How to pick the best VPN. The best cheap VPN for PC, Andriod, and iPhone. Protect your mobile and desktop – official recommendations by BSC News.
Best VPN Review: NordVPN, ExpressVPN, TunnelBear
Alongside the rapid increase in remote work since the Covid-19 outbreak, more Internet privacy issues and data breaches have been recorded. Today, more people are looking for ways to stay safe online. The solution? VPN! A good VPN will enhance your internet privacy by encrypting your data, even when you’re connected to a public wi-fi network.
There are a number of reasons why you need a VPN. In addition to encrypting all your online activities and personal data, VPNs allow you to browse the web anonymously. Internet Service Providers (ISP) will be unable to see what you’re doing or track your actual location, as you will receive an untraceable IP address that stems from the server’s location once you connect to a server.
Countries like Russia, China, Turkey, Belarus, North Korea, and Iraq have passed VPN prohibition laws. This means that the use of VPN is illegal in these countries. In addition, countries like Iran and the United Arab Emirates have government-approved VPNs. If you’re not in any of the countries with anti-VPN laws, rest assured your use of a VPN is completely legal.
When making the choice of VPN, it is important to consider security and privacy measures. Best VPNs will always offer water-tight security and strict privacy policies. There are so many cheap VPN services in the market, as well as free VPNs. However, the best VPNs are usually premium, as they offer superior features worth every penny you spend on them. If it is going to cost you just a few bucks to get the best cheap VPN and protect your online activities, such a decision is definitely worth the headache.
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What is a VPN? How to Choose the Best VPN Service
VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are a great tool for keeping your web activities private and secure. There are many different choices when it comes to VPNs, each with unique pros and cons. This article will cover an extensive review of NordVPN. We will also briefly review ExpressVPN, and TunnelBear, revealing the amazing features that make them rank well among the best VPN for iPhone and the best VPN for Android.
NordVPN is the gold standard of VPNs – a reasonably cheap VPN with plenty of features and high security. It is available for PC, Android, and iPhone.
Launched in 2012 and incorporated in Panama, NordVPN is a renowned VPN provider and arguably the best VPN in the market, thanks to its comprehensive feature set and affordable pricing.
Suppose you’re a user that values online privacy. In that case, NordVPN offers a diverse choice of servers and an array of tools that help enhance your online privacy and security. The company’s registration in Panama means the company does not keep any logs and is not susceptible to data-sharing across the “14 Eyes” alliance. This provides its user base with a high level of freedom as regards internet legislation.
NordVPN’s robust security processes, reliable connectivity, and excellent speed easily make it the best VPN and a favorite for most users globally.
NordVPN offers several robust technical features you would expect from any VPN provider, including some not-so-common features you will find below:
- Next-generation encryption.
- Strict no logs policy.
- Threat Protection.
- Automatic Kill Switch.
- DNS leak protection.
- Onion Over VPN.
Next Generation Encryption
NordVPN encryption is next-generation and excels at keeping information secure using three different security protocols (IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, and NordLynx) to create incredible security infrastructure for the top VPN.
NordVPN uses Next Generation Encryption (NGE) in combination with Internet Protocol security (IPsec) and the latest version of Internet Key Exchange (IKEv2) to keep your data as safe as possible.
Strict No-Logs Policy
NordVPN guarantees a strict no-logs policy, which does not monitor, log, record, store, or share your internet activity with any third party. Where NordVPN is incorporated and headquartered, Panama does not have mandatory data retention laws. This allows NordVPN to maintain a strict no-log policy. Unlike many VPN services, this policy also covers session logging, such as recording your incoming IP address when you connect to the service.
Earlier in May 2022, NordVPN began switching to diskless servers, which ensures that user data can’t be stored server-side as there’s no hard drive to record it. As soon as the server is reset, all information gets deleted.
To be even more specific, here are the user data NordVPN records:
- Personal info includes your email address, billing info, and country details (for VAT calculation purposes). You can request access, deletion, rectification, withdraw consent, or lodge a complaint as regards your data.
- Technical info includes your IP address and device info while using their website or contacting support. The data is collected to enable them to provide the requested service and prevent fraud, DDoS attacks, and other hack attempts. Note that the information gets deleted on server reset.
Threat Protection is a NordVPN feature that offers a security solution against cyber threats. Threat Protection identifies infected files, prevents you from accessing malicious websites, and blocks trackers and ads. The best part is: Threat Protection keeps you safe even when you’re not accessing a VPN server once enabled. This is yet another reason NordVPN is among the best VPNs.
Double VPN adds an extra layer of security to VPN services. With Double VPN, online activity is routed through 2 NordVPN servers. Traffic is sent to the first server, encrypted, and then through the second server to be decrypted before accessing the website.
