Dan is a technology reporter from San Jose, California, right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Raised around tech from birth, he's found interests in gadgets and the companies that make them for years. When not blogging about tech, he can be found hunting for music, shredding the slopes in South Lake, or whipping up a dish for friends in the kitchen.
This article was updated on This article was updated on 7-9-2020..
NordVPN is one of the most famous VPN service providers on the block, and as with every VPN service provider, NordVPN is working towards achieving their fullest potential by improving their services and adding resources. However, NordVPN has a few things going for them that made us sit up and take notice.
Launched in 2012, NordVPN is based out of Panama, and is owned by Tefincom co S.A. Previous experience for the company includes web hosting and renting out servers, hence, they are experienced in VPN related technologies. In fact, the best thing that we like about them is their dedication towards user anonymity, which we will discuss in detail in this brief NordVPN review.
Until recently, NordVPN only offered the manual VPN configuration setup option, which was a big hassle for VPN subscribers. NordVPN has now addressed this issue by bringing forward an advanced and extremely user-friendly VPN software. However, this platform is only available for Windows PC, and mobile (iOS & Android) as well as Mac & Linux users will have to follow the manual VPN configuration option.
Did you know this About NordVPN?
NordVPN is the leading VPN provider on the market...
The VPN software is still in beta phase, so expect some glitches, however, the availability of a dedicated terminal has helped NordVPN incorporate some key VPN features such as a VPN kill switch and the ability to change servers or IP addresses within the interface. We were impressed with the VPN terminal, and we would like NordVPN to take care of the existing glitches, all the while designing dedicated terminals for Mac, Linux, iOS and Android operating systems.
NordVPN does offer manual VPN configuration support for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS and Android operating systems over PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN protocols. For setting up a manual VPN connection, NordVPN has designed a detailed and user-friendly tutorial database for users to follow step-step methods for connecting to a VPN server.
In terms of online anonymity and security, NordVPN offers a double VPN and Tor over VPN option. This is on top of the SSL based 2048 bit encryption. Essentially, this offers the user an option to encrypt the flow of data twice, unlike regular VPN service providers. In our view, this kind of encryption is far more advanced than regular military grade encryption, and virtually fail-proof. When we take into consideration the assurance of a VPN kill switch, NordVPN is simply the best anonymous and secure VPN service provider in the market. The only real problem we faced was the drop in browsing speed due to the double encryption strategy, which is to be expected, owing to the multiple levels of encryption and server rerouting.
Simultaneous Connections: 6
Operating Systems: Windows 10, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, extensions for Firefox and Chrome
Frankly speaking, we are a bit bewildered at the price of subscription. NordVPN uses the Euro as the base currency, and at present conversion rates, the monthly subscription cost now stands at around $11. That is not what one would like to call cheap, but it is certainly in a higher price bracket. There are discounts for the bulk subscription packages. A 3 months package will cost you around $22, a 6 months package will cost you around $41 and the annual package will cost you $66. This amounts up to $7.4, $6.94 and $5.55 per month respectively. It makes sense to opt for the annual package, as at that price, NordVPN certainly makes a lot of sense, especially for those who are looking for the most secure and anonymous VPN.
In terms of payment options, you can choose to pay using your credit card or through online payment gateways such as Webtopay.com, 2CO, Bitcoins, Paysera, Webmoney and PayPal. Unfortunately, you can’t expect any money-back guarantee or any trial period, unless you ask, in which case, you will be allowed a 3 days free trial.
We were satisfied with the speeds on offer, but we didn’t expect anything more. This is down to the fact that NordVPN offers double VPN and Tor over VPN encryption, which really affects the bandwidth. NordVPN also supports P2P traffic, and due to the amount of bandwidth required for heavy users, it is difficult to expect any kind of high speed VPN service. All we can say is that if you don’t mind spending that extra bit of time for downloading a file while using P2P, or if you don’t mind buffering while streaming, NordVPN works brilliantly. On the other hand, if you are just looking for secure, encrypted and truly anonymous web browsing, NordVPN is an excellent choice.
In terms of reliability, we didn’t face any large issues as such. However, in the event of the VPN being disconnected, NordVPN now offers a dedicated VPN kill switch, which essentially cuts off the entire network access. This offers additional peace of mind to the user, and they don’t have to worry about their identity being revealed if the VPN connection fails.
You can enjoy unlimited speed and bandwidth; therefore, NordVPN is the perfect choice for heavy internet users with large data usage requirements. However, due to the implications of heavy usage and a relatively low number of servers, we are worried about the speed, and we hope that the speed doesn’t drop below the current levels, which will surely spell doom for the company.
This is the best part of NordVPN. NordVPN is one company that values the privacy of its users. Maybe, we can justify their price on this feature alone. Offering completely anonymous VPN services, NordVPN works from RAM on all of their servers; therefore, it is impossible to log or store any user’s browsing data. Also, due to their 2048 bit encryption tunnel over SSL, double VPN features and an option of utilizing Tor over VPN, users can expect high levels of data encryption.
Due to the absence of any data logging techniques, even NordVPN employees are unable to determine the actions taken by their users through their servers. NordVPN also doesn’t support or entertain any takedown notices from third party agencies or organizations such as DMCA. In the case of any court order, NordVPN will comply, but there is no data to be retrieved, therefore, user anonymity is guaranteed.
Servers and IPs
NordVPN had issues in the past where they offered servers only in Germany and Netherlands. That was highly restrictive for clients, but NordVPN has learned from this mistake and now offers servers in 16 different countries, with another 8 countries in the pipeline. Current lineup of server locations include US, UK, France, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Hong Kong and Singapore. NordVPN aims to add additional locations to the existing server network, which include multiple locations in the US and UK, Belgium, Portugal, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, China, Japan and Australia.
