At one point or another, you all might have heard about VPN. But chances are some may already know what VPN is and some might not have got proper information about VPN.
If you’re wondering why you need a VPN when you can connect over the internet even without using VPN, here’s the answer.
Uses of VPN
When you are connected via a VPN, you will access the internet with the IP address of the system that you are connected to. For example, if you are connected to a server located in a different country, it will appear as if you are browsing the internet from that country, not your country. Potentially letting you access the website or content that is restricted in the region you live in. But this is not the reason why VPN was created.
VPN was introduced for business parties to communicate securely over the internet and exchange data with a higher level of security. But as technology progressed, VPN has been used as a way of accessing the internet by hiding the IP address, identity, or location. To be precise, by using a VPN, the personal data transmitted between two systems is protected from snooping, interference, and country restrictions.
In the following section, some of the real-life instances are mentioned to give you more details on why you need a VPN.
1. You are free from the fear of your data being sold by your Internet Service Provider. Your ISP may sell the data like the sites you visit, to the hands that buy and use it. VPN comes to your rescue here as the private information like the sites you visit is masked and will not be visible to your ISP.
This is also useful in protecting your anonymity if you are intending to run any service without your identity being revealed to anyone. For example, if you are using a public Wi-Fi that is not encrypted or is under attack by hackers, using VPN can save you from such identity thieves. No one will ever get a slight clue about the sites you visit or any idea about your identity. VPN just blocks third-party apps or services from seeing your usage data.
Some numerous services or sites maybe not accessible from the region you live in. You will not be able to access the websites that are blocked by your ISP for your IP. When you access such websites using a VPN, the website will be accessed from the IP address of the VPN provider. So you can enjoy full access to the country or region-restricted websites.
If you travel often, you might get in situations where you will not get access to your favorite social media sites, audio/video streaming apps. VPNs can be your lifesaver in such horrible situations and keep the traveler in you worry-free. With a VPN connection, you can be in touch with your loved ones, while you are far away from them and get daily updates from all your social media connections.
You might or might not be aware of the fact that some online shopping websites charge a higher amount for the same products depending on the country you are ordering things from. Therefore, what you can do is, use a VPN that provides the highest number of servers or regions as options to choose from. You can select the region that can buy you the desired product for the least amount and place your order and save yourself from this type of price discrimination.
Is it legal to use VPN in India?
Yes. It is legal to use VPN in India. In India, when it comes to VPN, there are certain misconceptions. One of them is that using a VPN is illegal and is a punishable crime. But it is not true. Using a VPN is not at all illegal as long as you are not using it to carry on some illegal activities. But why is there a lot of bad reputation surrounding the use of VPN services? As mentioned earlier, VPN was introduced to ensure a higher level of safety by business parties while communicating or transferring money over the internet. But VPN is being used by a large number of people to access country-restricted websites that are mainly adult websites or pornographic content publishers.
If we recall, On August 1st, 2015, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) banned over 857 pornographic websites. But the ban was lifted by the Department of Telecommunication. But later in 2018, again a ban on 827 pornographic websites was imposed. But there is still a huge number of people that access this content with the help of a VPN connection.
The restrictions are not limited to only pornographic sites. Several social media sites like Facebook, Twitter were also temporarily banned in certain regions like Punjab, Jammu, and Kashmir, etc. In Kashmir, an internet ban was imposed in August 2020. Only 2g services were resumed in January 2020 without the restriction on social media being lifted. But Kashmiri Indians are accessing social media with the use of VPN.
As far as other regions of India are concerned, the government has also demanded all the social media platforms to take down the government flagged content. Some content was blocked only domestically. Such content could be accessed only by using a VPN connection.
In a country like India, where internet restrictions are stricter and prominent, the demand for a secure and fast VPN connection has been skyrocketing.
As of now, there is clearly no law or rule regarding the use of VPN in India. And it is completely alright to use a VPN for simple activities that are not illegal.
VPN Browser v/s VPN App
VPN Browser is not specifically a browser that acts as a VPN server. Because internet browsers are not designed to establish a VPN connection. A VPN extension installed on your browser can act as a VPN connector or a VPN plugin that is installed on your website can also provide you the safety you need. The downside of this type of VPN is that you will be provided security and the features of VPN only for the content or sites that you browse using that particular browser and in case of WordPress Plugin, only your website will be given the benefits of VPN.
For instance, imagine you have installed a VPN extension in your chrome browser. You can get the VPN protection for only the sites that you browse using Chrome, but not for other apps like Skype or other apps. Therefore, you will not be favored by VPN Browsers if you are visiting or living in counties where Skype or other FaceTime apps are banned.
