Like many others, I was very slow to jump on the VPN bandwagon. Every website online was promoting them, telling me that I needed one or terrible things would happen. It seemed like a great marketing ploy, but what was the worst that could happen?
Unfortunately, I found that out before I got on board. I had been writing a blog for years. I didn’t have millions of followers – it wasn’t that sort of blog. It was more for myself than for anyone else.
But I’d expected my posts to last for posterity. I thought I’d look back on them for an idea of what my life was like at different ages. Until I got hacked.
The worst part is that there was nothing useful to anyone but me. They didn’t get my credit card information or anything else. They just managed to wipe out all my data. Years of content was gone in seconds.
So, I highly advise you to start using a VPN immediately. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network (VPN) is software that routes your connection through an external server. This hides your actual location, making it seem like you’re somewhere else. In the process, you also get VPN encryption.
VPN encryption ensures that even if your data is stolen, it cannot be interpreted. It is as if you’ve used a secret code, but one that you never need to know yourself. Fortunately, your data will almost certainly not be stolen if you’re using a VPN.
How to choose a VPN
Once you’ve decided to get a VPN, you may be confused by the many different options you’ve got. If you search online, you’ll find hundreds or thousands of VPNs. Is one the same as another?
Absolutely not. Choosing a VPN at random is like choosing a random person to install a security system in your house. You don’t have any guarantee that they won’t use your trust against you.
When it comes down to it, there’s only a handful of truly worthwhile VPNs. Sites like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and others offer the best possible service and they are trusted by the experts.
Make sure you read the reviews, and make sure they are independent. Look out for warning signs that they are paid reviews or fakes. Also, in this case, an expert’s word is more useful than random customers.
Will it cost me?
If you are to get a good VPN, you’re going to have to pay. VPNs do not sell your data to advertisers, and therefore rely on subscription fees to run. The best free VPNs are the free versions of good paid options. They work perfectly well, but give you very limited bandwidth. At most, you can get 10GB bandwidth a month from Windscribe, but even that will go before you know it.
You should pay around $10 a month for a VPN, and much less if you pay for one year at a time. This way, you’ll get discounts of 40% or more.