Visit censored websites in Singapore
Change your IP address and access geo blocked content
Protect private data from government snooping
Anonymously download torrents and P2P files
Virtual private networks are becoming more and more popular worldwide. This is a great thing for someone who wants easy access to the best methods of assuring their online privacy. They’re extremely handy for getting access to content that’s blocked in Singapore, protecting your online activity from your ISP (internet service provider), and much more. If you want to stream content that could potentially be pirated from a website that you’re not sure about, using a VPN will protect you from any possible repercussions.
Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users' online activities. If found accessing restricted sites or streaming copyright content, you could get into serious legal trouble. Currently, your IP 126.96.36.199 is visible to everyone. I strongly recommend you to get the best VPN for surfing and streaming and hide your identity so that your entertainment doesn’t take a bad turn.
Here are our top picks and reasons why you should be using a VPN.
I use and recommend Express VPN which I consider the best value and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device including mobile phones. Also, it comes with a 30-days money-back guarantee. If you don't like their service, you can always ask for a refund.
The downside is that with so many products available on the market it can get confusing when deciding which one you should choose. The more information there is, the harder it becomes to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Best VPN for Singapore
Below we have our top VPN picks, all selected based off of the most important factors: speed, privacy, server selection and download capability (torrenting, Netflix, etc.). We also included several tips on how to look for the best VPN for your needs and their importance in today’s digital age.
Express VPN – Fastest VPN in Singapore
Singapore servers available
Very high connection speed
Slightly more expensive than other options
From $6.67 / month
If you have already read up a bit on VPNs then you have probably heard of ExpressVPN. Possibly the most popular VPN in the world, they are known for having some of the fastest speeds available, if not the fastest. Users worldwide have written extremely positive feedback on this product for its reliability and download speeds.
The pricing plans are more expensive than average but it’s worth every penny if you really want top-notch speeds. One month costs $12.95, three months cost $9.99, and one year costs $6.67 a month
ExpressVPN is a great choice if you deal with a lot of big high definition files. This includes 4K content from Netflix. If you do a lot of streaming and downloading then speeds upwards of 47mbps globally will impress you. Even better for local servers in Singapore: average speeds reached approximately 99mbps with upload speeds being around 105mbps. Combine that with extremely low ping and you have yourself a remarkable service.
This superb performance for Singapore is attributed to the fact that they have two local servers in the country. Both the Central Business District (CBD) and Jurong are server locations and each one is fully capable of all seven of ExpressVPN’s protocols, from OpenVPN to PPTP and SSTP. This opens up a huge amount of security options
The VPN kill-switch feature is a must-have for die-hard privacy enthusiasts. If your VPN were to stop working or lose connection for any reason, the kill switch will automatically activate and instantly turn off your internet connection. This is still one of the best methods for protecting your real IP address in the event of an emergency, and to this day not every VPN is equipped with this fail-safe.
Their Netflix compatibility is not perfect, like any VPN, but it is still very good. The vast majority of US servers will grant access to Netflix meaning that you’ll be able to stream US content with very little trial and error. ExpressVPN is still considered one of the best services for bypassing Netflix’s robust region-blocking proxies.
If Netflix isn’t enough for you then you can always try out Hulu, HBO Now, and other streaming services that are totally compatible with ExpressVPN’s bypassing capabilities.
It really is no surprise why this is one of the best selling VPNs of all time. It isn’t perfect but it provides a dynamic and thorough experience. With so many security and server options, even the pickiest of customers would get a lot of value from picking ExpressVPN.
Ivacy – Best Value Singapore VPN
Local Singapore company
Great value for money
Not as many servers and countries as some of the more expensive options
From $1.33 / month
My top pick for Singaporean VPN has to go to Ivacy, a Singapore company that offers one of the best value of all VPN services out there. If not for patriotic reasons, Ivacy is a great option for anyone that wants a well rounded VPN service with all the usual features at one of the lowest prices. And without compromising on speed either.