VPN in the form of an app or software is what you need if you want to avail the benefits of VPN for your entire system. A VPN app works on the OS level of a computer or any handheld device and provides a secure connection for all the actions over the internet carried on that device. All the traffic sent and received by your device is encrypted.
Imagine if you are living or visiting a country where video calling apps are banned or that particular feature is disabled, you can use popular apps like WhatsApp, Imo or any other, in combination with a VPN app of your choice. Meanwhile, you can also access country restricted websites on chrome or download content from torrent. All this is possible with just one app.
What is the difference between VPN and Proxy?
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to VPN and Proxy. People often fail to differentiate VPN and Proxy. So, it is natural to be wondering what the differences between VPN and Proxy are. It may be because both of these services serve the same purpose. But the method of achieving it and the level of security what sets these two apart. Both VPN and Proxy provide a higher level of freedom over the internet, which we normally would not be able to achieve. But VPN takes the cake when it comes to providing top-notch security.
Proxy masks your IP address and it acts as a gateway. It is something you will need to do anonymous or incognito browsing. It acts as an intermediate that separates the users and the internet. Your request is sent to the proxy and the proxy then sends your request to the website and the data received from the website back to you, keeping your identity anonymous all the way.
But when VPN and Proxy go head to head, VPN defeats Proxy by miles. Because VPN provides next-level security when compared to Proxy. Proxy is good enough only to hide your identity. It is prone to attacks from hackers and there are chances of your data being exposed. Therefore, a proxy is ideal only when you want to watch country-restricted content or use restricted services.
But that is not the case with a VPN. VPN not only masks your IP address but also keeps the data transmitted securely with a higher level of data encryption. This will avoid unauthorized access to your data along with hiding your location, identity, and access to restricted content over the internet.
Free VPN vs Premium VPN
There are numerous Free VPN providers out there and as it the case with other free services, Free VPN also comes with a lot of limitations. When compared to Premium Paid VPN, Free VPN falls short at connection speed, data protection, server selection, and user experience. And most of those Free VPN providers are providing free service, just to get you to buy their premium offering and others to make money from the ads displayed in the app. Free VPN means the server you choose is used by more number of people, resulting in more traffic and slow loading speeds. And there is no legal guarantee of your privacy being protected. Your data can be sold to advertisers.
But that is not the case with Paid VPN. You will have many servers at your exposure and you can choose a server for even remote locations. And Paid VPN usually have multiple servers to handle the traffic load, resulting in faster browsing speeds. And Paid VPN gets the money directly from their customers, so they will not have to make money from ads or by selling your data to third parties. Your data and identity are also secure with them as there are legal obligations and your data will be protected with a high level of encryption.
To make your decision of choosing the right VPN provider, we have listed a few VPN providers who would be our top picks when it comes to providing the Best VPN service.
Top VPN Services Explained:
1. Express VPN
Express VPN is our top recommendation for many reasons. Express VPN is one of the most popular, most trusted and widely used VPN service. It has been the undisputed king in the VPN industry for a long time. True to its name, Express VPN delivers one of the fastest connection speeds.
What’s commendable is the fact that Express VPN has been able to be the industry leader despite being a more premium option when compared to other VPNs. This just holds a mirror to the fact that Express VPN is the best VPNs in the market when it comes to being an all-rounder. Advanced Features? Checked. Top-level security and performance? Checked. Highly Reliable? Checked.
One of the most popular VPNs on the planet
And also one of the fastest VPNs
Huge server network spread across 94 countries
Comes with 256-bit AES encryption
Costlier packages compared to other VPNs
Speed is not the only strong point of Express VPN. Express VPN also shines bright when it comes to higher-level security. Adding more credibility is the ease of use this VPN offers. You can easily establish a secure VPN connection and browse your favorite content online. If you think what contributes to the high security of Express VPN, it is the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption. This type of encryption is often called as ‘Bulletproof Security’ by security experts. Your data is always secure if you choose Express VPN along being able to browse internet high speeds over a secure VPN connection. Express VPN has more than 3000 servers located across 94 countries.
The prices of Express VPN start at Rs. 990/mo. But buying a 12-month package is the most sensible choice as you will be billed 636/mo. Express VPN service comes with 30 days money-back guarantee. So you have a month’s time to decide whether or not to continue with Express VPN. You get 24/7 live chat support team at your service.
2. Surf Shark
Surf Shark is a more affordable alternative to Express VPN. While Express VPN is great by itself, its price is slightly on the higher end. Barring the price, there is no true competitor that can beat Express VPN's hands down. Then there is Surf Shark, which comes close to the service offered by Express VPN in terms of speed and security.
To make things clear, Surf Shark has nearly 1040+ VPN servers, which is nowhere the industry standards. But what more noteworthy is the fact that Surf Shark was introduced just in 2018, unlike other popular VPNs that have existed for a longer period of time. These servers are spread across 61+ countries. And the USP of Surf Shark is its support for unlimited simultaneous connections where the average industry standard is 5 devices.
Connect unlimited devices simultaneously
Fastest growing VPNs
Comes with extras like ad-blocker, malware blocker
Easy to use App
Only 1040+ servers so far
One aspect that Surf Shark easily beats Express VPN is the ease of use. The interface of Surf Shark is extremely simple. While some may find it a bit less intriguing, internet access at extreme speed and secure environment are what you actually need. Surf Shark focuses more on providing a fast, secure and safe VPN service than a shiny, attractive user interface.
The speed at which Surf Shark is establishing itself as a top player is really commendable, considering the fact that it was introduced just in 2018. For a relatively new VPN provider to be able to achieve offer VPN service at such high speed and high security is really stunning.
Talking about the pricing, if you choose 24 months package, you can save up to 83% as you just have to spend INR 151/mo. If you choose to bill monthly, you will have to spend 909/mo., which does not make sense, as at this price you will get 6 month’s service by choosing the 24 months package. You also get 30 days money-back guarantee.
3. Nord VPN
Nord VPN is the alternative to Express VPN you must consider if you find Express VPN packages a bit pricier. Nord VPN has more servers than Express VPN with a whopping 5987 different servers in a total of 62 countries. Nord VPN is one of the highly reputed VPN providers out there in the industry.
Higher levels of security and performance
Ultra-secure ‘Double VPN’ feature
Strict No-log policy
Works on most of the popular platforms
Connect 6 devices at a time
Just like Express VPN, Nord VPN also comes with 256-bit bullet-proof military-grade encryption that guarantees top-notch security. Adding more credentials to their level of security is the fact that Nord VPN has its headquarters in Panama. Panama does not have any data retention law, neither does the government poke its nose into user data or carry on internet surveillance. This frees the VPN providers from retaining the activity log of their users, thus being able to completely enforce the no-logging policy.
One standout feature that separates Nord VPN from the rest is Double VPN. A double VPN can be called as a mechanism of providing double layers of Protection. In this your computer first connects to one VPN and then that connection reaches the destination via another VPN, guaranteeing a higher level of security.
One factor that Nord VPN has but Express VPN lacks is the value for money packages. These packages make Nord VPN a deal hard to resist. As mentioned earlier, Express VPN is great but that greatness comes with a heftier price tag. Almost double the price of Nord VPN. Nord VPN prices start at just Rs. 270/mo. if you choose to buy 3 years plan. You need to be worried about paying such a large amount in advance, as this plan comes with 30 days money-back guarantee. If you are opting for a year’s plan, you will have to shell out Rs. 535/mo. You can connect 6 devices at a time across multiple platforms.
4. IPVanish VPN
IPVanish is a multiplatform VPN that has been making its presence felt, as one of the most trusted VPN over time. Having founded in 2012, IPVanish has years of experience and has continuously strived to serve its customers. IPVanish is also known as the most reliable VPN.
7 days money-back guarantee
10 connections at a time
Poor customer support
No support for cryptocurrency payment
You can run the IPVanish app on Windows, Mac, Android or iOS. The app interface is neat and clean across platforms. The app does not display the advanced features on your face, hence it takes very little time to get familiar with. You can access these advanced features by navigating through the menus. There is an option to make the app connect automatically at start-up and also there is a kill switch that can restrict data usage unless you are connected to VPN.
In a world of VPNs offering support up to 5 simultaneous connections, IPVanish just beats them all hands down with support for up to 10 simultaneous connections. This is the industry's best configuration among the mainstream VPNs. IPVanish also comes with support for BitTorrent like most of the VPNs do. If we talk about the servers, IPVanish has its servers located in 51 countries and this type of spread is required to guarantee top speed internet access for people from all around the globe.
IPVanish has given priority to safety and security too. It provided 256-bit data encryption, which we have already spoken about and about how good this type of encryption is. IPVanish strictly follows the No-logs Traffic rule, meaning that no logs of user activities are stored in any form, guaranteeing top-notch security. If you choose IPVanish, you are free from the worries of your DNS information being leaked.
Coming to the pricing, IPVanish comes in three different billing packages. You can buy a month’s package, 3 month’s package or buy an annual package. You will have to pay INR 382 if you choose the monthly package and pay INR 250/mo. if you choose to bill annually. And there is also an option to buy IPVanish service for 3 months at INR 343/mo. If you are thinking about paying for IPVanish services in bitcoins, that is not possible.
