What is VPN and what are the Best Services of 2021

A VPN, or virtual private network, is an easy way to improve your privacy online. Learn more about these services and if you need one

what is vpn
Your connection goes unnoticed with a VPN

Internet privacy has become an increasingly important and relevant issue. After a series of internet services were caught selling their users' web usage information to companies that analyze this data to display personalized advertisements and even influence the way people vote, control what others can see of their habits Navigation has become a real necessity and a constant concern.

One of the simplest solutions for you to protect your privacy is to use a VPN service. But what is a VPN and how does it work and where can I find one are the main questions of common web users. So, let's talk a little bit about this technology that has become so important to people and that leaves those who haven't already joined one vulnerable.

What is VPN?

When you turn on a VPN, it sends your web traffic through an encrypted tunnel to a server controlled by the VPN company. From there, it goes out to the web normally. If you only connect to websites secured with HTTPS, your data will continue to be encrypted even after leaving the VPN. This sounds simple and perhaps superfluous, but it can have profound effects on your privacy.

Think of it this way: if your car leaves the garage, someone can follow you and see where you're going, how long you've been at your destination, and when you'll be back. They can even peek inside your car and find out more about you. With a VPN service, it's like driving from your home into an underground tunnel, into a gated parking lot, switching to a different car, and driving away. No one who was originally following you knows where you went.

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When your VPN is on, no one snooping around your network can't see what you're doing. This is true even if the spy controls the network. Public Wi-Fi networks, which are ubiquitous and convenient, are unfortunately also extremely convenient for intruders. How do you know, for example, that “starbucks_wifi-real” is actually the coffee shop's Wi-Fi network? In fact, a popular prank of security researchers is to create a network with the same name as a popular free service and see how many devices will automatically connect.

What is vpn and what are the best services of 2021 | f897989b vpn2 | internet, netflix, nordvpn, pc, security, technology, vpn | what is vpn tips/guides
Your data goes through an encrypted tunnel

Even if you're inclined to trust your peers (which we don't recommend), you still shouldn't trust your Internet service provider (ISP). In the United States, for example, providers have a huge view of their online activities. To make matters worse, Congress has ruled that the provider is allowed to sell its anonymous browsing history.

Here in Brazil, there is a huge discussion about traffic control, about usage limits and the amount of data that can or cannot be used by customers, especially regarding streaming services that are increasingly killing Pay TV services . The data that is controlled and used by our internet is increasingly at stake and using a VPN prevents even your ISP from tracking your movements.

Another benefit of a VPN service is that your real IP address is hidden behind the VPN server's IP address. This makes it harder for advertisers and others to track your movements on the web. Even a dedicated observer would have a hard time telling whose traffic it is because their data is mixed with everyone else using the same VPN server.

What are the limitations of a VPN?

VPN services, while extremely useful, do not protect against all threats. Using a VPN cannot help if you recklessly download ransomware or are tricked into giving up your data to a phishing attack. We strongly recommend that readers use local antivirus software, enable two-factor authentication where available, and use a password manager to create and store complex and unique passwords for each site and service you use.

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There are also limitations to how anonymous you can be with a VPN. Advertisers have many tactics at their disposal to gather data about you and track your movements. This ranges from online trackers to browser fingerprints. We recommend taking advantage of anti-tracking features in your browser and installing dedicated tracker blockers.

Many VPN services also provide their own DNS resolution system. Think of DNS as a phone book that turns a text-based URL like “marriedgames.com.br”” into a numeric IP address that computers can understand. Experienced eavesdroppers can monitor DNS requests and track their movements online.

Greedy attackers can also use DNS poisoning to direct you to fake phishing pages designed to steal your data. When you use the DNS system of a VPN, it's another layer of protection. Secure DNS is already improving privacy, but a VPN goes a step further.

There is some debate among security experts about the effectiveness of VPNs. As most websites now support secure HTTPS connections, much of your online experience is already encrypted. Still, a VPN covers information not yet protected by HTTPS, puts an important shield between you and the people who control your Internet infrastructure, and makes online tracking more difficult.

VPNs are useful for improving individual privacy, but there are also people for whom a VPN is essential for personal and professional security. Some journalists and political activists rely on VPN services to bypass government censorship and communicate securely with the outside world. Check local laws before using a VPN in China, Russia, Turkey or any country with repressive internet policies.

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VPN also helps mask your location for services like Netflix or Disney + and others for games that are not yet officially available in Brazil, like GeForce Now. With a VPN you can watch movies or series that are not available on the Netflix catalog for your country or play on GeForce Now as if you were in a country where the service is accessible. Of course, more and more of these services are fighting VPN usage, but while they're still active, you might want to use a VPN for that.

How to choose a VPN service

The VPN market has exploded in recent years, going from a niche industry to a total melee. Many providers are capitalizing on the general population's growing concerns about surveillance and cybercrime, which means it's becoming difficult to tell when a company is actually providing a useful service and when it's selling pig in a poke. In fact, even fake VPNs are popping up, so be careful.

When looking for a VPN, don't just focus on speed as this is the factor over which you and the VPN company have the least control. Since almost all VPN service companies offer some combination of the same technologies, consider the value. How can you get the most out of the least? Look for extra features like split encapsulation, multihop connections, and so on. You might not need them all the time, but they're handy when you need them.