Of course, just because Ivacy is headquartered in Singapore, it doesn’t mean that you are actually required to use Singapore servers. In fact, with a subscription, you get access to over 1000 servers in more than 100 locations. While this is not as impressive as some other providers that cover more data centers, it is more than enough for virtually any user.
In terms of pricing, Ivacy provides some of the most attractive packages, charging as little as $1.33 per month on a 5-year subscription, or $2.25/mo when signing up for 2 years, $3.33/mo for a year and $9.95 when subscribing monthly. As you can see, you can save a whole lot of money if you decide to use this service for an extended period of time.
Considering the price, many will think that there must be a catch and that reliability and speed must be awful. But, from our experience, Ivacy can easily compete with the more expensive VPN providers that we’ve reviewed.
Looking at Ivacy’s features, there isn’t really anything missing. You, of course, get the ability to stream Netflix from different countries, including the US. All the common VPN protocols that you would expect from a premium IPTV service are there, including OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSEC, and IKEV.
P2P optimized servers in multiple locations ensure you get the best up- and download speeds on your torrent transfers. And an Internet kill switch automatically cuts out your Internet when the VPN drops.
Finally, Ivacy gives you 5 concurrent connections on virtually any device you can imagine. And, you can download and upload as much data as you like, an absolute must if you are streaming a lot of videos or use the VPN for torrenting.
The last thing I want to highlight from my personal experience with Ivacy is their customer support. You have the ability to live chat with a representative that can answer all your questions, either pre-sale or when you experience technical difficulties.
NordVPN – Best VPN for Netflix and Streaming
Great local connection speed
Great Netflix unlocking reliability
Not as many servers as ExpressVPN
From $2.75 / month
Like with ExpressVPN, NordVPN is one of the more expensive options on our list. But the steeper than average price is easily offset by the abundance of customizable features you’ll be getting.
The pricing plans are $11.95 for a single month, $9.00 a month for six months and $6.99 a month for one year. They also include a three-day free trial and a 30-day money back guarantee on all three of their payment options. NordVPN is currently holding a limited plan option where you only pay $2.75 a month for three years—an excellent value where you only pay $99 instead of the standard $430 across all 36 months.
NordVPN isn’t just a great choice for anyone worldwide but it is especially a great choice for residents of Singapore. While worldwide average downloads match ExpressVPN at around 47mbps, local Singapore download speeds exceeded what ExpressVPN got. Many tests concluded that 195mbps was the average speed of NordVPN, which is essentially double that of ExpressVPN. The upload speed was also astonishingly impressive exceeding 300mbps.
Rates from around the world did a little worse but there’s no doubt that NordVPN’s Singapore servers are
A downside to choosing NordVPN is that it doesn’t have the global reliability as ExpressVPN. While they have approximately 4,800 servers, they are not located in as many countries as ExpressVPN nor do they have as exhaustive a list of IP addresses. This isn’t a big deal if streaming, torrenting and downloading are your main priorities. But anyone looking for top-level bypassing and a large range of access points may be left a little disappointed, especially considering the price.
NordVPN is still a great choice when it comes to privacy. They have a zero logging policy meaning that your identity, address, and actions are never recorded. In a worst case scenario, were NordVPN to get shut down, you could find solace in the fact that your information wouldn’t be given out to any authorities. Your anonymity from your ISP and others is guaranteed.
The encryption protocols are also of the highest caliber. AES-256 and PPTP or SSTP encryption are
And luckily, NordVPN is very Netflix-friendly. US and UK servers all seem to function very well and with very good download speeds. Expect minimal buffering, even if you plan on streaming very high-quality content.
Ultimately NordVPN is a phenomenal service and is especially worth the money if you quickly grab their limited 3-year plan which makes this exceptional service even more of a great value.
IPVanish – Best VPN for Torrenting and P2P Traffic
Great upload speeds for torrenting
Lowest ping in Singapore
Only 7-day refund policy
From $6.49 / month
IPVanish is widely regarded as one of the best VPNs for heavy duty streaming. If you are planning on putting your bandwidth through as much of a load as possible then this may very well be the service for you.