The extensive network of servers and server locations has now elevated NordVPN to a mainstream VPN service provider status, and is now capable of competing against the top companies in terms of market share. Addition of US and UK servers has also helped NordVPN to cater to customers who require VPN services for unblocking geo-blocked entertainment services such as Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer. Streaming may be a bit of an issue in this regard, but we wouldn’t complain.
User experience is good.
NordVPN does offer excellent customer support through their email, live chat and direct phone platforms. The live chat function is not available 24X7, but you can expect quick responses by submitting an email ticket or by contacting them on phone.
Issues & Problems
If there are any relevant issues at NordVPN, it should simply be the speed issue. Encryption and the accompanying online security aspect is great, but NordVPN should offer the option of a smartDNS option, that allows users to enjoy seamless browsing speed for streaming and smooth downloads.
NordVPN Review Conclusion
NordVPN is now a company to be reckoned with. With advanced security and fail-proof encryption measures, complete user anonymity and no-data logs policy, NordVPN is certainly at the top of the list. The price of subscription may be a bit on the upside, however, when we consider the discounts available for bulk subscription, the features, and servers on offer, NordVPN certainly makes sense.
Kodi is one of the most user-friendly and scalable media players available on the market. Free and open-source, it is available for almost all modern devices and makes it very easy to download and stream music, movies, and other media at home or while on the move. Search for content from various sources or upload your own files and start watching them.
Why should you be using Kodi in 2019?
Kodi has been taking the streaming world by storm lately.
It is the latest application for streaming, storing, and playing digital content that will make you want to consider selling your smartTV; at least that’s what their website is claiming. Kodi is a new kind of platform for streaming and playback of all types of media. It is not limited to a specific type of device or operating system; it is compatible with a wide range of OS, including Windows, OSX, Android, Linux, and Raspberry Pi.
One of the most exciting things about Kodi is that it is free software.
It means that the program is developed by the community, for the community, and receives significant support. Users will easily find discussions online on any topic or problem they may have. The XBMC/Kodi Foundation manages the project, and its use is free of charge. For people who are after more flexibility than the one offered by traditional devices or subscriptions, this is a tool to consider!
At first, you may think that it looks a lot like any other media player you’ve already used, but there’s a difference. This platform is truly a media-centric web browser, capable of managing and executing media in a connected environment such as a smart home. With Kodi, users can manage, access, and play media from any source, local or online. All this from the same place and on any device connected to the network. In practical terms, you can use your smart remote control, smartphone, tablet, or laptop as a unique way to manage all your devices, music and movies from the same place.
Music – Kodi organizes and supports virtually all forms of music. Albums are stored with their covers and texts, in addition to other features. It is possible to create playlists, party mixes, and more.
Movies – Movies are stored and displayed with their covers, casting information as well as a few exclusive bonuses.
TV – Kodi can adapt to the way you watch TV so you can follow the latest shows, or prepare for an intense TV session. By using the PVR extension, it is even possible to save and review your favorite programs.
Photos – Photos can be displayed on the largest screen in your home. You can create slideshows and much more.
Radio – You can listen to and control web radios from your mobile phone.
Problems you could be facing with Kodi
The use of Kodi is not without caveats, however.
Sending so much unencrypted data over the Internet raises privacy concerns, primarily if you regularly use torrent or P2P networks. It can trigger red flags from your Internet service provider and may even result in account termination. Access to channels and geo-blocked content is also tricky with a ready-to-use version of Kodi.
Most people will use Kodi in combination with illegal sources allowing them to access and stream a wide range of free content.
Fortunately, the combination of a virtual private network (VPN) service with Kodi solves both problems. Not only do they provide encrypted and anonymous traffic, but VPNs also allow you to bypass blocked content by region with a simple mouse click.
Should I use a VPN with Kodi?
Although the use of Kodi does not require the use of a VPN, it is strongly recommended that you do so. This is even more true if you are using quality streaming sources such as Exodus Redux or Covenant. As online privacy becomes more and more a concern, sending so much unencrypted personal data over the Internet can be a concern for your service provider, especially if you use P2P networks or torrents. Each online action leaves a trail, and this information can make you vulnerable.
Most of Kodi’s content comes from third-party modules, which means that your online security is always under threat. Many of these add-ons come from illegal catalogs and not from Kodi, which is continuously controlled by its developers.
VPNs are inexpensive and easy to install. They also offer additional features that work well with Kodi. Even if digital privacy is not an issue, using a VPN can give you access to content and streaming channels that are usually blocked in your region. Are you traveling abroad and want to continue watching your favorite show? Install your VPN on your router, and you are ready to go. Some Kodi extensions and channels also have regional restrictions that can be easily bypassed with a good VPN.
Setting up a VPN with Kodi
Kodi can run on a wide variety of platforms, not just computers, laptops, or tablets. To encrypt your data and protect your privacy when using Kodi, you must have your VPN software installed on the same device.
Not all VPNs can be installed on new media centers such as Amazon Fire TV Stick or Apple TV in 2019, so you will need to take additional measures to protect your information.
To ensure that your non-standard Kodi devices are protected, you will need to connect your router directly to your VPN service. The process varies depending on the brand of your router and VPN provider, but it usually involves opening a browser window on your router’s configuration page and entering server/protocol information for your specific VPN. It may seem complicated and technical, but the process is actually straightforward.
Occasionally, you will need a specific type of router or a basic router with a special firmware installed. See your VPN provider’s support pages for more information on securing your connection. Some VPNs even sell routers with custom software and VPN information preinstalled.
Why we do not recommend using a Free VPN with Kodi?
Free VPNs are sometimes effective. However, when used to stream large files from unknown sources, they are not reliable at all.
Free VPNs do not have the encryption standards, server networks, and bandwidth necessary for effective use with Kodi.
You will need a quality paid VPN for Kodi that offers excellent speed!
Is Kodi Legal?
Kodi is, of course, legal. All you have to do is download it from their official website or your favorite App store.
It is also legal to view any content to which you have access rights, such as Netflix or Hulu subscriptions.
