Tu Privacy when you surf the Internet it is a right, but it has been completely violated. Many services collect your data and use it for certain advertising campaigns or to sell it to third parties. More than enough reason for you to seriously consider using a VPN.
In addition, some services are restricted in your country, which limits your access to the content you want or need. If you are fed up with the typical message «This x is not available in your country»Or«This x isn't available in your country«, Then it is another one of the many problems that you could solve with a VPN.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a VPN?
- 2 What should I keep in mind when choosing a VPN?
- 3 Our recommendation: NordVPN
What is a VPN?
If you still don't know what VPN is (Virtual Private Network), or virtual private network, so you should know the concept thoroughly to understand all the advantages you could get from using it.
A VPN is a service that allows you to connect to a network such as the Internet in a more secure way. This is achieved thanks to the obfuscation of the origin of network traffic. That is, the VPN provides you with a different IP, which may even be from a different country than yours.
On the other hand, the VPN also encrypt network traffic, that is, all the data that enters or leaves as a result of your browsing activity will be encrypted. This makes them less vulnerable to third parties being able to access them and even to some computer attacks that use sniffers (packet analyzers) such as MitM.
As you see, the advantages are numerous who has a VPN. And the only downside to this type of service is that it can slow down your connection speed a bit. Something that is not a problem for today's high-speed, high-bandwidth networks. In addition, there are some VPN services that have managed to alleviate these negative effects and allow you to browse almost without losses.
Advantages of a VPN
The VPN allows you to safely extend the LAN network over a public network such as the Internet. This generates a channel so that a connected device can send and receive data as if you were inside a private network. And that is possible through a virtual point-to-point connection, and in a transparent way for the user and with advantages such as:
- Data integrity, security and confidentiality: they are somewhat confusing terms, but they are not exactly the same. A VPN can help you implement a connection that respects all three concepts:
- Security: the VPN provides encryption, so the connections will be more secure against cyberattacks by third parties. And that is important for the home, but much more for companies that handle much more relevant information.
- Confidentiality.: refers to the protection of data and information that is exchanged between an issuer and one or more receivers. In this case, third parties are prevented from accessing it, which they should not have access to. For example, when someone intercepts the transferred data. With the VPN, being encrypted would not be possible. On the other hand, in connections that transfer in plain text, passwords, private data, etc. can be captured.
- Integrity: refers to ensuring that the data transferred reaches its recipient correctly and completely. Without getting lost along the way or being modified by third parties who access them.
- Simplicity- VPN client apps are usually very easy to set up and run, even for non-technical users.
- Hide the IP: by offering you another new IP provided by the VPN provider, it allows you to hide your IP (from the ISP) while browsing. Not only is it more secure, but it can allow you to access restricted content in your country as I have commented.
- Saving: a VPN can provide a user or company with advantages that could also be achieved by other, but more expensive, methods.
Is a free VPN recommended?
There are some services VPN for free, both for PCs and mobile devices. These services usually have limitations in terms of functionality and not all of them are good for anything. They also impose cumbersome data limits, which will limit the amount of daily, weekly or monthly traffic.
And worst of all, some of these free services you end up paying them. That is, although they do not cost money, they can make you lose time, get to despair because of the limitations, the slow speeds, the blocked functionalities, or their poor security.
Why do I need a VPN?
As you may have already guessed, whether you are an individual and want to keep your home safe or if you have a company, having a VPN can save you a lot security issues. You can be much calmer when browsing, thanks to the robust security algorithms that some VPN services have.
In addition, you have to know that your ISP, or Internet service provider (Orange, Telefónica, Vodafone, Jazztel, Eurona, ...), will be the one that redirects all network traffic to your destination. That is, everything will pass through its servers first, so it stores all your activity and could sell your browsing history data to advertising companies, government agencies, companies, etc.
On the question of geographic restrictions, your IP "gives you away", since it shows the country of origin, and that will make all those services that are not available in your country deny you access. For example, some streaming video platforms, etc. So you can see all that content without restriction, install apps not available for Spain from Google Play or App Store, access restricted services in your area, etc.
And I add another reason, now with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, teleworking or distance education have become routine. During these activities, a lot of relevant data is sent and received, from private images, tax data, intellectual property, etc. Something that will be protected from the prying eyes of possible cybercriminals with the encryption of the VPN.
What should I keep in mind when choosing a VPN?
When choosing a VPN you must take into account the technical characteristics in which you should look to make the best choice:
- IP- Some VPN services just randomly give you a different IP. Others have the option to choose the source of the IP. For example, imagine that you want to access a service that is only available in Germany. You could choose to obtain an IP from this country to be able to access that service as if you really had a German connection.
- Encryption algorithm: performance and safety will largely depend on it. He will be in charge of encrypting the network traffic, and the more robust they are, the more difficult it will be to be able to decrypt the transmissions. Some algorithms are more vulnerable than others, but most of the best VPN services use military-grade encryption for maximum security.
- SpeedFree VPNs tend to have poor speed, while paid VPNs have pretty good speeds. And these speeds have to do with encryption because, if they can encrypt and decrypt the data in a more agile way, the speed will not be seriously affected.
- Privacy and anonymity: some VPN services need to save your registration data, such as your IP address, name, payment information, etc. That would make it not entirely anonymous, and you could be identified. Although this is something that worries those who use VPNs for illegal things more than other users ...
- Technical support- Free VPN services are often unsupported or poorly serviced. In contrast, paid VPNs tend to have good customer support services. Many of those services are 24/7, so they are always there for you when problems arise. Some platforms have service in Spanish, others only in English.