Pricing plans are above average, though they are slightly cheaper than both ExpressVPN and NordVPN. A single month is $10, 3 months is $8.99 a month and a whole year is $6.49 a month. Their refund policy only covers 7 days instead of 30 like the previous options on our list, but this is probably more than enough time for anyone to get familiar with the service and figure out if it is right for them.
IPVanish is great for local servers of many countries, including Canada, England, France, some US locations and Singapore. They consistently get 100-150mbps download speeds in Singapore. This is averaged out among all 18 of their local Singaporean servers. Worldwide average download speeds are around 35mbps. This is good but not the highest you can get.
While they only have roughly 1,000 servers they offer over 40,000 IP addresses which is a massive amount of choice for those who like to switch often. They only have 17 US servers, but they are all good quality and spaced out rather appropriately, covering areas such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Various tests have confirmed that the majority of these locations will provide unfiltered access to American Netflix content with great buffer free speeds.
IPVanish also has the best ping available for Singapore residents, the average being 2ms instead of 4 or higher like other services. This makes it the ideal choice for anyone who partakes in a lot of online gaming or live streaming.
Their P2P capabilities are extremely impressive and might be the best on our list. You can acquire some very high upload speeds exceeding 370mbps from local Singaporean servers. This makes IPVanish the best VPN for anyone wishing to do a lot of torrenting from within Singapore.
Fans of the Kodi app should also heavily consider picking IPVanish as their VPN because the excellent P2P capabilities makes connecting with various Kodi servers much easier than other VPN choices.
IPVanish is also very good at unblocking censored content in most countries. China is still a very hard one to crack but most other countries that have high censorship rates can be bypassed, including Saudi Arabia.
Privacy and security are both top-notch, as expected. Combined with a zero logs policy and AES-256 encryption and various protocols, you can rest comfortably knowing that you will be completely protected using this service. IPVanish also comes included with a kill-switch safety feature which just makes the whole package all the more appealing. They don’t have SSTP protocol, but this should only be a big deal to the
PureVPN – Best Value VPN
All essential features
Average connection speed
From $1.94 / month
While the past VPNs we looked at were all very top quality choices, they all came with prices that might be considered expensive by some. For a change of pace, we’re going to discuss what might be the best budget VPN on the market. If you go with the right payment plan then you’ll barely be making a monthly dent in your finances.
PureVPN offers extremely affordable rates if you opt for their two best plans. Paying for a single month costs $10.95. This plan isn’t cost-efficient though, it’s really just a deterrent towards the other two options, which are way better deals.
If you pay for a year you only pay $4.14 a month which is already a very good value. But, if you opt for the three-year subscription then you’ll be paying only $1.94 a month. This is inarguably an excellent price. If you have to choose between one cup of coffee and online security for a full 30 days, it seems like a no-brainer. And all payment plans come with a 15-day money back guarantee.
So sure, the prices are incredible. But is that because it lacks features?
PureVPN actually comes with a solid amount of features and good security. PPTP and SSTP protocols are available along with a VPN kill-switch and split tunneling. One big issue is that they do indeed have a flimsy logging policy. This means that they will reveal information to authorities or legal parties if push ever comes to shove. Technically speaking, your real IP address is a bit at risk with policies like this. Truly adamant security lovers will probably wish to steer clear.
PureVPN also doesn’t have the best download or upload speeds and this is always to be expected when going with a budget option. But the rates are still pretty solid. Global download rates reach an average of 35mbps or so. Singapore rates are good but they never crack the triple digits like the previous VPNs on our list.
So it isn’t the best choice for torrenting or downloading, but it does offer good censorship bypassing, compatibility with various streaming services like Netflix, and works on an abundance of different platforms: Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, AppleTV and all major video gaming consoles.
So the question remains: is PureVPN a great value? Yes, but only if you opt for the three year subscription. The average download speeds will satisfy most people, although the logging policy is probably the biggest problem with this service. It’s a risk but if you really want to pay one third of other companies’ prices and aren’t too picky about privacy then there’s no doubt that PureVPN is an incredible bang for your buck.