The problem with Kodi is that many websites choose to distribute questionable and illegal content while relying on the Kodi application. And users like to install sources allowing access to this illegal content.
One of the world’s most famous VPN providers goes by the quirky name HideMyAss VPN. In this HideMyAss review, we’ll take a closer look at the performance and features on offer.
HideMyAss VPN works by re-routing your Internet traffic through their encrypted servers to offer anonymity and unrestricted access.
When you access the Internet through Hidemyass, you will be rerouted to a server in a different country of your choice, which will also change your IP address.
Data encryption is a pivotal part of the process, which is the chief feature that offers anonymity for VPN users.
There aren’t any confusing packages associated with the signup and payment process, and you can choose to pay a flat fee for a fixed duration to enjoy the entire range of features.
It will give you access to 890 VPN servers in 340 locations in 190 countries around the world and over 121,060+ IP addresses. All of the features on offer are excellent, and their services are incredibly reliable, making it an excellent choice for the amount of money that you pay.
Installation & Configuration
To get started with this HideMyAss review, let’s look at the first build of HideMyAss.
HideMyAss is designed for both beginners and experts in mind.
It is relatively easy to set up if you are a beginner who is just starting out with VPNs, while there are advanced features on offer for expert VPN users.
Realistically, the entire process of signing up and configuring HideMyAss could take anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes – but you can get the job done in under 10 minutes if you know what you are doing.
You can expect excellent quality services, features, and a professional approach through every step of the way during configuration and HideMyAss usage. In a nutshell:
You have to signup for their service
Make a payment (with a money back guarantee)
Receive log in information through email
Download the application
Install it on your computer
Enter login details – now you are ready to browse the Internet anonymously, with the ability to visit and view blocked content without any troubles
In our HideMyAss review, we found their software itself is quite impressive.
Most VPN service providers offer proprietary software, but there are still a few VPN service providers that only allows their customers to set up their VPN settings manually.
The HideMyAss software is entirely different to conventional VPN installation and is set up for easy use and functionality.
You don’t need any technical knowledge or any knowledge of how VPN works at all. All you have to do is install the software and run it. You are free to change the options or access the features according to your preferences.
Running the application will send you directly to the dashboard, which will request your login information.
Enter your username and password that you have received after your signup process and click “Connect To VPN.” This will lead to a prompt for installing an extension to your default web browser.
You will be provided with options for remembering the login information and to customize the startup process.
It is essential for you to check all the boxes and leave all the default settings intact, as HideMyAss VPN will run smoothly in the background, – and you will be assured of anonymous web browsing without the need to intervene. The HideMyAss application will not diminish your PC capabilities when running in tandem with substantial applications.
The security protocols on offer include OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP. The software allows you to switch between these protocols without any limitations.
You can also switch between IP addresses for better security and continued web access. One particularly exciting feature with HideMyAss is the ‘Scheduled IP Changes’.
By using this feature, you can change your IP address any number of times at set times or intervals.
For instance, if you want to change your IP every two hours, you will have to set the time within the ‘Scheduled IP Changes’ tab to two hours — and the software automatically changes the IP when the time is up.
The Windows platform comes with additional advantages and features. It comes with a unique ‘Secure Bind’ feature that cuts out or closes applications that are only required to run through encryption; this happens when the VPN client disconnects due to server overload or due to any other reasons.
It is an immensely attractive feature for companies that run applications that should be run only through encryption.
‘Secure Bind’ is one feature that should be made standard across all the platforms, and we should expect HideMyAss to work in this direction at the earliest.
There will also be a visual confirmation that you are connected to the Internet anonymously.
If you see a green shield at the top right corner of the application, along with a confirmation message, you can be assured that it is safe to browse the web anonymously.
There are multiple installation and configuration options at HideMyAss.
For beginners, and other VPN users who are looking for easy and hassle-free setup, there is a HideMyAss client terminal that will take care of all the LAN settings.
Different versions of the desktop HideMyAss terminal are available for different operating systems.
Major operating systems include Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. But only the Windows terminal is designed with an interface, and the terminals for Mac and Linux is still a line- or code-based. This is one of the areas where HideMyAss could improve.
Mobile VPN is also available for HideMyAss VPN for the iPhone, iPad and Android operating systems.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll find links to the mobile apps from the user dashboard.
We’ve tested the iOS app which is quite simple. The main functionality of it is to install VPN profiles on your device.
When you need to turn on VPN, you simply go to the main settings of your iOS device where you’ll find the switch for VPN.
HideMyAss used to be an expensive service, charging large amounts for accommodating its range of services and features.
However, due to the competition and competitive pricing plans offered by their immediate competitors, HideMyAss has lowered their rates.
The end user can be satisfied in knowing that they will receive the whole range of features and services on offer for what they pay, unlike other VPN service providers who charge for different services and can often confuse customers with differently priced packages.
The standard one-month package costs $9.99, but if you sign-up for either six or 12 months you can get a significant discount.
A six-month plan comes in at $6.66 per month. A one-year package costs $4.99 per month.
All their plans give you the full VPN service and have a 30-day money back guarantee; therefore, you can enjoy their services risk-free for a month.
The best subscription in our opinion is the annual pack, which can get you the entire range of services with an extremely competitive price; it is even lower than most other high-quality VPN service providers.
As far as payment options are concerned, there are a wide variety of options for the customer.
You can pay using your credit card, PayPal account, Webmoney, Bank Wire transfer, or the latest of all, Bitcoin.
You are therefore offered plenty of payment options, both anonymous as well as secure to help you keep your online identity private.
Speed, Reliability & Bandwidth
Using a VPN server is usually associated with a significant drop in speed.
There are different reasons behind the slower speed and bandwidth. If you are already working with a slow Internet connection, you will suffer painfully slow browsing as well as download speeds with a VPN server.
On top of it, if you are going to choose a VPN server that is far away from your actual physical location, a bulk of the speed is lost during the rerouting process.
