations, and
the modern tech world — a surprising but
welcome evolution.