VyprVPN – Best VPN for Privacy
Best privacy features
Runs own DNS servers
Average international connection speed
From $5 / month
Now let’s head into a completely different direction once again. If PureVPN was for people most concerned with money, VyprVPN is for those most concerned with privacy.
The pricing plans with VyprVPN are quite different from the other ones. They only have two options but both are for a single annual period. There is the standard option which costs $5 a month and a premium which costs $6.67 a month. Both come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Better yet, our readers get an additional 25% off the monthly fees on both annual plans. Unfortunately, they do not accept cryptocurrencies and instead rely on Paypal or major debit and credit cards.
Let’s discuss what makes these two packages different.
The premium package allows up to five simultaneous connections as well as a couple of extra features: the VyprVPN Cloud and the Chameleon protocol. The standard package lacks these two bonus features and only allows up to three connections simultaneously.
Additionally, if one wanted to, both packages can be purchased for a single monthly usage instead of the annual subscription. Premium Vypr costs $12.95 for a single month while the standard version costs $9.95 for one month.
The VyprVPN Cloud is
If you’re the type of person who feels you are experiencing arbitrary caps set by your internet provider than you will enjoy VyprVPN’s premium service. The extra protection benefits it provides is doubly important if you have a more annoying and persistent ISP than average.
The downside to VyprVPN isn’t about pricing or configuration, it’s the download speeds. They’re below average though not terrible. Although having gone from something like NordVPN to this the difference in torrenting feels like night and day. Average global download speeds are around 20mbps. This is still decent but many people are used to numbers approaching double that. Plus VyprVPN is a little more likely to experience higher ping numbers.
Local users in Singapore will have better luck though. Average speeds are measured to be 60mbps for downloads and 99mbps for uploads. Still not great, but pretty good nonetheless.
As mentioned before this is a VPN that prioritizes security, not speed. With over 200,000 IP addresses and 700 servers they have very strong management. VyprVPN also hosts their own DNS servers. This means that no third-parties are involved and all connection is handled under their roofs only. This far reduces the likelihood of any information getting out of house and is a very rare characteristic that very few VPNs offer. They even write their own codes, meaning both software and hardware are totally first-party.
If you’re not the heavy downloading type and just want easy access to region locked or censored content with the best priority on security, VyprVPN is an obvious choice.
TunnelBear – Easy to Use VPN
Very easy to use
Limited service information
Limited server selection
From $5 / month
So we’ve covered a lot of different ground so far with just five different products. Different VPNs exist to prioritize different needs. But what if your main need is just to have something that is as easy to use as possible? What if you don’t want to get caught up in all the technical configuration and manual IP address changing or any of that stuff?
TunnelBear is a VPN designed for people who want the simplest and smoothest experience. Everything from the user interface to the security features
While I personally don’t find any of the previous VPNs on this list too complicated, different people have different reactions. Some may be turned off by all the extra features and find it too overwhelming to learn how to use them. Maybe you’re buying a VPN for a loved one who doesn’t have any experience with virtual private networks.
It has limited platform support, however. Gaming consoles, routers and any streaming devices like TV boxes are not compatible so you’re basically forced to use Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS,
TunnelBear’s UI is very simple and visual and can be mastered in a matter of minutes if not seconds. All you need to do after activating the VPN is to select a location on a virtual map of the world. Then you will be briefly connected to a server and be given your new IP address.
It’s simple but as a result it isn’t very in-depth. Information concerning the nature of the connection is not displayed such as what protocol is enacted or what the IP address actually is.
This leads us to what TunnelBear’s biggest problem is. It isn’t so much the lack of depth but just the overall lack of transparency and metrics. We haven’t been able to find out information about TunnelBear’s specifications that are publically available
Pricing is pretty good though, with an annual subscription costing only $5 a month. Anything a little higher and we might have been harsher in our review. But it’s a fair price, especially for residents of Singapore.
Some users in various countries have reported some issues with bypassing certain censored or region-locked sites but Singaporean users have generally reported no such issues. They only have servers in 20 different countries which would explain the decreased performance in some areas rather than others.