Take the example of a user in Thailand accessing a server in New York. The actual physical distance is around 8,600 miles, therefore, connecting to the VPN server situated in New York to access a website located in Frankfurt will take more time than necessary.
This is where the inbuilt feature of HideMyAss helps you decide the optimum speed by letting you connect to the fastest server near you. Speed increases as the distance between the server decreases.
As part of our HideMyAss review, we performed speed tests that showed we could access speeds ranging from 40-80 percent of the available Internet speed as provided by the ISP through HideMyAss VPN; 80 percent speed is from a realistic point of view.
We were able to achieve these speeds by choosing a server near us, but when we decided a server further away, we experienced an appreciable drop in pace, and 50-60 percent is all that we can expect.
Don’t be surprised when the speed drops down to around 40 percent either. If this happens, you need to switch to a server near you.
If you are looking for specific countries and servers for any browsing or anonymity purposes, you should expect slow speeds.
However, with the number of servers and countries on offer, it is quite easy to switch between states and servers to achieve the best possible result.
There is no particular cap on bandwidth either. You are entitled to unlimited bandwidth usage and unlimited servers as well as IP switching.
By subscribing to their service, you are bound to enjoy a great deal of flexibility and user experience. HideMyAss is indeed an industry leader regarding speed and bandwidth.
At the time of writing this HideMyAss review, HideMyAss host over 890 VPN servers in 340 locations in 190 countries around the world.
And they frequently adding new locations, most recently in Bahrain, Iraq, and Syria. It is quite an impressive feat, and the service can safely be assumed to be the best in the VPN industry.
The list of countries includes United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Russia, Portugal, Estonia, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, and Ireland, and a lot of other countries scattered across the globe.
In short, HideMyAss is situated in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, which contributes to a worldwide coverage and offers no shortage of servers and IP addresses.
Users can switch between using more than 100,522 different IP addresses from these 768 servers within their subscription, without any additional costs.
As part of our HideMyAss review, we contacted customer service several times with different types of imagined issues, both simple and complex questions.
The customer service is quite good at Hidemyass, but not immaculate as other VPN service providers. The customer service is quite responsive, helpful and patient and you can have all of your questions answered.
Live chat is only offered for paid customers, which doesn’t really help users who are looking for information before signing up.
Any questions for non-customers should go through email or forums, and at most, you will get a response within 12 hours. If you are lucky, you can get a response within an hour.
The live chat feature for customers is restricted to 12 hours a day, which is an extreme disappointment.
They offer worldwide services, and they offer servers around the world; hence, customers would expect 24 hours a day customer service.
Unfortunately, 12 hours is not a great deal of help for customers who are from different time zones.
In such a case, email is usually the preferred choice of communication, making it tedious and time-consuming. HideMyAss could improve in this area to indeed stump the competition.
Issues & Problems
There are a few niggling problems at HideMyAss. Unfortunately, these are not too uncommon for any VPN service provider.
As we found out during the HideMyAss review, the VPN connection can get disconnected without notice, which makes it irritating for the user.
The ‘Secure Bind’ feature available with the Windows platform can help shut down encrypted programs, but users on other operating systems don’t have this option.
The new software and applications are trying hard to rectify the problem, but you should expect a few troubles at the present time.
Speed is also a concern if you are choosing faraway servers, and while this is to be expected, the primary cause should be server overload.
HideMyAss is a favorite VPN service provider, and together with unlimited bandwidth options, their servers can get clogged up.
Switching servers can solve the speed issues, but it doesn’t work for those who are looking for a specific virtual residence.
Your ISP should be clueless as to what you are doing. With a VPN connection on, all your data is encrypted, and nobody should be able to decode your browsing history or your desktop applications that use the network or the Internet.
VPN networks are used to view blocked content and to prevent hackers and other malicious software from seeing or accessing your browsing data.
That is even more important when you are browsing the Internet through insecure networks such as Wi-Fi hotspots.
By connecting your computer to a VPN server, you will be behind a different IP, and your virtual location will be entirely different to your actual physical location.
The primary function of VPN is to relocate your IP to a different virtual location to help you become a part of the Internet demographics that can access a particular website or service.
You can access Netflix by choosing a VPN server in the US, or you can access the BBC iPlayer by selecting a VPN server in the UK.
In essence, by using VPN, you are accessing a website as if you were physically accessing the site from a particular location.
During our HideMyAss review, we could easily connect to British sites like the iPlayer from the United States without problems. We’ve written a complete guide on how to unblock websites using VPN.
Wi-Fi hotspots are remarkable breeding grounds for hackers and thieves who steal private and sensitive information from unsuspecting web users.
Using Wi-Fi hotspots with no encryption is a highly risky venture, mainly if you use sensitive information such as credit cards, online banking information – and even simple tasks such as accessing your email, which can give away your passwords.
Using a VPN service will help you encrypt the data and prevent your web traffic data from prying eyes.
HideMyAss Review Conclusion
We are very impressed by the range of features and the overall user experience — and during our testing as well as usage phase, we found HideMyAss to be far superior to their immediate competitors.
The Windows application was a breeze to use and feature packed, though we expected more features from the apps destined for Mac and Linux.
However, for such a price, there isn’t any other VPN company that will offer the same range of features and services as HideMyAss.
The number of servers, IPs and countries are undoubtedly significant, and choosing the annual pack is the way to go regarding costs.
You might expect a bit more from customer service, but you will have your questions answered by the customer service representatives, which is all that you would require. HideMyAss is certainly an excellent choice of VPN for a serious web user.
Discount & Coupon Codes
While there are no free trials available per se, there is a generous 30-day money back guarantee, which works in the same way.
This should give you enough time to try out the product and cancel the subscription, should you for any reason feel disappointed with the service.
To get the best HideMyAss discounts, you should either choose the six-month pack, or the annual pack, which can save you around 27 percent and 43 percent respectively.
Now it’s your turn. Please share your comments to this HideMyAss review and experiences with HideMyAss in the comment section below.
