VPN and Proxy Service

by Adam UzialkoLast Modified: February 8, 2018

Intro
Best Picks
Reviews
State of the Industry
Pricing
Negotiation
What We Learned While Researching VPN
Enterprise VPN Service: What to Look For
Map
Services

The Best VPN and Proxy Services For 2018

Privacy can be difficult to come by in the digital era. With the proliferation of smart devices from phones to refrigerators, it's easier than ever for snoopers to peek in on your data. Luckily, there are virtual private networks (VPNs) and proxy servers that obscure your activity and secure your data in transit. They can even mask your location to keep prying eyes from finding out where in the world you are.

This guide reviews both VPNs and proxy servers, which are different but work in tandem to deliver both security and privacy to users. You'll find out more about each and how they work, as well as the state of the industry, the going rates for these services (some are free!) and how to best select which to use. They range from simple to implement to demanding technological savvy, and they also vary in their level of protection. Understanding how to implement and use VPNs and proxy servers properly can be a game-changer in promoting your business's anonymity and security online.

Best Picks

Proxy Service
Most Server Locations
Customer Service
Enterprise VPN
VyprVPN PRO Golden Frog

Best Proxy Service

VyprVPN PRO Golden Frog

VyprVPN's service is the perfect combination of simplicity and security that makes a VPN painless to use and offers peace of mind. With a super intuitive dashboard and simple setup process, VyprVPN takes the onus of implementation off the user. Selecting servers by location is simple, and organizing your favorites is easy to do.

VyprVPN maintains 700 servers across 52 different locations, as well as boasting 200,000 different IP addresses to cycle through. That makes the service less likely to be flagged as suspicious by search engines and social media platforms, reducing the odds that the IP address you're using will be blocked. VyprVPN allows two devices to run on one account at any time.

HMA VPN

VPN With Most Server Locations

HMA VPN

Hide My Ass VPN maintains 867 servers in 311 locations worldwide and offers access to 116,980 different IP addresses. This vast number of servers means if there is any lag or a server goes down, it's easy to find another suitable one to continue working on. When you connect to a server, you will be automatically assigned an IP address, protecting your location and identity.

HMA VPN supports both Android and iOS products and allows you to use virtually any type of device, from smartphones to desktops. The downside is it only allows two devices to run from an account at one time, including virtual machines.

PureVPN

Best Customer Service

PureVPN

PureVPN offers 450 servers across 101 different locations, as well as 80,000 different IP addresses to cycle through to keep location and identity anonymous. It supports five devices at one time, which puts it ahead of much of the competition. It is also widely accessible across platforms, supporting Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows and BlackBerry.

PureVPN boasts a strong, stable connection and employs 256-bit AES encryption. It also offers a kill switch and optional access to L2TP and PPTP connections. Overall, PureVPN is an effective service that combines convenience, security and versatility.

CyberGhost VPN

Best Enterprise VPN

CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost maintains 500 servers in 29 countries around the world and offers an anonymous downloadable browser in addition to its VPN service. The VPN is protected with 256-bit AES encryption, and the service masks your IP address. CyberGhost doesn't store any logs of user activity and is able to assign you a proxy server to mask your location and avoid any regional restrictions on content.

CyberGhost is easy to set up and use, and the paid version guarantees support in the event of any issues. Between the strong encryption and the large number of servers, CyberGhost is an effective VPN product. Moreover, users can choose which of the 500 servers they connect to, granting another level of control over the VPN. The server list displays information about each location's current load and connection speed, so if one server is lagging, you can jump to one with less wait time.

Reviews

We tested dozens of enterprise VPN and proxy services. Here are all of our reviews for both large and small businesses, as well as individuals, who want to protect their privacy and internet activity.

State of the Industry

The VPN industry is rapidly ascending. As the demand for secure online communications and data transmission increases – a seemingly inevitable outcome as devices proliferate and access expands to more users – VPNs often find themselves answering the call. The result has been a rapidly growing market that shows little sign of slowing down.

Market Research Future estimates the global VPN market will reach $106 billion by the end of 2022, which is a compound annual growth rate of 13 percent. And mobile VPNs are growing as well. While this is a smaller sector of the industry, analysts anticipate the mobile market will reach $2.4 billion by 2022.

"We believe VPN will be the industry standard when talking about the internet security protection toolkit, which currently involves encrypted hardware, anti-virus services, encrypted email services and more," Jodi Myers, head of NordVPN's marketing and communications team, told VPN Mentor.

However, the market analysts warned that VPNs face obstacles like high deployment costs and the need of technical knowledge, and these constraints might hold down growth. The largest VPN market is in North America, as adoption has been driven by a large number of cyberattacks in the U.S. and Canada. Europe is the second largest market for VPNs, but the Asia-Pacific market is growing the fastest due to the expansion of the manufacturing and service industry in China and throughout Asia.

Pricing

VPN services tend to offer several different options for pricing. Usually there is a one-year plan, six-month plan and one-month plan, or some variation of this selection. The longer the plan, the larger the monthly discount.

  • An annual subscription tends to range from about $3 per month to roughly $7 per month. Shorter subscription periods come with higher monthly rates.
  • There are many free VPN services that offer fewer features or reduced functionality to save you the monthly charge.

