VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, have been growing in popularity over recent years for internet users. They help to provide many different types of security for our browser, device, data, and location online, something we should all be thinking about. Personal data is more valuable than ever, both to ourselves and businesses. So a VPN being clever and hiding your IP address, location, and data is something we should all be using and happy to have!

So, our data is important and a VPN can help us with this. But how does it work, how safe is it, and how much should we be paying for the service? Also, which company should you trust to provide VPN services? These are all valid questions that we hope will all be answered for you by the end of this article. We will now discuss exactly what a VPN does, why it truly is an essential piece of gear, and how much you can or should be paying for it.

What Am I Paying For?

With a VPN, you are paying for security. You are paying for a software tool that makes you anonymous and protected when surfing the web. Most of the services provided by a VPN are automated and require little to no human interaction once set up. You can choose what options you’d like to use, such as clearing browser history or browsing from another country, and the software will continue to make that happen for you without any further input from yourself or any other staff. In theory, this means it should be quite cheap, right? Yes and no.

While most of the services are automatic or user-friendly to control, there are still huge teams of developers and remote support staff to pay. Like any good service, it’s going to cost you money. Online discount code sites, like Swagbucks, have deals that can bring the price down. Discount codes could bring the monthly or initial prices down, plus get you cheap renewals. There are also other ways to get good deals on VPNs, which we will discuss in more detail later.

How Does It Work?

A VPN works by masking your IP address and location. Whilst doing this, it effectively creates a sophisticate and masked data tunnel from your PC to another exit node somewhere else. This could be hundreds or even thousands of miles away from your actual location, even on another continent if you so wish! In doing this, it makes your data protected and un-readable, whilst making it appear that you are logged into a computer in a totally different location. This means that no one else on your network, or anywhere else for that matter, can see what you’re up to. This is particularly useful when using a shared, unsecured, or public Wi-Fi connection where data is easily intercepted, often leading to identity theft and fraud.

VPNs do more than just mask your IP address and location, though. They can also keep your browsing history clear and secured. Did you know, even if you are using a private browsing mode, your internet service provider (ISP) can still monitor everything you’re doing? They often do this to create a picture of you to try and sell you the right deals or sell your data to third parties. VPNs don’t allow this to happen. By creating these data tunnels, your ISP will no longer be able to track what you do online, neither will anyone else. This helps protect your data and your identity at all times online.

Average VPN Software Cost

So this stuff is clearly very important! You are likely thinking it’s time for you to purchase some VPN software. But, how much does it cost? Well, the average price for VPN software varies massively. There are some that come for free but may have more limited uses, and some that cost over $10 a month. On average, a VPN will cost between $5-10 per month. This is for a VPN software that has all the features you could want such as identity masking, location changing, and more. As mentioned, there are some free VPN providers, though they may only offer one particular service rather than a selection of multiple.

Can It Be Cheaper?

So, we’re looking at a few bucks a month. The price of a couple of coffees, maybe. That may be fine for most, but what if you want to try and get it cheaper? Well, your first option is obviously to try one of the free services as previously mentioned. If you find that these provide a satisfactory level then great, you’ve got yourself a free VPN!

Otherwise, let’s look at the paid models. The first thing to note is that most paid VPN services do in fact offer a free trial period. Some for as long as one month! This is great for 2 reasons. Firstly, you could quite easily hop from free trial to free trial and not pay anything at all for a little while. Secondly, this gives you a chance to genuinely test each service to see which you like best or can use the easiest. Once you have had a chance to test some of these programs you can then decide which you might like to commit to. This can also help you get one cheaper. If you are safe in the knowledge that a particular VPN software is the right one for you, you may feel happier to commit to it long-term. A longer-term contract usually correlates with a lower monthly payment.

How To Find A Good VPN

So, all you need to do now is find the right VPN at the right price for you. Firstly we recommend checking out developer’s sites and offers. See what each of the big VPN companies is offering and for what price. Then, get onto some independent review sites and look for some genuine reviews or comparisons between different software. Finally, pick a couple you think you’d suit and take out the free trial (not all at the same time!)

Hopefully, understanding these facts about VPN and following those final steps will help you find VPN software that is easy to use and makes you feel safe in your browsing. Protect yourself, your devices, and your data. It’s the smart thing to do.

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