“What you know, don’t know, and did not know you do not know about VPN”
If you want to know more about internet security and staying safe online, you have come to the right place. RuinMySearchHistory (this website that you’re on) has been featured on multiple publications with its unique search history tool.
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As this VPN guide for beginners and top VPN services 2018 selection spans over 2,000 words and should take approximately 10 minutes to read from top to bottom, I added a table of contents for your convenience. Select your topic of choice or continue scrolling. This site is free and ad-free* so you are up for a treat.
Contents of VPN Guide 2018 By RuinMySearchHistory.com
Quick Links! Just click on the topic you’re most interested in, or simply continue scrolling down.
- VPN, oh, what is it good for?
- What’s a VPN? (in 100 words or less)
- How does a VPN it look like?
- What are the downsides of using a VPN?
- I’m sold, but why should I use a paid VPN instead of a free VPN?
- Which VPN should I choose? What is the best VPN for 2018?
- Top Rated VPN for 2018 – Top 5 List 🏆
- Where can I see a side-by-side comparison of all VPN reviews?
- Are some VPN software providers than others for [Country X]?
- Are there any good VPN mobile applications out there?
- Are there any new VPN sites on the market that are worth checking?
People want to know more about VPN software for a variety of distinct reasons. Some wish to improve their anonymity online and sheer away from the open eye of the government, corporate world and/or illuminati. Some want to stay afoot from the threats of unsecured Wi-Fi routers, whether at home or on the go. Others need to use VPN to access contents which cannot be viewed in their locale, either downloading torrents or accessing restricted materials reserved for people from specific countries.
Whether you came here to learn about VPN for any of the above reasons, or you have another use for a good VPN provider, you have ended up in the right place to get the best guidance on VPN services.
A VPN, Virtual Private Network, is a method to enhance privacy online. In very simplified words, it’s a software that allow you to connect to the internet (send and receive data from remote computers) through a different location in the globe. Your own private IP will be replaced with the VPN’s IP. Why does it matter? IP is like a ZIP Code. If your ZIP Code is not visible, then it is not possible to collect information about you like so many websites do.
It looks, give or take, something like this:
This is a real screenshot I just took of one of the most recognizable VPN services around, named HMA! Or Hide My Ass! (stupid name indeed). I would say best VPNs in 2018, but it’s one of the simpler and better user experiences out there.
Downloading it and using it is dead simple. You download a software, pick the locations you want to be connected from (you can select a random location or ask HMA! To find a nearby location as well), hit the “Connect” button and within 10 seconds, give or take, you’re set.
This is one of the reasons that buying VPN subscription is doing so well nowadays, that sort of streamlined simplicity. It will only take 5 minutes from the time you decide you want to buy a VPN, to the point in which you will register, subscribe, pay, download the software and hit that “Connect” bottom. If you happened to invest some time into VPN reviews and you have managed to find a good cheap VPN provider, then you are likely to pay somewhere around $10 per month.
In the past, before these services ever existed, if you wanted to conceal your footsteps online you needed to buy a remote server somewhere and manually set a VPN connection. It’s not super complicated but it’s too much for the laymen. It was also a lot more expensive than the cheap VPN solutions we have in 2018.
I would not say there are many downsides to using a VPN. I mean, if you came to look for information about VPNs or read paid VPN service reviews, you probably need one, right? If that’s the case, then the downsides are very minor in comparison to the benefits. Here is what I could come up with:
- Although a cheap VPN costs only about $10 a month, it’s still money, and whenever you’re paying money, it’s a disadvantage in my book. With that being said, I would still not recommend using free VPN services (will get to that later on).
- VPN makes your internet connection slower, depending on your whereabouts and where you want to connect through (if you want to use a nearby location it will be barely noticeable but if you want to connect from the other side of the globe expect some connection lags). It also heavily depends on how fast your internet speed is. If your internet is very slow to begin with, VPNs might not be your thing.
People, being people, are always looking for the cheapest alternative (me included). Since some services boast themselves as free VPNs, people argue that there is no need to pay for something that is handed for free. In this case, that is far from being true.
Free VPN services are:
- Slow, and thus, do not enable you to consume a lot of data (such as downloading files, watching music, or engaging in other normal internet activities).
- Often for a limited period – either for 14 days trial or up to a certain (very low) usage.
The bottom line is that a top VPN service requires some investment on behalf of the company building it. They need to code the software, buying overseas servers, hire staff, etc. There is absolutely no reason in which any commercial company would provide its software and services for free.
There are a lot of VPN service providers out there in the market, and as many VPN reviews as your eye can see. There are a lot of claims on the best VPN made by both companies and VPN reviewers. In my opinion, the truth is that you cannot really award any one company with the “Best VPN for 2018” award because they all provide pretty much the same service, and the good ones have a very similar offering in terms of pricing, availability and service.
I think the best course of action for someone like yourself is simply to visit several of the providers on the best VPN list, and sign up for free with those offering a trial period. After testing the product, you could go on and sign up for 12 months with a sizable discount.
Top Rated VPN for 2018 – Top 5 List 🏆 Updated Feb 2018
Below is an aggregation of carefully selected VPN vendors you can find online and are recommended by clients and professional websites. We do not supply a full VPN provider reviews at this stage, just an executive summary per VPN service. These reviews of top rated VPN plans are based for people look for the best home and small business VPN sites (we always look at the cheapest available VPN plan).
… Additional options – more great VPN providers!
1000 IP Addresses
Top notch security and encryption
Cyber Ghost reviews online are: highly positive!
