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When it comes to choosing a VPN service, it gets confusing. The primary reason why anybody decides to buy a VPN is to hide and leave no trace behind so that others are not able to track you. However, things are not as simple as they look. Many chose to buy VPN which cheaper, but they do forget that some of these VPN miss essential features. In this post, we are suggesting which VPN is the best to buy, how you can choose a VPN, and we help you with a VPN Comparison Chart.

It’s difficult to point to out to one VPN and say it is the best VPN. What matters is how open is a VPN to information, and what practices they follow to make sure your data remains private. Not even a VPN is supposed to collect any data and store on their servers.

Which VPN is the best to buy?

Are you planning to buy a VPN? This Guide & VPN Comparison Chart will help you decide which VPN service or software is reliable, safe, secure & the best to buy for Windows, iPhone, Android devices. We have shared the following to help you choose the best VPN software or service.

What factors you should consider before buying a VPN

VPN’s which are located outside the US, use encryption, support Open VPN, have a no-logging policy, and accept Bitcoin.

VPN Comparison Chart

Factors to consider when choosing a VPN

1] Jurisdiction: If their servers and the company is located in a country where Privacy is given priority, your data will be delivered into government hands.

2] Logging policy: Make sure the VPN has an explicit mention of No Logging Policy. If it’s not, all your activities could be stored and can be used against you.

3] Support for anonymous payment methods: Some users are not interested in making payments through cryptocurrencies or other non-regular payment methods.

4] OpenVPN support: If the VPN is using secure and open-source tech like OpenVPN or anything which can be audited independently. It shows the credibility of the VPN. You can also check on how open they are about their security information, and if they offer PGP key.

5] Number of disclosed servers: Make sure the VPN services are accessible about their servers, and their location.  I have seen a couple of them put up how many are there, and which countries. They also talk about their Server grades, and if their servers offer certificates.

6] Do they Hide IP and Block trackers: They are essential factors. You don’t want to reveal your actual IP. Many services trick browsers with a request which can tell your IP address. If that happens, you won’t be able to access those services. VPN’s should also make sure to block trackers and cookies which can track.

7] Banned Countries: Some countries like China, are very strict about VPN services. If you are buying a VPN for a specific purpose, make sure that the VPN work in that country. I have not seen many VPN open about it upfront. Some countries have officially banned VPN so make sure to double-check on that too.

8] Pricing factors: Not only it depends on how much you can pay for a VPN, but it also matters if the service offers value for money. Most of the VPN don’t provide a trial – but if they do, its always a plus. The alternative to this is Money Back Policy. Most of them offer 30-day money-back policy, but here is a trick. Some of the money-back policies are “No Question” asked. I always prefer a VPN which can offer me this.

Support is important. Also important is how many devices they offer connections for – useful if you have Windows computers as well as iPhone and Android devices. If they have an app for Android and iOS – great! Many VPN offers make it possible to use it on multiple devices. So if you have set of friends or family members interested in VPN, they help you cut down the cost.

Many free VPNs offers a complete set of features, but they only provide limited bandwidth. Paid services offer unlimited premium bandwidth, and that helps!

List of VPNs which fit the above criteria

These VPNs are outside the US, use encryption, support Open VPN, have no-logging policy, and accept Bitcoin:

The PrivacyTools website keep an eye on these types of VPN which meet their criteria.

Read: How to choose the best VPN?

VPN Comparison Chart

TheOnePrivacySite.net has designed a wonderful comparison chart you may want to take a look at. The website has taken all the factors into consideration. Based on the parameters, and the score generated from it, they have rated VPNs with Red, Yellow and Green color.

Green = “Generally good.”

Yellow = “Something of concern.”

Red = “Something major of concern”.

Remember its only a comparison chart, and not that it recommends you which is the best VPN. However, you can choose the VPN with all green, and then try.

Here is the curated list of VPN which are all green:

AirVPN

Anonine

AnonVPN

Anonymizer

AnonymousVPN

Astrill

Avast Secureline

Avira Phantom VPN

AzireVPN

BeeVPN

Betternet

BlackVPN

Blockless

BolehVPN

Boxpn

BTGuard

Buffered

CactusVPN

Celo

ChillGlobal

CitizenVPN

CloakVPN

CrypticVPN

CryptoHippie

CryptoStorm

CyberGhost

DathoVPN

DefenceVPN

Disconnect.me

DooVPN

DotVPN

Doublehop.me

EarthVPN

f-secure

F-Secure FREEDOME VPN

FastestVPN

Green

Hide.me

Mullvad

Norton

NVPN

Ovpn

PIA

Pure on

PureVPN

Red Bull Ring

RiseUpVPN

SigaVPN

SunVPN

Surf VPN

Surfshark

Torguard

VirtualShield

VPN Master

vpn.umontreal.ca

Vpnbook

WiTopia

ZorroVPN.

