The use of virtual private networks (the Virtual the Network of Private, the VPN) to navigate through the internet is becoming more and more popular with each passing day. VPN technology helps protect personal information, allows you to bypass the restrictions applied in some countries, opening access to blocked sites, and protects against viruses and malware. Today, several operators offer VPN services, most of the services are paid, and many of the operators accept cryptocurrency as payment. Free services can often be used for a short period of time (demo version).
Already, the market offers more than a hundred VPN services, but not all of them are reliable. Below are some of the most interesting options.
Quite a large number of different options available to users of the Google Chrome browser. One of the interesting VPN extensions is Private Internet Access; you can download it in the Chrome Web Store. After installation and registration, users are invited to select a tariff. The minimum monthly fee for using the service is $ 2.91 (subject to a two-year subscription).
Another popular extension is called Express VPN. However, to take advantage of this Chrome extension, users must first install a desktop PC application. Then you need to register on the VPN site, enter your email address, choose a service plan — rates start at $ 8 per month — and the payment method. A simpler option is Nord VPN, a proxy extension that hides the IP address but does not use tunneling / encryption technology used by the VPN. This extension is also available for download in the Chrome Web Store, the minimum monthly subscription fee is $ 2.99 (a three-year subscription plan).
In most cases, after installing the VPN extension, a service icon appears to the right of the browser’s address bar. You can change the settings and select a different location for the icon using the drop-down menu. Note that some VPNs support additional security features, providing protection against viruses and unwanted advertising.
All the above VPN extensions can also be used as an add-on to the Firefox Internet browser, which supports many useful and often free extensions. At the moment, Firefox developers are testing a new feature with which users can increase privacy for about $ 10 per month. The Mozilla browser team is also working on a new application, it recently merged with the Swiss company Proton VPN to integrate a paid service with an increased level of security.
It should be noted that Proton VPN servers are located in Switzerland, Sweden and Iceland – countries whose legislation prohibits the authorities from accessing information stored in electronic form. The company also claims it does not register VPN usage data on its server. Since October, an experimental feature of Mozilla has been testing a group of users from the United States. The service is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android systems.
Another popular browser, Opera, went one step further and integrated a free VPN service. The function is activated using a special button that is located to the left of the address bar and can be selected in the settings tab. Opera’s VPN extension provides unlimited data transfer and allows you to switch between virtual locations. In this mode, there are several options available, including Europe, North and South America, Asia, as well as an automatic mode called “Optimal location”. When the extension is running, the connection speed is slightly reduced. Nevertheless, Opera VPN is a very useful built-in feature that does not require a subscription, and, importantly, is completely free.