If you want a modest VPN service provider that provides access to several servers in many different countries, you might be expected to pay around €3.00 to €7.00 on a monthly basis. But now, you can get the same service from CyberGhost VPN either through a free or premium package.
Surprised? CyberGhost is the perhaps the only VPN company in the industry that offers a fully-fledged VPN access free of cost. Based out of Romania, Cyberghost VPN has been in the industry for around five years. However, things are not too great for the face value. You find some restrictions and limitations to a free account if you’re a hardcore user, and as with all other free services and products available in the marketplace, the ultimate idea from Cyberghost VPN is to upsell their premium services to the end user.
Cyberghost VPN is more oriented towards offering a premium VPN service that provides online anonymity and the ability to access blocked content. In this regard, users who wish to encrypt their internet connection to stay anonymous, browse online securely or watch streaming media through Cyberghost VPN, is bound to be a bit disappointed by the free service. However, the paid subscription has now become more attractive than ever. A Cyberghost VPN subscription is now cheaper and the company has gone on to reduce the prices of existing packages to attract more users.
A VPN subscription at Cyberghost now starts at $6.99, which is cheaper than most popular VPN service providers. Cyberghost has certainly worked quite a bit to offer a few standard features for all their users, all the while reducing the end cost to the user. This includes an extended list of VPN security protocols, improved speed, improved VPN features and most of all, Cyberghost has gone from an average VPN service provider to a mainstream VPN service provider that makes sense. Let us analyze this company in detail through this comprehensive Cyberghost review.
Installing & Setting Up Cyberghost VPN On Your System
Full credits go to the software development and testing team at Cyberghost for coming up with an easy-to-use and visually pleasing VPN interface. The platform is easy to download, set up and use. Downloading the platform is free, and you can have it installed within minutes. However, for using the platform, you will need to create an account. If you don’t wish to pay for a VPN service, you can create a free account, or else, you can pay the subscription amount and choose from the three different subscription packages on offer.
After installation and signing up, you will be presented with a wide variety of options varying from server choice, server location, IP address and much more, depending on your account type. The Cyberghost VPN software can be installed on all known OS including Windows, Mac OS and Linux. iOS and mobile users are required to connect to the VPN using manual settings.
With respect to the VPN security protocols on offer, Cyberghost VPN offers OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPSec over their entire range of servers. This is something that the company improved on, and describes their intent to take on the competition by improving the services rendered to their users. 256 bit encryption is also now a standard feature on the premium plus package.
Cost Of Cyberghost VPN Subscription & Packages
Cyberghost does offer a free subscription, but the regular packages are now so cheap that it can bust several VPN competitors on price alone. Overall, the packages are divided into three categories, Free, Premium and Premium Plus.
The free subscription no longer comes with a bandwidth restriction. The worst aspect of the free subscription is that there is a cutoff time of three hours (down from six hours initially) if the VPN software is used at a stretch. But the free package does offer access to 41 servers in 16 different countries, and free users are no longer required to create an account in order to use our service
The Premium package can set you back by $7.00 per month. This package is supposed to be the best of both worlds, as there isn’t any restriction on the download bandwidth or the browsing speed. But you can’t use the full range of servers (you have access to only 296 servers), neither can you install Cyberghost VPN on more than 1 device. Apart from that, you can enjoy almost all the other features, including access to the entire range of VPN protocols.
The Premium Plus package is the most expensive option here, but in terms of industry standards, it is also one of the cheapest for the bulk subscription option. Priced at $10.00, which is slightly expensive, per month. The Premium Plus package is entirely similar to the Premium package, but you get a few additional extras such as access to the entire range of servers and the ability to install and use VPN on five different devices simultaneously. For a few extra dollars, the 24 month subscription for this package certainly makes sense.
There are mainly three payment methods at Cyberghost; you can pay through your credit card, PayPal or through Wire transfer.
Speed Of Anonymous Web Browsing & Bandwidth At CyberGhost VPN
Now that Cyberghost has done away with the speed restrictions, and have added new servers as well as server locations, the browsing speed has improved. However, there isn’t any drastic improvement in speed when compared to the competition, but Cyberghost can now support streaming media. Cyberghost has also removed the bandwidth cap for the paid accounts.
Number Of Servers & Server Locations
Cyberghost currently has around 320 servers in 24 different countries. The countries list includes the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, London, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, U.K and the U.S.
We commend the effort of Cyberghost to install new servers and increase their server location network to accommodate the two million subscribers that they have currently.
Data Logging Policies
Cyberghost is pretty serious about their no logs policies. Initially, Cyberghost had to log user data and metrics owing to their different metered packages. Now that they have chosen to offer unlimited speed and bandwidth, Cyberghost no longer logs any kind of data.
Cyberghost will only initiate logging practices if intimated to do so by a court, in which case, Cyberghost will require a large number of parameters from the authority that issued such a request. This is rarely the case, and such extremes will only be used in case of suspected illegal activities. Cyberghost is 100% safe for anonymous and secure online browsing.
Cyberghost VPN Customer Support & Website Information
Customer support is not a strong suite for Cyberghost VPN. There is a live chat feature but no phone number. The response time for any query is not what we would like to call quick, and the live chat function is only available for 8 hours a day. The Tutorials page is also a mess, and it is not actually easy to discern useful information at first glance. The good thing is that the VPN terminal is easy to use and understand which avoids the usage of any FAQ or the HELP page.
Issues & Drawbacks Of Cyberghost VPN
A lot of issues have been rectified by Cyberghost, but we still feel that the speeds can be improved a bit. Maybe addition of a few servers will help here. Also, in case of a VPN terminal failure, the internet connection is not automatically disconnected, in which case, there is a higher probability for the actual user information to be identified over an insecure network. We were also confused by the Premium package, which we feel can be eliminated completely, and Cyberghost can concentrate on both the Free as well as the Premium Plus accounts only.