Your subscription to a VPN service entitles you to a license that, depending on the company, allows a certain number of devices to connect to the VPN. In the case of NordVPN, one license means three devices can connect. IPVanish, another VPN service, allows five devices to connect per license. Be sure to consider the number of devices permitted per license when weighing cost.

Negotiation

Not all VPN services are created equal, so take the time to ask the right questions to get the best deal:

  • How many devices can access the VPN per license?
  • Does the VPN keep logs of user activity online?
  • What level of encryption does the company employ?
  • Are there any service usage limits or overage fees?
  • What are the company's commitments to user privacy (even if information is requested by authorities)? 
  • Where are the company's servers located?
  • What level of support can you expect from the company?
  • Contact multiple services to compare pricing, functionality, features and accessibility.

As always, subscribing to a plan on more than a month-to-month basis means you should closely review any contracts or legal documents before signing. Ensure the pricing is exactly as you've discussed and that all promised features will be available under the plan you are agreeing to. Also, ask whether there are any cancellation fees and ensure that it's easy to cut ties with the service if you are unhappy.

What We Learned While Researching VPN Services

Bandwidth is essential for proxy servers. Your bandwidth determines how quickly signals transfer from your computer to the VPN server to the website you are accessing. With unlimited bandwidth, pages load quickly and attachments, even large documents, send without lag time. Bandwidth also allows you to download content quickly, so your day-to-day business activities don’t slow down. Many services advertise that they have unlimited bandwidth. In fact, you will find that companies across the board offer it, so don’t choose one based on bandwidth alone – just expect it to be there.

Web proxies keep you anonymous by cycling through IP addresses – that way, your search history and data cannot be connected to you through your registered IP. The more servers, locations and IP addresses a proxy service has, the more difficult it is to trace your online activity back to you or to be blocked by an online service, since the IP changes each time you log in.

Web Proxy Security

Tunneling
VPNs use something called tunneling to package and transfer information. Tunneling is when a secure internet connection is established between a server and a device like a computer, smartphone or tablet. The information sent through the tunnel is first encrypted, then sent via the secure connection across the internet and unpacked on the other side. While this whole process occurs in the blink of an eye, it is a multi-step procedure designed to protect your security.

The different methods proxy sites use to tunnel and transfer your data are call protocols. A few of the most popular are PPTP, site-to-site VPN, L2TP VPN, IPsec and SSL.

PPTP
Point-to-point tunneling protocol, or PPTP, is the most popular and widely used. One of the advantages of PPTP is that it’s cost effective. However, its connections are not as stable as other tunnel protocols, so there is a slight chance your connection could be dropped or penetrated, making you less secure. OverPlay VPN is one proxy service that uses PPTP as one of its protocol methods.

OpenVPN
Another frequently used tunneling protocol is OpenVPN, which is an open-source software used by companies like IPVanish VPN. It mixes Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) keys that connect you directly to the website you want to access and keep your data encrypted so hackers can’t swipe it. OpenVPN also relies on advanced security features, such as user authentication via usernames, passwords, key codes and certificates. It is one of the most secure virtual private networks on the market; however, it is more expensive to run.

Support
Access to help and support is important for any service, but it is especially so when you rely on that service to protect your data from prying eyes. Support should be available through email and over the phone. Live chat support is also helpful, since it quickly connects you to customer representatives.

Enterprise VPN Service: What to Look For

Enterprise VPN services are enormously flexible. Some VPNs are designed to link a handful of users to a shared network while others are optimized for connecting multiple networks across the globe. No single configuration is suitable for every VPN, which is why each one must be evaluated in relation to the intended use of the network. In general, enterprise VPN services are judged by three criteria: who will be connected, how they will connect and the level of intervention required to manage their connection.

Remote Access vs. Site-to-Site
The most basic distinction among VPNs lies in the level at which users are connected. Remote access VPNs connect users to the shared network, which effectively extends the office wide area network (WAN) across the entire internet and allows authenticated users to interact with the private network as if they were physically present in the office. Site-to-site connections use many of the same protocols to connect one network to another. The most common application for site-to-site networking is linking field offices together in a single integrated web.

Authentication Level
The protocols a VPN uses determine the network's security level and ease of use. Remote access VPNs usually authenticate users through usernames and passwords, which makes it simple for anyone with login information to access the network from any location, while site-to-site VPNs use certificates and pass phrases that have been preloaded onto the hardware.

Management Level
Another factor to consider is the level of control an internet VPN offers administrators. Access levels on small networks are often configured for each person, though this becomes unwieldy as the network grows. Large networks use global management, by which a single administrator assigns permission levels to groups of people without having to separately reconfigure each machine.

VPNs combine the benefits of a private network with the ease of using the public internet. They provide secure connections between networks, and they allow remote access by authorized users. Enterprise VPN services can be configured many different ways, and determining which one is right for you depends on how your business will be using the system.

 

Map

PureVPN
36-F Tower Two Time Square
Scauseway Bay,
PureVPN
HMA VPN
110 High Holborn
HMA VPN
Private Internet Access
1010 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA
Private Internet Access
OverPlay
22-19 Radburn Road
Fair Lawn, NJ
OverPlay
ibVPN
1 Decembrie 1918 Street
Mures,
ibVPN

Services

List of 16VPN and Proxy Service

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