- Support / platform- Not all VPN services have clients for all operating systems or platforms. It is something very important to keep in mind so that it can work on your OS: Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, etc.
- Friendly GUI: if it has a friendly graphical interface, it will be much easier to configure and launch. Some VPNs have very simple interfaces, and with a simple button they allow you to stop or start them with ease. Also, the settings are no problem either.
- Payment Methods- Paid VPN services allow several methods to pay for the subscription. They can be from the services integrated in the apps stores of mobile devices, credit cards, Google Pay, and even some with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, for greater anonymity.
- DMCA requests- The term DMCA refers to a United States copyright law. It penalizes production, distribution, and other copyright infringements, such as piracy of movies, music, and software. Depending on where the VPN service provider you choose operates, it will serve those requests or not. If it serves them, it could transfer the data it has about you to the United States to take legal action for your fraudulent activity. If you don't accept them, you won't have to ...
Our recommendation: NordVPN
Personally, I have tested it on several occasions for my mobile, and the result obtained with NordVPN it has been quite satisfactory. I chose it for various reasons, which I will now break down into the following sections.
NordVPN does not keep any record of its clients (email and payment only), it also does not record your connection activity, although there may be data that goes to third-party services such as Google Analytics, Zendesk, Crashlytics, etc. A plus if you are concerned about your privacy.
Price and payment method
NordVPN is not one of the free VPNs, since it is a very complete, professional service, and without limitations. Therefore, you must pay the subscription to their service, but it is quite inexpensive. In addition, if you analyze the value for money, it is practically unmatched.
On the other hand, it accepts several payment methods. Among them, I pay with Google Pay, Amazon Pay, cryptocurrencies, and credit card, which are the most comfortable and common methods for most users. And if you are worried about the price, the truth is that it is one of the cheapest, with quite interesting offers and discount coupons and with the possibility of reimbursing all the money after 30 days if the service offered does not convince you ...
For me to go fast as the wind, includes a tool capable of detecting abuse by some users that may harm others. It will limit to 6 maximum connections simultaneously and will optimize the load balance of your servers to improve the performance offered.
NordVPN is of the world's fastest VPN services. You will hardly even notice that you have a VPN active on your connection. And that is not only a matter of optimization, but also of its more than 5100 ultra-fast servers spread over some 60 countries around the world, by the revolutionary NordLynx protocol, and all without data limits.
NordVPN client applications are extremely easy to use, so you don't have to have high computer skills. Just download it, install it, and practically without configurations to be able to lift the VPN to enter service.
When you open the app for your platform, you select the protection server (for the different countries) or press Quick Connect and you can start enjoying the benefits of NordVPN. Even if you need to make some kind of adjustment in the configuration, its interface is very intuitive and you will not have problems.
Surely if you want NordVPN to access content from streaming platforms, such as Netflix, you are wondering if it is one of those services that are detected and blocked by these platforms or not. In the case of NordVPN, it is accepted by Netflix (also Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.), so there would be no problem in that case.
In addition, it has a technology called SmartPlay DNS. A feature that is implemented on NordVPN servers to help overcome geo-restrictions. And it does it fully automatically, so nothing needs to be configured.
Regarding DMCA requests, it is a company that operates in Panama, a country that will not comply with this type of court order. That is, if your data is requested from the US, it will not be provided, so it is another advantage for you if you have used the VPN for piracy, etc.
A question that arises to some users and that has raised some rumors on the net that are not true. The confusion is that the company behind NordVPN is Tefincom & Co SA, and sometimes the payment is made through the company CloudVPN.
Tefincom is based in Panama, while CloudVPN is registered in the United States. That could put your data in danger, but the truth is that they are only an intermediary to make the payments and it is not affiliated with NordVPN in any other way, so your data will remain in the Panamanian paradise.
Encryption and security algorithm
NordVPN offers very secure encrypted connections, protected with the AES256 algorithm. It is a robust algorithm that uses a block encryption scheme created in Belgium and is used as a standard by the United States government. You can use blocks of 128, 160, 192, 224 and 256 bits, in this case the safest of all being 256-bit.
Apart from that robust algorithm, it is also combined with other secure VPN protocols such as OpenVPN, and IKEv2 / IPSec. Everything so that you forget about security and entrust yourself to surf without worries.
Beyond that, your safety is guaranteed because NordVPN protects against DNS leaks, hides devices connected to the local area network (LAN), you can use Tor with Onion servers through this VPN, and they even allow you to use a static IP if you need it.
With the tool CyberSec You can also be protected against malware and annoying advertising while browsing. It is integrated and you can activate it with a simple click. You can even avoid advertising videos from platforms such as YouTube.
La Kill Switch function It is also another of its interesting options, that is, a kill switch to keep you safe when disconnecting the Internet connection if the VPN stops being in service for something. Imagine that you are browsing calmly, but that for something the VPN stops working temporarily. If you didn't have this option, you could have been transferring unprotected data without realizing it. Something that prevents Kill Switch.
If you worry NordVPN compatibility, this is not a problem either. Being one of the best known and most used VPN platforms, they have developed client apps for the most important operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS. In addition, you already know that you can use up to 6 connected devices simultaneously with just one subscription.
You can also keep your smart TV and the router protected, as well as having accessories to install in the Chrome / Chromium and Firefox web browsers.
You already know that the interface of NordVPN apps is very simple and you shouldn't have any problems. Also, the service is stable and there are usually no problems. But if doubts or any other kind of inconvenience ever arise, then you should be calm. You can trust their expert technicians to offer you a 24/7 service via live chat or email.
If you want more reasons, this same developer also have additional apps, and independent of the VPN, such as NordPass as a password manager, and NordLocker to protect your local files by encrypting them.