Most of the time, this means using a VPN client (software) that you install on the device(s) you want to connect to the VPN with. The VPN client then will give the option to connect to a range of servers located around the world. The number of locations available will depend on the VPN provider you choose to connect with. By using a VPN, you are in fact setting up a secure connection between your device – a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone – and the server, network or other digital device you need to connect to.
Generally speaking, most VPNs are available on more or less every device you are planning to use but please check that the VPN you are planning to subscribe to covers your operating system. For example, SaferVPN and CyberGhost support all of the leading operating systems.
All you need in order to do this is a VPN app on your device and an affordable subscription. The best VPNs work across laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets – even a Smart TV, with the aid of an ethernet cable or a Chromecast dongle.
There a numerous VPN providers around the world and many offer a free service. The issue is, what level of speed, reliability, security and support will these free services offer? As you will mostly use your VPN to stream content, speed and a reliable connection are key factors to take into consideration when choosing a provider. In addition, your VPN connection may be carrying what could be sensitive information, therefore it is important to ensure that it is transmitted with robust encryption over a secure and efficient network. Below is a summary of the important elements to consider.
Coupled with security and bandwidth is the number of servers you can connect to. Paid VPN services have the income to invest in a vast amount of servers to ensure your VPN connection is always live and fast, allowing you to stream content without buffering issues or the connection dropping.
In most cases, you will be able to set up your VPN by downloading the setup software after signing up to a provider and installing it on your device. Most VPNs offer software for all major operating systems.
A VPN offers unrestricted access to websites and apps that might otherwise be blocked, for example due to local censorship. No matter where you are located, a VPN will give you access to a number of servers located around the world, allowing you to access your favorite websites with ease.
Also worth knowing is that a VPN uses what are called networking protocols. This is the language the VPN uses to encrypt the information you are sending or receiving over the VPN (consult the dedicated protocols answer for more information).
When total privacy is needed, a VPN is the ideal solution. Unlike proxy services or applications that hide your device’s IP address, a VPN offers a greater level of privacy since a secure connection is made between your device and the server or network you are connecting to.
And paid services will almost always have much better customer service than free services. Free services will often require you to troubleshoot and fix your own VPN issues while Paid services come with built-in assistance to quickly resolve the problem. Paid VPNs also offer good customer service over the phone which may come in handy if you can’t fix the problem online.