Millions of people are still working from home due to the COVID-19 crisis, which makes  VPN access more essential than ever. But in the ever-growing market for commercial virtual private networks, finding the best VPN to suit your particular needs can be difficult. To help you make the right choice, we've sifted through the multitude of overhyped VPN providers touting their own private network to find the best VPN service for you. .    
Since we're living in a connected world, security and privacy are critical to ensure our personal safety from nefarious hacks. From online banking to communicating with coworkers on a daily basis, we're now frequently transferring data on our computers and smartphones. It's extremely important to find ways of securing our digital life and for this reason, VPNs have become increasingly common.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network is a technology that allows you to create a secure connection over a less-secure network between your computer and the internet. It protects your privacy by allowing you to anonymously appear to be anywhere you choose.
A VPN works by routing your device's internet connection through your chosen VPN's private server rather than your internet service provider (ISP) so that when your data is transmitted to the internet, it comes from the VPN rather than your computer.

How a Virtual Private Network can help protect your privacy online
A VPN is beneficial because it guarantees an appropriate level of security and privacy to the connected systems. This is extremely useful when the existing network infrastructure alone cannot support it.
When your computer is connected to a VPN, the computer acts as if it's also on the same network as the VPN. All of your online traffic is transferred over a secure connection to the VPN. The computer will then behave as if it's on that network, allowing you to securely gain access to local network resources. Regardless of your location, you'll be given permission to use the internet as if you were present at the VPN's location. This can be extremely beneficial for individuals using a public Wi-Fi network or public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Therefore, when you browse the internet while on a VPN, your computer will contact the website through an encrypted connection. The VPN will then forward the request for you and forward the response from the website back through a secure connection.
VPNs are really easy to use, and they're considered to be highly effective tools. They can be used to do a wide range of things. The most popular types of VPNs are remote-access VPNs and site-to-site VPNs.


Understanding the importance of a virtual private network
We may have heard of a VPN, but we have little or no knowledge about the same. Known as Virtual Private Network, it is a group of computers connected over a public network. The internet is an example of such a network. But what does a VPN do? Read on to find out.
There are numerous benefits linked with the use of a VPN, and more of this is discussed in this article. The VPN is meant to help you protect your internet privacy and also get around your internet censorship.
Unknown to some computer users connecting to a VPN, the data on your personal computer is encrypted to the Virtual Private Network provider.  The best thing is that entities that try to censor some sites are not able to determine the site you are connected to. The filtering entities that may be used to restrict access to specific sites cannot determine whether your computer is accessing such sites or not. For example, access to a specific site may be restricted in your country, but you will comfortably use it when you access it when you connect to a VPN because your connection is encrypted.
At the same time, you are sure of internet privacy when your data is encrypted between your PC and the virtual private network provider. No entity can access your internet connections to see the specific websites you are accessing. Using a VPN keeps your data protected. 
Most internet users keep the notion that connecting to a public network is not safe. The best thing to know is that you will enjoy the benefits of connecting to a virtual private network, even when connected to a public WIFI network. 
If you are browsing from a local café or a public park, some hackers can easily access your data if you are not connected to a VPN. Luckily, you remain protected as long as you are connected to a virtual private network which encrypts your data.
Therefore, you should always ensure to connect to a virtual private network to use a private connection.
Another great thing about virtual private networks is that they don’t require any sophisticated equipment. 
Most VPN providers use software that is included in the windows operating system to allow subscribers to access the network. The provider should give you this information before subscribing for their service.
Virtual private network services are highly affordable. They can cost as little as $5 or higher depending on the quality and the extra features. Take time to find the best VPN provider who will give you value for your money.
Whether you are accessing the internet anonymously for business or personal reasons, you need to invest in the best virtual private network.  There are thousands of companies offering VPN services out there. Free programs are not worth it since they don’t use the best technologies. The best VPN providers will offer unlimited customer support and give affordable rates.

Who needs a VPN?
People who access the internet from a computer, tablet or smartphone will benefit from using a VPN. A VPN service will always boost your security by encrypting and anonymizing all of your online activity. Communications that happen between the VPN server and your device are encrypted, so a hacker or website spying on you wouldn't know which web pages you access. They also won't be able to see private information like passwords, usernames and bank or shopping details and so on. Anyone who wants to protect their privacy and security online should use a VPN.

