Prevent a hack attack: A VPN will protect you—and your data

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Guard against prying eyes with a reputable VPN. (Photo: Getty Images)

A VPN (or virtual private network) can do everything from outsmart hackers to allow you to access additional movies and TV shows.

A VPN basically hides your identity and activity online. Think of it as an encrypted tunnel that covers the data you’re sending and receiving—no one can see into the tunnel but you, not even your ISP (internet service provider)—or the VPN itself.

Without a VPN, anyone can view what you’re doing and track your whereabouts. Need proof? Visit WhatIsMyIPAddress.com—if your IP address shows up, your location is easily available to creepers who can access your favorite websites, passwords, personal info, and credit cards. A VPN also comes in handy for when you’re using public Wi-Fi, like at a coffee shop or library.

Another great benefit of a VPN is that you can watch Netflix shows streaming in other countries like Canada, Australia, or Hong Kong. Bring on the binge-watching.

Just know that a VPN won’t be as speedy as what you’re used to, but it’ll be fast enough to stream and enjoy a ton of Netflix options.

We rounded up the seven best VPNs below.

ExpressVPN

One of the fastest VPNs out there. (Photo: ExpressVPN)

With fast speeds and more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries and regions, ExpressVPN is a beast.

You’ll find a list of recommended servers in places like Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Switzerland, plus options for India, Iceland, Pakistan, The Philippines, Israel, Kenya, and more. Check out the full list of servers here.

ExpressVPN is available for Windows 10, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android, ChromeOS, plus Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, PS4, Xbox One, and more. It can work on five devices at the same time—see the list of supported devices here.

Cost: There are various plans: $13 a month; $60 for six months; or $100 for 15 months (was $194). There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can even use Bitcoin as payment to remain anonymous.

Shop it: ExpressVPN, expressvpn.com

CyberGhost

The whole family can watch different things at the same time. (Photo: CyberGhost)

CyberGhost is so powerful that it can support up to seven devices at once, making it great for families. It’s on the lower end of the spectrum, price-wise, and offers connectivity to 89 countries, including Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, and Nigeria. Check out a full list of countries here.

Compatible with Windows 10, macOS, and Linux, it also works with Chrome and FireFox. For mobile, Android and iOS are fully supported, but it’ll only work with Xbox (sorry PlayStation fans). It’s also available for Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, and select smart TV brands, like LG and Samsung.

Cost: $3 per month for a three-year subscription. You can also go month-to-month, for $13 a month. There’s a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Shop it: CyberGhost, cyberghostvpn.com

VyprVPN

Stream safely with VyprVPN. (Photo: VyprVPN)

VyprVPN touts itself as the safest and most secure service, thanks to its proprietary Chameleon Protocol, which encrypts all data while hiding the fact that you’re even using a VPN. This means it’s ideal for those living in or visiting countries with strict censorship laws.

It can successfully unblock Netflix in Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and more; check out a full list of streaming services here.

Working with up to five devices at once, VyprVPN is compatible with Windows 10 and macOS. It also works with Android and iOS mobile devices, plus Android TV and Apple TV. See all the supported smart TVs here.

Cost: Packages start at $2.50 per month for a two-year subscription (billed as $60). You can also go month-to-month, at $13 a month. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Shop it: VyprVPN, vyprvpn.com

PureVPN

Try PureVPN for seven days for just $1. (Photo: PureVPN)

While PureVPN isn’t as fast as ExpressVPN or NordVPN, it features a lot of customization settings—such as, additional Firewalls, dedicated IP addresses and dedicated VoIP (Voice-over Internet Protocol) servers for internet calling—that suit just about anyone—whether you’re a casual or pro web user.

You can watch Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now and the BBC iPlayer internationally—thanks to PureVPN’s 2,000+ servers in more than 180 locations in over 140 countries around the world. Click here for a list of countries and locations available.

The service supports Windows 10, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, iPadOS, Fire TV and Android TV via the PureVPN app. It also supports Chromebook, Chromecast, Xbox One, PS4, Apple TV, Roku and others through manual set-up. PureVPN offers 24/7 support to walk you through the process of setting up your devices, if necessary. Click here for a complete list of supported devices.

Cost: If you’re a first time user, score a seven-day trial for just $1. If you keep the service, it’s about $6 per month—which is 47 percent off the $11 per month standard plan. The VPN service also accepts cryptocurrency for additional privacy.

Shop it: PureVPN, purevpn.com

Ivacy VPN

Get more out of Netflix without spending a fortune. (Photo: Ivacy)

Want the most budget-friendly option? Try Ivacy VPN for just over a $1 month.

Speeds are solid, but not as fast as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or CyberGhost. This is due to its small server count—21 locations in 17 countries like Australia, China, and the United Kingdom; here’s the full list.

You’ll be able to stream things like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. Like most major VPNs, Ivacy doesn’t track online activity but it does collect your name, email, payment method, app crash reports, and diagnostics, plus Google Analytics info (others in this list don’t).

Ivacy supports most platforms, including Windows 10, macOS and iOS, Android, Linux, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One, plus Kodi and Raspberry Pi.

Cost: $1.16 a month for a five-year subscription (billed as $70) or $10 a month for month-to-month. The service takes cryptocurrency.

Shop it: Ivacy VPN, ivacy.com

TunnelBear VPN

The cutest VPN available (Photo: Tunnelbear VPN)

TunnelBear is probably the cutest VPN available with their bear mascot featured throughout the service. The VPN’s bear is not just cute, but it’s also a great visual cue to how a VPN works. You can plainly see the bear tunnel underground and later pop its head out in the country where you want to mask or hide your IP address on a digital map. How clever.

The VPN service provides speedy connectivity with servers in 23 countries from around the world. This means you can browse the internet, as if you were in Germany, Italy, Singapore, Brazil, India and more, while you can keep your data safe from being hacked or stolen when surfing the web.

Unfortunately, you might run into roadblocks, if you try to stream Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer or Disney+ with TunnelBear. It seems like some streaming services are just too much for this VPN to handle. However, YouTube appears to be unblocked in most regions and countries, so we recommend TunnelBear, if you’re a YouTube-only user. Otherwise, the other VPN services on this list could be a better fit for you.

Cost: Right now, you can get a one-year subscription to TunnelBear VPN for just $20, or $40 off at Amazon. This is a 67 percent savings, which is lower than how much the VPN is from TunnelBear itself. But, if you want to go month-to-month, the VPN service goes for $10 per month, or $3 per month for a three-year subscription.

Shop it: TunnelBear VPN, $20 (was $60), amazon.com

NordVPN

This VPN offers the best bang for your buck. (Photo: NordVPN)

NordVPN is the way to go if you’re on a budget but still want one of the most popular VPNs.

The service works in 59 countries and regions; find the full list of locations here. And it supports six devices at a time.

NordVPN supports Windows 10, MacOS, ChromeOS, and Linux, as well as mobile devices for Android and iOS. It works with Android TV devices, but doesn’t support Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, or Fire TV.

Cost: The best deal is $3.50 per month for a three-year subscription—that’s an upfront cost of $126. You can also get a one-year subscription for $7 a month or two years for $5 a month, or go month-to-month for $12 a month. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Shop it: NordVPN, nordvpn.com

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