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The FCC has spoken and it’s official: Net Neutrality is dead.
Mashable’s been closely covering this story — you can read everything here — but we’ll give you the TL;DR version. The FCC has decided that large internet service providers (ISPs) like Xfinity, Verizon, RCN, and any other company in the game can charge customers premium rates for faster internet access. This decision was also significant in that it set ISPs significantly free from the confines of government oversight, and it is sparking justifiable privacy concerns as deregulation could empower ISPs to peek into our browsing behavior even more than they already do, or worse, sell that data.
If you’re one of those people who likes to stock up on canned goods before the first snowflakes even start to fall, all of this change might make you feel a little twitchy. But we’re here for you: One way to get some peace of mind is by downloading a virtual private network (VPN) so that what you do online stays between you and your mouse.
A VPN will essentially allow you to access the web with protections that encrypt your data from prying ISP eyes. VPNs can help add a layer of privacy online no matter where you are, which is why they’ve long been used by people who travel abroad and want to protect personal info (financial or otherwise) while browsing on public Wi-Fi. Journalists working on sensitive stories find VPNs useful, too.
If you’re new to the VPN game, then we have a few suggestions — most of which are even on sale.
According to PC Mag, TunnelBear is a “friendly” VPN option for first-time users due in large part to its “pleasing, approachable design.” While it doesn’t have P2P, BitTorrent, or any specialized servers, it’s worth noting that TunnelBear works with Netflix, which isn’t always the case with VPNs.
Save 50% and get a one-year plan to TunnelBear for $4.99 per month.
With more than 2,000 servers around the world and the ability to pay for a subscription in Bitcoin, NordVPN is a PCMag Editor’s Choice product with a (rare) 5-star review. “None of the searches or streaming activities that originate within NordVPN’s software are logged anywhere on any of NordVPN’s servers,” says PCMag. “The company maintains no logs of a user’s internet path or actions.”
Get a two-year plan for just $3.29 per month while NordVPN is on sale.
This high-rated VPN has a bigger suite of advanced features than others, like automatic IP address cycling, and has some 750 servers across 61 countries. CNET lists IPVanish as one of the best VPN services of 2017. A con for IPVanish though is that it’s expensive. Good news for you: it’s currently on sale.
Save 30% and get a one-year plan for $4.55 per month now.
Though KeepSolid doesn’t allow ad blocking, it’s one of the most consistently affordable VPNs out there and offers many of the features you’ll want: browser extensions, specialized servers, P2P networking, and more. (Read the TechRadar review here.) One of the biggest draws though is KeepSolid’s flexible pricing plan, which includes an Infinity Plan for lifetime use that’s currently 70% off.
PCMag gives VyprVPN 4.5 stars, due in part to its multi-platform and multi-protocol support. According to the review, VyprVPN has hundreds of servers and a great interface, though it covers fewer devices than others on the market. In case you’re on the fence, VyprVPN also has the option of a three-day free trial.