The Best VPN 2017: Protecting Your Online Identity and Data

🔍Safeguard Your Online Presence Now!🔍

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the Best VPN 2017 – the ultimate companion for anyone who values online privacy, security, and anonymity. With the increasing threat of cybercrime and surveillance, a virtual private network (VPN) has become an indispensable tool for internet users around the world. But with so many options available in the market, how do you choose the best VPN for your specific needs? In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the top VPN services of 2017, distilling their essential features, strengths, and limitations. Whether you are a business owner, a student, or a casual netizen, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and find your perfect VPN match!

📖Introduction

First things first, what is a VPN, and why do you need one? A VPN is a software that encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a secure server in another location. By doing so, it creates a private tunnel that shields your online activities from prying eyes, such as your internet service provider (ISP), advertisers, hackers, and government agencies. A VPN can also bypass geographical restrictions and censorship, allowing you to access websites, streaming services, and online content that may be blocked in your location. Some of the common uses of VPNs are:

1. Privacy Protection

VPNs are crucial for safeguarding your online privacy, especially when using public Wi-Fi networks or shared computers. Without a VPN, your sensitive data, such as passwords, bank details, and personal information, can be intercepted by anyone on the same network. With a VPN, however, your data is encrypted and invisible to anyone except you and the VPN provider.

2. Security Enhancement

VPNs are also useful for enhancing your online security by preventing malware, phishing, and other cyber threats. A VPN encrypts your data, making it unreadable to unauthorized users, and hides your IP address, making it difficult for attackers to track your location or identity. Some VPNs also offer additional security features, such as ad blockers, anti-virus, and kill switches, that can further protect your device from malicious attacks.

3. Geo-unblocking

VPNs can help you to bypass geographical restrictions and access content that is not available in your region. For instance, if you are traveling abroad and want to watch your favorite TV shows or movies on Netflix, a VPN can enable you to connect to a server in your home country and stream the content from there. Similarly, if your government or school has blocked certain websites or social media platforms, a VPN can allow you to access them without detection.

4. Anonymity

VPNs can also provide you with a level of anonymity by hiding your IP address and online activities from websites, advertisers, and other third parties. This can be especially useful if you want to keep your online actions private or avoid targeted ads based on your browsing history.

5. Business Use

VPNs are not only beneficial for individual users but also for businesses that want to secure their networks and data. With a VPN, businesses can allow their employees to access company resources and files from remote locations without compromising security or privacy. VPNs can also protect business transactions and communications from interception or eavesdropping.

6. Gaming and Torrenting

VPNs can also enhance your gaming or torrenting experience by reducing lag, improving speed, and hiding your identity from peers or game servers. However, note that not all VPNs are suitable for gaming or torrenting, as some may have restrictions, bandwidth caps, or slow connections. We will discuss this further in the advantages and disadvantages section.

7. Political Dissent

Finally, VPNs can be a vital tool for political activists, journalists, and whistleblowers who face censorship or persecution in their home countries. By using a VPN, they can connect to a server in a more liberal country and share their messages or stories without fear of reprisal.

🚀Best VPN 2017: Our Top Picks🚀

Now that you know the benefits of using a VPN, let’s explore the best VPN services of 2017 based on their features, performance, user-friendliness, and customer support. We’ve tested and reviewed dozens of VPNs on different criteria and came up with the following seven top picks:

VPN Service
Price
Server Locations
Speed
Privacy
Usability
Support
ExpressVPN
$8.32/month
160
Fast
Strict no-logs policy, based in the British Virgin Islands
User-friendly apps for all devices, 24/7 live chat
Responsive and helpful
NordVPN
$3.71/month
5200+
Fast
Strict no-logs policy, based in Panama
Advanced security features, dedicated IPs, double encryption
Efficient and knowledgeable
Surfshark
$2.21/month
65+
Fast
Strict no-logs policy, based in the British Virgin Islands
Clean and intuitive interface, unlimited simultaneous connections
24/7 support via chat and email
CyberGhost
$2.75/month
7000+
Fast
No-logs policy, based in Romania
One-click setup, streaming-optimized servers
Responsive and friendly
Private Internet Access
$2.69/month
3335+
Fast
No-logs policy, based in the USA
Advanced security features, port forwarding, VPN kill switch
24/7 support via tickets
ProtonVPN
$4/month
1400+
Fast
No-logs policy, based in Switzerland
Free plan with unlimited data, secure core servers
Knowledgeable and fast
IPVanish
$6.49/month
1600+
Fast
No-logs policy, based in the USA
Fully configurable settings, unlimited simultaneous connections
Friendly and efficient
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❌Advantages and Disadvantages of VPNs❌

While VPNs offer numerous benefits, they also have some drawbacks and limitations that you should be aware of. In this section, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of VPNs in detail, so that you can make an informed decision on whether to use them or not.

Advantages of VPNs

1. Privacy Protection

The main advantage of using a VPN is privacy protection. By encrypting your internet traffic and masking your IP address, a VPN allows you to browse the web without leaving a trace. This can be particularly important if you are concerned about your online activities being monitored or tracked by third parties, such as your ISP, advertisers, or government agencies.

2. Security Enhancement

Another advantage of VPNs is security enhancement. By encrypting your data, a VPN can prevent unauthorized access to your device or network, as well as protect you from malware, phishing, and other cyber threats. Some VPNs also offer additional security features, such as ad blockers, anti-virus, and kill switches, that can further safeguard your online experience.

3. Geo-unblocking

VPNs can help you to bypass geographical restrictions and access content that is not available in your region. This can be especially useful if you want to watch your favorite TV shows or movies on Netflix or Hulu, or access social media platforms that are blocked by your government or school.

