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The Best 5 VPNs for Encryption in 2018


What is a VPN?

In simple terms, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) assigns you a different IP address by allowing you to connect to one of its provider's servers. Your identity is hidden and you're protected from the spying eyes of hackers, government organizations, and ISPs and dangers such as cyber crime.

Benefits of using a VPN

All traffic communication between you and the VPN server is highly encrypted through cutting-edge security and encryption software so that all your sensitive data such as passwords or credit card details are kept under wraps and protected from any malicious software. Through a VPN you're in full control of your online activities, you're protected against intrusive surveillance of any ISPs, hackers can't tap in and intercept any data and you can bypass any censorships.

To help you decide which VPN is best for you we've rounded up the top 5 VPNs providing ultimate encryption.

1. ExpressVPN

Express VPN takes encryption and online security to the next level. It uses 2,000 servers in over 140 locations and offers over 30,000 IP addresses.

ExpressVPN implements state-of-the-art security software through AES 256-bit encryption for OpenVPN, SHA-512 HMAC (hash message authentication Code) and an RSA-4096 handshake.

It guarantees extreme forward secrecy through ECDH (Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman) key exchanges along with DNS and WbRTC leak protection systems. Add the firewall switch to round it up and you'll clearly see why this provider tops our ranking.

What's more is that Express VPN uses Hong Kong-based stealth servers, .onion web addresses and free Smart DNS. It guarantees unmatchable performance, exquisite security levels, unlimited downloading and excellent 256-bit encryption.

2. NordVPN

Nord VPN uses a no-logs policy which makes it suitable for users who require extreme online privacy. This VPN provider uses 5,054 servers in 62 locations and integrates double VPN encryption technology which redirects a user's connection through 2 different VPN servers to provide extra security.

It also uses Onion network, and auto-blocking of ads & websites, OpenVPN - AES-256-CBC with an RSA-2048 handshake and provides data authentication through HMAC SHA256. IKEv2/IPsec protection is adopted for macOS and iOS apps. In addition to being based in Panama which prevents any government interference, NordVPN integrates DNS leak protection, killswitch, XOR servers, and ToR through VPN.

3. IPVanish

IPVanish uses over 1,000 servers in 60 different locations, offers over 40,000 IP addresses and guarantees a zero-log policy. IpVanish fully implements the Anonymous Browsing Experience and guarantees a strict and strong policy against collecting activity or connection logs. IPVanish never stores any of your metadata about how you use your device or what information you download.

It uses AES-256-CBC encryption software with SSHA256 hash, kill switch and OpenVPN solutions to prevent detection or censorship. With the increase in malicious and intrusive software and harmful trends such as cyber crime, it's a great plus. Back in 2016, WordFence recorded around 30,000 separate malicious attacks per day. By using the AES 256-encryption provided by IPVanish your personal data and IP address are highly protected against any force attacks.

Through IPVanish you can access the SOCKS or Socket security special proxy protocol which guarantees VPN benefits without downloading any additional software onto your device. You can hide your personal information, enjoy a great streaming performance and hide your IP address without exposure to third-party software.

IP Vanish performance amazingly well in download speeds and offers native apps across the main platforms.

4. AirVPN

AirVPN offers top of the class security using AES-256 and an RSA-4096 handshake, HMAC SHA384 authentication, SHA data authentication and DHE-4096 for extreme secrecy. Each of its servers supports OpenVPN over SSL, Open VPN over Tor and OpenVPN over SSH, tls-crypt, and IPv6.

It guarantees high speeds when you're using local servers, however, the speed tends to slow down with others. AirVPN uses over 220 servers in 20 locations and prevents any DNS leaks or WebRTC leaks at server and network levels.

Users can connect completely anonymously by using the Tor system. AirVPN hides any Open VPN data transfers through SSH and SSL encryption and features network lock which prevents DNS leaks and acts like a kill switch.

5. CyberGhost

CyberGhost offers over 2,800 IP addresses, it uses 2,800 servers in over 115 locations and offers 24/7 high response customer support.

It implements a no-log policy, offers high performance and complete privacy software through solid OpenVPN encryption. Its data channels use AES-256-CBC encryption with a SHA256 hash code, while Control channels use AES-256 ciphers, SHA384 hash, and RSA-4096 encryption.

CyberGhost never disappoints in terms of security. It uses a wide range of protocols such as OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPsec as well as a kill switch and guarantees protection against DNS leaks. This great VPN provider also implements double encryption to add a layer of security for its users.

It only records minimum statistics, however, users' privacy is fully guaranteed as CyberGhost never registers any timestamps or IPs.

By integrating dedicated servers for file sharing, auto kill switch, no-logs policy, extremely fast streaming, and a huge server network, Cyberghost brings an innovative and effective approach to online privacy and anonymity.

Wrapping It Up

Before you decide what option covers your requirements, you should understand that encryption and privacy only go so far. If government authorities request details about VPN users, VPN providers are obliged to hand them over. The only way around it is to use VPN which provide strict no log policies.

That's one of the main misunderstandings users have about VPNs. However, because of the particular terminology used by VPN providers you should do some research about the key features such as AES256-bit encryption, Perfect Forward Secrecy, and OpenVPN.

Now that you have the facts about the top 5 VPN providers in terms of encryption you can choose which VPN suits you best.

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About This Blog...

I've been writing about computers, software, Internet and the rest of technology since 1992, including a 17 year (1995-2012) stint as 'High Tech Office' columnist for Business in Vancouver. This blog includes thoughts on technology, society, and anything else that might interest me. Comments, emailed to alan@zisman.ca are welcome - and may be published in whole or part. You can follow me on Facebook for notice of new blog postings.
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