Download rates are hard to measure as they change fairly often with TunnelBear. Latency is generally fast in Singapore but download speeds are sometimes low, around 10mbps. This is perfectly good for regular internet browsing but it’s not the best for torrenting. Most servers, including most American ones, have good access to Netflix.
TunnelBear was deliberately designed to be a minimalist bare bones kind of service and at a decent price it will definitely guarantee satisfaction for the customers who want a no-nonsense kind of experience.
Private Internet Access – Best Budget VPN
Best all-rounder VPN
From $2.91 / month
The last option on our list is probably the closest competition for PureVPN when it comes to value for your buck. It’s slightly more expensive but after we’re done detailing our time spent using it you may decide that this one is worth the extra dollar a month.
Pricing plans for Private Internet Access are pretty cheap. A one month plan only costs $6.95, far cheaper than other monthly subscriptions. 12 months cost $3.33 a month and the best deal is the
You’re probably thinking to yourself already: “I want something cheap though. Is it worth getting over PureVPN?”
Our answer is yes. There is something to be said for having to pay less than two dollars a month, and it’s why PureVPN is on our list. Some people will always want the cheapest budget option no matter what. But Private Internet Access is a VPN for those who really want the absolute best value for their spent dollars.
Despite the low price, it has very good download speeds. Global rates are nearly 60mbps on average, which is great for casual and advanced internet users alike. Singaporean rates are a little lower, around the mid-40’s. But latency and upload speeds are very good with average pings of 4ms and 120mbps or so of upload rates.
They have an iron-clad zero logs policy. It’s so adamant a rule that they don’t even record server performance to keep things extra safe. Standard AES-256 encryption is available and they’ve even included a VPN kill-switch and first-party DNS server maintenance. Very good security features overall for the price.
Overall, PIA is a very good choice for streaming and torrenting. Most servers give access to Netflix and buffering is at a minimum. This means that even 4K aficionados will have little trouble acquiring their high-quality content.
They only operate in just under 30 countries and have about 3,000 IP addresses. This is much below average but it doesn’t come close to ruining the experience of using this service. Most of the locations are good quality but anyone who happens to be looking for a robust catalog of European locations will probably be disappointed.
PIA isn’t the best VPN or the cheapest or the fastest or the most secure. It is, however, one of the best all-rounder VPNs you will find. As long as you’re not too attracted to any one feature that this can’t provide, we sincerely believe that this will be the most efficient way to spend your money.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for “virtual private network.” The name might make it sound a little more complicated than it actually is. It is a service that privatizes your online actions as you access public domains of the internet. This means that your downloads, your internet history, your IP address (the ID of your internet connection and location) are all hidden from outside sources.
When you activate a VPN your computer is “interacting” with a server from a distant location that can be virtually anywhere else on the planet. You could be in Singapore accessing a server located in
Think of the VPN as a shield or a mask. It protects you while it hides your identity or switches it with a fake one. To any outsiders, your connection is fully encrypted and always points to the VPN server. A third party is unable to identify what the final destination of your Internet connection actually is.
Bypassing region locks and censored data are two of the biggest reasons why people opt to use a VPN, though perhaps the main one is security. VPN security is based off of whatever the main protocol is.
VPN Protocols and Encryption
In the context of VPNs, a protocol is what helps securely establish a connection with the server you are trying to access. It also aids in the encryption process, the part that masks or hides your online actions.
There are many different VPN protocols and different companies will offer different choices. Many VPNs allow you to manually choose which protocol you want to use.
A common one is called OpenVPN. Its name is derived from the fact that it is open source software. It allows users to manually connect to each other’s servers with pre-established passwords that are manually entered. It’s a little harder to set-up and doesn’t offer the most heavy duty encryption so it isn’t used very often by people who pay for more premium services.
A more common one which was mentioned throughout this article is PPTP. It stands for Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol. PPTP is very common and has been around since the days of Windows 95. It is also quite easy to set up. It’s considered outdated for not having the most state of the art encryption compatibilities but is often included in various VPN packages due to its once mass usage.