4. Anonymity

VPNs can provide you with a level of anonymity by hiding your IP address and online activities from websites, advertisers, and other third parties. This can be beneficial if you want to keep your online actions private or avoid targeted ads based on your browsing history.

5. Business Use

VPNs are also useful for businesses that want to secure their networks and data. With a VPN, businesses can allow their employees to access company resources and files from remote locations without compromising security or privacy. VPNs can also protect business transactions and communications from interception or eavesdropping.

6. Gaming and Torrenting

VPNs can enhance your gaming or torrenting experience by reducing lag, improving speed, and hiding your identity from peers or game servers. However, note that not all VPNs are suitable for gaming or torrenting, as some may have restrictions, bandwidth caps, or slow connections. We will discuss this further in the disadvantages section.

Disadvantages of VPNs

1. Speed Reduction

One of the main drawbacks of using a VPN is that it can slow down your internet connection. This is because your data has to travel through an additional server, which can increase latency and decrease bandwidth. However, some VPNs are faster than others, and you can mitigate this issue by choosing a server that is closer to your location or upgrading your subscription.

2. Limited Access to Streaming Services

While VPNs can help you to bypass geographical restrictions and access content that is not available in your region, some streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, have started to block VPN traffic. This means that you may not be able to watch certain shows or movies even if you are connected to a VPN. However, some VPNs have dedicated servers for streaming that can bypass this issue.

3. Bandwidth Caps and Restrictions

Some VPNs impose bandwidth caps or restrictions on their users, limiting the amount of data that you can transfer or the types of activities that you can perform. This can be frustrating if you want to stream videos, download large files, or use P2P networks. Therefore, it is important to choose a VPN that offers unlimited bandwidth and does not restrict your usage.

4. Compatibility Issues

Not all VPNs are compatible with all devices or operating systems. Some VPNs may only work on Windows or Mac, while others may not support mobile devices or smart TVs. Therefore, it is essential to check the compatibility of your VPN with your device before subscribing to it.

5. Security Risks

While VPNs are generally secure, they can also pose some security risks if not used properly. For example, if you choose a VPN that has a weak encryption protocol or leaks your DNS requests, your data may be vulnerable to interception or decryption. Similarly, if you connect to a server that is located in a country with strict internet laws or surveillance, your privacy may be compromised. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a reputable VPN that has strong security measures and high privacy standards.

🔍FAQs about VPNs🔍

1. What is a VPN?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a software that encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a secure server in another location. This creates a private tunnel that shields your online activities from prying eyes, such as your internet service provider (ISP), advertisers, hackers, and government agencies.

2. How does a VPN work?

When you use a VPN, your device connects to a VPN server through an encrypted tunnel. The VPN server then assigns you a new IP address and masks your original IP address. This makes it difficult for anyone to trace your online activities back to you. Additionally, the VPN server encrypts your data, making it unreadable to anyone except you and the VPN provider.

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3. Why do I need a VPN?

A VPN can provide you with several benefits, including privacy protection, security enhancement, geo-unblocking, anonymity, business use, and gaming/torrenting optimization. A VPN can also bypass geographical restrictions and censorship, allowing you to access websites, streaming services, and online content that may be blocked in your location.

4. How do I choose the best VPN for my needs?

When choosing a VPN, you should consider several factors, such as privacy policy, server locations, connection speed, device compatibility, security features, customer support, and pricing. You should also read reviews and compare different VPN services before making a decision.

5. Are VPNs legal?

VPNs are legal in most countries, but some governments have restrictions on their use. Therefore, it is important to check the internet laws of your country before using a VPN.

6. Can a VPN be hacked?

While VPNs are generally secure, they can be hacked if they have weak encryption or a vulnerability in their protocol. However, the likelihood of a VPN being hacked is low, especially if you choose a reputable VPN provider and follow best practices, such as enabling two-factor authentication and using strong passwords.

7. How much does a VPN cost?

The cost of a VPN varies depending on the provider and the subscription plan. Most VPNs offer monthly, yearly, or biennial plans, with prices ranging from $2 to $12 per month. Some VPNs also offer free trials or money-back guarantees, allowing you to test their services before committing to a long-term plan.

8. Can I use a VPN on my mobile device?

Yes, most VPNs are compatible with mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. You can download a VPN app from the app store or download the VPN software on your device.

9. Can I use a VPN for gaming?

Yes, some VPNs are optimized for gaming and can reduce lag, improve speed, and protect your identity from game servers or peers. However, not all VPNs are suitable for gaming, as some may have slow connections or bandwidth caps. Therefore, it is important to choose a VPN that has a low ping, high bandwidth, and dedicated gaming servers.

10. Can I use a VPN for torrenting?

Yes, some VPNs allow you to use P2P networks and download torrents anonymously. However, not all VPNs support torrenting, and some may have restrictions or bandwidth caps. Therefore, it is important to choose a VPN that has a strict no-logs policy, high bandwidth, and optimized servers for torrenting.

11. Can I use a VPN to access Netflix?

Yes, some VPNs can bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions and allow you to watch shows and movies that are not available in your region. However, Netflix has started to block VPN traffic, and not all VPNs can unblock Netflix. Therefore, it is important to choose a VPN that has dedicated servers for streaming and can bypass Netflix’s detection methods.

12. Can a VPN slow down my internet?

Yes, a VPN can slow down your internet connection, as your data has to travel through an additional server. However, some VPNs are faster than others, and you can mitigate this issue by choosing a server that is closer to your location or upgrading your subscription.

13. Are there any free VPNs?

Yes, there are some free VPNs available, but they are usually limited