In today’s information age, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a software tool that massively improves your network security and online privacy. The father of this technology dates back to the 1990s - Microsoft’s PPTP protocol. Nowadays, modern VPNs come packaged as multi-purpose, easy-on-the-eyes applications. They’re also light on resources, seamless, and compatible with almost every device with an operating system (Windows, Linux, iOS, macOS, and Android included).
What Is a VPN?
A VPN encrypts your internet connection and replaces your IP address and DNS address with one belonging to a proprietary server run by the VPN company. With most VPN vendors, there are usually multiple servers in a multitude of countries for the user to choose from.
Millions of people are using VPNs today for several reasons, such as un-censoring their internet connection, unblocking streaming content, saving money online, and, of course, protecting their internet traffic and anonymizing themselves. It is as simple as installing the software and clicking “connect” to a global server of your choice.
However, all VPN software is not equal. We believe that unverified VPNs and little-known new VPNs should be avoided because they may present a cybersecurity risk. At the very least, you will run into harsh data limitations and questionable encryption with unknown vendors. For this reason, it is key that the VPN you choose is run by a legitimate company. This is why we prepared our top five VPNs of 2022 which we’ve tested extensively and noted our experiences with each.
Our Top Five VPNs of 2022
The premium VPNs we’ve tested are truly worth it and ask for a small subscription fee. In return, you receive stable connection speeds, user-friendliness, high-level AES encryption protocols, customer support, and additional security features - essential for peace of mind and the security of your internet traffic. You also want to look out for premium VPNs that have a strict ‘no-logs’ policy, meaning the company policy says they cannot access your “unprotected” internet traffic.
As of November 2022, our top five picks are NordVPN, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, Cyberghost, and Private Internet Access (PIA) - all of them big names in the industry. Why these five? Simply because all of them are fast and offer many servers, successfully unblock streaming services such as Netflix and allow torrenting, are compatible with many devices, do not log data, and offer solid encryption protocols.
However, we had to come up with a winner eventually, which is why we picked NordVPN. NordVPN, a product of the well-known Nord Security firm, combines the toughest security in the pack with its NordLynx protocol, has comprehensive threat protection, dark web monitoring, and even more features in the intuitive and seamless app. It also boasts 5,500 servers in 60 countries, while it logs user data to RAM disks which means it is physically impossible for user data to be accessed or leaked. What is more, the company’s servers are based in Panama, which is known for not sharing information with other countries.
Remember, there are good free VPNs out there. We’ve found that ProtonVPN, Hide.me, and TunnelBear is legitimate, free alternatives if you don’t want to go for the full-blown premium VPNs.