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Virtual Private Networks: Your way around the wall

In light of the recent government decision to ban certain internet content, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become something of a hot topic. People are looking for alternatives and ways around the restrictions, of which one of the best ways is to use a VPN.

First, this article is purely for educational purposes and does not encourage the use of VPNs to circumvent the country’s laws. That said, VPNs are not only limited to accessing restricted content; they are more about protecting your privacy. A VPN is an encrypted connection over the internet from a device to a network. It allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the internet so that your sensitive data can be safely transmitted. But more importantly, VPNs can be used to access region-restricted websites or shield your browsing activity from prying eyes over public Wi-Fi. VPNs are how you are still able to connect to your friends and family who are in the United Arab Emirates.

Of course, VPNs are likely to become very popular here in Nepal as well, but not for the intended reasons, obviously. And while a VPN service can cost you money, they also provide good service. But for the general populace, a free VPN app on our phones will do the trick. Here is a selection of the best VPN apps and services:


Hotspot Shield Free

This app has been quite popular among Android users for a while now. There are both paid and free versions available. In the paid version, you can choose from among 25 countries to anchor yourself, whereas in the free version, you will have to use the location provided by the app itself, based on optimal network traffic. The best part about this VPN is its allowance of 500 MB of data per day. Now, that may not be much for some, but it’s enough for general usage.


Windscribe Free

This is a VPN that provides generous bandwidth, but you do have to create an account to use it. Like others, it has free and paid plans. But even for a free user, it provides up to 10 GB of bandwidth monthly. Plus, you get to choose from among eight different remote server locations. The only hassle is that you have to sign up with a username and password. But even so, it won’t store any of your information, as an email id is optional while creating a username.


Turbo VPN

Turbo VPN is probably the most popular VPN in the market, particularly because it is one of the easiest to use. You can connect to a VPN server simply with a single tap of a button! You can then choose between right remote servers as free users. For paid users, it provides more servers, along with other services. The application also shows the network status, according to which you can select the server to connect to. And while the free version does have ads, they’re not too invasive and are easy to get rid of.


Proton VPN

If you don’t want to be restricted by the data bandwidth, then this VPN service provides you with unlimited data—even for a free user. There are no restrictions on the data limit, and you can use as much as you want with this VPN. The catch? You are limited to only a single device on a network. Plus, there are only three server locations to choose from, and paid users get priority over free users in terms of speeds. But even so, unlimited data is a good enough incentive to use this VPN service.


Tunnel Bear VPN

Tunnel Bear is also a very popular VPN service, and it’s one of the most well-known among Android users. But the catch is that you only get 500 MB of monthly data as a free user. Now this may not be enough, but it does offer you some options to expand your data limit. If you tweet about the app, you can get an additional 1,000 MB of data. Also, note that you have to create an account to be able to use this VPN service. But with its updated privacy policy, it collects very little user data. The good side is that it also has a desktop version, upon downloading which, you get an additional 1,000 MB of data. This VPN also provides quite a few server locations to choose from, even for a free user.

These are among the best VPN services to use for free. Of course, free service does cut corners, and most of these apps require you to sign up with a username. If you don’t want that hassle, Turbo VPN is a good way to go. Proton VPN provides you with unlimited data, but again, cuts back in other areas. In any case, you don’t necessarily have to have only one VPN app on your phone.


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