There are other VPNs like Ivacy VPN, VeePN VPN, SurfShark VPN, Vypr VPN, WindScribe VPN, etc., that we have reviewed on this site. You might want to take a look at them too.

Which country has no VPN?

Many countries have banned VPN services officially. China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and UAE are some of these countries. There are many reasons, why countries ban VPNs. The most common reasons for restricting VPN services in a particular country are illegal activities and censorship. Criminals can do many illegal activities on the internet by using VPN. These activities can also be a threat to a nation’s security. That’s why countries ban VPN services.

Can Police track VPN?

Yes, Police can track VPNs. Police do not start tracking a VPN until they get an order from the court. After getting a court order, the Police contact the ISP which knows that you are using a VPN. Internet Service Providers do not give data to any person. But if they are asked by the Police, they give data to the Police. After getting data or usage logs from ISP, Police can easily track the VPN.

Now over to you. Which VPN do you use? Does your VPN confirm to all factors which we have listed earlier in this post?

Read next: What is VPN Split Tunneling?

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Why Privado Is The Best Free Vpn Service

VPN services can sound mysterious, but the reality is that they’re simple to use and have a variety of benefits. Once you’ve installed the app on your phone, laptop or another device, you choose a server and press the ‘Connect’ button.

What that does is to reroute the internet connection from your device via that VPN server as well as encrypt the data sent to and from it and replace your IP address with a new one.

Let’s put that in plain English. As far as any website or web service (such as Netflix) is concerned, the connection appears to be coming from wherever the server is located. So if you pick one in the USA, websites will show you local pricing in dollars and you’ll see the same content Americans see on Netflix when you sign into your account even if your real location is London. It’s the best way to overcome regional blocks.

Secondly, the encryption means your browsing is private. Your internet service provider, for example, can’t see (and record) which websites you visit and any plain text sent over the connection, such as emails, will be scrambled and therefore unreadable.

Why use Privado VPN?

Great question. There are so many VPN services to choose between, so picking one can be difficult. Fortunately, Privado makes that choice easy because it offers a completely free service, so won’t cost you anything.

You can use Privado on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, Windows laptop, Mac – even your Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TV.

Unlike most VPN services, Privado manages and operates its entire network and server infrastructure, and doesn’t use any virtual server locations. Not only does this mean better security for your data, it also gives you faster connection speeds.

Privado doesn’t record or track any information about what you do online either and, being based in Switzerland, your account is protected by some of the best privacy laws anywhere.

Surely there’s a catch if it’s free?

With most free VPN services you’d be absolutely right. But Privado offers the best free VPN service out there.

It’s the only one that allows you to stream video and unblock Netflix and other services, as well as letting you download torrent files. It also gives you a choice of 12 different servers including in the US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, US, Canada, France, Switzerland, and Mexico.

And those are exactly the same as the rest of Privado’s 200 servers: there’s no speed restrictions, no reduction in privacy: it’s the same great service.

The only differences between using Privado for free and paying for the service are that you have 10GB of data per month to use for free (unlimited otherwise) and that you that can’t download torrent files using the SOCKS5 protocol, which won’t be an issue for most people.

What else should I know about Privado VPN?

Well, there are other two things worth knowing: customer support is there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week should you have any questions or difficulties, and the apps have a ‘kill switch’ which prevents your data from being leaked accidentally if the VPN connection stops for any reason.

How can I get Privado VPN?

Simply visit

Cyberghost Vpn Review: An Easy

Pros

Easy-to-use interface

Independently verified no-log policy

Seriously impressive server spread

Cons

Lacks some common features such as multi-hop and double VPN

Server speeds are hit-or-miss, especially in Asia

Our Verdict

CyberGhost VPN continues to be a solid VPN. The speeds are (mostly) good, the interface is easy to use, and the latest no-log policy audit is a major plus. It may lack some power-user features common among competitors, but those looking for a simple VPN with tons of servers will find a lot to like here.

Best Prices Today: CyberGhost

Retailer

Price

CyberGhost

$12.99

View Deal

CyberGhost VPN in brief:

P2P allowed: Yes

Simultaneous device connections: 7

Business location: Romania

Number of servers: 9,000+

Number of country locations: 110+

Cost: $12.99 per month, or $56.94 for a two year subscription

Based in Romania, CyberGhost is owned by its parent company, UK-based security-services conglomerate Kape Technologies. The service itself has seen enormous growth in recent years and is now firmly entrenched as one of the leading VPN providers.

It offers solid VPN features including seven simultaneous device connections, relatively good speeds, and a great server spread. In fact, boasting an absolutely colossal number of servers, sitting at over 9,000, it dwarfs most of its competitors in this area. In the past, we were impressed with CyberGhost and took the service for another spin to see how it stacks up in an increasingly competitive VPN market.

Further reading: See our roundup of the best VPNs to learn about competing products.

CyberGhost VPN features and services

CyberGhost’s Windows application has a well designed and easy-to-use interface.

