There are plenty of programs that claim to hide your internet connection online with a form of technological trickery. Making a VPN vanish is more difficult than it seems, however, which is why you need a top tier VPN service if you want to keep your identity a secret.
If you are in the market for a good virtual private network, you have come to the right place. Our experts have put together a handy guide that explains how a VPN works. We have also compiled a quick list of the top options available and an installation guide to streamline things and get you started.
Why do you need a VPN?
If you have found your way to our site, there is a strong possibility you enjoy streaming media. May you own the Amazon Fire TV and want to stream Terrarium TV or you may be enamored with Kodi. In either of those cases, we would highly suggest using a virtual private network to keep your identity safe.
Streaming aside, there are dozens of other reasons why you may want to consider a VPN. People that enjoy posting without putting their IP on the net use these services along with super trolls – we’ve all dealt with them. Looking to watch a streaming service that’s not available in your region? A top tier VPN service can handle that as well.
While it depends on the quality of the private network and several other factors, a good provider can help your VPN vanish by hiding your online activity from almost anyone. That includes hackers, stalkers, snoopy spouses or even big brother.
Server Locations are Key
VPNs help mask your identity online by replacing your IP address with another one. That’s the “nutshell” version of it, and where those servers are located can make or break your experience. Even the fastest VPN may not be the best one for you if their server list is sparse.
Free VPN providers may offer you around a half-dozen or more server locations if you are lucky. The major players in the VPN world like IPVanish or NordVPN. Those are both fan favorites in the streaming world, but far from the only option. Server locations are also an ideal way to help narrow the field when you find yourself caught between two VPN services.
When looking for the best virtual private network to make your VPN vanish, think about where you need your IP address to “appear” beforehand. Always check a providers server list to ensure they have the locations you need before signing up.
Whether you are downloading torrents or simply want to watch a bit of live TV through Kodi, speed is crucial. Even if you just need to browse certain websites while keeping your internet connection a secret, you want good download speeds.
While a VPN provider can promise you the moon in terms of speed, it depends on your end as well. This is an area where beginners can become tripped up as using the fastest VPN won’t increase your overall speed – your provider handles that. In other words, if you have a slower connection, you don’t need to overspend. If you are unsure, run a speed test ahead of time and pick a VPN with a suitable speed for your internet connection.
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Privacy and Logging
Zero logs policy. That’s something you are bound to hear often, but something that may not be exactly true. There have been several court cases that have shown not all VPNs are private, so be wary of ones that promise you a zero logs policy. Does that mean your provider will track your every move? Not necessarily…
If you’re hoping to fully make your VPN vanish, there are ways to go about that, but it’s far more complicated than what we’ll cover today. For general usage and streaming, you will want to carefully read the providers logs policy. Even ones that say they keep no logs may actually track your bandwidth or keep data for a period of time before purging it from their servers. The type of data kept is what’s key for most folks, and what you want to key in on.
Additional Features to Consider
Like any other service provider, VPN companies are going to try and win you over with marketing terms and features. Due to their nature, most of these features remain the same across the board and include things like server locations or speed tiers. There are some other areas to consider, however, including a Kill Switch.
Regardless of how solid your VPN service is, sometimes things happen that are out of their control or yours. One of those things would be power outages, something that can wreck your day quickly if you aren’t at the keyboard when it happens. Well, if the VPN has a Kill Switch, it can cut access to the online world in seconds.
Most of the top options will have a Kill Switch, and it is something to keep in mind as are shared IPs. If you don’t want to share a spoofed IP with others, look for a dedicated one. VPN servers are a popular option as well, and something we’ve seen more of in recent years. They are pricey but well worth it for some.a
Are you Experienced?
Jimi Hendrix once asked his listeners this question on his classic album from 1967, and we’re asking the same of you today. How’s your technical proficiency when dealing with connected networks, routers and others gadgets around your home?
If you are, you’ll have no issue installing any of the VPN apps we suggest. On the other hand, rookies may be in for a wild ride as putting a VPN on an Amazon Fire stick is a bit different than simply using one on your laptop. We have guides that can help you along, but your best bet is solid tech support. That’s about as reliable as a Dish-based internet connection in bad weather with some companies while others provide you with the gold standard.
