Using a VPN connection is becoming more and more popular, as it gives the user an encrypted secure connection via a server. It allows the user to surf the internet more securely and anonymously. To provide some clarity about VPN connections we explain on this page exactly how this connection works. We also explain why VPN connections were created and how they are used today, but first an overview for people who are looking for a good VPN connection. Below you can see our top 4 favorite VPN services.
What is a VPN connection
VPN stands for "Virtual Private Network" in Dutch also translated to "Virtual Private Network". In practice, this means that one is able to extend a private network in a secure manner over an insecure network. The largest insecure network used for this is the Internet. A tunnel is made through the internet to the external network. In this way it is possible for employees of a company, for example, to access files within a secure computer network. When this secure encrypted connection to the external network is made, the data sent over a VPN network is encrypted. The encryption and decryption can only be done with the correct key that is in the possession of the VPN server and client alone. This makes it impossible for other people or computers who are watching your data stream to see exactly what you are sending and receiving on your device. We have also written a page with extensive information about what a VPN is and how it works exactly.
Using VPN connection
As you will discover below, there are several companies that offer a VPN connection to interested parties. These so called VPN providers provide software and servers so you can easily set up a VPN connection from any device. It gives you all the benefits of a VPN connection, and this without all the technical details you normally have when setting up a server and the client. We have tested a lot of VPN services and have written an extensive review for all tested VPN providers. Based on these tests and our experience we can compile a list of the top best VPN services according to us. Below you will find the top 3 best VPN services. If you are simply looking for a good VPN service, the providers listed below are good for you.
ExpressVPN is simply the most comprehensive and best performing VPN service available today. The server network is so extensive that you will find different countries in every continent with ExpressVPN servers. This means that bypassing geographical blockages in almost every country must succeed.
Moreover, in our experience VPN connections with the ExpressVPN servers are very stable and fast. In our opinion, the ExpressVPN software is very good. The software, which is available for all common devices, works fine and easy. So, you can easily choose the location where you want to set up a VPN connection. In addition, it is also possible to adjust the advanced settings for a demanding user. However, the default settings work fine for the average user. You can also get 3 months free with an annual subscription to ExpressVPN! *Only valid via the links on our website. When ordering an annual subscription, you will see this offer on the ExpressVPN website.
With NordVPN, for a very competitive price you really get a good VPN service with a lot of servers all over the world. The quality of the VPN connections with NordVPN is really excellent. With their large server network NordVPN ensures that servers don't get overloaded quickly and that you can always get a good speed. NordVPN's software is available for all known operating systems; Android, Windows, Mac OS X and iOS. The software works perfectly on all devices and makes it very easy to surf the internet anonymously, bypass geographical blockages and safely use wifi networks. If you are looking for a very good VPN service and want to pay a reasonable price, NordVPN is a very good choice.
This is the VPN service with a very good price-quality ratio. The cost for a subscription at CyberGhost is really low, and this is despite the very good VPN service that it provides. CyberGhost has improved a lot in recent years. Several servers have been added and the last time we tested the service we were able to enjoy very fast and stable VPN connections to the servers of CyberGhost. The software of CyberGhost looks a bit different than other VPN services. You can choose a profile with which you determine the purpose of the VPN connection. For example you can choose a streaming profile. In this case CyberGhost ensures that you are connected to a VPN server via a specific protocol that ensures the fastest connection. All in all a very creative solution that turns out to work very well in practice.
The reasons for using a VPN connection are different for private use and for people who use it in a business environment. The different motivations to use a VPN connection can be found below.
Within a commercial organisation there is often a company network where certain information can be found. These computer networks are shielded from the outside world for understandable reasons. With a VPN connection it is possible to set up an encrypted connection to that internal computer network. In this way it is possible to log on to the company network when you are outside the office.
In recent years, online privacy and safe surfing has become more and more important. Using the internet via a VPN connection is a very good solution for both problems. It encrypts your connection to the VPN server so that your data cannot be eavesdropped on by other users on the network you are on. This is a real risk when you use a public wifi network for example, and you don't use your own ip, so advertising networks can't create a profile of you based on an ip address. Changing your ip-address also has other advantages. For example, when you make a VPN connection to another country, it seems to the rest of the internet as if you are there. Then it is possible to bypass geographical blockages, for example you can miss NPO abroad, or look at the American Netflix from the Netherlands, something that is normally not possible. Also when you want to surf or download anonymously, changing your ip address with a VPN connection is very useful.