Sam Singleton

The CyberGhost Windows app has an easy-to-use interface that’s pleasantly simple and straightforward. On the left rail you have options for My Account and Settings. To the right of that you have all of the different server options. These include menu items for Favorites, All Servers, For Gaming, For Torrenting, and For Streaming servers. 

Under the For Streaming section, you can find CyberGhost’s recommended servers optimized for each streaming service.

Sam Singleton

Many of these server options come from CyberGhost’s rather unique legacy as a VPN that offers servers based on use rather than location. While these options are all pretty self-explanatory, the For streaming section is noteworthy. Each server listed in this menu is optimized for a specific service and CyberGhost supports unblocking for more than 35 services. For just the U.S. alone this includes Amazon Prime, Fox, HBO Max, Sling TV, Hulu, PeacockTV, Netflix, and others. When you’re going overseas, or you’d like to access an overseas service from the U.S., CyberGhost should have you covered.

CyberGhost VPN offers a few, but not a lot, of options for power users to tweak the VPN.

Sam Singleton

While the service doesn’t offer a wide variety of tools for power users, the Smart rules section does offer a few areas to tweak. Here you can set launch rules for the app, whitelist certain websites so they bypass the VPN, and also choose if you would like the VPN to automatically connect when you open a specific desktop app.

These are all handy, but other top VPN providers such as NordVPN and ProtonVPN offer even more features which can be considerably useful. Things such as double-VPN, multi-hop connections, and traffic routing through the Tor anonymization network are offered by competitors but lacking with CyberGhost.

When you choose an option from the server tabs, you’ll find a list of all the servers available, which you can sort alphabetically by name, distance from your home IP address, and any favorite servers you’ve chosen. This is where CyberGhost shines. It offers a dizzying number of server locations—more than 9,000. That’s more than pretty much any of the other top VPN companies. The abundance of choice here means you have more options to choose servers that suit your needs whether that be location or speed or something else.

While connected to any of its servers, you’re able to clearly see the server’s IP address and location, data downloaded and uploaded while connected, the protocol being used, and the time duration of the connection. All of this information is displayed in a very clear and tidy manner. While this may seem like a minor detail, some other VPN providers bury this pertinent information deep down in the settings or side menus.

The abundance of choice here means you have more options to choose servers that suit your needs whether that be location or speed or something else.

How is CyberGhost VPN’s performance?

During our testing we rated connection speeds across CyberGhost’s servers in five different countries all around the world and then compared them to our baseline internet speed. CyberGhost server speeds were pretty good, although it didn’t fall into our top five fastest VPNs. Across all locations tested, the speeds averaged just over 47 percent of the base download speed and a much more impressive 95 percent of the base upload speed. 

That doesn’t appear great at first glance, but take those averages with a grain of salt. We saw significantly different speed averages across regions. For example, of the servers we tested, those located in Asia were particularly slow while the European servers we tested were much faster. This may boil down to the likelihood that CyberGhost employs more virtual VPN servers in Asia than in its home continent of Europe, but either way it’s something to be aware of if you’re traveling or living in these countries.

In regards to streaming, CyberGhost’s speeds shouldn’t necessarily be a worry. During our testing, even connected to slower servers, most content streamed without a hitch. And not just with the recommended streaming servers, even while using other servers we never came across an issue accessing content on major streaming sites. This is another reason why CyberGhost is a great VPN for those looking to bypass geo-restrictions or stream while out of the country.

CyberGhost VPN security and privacy

CyberGhost VPN’s privacy and security features.

CyberGhost

CyberGhost uses the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption, which is currently uncrackable, so you can rest assured that your connections will be safe.

It also provides WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN protocols. WireGuard will likely be your best bet in most circumstances as it’s newer and generally known to be faster and more secure. IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols are older, but still have their uses. IKEv2, for example, has wide compatibility and is generally a good option should you want to use CyberGhost on your mobile device as well.

As mentioned previously, there is also the option to turn on an automatic kill switch, which will sever your connection to the internet should your VPN drop out for any reason. It’s a nice feature to have to ensure your actual address is never revealed should there be VPN issues. During our testing, CyberGhost’s kill switch triggered successfully when the VPN lost connection.

As for privacy, CyberGhost lays it all out in its privacy policy. The basics are pretty straightforward. Right at the top the company says it doesn’t track browsing history or traffic. It also says it doesn’t store connection logs or timestamps, your IP address, or session durations.

It does, however, collect data on connection attempts including the time they happened, country of origin, and the CyberGhost software version. It also tracks successful connections. CyberGhost says this information is sent to a third-party who collects the information in aggregate. The company says it uses this information to maintain its service and none of the data collected contains personally identifying features.

To further back up its claim of privacy, CyberGhost had its no-logs policy confirmed via an audit by Deloitte in September of 2023. We always like to see a company that takes steps like this to increase transparency and foster trust among its user base.

