Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are veritable Swiss Army Knives when it comes to privacy enhancement, censorship avoidance, anonymous file sharing, and more. But not all VPNs are created equal, and there’s no sense paying for features you don’t need. Read on as we explore the ins and outs of picking a perfect VPN service.
We’re about to walk you through what VPNs are, why people use them, how to assess your VPN needs, and the important questions to ask when shopping for a VPN. If you’re impatient and you just want a really good VPN right this second, you can always jump right to the end and check out our recommendations. A thorough read from start to finish, however, will show you why we’re recommending the services we are.
What Is Virtual Private Networking, and Why Do People Use It?
Through the use of software (and sometimes, at the corporate and governmental level, hardware) a VPN creates a virtualized network between two physically separate networks.
VPN use, for example, allows an IBM employee to work from home in a Chicago suburb while accessing the company intranet located in a building in New York City, as if he was right there on the New York office’s network. The same technology can be used by consumers to bridge their phones and laptops to their home network so, while on the road, they can securely access files from their home computers.