Best Personal VPNs

A personal VPN service hides your online activity from eavesdroppers who may attempt to monitor your Internet sessions, especially when you connect over a public network. Personal VPNs pass all of the data for your Internet session through an encrypted tunnel. For more info on the technical details of personal VPNs, see More About Personal VPNs below on this page.

Here are the best personal VPNs for 2015:

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Private Internet Access
Our top choice is Private Internet Access. Though they do not have servers in as many countries as some VPN providers they have enough for most users. The service is fast and easy to use, and at prices about half of that offered by all other competitors. Read more...


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ipvanish
IPVanish
IPVanish is one of the very best products, providing all of the expected features, but also delivering the fastest private VPN service on the market. That, and the fact that they keep your online activities truly anonymous by not recording log files, makes this a top choice. Read more...


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purevpn
PureVPN
PureVPN is an excellent value. It’s reliable, easy to use, and provides excellent performance. The product includes additional features and options not provided by competitors that may be attractive to some users, especially those in high censorship counties. Read more...


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hidemyass
HideMyAss
HideMyAss provides all of the features that you expect from a private VPN service. It provides very fast speeds since it offers a large number of gateways. It also provides connections in more countries than any other VPN service, making this the number one choice if that’s important to you. Read more...


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expressvpn
ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is fast and reliable and is one of the most popular private VPN services. They are one of the best VPN providers. Though their service is slightly more expensive, they offer an excellent service and are rated as a top private VPN service provider. Read more...


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More About Personal VPNs

Private VPNs generally provide the same basic services. These generally include:

  • IP Cloaking, which masks your IP address with anonymous IP addresses, keeping websites and Internet services from tracking your online activities, monitoring what you search for, and discovering your geographic location.
  • Data encryption, which protects you from data monitoring and eavesdropping by spammers and cybercriminals who intercept your data exist, with more emerging daily. If you access the internet through public Wi-Fi hotspots, shared internet routers, or even through your own provider, your data, files and privacy may be at risk.
  • Anonymous browsing allows you to post anonymously on Internet forums, and prevents data mining so that your data and identity remain secret and no one can profile you, identity you, or learn what websites you visit.
  • Unrestricted access allows you to bypass restricted or censored websites. If you are in a foreign country and blocked by strict censorships by your ISP or firewall, this service bypasses the censorships and firewall, providing unrestricted access through a United States-based IP address. In addition, any software blocked by your ISP such as Voice over IP, torrent, or peer-to-peer applications will be unblocked and unrestricted. This also overcomes any country restrictions for site usage, allowing you to access site such as Netflix from countries where access is not allowed.

Data Encryption Protocols

Encryption protocols determine the level of security and data speed. Most private VPN provides give you the choice of three security protocols. Differences are in what countries you can connect, the number of gateways you can connect to (which affects the connection speed), the number of devices that can be connected at once, and whether they log your online activities. Of course, ease of use is a factor as it is with any software choice.

OpenVPN is the fastest standard. L2TP or PPTP protocols are also offered by most providers.

  • OpenVPN
  • IPSec/L2TP
  • PPTP
  • SOCKS5
  • Blowfish CBC algorithm

Connection Speeds

The speed of your Internet connection while using a private VPN can vary depending on the following:

  • Your underlying Internet connection speed
  • The distance between your location and the VPN server you connect to
  • The protocol you are using

The closer you are to the VPN server, the faster your Internet connection.

Differences Between Personal VPN Providers

The differences between products are level of privacy and speed on the connection. Using a VPN can significantly reduce your connection speed, so you want the provider to give you as much speed as possible.

Private VPN performance and features can vary depending on what your purpose is. Some are optimized for hiding torrent sessions (TorGuard) or providing proxy services. Others are geared more to protecting privacy over public networks. Some, such as Private Internet Access, provide all features no matter what your purpose. Others aim to offer uncensored access to the Internet for citizens of countries whose freedom is restricted.

Considerations When Using a Private VPN

Encryption only one way? Need https on return to use on public networks. Your login credentials are safe, but… You still need to be aware that this is not 100% risk free, but very likely safe browsing.

Note that there are differences between personal VPN providers in the countries where the provide service, so the best VPN service varies depending on where you are.

Because Personal VPNs can degrade your connection speed, you want to use a personal VPN only when necessary—that is, when you want to keep your activity private over a public network.

Some other uses for a personal VPN:

  • Access videos from any country
  • Bypass online blocks to access foreign content as if you were local
  • Access websites back home when you’re abroad
  • Bypass government or workplace censorship of sites like Facebook, Gmail, and YouTube
  • Evade hackers
  • Enjoy complete security, even on public Wi-Fi connections
  • Prevent hackers from stealing your personal passwords, bank account and credit card details
  • Protect your device from malware, phishing, and spam sites
  • Surf privately
  • Conceal your personal information and your location (IP address) online
  • Protect your data from snooping by your internet service provider
  • Prevent websites you visit targeting you with manipulative prices and messages