When signing up for CyberGhost you’ll need to supply an email address and password, and payment is accepted via credit card, GPay, PayPal, or Bitcoin.

Is CyberGhost VPN worth it?

CyberGhost is, as always, a top-notch VPN. This is especially true for the average user who just wants to maintain their privacy and security while browsing online. The service has good enough speeds and the interface is well designed and easy to use. It also supports a wide range of streaming services all over the world, and it ultimately makes the right privacy promises (and backs them up too).

Admittedly, the service does lack some tools such as multi-hop and double VPN that are available through competitors. And if you’re a power user who is dead set on optimizing and tweaking your connections then you may want to look elsewhere. But for the vast majority of VPN users, CyberGhost is a VPN service worthy of your hard-earned money.

Editor’s note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this article.

Apple Watch Comparison: Which One Is Right For You?

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The Apple Watch is still far and away the most popular line of wearable devices in the world. According to analyst Counterpoint Research, it accounted for more than 30 percent of all smartwatches sold in 2023. The wider range of Apple Watches also contains the best overall smartwatches you can get right now if you’re looking for a “lifestyle” watch that blends fitness tracking, health features, and a secondary interface for notifications, texts, and calls from your phone. In 2023, however, Apple completely overhauled the Apple Watch line with a wave of three new models: the standard Apple Watch Series 8, the budget-friendly second-generation Apple Watch SE, and a new high-end sports watch, the Apple Watch Ultra. Between those three and all of the past models, which you can still find at Amazon and other retailers, you have many options if you’re considering your first Apple Watch or upgrading from an older design. Before you commit to putting a new computer on your wrist, we’ve put together this Apple Watch comparison to help you figure out how to pick the right one for you.

Apple Watch SE 2 vs. Series 8 vs. Ultra

For the most part, we think it’s prudent to focus on Apple’s current set of Watches. They have the latest and greatest tech inside—perfect to pair with that new iPhone 14 Pro Max. All three 2023 watches—even the relatively affordable SE—feature the same processor and motion sensors that enable car crash detection. The 2023 models will also get more watchOS software updates down the road, which means you can hold onto one (or more) longer before your Watch needs replacing. From cheapest to most expensive, here are the three current options and why you may or may not want them:

Apple Watch SE 2

At the same time, the second-generation SE comes closer to parity with the standard Apple Watch than the last generation. It features the same chipset inside and offers the same battery life. It offers the power and features to work effectively as a fitness tracker, sleep tracker, and iPhone companion device for most people. And it costs substantially less. If you just want an Apple Watch that works, and you don’t necessarily care about getting every kind of data, the SE 2 is probably the move.

Apple Watch Series 8 Apple Watch Ultra

The Apple Watch Ultra is the most powerful Apple Watch and, frankly, will be overkill for most people. The $799 Apple Watch Ultra is an outdoor-focused “sport” watch, similar to many of Garmin’s high-end wearables. Unlike the other Apple Watches, it’s only in one size—a huge 49mm case—with cellular support and dual-frequency GPS built in. It features a thicker, more durable build with a redesigned digital crown and an extra “Action” button to quickly start workouts and toggle other functions. 

The Ultra gets double the battery life of the other 2023 Apple Watches—36 hours versus 18 hours on the Series 8 and SE—which is great for everyone, but many of its features are designed for athletes and outdoorsy folk dealing with harsh conditions. Its powerful built-in speakers enable a loud SOS siren if you get lost in the woods. Improved waterproofing, certifications, and a dedicated app qualify it as a diving computer. The three-microphone array is burlier than normal to improve call clarity in situations with power interference from blizzards and powerful winds. It even has specialty bands for specific activities like diving and endurance training.

Given the difference in price and specificity of its feature set, you should only consider getting the Apple Watch Ultra if you are either a serious athlete or a fan of outdoor activities that require specialized equipment like climbing, off-trail hiking, and diving. If that sounds like your speed, you’re better off comparing the Apple Watch Ultra to the best Garmin smartwatches, as well as top picks from other brands like Suunto.

What about the older Apple Watches?

Though Apple’s lineup is limited to those three watches, there are still plenty of ways to get your hands on an older-model Apple Watch. If you aren’t concerned with getting a handful of new features in the Series 8, such as low-power mode, Car Crash Detection, and temperature sensors for ovulation tracking, the Apple Watch Series 7 is still a very appealing, very viable option. Likewise, the Apple Watch Series 6 gives you most of the same functionality as the Series 7 and Series 8, though you’ll be stuck with a smaller display, which makes a bigger difference than you think.

I would not recommend going further back than the Series 6 at this point. Independent of the features you’ll lose access to model by model, the older Apple Watches inevitably offer shorter lifespans. With every new version of watchOS, the Apple Watch’s operating system, the company will inevitably shut off support for each older watch, leaving you without access to new software-enabled features and security updates. It may be cheaper, but we can’t recommend you buy an Apple Watch Series 4, knowing that it will likely become obsolete in less than 12 months. And suppose you’re using an Apple Watch Series 3, which Apple sold until earlier this year but stopped supporting with watchOS 9. In that case, you should consider upgrading soon to ensure your watch remains secure, especially if you use it for Apple Pay.

