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5 Best Easy to use VPNs in 2017

Stephen Cooper

Stephen Cooper

September 1, 2017

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) involve complicated technology and networking expertise. If you just want a VPN to help you get TV from home while you’re abroad, you probably aren’t interested in the complexities of how it operates – you just want to know that it works!

Quick Links to our 5 best easy to use VPNs

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. Buffered
  3. SaferVPN
  4. CactusVPN
  5. Mullvad

The internet offers a great way to watch streaming video from other countries. Unfortunately, those websites don’t want you to watch their content. This is because their contracts with copyright holders limit their use of those videos to specific countries.

Fortunately, VPNs perform a little trick that makes it seem as though you’re in another country. If you choose to route your internet traffic through a VPN server in your home country, you can still access the TV that you’re used to.

If you need a VPN to get TV while you’re abroad, it has to be easy to use. You don’t want to spend a lot of time installing a VPN and setting it up. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best easy-to-use VPNs. You can read more below about how a VPN can help you when you’re abroad. First, let’s take a look at the best easy-to-use VPNs.

Best Easy-to-use VPNs: Summary

BestVPN Editor's Choice Award
ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
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  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Gets around regional restrictions
  • Fast network speeds
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Customer support via live chat 24/7
CONS:
  • Quite expensive

ExpressVPN is a very widely-used VPN. Most of its success derives from the fact that it is very easy to use. The client interface that runs on your computer installs itself. After that, you can set it to kick in when your computer starts up, so you don't even have to remember to turn it on. ExpressVPN's network has very good speeds, which is an important feature of a VPN for streaming. In all probability, you'll only be interested in connecting to a server in your home country so you can watch TV over the internet. This VPN is very good at getting around the regional restrictions on streaming services. It can even get into Netflix, which is generally judged to implement the toughest VPN detection and blocking technology on the internet. If you ever feel like getting adventurous and trying the TV of other nations, ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries, which opens up a whole range of opportunities.

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#2 Best Easy to Use VPN: Buffered

Buffered Homepage
PROS:
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Self-installing apps
  • Servers in 37 countries
  • Allowance of five simultaneous connections
  • Good for peer-to-peer (P2P) downloading
CONS:
  • Can't get into Netflix

Buffered has a very well-organized app, which can be understood instantly. In order to connect to the VPN, you just need to select a server location from a list and double click on it. There is more to this VPN than its simple interface. The Settings section of the little app offers plenty of controls that can improve your privacy and block out snoopers. However, the default settings of these controls are good enough to get you into streaming services from overseas, so you don't have to concern yourself too much with what goes on behind the scenes. This VPN offers good speeds and can get you into plenty of streaming services. Unfortunately, it can't get around the VPN detection systems of Netflix.

#3 Best Easy to Use VPN: SaferVPN

SaferVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24-hour free trial
  • Servers in 33 countries
  • Apps for Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS devices
  • Browser extension for Chrome
CONS:
  • Can't get into Netflix

SaferVPN is another small and easy-to-use app that has an uncluttered main screen. You select a country from the server list and then click on the big green Connect button in order to get the VPN working. The settings section of the app is well thought out, with just a few controls on each of four tabs. The app also comes as a browser extension for Chrome, which is very useful if you just want to protect your browser traffic. Although the VPN is good for getting into steaming services, it can't get into Netflix. You get a 24-hour free trial with this VPN and you can use the browser extension without a subscription, although that free utility has a data throughput limit.

#4 Best Easy to Use VPN: CactusVPN

CactusVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • One-day free trial
  • Good speeds
  • P2P downloading allowed
  • Gets into Netflix
CONS:
  • Small server network

The CactusVPN service comes with a range of tariffs. You can get the full VPN, but there is also the option of cutting the costs of the service by selecting a limited version that just gets you access to servers in the UK or US. If you do need to access more than one country, you can choose between a package that gives you access to servers in Romania, the Netherlands, and Germany, or one that includes servers in the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Romania, Australia, and South Korea. If you want the VPN so you can get into your home TV services, make sure you select a package that has servers in your country. The app just contains a drop-down list of server locations and a big green Connect button. More options to alter the security settings of the app lie on a back tab, but if you're not interested in tinkering, the default settings will work just fine. CactusVPN can get you into most streaming services, including Netflix.

#5 Best Easy to Use VPN: Mullvad

Mullvad Homepage
PROS:
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Three-hour free trial
  • Strong privacy procedures
  • Allowance of five simultaneous connections
  • Good for P2P downloading
CONS:
  • Can't get into Neflix

Mullvad means mole in Swedish. This is a clever name because the method that VPNs use to carry your traffic in secret is called "tunneling." You can imagine your internet connections following an underground route burrowed out by a little mole. The slim Mullvad app fits comfortably onto smartphone screens. In order to connect, you need to first go to the Settings tab and select a server location from a drown-down list, then click on the Connect button, which is located on the Status screen. Total privacy is assured by the company because it splits out its payment collection functions into a separate company. Mullvad keeps no activity logs, which keeps you safe from prosecution if you use the VPN to download with torrents.

Best Easy to Use VPNs: Considerations

About Streaming Regional Restrictions

The blocks on international access to streaming sites seem unfair, particularly if you are from the country in which your target streaming service is located. For example, if you’re British and you pay for a licence to watch the BBC, why shouldn’t you be allowed to access it when you go to stay with relatives in Spain? Equally, why should American householders who pay for subscriptions to HBO be unable to watch it while abroad for work?

Unfortunately, contracts that define where videos can be shown constrain even TV services that you have to pay for. In those contracts, the location of the computer that stores the videos is not important. It is the location of the viewer – the point of delivery – that matters. Thus, when you sign up for pay TV, you’re not buying the right to watch entertainment through that system, you’re getting the right to watch that entertainment in a specific country.

VPNs for Streaming

Every message that crosses the internet has a “from” and “to” address on it. This is how a streaming service knows where you are when you request a video. If you are outside that service’s country of operations, it will refuse to send you the requested video.

When you turn a VPN on, you first have to select a server location. The VPN server will mediate all of your internet traffic and send all requests on to their final destinations with the VPN’s IP address on as the return address. This simple trick means you can appear to be in the required country and thus access the content of your preferred streaming services.

There is a complication, however. These streaming services are obligated to take all possible steps to restrict access to people who are located in the countries named on the copyright contracts they’ve signed with production companies. That obligation extends to trying to identify and block VPN traffic. Therefore, not all VPNs work well for streaming. You need to get a VPN that puts stealth technology in place so it can avoid detection. Your VPN should also have good “peering” agreements. This term refers to the connections that the VPN organizes with other networks so that traffic can get across the internet. Streaming requires fast speeds, so it’s a good idea to test your VPN with access to your favorite streaming sites before you fully commit.

Best Easy to Use VPNs: Conclusion

If you just want an easy-to-use VPN that will help you watch TV while you’re abroad, any of the five services in our list will work well for you. They will also protect your identity when you download entertainment with torrents.

Take advantage of the free trials and money-back periods of each of these services to make sure that you understand how they work. These five VPNs all have simple layouts in their app design, which makes them very easy to use. Each of these apps also installs itself effortlessly and you won’t have to modify any settings in order to make them work. Finally, all of the VPNs in our list have excellent customer support teams, which can guide you through any problems you might experience.

Don’t let the complexities of technology put you off installing a VPN. Each of the five best easy-to-use VPNs in our list will help you access the internet services you want to enjoy.

IMAGE CREDIT: Wiratchai Wansamngam/Shutterstock.com

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