Virtual Private Networks (VPN) aren’t just for travelers anymore. After all the talk and debates and future decisions by various government and business entities to restrict Internet access, everyone who values their privacy and those of anyone on their network needs a VPN. With years of using VPNs and proxy servers as digital nomads and frequent travelers, we’ve compiled a list of recommended VPNs for your piece of mind (and, so you can still watch Netflix overseas).
VPNs, in short, hide your IP address and, thus, your location.
If you’re a business, big or small, and handling ANY sort of clients or speaking with anyone about financial or sensitive information, it is absolutely vital that you have a VPN and not risk information being sold.
A few years ago, this sort of urging might have seemed like paranoia, but it is sadly a very real reality. Whether to keep your private information safe, ensure anonymity, or simply hide your location, below are some of the best VPNs out there to use.
In the beginning when first starting to get to know VPNs, SoftEther VPN was a great choice. The drawback is that it was usually quite slow. Good for checking emails or social media/private searches, but not so great for TV or movie streaming. Their open source program, developed in Japan at the University of Tsukuba, is mostly academic in nature. The software works with any platform. This VPN is also good for seeing news from around the world and more unbiased coverage in a Google news feed.
1) Tunnel Bear
(Pros: free, great performance, 22 countries to choose from, best for Windows. Cons: limited to 500MB of traffic per month with the free version.)
No such thing as weak encryption for this bear of a VPN (#pun), all connections use 256-bit encryption and includes extra privacy features to keep things secure (including a cool Ghost Bear feature). Incredibly simple and adorable to use, Tunnel Bear has servers in 22 countries, and has been independently audited by third party to ensure their promise of security.
Their free service is limited to 500MB per month and has a free Android app.
Right now, their unlimited yearly packages are just $4.16 a month, for 5 devices, or $9.99 for month-to-month service.
(Pros: easy to use, works on desktops, mobile devices, and laptops, good for use on all platforms. Cons: Similar to a mobile phone agreement, once your original data runs out (200MB), you have to purchase more)
While it may seem like their free service is fairly limited, for $30 a year you can have UNLIMITED data. The fact that it works on mobile devices is AMAZING. Those sensitive emails, texts, and snaps, including where you’re going and why and with whom? Those can be protected.
3) Hotspot Shield Free
(Pros: great for Wi-Fi, automatic enabling, amazing 750MB per day limit on bandwidth. Cons: Speed can lag at times, especially if the Wi-Fi you’re connected to isn’t that great to begin with.)
Using public Wi-Fi and not caring who sees your info? Whether you’re a regular person or a digital nomad with a non-disclosure agreement in place designing someone’s website or editing legal documents… you might want to rethink. Hotspot Shield Free has over 500 million users and literally thousands of serves around the world, making it AWESOME for digital nomads or remote workers. Protect all of your health, finance, work, dating, and search info super easily for all devices, Apple or otherwise.
If you need something more than what they offer on the free version,
their elite subscriptions will take your business to a first-class level with insanely low prices. $119.99 for a LIFETIME of unlimited VPN use? Unfathomable. If you’re not into life-long commitments just yet, they have a killer 53% off deal for $5.99 a month for one year (or $12.99 month-to-month)
While free is preferable, sometimes it just makes sense to pay for services provided, especially in matters of internet connection and security.
Specifically for Netflix and Fast Streaming:
Netflix instituted a ban on VPNs to cut down on those folks overseas using VPNs to access shows and movies. The reasoning behind this is that copyrights were sold by show/movie creators and Hollywood for shows and movies to be shown in the country they were created. If you’re Australian or from the UK, you may argue that you, too, have Netflix access so why bother? Because in the U.S., there are over 7000 shows/movies to choose from. In Australia, they have about 1900, many of which are regionally specific.
If you’re in China, there’s not even a chance of watching Netflix (or visiting Hulu, or Youtube or many other websites such as Facebook) without a VPN.
The point is, if you need to watch Walking Dead in Bali or Djibouti, you’re going to need a VPN.
These three have been working best, but be patient if one server location goes out and needs to reconnect to another.
4) ExpressVPN – Hailed as the fastest VPN (yours to try for FREE for 30 days), ExpressVPN can connect up to three devices (like three laptops, all at the same time). This is great for co-working, gaming, or just watching Netflix on three computers at the same time. Speed has been constantly fast, with little lagging issues, and has great security for those willing to pay a bit extra for their VPNs. As a bonus for those super into privacy, the company is based in the British Virgin Islands, with no data retention log requirements. ExpressVPN is also the only VPN service that allows for customers to use SmartDNS to unblock Netlfix on gaming systems and Apple TV! Basically the best encryption in the game (using 4096-bit CA, AES-256-CBC encryption, TLSv1.2, SHA512). Stream all the movies, all the sports, all the awards shows!
The company is having some great deals for the new year right now, as well! ($12.95 per month for one month, or $8.32 per month for 12 months)
5) Vyper VPN
Crazy fast and user-friendly (with a unique story on how they got started), awesome for business and Netflix+chill. Increases security, especially on public wi-fi and has great speeds for streaming most anything. With over 200,000 IP addresses and unlimited server switching, VyperVPN has their own Chameleon technology that works around VPN blocking and throttling around the world. Perfect for the times we’re finding ourselves in at the moment. Working/living/traveling in China? No problem for this VPN, as it keeps the entire internet free and available to you, regardless of the Great Firewall. This company is militantly passionate about privacy for individuals and businesses alike. Right now, VyperVPN is having a 25% off seasonal promotion and, for $5 a month you can get unlimited data for 5 devices….AT THE SAME TIME! Or, after a free three day trial, you can choose a month to month option of $3.75 per month with unlimited data for 3 devices.
Have anymore that you’ve found particularly helpful for travel? Drop us a line and let us know!
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