The Internet is no longer the Wild West it used to be, and today, There is a new Sheriff in town! and lot of identity thieves as well as hackers and Spammers. They are all watching your online moves and recording every bit sent or received by your laptop, your tablet and even your phone. Don’t believe the new Sherif is here to protect your privacy, no! He is here to keep an eye on YOU! and easily catch you when you do something against his rules.
With your online privacy at stake, and more and more of content channels and good websites getting geographically restricted, the need for VPN solutions is becoming a serious point to think about for your online life activity and specially for your kids and family.
With so many VPN providers on this Wild Wide Web with lot of false claims and scammers, you will find it hard to get to the good guys who care about your privacy. You don’t have to worry about this, we did the hard work for you. Starting from a list of hundreds of VPN providers, we succeeded to find the TOP 3 VPN providers in the world, the best of the bests VPN companies in 2015.
- Before you ask for the names, here is what you will learn in this article.
- What is a VPN connection
- Why you need a VPN connection
- How does the optimal VPN look like?
- What are the top 3 VPN providers
- Side by side comparison of Top 3 VPN providers
- How to make the final decision and choose one
Good, Have a sit, keep reading, and keep breathing
What is a VPN connection
I’m sure you already have an idea about VPN connections, but lets just make sure it is the good one 😉
In simple words :
VPN is like a middle man
Without a VPN : when you connect your phone, tablet, or PC to the internet and start browsing, chatting, watching, etc, you are directly connected to the World Wide Web and your ISP is spying on you and recording every click you did out there, and giving your information to any third party asking to know about you.
Now with a VPN in place: you are not directly connected to the World Wide Web, but only to the VPN server, which will do all the browsing, messaging, Youtubing (it could be a verb! lol) and any weird online things for you, on his name and address.
«You can use a virtual private network (VPN) to connect components to one network by using another network, such as the Internet. Virtual private networks do this by “tunneling” through the Internet or another public network in a manner that provides the same security and features as a private network. »
« A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, such as the Internet. It enables a computer or network-enabled device to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if it were directly connected to the private network, while benefiting from the functionality, security and management policies of the public network. »
Why you need a VPN connection :
Let’s forget about what the geek guys said from Microsoft and Wikipedia.
In a simple language we all understand : Let’s give a name to our VPN friend, Let’s name it Bob! Ok. Good, now Bob is your « Go to » secret agent, he will be glad to do things for you such as :
- When you are at school or at work and trying to access Facebook, Youtube, Netflix or any website that is blocked by the network administrator, you can just ask Bob and he will open it for you in one second.
- Your secret agent Bob can also do your dirty browsing for you without revealing your identity to your Internet Provider or your government.
- Whenever you want to access a restricted website you simply ask Bob, He will Open the website for him and send it back to you as it is.
- And whenever you don’t want someone to know that you visited a specific website or downloaded a secret file, or watched a special video, you simply ask Bob to do the dirty job and send it back to you. Of course they will know Bob did it, but they can’t know Bob’s friends 😉
Sounds Awesome! right? Yes it is, but only if you know how to choose your best friend. Don’t worry 😉 just keep reading, I will teach you how.
How does the optimal VPN look like?
It’s not easy to find a good friend this days, neither a good VPN provider!
An optimal VPN should meet the following criteria, but not necessarily all of them as you can still close an aye on some points depending on what you are using it for.
- Do they use shared or private IPs?
Go for a VPN with shared IP when you care a lot about you privacy, as it will be also used at the same time by other people, and this will make it hard to guess who did a specific online action. A private IP will be only used by one person at a time.
- Server locations :
Some websites are only accessible from specific countries, you don’t need to take the plane for the sake of a website lol, just set your VPN to connect from the allowed country and Voila! that’s how the internet should be! « borders free ». This also happen when you are traveling outside the US and you try to watch your favorite TV show in this case you should Make sure the VPN provider has a VPN server in the US. Server Location is an important factor when you will try to download a torrent file with P2P apps, you will need to get connected from a country where P2P torrenting is not restricted.
- Country of the VPN provider :
As we have explained at the top of this article, you can hide your online activity from your Internet Provider, but not from your VPN provider! If your VPN company is located in the US, It will be obliged to give your information to any authoritative party if it ask for it! So to maximize your privacy protection go for a VPN Provider that is located outside your country legal perimeter.
- What kind of Connection Protocol and encryption?
The most secured VPN connection protocol is OpenVPN, there are other protocols like L2TP, PPTP, but they are not secure and you should only use it when your device can not support OpenVPN Protocol (this could be the case on old smartphones).
Also, Go for the highest possible encryption, choose a VPN with 256-bit security instead of 128-bit
- Do they keep logs? what kind of logs?
Again, If your goal is to Maximize your privacy protection and Hide/clean any trace of your online activity, you should make sure your VPN Provider doesn’t keep your online activity logs stored on their servers.
in another hand, If accessing restricted websites is your only reason behind your VPN use, then it’s Ok to close an aye on this point.
VPN providers can store two kinds of your logs, Connection Logs, and Usage Logs. The last one is the one you should make sure they don’t store it, as it contains the whole track of your online activity (websites visited, emails, files downloaded …), while Connection Logs contains only your login times, duration, device type, or any technical info to manage their servers.
- Is it detectable as a VPN?
There is a new technology used by few VPN providers to mask VPN connection and make it undetectable by some advanced websites who knows about VPN possibility and found a way to identify VPN connections and to block access for any one hiding behind it. So make sure the company has this option to mask the VPN connection.
- Do they allow P2P BitTorrent downloading?
If you mainly want a VPN for Torrent Downloads you should read their terms and make sure they allow it, if not they will probably close your account for breaking their VPN terms.
