In light of the House of Representatives’ recent decision to allow broadband internet providers to sell your browsing data without your consent, web searches for Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) spiked virtually overnight. There are many reasons to consider a VPN service for your iPhone or iPad — if you use public Wi-Fi, for example, you’re an easy target for cyber criminals. VPNs can also help you gain access to region-specific streaming catalogs — like those belonging to Netflix, for instance — even if you’re technically located outside the coverage area; and they can also help stop your internet service provider (ISP) from throttling your connection without your consent.
A VPN most importantly enables you to protect your data from snoopers and mask your true location. It hides your online forays in a secure tunnel that outsiders can’t penetrate, but you must choose wisely, since you’re trusting your VPN provider with all your online activities. If the service is free, you have to wonder how it’s staying afloat. Do some research to make sure the company behind the VPN isn’t selling your data or bandwidth to third parties. If you can’t, check out our favorite VPN apps below.
Keep in mind that you may need to install the OpenVPN Connect client and follow a guide in order to take advantage of the OpenVPN protocol on iOS. All the apps will work with IPSec or another protocol by default. You’ll find guides on most of the service provider’s websites to do this.
NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs for Windows and MacOS, and, conveniently, it’s also available for iOS. NordVPN uses the IKEv2 security protocol, which is 30-percent faster than the last generation. The app allows you to browse servers using a map, or a curated list of countries. There are currently more than 600 available servers spread across 50 countries.
You can connect up to six devices with a single account, and bypass blocked websites and regional restrictions with zero lag. NordVPN does not store any user information either, so your privacy is protected at all times. The app also supports a host of security protocols — including OpenVPN, IKEV2, and L2TP — and your real IP address will show as the NordVPN server IP address, thus securing your browsing experience on the go. Subscriptions vary from $12 a month to $69 annually.
NordVPN even offers a unique, double encryption system that applies military-grade AES-256-CBC encryption to inbound and outbound data twice. A hit with reviewers and users alike, NordVPN should make anyone’s shortlist when looking for a robust VPN solution.
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The premium PureVPN app utilizes more than 750 servers, making it ideal for individuals who stream plenty of content. The app allows you to save your preferential servers, and instantly connects to them as you change locations. PureVPN will also automatically switch to the fastest optimized server in a given location and the widget makes connecting to PureVPN servers quick and convenient.
In addition, PureVPN offers VOIP — Voice Over Internet Protocol — calls, allowing you to carry out more secure Skype and Viber conversations from around the globe. There are several plans to choose from, though we suggest opting for the monthly subscription ($5) before going all-in with the $40 annual subscription. There’s also a $24, six-month plan.
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