Notice: Hackers create fake WiFi hotspots to steal your passwords when you log in to Starbucks WiFi. Secure your data.
Your level of expertise is going to be important if you plan on using a VPN regularly. That said, you should look for things like localized or live chat when it comes to customer support along with the rest of the areas we’ve covered.
Top Paid VPNs for March 2018
We’re going to keep this list short and sweet as the easiest way to make your VPN Vanish is to use the best service. We’ve narrowed it down to a handful of options which we personally feel stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access lives up to its namesake by keeping your identity a secret while you surf. Obviously, you are covered when you stream media as well, but that’s not why it’s a favorite. While its services are top-notch, their pricing will make your jaw drop.
Before we get to the good stuff, let’s talk about what Private Internet Access offers its consumers. They have full P2P support like most of their brethren, but you also get an ad-blocker and built-in features to prevent malware. You can connect to five devices at once, and they have over 3,000 servers in action. Just let that sink in for a minute.
The server locations span 28 countries, so there is a stop on each continent. The speed is top notch as well so you should never experience bog downs while streaming or browsing. On the downside, they are based in the U.S. which will turn some folks off. There is no free trial available either, and unlike some of their competitors, you cannot create a username, so you are stuck with what they give you.
Another reason we like Private Internet Access is how they allow you to pay. All the major forms of payment are accepted, but you can use gift cards as well. Starbucks, Walmart and Best Buy, were just a few of the brands listed, and it’s an interesting way to stay stealthy when you pay. As mentioned, this one is cheap at $69.91 each year or only $6.95 per month.
Year in and out, IPVanish has been ranked as one of the best by our staff and other various VPN reviews. It’s a service that’s easy to use for beginners, but still flexible enough for advanced users as well. They also claim to have “Zero traffic logs” which includes metadata and your usage during any given session.
When it comes to server location, IPVanish services offers up a lot of options from Albania to Turkey and the United States. By the numbers, they provide over 40,000 IP addresses on more than 1000 servers located worldwide in 60 countries. It’s also an ideal VPN for Kodi as you won’t have to worry about bandwidth speeds and get a free SOCKS5 proxy to boot.
We can’t argue with what IPVanish brings to the table, but there are a few weak spots we should point out as well. It’s not as budget-friendly as other options, and it’s not exactly the best choice for consumers outside of the U.S. Other than those factors, it’s arguably the best VPN when it comes to reliability and performance.
IPVanish offers three-tiered pricing with the cheapest option clocking in at $6.49 per month if you want to shell out $77.99 upfront. Alternatively, you can pay by the month at an even $10 or go for a three-month package which shakes out to $8.99 per month on a short contract.
NordVPN is one we’ve touched on before, and a solid option if you want to stay stealthy online. They make your VPN vanish just as well as our other choices while providing a few unique features. The main one we want to focus on is encryption, and something called a double VPN.
If you’re seriously concerned about your data, a double VPN may be the best way to go. It uses not one, but two servers to hide your true IP address and keep your data safe from snoops. It is simple but very effective. The company also offers CyberSec, which can keep malicious software and advertisements off your PC.
Looking for a VPN with a Kill Switch? Nord has one which pairs nicely with Onion Over VNP. Other options to note include DNL leak protection, browser proxy extensions, and no logs policy. As always, you will want to pick that over with a fine tooth comb – never trust the marketing terms. Overall, this one is rock solid with the only real drawback being speed compared to some of the other services.
NordVPN has 3,560 servers located in 61 countries and affordable pricing if you’re willing to sign up for an extended period of time. For $79, you can get 2-years of service or opt for a year for only $10 less. Consumers that want to go monthly will want to choose another option as Nord will set you back $11.95 per month which is definitely on the high side.
Those are just three VPN services, but ones we feel provide a great value for your money and are easy to deal with for beginners. They also don’t skimp on security and are well-known amongst streamers around the globe. All there are great choices for Kodi as well as long as you remember to keep those logging policies in mind.
If you need help getting started, check out our video on setting up a VPN for Kodi below. We also have a number of guides on hand if you’re interested in finding content through add-ons or programs like Showbox and Terrarium TV.