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Maintaining online privacy is absolutely critical, and not just for those moments when you're drying off in front of your fully internet-capable bathroom mirror. The amount of information our various internet-connected devices leak out (intentionally or otherwise) is staggering, and there's little incentive on the part of online service providers, media companies, and the federal government to stop collecting that data anytime soon. Instead of putting blind trust in these institutions' opaque aims, you can take an active role in protecting your privacy. A VPN is by far the easiest solution, with scores of services which significantly bolster your defenses at the touch of a button.
To help you select from the horde of options, we weighed the benefits of three acclaimed VPNs. This quick and dirty guide will cut through the techno-babble and hopefully make your choice nice and easy.
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Private Internet Access VPN
Private Internet Access is a favorite of both PC Mag and TorrentFreak, which gives you a good idea of its widespread appeal. Getting it up and running is so simple that a trained dolphin could do it (even a dumb one), and it provides unlimited bandwidth with over 3,200 servers. Private Internet Access offers L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and SOCKS5, and while those numbers and letters might seem like rejected droid names, they are actually a wide array of secure protocols which give your VPN immense versatility. PIA runs on OpenVPN and wireless routers, as well as every other desktop and mobile OS under the sun. Consider this VPN your utility player -- it's great all-around, hitting for power and speed. Two years of Private Internet Access costs $59.95 when you order it from our store.
A real go-getter, Windscribe is what you choose when you want to take privacy by force. They're committed to their no-logging guarantee, and will delete all traces of your browsing activity after three minutes of inactivity. Windscribe also offers some additional protection that other providers don't, like secondary traffic routing for twice the obscurity, and an airtight firewall which automatically disables any communication that isn't protected by the VPN. For extra flexibility, Windscribe has no limit on the amount of devices you can use simultaneously, and it integrates directly with torrent clients and network-attached servers. If you like to hoard terabytes of media and have an acute distrust of the surveillance state (who doesn't?), Windscribe is what you should be gunning for. Not to be outdone by PIA, they have a three-year subscription for just $22.49.
ZenMate is the VPN to get if you're all about streaming speed. They have servers in over 30 countries to ensure that you can almost always connect to a nearby gateway in your international neighborhood, which basically amounts to kicking any buffering or lag spikes in the touches. Then consider that ZenMate has had over 41 million users, meaning it's extremely battle-tested and capable of just about anything the web can sling at it. Its premium subscriptions have garnered all sorts of stars, thumbs-ups, hip-hip-hoorays, and bubble-fonted "WOWZAS" from sites that make it their business to analyze VPNs. A subscription to ZenMate costs only $89.99 for two years.
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