The Best of Fast and Safe VPN Services for 2019

Posted on Friday, December 21 2018 @ 10:00 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Virtual Private Networks or VPNs are becoming vital parts of using the internet. Whether you want some online privacy or need to escape an online attack, a VPN can help you obscure your internet activity from others and bring safer browsing to your computer.

Although using a VPN isn’t hard, understanding the main benefits may take some experience to appreciate. Instead of dealing with what the worst of the internet has to offer, here are a few detail to help you understand the best of fast and safe VPN services.

Getting Around Unfair Throttling
Internet Service Provider (ISP) policies often include some sort of fair use clause. This means keeping the internet stable and fair for all users.

At the surface level, this isn’t a bad policy. There will always be abusers of systems, and if there isn’t some sort of limit or policy, multiple people will eventually overload any system—at least at the neighborhood or city level.

Unfortunately, best intentions aren’t enough to keep everything fair. As more internet users find the need to download big files such as games, game updates, digital version of permanent movie collections, and other big files, they find themselves running against a limit far lower than what they’re paying for.

When you pay for internet service, you’re paying for specific statistics. You’re paying for a specific download speed, upload speed, and in some cases a cap or maximum amount of internet traffic.

The download speeds aren’t perfect, but many internet users find themselves with less than 80% of their plan’s download speed. ISP contracts will cover the lowest amount of best effort internet traffic, but it doesn’t take long for internet users to find something nefarious in their internet speeds.

If the internet traffic consistently stops at a set speed and otherwise seems to be climbing at a steady rate, or if multiple customers of the same speed notice a maximum speed around the same level, it’s likely that the ISP is throttling the internet speed.

Throttling simply means that the internet speed is being intentionally slowed down. This can happen legitimately if there’s some major outage event that weakens the entire ISP infrastructure, but if an ISP can’t handle multiple customers at their advertised speeds, it’s time to change the advertisement, compensate customers, or let the customers go.

In many situations, an ISP may be one or one of few internet options in the area. If the ISP is throttling, customers can only complain or seek legal actions against the ISP.

Legal actions and customer complaints sometimes take a long time to succeed, and many users may want to work around the problem if possible. Modern throttling is a lot more subtle and may use identifying factors such as websites being visited or types of traffic to choose which connections to throttle, and a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can get around that problem.

When your internet is placed inside a VPN tunnel, your data becomes obfuscated from view. This means it becomes harder for an ISP or anyone briefly checking internet activity to figure out where you’re going with your data. Because of the routing activity during VPN use, throttling measures may not take effect. If throttling happens, you can choose to use the logs of your VPN use to show that your ISP is being more aggressive in its throttling. Logs are usually a sensitive subject among VPN users, and you don’t have to use a VPN with logging measures. You can, however, find a VPN service and ask them to monitor your connection after explaining the throttling situation.

Unblocking Websites And Restricted Content
Many websites block foreign users or users that visit from specific locations. This blocking usually happens by filtering user names and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, which means blocking specific user names, specific IP addresses, and/or specific groups of IP addresses.

A website or service can block visitors in many ways. They could block by the city, state, or provincial level, such as blocking traffic from the US state of Florida or the Japanese province of Aomori.

In many situations, national IP blocks are in place. This is usually put in place to stop expensive traffic handling for foreign customers who aren’t likely to bring in money for a product or service.

When dealing with TV shows, movies, and games, a company may want to stop foreign traffic from reaching the original service so that foreign licensed companies can make money and properly manage their exported assets. If you’re outside of Japan and need to get access to a mobile game, live TV show, or anime stream, a VPN can mask your traffic to help you make a successful visit. The same goes for European viewers who want to access American media before a local release happens.

Protect Yourself From Network Attacks
Are you a streamer? Do you run a popular website or online service that has a few too many enemies? In most online attacks such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, victims are attacked by a massive network of controlled nodes such as computers and mobile devices called a Botnet.

This Botnet is usually designed to attack an IP address or series of IP addresses and ports that are necessary to provide a service. It could be your specific website or service that you own, or a platform you use.

Streamers who use popular websites such as Twitch.TV, YouTube, Mixer, HitBox.TV, Azubu, or Afreeca are easier targets because their streaming platform or the game or service that they’re using is on full display and easier to target.

To hide yourself, a VPN is vital. You can use the VPN to make your location harder to find, and if the attacker actually finds you, it’s easy to switch your location. Did the attacker find your VPN service? Then that’s an attack on your service, and VPN professionals will be ready to address the situation.

Privacy Is Paramount
The internet is a paradox of endless information and a demand for privacy. People want to learn, but personal internet use shouldn’t be anyone’s business…or should it?

Although the meaning and deeper rights of online users is always up to debate, one fact has remained since the dawn of online communities: privacy is up to you. Part of the problem with modern internet security and privacy is that too many users assume that every business or any entity on the internet is able to guarantee privacy.

The truth of the matter is that anything can be accessed if you’re not careful enough. Do you want to protect your online financial activities, personal data, and sensitive information while still using the speed of modern internet? If the answer to that question is yes, you need a VPN. The obscurity of VPN data routing can help protect your privacy by making it harder for others to track your online activities.

If you’re using a VPN for privacy purposes, make sure to review the terms of service. Figure out the VPN’s logging policies, research the VPN’s local laws as far as releasing information to law enforcement, and make sure you’re okay with your answers.

The internet is far from perfect, and change is part of the rushing innovation that made the internet what it is. Contact a VPN professional to discuss services such as SurfShark Online VPN, mobile data protection, and network management.