SSTP is another common protocol. It’s best support is on Windows platforms but it can be used on other operating software. It stands for Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol. Similarly to OpenVPN it has firewall bypassing capabilities that make it superior to PPTP.
You’ll get different answers from different people about which one is the best protocol to use. This is mainly due to whether someone is operating on Windows, Mac or another platform. We recommend SSTP since it can be configured to work with AES-256 encryption, works on multiple platforms and isn’t very hard to set up.
Why do you need a VPN?
VPN’s offer benefits to just about everyone who uses the internet. But the real question isn’t who wants one, but who needs one?
You should get a VPN for any of the following reasons:
- Access to streaming content worldwide
- Bypass ISP throttling
- Bypass censorship and unblock websites
- Security and anonymity
If you live in Singapore, you can’t access the United States’ repository of Netflix content. At least, not officially. A VPN will allow you to access content primarily reserved for other countries allowing you to watch them right from your home.
Sometimes your internet service provider will arbitrarily reduce your max download or upload speed. This can be especially annoying if you are a streamer or do a lot of heavy-duty torrenting. Many VPNs come with features that will manipulate your internet connection and make it impervious to throttling.
Bypassing censorship isn’t as necessary if you live in countries like Canada or the United States but many Asian countries have strict rules on what is allowed to be seen by the public. This is most especially the case in China which is perhaps the country best known for continually cracking down on efforts to censor online content. You’ll have to read up to stay updated on which VPNs still work in which countries but at least in Singapore where some sites are not accessible, a VPN will help you.
Arguably the most important reason to get a VPN is to protect yourself from outside observation. As more and more people become suspicious of spying or hacking from third-parties, people turn to ways to protect themselves and their online histories and identities. VPNs are becoming one of the most popular ways to do this by giving people some power and control over their virtual lives.
A Buying Guide to VPNs
When deciding on which VPN to get, you need to take into account multiple factors in order to make the best decision:
- Privacy & Security
Staying informed is the only way to make sure you pick what’s right for you.
First off is price. A 15 or 20 dollar a month subscription adds up over time. That’s why it is always important to pay attention to budget and value. Browse multiple VPN services and get a feel for their prices. Give yourself an idea of what the average price might be so you can better figure out how much you want to spend.
As you learn about other VPN characteristics you’ll be able to figure out better what the value of one is. You don’t want to buy the cheapest VPN if it ends up having the worst quality of features and privacy settings.
That’s what we’ll talk about next: privacy. For many people this is the number one reason why they want a VPN in the first place. VPNs keep you hidden from government authorities and your ISP. While we don’t condone doing anything illegal, the privacy does give you protection when it comes to browsing content from foreign territories. You might stumble upon copyrighted content or streams. A VPN acts as a safeguard in this regard.
Tough encryption and security is arguably just as important as privacy. There are many reasons why security is desirable. A strong connection to dedicated servers means less drops in connections. This is important if you use a VPN which does not have an emergency kills-witch feature.
The kill-switch feature is one of the most important things you want to look for in a VPN. Quite a few of them but not all have one. A VPN kill-switch allows you to instantly shut off your internet in the event that your VPN loses connection, reverting you back to your regular unprotected internet surfing. Most of them are manual and have to be triggered within the interface itself, but a couple are automatic thanks to advanced detection software.
Download speeds are also very important. Some cheaper VPNs don’t have the best bandwidth. For
A few other little aspects to pay attention to are how many locations or servers the VPN company has. Generally speaking, the more the better. Companies located in 60 or so countries usually tend to have better speeds and connections than ones located in only a dozen or two. They also have more IP addresses to use which give you extra security options.
As long as you balance the price, the privacy and security settings, the download speeds and the global locations then you’re already well on your way to finding the best VPN for your needs.
Quick Guide on How to Use a VPN
Many people ask how exactly to use a virtual private network. In fact one of the main reasons why people choose to avoid using one in the first place isn’t because of the fees but because they perceive the task to be too challenging to learn.