- Do they accept Bitcoins?
When you find the Best VPN that fit your needs and you are ready to buy it, there is one last point that is important to check when Privacy is your biggest issue. When you pay the VPN provider, you are automatically telling them about your real name and address no matter if you are using a credit card, Paypal or any online payment company out there, except if you are using BitCoins and you know how to hide correctly your personal information behind it. So, if the VPN provider care a lot about your privacy, He should be using BitCoins as one of his payment solutions.
- Does the VPN support your mobile device(s)?
Pay attention at the softwares available by the company to get connected to the VPN, such as Android or iOS Application for your mobile device (android phone, iPhone, iPad, or any android tablet)
- How many devices can be connected at once?
Some VPN providers will only allow one account to be connected by only one person in one device. If you are planning to use your VPN account on your PC, Phone, and tablet … Make sure your VPN provider allow multiple connections, and how many devices can be connected at the same time, depending on your needs.
- Any Extra services or Bonuses?
If you find it hard to decide between some VPN providers, take a look at what extra services or bonuses do they have for you. check if they have a money back guarantee, a trial period, online support, and any extra service as a bonus for your signup.
What are the top 3 VPN providers
Now that you are very well informed about the comparison keys we are going to relay on while making a side by side comparison. You will be able to take a wise decision about your best VPN provider.
After hours of googling and searching the internet up & down we have found hundreds of VPN providers, but only few of them seemed to be real companies with a long term business in place. So, we took 10 of them and started investigating the futures they are offering, the prices, the technology used to establish a good VPN connection, Security, Support and different things, which resulted in eliminating some of them to keep only the best REAL VPN companies! Hands down .. Here are the top three VPN providers that survived our deep tests. (no particular order)
Side by side futures comparison
|Shared or Private IPs?||shared||private||shared|
|Server locations||78 countries||60 countries||17 countries|
|VPN Company’s Country||B. Virgin Islands||Switzerland||US|
|Protocol and encryption?||OpenVPN, 256-bit||OpenVPN, 256-bit||OpenVPN, 256-bit|
|Do they keep logs?||no usage logs||no usage logs||no usage logs|
|Detectable as a VPN?||yes||no (pro plan)||yes|
|P2P Torrents ?||yes||yes||yes|
|Do they accept Bitcoins?||no||no||yes + Gift Cards|
|Supported mobile devices||yes, all||yes, all||yes, all|
|Simultaneous connections||2||2 to 5||5|
|Extra services or Bonuses?||30 day MBG|
24/7 live chat
|3 day free trial|
24/7 live chat
|7 day MBG|
24/7 live chat
|Starting Price (annual plan)||$ 8.32 /mo||$ 6.67 /mo||$ 3.33|
|Start Price (Monthly plan)||$ 12.95 /mo||$ 9.99 /mo||$ 6.95|
Let me Help you take the final decision
As you have seen, even after narrowing our search and selection to only three of the Best and up to date VPN providers in 2015, it is still a bit difficult to choose as all three of them (ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, and PIA) share the majority of the top needed futures for an optimal VPN connection. The only thing that will certainly determine your VPN choice now is to answer the following question :
Why do you need a VPN connection?
VPN for maximum privacy :
If your purpose is to hide your online activity, without leaving any trace behind, you should go for a VPN provider that gives a shared IP with top encryption security, don’t keep your usage logs, and gives the possibility to pay anonymously for your VPN account with BitCoins or a Gift card from any Brand like Amazon, Nike, Walmart, etc, you name it.
In this case I will advice you to go with PIA VPN (Private Internet Access VPN), when privacy is your biggest concerns, not watching censored content from sites like Hulu or Netflix. I will tell you why, just keep reading.
VPN to watch movies from sites like Hulu or Netflix :
As stated recently by many VPN users not able to access Netflix and Hulu, you won’t be able to access this kind of websites when you are outside the US even with VPN connection from PIA, you will get the following message « Based on your IP address, it appears you are trying to access Hulu through an anonymous proxy tool. » In this case you will need a Masked VPN connection that can’t be recognized as VPN or Proxy tool.
The only VPN provider that succeeded to develop a new VPN technology that is hard to detect as a VPN by your ISP (like in china) or by the biggest websites like Hulu and Netflix, is the new Chameleon VPN Protocol from VyprVPN company. I’ve tested this new technology on my laptop (Macbook pro), and I was able to access and watch movies from Hulu and Netflix without any restrictions, any error messages, and most of all without any video streaming lags thanks to VyprVPN fast connection. You can test it for your self for free as they give you a 3 Day free trial when you signup.
VPN for torrenting and P2P downloads :
If you are one of torrenting seeders and leachers in the United States, you probably have already received one of those scary letters from your ISP for downloading copyright material (Movies, Music, Books …). Even people from Canada and Australia are now exposed to legal pursuit for using P2P torrents to download Copyrighted material for free. The final piece of the federal Copyright legal Act took effect Jan 1, 2015 in Canada. and this year 2015 in Australia, Data retention laws will get worse according to Crikey, a leading digital publisher in Australia.
All of this means that the internet is getting more and more restricted, and you need to cover your identity and online activity with a VPN provider that allow P2P torrent downloads with fastest speed to make it quick, and won’t keep any trace about your torrent download activity. For this case you can go with ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, or PIA as they all accept P2P torrent downloading. But If you want the highest download speed and a large choice for VPN locations in different countries, you’d better go with ExpressVPN Company.
It’s up to you now!
After reading this article, you should be aware of what to look for when searching for a VPN provider, how to compare the best ones, and most of all, you learned how to choose the optimal VPN provider that will suit your needs and any future utilization of the VPN connection.