Different Types of VPNs
There are many different types of VPNs on the market with different features that make them stand apart. We’ve compiled a list of the most popular types so you can choose which one is best for you!
A professional VPN is a type of software that allows people to access blocked websites and share files online. Professional VPNs are designed for businesses, governments and educational institutions to use for secure communication.
Businesses in particular have the need for extra security since they handle sensitive information such as client credit card information, bank account details, employee records etc.
These businesses need encryption in order to prevent the data from being intercepted and used by criminals to conduct identity fraud. Professional VPNs offer many advanced features that make them stand out from the rest. They include:
- Access to blocked websites and online services that are inaccessible in certain countries such as Netflix, Hulu, Pandora etc.Protect data, voice and video communications with their encryption feature.
- The ability to set up virtual networks if there are a number of computers on a single network.
- Connect up to 5 devices at one time if you have a Professional VPN subscription.
- They have a higher monthly fee than the rest. Examples of VPNs include NordVPN, IPVanish, HideMyAss and StrongVPN.
Free VPNs come as an add-on when you are purchasing another product such as online storage services or broadband internet connection services. Free VPNs are very limited in their features and they don’t usually provide encryption for data privacy which means that anyone can intercept what you’re doing online if you’re not careful.
If you want a reliable VPN for security reasons then it is best to pay for one. Free VPNs have some benefits such as allowing you to bypass geographical restrictions which means that they can be used to watch BBC iPlayer abroad, or other TV services such as Hulu etc.
Free VPNs are often paid by advertising companies so they can generate revenue and there are even certain free VPN services that sell your data or install malware onto your device. Examples of Free VPNs include Freegate, Tunnelbear and Cyberghost.
Smart DNS & VPN
Smart DNS and VPN services work in tandem to deliver an extra layer of security. Essentially, a Smart DNS service provides access to websites that are restricted in certain countries by routing the website through your ISP’s servers outside your country.
A VPN service routes your connection through a server that sits in the country where the website you want is restricted. This means that you can access websites blocked in certain countries without having to use a Smart DNS service.
This is suitable for users who want extra security and an unblock VPN service might not be right for them. Free Smart DNS services are limited in their features and are often limited to certain channels such as BBC iPlayer.
Some paid Smart DNS providers require you to pay extra to use a VPN feature with their services making it more expensive over the long-term. Examples of VPNs include Perfect Privacy, OverPlay and TorGuard.
L2TP & PPTP
L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) and PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) are protocol variants of IPSec. Both protocols provide encryption as a means of securing data being transmitted. Both protocols are suitable for securing data in transit, but as good as encryption is there may be some weaknesses that can be exploited.
This is especially the case with data that travels through a public network. The risks in using PPTP and L2TP are increased when computers are compromised leaving them open to attack.
PPTP is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux and Android devices whereas L2TP isn’t. There are many other “layer 2” protocols available but PPTP and L2TP are two of the most popular.
You can subscribe to a PPTP or L2TP VPN service from $4.99/month with torrents included. Examples of VPNs that support PPTP include HideMyAss and VPNSecure.
VPN Proxy Servers
A proxy server is a computer that acts as an intermediary between you and the website you are trying to access. It is used to conceal your identity online by hiding your IP address, giving you the anonymity that you need when browsing sensitive websites such as social media platforms, online gaming etc.
A proxy server will not encrypt your data but it is free and will allow you to access blocked websites that are restricted in certain countries. Some services offer free proxy servers alongside paid VPN services.
Even though a VPN proxy server won’t encrypt your data or hide your IP address, they do have some other features that make them worth considering for their anonymity benefits. Examples of VPNs that support proxy servers include HideMyAss Pro and Proxy.sh.
VPN encryption provides strong privacy protection by securing your data as it is transmitted between you and the VPN server. This prevents anyone from being able to view what you have been doing online, they can only see when you were connected to the VPN and where you connected from.
Encryption is a digital code that scrambles the content of data being transmitted so it can only be read by those with access to a specific key. This is why encryption is effective in keeping your data private as it renders the content that you don’t want others to see unreadable.
VPN encryption uses different protocols to encrypt data. These include OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and SSTP.
VPN for Torrenting
There are two main advantages of using a VPN when torrenting. The first is to ensure that your torrent files download at a faster speed as many internet service providers limit bandwidth when downloading files through torrents. This can leave you frustrated as the speed you see when downloading may be much slower than you expect.
Second, a VPN allows for better security as it hides your activities from others and protects you against DDoS attacks (most of which happen during or after a torrent download). This is particularly important if you live in an area where torrenting is banned or the government monitors such activities.
Although there are many different VPN providers, some of them may be unsuitable for torrenting as they may have been banned or limited from certain platforms. It is also important to note that not all servers are suitable for torrenting as many providers will only allow certain types of traffic onto their network and others block torrents altogether. Examples of VPNs that are suitable for torrenting include Hide My Ass Pro and TorGuard.