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What is a VPN, and why do you need one in 2019

Keep your browsing hacker-free with a massive deal on this top service.

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We still have a ways to go before global WiFi is the norm, but public WiFi is popping up more and more. From cafes to hotels and even auto repair shops, it's not uncommon for businesses to offer free Wi-Fi to their customers. Most would see this as a kind and thoughtful gesture, but these facilities could be doing you a disservice if their networks are left unsecured.

In fact, if you find yourself connecting to an unsecured hotspot, you could be exposing yourself to a host of cyber risks: malicious actors can peek in on your browsing movements and even pry at your data. From your credit cards to your banking info, your most sensitive details can easily end up in the wrong hands.

Of course, this doesn't mean that you should avoid unsecured hotspots like the plague, but it's in your best interest to cover your bases by using a VPN. You can install a VPN for life for as little as $39 with VPN Unlimited, and right now GDGT readers can save an extra $10 with code MAYVPN10.

What is a VPN?

For the uninitiated, VPNs (or Virtual Private Networks) are secured networks that route your browsing movements through encrypted tunnels, keeping your activity private and even allowing you to bypass certain online restrictions. Under the protection of a VPN, you can browse, stream and play online with peace of mind knowing your data is secured.

Why do I need a VPN?

VPNs can be used for a number of purposes. For the privacy-minded, VPNs are handy for concealing your IP address when you're surfing online. That way, you can browse, message and shop without snoopers, hackers or shady government agencies peeking in on your movements. What's more, browsing with a VPN can also conceal your location for added privacy.

Another benefit of surfing with a VPN is the ability to bypass geo-restrictions placed on content in different countries. If you've ever tried streaming from sites like Netflix or Hulu abroad, chances are you've been met with error messages telling you that content isn't available in the country you're visiting. With a VPN, you can give these restrictions the boot and consume content to your heart's content.

VPN Security

As mentioned above, VPNs protect your browsing movements by routing them through encrypted tunnels. These tunnels are secured with various encryption protocols, each complete with their own benefits and drawbacks. PPTP or Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol, for example, is one of the most popular protocols out there, but it's not the most secure one available, making it a less-than stellar choice if you're really keen on locking down your data. L2TP/IPsec, by contrast, is considered to be very secure but can perform slower than other protocols as a result. Many VPNs, like VPN Unlimited, support a number of different protocols, so you can easily pick the one that's right for your browsing needs.

VPN Setup

Setting up a VPN is a fairly straightforward process, often involving little more than just punching in a user name and server address. Additional configuration may be required depending on the protocol you decide to use.

Which VPN should I get?

Type "Best VPN" into Google, and you'll be met with a staggering number of results. There are a myriad of VPNs on the market today, and they come in different shapes and sizes. Some are designed for streaming and gaming, while others are more suited for torrenting or everyday browsing.

VPN Unlimited is one of the more well-known services around with more than 10 million customers around the globe. The service would usually run you $4 each month for a year, but, thanks to a limited-time price drop, you can get a lifetime of VPN Unlimited protection for only $39 for the next three weeks—a major discount off its usual price. Plus, GDGT readers can use code MAYVPN10 to get an additional $10 off during this period, bringing the price to just $29 total.

VPN Unlimited allows you to surf in complete privacy on a variety of protocols, like OpenVPN, IKEv2 and KeepSolid Wise, which provides extended online freedom. You can access a growing selection of servers globally, with more than 70 locations including the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.

The service also sets you up with a number of handy features, like trusted networks, ping tests and favorite servers, making for a better online experience.

With VPN Unlimited, you can bypass content restrictions in your area to access streaming sites, like Netflix and Hulu when you're traveling abroad. That way, you can watch your favorite shows no matter where your travels take you.

Speaking of watching shows, streaming content is even better on VPN Unlimited, as the service provides users with unlimited traffic bandwidth and unlimited high-speed connections. Whereas other providers bog you down with bandwidth and speed restrictions, VPN Unlimited lets you enjoy your favorite content safely and at blazing speeds wherever you are in the world.

VPN Unlimited works with torrents or P2P and extends its protection on up to five devices simultaneously. The service is compatible with Android, Mac, iOS, Windows and several other platforms and browsers. Whether you're watching on your phone, tablet, or laptop, VPN Unlimited can cover your complete tech setup.

The web can be a dangerous place, but you don't need to be afraid of it with a VPN on your side. VPN Unlimited normally costs $4 per month, but you can pick up a lifetime subscription today for just $29.99 using code MAYVPN10, saving hundreds off what it would normally run you. The offer is only good for the next three weeks, though, so sign up now.

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