How a VPN connection works
In order to make a VPN connection, a VPN server is always required which the user can connect to. The connection is made with a so-called VPN client. In most cases the client is a stand-alone device: a computer, smartphone, tablet or other computer-controlled device. It is also possible to connect 2 computer networks that are physically at a different location with an encrypted VPN connection, this way you can for example securely connect your computer network that you have at home to the computer network within your company. The connection that is set up is a secure tunnel, the picture on the right shows that nicely. In addition to this secure tunnel, the content of the data packets within the tunnel can also be encrypted. The VPN protocol that is used, determines the way the encryption is done. See the page that explains how a VPN works for a detailed explanation about the encryption of data and how the connection works.
How do I make a VPN connection?
In order to establish a VPN connection, the user must first prove that he has the rights to establish a VPN connection. There are several ways to log in to establish a VPN connection. Below you can see the 3 most common methods how a client can identify themselves: This is more difficult to use, so many VPN services choose to settle for the user and password combination. This is in fact a very secure method as long as your password is strong enough. It all sounds very tricky, but in fact, setting up a VPN connection is an easy job. Especially with the software that all providers provide it is a piece of cake. For example, it is just as simple as logging into Skype. It is even possible to set up a VPN connection on some routers; this will connect your entire network directly to the internet via a VPN server.
VPN connection with VPN provider
As a private person you can use the VPN servers of the commercial VPN providers. Within these networks you do not have the possibility to see and use files and computers within that network, but you do have the possibility to use the internet connection of the VPN server in question. This means that the outside world thinks that the ip address of the VPN server is your ip address. This is an ideal way to change your ip address for the outside world and in most cases you will have to pay for the use of a VPN connection of a VPN service. The costs can be very different per provider. There will also be a difference in quality between the different VPN connections of the various VPN services. Also the user friendliness and customer service can differ, which can explain the price of certain packages. To help you choose which VPN to buy we have made a list of the best VPN services.
Connect with included apps
Setting up a VPN connection with such a VPN provider is really a piece of cake, using the software provided by the various VPN services. In most cases all you have to do is click on "Connect" and the connection is set up. In these cases, the VPN service you have subscribed to has already set up the correct data. They have made the software such that the settings to connect to their servers are already set up correctly. All you need is a username and password. Install the VPN software on your Mac, Windows computer, Android tablet phone, iPhone or iPad. Then start the software and fill in your username and password once. After that you can use the software without any hassle. There are even providers that offer a free VPN connection. On the free VPNs page you will find what we think are the best VPN services with a free subscription. Please note that free VPNs come with a number of limitations in most cases. For example, data limits or a limited number of servers to choose from.
What does a VPN connection cost
In order to use a VPN connection with a VPN provider, you will need to become a subscriber to such a service. This subscription will have to be paid for, as the different VPN providers have different cost items that will have to be paid for. Think about this: The price difference is mainly because of the quality (stability and speed) of the connections, the quality and options of the software and the support on different platforms. In addition, the costs also depend very much on the period (number of months) of the subscription you choose in one go. For example, if you take out a subscription for 2 years at once, it will be cheaper than if you renew it every month. That said, we can say that you already have a VPN subscription starting at $2 per month. But there are also VPN providers where the subscription costs more than $6 per month in its cheapest form. For a good picture of the right VPN provider please read the relevant review. This can be found on our page with all VPN reviews.
Software for phone, tablet and computer
Most people will connect to a VPN server with a phone, tablet or computer laptop. For all known devices there is software available that makes it possible to connect to a VPN server. It doesn't matter if you want to connect to a VPN server from your Windows 10 laptop, your Mac computer, your Smartphone or even a Chromebook. When you need to connect to a company, university or other network it is usually recommended to use standard software. All known operating systems have standard support for a number of VPN protocols. However, Mac computers, Windows Computers and Android devices support different protocols by default. Fortunately there is actually a free client for each protocol to download. For iOS devices and Android, for example, OpenVPN Connect is available to connect to an OpenVPN server. If you want to make use of a commercial VPN service you are lucky. These parties have all actually created an easy to use VPN client for the different operating systems. With this client, setting up a VPN connection to a server of your choice is a piece of cake.
For use with any provider and any wifi hotspot
You can set up a VPN connection with virtually any Internet connection you have. It does not matter if you want to use the VPN connection with your Ziggo, KPN, XS4ALL or other provider subscription. You can also use it if you use the internet through a public wifi hotspot like you find at airports, restaurants and cafes, in the library or any other public network you use. On public wifi hotspots it is useful to use a VPN connection to protect yourself against hackers on relevant networks. Without a VPN connection they can easily eavesdrop on your data and retrieve your personal information. The reason for using a VPN connection at home is because you don't want your provider to see what you are doing online or you simply want to be able to download anonymously.