How to choose a VPN service?
There's a vast range of VPN services on the internet. Some are free VPN services, but the best ones require a monthly subscription. Before you decide to download a VPN, make sure you consider these factors for understanding a VPN.
Cost: VPNs aren't too pricey, but they vary from vendor to vendor. If your main concern is price, then go with something inexpensive, or a free VPN service -- like Spotflux Premium VPN or AnchorFree HotSpot Shield Elite. Free servers are often slower, and since most are ad-supported, they place adverts on the online pages you access. Others can even limit the speed of your connection, as well as your online time or amount of data transferred.
It's also important to note that leading VPN providers offer stronger security features to ensure you're digitally safe. When selecting a paid VPN service, always be sure to check which countries it operates servers in.
What VPNs are used for-?
At its core, a VPN makes you appear to be somewhere you're not. It does this by connecting you to the internet via a server in a different part of the country or a different part of the world. 

There are a lot of ways people use VPNs. VPNs let you:
 Protect your identity while downloading software, especially while using a service like BitTorrent. Whether your downloads are legal or not, many ISPs don't like their customers to use torrents. Using a VPN avoids being chastised by your ISP.
 Hide your online activities. Activists around the world need to worry about having their online activities monitored or outright censored, and sometimes these activities can even put them at risk of physical harm. A VPN is an effective tool for keeping your online activities from being tracked. 
 Avoid geographic restrictions on online content. Some websites and streaming media services are geo-blocked, which means you need to live in a particular country to have access to them. A VPN can help you bypass these blocks by connecting you to a server in any location you want.  
 Securely access your home computer while traveling. A VPN creates a secure and anonymous connection you can use to remotely connect to your home PC when you're away from home.

There are two basic VPN types which are explained below.

1. Remote Access VPN

Remote access VPN allows a user to connect to a private network and access its services and resources remotely. The connection between the user and the private network happens through the Internet and the connection is secure and private.
Remote Access VPN is useful for business users as well as home users.
A corporate employee, while traveling, uses a VPN to connect to his/her company’s private network and remotely access files and resources on the private network.
Home users, or private users of VPN, primarily use VPN services to bypass regional restrictions on the Internet and access blocked websites. Users conscious of Internet security also use VPN services to enhance their Internet security and privacy.

2. Site – to – Site VPN

A Site-to-Site VPN is also called as Router-to-Router VPN and is mostly used in the corporates. Companies, with offices in different geographical locations, use Site-to-site VPN to connect the network of one office location to the network at another office location. When multiple offices of the same company are connected using Site-to-Site VPN type, it is called as Intranet based VPN. When companies use Site-to-site VPN type to connect to the office of another company, it is called as Extranet based VPN. Basically, Site-to-site VPN create a virtual bridge between the networks at geographically distant offices and connect them through the Internet and maintain a secure and private communication between the networks.
Since Site-to-site VPN is based on Router-to-Router communication, in this VPN type one router acts as a VPN Client and another router as a VPN Server. The communication between the two routers starts only after an authentication is validated between the two.

VPNs Don’t Make You Totally Secure

While as IT professional and an ITIL practitioner, we always recommend using a VPN while connecting to the outer world over the internet, it’s important to keep in mind that VPNs don’t make you totally secure. Hackers having quality knowledge as well as the government and law enforcement agencies — can still trace your identity and.

Still, VPNs are considered as one of the vital layers of defense — either to lock out average hackers or convince expert hackers to ignore you. It’s like analogous to home alarm. Experienced burglars can disable pretty much anything. But if you have a good system, burglars are much more likely to skip your house and find an easier target.

Hackers are much the same. These persons are usually highly motivated by money and will focus on victims that present the easiest opportunity. If you have a strong VPN, there’s a good chance they’ll skip you and target someone else without a VPN (and the number of people who use the public internet or open public wi-fi for internet access without a VPN is shocking!).

Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to Secure VPN

MFA extends primary authentication (such as passwords) with an additional layer of authentication (such as using security tokens) to verify a user's identity. It usually includes at least two of the following categories: knowledge (something they know), possession (something they have), and inherence (something they are).

The goal of MFA is to provide a higher level of identity assurance to users attempting to access resources via VPN. MFA prevents an attacker from accessing your account, even if they obtain your username and password. For example, if you created a layered mechanism, an unauthorized user would have to bypass all layers to gain access.
However, not all MFA solutions and approaches are created equal. Traditional on-premises MFA solutions are often cumbersome to deploy, solve limited use cases, and provide poor user experience. The net result is limited end-user adoption in addition to sunk IT and security costs.
Adaptive MFA (AMFA) integrates with your organization's applications and resources and adds an additional layer of identity assurance, making it ideal for today's rapidly changing security landscape.