"Multi-hop connections" looks like this, but it's your internet and not a raccoon

Almost all VPN services provide their own application with a complete graphical user interface to manage the VPN connection and settings, and we recommend that you use it. You can discard simpler things and prefer to manually manage your VPN connections instead. This works, but it's tedious, requires manual updating, and doesn't give you access to the additional privacy tools that many VPNs provide. When looking for a VPN, decide whether you can keep an eye on it or not.

Assessing the reliability of a VPN is tricky. This is not facilitated by the fact that the VPN industry itself already has complaints of users. We've found that, despite some bugs, most of the top VPN services aren't bad, but there's always room for improvement. The best VPN services will be open and honest about their strengths and weaknesses, will have a readable privacy policy, and will undergo third-party audits, a transparency report, or both.

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The best way to know if a VPN will work for you is to try it out in your own home. See if you can access all the sites and services you need. Find out if the interface is usable and if the speeds in your area are acceptable. Some VPN services offer a free trial, so take advantage of it. Make sure you're happy with what you signed up for and enjoy money-back guarantees if you're not.

That's why we also recommend starting with a short-term subscription – a week or a month – to really make sure you're happy. Yes, you can get a discount when you sign up for a year, but that's more money at stake if you decide the service doesn't meet your performance needs.

What is the best free VPN service?

Not all VPN services require payment. There are, in fact, many excellent free VPNs. But all the free VPNs we've tested have some kind of limitation. Some limit you to just a few simultaneous connections or devices on one account. Others restrict your data. Others limit you to just a handful of servers. Still others do all of the above.

Finding the best free VPN service is an exercise in balancing these restrictions. tunnel Bear, for example, allows you to use any server on your network, but limits you to 500MB-1GB per month. O Hotspot Shield it also does not impose limits on the number of devices, but restricts you to 500 MB per day and only for servers in the United States. O Kaspersky Secure Connection it doesn't limit your devices, but it doesn't let you choose a VPN server – the app does that automatically (that sucks if you want to see Netflix from another country, for example).

O ProtonVPN has the unique distinction of not placing data restrictions on free users. You can browse as much as you like, for as long as you want. You'll be limited to only one device on the service at a time, and you'll only be able to choose between three server locations, but the unlimited data makes up for it all.

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Some browsers such as Opera already come with a free VPN service built in, but some sites don't usually work properly when it's active, such as Google or Facebook. This can happen with other sites and with other VPN services, forcing you to turn it off just to do a search.

Can you trust your VPN service?

If you are using a service to route all Internet traffic through its servers, you should be able to trust that service. It's easier to trust companies that have been around longer, simply because their reputation will likely be known. The problem is that the VPN industry is very young and some VPN companies have been playing dirty. In this environment, finding out who to trust is very difficult.

We pay special attention to the privacy practices of VPN companies, not just the technology they provide. Read the privacy policies and discuss company practices with representatives of VPN companies. Seek out those committed to protecting your user information and practices for collecting and retaining as little user information as possible.

Make sure you find out where the company is headquartered and under what legal structure it operates. Some countries do not have data retention laws, making it easier to fulfill the “We keep no records” promise. It is also helpful to know under what circumstances a VPN service company will deliver information to law enforcement authorities and what information it would have to provide if that happened.

Preventing data tracking is most important for a vpn
Preventing data tracking is most important for a VPN

The best VPN services have a privacy policy that clearly specifies what the service does, what information it collects, and what it does to protect that information. Some companies explain that they collect some information but do not say how they intend to use that information. Others are more transparent.

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The Best VPN for xCloud

O NordVPN it is considered one of the highest rated VPNs in the world. It has more than 14 million users worldwide. The service comes with many benefits like advanced online privacy and security features. Offers more than 5.000 servers in over 60 countries.

It offers many features such as military grade 256-bit AES encryption and various security protocols. It supports torrent and even offers dedicated P2P servers. Meanwhile, there are no limits on the bandwidth or data you can download or upload. This, along with excellent speeds, makes it a perfect VPN for streaming and gaming.

Its huge network of servers allows you to unlock most streaming services. You can unlock Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and many others from anywhere in the world. It also allows you to use up to 6 devices at the same time with a single license. And because it offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and more, it can be used on most, if not all of your devices.

Finally, NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee in case you change your mind. You can buy it and try it out yourself and if it doesn't work well for you you can get a full refund.

The Best Paid VPN

O NordVPN it is considered one of the highest rated VPNs in the world. It has more than 14 million users worldwide. The service comes with many benefits like advanced online privacy and security features. Offers more than 5.000 servers in over 60 countries.

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It offers many features such as military grade 256-bit AES encryption and various security protocols. It supports torrent and even offers dedicated P2P servers. Meanwhile, there are no limits on the bandwidth or data you can download or upload. This, along with excellent speeds, makes it a perfect VPN for streaming and gaming.

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Its huge network of servers allows you to unlock most streaming services. You can unlock Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and many others from anywhere in the world. It also allows you to use up to 6 devices at the same time with a single license. And because it offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and more, it can be used on most, if not all of your devices.

Finally, NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee in case you change your mind. You can buy it and try it out yourself and if it doesn't work well for you you can get a full refund.

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Tell us if you use any VPN service and which one is the best in your opinion. Enjoy and read more about Technology on our website.

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Paulo Fabris is a journalist, writer, RPG player, gamer, cosplayer, nerd and fan of anime since the time of TV Manchete.