These days, cyber security is a huge deal. The more people store and access information, the more likely that information is to come into contact with nefarious parties, and if the news is anything to go by… those nefarious parties are more active than ever. So what can you do to protect your information? One very popular (and effective) method is to use a Virtual Private Network, or VPN.

What is a VPN?

Let’s say you need to access your business’ private network from home. Instead of physically having to be at the office in order to connect, a VPN (as the name implies) allows you to connect remotely and securely. How does it do that? Think of internet traffic as real traffic. You are a car and there is a hacker in a helicopter, tracking your every move. A VPN is like a series of tunnels, hiding you from the hacker while you go about your business, popping up randomly throughout the city but otherwise remaining nigh-untraceable.

Since your internet activity can’t be monitored, hackers can’t steal from you or otherwise harm you or your information in any way. This is why many businesses and individuals use VPNs in order to keep their online dealings private.

There are many VPNs out there, with some being more secure than others. The following is a list of the best offerings out there for 2016.

Golden Frog

Golden Frog was created in response to a secret investigation conducted by the American NSA. Exposed in 2006, the operation, known as Room 641A, began back in 2003 and lasted for roughly 3 years – it was operated by AT&T in-conjunction with the US. National Spy Agency. According to Golden Frog, it was this type of mass in-appropriate activity that motivated them for users to ultimately become anonymous by using a good quality VPN service. You might also be interested to know that the company is actually incorporated in Switzerland, a country that aids Golden Frog’s privacy requirements for their users. Ultimately, this company promises to look after you and keep the pesky spy far out of reach. If you care about your online privacy and want a reliable service, then Golden Frog is for you.

Buffered

Based in Hungary and with 17 VPN servers worldwide, Buffered is a pricey VPN but one that gives you plenty of speed, something not typically associated with a virtual private network. There are no usage logs (doesn’t keep track of where you’ve been or what you’ve been doing), it offers P2P (peer to peer) connections, and it’s really easy to use, so you don’t have to be a tech genius to get it up and running.

Express VPN

Very similar to Buffered but with servers in 78 countries (making connections even faster), Express VPN also offers a mobile app that allows you to access the network on the go. This isn’t a feature offered by many, but it’s nice to have and definitely makes Express VPN worth looking into if you do a lot of your browsing on a mobile device. P2P, no usage logs and a fantastic customer service team make this a great choice.

Nord VPN

If ease of use is important to you, Nord VPN would be a fantastic fit. It doesn’t offer the fastest connections on the market today, but it’s simple to set up and run, so if you’re not spending a lot of time on the network and are just looking for something basic, you can’t go wrong here. All the usual features are included, including mobile support, which for the price is definitely a good deal. You can feel confident knowing your data is safe when you use Nord.

Private Internet Access VPN

Probably the best VPN out there today, Private Internet Access gives you absolutely everything you need to set up and maintain a secure internet connection. The only downside is the lack of a good UI, making it hard to understand for some security noobies. Taking the time to learn the system is worth it, though, as you’ll be hard pressed to find a better service. A VPN kill switch allows you to disable your connection at any time if something goes wrong, the speeds are fantastic, customer service is always just a click away, and you can even pay the subscription anonymously- Private Access VPN accepts gift cards from a wide variety of retailers, including Starbucks! Security is of the utmost importance to this company, making them the perfect fit for anyone who feels the same way.