What size watch face should you get?

The new Apple Watch SE offers two case sizes, 40mm and 44mm. Series 8 features a larger size range at 41mm and 45mm. The Apple Watch Ultra comes in a single, extra-large 49mm size. Though it sounds small, even a 1mm difference can feel quite striking on your wrist and looks substantially larger.

If you’re unsure what size would feel right, we recommend going to an Apple store or other retailer and trying all sizes on to see what feels right. If one Watch feels noticeably better than the others, go with it. A bigger screen is an upgrade, but it won’t matter if the Watch feels bulky or uncomfortable on your wrist. 

Which Apple smartwatch is the best fitness tracker?

The new Heart zones feature in watchOS 9 enhances runs on any Apple Watch. Mike Epstein

The Apple Watch Ultra has special features that make it the best fitness tracker for certain kinds of athletes and workouts. The action button on the side of the watch makes it easier to switch between legs of a race or training if you’re in the middle of a multi-phase workout, for example. It also offers superior GPS for more accurate tracking while using the Apple Watch’s “Race Route” feature to create and follow a work routine.

That said, in terms of heart tracking and data collection, the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra feature the same sensors for tracking your heart rate and movement. If you’re looking for a watch to bring to the gym or track your outdoor runs, the Series 8 is probably the right call.

Is the stainless steel Apple Watch upgrade worth it?

In addition to the standard recycled aluminum body, you can pay extra for an Apple Watch Series 8 made from stainless steel. The Apple Watch Ultra features a highly durable titanium body. Both metals are tougher than aluminum and won’t scratch or dent as easily. Perhaps more importantly, the stainless steel Series 8 and the Ultra come with an extra-hard sapphire crystal over the display. Having worn both models extensively, I can say that the sapphire crystal upgrade clearly resists scratches and damage better than the Ion-X glass used in the standard Series 8 and SE 2 displays. We haven’t had any problems with scratches or breakage with the Ion-X glass, though, so it isn’t a huge concern if you’re not putting it in harm’s way regularly. 

Of course, that extra durability—and the additional colorways—will cost you. The stainless steel case models start at $699, and the Apple Watch Ultra costs $799. If you plan to keep one watch for a long time, the additional durability may be worth it. That said, you shouldn’t worry about your watch being highly fragile if you don’t.

Do you need cellular data on the Apple Watch?

When making your own Apple Watch comparison, whether or not you need cellular data is a major feature difference between models. The Watch itself costs more with cellular built-in: it’s a $50 premium for the SE and an extra $100 on the Series 8. Then you’ll have to factor in the cost of the data itself. Most carriers will charge you about $10 per month extra to add basic data to your Watch. Check with your carrier for compatibility before making a purchase. 

That extra expense may be worth it for some people because it allows them to use many Apple Watch features without lugging around an iPhone. So, if you run without a phone, you can still make calls and listen to music from streaming services. 

So, which Apple Watch should you buy?

Without any information about you, dear reader, we think the Apple Watch Series 8 offers the best balance between price and functionality. If that doesn’t ring true, if there are things you really want (or don’t want) that steer you to another watch, we totally get it. That’s why we made this Apple Watch comparison. The important thing is finding the Apple Watch that fits your life.

Surfshark Vpn Review: Is It Good? (My Test Results)

Surfshark VPN

Adrian Try

Effectiveness: It’s private and secure

Price: $12.95/month or $59.76 yearly

Ease of Use: Simple to set up and use

Support: Chat support and web form

Why Trust Me for This Surfshark Review?

My name is Adrian Try. I’ve been computing since the 80s and surfing the net since the 90s. Over my career, I’ve set up office networks, home computers, and internet cafes. I ran a computer support business. In the process, I discovered that too many people wait until they are hacked before protecting themselves.

VPN software offers a solid first defense. I recently spent months installing, testing, and reviewing popular VPN software, comparing my own discoveries with industry experts’ test results and reviews. To prepare for this article, I subscribed to SurfShark, then installed it on my Apple iMac.

Detailed Surfshark VPN Review

Surfshark is designed to protect your privacy and security online. In this review, I’ll list its features in the following four sections. In each subsection, I’ll explore what the app offers and then share my personal take.

1. Privacy Though Online Anonymity

You’d be surprised how visible your online activities are. Your IP address and system information are sent to each website that you connect to.

That makes what you do online Iess anonymous than you may realize.

But there is one significant exception. Your VPN service sees it all! That makes the VPN provider you choose a crucial decision.

That’s one reason to avoid free VPN services, for instance. What’s their business model? It may include selling your personal information.