5. Private VPN
Private VPN has the purpose of VPN as its tagline. That is “Unlock Anything, Protect Everything”. This would be the answer if anyone would be asked to describe the use of VPN in the shortest way possible. Private VPN is a low-cost VPN service that is highly reliable and superfast. Private VPN is relatively new in the industry but has been able to grab the attention of many tech people lately. It is also one of the fastest-growing VPNs in the market.
Fastest growing VPN
Offers No-logs VPN service
Servers spread across 56 countries
6 simultaneous connections
Not many servers (150 servers only)
Private VPN is based in Sweden and has its servers spread across 60 countries. But what’s not so great about Private VPN is the fact that it has only 150 servers. This number is not a deal-breaker for a relatively new company in the VPN industry. But when thrown head to head with other top VPN providers, this number of total servers just falls flat. But the number of servers has been seeing a constant rise, which is a positive sign to consider.
And Private VPN allows 6 simultaneous connections. This is truly commendable for a newcomer as many leading VPNs also come with support for a maximum of 5 connections at a time. And very few VPNs provide support for more than 6 connections simultaneously. As far as the tagline goes, Private VPN has completely justified the use of the tagline. Because you can unblock anything, be it Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or BBC’s iPlayer.
The second half of the tagline talks about protection. So, let us talk about the protection offered if you choose Private VPN. Security is also one of the things that you should not be worried about if you use Private VPN. Private VPN comes with a kill-switch that stops internet access without connecting the VPN. This is a handy feature as there are chances that you access not so safe content without turning the VPN on. Private VPN also comes with No-Logs policy that does not allow it to store the traffic details of its users. Like other popular VPNs, Private VPN also comes with 256-bit AES encryption that guarantees military-grade safety and protection of your personal data.
Now coming to pricing, Open VPN has priced its services aggressively. There is a 1 month’s plan that costs $7.67/mo. And the next one is 3 months pack that costs you $4.88/mo. There is a change here as you get the subscription for 13 months at the price of 12 months plan and you will be charged $3.82/mo. All the packages come with 30 days moneyback guarantee with the 13-month plan being the most sensible choice to go for.
6. CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost is also a popular VPN that has been tried and tested by more than 10 million users over time and has seen regular improvements over time, be it in the quality of service, security or the number of servers. CyberGhost currently has its servers located across 89 different countries in 7100 different locations. This is one of the best in the industry when it comes to the number of servers.
Excellent and fast live chat support
Comes with a handy kill-switch
7100 servers across 89 countries
Allows 7 simultaneous connections
Pay using PayPal, Credit Card, or Bitcoins
Only 24-hours free trial
Along with Providing VPN services, CyberGhost subscription also doubles up as your security partner in blocking malicious websites, annoying ads and more. CyberGhost can work on different platforms such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and more.
When it comes to security, CyberGhost comes with a strict no-logs policy that ensures that CyberGhost gets no clue or any information about your browsing history, traffic destination, or search preferences. CyberGhost does not lag behind when it comes to performance as you can get considerably good access speed when you are connected to the internet via CyberGhost VPN. CyberGhost also comes with a kill switch to ensure you are always connected to VPN while browsing content over the internet.
You can use CyberGhost to unblock Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Videos, BBC’s iPlayer and more. One noteworthy feature of CyberGhost is that it recommends the best-suited servers for the services that you want to use. CyberGhost works well with torrents too, so that you will not have to worry about not being able to download your favorite content from torrents.
Now coming to the pricing of CyberGhost, if you are buying CyberGhost service for a month, you will be charged $12.99/mo. The one year plan comes at a price tag of $5.99/mo. and the 2 years package comes at $3.69/mo. But if you go a step further and extend your subscription for 3 years, you will be charged just $2.75/mo. with added free subscription for 2 more months. It comes with a 45-days moneyback guarantee. CyberGhost has priced its services well, but the only thing that is not so likable is the not so generous 24-hour Free Trial.
As the need for VPN services keeps on increasing day by day, the number of VPN providers also just keeps on piling up. But what’s concerning is the fact that some of these use VPN just as a way of getting your data and selling them or making money through ads. Always be beware of such fraudsters. Therefore we have chosen these VPNs as our recommendations so that your privacy and safety will not fall into wrong hands. You can get a VPN at its best from these VPN providers. All VPNs listed above have their own strong points and have diverse pricing. You can choose any one of the recommendations as per your requirements and as per the amount you are ready to shell out.