The benefits of Double VPN include extra protection against cyber criminals, fully protecting your IP address, and making your web traffic completely anonymous to your ISP.
The Double VPN feature can be enabled through NordVPN’s subscription package.
Automatic Kill Switch
NordVPN’s kill switch feature makes it one of the best VPNs in the market. The “kill switch” cuts off your internet connection to prevent potential data leaks should your VPN connection drop for any reason. Note that the kill switch on NordVPN isn’t automatically activated when you download the app. You’d have to access the settings via the menu and activate it manually. Below are two automatic kill switches for NordVPN desktop apps:
- Internet kill switch: when you’re not connected to NordVPN, the internet kill switch blocks your internet completely.
- App kill switch: when your VPN connection drops, the app kill switch will close certain apps that you have manually added to the list. These specific apps will not be able to access the internet without VPN protection.
DNS Leak Protection
The Domain Name System (DNS) is what makes the internet go; DNS takes long numerical codes (IP addresses) and translates them into digestible words, and vice versa. When you access a website by typing in the domain, a query is sent to a DNS server which then accesses the IP address of the site. When using VPNs, this query is sent through the VPN for anonymity.
A DNS leak is when this does not happen, and the query is sent through the normal DNS channels. NordVPN explains these circumstances can cause a leak:
- Running Windows 8 or later with the “Smart Multi-Homed Name Resolution” feature enabled;
- Resetting your system preferences;
- Setting up a VPN manually;
- Using a VPN service that doesn’t own its DNS servers nor offers adequate protection from leaks.
NordVPN solves DNS leaks by only using NordVPN DNS servers, meaning all queries are resolved entirely through NordVPN on the same server. This prevents any chance of a DNS leak, making NordVPN a top VPN choice for users concerned with data leaks.
Onion Over VPN
Onion Over VPN is a NordVPN feature that combines TOR browser privacy with VPN. TOR browsers are run by volunteers, meaning they can be susceptible to malicious operators. With Onion Over VPN, you can safely use the Onion network as the VPN blocks your information from the volunteers running the network.
Using Onion Over VPN also blocks your internet service provider from seeing you have accessed TOR. This is especially helpful to users in censorship-heavy countries.
Although not the cheapest, NordVPN ranks well among the best cheap VPN services out there, with different premium packages. The premium packages come in three forms:
- Two years: $2.99/month
- One year: $4.49/month
- One month: $11.99
- Two years: $3.99/month
- One year: $5.49/month
- One month: $12.89
- Two years: $5.29/month
- One year: $6.79/month
- One month: $14.19
Each of these price packages comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and an extra three months free plan for each two-year and one-year plan you subscribe to. Get NordVPN here now!
Frequently Asked Questions
For VPN users who would love to try out NordVPN, here’s a list of frequently asked questions and suitable answers to help you get started.
Can You Try NordVPN for Free?
NordVPN previously had a free trial but was dropped due to abuse. However, a 30-day money-back guarantee gives you ample time to decide whether you want to use the service. Feel free to cancel within the first 30 days, and you’ll get your money back.
Is NordVPN Cheap?
NordVPN isn’t necessarily the cheapest choice, but it won’t break the bank either. With a variety of different tiers and plans to choose from, users can spend extra for more features or pay less for a still-impressive amount of benefits.
Is NordVPN Worth the Price?
Short answer – yes, absolutely. While not the cheapest option available, the features NordVPN offers are well worth the price tag, which still ranks as one of the best cheap VPNs. With different price tiers granting flexibility, users get their money’s worth with one of the best VPNs.
What are the Available Payment Methods on NordVPN?
NordVPN offers various exciting payment methods, including Credit Card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, etc. users can also pay with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ripple, and Monero,
providing even better options for anonymity.
What Kind of Customer Support Can I Expect?
NordVPN has a Help Centre where you can find answers to questions according to specific categories: FAQ, General Info, Billing, and Connectivity. You could search relevant keywords to find answers. NordVPN also has an excellent Livechat that allows you to chat with their support specialists and get direct answers to your questions. In addition, there’s email support where you can forward your complaints, and a support specialist will reach out to you.
How Good is NordVPN for Android
With over 50 million downloads and an outstanding 4.5-star rating on Google Play Store, NordVPN can easily pass as the best VPN for Android. The Android app supports a conventional list of countries in alphabetical order. You can go to your country of choice, tap on it and immediately connect to the best server in that country.