This is surprisingly and fortunately far from the truth. Some VPNs with more technical qualities and more manual set-up can be a little complicated. The majority of them are, however, quite easy to learn and easy to use.
Obviously the first step is to buy a VPN so you have one in the first place. Luckily many VPNs offer free trials or money back guarantees. This allows you to freely use one for up to 30 days, though some have a smaller period of 15 days or one week.
Once you have one downloaded, load up the program. One good thing about some VPNs is that they allow you to have multiple devices operating under the same account, similarly to certain Netflix subscription plans which allow two devices or more to stream at once. This even includes smartphones as many VPNs are compatible with iOS and Android.
Actually turning on the VPN is usually quite simple. Many of them simply have an “on” button that just needs to be tapped or clicked. What gets slightly less simple is customizing your configuration. This includes selecting your protocol (PPTP, SSTP, etc.) or your server location.
Not all VPNs are the same. Some will allow you to manually switch these details. Some of them require manual selection, and some of them will only designate you with your protocol or IP address automatically.
If you’re asking yourself if you need to fumble with settings like IP addresses and protocols on your own, the answer is generally no. Many VPNs have perfectly fine default settings and some of them even have their strongest protocols already enabled out of the box, so to speak.
Don’t worry if your internet connection is not the strongest or the fastest. A VPN will still work on any internet plan but it can’t increase your max bandwidth, it can only match it. As long as you have an internet connection and a VPN that matches your platform of choice, you can get started.
Opera Free VPN
The web browser Opera recently received an update that allows a built-in VPN service to be used during its private incognito browsing mode. The VPN only affects the browser, not other programs like Kodi or uTorrent. It also doesn’t have the best download speeds, buffering or encryption but it’s a free and quick way to test out what using a VPN is like.
The Importance of Bypassing Censorship
One of the most righteous reasons to own a VPN is to unblock content that has been banned or locked for wrong reasons. Censorship takes away the freedom for people to view and access whatever information they are entitled to. Unfortunately every country is different with regards to their views on freedom of the press or what content the public is allowed to see.
Singapore is one such country that has been the unfortunate grounds of online data censorship. It isn’t the worst in the world, as countries like China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are much more notorious for their relentless censoring programs. Nevertheless, Singapore has had a controversial and long lasting history in these affairs.
Unblock Websites in Singapore
Dozens of websites have been banned in Singapore. The official number is said to be 100 but some reports suggest more and more are becoming blocked. The censorship is carried out by a group currently known as the Infocommunications Media Development Authority, or IMDA. They were previously known as MDA when their affairs were most popular in the news before their structure was reorganized.
Many of these blocked websites include pornographic hubs or online dating services. Many well known torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents were also added to the list. Accessing them through a regular connection has users met with an IMDA page telling them that this page has been censored.
VPNs are by and large the number one way residents of Singapore have been able to bypass these virtual blockages. This is also why it is important to use a VPN service that does not keep logs and has high-security encryption to best ensure your own privacy and online safety.
Many people in places like Northern Europe or North America attain VPNs for less dire reasons. Unfortunately many residents of Asian countries have more on the line. This is why it is even more important for Singaporean residents to educate themselves on VPNs so that they can choose the best product to regain their regular internet activities.
Using a VPN for Streaming Services
Gaining access to streaming services from various locations worldwide is one of the biggest reasons why people opt for a VPN. Whether it’s due to government censorship or regular corporate region locks, a virtual private network can instantly give you access to multiple streaming services worldwide.
Netflix alone is enough of a reason for many people to get into the VPN craze. Depending on what country you live in you may not have the best library to access. Certain shows or movies are only available in certain areas. The magic of VPNs allows you to spread your Netflix account across the world and massively increase the amount of content you can stream.
HBO Now, Hulu, the iBBC player and many more services are compatible with VPNs. Platform support does vary as some streaming services have been effective at blocking some VPNs but not others. Depending on which services you most want to watch, you will want to be on the lookout for which VPNs have the most locations and servers in the UK or the USA. For example, for many VPNs, most American servers have unlocked Netflix but some have been blocked. The more servers in a region, the better your chances at accessing the content you want.