We are also not particularly fond of the customer service, and we would like the tutorials page to be a bit more organized. A bit more thought to the customer support department will truly turn things around for Cyberghost.
Cyberghost Review Verdict
Gone are the days when Cyberghost was considered to be among the choice of VPN for free services. Their paid packages didn’t make sense, which is why Cyberghost has gone ahead with a complete overhaul. Now, we believe that Cyberghost has what it takes to stand at par with the competition. Priced aggressively to meet the competition, and with a complete set of new VPN features and security protocols, we believe that Cyberghost VPN is indeed a VPN service provider that will offer encrypted internet access for those who are not extremely heavy on their internet usage.
We are also happy that Cyberghost continues to provide a free VPN service, in spite of the rising VPN costs and the increasingly crowded marketplace. This certainly favors the company and will do a good job of roping in more users. Together with a ‘no data logging’ policy, Cyberghost is certainly a valid choice of VPN.
Now, you’ve heard our opinion of Cyberghost VPN, but what are your own experiences? Did we hit spot on or do you disagree without verdict? If you have tried Cyberghost VPN please share your thoughts with us using the comment section below. You can find more information about Cyberghost on the website.
Discount Codes & Coupons
Cyberghost is currently offering an attractive discount for the bulk subscription package known as the ‘Double Impact offer’. This offer entitles you to receive double the subscription duration by paying for one single bulk package. Contact the customer support representatives at Cyberghost for more details on this offer.
The VPN industry continues to grow each and every day with a bunch of new players sprouting into the scene every now and then. And as with all success stories, they often start from small beginnings.
In the world of VPN, the market is already saturated with all kinds of VPN services, all promising to provide a platform that will help individuals anonymize their online habits. Frankly speaking though, not all VPNs are bound for success. Some will just falter and bow down to the more popular VPNs in the industry.
In terms of overall performance, we reckon that there are only a few VPNs out there that can really deliver high quality services. VPNs need to up their game in order to stay relevant to their user base. Ivacy is one of those providers that aim at becoming a top VPN service. We already reviewed Ivacy before and we concluded that it was a good enough VPN service provider, but not as good as the top VPNs. Today, a revamped Ivacy is at hand. Our first impression with the Ivacy 2.0, is that it’s a better version of the VPN service.
Read along to learn what’s new with Ivacy 2.0.
The team behind Ivacy started developing the VPN network in 2007. Ivacy’s goal was to engineer the best VPN service there is. It was the first VPN company to ever introduce the feature called Split Tunneling.
Fast forward to the present day, Ivacy has decided to do some major changes with its VPN service in order to be able to provide better and more reliable VPN accesses worldwide. Below is a detailed analysis of what the new Ivacy has to offer.
Ivacy Jurisdiction and Logging Policy
First things first. It is important for any VPN user to know where their VPN service provider is based in so as to determine whether that provider is bound by any data retention laws or the likes. For starters, it is ideal to only subscribe to a VPN service that is not located in Europe or in the UK. The countries in Europe have strict data retention laws that mandate ISPs, VPNs and other telecommunication companies to store user data for the government’s disposal.
Gladly, Ivacy is not located in the UK. As a matter of fact it is currently based in Hong Kong. Doing some research, we found out that Hong Kong does not impose any data retention laws at the moment. Despite being a part of the Republic of China, a country that is known to have some of the most stringent internet laws in the world, Hong Kong isn’t easily intimidated by the mainland and therefore it works as a separate government entity; thereby imposing the laws it believes will protect the country and its people.
Ivacy Setup and Compatibility
Ivacy wants everyone to be able to use their VPN service on any VPN capable device. The VPN service provider is also generous to allow users five devices to simultaneously use one VPN account. Ivacy supports various devices and security protocols. Ivacy will work on Windows, Mac OS X, Ubuntu, Android, iOS, wireless routers and home devices (set top boxes, gaming consoles, smart TV).
Ivacy offers a dedicated client app for Windows machines, Mac, Android and iPhone. If your device does not support the dedicated VPN app, you can still setup Ivacy by manually configuring the VPN service. Don’t worry if you aren’t technically inclined enough, Ivacy provides step-by-step tutorial guides to help users configure their device of choice.
The Hong Kong based VPN service also support multiple protocols like PPTP, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP and SSTP. Ivacy uses a high-graded encryption system to keep its network hack-free. Ivacy offers a 256-bit encryption system that guarantees the privacy and security of the online users remains intact.
Ivacy Product Features
Ivacy is packed with top of the line features that will keep users coming back for more. Ivacy offers 250+ servers located in over 100 countries worldwide. Users will also enjoy unlimited server switching, unlimited data transfer and breathtaking speed when they subscribe to Ivacy.
Ivacy’s servers are strategically located across the globe. Check out the complete server spread over different locations:
North America: US, Canada, Panama
South America: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela
Asia: Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE
Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
Europe:Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Lativia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK
Africa: Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, Seychelles, South Africa
As mentioned earlier, Ivacy allow 5 multi logins simultaneously. You can basically setup one Ivacy account on your desktop, mobile phone, tablet and other home entertainment devices. With the Slit Tunneling feature, you can control your VPN usage.
Another useful Ivacy feature is the Internet Kill Switch which will basically shut down all your online activities in case the VPN fails or if you get disconnected from the secure servers. NAT Firewall will also block malicious traffic that could harm your device. Ivacy also offers support against DDoS attacks so you are assured of the security of your data while connected to the VPN network.
Ivacy Pricing Details
For a limited time only, Ivacy is offering its VPN service for as low as $3.33 per month. You can avail of the massive 72% discount offer by purchasing a 1 year subscription package. The annual Ivacy plan now just costs $40.00 – that’s probably the cheapest 1-year package in the market today. If you prefer a monthly subscription, you can simply buy an Ivacy single-month plan worth $9.95. There is also a 6-month plan that costs $35.94 – that’s 50% discount.
