Here’s a look at the top 10 VPN apps for 2016
Internet security and online privacy is a hot topic these days, as we often these for granted. It brings in a lot of geo-political elements, as well as cybercrime issues, that many of us prefer not to think about. However, such an attitude can benefit cyber criminals and hackers who are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities to explore our personal information.
However, you can control this to some extent by using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
For those unfamiliar, A VPN (Virtual Private Network) provides a secure way of connecting through a public network (such as the Internet) to a remote network/location.
This remote network is typically a private network, such as a workplace or home network, or one provided by a commercial VPN service. A VPN can be thought to create a “tunnel” through the public network to your private network at the other end. All network traffic through this tunnel is encrypted to ensure it is kept secure and private.
Using a VPN is a simple and effective way to not only circumvent content blocks, but protect your privacy from hackers and government snoops. You can have a truly anonymous connection using ultra-secure encryption and IP address blocking technology.
While large corporations, educational institutions, and government agencies use VPN technology to enable remote users to securely connect to a private network, but what about smaller businesses or those who just want to protect their personal devices?
In no particular order, here is a selection of the 10 best VPN apps available on the online market.
1. TunnelBear VPN
TunnelBear VPN is probably the most adorable and most user-friendly VPN available. It is a famous VPN app for Android, PC & MAC, iPhone and also for iPad. The app itself is available completely free of charge, and you can transfer 500MB monthly without the need to pay for a subscription.
With a roaring bear as its official mascot, this app helps to protect your online privacy by providing safe browsing on Wi-Fi hotspots. Also, it does not function secretly in the background. There is an on/off switch, which you can choose to wear your VPN cloak.
ExpressVPN is one of the most trusted, secure brands in the virtual private network industry, and that’s for good reason. It is superfast and extremely safe, boasting an SSL-secured network with 256-bit encryption. It also provides round-the-clock customer support, unlimited bandwidth and speed. Also, it won’t curb your internet connection when it is performing its duties.
With over 1,000+ servers in 100 locations across 78 countries, there are a lot of options for their subscribers for switching between different IPs and different countries. ExpressVPN offer all of their services in a bundled package for a prescribed price. ExpressVPN has Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows applications, which are all really well done.
There is also a 30-day money back guarantee. During this period, you can try out their services and if you are not satisfied, you can cancel your subscription any time during the money-back period and you will receive a refund.
3. SurfEasy VPN
SurfEasy is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android systems, so it’s great for people that have both home and mobile connections they would like to secure.
It’s anonymous VPN service offers “a secure browsing experience with top-notch, no-log Internet security that protects your personal data and encrypts all of your transmissions,” which is precisely one needs from the browsing experience. You can use it across five different devices and may very well be the eventual bodyguard for your mobile internet activity.
4. Hotspot Shield VPN
The aim of the game with this VPN app is to protect your privacy online. In other words, wherever you select to access the internet, Hotspot Shield VPN works carefully to encrypt your personal information to ensure that nothing goes skewed when you connect.
While there are choices to browse anonymously as well as unblock proxy sites, this is certainly an app that people have put their trust in with 400 million downloads.
5. Cloud Ark VPN
Cloud Ark VPN, also known as ArkVPN, is a free VPN app that offers fast private connections to give you better security and convenience. It is the app that gives you “at least 10 VPN hours a month”, as well as promises of high security, unlimited data transfers and the fastest VPN servers around. It implements a load balancing system so you can always connect to a private network anytime. This app allows you to access more than 200 stable servers located on six continents. It balances server traffic in order to speed up your connections on private networks.
Cloud Ark VPN offers a 30-day free trial for new users. During the trial period, you will be able to enjoy complete and unrestricted access to ArkVPN’s servers and features. You have the option to buy a regular subscription if you want. Each paid product of this service also comes with a 30-day unlimited use trial.
In case you don’t want to buy a subscription, the service offers free VPN for 20 hours each month. For most casual users, this free allocation would be more than enough for their regular browsing activities.
One striking thing about ArkVPN is that it does not require you to register an account. You can use the service anonymously and you don’t even have to provide any email address to access the private network servers.
6. VPN Master
VPN offers high-speed and encrypted connections. VPN Master is compatible with PCs, Android, iOS, Windows, Linux and Mac OS. It allows only 30 clients per server to ensure quality service.
Moreover, the encryption strength is 128 Bit, which is good enough to provide adequate online security. This level of encryption is also sufficient for guaranteeing anonymity.
You can either go free, pro or premiere with Finch. While it is a little confusing pricing-wise, it is recommended to try out its free service before you purchase it.
At the most basic level, it offers an easy-to-use interface and standard internet security features, which could be the one for you if you are new to this VPN business. If you want to go deeper, then upgrade to the pro version and you will get 25GB of surfing data, while in the case of Premiere members they will get unlimited access.
8. Betternet Free VPN
Betternet’s free VPN app gets straight to the point: in the form of a one-tap ‘Connect’ button, to be exact. It does not have any usage limits for its service, and users are not required to register any personal information in order to sign up.
It has the ability to access blocked content from work (by bypassing firewalls). Also, it also promises to offer fast, anonymous and safe browsing whenever and wherever you select to use the internet on your mobile device.
9. IPVanish VPN
IPVanish VPN provides an access to more than 450+ servers geographically scattered in 60 countries thereby providing “a secure environment for everyday web use.” This means that you can connect to almost any server you want from any country you prefer.
Also, this diversity of choice can liberalize you to access different genre of content either restricted for you to access or confined to a particular geographic location. Further, you can access 25,000+ IPs with the value added features provided by IPVanish VPN. IPVanish VPN is compatible with readily adopted versions of Windows, MacOS and Ubuntu. In addition, IPVanish supports all the devices you carry on-the-go such as Smartphones, Tablets and iPads. However, the operating systems currently supported are Android and iOS only.
VyprVPN has an excellent service doubling down on simplicity and user-friendliness. It protects you from “DNS man in the middle” attacks. This kind of attack can block your internet access to a particular website or online application by redirecting you to a different destination. These attacks can occur when you are connecting to the internet using a third party server or when you are in a country where internet censorship is implemented, such as Iran, China and Turkey.
To prevent these attacks from happening, VyprVPN lets your data pass through an encrypted channel, so that it can avoid any DNS filtering and attacks. It allows you to connect directly to one of their self-managed VPN servers, so that you can bypass the third party server limitations that restrict your browsing activities.
With this kind of process, you can surely have the freedom to enjoy the true experience of an open internet anywhere in the world.
Try before you buy – that’s the VyprVPN way. It offers 500MB with every free account created, before then offering monthly or yearly subscriptions to its convinced customers.
The author Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human