With a level of security equal to, if not higher than, dedicated networks, VPNs have become a fundamental part of many companies, making it possible to make up for the lack, often dictated by the cost, of a private network. By means of a VPN, in fact, it is possible to connect a client to corporate resources, as if this (given the obvious permissions) is physically wired to the network resources. Aware that it is difficult to orient yourself in choosing the right VPN, in what is a huge sea of services and commercial offers, we decided to test and suggest what, in our opinion, are the best VPN services 2020 currently available on the market.
In the following article, therefore, you will find the best VPNs to use the Internet to support your company or to develop a small private network that can allow you, for example, to use Italian paid services even abroad, as is the case of SkyGo and RAI services. Before starting, aware that there is still a lot of hesitation towards VPN services, let’s try to clarify starting from the basics.
What is a VPN?
Acronym for “Virtual Private Network”, or “virtual private network”, a VPN is a technology that aims to offer security to those networks, public and private, which can allow its users to move safely within the network. Basically it is a type of connection that does not require a dedicated network created ad hoc, but which offers the same level of security while using public and shared transmission protocol.
In essence, a VPN works the same way as a local network, without the geographic limits imposed by the cable connection. Thanks to a VPN, therefore, it is possible to create secure communication for your network while accessing it from outside it, thus allowing you to access internal private systems. The use of a VPN is safe because, by requiring authentication, it prevents malicious people from having access if they do not have a password or other access keys (pin, smartcard, retina, etc.). Obviously, although a VPN is secure, it is not in all respects impenetrable, and like any other connection, it suffers from flaws due, for example, to devices already infected with malware.
How does a VPN work?
To understand how a VPN works, we need to take a step back and understand the basics of how the internet works. You should know that every device connected to the network, be it a PC, a console or a smartphone has an IP address. The IP is unique, it refers to a router or modem to which the device connects in order to enjoy the privileges of surfing the net. The IP, therefore, identifies the user, and all the movements that this makes within the network, such as browsing certain sites, purchasing certain products, and so on. The data is collected by all the portals of the network, which use them in order to improve their services, to regulate the dissemination of commercial offers, and for any other practice that needs to know the user thoroughly. The IP, in essence, is a sort of passport of the user on the network, on which his “trips” within the internet are certified.
Well, a VPN, unlike a “classic” connection, makes sure that this data is not collected, as it makes the movements of an IP essentially untraceable. This is because a VPN, instead of connecting directly to the internet service provider, connect to a VPN server, through a secure and encrypted connection. The VPN server reads the user’s request and contacts the specific site which obviously tracks the incoming user’s IP, with the difference that it does not refer to the user’s modem, but rather to the VPN server that brought him there. This way the data cannot be linked to any specific user. With this stratagem, a VPN network can protect privacy, but also circumvent the problems deriving from “region-lock”, that is the security practice that prevents specific regional IPs (for example Italian ones) from accessing services from other countries (eg : the American ones).
What is a VPN for?
As you may have understood, therefore, the main reason for using a VPN is to increase your network security, especially if you need to access services from abroad or from public hotspots. Wi-Fi hotspots, such as those present at the airport or at many restaurant chains, in fact, are not particularly secure and expose the user and device to malware and malicious actions by network attackers, who often use the vulnerability of the infrastructures. public for the theft of sensitive data, and more. Not only that, because thanks to their security, but a VPN can also be used for building a secure and decentralized corporate network. Questor because, as you may have understood, not only does a VPN prevent data packets from being intercepted, but because by bypassing geo-blocks it allows companies to extend geographic connectivity, reducing the costs that would arise from paying for a private network.
Finally, thanks to the bypassing of the various regional blocks, a VPN allows, for example, to use your digital TV subscriptions even when you are abroad where, as happens with services such as Amazon Prime and Sky Go, your subscription it is not valid. In fact, in many countries, VPN connections are used to bypass government censorship, making it very difficult to identify the source of an upload, or which sites a person has visited.
Are VPNs legal?
Yes, VPNs are legal in most of the world, but not in all countries. It must be said that, as with any legislation, those prohibitions apply mostly to the people who live in these countries, and not to those who, for example, use them while traveling. Obviously, the advice is to be careful, informing yourself properly about any risks and restrictions present in the country where you are visiting before using a VPN connection.
What are the best VPNs?
Before writing this guide, we tested several free and paid VPN services for you and found that the current market leader of free VPN is undoubtedly iNinja. It is, in fact, the best option available for both speed and privacy. Next on the podium, we put paid VPN NordVPN, whose attractive price is combined with excellent speed and good security guarantees. Finally, in third place, IPVanish, a VPN born in 2019 but already established among the market leaders for reliability and, above all, for peer-to-peer and torrent management.