Even if you don’t want to pay for a subscription to any of these services, VPNs are compatible with Kodi and many of the streaming repositories to be found there. The fact is that no matter where you live, a VPN can greatly augment your streaming capabilities.
VPNs can even help reduce buffering, optimizing the data stream from your computer to the streaming server by utilizing a nearby VPN server.
The difference between VPN and TOR
You may have come across this acronym before. TOR stands for The Onion Router. As you might be able to guess the “onion” in the name refers to the multiple layers that this system is designed off of. TOR reroutes your real IP address through several layers of security. It essentially bounces your IP from location to location in a random and decentralized manner, making it hard for your ISP to track it.
This process is different from a VPN because a virtual private network merely establishes a connection with one server hosted by the VPN company which then gives you a fake IP address to mask your real one. It’s one stealth connection versus a maze.
There are drawbacks though that essentially make TOR’s method inferior to a VPN. Some people use it because it is free. The problem however is that TOR’s method is much slower than a VPN’s. This slowdown is caused by all of the extra energy put into hopping around the globe. Each time you access a new site, your IP address is sent to a new server node. Constantly reconnecting to a new server makes for a slow process.
TOR is also not effective for torrenting. Your IP address is still vulnerable. This is because it is it’s own browser, meaning you can’t use it with Firefox or Google Chrome or any other external apps. A VPN on the other hand affects everything you do on your computer, regardless of which app or browser you are using.
Purchasing a VPN with Cryptocurrencies: How Essential is it?
There are people out there who really, really value their privacy. They will go to any and all ends to make sure every single aspect of their internet activity is covered. This includes covering the tracks of their money trail.
It isn’t much of a leap to see the logic of combining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin with the likes of a VPN. Both are well known these days for being revolutions in how people attain security and freedom with regards to their virtual money or activities.
The benefit of using Bitcoin to pay for a VPN is that you are leaving even less of a trail for your identity to be found out. Paypal requires that you use your email address and optionally even your bank information. Credit card and debit card numbers can always be traced back to your name. The beauty of using Bitcoin and other cryptos is that your crypto wallet address can’t be traced and is totally anonymous thanks to blockchain decentralization.
But is it really necessary to pay for your VPN service in cryptocurrencies?
Our answer is: not really. It’s basically overkill. Sure, we understand the reasoning behind it all. It does increase your privacy but it only does so by a small amount that may not even be worth it in the long run.
As long as you are with a VPN that has a strict zero logs policy then you should be good.
The importance of Zero Logs
A key feature to always be on the lookout for when selecting a VPN is to read their logging policy. When you use a VPN you are essentially giving your real IP address and location to the server you are connecting to. This isn’t a problem, but what could be an issue is whether or not they are recording this information.
The danger in using a VPN that logs your info is that if they ever get busted by the authorities, then the authorities can gain access to your IP address. If they connect your IP address with activity they deem unlawful then you could be in trouble. Anything from a fine to more serious legal issues could be on your way.
While these scenarios are unlikely, a VPN service with a zero logs policy is still the best insurance you can hope for. Much like the absence of kill-switches, the lack of a robust logs policy is considered a deal breaker for many.
Fortunately more and more VPNs have been starting to take their logging policies more seriously. Some companies even sacrifice their server speed to make sure that this is the case.
One of the main points of using a VPN is to hide your user activity. Not just in the moment of internet access, but forever. One action could come back to haunt you years later if the VPN of your choice goes under. Make sure to pick a company who will have you protected long into the future. The last thing you want is to get busted streaming or downloading pirated content, especially if you hadn’t even realized you were breaking the law.
A simple link to stream a video online is all it takes to get you in trouble these days, so be wise and choose a VPN that you can trust. It might just be the difference between continuing to do as you wish online and getting caught committing a petty crime, whether you were aware of it or not. And after you have a VPN, don’t forget to switch it on before accessing sensitive content. Or, just leave it on at all times. The added protection you’ll have will be well worth it.