If you’re not using a VPN when you browse the web at home, it’s time to rethink your Internet security strategy. Often when we are at work employers require certain connections to be encrypted with a VPN tunnel to prevent competitors and thieves from stealing their information. But you also need to protect yourself at home. The average Internet user doesn’t have security in the forefront of their minds when they open up a web browser, but this is a huge mistake – there are a myriad of threats and risks that carry negative consequences. If you are still a newbie, you can start by reading more on how VPN services work.
First of all, you should be aware that many governments perform wiretapping to spy on domestic communications. The US and the UK are large offenders brought to light by Edward Snowden, but there are many other governments that have similar programs. When your data flows through the Internet, it could be sent to a server hosted on the other side of the globe. This means that your data has the potential to flow through many different networks policed by numerous governments and nations. Do you really want copies of your sensitive data ending up in a governmental database? Of course not.
But governments are just the tip of the iceberg. There are also threats from hackers to consider. Hacking tools have become so sophisticated and easy to use that teenagers figure out how to use them. It is becoming increasingly simple for people to use tools such as packet sniffers or other types of attacks that can intercept, store, and read your information.
A VPN connection will prevent your data from ending up in the wrong hands by encrypting it, but it also helps you browse the Internet anonymously by making your IP address. Although Tor provides a similar function in its service, it is debatable that using a VPN is the better overall choice. Furthermore, a lot of people find that they can’t access content because it is geo-restricted. A VPN tunnel will also help you unlock content that filters connections based on IP addresses, and even remove any speed throttling from your ISP. Although proxies and smartDNS can also unblock content, they do not provide any security, and can also be more difficult to setup in some cases.
The Best Way to Secure Your Home’s Internet Connection
While you do have the option of using a VPN service that terminates on your computer or mobile device, there is a much more effective solution. By terminating your VPN connection at your router, you will be able to secure your Internet connection for every device that connects to your network. The only problem is that most of the firmware on standard routers lacks this capability, but you can easily upgrade the software on your router by flashing it using DD-WRT or Tomato code. The only caveat is that your router model needs to be supported by this special software, but they cover most of the leading router models. In addition, this will help circumvent restrictions on the number of users who can use a VPN service per account. VPN providers allow anywhere between 2 and 6 users per account, which can be troublesome if you have a lot of devices that you want to secure. So, let’s take a closer look at the best VPNs for home use.
VPN for Home Use – Top Picks:
Private Internet Access – Full Review
PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) is our top pick for home users for a couple reasons. First of all, they allow 5 concurrent device connections per VPN account. If you haven’t upgraded your router to Tomato or DD-WRT, it might not be possible to terminate your VPN at your router. Being able to connect 5 devices is a huge benefit in these situations, but you should also know that PIA VPN is one of the most affordable providers. With a 1-year subscription, the monthly rate is only $3.33. In addition, they have a 7-day money back guarantee and have 3,100 servers in 24 countries to ensure that you don’t run into capacity problems.
ExpressVPN – Full Review
ExpressVPN had to make the list because the quality of their service is superb and they many attractive features. Yet again, you will likely want to setup a VPN connection to their servers from your router since they only allow 2 simultaneous connections per account. However, they have built a reputation for providing access to incredibly fast and reliable VPN servers, and they are so confident you will love their service that they have created a 30-day money back guarantee. Furthermore, ExpressVPN has amazing 24/7 customer support to help you make configurations and to aid you in the troubleshooting process. The only downside is that if you want the highest quality service, you are going to need to pay a little bit more per month.
VyprVPN – Full Review
VyprVPN is another fantastic choice for people who want to secure their devices at home, and they provide a free trial so you can see how you like their service. Unfortunately, they only allow 2 simultaneous connections per account, so you will likely want to terminate their VPN service at your router if you have a lot of devices to secure. Their network of 700+ fast and reliable VPN servers are scattered throughout 50 countries around the world, and they have favorable pricing. Though they have different packages at different rates, you can opt for the pro version of their service for only $6.25 per month.
VPNArea – Full Review
VPNArea is another top pick for home users that either lack the ability to terminate a VPN at their router or those that simply don’t want to, because they allow 5 simultaneous connections per user account. They have a free trial much like VyprVPN, but VPN Area’s trial only lasts for 7 days. Not only do they have servers in 51 countries to give you flexibility when choosing global connections, but they also have a handy feature called anti-DNS leak that will help make sure you resolve DNS requests through your VPN tunnel instead of your local ISP. And they don’t cost too much, either – with a long term subscription they only cost $4.92 per month.
PureVPN – Full Review
PureVPN is our last pick for home users, and they offer a nice blend of functionality and moderate pricing. First of all, they have servers in more countries than just about any other provider. Right now they have 500+ servers in 140 countries, and they too allow up to 5 simultaneous connections per account. You will also have adequate time to test their service in your home with their 7-day money back guarantee, and they are cheaper than many other providers. The monthly cost of an annual subscription is only $4.16.