Surfshark has an unambiguous and complete privacy policy. They keep no record of your IP address, the sites you visit, or any other private data.

Some governments place a legal obligation on VPN providers to log activities. Surfshark is strategically located where this is not a requirement. They have excellent privacy practices, such as RAM-only servers that automatically lose all data when turned off.

Surfshark does collect anonymous usage and crash data, though you can easily opt-out in the app’s settings.

My personal take: While there’s no such thing as a 100% guarantee for online anonymity, choosing a reputable VPN service is a good start. Surfshark has an excellent privacy policy, doesn’t log your activities, and uses computers that don’t retain any data when turned off.

2. Security through Strong Encryption

Another source of concern is other users on your network. That’s particularly true if you’re on a public wireless network with strangers, like at a coffee shop.

They can use packet sniffing software to intercept and log all information sent between you and the wireless router.

They can redirect you to fake websites in an attempt to steal your passwords and accounts.

Hackers sometimes set up fake hotspots meant to look like they belong to a coffee shop. They’ll then log as much of your information as possible.

This is another area where VPNs can keep you safe. They create a secure, encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN server.

Surfshark had their security practices audited independently by the German company Cure53. They found Surfshark robust and unexposed.

The trade-off for this added security is a potential speed hit. First, adding encryption takes time. Second, running your traffic through a VPN server is slower than accessing the websites directly. How much slower? That depends on both the VPN service you choose and the distance of the server you connect to.

My download speed is typically around 90 Mbps when not connected to a VPN.

I connected to several Surfshark servers around the world to see how it would affect my speed. Here’s the full list of speed tests I performed.

Australian servers (closest to me):

Australia (Sydney) 62.13 Mbps

Australia (Melbourne) 39.12 Mbps

Australia (Adelaide) 21.17 Mbps

US servers:

US (Atlanta) 7.48 Mbps

US (Los Angeles) 9.16 Mbps

US (San Francisco) 17.37 Mbps

European servers:

UK (London) 15.68 Mbps

UK (Manchester) 16.54 Mbps

Ireland (Glasgow) 37.80 Mbps

That’s quite a wide range of speeds. I can choose a server close to me—say the one in Sydney—and still achieve around 70% of my usual download speed. Or I can connect to a server in a specific part of the world—to access content only available in that country—and accept that my connection will be slower.

The fastest server was 62.13 Mbps; the average of all the servers I tested was 25.16 Mbps. How does that compare to other VPN providers? Quite well. Here are the fastest and average server speeds over six VPN providers I tested when writing the Best VPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick review:

NordVPN: 70.22 Mbps (fastest server), 22.75 Mbps (average)

SurfShark: 62.13 Mbps (fastest server), 25.16 Mbps (average)

Windscribe VPN: 57.00 Mbps (fastest server), 29.54 Mbps (average)

CyberGhost: 43.59 Mbps (fastest server), 36.03 Mbps (average)

ExpressVPN: 42.85 Mbps (fastest server), 24.39 Mbps (average)

IPVanish: 34.75 Mbps (fastest server), 14.75 Mbps (average)

Another is MultiHop, a form of double-VPN that connects to more than one country at a time, taking your privacy and security to another level. For even greater anonymity, they offer TOR-over-VPN. Two further security settings will automatically open Surfshark whenever you log in to your computer, then maintain the connection when another user logs in. This makes sure that you’re always protected when online.

A final setting protects you by blocking web access if you’re unexpectedly disconnected from the Surfshark server. This is commonly known as a “kill switch” and is enabled by default.

3. Access Sites that Have Been Blocked Locally

On some networks, you may find you can’t access certain websites. Your employer, for instance, might block Facebook and other social networks to foster productivity. Schools typically block websites that are not suitable for children. Some countries block web content from the outside world.

One benefit of a VPN is that it can tunnel through those barriers. Surfshark calls this “no borders mode.

But be aware there may be consequences. Your school, employer, or government won’t be thrilled that you’re bypassing their firewall. You could lose your job or worse. Since 2023, China has been handing out hefty fines to individuals who do this.

My personal take: Surfshark can bypass online censorship, giving you access to sites that your employer, school, or government are actively blocking. Consider the consequences, though, before attempting this.

4. Access Streaming Services that Have Been Blocked by the Provider

Some blocking happens at the other end of the connection: the website itself may block you. VPNs help here too.

A prime example: video streaming services need to respect licensing agreements that vary from country to country. They may not be allowed to stream certain content in some locations. So they set up geoblocking algorithms that determine your location from your IP address. We cover this in more detail in our article, Best VPN for Netflix.

If you use a VPN, those providers see the IP address of the server you connected to. Connecting to a Surfshark server in the United States makes it appear that you’re located there, giving you access to content you wouldn’t normally have.

As a result, Netflix now attempts to identify and block users who use VPN services. BBC iPlayer does the same to ensure their viewers are located in the UK. These measures work with many VPNs, but not all.

