One of the key features every good VPN offers is anonymity, allowing users to browse the world wide web without anyone knowing anything about it. This would include your ISP, Google, Facebook, and various government agencies. In addition, this doesn’t apply only to web browsing, but also to all other activities you may be doing online, like downloading and uploading stuff with BitTorrent, streaming movies, accessing social media, and so on.
On the heels of the Edward Snowden scandal, more and more people have become vary of their privacy. After all, this is their right and shouldn’t be taken lightly — as companies and governments are eager to get any additional data without asking for anyone’s permission.
That’s why we suggest everyone to use a VPN these days. Beyond making and keeping them anonymous on the Internet, it will enhance their security while connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots while allowing them to access parts of the Internet that could otherwise (without a VPN) be outside of their reach. This could happen at the university, at work, and/or in high-censorship countries.
Best VPNs that will let you do all that — while keeping you anonymous online — are:
- 5,000+ servers in the network
- Easy to use - install it and forget it
- One license is good for up to 6 devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Chrome extension is just a proxy
- You can't pay with PayPal
Its network includes more than 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries, which directly translates into faster speeds. NordVPN is also very secure, relying on the strong 256-bit encryption combined with secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec). But as a user, you get a seamless experience with all this technology "doing its thing" in the background.
NordVPN is well suited to pretty much every task you throw at it — whether it's accessing a banned site from some country that filters out the internet, torrenting, accessing streaming services, or just wanting to keep a low profile on the web. It also doesn't keep any logs.
We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone looking for reliable service.
- Good for both torrenting and streaming
- Works in China
- Solid network with servers in 60+ countries
- Easy to use apps on multiple platforms
- Live chat isn't always available
- Fairly pricey
Whether you need a VPN for watching Netflix shows or downloading files via BitTorrent, Astrill can help you out — all while keeping your identity under the radar. And this is especially true if you live or work in China when the company's stealth protocols will kick in to let you access all the popular sites that are by default blocked by the country's censors.
Astrill's apps are easy to use and available on all popular platforms. Nevertheless, they still manage to provide a host of advanced features tech-savvy folks are used to get. Highly recommended, again, especially if you're looking to bypass the Great Firewall of China.
- Feature-rich yet easy to use
- One of the best VPNs around
- Strong no-logging policy
- Reliable support you can reach 24/7
- Limited number of servers in Africa and the Middle East
- Kinda pricey
ExpressVPN has great desktop apps for Windows and Mac, mobile apps and browser extensions. Also, it is well suited for video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others.
However, what makes it stand out is its ease of use. We can't emphasize this enough. One could tell a lot of time has been spent making sure even the advanced features are easily accessible. And we love it for that. Plus, let's not forget ExpressVPN's speed which tends to leave other services in the dust.
- Fast download and upload speeds
- Works with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.
- Great for torrenting
- Advanced privacy features (i.e. Tor over VPN)
- Relatively small number of servers
- There are no browser extensions
- Live chat support is not always available
Specifically, you can rely on PrivateVPN for both torrenting and streaming, without paying a premium. It is, in fact, one of the most affordable options in its league and we love it for that.
Customer support may not be on par with bigger players but it's not like you should experience many problems anyway. You will get the same level of security and privacy as with other services, and a single license will let you run PrivateVPN on up to 6 devices. Pretty cool.
- Works in China
- Many servers in Asia
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Advanced services like VyprVPN Cloud
- No browser extensions
- Torrenting could be better
It manages to bypass restrictions in high-censorship countries and elsewhere by relying on its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which can easily slide under the radar.
VyprVPN is also great for accessing video streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and so on — delivering the true buffer-free experience every single time. It will also work with BitTorrent, and consequently - Kodi.
VyprVPN has a strict zero-logs policy. Period.
How to be anonymous online?
This is one of the questions we’re most often asked and we’re happy to reply that a VPN has a lot to do with it.
You see, a VPN will route all of your traffic through one of its servers, and as a result – the rest of the Internet will think that you’re accessing their website or service from that server’s IP address, rather than the one your ISP has provided. At the same time, a VPN will encrypt all communication, making it impossible for anyone to decipher it.
But, a VPN is just one piece of the puzzle. Perhaps the most important piece, but still not enough. After all, no software can keep you anonymous if you share what you do and where you are on Facebook.
So here’s how you can be anonymous online:
1. Go easy on social media
If you share what you do and where you are on Facebook – they will know everything about you and, as a result, you won’t be anonymous. Remember that Facebook is one of the main culprits you want to hide from. It is one of the few companies that have a ton of data on all of us.
2. Don’t use Google
Instead of Google, use some other search engine that won’t collect every bit of information at all times. And, we would say that also includes Microsoft’s Bing. Instead, go for an anonymous search engine like DuckDuckGo. It will not collect any of your personal information or connect your searches to form your digital profile (so it could serve you personalized ads). Other anonymous search engines you may want to try out include Startpage and Qwant.
3. Use an anonymous email service
Instead of Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail – sign up for an anonymous email service. Among the best such services are ProtonMail (operated by ProtonVPN), TempInbox and Mailinator. These services typically don’t require any personal information to set up an email account, which could be just the thing you’re looking for.
4. Use anonymous file-sharing/storing services
Moving forward with popular web services, you should not rely on Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox or Box. Instead, use alternatives like Mega and Onion Share. The big file sharing sites are operated by large companies which are notorious for collecting all the data they can on our behavior and what you share and upload is just a piece of their big puzzle.
5. Get a privacy-focused web browser
Again, instead of products offered by Google and Microsoft, go for Firefox, Opera, Epic or Brave. These alternatives work just as well but won’t keep up with “every step you make” online. For what it matters, some of them will also work with Chrome plugins we all use regularly (as they are based on the same Chromium engine).
In addition, you could turn off location tracking on your phone and perhaps consider paying for stuff with cryptocurrency rather than your credit card. Zcash and Monero are among the most anonymous cryptocurrencies out there – so consider them.
Beyond helping you be anonymous…
A VPN has much more to offer
It is the tool to keep your web whereabouts under the radar, but it has other things to offer, as well. For instance, a VPN will cover you in different situations, including when you need it for:
- Accessing content that could otherwise be restricted in your physical location.
- Preventing tracking and minimizing your digital footprint so that no one can track you online (at least not that easily).
- Avoiding throttling from your ISP – which is known to happen when you’re torrenting or accessing video streaming services.
- Bypassing firewalls in a workplace, university, school and so on.
- Bypassing censorship in places like China, North Korea, countries in the Middle East, and even Turkey and Russia.
- Securely connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots – with a VPN encrypting all the traffic coming to and from your devices.
The bottom line is – get a VPN that fits all your needs. The top contenders include the following: