Research shows that we spend an average of 6 hours per day connected to the internet. Whether is for work, for sheer entertainment or other purposes, being online is part of our daily routine. That means that we have to take privacy and security even more seriously than we did in the past, because the risk of having our personal or financial data stolen is now bigger.
No matter what kind of gadget you use to get online, a virtual private network can be a very useful tool for you as an internet user.
Here is how a VPN can improve your online experience:
- Your internet traffic will be kept safer from prying eyes, hackers and nosy parties of all kinds. Before being able to access the website you want, VPNs create sort of an encrypted tunnel through which all your data passes; nobody can decipher it without the proper “key” and the VPN provider is the only one who has it; that means your internet data is secure and you can surf the internet in peace as long as you are connecting through a virtual private network
- You become harder to track by anyone, including your internet service provider, because a VPN assigns you a virtual IP address that doesn’t necessarily correspond with your real location; for instance, you can connect to a server from Germany even though you are in fact located in New York; this way, your anonymity is preserved, which can be a very useful thing, especially when you use the internet for activities that are frowned upon (such as torrenting for instance)
- A good VPN can lift geographic bans; you’ve probably heard of internet censorship such as the Great Firewall of China for instance; there are a lot of areas in the world where certain platforms and services are forbidden, from Facebook, to Google, YouTube and many others; VPNs usually have a large network of servers spread all over the globe and you can connect to one that allows you to access the content you want
- And while we are on the subject of restricted content, you’ve got all the streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and the like, which have geographic restrictions, mainly due to copywriting laws; one of the most popular uses of a VPN is to unlock Netflix and restricted content in general; this can be accomplished in the same way as explained above, by connecting to a server that allows you to access those websites
- You can also use VPNs to mask your real location and get cheaper flights; airlines use customer profiling and oftentimes change prices depending on the location of the user who visits their website; a VPN can help you change your location to the most convenient one for you; this could work for flights, hotels, rental cars and more
In order to come up with our number 1 VPN for the year 2020, we had to conduct a thorough VPN research based on several criteria. We analyzed all the industry leaders and compared them in terms of:
- Security features
- Network of servers
- Speed test results
- Dedicated apps
- The ability to unlock geo-restricted content
- Torrenting policy
Although there are several competitive choices out there to choose from, the Best Review Guide winner for 2020 is NordVPN.
NordVPN checks all the abovementioned boxes. This VPN is one of the most secure ones in the industry, with a military-grade encryption that is “virtually uncrackable”, as they state on their website.
Top-notch security and privacy
NordVPN uses complex security tools, such as double encryption (it encrypts your internet traffic twice) and double kill-switch. The kill-switch feature is a must-have in any VPN. What the kill-switch does is it blocks your internet traffic in case your VPN connection drops for any reason, so that you don’t risk being exposed online not even for one minute. When the VPN connection is back on, the traffic is unlocked. NordVPN has 2 kill-switches to offer, one that blocks your internet traffic and one that only closes your apps in case you get disconnected from the VPN.
This VPN is also one of the fastest in the industry and has managed to obtain impressive scores in a lot of performance tests.
The VPN comes with a large network of over 5,400 servers worldwide, so you can change your IP address, hence your “virtual” location to anything you want, be it a country in Europe, Asia, Africa or the Americas.
If you download a lot of torrents, you can count on NordVPN to have your back. The VPN has a torrenting-friendly policy and even has dedicated servers for this online activity.
Netflix and other common streaming services can be unlocked almost anywhere in the world with NordVPN, which is another highlight of this service.
As for its price, NordVPN has plans starting from only $3.49 per month, depending on what you opt for. At the opposite end, the highest rate is for their 1-month plan: $11.95 per month, which is still a decent price.
You can use NordVPN on all the common devices, as it works on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux. It also has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.