When I tested Surfshark, Netflix never realized that I was using a VPN. I could access content when connected to each of nine different servers around the world:

Australia (Sydney) YES

Australia (Melbourne) YES

Australia (Adelaide) YES

US (Atlanta) YES

US (Los Angeles) YES

US (San Francisco) YES

UK (London) YES

UK (Manchester) YES

Ireland (Glasgow) YES

I had the same success when connecting to the BBC iPlayer from servers within the UK:

UK (London) YES

UK (Manchester) YES

Ireland (Glasgow) YES

How does Surfshark compare with other VPN providers? They have 1700 servers in 63 countries around the world, which is quite competitive:

PureVPN: 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries

ExpressVPN: 3,000+ servers in 94 countries

Astrill VPN: 115 cities in 64 countries

CyberGhost: 3,700 servers in 60+ countries

NordVPN: 5100+ servers in 60 countries

Avast SecureLine VPN: 55 locations in 34 countries

It was more successful than half of the other VPNs when connecting to Netflix:

Avast SecureLine VPN: 100% (17 out of 17 servers tested)

Surfshark: 100% (9 out of 9 servers tested)

NordVPN: 100% (9 out of 9 servers tested)

PureVPN: 100% (9 out of 9 servers tested)

CyberGhost: 100% (2 out of 2 optimized servers tested)

ExpressVPN: 89% (16 out of 18 servers tested)

Astrill VPN: 62% (15 out of 24 servers tested)

IPVanish: 33% (3 out of 9 servers tested)

Windscribe VPN: 11% (1 out of 9 servers tested)

My personal take: Surfshark can give you access to content that’s only available in other countries. When you connect to one of their worldwide servers, it looks like you’re actually located there. In my experience, Surfshark could successfully stream Netflix and BBC content meant for different locations every time.

Reasons Behind My SurfShark Ratings

Effectiveness: 4.5/5

Surfshark offers the features you need and additional security features such as double-VPN, a kill switch, and an ad blocker. They have servers in 63 servers around the world that offer fast enough speeds to stream video content. I was successful at connecting to Netflix and the BBC iPlayer every time I tried.

Price: 4.5/5

Ease of Use: 4.5/5

Surfshark is easy to configure and use. The kill switch is enabled by default. You can select a server from a list sorted by continent. Finally, the app’s settings are easy to navigate.

Support: 4.5/5

Surfshark’s Help Center offers easy-to-follow video and text guides; a FAQ and Knowledge Base are also available. You can contact support via chat or a web form. I tested it out, reaching out by chat. I received a reply in about two minutes.

Alternatives to Surfshark

NordVPN (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Firefox extension, Chrome extension, Android TV, from $11.95/month) is a reliable, easy-to-use VPN service.

ExpressVPN (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, router, from $12.95/month) combines power with usability.

AstrillVPN (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, router, from $15.90/month) is easy-to-configure and offers reasonably fast speeds.

Avast SecureLine VPN (Windows or Mac $59.99/year, iOS or Android $19.99/year, 5 devices $79.99/year) includes most of the features you need and is easy to configure and use.

Conclusion

Surfshark is one of the most highly-rated VPN apps on the market. It’s effective and easy to use. We named it the winner of our Best VPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick roundup. The service offers apps for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, and Firefox.

The app’s official website’s FAQ speaks of a free trial period, but that’s no longer available on desktop platforms. I confirmed this with Surfshark support. They gave me a workaround. First, install the mobile app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store, where you’re offered a free 7-day trial. After that, you can sign in on other platforms using the same username and password.

Best Free Vpn Software For Windows 11/10 Pc

Internet services usually collect all our personal details while we browse; this is where we need a VPN. Every time we use a free public WiFi hotspot connection, all our data is in danger of getting snipped. If you are an avid internet user and concerned about your privacy online, employing free VPN software is a better option as compared to a Proxy software. Virtual Private Network securely connects your PC to various locations worldwide and helps you with remote desktop access, files and folder sharing, and so on.

VPN software gives you protected internet access by adding security to your public as well as private networks, may it be your internet connection or a Wi-Fi Hotspot connection. In other words, it hides and protects your identity online. While a VPN can’t make online connections completely unidentified or anonymous, but can certainly increase security and privacy.

Free VPN software for Windows 11/10

It is now time to use VPN software also for Security & Privacy. Here is a list of the best free VPN software & service providers for Windows 11/10/8/7 computers. Browse anonymously and protect your Internet connection at all times. Do note that most of them also offer a paid version that gives you faster speed and unlocks additional bandwidth and features.

TunnelBear

Avira Phantom

Globus Free VPN Browser

Betternet

SecurityKiss

Spotflux

Neorouter

Hotspot Shield

Hola Unblocker

Speedify

CyberGhost Secure

Opera VPN

Read: What is a VPN, and Why should we use a VPN?

1. TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear is a simple VPN software with no complex installation process or crapware. Like most of the other VPN agents mentioned above, TunnelBear also creates a virtual network adapter used to route your internet traffic to its servers in Germany, the UK, France, the United States, and a couple of other countries. The program comes in both a free and paid version. TunnelBear blocks all tracking websites and lets you browse freely without the fear of getting tracked or hacked. This one is worth checking out!

2. Avira Phantom VPN

This free VPN service provides secure, encrypted, and anonymous access to the internet on your Windows PC as well as your Android devices. It encrypts the entire communication between your Windows PC and the network and ensures your Online Privacy. It is one of the most trusted VPN when it is about financial transactions done on a shared network. It ensures that none of your online activities are tracked by the 3rd parties. Like most VPN software, Avira Phantom VPN also lets you change your IP address and access the websites restricted in your area. Avira Phantom VPN is a lightweight file and gets installed on your PC easily.

3. Globus Free VPN Browser

Globus Free VPN masks your IP address and allows you to access any restricted website. It comes as a package that includes a VPS agent and a browser. When you download and install the VPN agent, the browser automatically installs and gets pinned to your taskbar. It anonymously encrypts the entire traffic. The VPN agent gives you the IP of the UK by default, along with a list of IP addresses you can select from. This free VPN agent is easy to use and provides full tracking and protection against data acquisition.

4. Betternet VPN

Easy to use, this simple VPN software comes with a one-button activation and is surely one of the best free VPN agents available. Betternet comes in both free as well as a paid version, where the premium version includes some extra safety features. Designed for both PCs and Smartphones, Betternet requires no subscription. It hides your IP address randomly and lets you access the websites restricted in your region. Good speed and the ability to avoid cookies are some other features of Betternet VPN.

5. SecurityKiss VPN

This is a simple VPN software with a weird name, of course. However, it claims to protect all your data from eavesdroppers. With a straightforward installation process, this program brings no crapware or toolbar, or hidden add-ons along. While its default server is based in the US, The virtual network created by the free version of SecurityKiss allows you to get an IP of the UK, Canada, Germany, or France.

Related: Best Free Gaming VPN or GPN for Windows PC.

6. Spotflux

Spotflux is a free VPN software that creates an encrypted connection and helps you with safe and uninterrupted web browsing transferring your data. The program not just protects your data from hackers but also prevents internet agencies from tracking your online activities by providing random DNS addresses and IP addresses. Furthermore, Spotflux also scans and removes malware from your incoming connections.

7. Neorouter VPN

This is a free zero-configuration VPN solution for your PC. It supports various platforms, including Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, and more. Neorouter comes with P2P support (the peer-to-peer connection between computers), portable client setup, and remote wakeup (wake up your PC when connected to a network). The secured network protects your internet traffic on shared connections and helps you sharing files and folders with your friends and play network games.

8. Hotspot Shield VPN

With Hotspot Shield installed on your PC, you can browse safely even at public WiFi hotspots. It provides complete anonymity as well as a proxy, adding more to your security online. While this software makes some changes to your homepage and also installs some toolbars forcefully, it is effective when it is about your online privacy and anonymity. The virtual tunnel of Hotspot Shield lets you hide your IP and select anyone from the drop-down list, including UK, Japan, Australia, and the US. The connection with this VPN might drop during heavy traffic hours.

9. Hola Unblocker Free VPN

This is a simple tool that lets you bypass the restrictions and browse any website blocked in your region. Unlike the other VPN agents in the list above, Hola Unblocker features a tool named Internet Accelerator, which accelerates your internet speed and reduces bandwidth usage. It is an easy and faster alternative to proxy to hide your IP address and browse safely.

10. Speedify 11. CyberGhost Secure VPN

Available in free and premium versions, CyberGhost is one of the best free VPN solutions for your Windows PC. It is an easy-to-use personal VPN service that hides all your common internet activities and your identity from hackers. CyberGhost Secure VPN also lets you spoof your IP address and stay safe.  Other salient features of CyberGhost Secure VPN Free include access to free servers, 1GB traffic/month, limited availability, bandwidth limited to 2 Mbps, and a forced disconnection after 6 hours. Their CyberGhost Premium VPN is available at a huge SAVING!

UPDATE: Cyberghost has discontinued the Free version. The free version is now only available as a Chrome/Edge extension only and is bandwidth-restricted.

12. Opera VPN

Use the Opera browser, and you can make use of its free VPN service.

Let us know if you use any VPN software and, if so, which one.

Are free VPNs safe?

It takes a lot of infrastructures to deliver what VPN should offer. So a free VPN will result in compromises, and some of the free VPNs are not even VPNs but only offers proxy to change your IP. It is best not to use a free VPN.

Is VPN safe for banking?

Even if it is, I would say that stick to non-VPN browsing when it comes to financial transactions. Most of the Payment gateways track your IP and can be useful if you want to make a claim. VPNs change the IP, and the financial institutes may deny if they see IP outside the original.

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