All the subscription plans come with a 7-day money back guarantee. To purchase an Ivacy package, you can use your credit card, Paypal, Bitcoin, Paymentwall, Perfect Money and Web Money to pay for your preferred VPN plan.
Ivacy Aftersales Support
Customer support is probably the area where Ivacy VPN has improved on the most. When we first reviewed Ivacy, customer support was limited to emails only. Today, Ivacy VPN offers various customer support systems including Live Chat, Phone Support, Email, Ticketing system and the VPN’s social channels.
In terms of overall aftersales support, we still think that Ivacy’s support system is nowhere near what top VPNs provide. Live chat experience was a bit disappointing too. It took a while before we were attended to by a live chat agent. Even the response seemed computer generated. Email response time was even longer. In our humble opinion, Ivacy’s support system still isn’t among the most professional in the industry.
Review Conclusion: Is Ivacy 2.0 any better than the previous version?
Taking into consideration all the factors, we can say that Ivacy 2.0 is indeed an improved VPN service. But when we compare the reworked Ivacy service to the more popular VPNs in the market, Ivacy still has a long way to go before it can even become par with the top VPNs today. With all these changes though, we can say that Ivacy is headed in the right direction to success.
Again, all great things start from small beginnings. If Ivacy continues to make progress in the right direction, it’ll reach its main goal in no time – and that is to become the BEST VPN SERVICE in the entire VPN industry.
There are certain websites that are not accessible by visitors who resides in a different country other than that of the website’s main office. Say you want to watch your favorite TV show online but because users from your country are prohibited from accessing the page, you weren’t able to watch it. Our IP addresses reflect our exact locations. That is how they can detect your country of origin. The IP address is basically the identification of each computer all over the world.
But how can you access a certain website that prohibits you from accessing their page primarily because you belong to an alien country? Yes, this can absolutely be done just by sitting comfortably in your own home. This is possible with the help of a Virtual Private Network service or VPN for short. The concept behind a VPN is simple. Your real IP address will be represented by another IP address that is acceptable to the website you are viewing the video from. It’s like tricking the server that you are actually a resident from the country they are operating in.
A VPN service will also give you extra security when you are browsing the internet. Say for example when you use the google search engine. Everything that you have searched for for the past years are recorded in their database. In short, they can track where the queries are coming from. But as long as you have a VPN service, your IP address will never be tracked. They can track the masked IP address all they want and waste their time doing so.
You can be a United States resident with a VPN. You can enjoy all your favorite shows without getting blocked by certain websites. You can watch Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc. online all you want.
Experience limitless internet surfing
What’s the essence of a “World Wide Web” if you can’t even access all the sites? The internet was invented so that all of us can share information or data even if we are miles apart. So what’s the point of restricting users from other countries, right?
An example of a very strict internet access is that of Saudi Arabia. The government controls and limits their residents on what is accessible on the internet and what is prohibited. If you belong to a country such as Saudi Arabia, using a VPN would be very beneficial.
Learn how to change IP country, hide your ip, and ‘virtually reside’ in another country using a VPN connection. Experience all the good things the internet has to offer. Get a VPN service right now and go beyond the limit.
Mac OS is an aesthetically designed and futuristic operating system, which has made Mac one of the most sought out operating systems in the world. Mac OS is specifically used by designers and creative artists due to the attention to detail, varied graphic options, dedicated software for music mixing, image and video design effects, and lots more on offer by the OS.
Statistics prove that almost all Mac OS users connect their device to the internet for various browsing purposes. This leaves Mac users vulnerable to security threats, especially if you browse through insecure networks (public Wi-Fi), which is why it becomes essential to install a Mac VPN on your Mac OS. Here is a detailed guide on how to setup VPN on your Mac OS:
Manual Mac VPN Configuration
This is an advanced choice of VPN for mac, and is mostly preferred by advanced Mac users. This type of connection also offers a lot of convenience and flexibility in terms of customization.
Mac also makes it easier to set up a manual VPN connection, unlike other operating systems. To manually connect your Mac to a VPN, follow these steps:
Select System Preferences via Dock. If you can’t find it, all you have to do is go to the main Apple Menu and click on System Preferences.
Under the Internet & Wireless sub-menu, you will find the Network option. Click on it.
In the left pane, you will find a list of networks already installed on your Mac. You will find a + sign at the bottom of the list to add new networks. Click on it to add a new VPN connection.
Clicking on the + sign will open a box which should allow you to choose the interface. Choose VPN from the drop-down menu.
Enter the information provided by your VPN company into the relevant fields. If you don’t already have a VPN subscription, choose one from our list of top 5 VPN providers. First you will have to choose the protocol. This can be PPTP or L2TP/IPSec, or contact your VPN customer care to see what works best for you. Enter the name of the connection as you wish, so that you can retrieve it at a later stage without hassles. Click on Create.
You will now see a VPN configuration page with Default listed at the top of the drop-down menu. Click on it and choose Add Configuration. This will prompt you to create a new configuration.
Choose a name of your convenience. While retrieving the configuration at a later stage, use this name. Click Create.
Enter the Server address and account name as provided by your VPN service provider in the configuration page.
Click on Authentication Settings to set password. In the pop-up page, enter the password provided to you and enter a shared secret so that you can utilize your Mac within a LAN. Click OK.
You will end up back at the VPN configuration page, where you can see the Advanced button at the bottom right.
Clicking on the Advanced button will take you to the advanced configuration page where you should check all the options, including “Send All Traffic Over VPN Connection”. This is important for the VPN connection to work properly. Click on Ok.
For the VPN changes to take effect, click on Apply at the bottom right of the VPN configuration page. You should now be able to connect to a VPN network using the parameters that you have entered. Click on Connect just below the Authentication Settings button.
Remember that you can always come back and change the settings, or create new similar additional connections to ensure that you can count on an alternative connection if your current connection malfunctions or drops completely. It will also make sense to create both a PPTP and an L2TP connection to ensure that you stay connected to a VPN wherever you are.