Available for: Linux, PC, Mac, Android, iPhone
Multiple Connections at the same time
Extra Layer of Cloud Security
Super easy to use
Least time to connect to server
Available for: Linux, PC, Mac, Android, iPhone
Multiple Connections at the same time
|VPN comparison parameters||#1: VyprVPN||#2: NordVPN||#3: HideMyAss VPN (HMA!)||#4: Express VPN||#5: VPN Area|
|Price/ 1 mo||US$12.95/mo||US$11.95/mo||$11.99/mo||US$12.95/mo||US$9.9/mo|
|Price/ 6 mo||US$5/mo||US$9/mo||US$7.99/mo||US$9.99/mo||US$8.33/mo|
|Price/ 12 mo||US$3.75/mo||US$6.99/mo||US$5.99/mo||US$6.67/mo||US$4.92/mo|
|Number of services||700+ servers||2600 servers||760+ servers||1500 servers||209 servers|
|Number of server locations||70+ server locations||
320+ server locations
|Trial period||3 Day||3 Day||7 Days||30 Days||7 Days|
|Operating system requirements Windows||Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10||Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10||Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10, mac, linux, android, ios||Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10||Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10|
|Operating system requirements||Mac OS X, 10.10 Yosemite OS X 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion||mac, linux, android, ios, blackberry, windows-phone||mac, linux, android, ios||mac, linux, android, ios, blackberry||Mac, iOS, Chromebook, Android, and Linux|
|Number of countries||62||64||190+||154||70|
|Connection Speed||10 seconds||9 seconds||8 seconds||11 seconds||10 seconds|
|Additional options (decyphering, virtual router)||NAT Firewall provides an extra layer of security for your VyprVPN connection and offers additional protection on your router or mobile device.||Strong Encryption (2048-bit SSL for OpenVPN)||First-class security – AES-256 encryption, emergency disconnection from the network, zero DNS disclosure||VPNArea continues to work well with Netflix and other streaming services and it is also one of the few VPNs that offer dedicated IP addresses.|
|Number of IP addresses||200000+ IP addresses|
IKEv2 (Manual setup and iOS only)
|OpenVPN, SSTP, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and IKEv2/IPsec||OpenVPN, L2TP/Ipsec, PPTP||PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP||OpenVPN, PPTP, IKEv2|
|Simultaneous connections allowed||Three and five (Standard / Premium, respectively) of simultaneously connected devices||6 devices||2 devices||3 devices||6 devices|
|Country where company is registered||Switzerland||Panama||United Kingdom||British Virgin Islands||Bulgaria|
|Money back guarantee||No refunds||30 Day Money Back Guarantee||30-day money-back guarantee (valid until you spend 10 GB of traffic)||30 Day Money Back Guarantee||7 Day Money Back Guarantee|
Why I don’t think that choosing a VPN provider by price makes sense:
- There are several distinct monthly rates depending on the length of your subscription.
- These rates are ever-changing because of the competitive nature of this industry. Yesterday’s cheapest VPN plan could be today’s most expensive one.
- The overall price you are required to pay for a paid VPN subscription as a “home user” is anywhere between 5 and 10 dollars a month (or the equivalent amount in your local currency). For most people a different of 2-3 dollars a month is not going to make a difference.
- I wanted to focus on the qualities that a great VPN software should possess, rather than aiming only to find to cheapest VPN in the world. Quality does not equal price.
There are a gazillion searches out there on the internet for people who are looking to find the best VPN services in their region. Hundreds of thousands are looking for the best VPN in Australia, Canada, France, Germany or Spain, and millions are looking for the top VPN in UK, USA, or (of course, considering the nature of this country) – China.
The truth is that all VPN software work in the same fashion and have very high similarity in offering. Whether your goal is to stay secure, or gain access to material you cannot reach from your local IP, all VPNs are able to accommodate your needs. Same goes for your country of residence. The best VPN software in China is the same as the best VPN software in Japan, or the top VPN in Canada. Everyone and anyone can use any of the top-rated VPN providers we have featured on our website.
As mobile phones become the main information consumption device across the globe, including China with a 95% mobile penetration rate or India where 78% of all the data is consumed via mobile devices. Accordingly, VPN providers have started making mobile app versions of their popular desktop (PC) programs back in the early 2010’s and nowadays it’s safe to say that any large and recommended VPN company has both desktop and mobile apps.
It doesn’t matter which kind of a mobile you have (iPhone, Android, Xiaomi, LG, Samsung) or Operating System (Android or iOS), it will be absolutely no issue to download the app to your mobile phone and use your subscription there as well.
The same logic applies to other types of device. The best VPN for iPad is exactly the same software as the top VPN for PC or Mac.
Are there any new VPN sites on the market that are worth checking?
With online privacy becoming “a thing” in recent years as the debate about net neutrality is heating up, and the bitcoin’s rise is taking ransomware to new heights, VPN is absolutely booming. Just look at the search trends over the past 5 years from google (region- China):
As with any other booming businesses, there are more VPN software providers in the market every month. It is not particularly difficult or expensive to set up a VPN. The difficult part is handling unusual loads and making sure all the servers are always live and that the client has a variety of locations available, and of course – make sure the server load isn’t too high so the upload and download speed will be good.
With new VPN sites, it’s hard to make judgement on the above. These sort of things you can only test over a period. This is why we did not include any new VPN reviews or recommendations in this guide – we don’t feel like people should be choosing new VPNs, but rather more established brands that have demonstrated great performance over a very long period of time.
* The site is ad-free, but some of the links leading to service provider could be referral links. That means that some of the VPN providers featured on this webpage could be giving us compensation for each client we send their ways. We do not feel like this clouds our judgement in regards to the vendors we choose to present (in this particular case our “Best VPN Sites for 2018 List”) – at the end of the day all the companies offer a referral program and we had dozens or hundreds of secure VPNs to choose from.