How Good is NordVPN for iOS
If you’re looking for the best VPN on iPhone, you’d be happy to learn that NordVPN works great on iOS. It shares a similar auto-connect feature with Android devices, and you can tell the app to automatically connect to the VPN only on trusted WIFI networks or to stay active every time. You can add NordVPN connections to Siri from within the app by simply asking “Siri”.
Can I Use NordVPN to Access Netflix?
With NordVPN, you can watch Netflix content from many countries. If, for any reason, you encounter challenges accessing Netflix, you can try a different server, a dedicated IP address, or contact NordVPN support. This makes NordVPN one of the best VPNs to watch Netflix and other streaming services.
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs in the market today. Owned by Express VPN International Ltd and headquartered in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is super fast and reliable, with military-grade encryption, a strict no-log policy, and over 3000 server locations in over 90 countries. Below are some of the exciting features you will find on ExpressVPN:
- Military-grade Encryption: ExpressVPN comes with top-level military-grade encryption and a wide variety of advanced security features to keep you safe and anonymous at all times.
- Speed: Very few VPNs operate at good speed across long distances. ExpressVPN is super fast, even when you connect to a server halfway across the world.
- Server Network: ExpressVPN has a very vast server network, with 3,000+ servers in 94 countries.
- Strict Privacy: Its strict no-log policy means that user activity remains anonymous. ExpressVPN does not store logs of your browsing history, traffic destination, connection logs, data content, DNS queries, IP address, or session duration – per its privacy page.
- Compatible Devices: Packed with amazing features, ExpressVPN has user-friendly native apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and routers. It also supports Chrome and Firefox extensions. One subscription is enough to connect you across any five chosen platforms.
- Value for Money: You can rest assured there’s great value for your money, especially with long-term plans. In addition, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee which allows you to ask for a refund if you don’t like the service.
- Customer Support: The 24/7 live chat feature and a set of video tutorials on the support page make ExpressVPN one of the best regarding customer support. You can also submit a support ticket or contact support via email.
- Pricing and Payment Plans: you can choose from any of the three available subscription packages – the monthly plan at $12.95, the half-a-year plan at $9.99 per month, and the most popular yearly plan at $6.67 per month. If you sign up for the yearly plan, not only do you get a 49% discount which saves you a lot of money, but also an additional 3 months free!
Note that all ExpressVPN subscription plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee which usually takes about 5-7 days to process once you initiate it. You can easily pay for your subscriptions via Credit Card, Paypal, Union Pay, Giro Pay, Kiwi Wallet, etc, as well as Bitcoin.
While not the cheapest of VPNs in comparison to other competitors, ExpressVPN has superior features in terms of speed, security, and reliability.
TunnelBear VPN is yet another excellent VPN choice. Founded in 2011 and based in Toronto, TunnelBear offers both free and premium VPN services, with industry-standard security, and over 3000 servers in 48 countries. TunnelBear makes VPN usage very easy for people who are just getting started with encrypted browsing, although the app may not have as many high-end features compared to some of its competitors. We have highlighted below some of the great features you will find on TunnelBear.
- Free Plan on Multiple Devices: TunnelBear comes with a free version that allows you to connect to any of its servers; however, your data would be capped at 500MB monthly. If you’re looking to subscribe to the premium version, feel free to use the free version as a trial period. TunnelBear has streamlined apps for Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac, as well as a browser extension for both Chrome and Opera.
- Security and Encryption: TunnelBear makes use of industry-standard AES-256 encryption with an SHA-256 for authentication. Even the US government uses this for data protection, meaning you can trust that your activities will be safe.
- VigilantBear: This can be likened to the Kill Switch feature on other VPNs. VigilantBear protects you from accidental IP or location exposure by putting your connection on hold when your VPN disconnects. However, this feature is currently not available for iOS users.
- Ease of Use: TunnelBear is a VPN that is easy to use and is designed for simple, intuitive usage for people who may not be very tech-savvy. While not offering as many features as other VPNs, TunnelBear makes the features it does offer easy for anyone to operate regardless of your experience with VPNs.
- Pricing: TunnelBear checks the list of cheap VPNs with high performance. Apart from the free version, the premium subscriptions are very affordable. Get the best deal with the 3-year plan at $3.33/month only. You can save 50% on the 1-year plan at $4.99/month. The monthly plan comes at an affordable $9.99/month.
- Third-Party Security Audit: TunnelBear has its services go through a third-party security audit each year – something most other consumer VPNs do not undergo. This means its VPN is independently verified as secure and trustworthy, which is a boon for users looking for extra affirmation.
TunnelBear VPN may not have the sleekest UI or greatest features like its competitors, but the simplicity makes it a good choice for anyone looking to get started with VPNs.
Source : bsc.news
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