VPN Software Or Apps For Mac
Due to the increasing popularity and significance of the Mac OS, there are several VPN service providers who offer dedicated VPN software for Mac OS X. It is usually easy to find Mac VPN software, as all you have to do is ask the VPN company about their software offerings (usually featured prominently on their websites).
In such an instance, you can download and install the software, which will have all the features and functionalities of the VPN built into the platform. All you have to do to access VPN on your computer is receive the username and password from your VPN company and enter this information into the relevant fields within the terminal. You will now be automatically connected to a VPN server of your choice.
A dedicated Mac VPN application will avoid the necessity and perhaps the extra effort required for manually setting up a VPN connection. It will be possible to change several VPN configurations such as changing IPs, switching servers, choosing encryption and more within the application itself. Therefore, if you do have the option of installing a dedicated VPN application or dialer terminal, go for it by all means.
It’s a sinking feeling, when you wake up one morning and see that your credit card has been drained. Every dollar gone and spent by someone who employed advanced techniques to gain control of your information, use it to their advantage, and leave you hanging high and dry by the end of it all. It’s like living in a bad nightmare, and worst of all you could have taken steps to protect yourself — but didn’t take the time to read our in-depth guide on how to keep your identity secure while browsing anonymously online!
One of the most innocuous methods attackers use to dig through your treasure trove of credit card details, Amazon.com order lists, and Google Docs presentations is through the sharing of public Wi-Fi hotspots. Whenever you connect at your local Starbucks, you’re opening your computer up to a whole host of issues, not least of which includes real-world crack artists who prey on popular networks and pry their way in to people’s personal details.
One of the oldest tricks in the book, phishing attacks have been around since the dawn of the first world-wide-web. As soon as web pages existed, there were people creating fake versions of your favorite internet portals to gain access to sensitive credentials and personal information. Hackers can use these faux-sites to trick you into entering secret usernames and passwords, granting them full-access to all your account information and the ability to charge your debit cards with any online retailer they wish.
Of course, the simplest method is usually the best, and often hackers can get control of your data through nothing more than some good old fashioned malware, packaged up with that most recent version of Photoshop you downloaded on less-than-legal terms. We put ourselves at risk whenever we decide to skirt the law and look for our favorite movies, games, and software online for a bit lower than the advertised price. Many torrents come wrapped up in .zip, .rar, and .exe files, all of which are known to be efficient attack vectors for infecting the most vital and low-level areas of your laptop or desktop at home.
While not all of these issues can be solved with a VPN, those that can are what put you at the highest amount of risk, which is why signing up for one of the dozens of available providers is always a smart idea and a safe investment in the future of your file security.
With startups like Syme opening up server farms outside of US jurisdiction, and longtime search giants Google and Yahoo talking about taking their terabytes offshore, the impact the NSA leaks will have on the American economy in the coming years is unquestionable. For about two months after the first mention of the PRISM program, companies like Microsoft, AOL, and Facebook were under heavy fire regarding their level of complicity with prosecution groups in the federal government over the course of the past decade.
Soon it became clear that if there were any previous agreements, the NSA and its EU counterpart GCHQ had already stepped much further over any line that could possibly have looked legal on the surface. By getting their hooks into the backdoors of data centers, they had unfettered, gluttony-levels of access to everything that ever happened on our accounts, slowly collecting and amassing the greatest single tome of digital information ever created in the history of the human race.
“The potential fallout is pretty huge given how much our economy depends on the information economy for its growth,” said Rebecca MacKinnon, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, a Washington policy group. “It’s increasingly where the U.S. advantage lies.”
Because it’s difficult to trust any traffic that transmits through EU or US proxy servers — if you plan on badmouthing Uncle Sam or his British equivalent in the near future, be sure to connect through neutral countries who quickly stepped up to the plate to claim total immunity/non-collusion every time they found another information request stuffed in their mailbox.
Sweden not only sports some of the fastest internet connection times in the world, they treat sovereignty as a top priority, privacy as a standard, and personal information like it’s being stored in the bowels of Fort Knox. The Nordic countries as a whole are a jackpot for anyone concerned about the relay points their data has to go through before it gets to distant online servers, and it’s on their icy shores you’ll find the same respects and rights paid to your data ran through diverted lines in Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. These are just a few of the governments in the EU who have unanimously put their weight behind a firm stance against the spying programs undertaken by the American and British governments, and should be a go-to location for those who depend on a decent ping time while travelling throughout Europe. HideMyAss Pro VPN has dozens of servers available in all of them, guaranteeing you the most reliable connection with the fewest number of dropoffs per plane ride.
Japan recently released documentation proving they had denied the NSA’s advances on the data for their citizens on multiple occasions, even going as far to outright deny the opportunity when the agency didn’t feel like playing nice for much longer. South Korea is another contender for some of the fastest servers in the region, thanks to their country being one of the hotspots of technology in a 21st century world. The rise of Samsung over the past several years has fueled a boost in their economy, and with that has come more money to spend on a secure, separated, independent set of servers that can operate outside the grasp of the United States. With IPVanish VPN, you can choose from three servers available in each country, so even if you’re trying to connect from the states, you can still report in under the guise of an innocent civilian from a country who cares about its citizens.
Based on this report, The Sydney Morning Herald reported a few years ago that the NSA maintains signal intelligence equipment at its embassies in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Yangon, but not in its embassies in “Five Eye” nations New Zealand and Australia, or at the U.S. embassies in Japan and Signapore. It also said that China is by far the NSA’s main target in Asia.
If you’re from Australia, you can feel safe knowing that because your internet is so slow in so many places, the NSA actually couldn’t effectively tap the line without the separate stream being picked up for taking too much bandwidth. Congratulations, you win by default, which all depends on your definition of the word, I guess.
No matter where you rest your head in the world at night, you can be sure that somewhere in another timezone, there are security engineers and programming specialists on the forefront of the fight, protecting you and your network around the clock from unwelcome attention and unwarranted wiretaps.