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The 2018 VPN buyer’s guide

VPNs are essential for keeping your personal data private and secure. Here’s your guide to choosing the best one for you.
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Whether you're looking to access your favorite shows abroad or just surf the Web without your ISP looking over your shoulder, a VPN is key for enjoying the Web the way you want to.

For the uninitiated, VPNs, or virtual private networks, route their users' browsing traffic through an encrypted tunnel—keeping it far from the clutches of hackers, the government, and shady ISPs, while allowing users to mask their browsing location and access content that would otherwise be restricted.

It's for these reasons that VPNs have surged in popularity, flooding the market with a horde of different options and, understandably, a lot of confusion as to which solutions are the best. To simplify the clutter and help you find the VPN that suits your needs, we're highlighting six of the best, and they're all on sale today.

1. VPN Unlimited: Lifetime Subscription

MSRP: $499.99

The Deal: $39.99/ lifetime (92% off)

Top Feature: Versatile protocols

As mentioned earlier, VPNs send your browsing data through encrypted tunnels to keep your information private. The security of said tunnels depends on the protocols they use, like PPTP, SSTP, and OpenVPN, which all possess distinct advantages and disadvantages. VPN Unlimited lets you pick from several, including OpenVPN, IKEv2, and KeepSolid Wise, for next-level flexibility; and you'll also have access to special servers for torrenting and full bandwidth capacity at all times, making this a great option for binge-watching content. Lifetime subscriptions are on sale for $39.99.

2. VPNSecure: Lifetime Subscription

MSRP: $450

The Deal: $24.99/lifetime (94% off)

Top Feature: Price

For the user on a budget, VPNSecure is the most economical VPN on the list, but don't let that fool you into thinking it slacks on features. With unlimited bandwidth and torrent-friendly servers, VPNSecure is a great option for streaming content; and it's backed by a strict, no logging policy, ensuring that none of your browsing data is tracked and won't fall into the wrong hands. Nab a lifetime subscription today for only $24.99.

3. Surfshark VPN Subscriptions

MSRP: $430

The Deal: $89/3-years (79% off)

Top Feature: Unlimited connections

Some VPN providers can be stingy when it comes to how many devices you can connect to their servers. Surfshark isn't one of them. Offering unlimited simultaneous connections, Surfshark lets you and your family surf on its network of torrent-friendly servers, sidestep geo-restrictions, and enjoy content at blazing speeds with unlimited data and torrent-friendly servers. You can get a 3-year subscription today for only $89.

4. GOOSE VPN: Lifetime Subscription

MSRP: $899.95

The Deal: $39.99/lifetime (95% off)

Top Feature: Accessibility

Everyone deserves to have a safe Internet experience, but not everyone has the technical know-how to use a VPN. For those of us who might be lacking in VPN knowledge, GOOSE VPN is a better choice. This solution gets you online faster with easy setup and has a fantastic customer support team at the ready to help you out in a pinch. Get a lifetime plan today for only $39.99.

5. Ivacy VPN: Lifetime Subscription

MSRP: $1,194

The Deal: $39.99/lifetime (96% off)

Top Feature: Servers and locations

Among the myriad of features to consider when choosing a VPN, server count is one that should not be overlooked. Boasting 450+ servers in 100+ locations and across 50+ countries, Ivacy VPN delivers a great deal of connection flexibility for a price that won't light your wallet on fire. Plus, this provider is partnered with the National Cyber Security Alliance and works to promote cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness. Nab a lifetime subscription today for only $39.99.

6. ZenMate Premium: Lifetime Subscription

MSRP: $840

The Deal: $49.99/lifetime (94% off)

Top Feature: Browser extension

The pioneering minds at ZenMate wanted to create a truly intuitive VPN experience, as evinced by their easy-to-use browser extension. Fire it up, and you can easily switch between proxy locations to access any content you want, wherever you want. And, with top-level encryption, you can trust that your browsing movements are known only by you. Lifetime subscriptions are on sale for $49.99 today.

Engadget is teaming up with StackCommerce to bring you deals on the latest gadgets, tech toys, apps, and tutorials. This post does not constitute editorial endorsement, and we earn a portion of all sales. If you have any questions about the products you see here or previous purchases, please contact StackCommerce support here.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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