VPN Alternatives – Are They Worth It?

The rapid growth of traffic, the need to support a growing number of users, the formation of high-performance data processing systems and virtualized environments for cloud services – all this has seriously changed the requirements for telecommunications networks. Increasingly, the traditional network is becoming a limiting factor in the development of computing infrastructure.

VPN is widely used as a free technology that can solve information security problems. The main idea of VPN is the protection of all traffic that is transferred on virtual private networks. Implementation of trial VPN greatly simplifies the operation of the network, its configuration. Many IT organizations and ordinary users successfully download it, primarily to protect data channels and the cost of its maintenance, as well as to ensure a high level of security and network reliability. VPN works on various devices and in all browsers, including the Firefox extension.

Are VPNs actually worth it?

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The key goal of a VPN is transparent access to network resources, where the user can do whatever he normally does, no matter how remote he is. Due to this reason, VPN has gained popularity among remote employees and affiliates who need to share the resources of geographically divided offices.

The advantages of VPN technology are due to the fact that the organization of remote access is not done over a telephone line, but over the Internet, which is much cheaper and better. To organize secure remote access to a private network using VPN technology, you only need a valid IP address and an Internet connection.

The information is transmitted in encrypted form. Only the owner of the cipher key can review the received data. Authentication involves verifying the integrity of the data and identifying the users involved in the VPN. It guarantees that the data reached the recipient exactly in the form in which it was sent.

By allowing users to connect over the Internet, scalability is largely achieved by increasing the bandwidth of the communication channel when the network becomes congested. VPN helps save on phone costs because you don’t have to deal with a pool of modems. In addition, VPNs allow you to access network resources that administrators normally have to outsource.

FeaturesAvailability on VPN
IsolationYes
Availability on Different DevicesYes
High-Speed ConnectionYes
AnonymityYes
Comprehensibility of the InterfaceYes
Private NetworkYes
Free VersionYes
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List of VPN Alternatives

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As we can see, VPN is a very effective technique that can be used both in business and for personal purposes. But is there a downside to using a VPN? Is there anything better than a VPN? Below we will consider a few alternatives to VPN, after which the answers to these questions will become obvious.

As practice shows, each of the VPN alternatives has its own pros and cons. Read on for more details below.

OpenWRT

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OpenWRT is a well-known embedded operating system founded on the Linux kernel. It is primarily intended for home routers. Its main components include the following: the Linux kernel, util-Linux, uClibc or musl, and BusyBox. Here are some reasons why it is recommended to use OpenWRT:

  • Security: The firmware is regularly updated, bugs and errors are fixed, and new opportunities appear;
  • Stability: OpenWRT easily solved the problem with overheating of the first batches of tp-link 741;
  • Expansion of functionality: OpenWRT is a great solution to the problem in case of a lack of router functionality.
Pros:
  • Linux with all its advantages and disadvantages;
  • Secure remote management of the router via SSH or SSH tunnel;
  • The ability to automate using scripts and scheduler;
  • The ability to raise any type of VPN;
  • Large selection of programs in the repository;
  • Full QoS – traffic management and prioritization;
  • The ability to build firmware from source by compilation or through the constructor.
Cons:
  • Possibility of losing warranty when flashing;
  • The complexity of the interface for the user;
  • The dependence of the expansion of functionality on the size of the flash memory on the router.
FeaturesAvailability on OpenWRT
IsolationPartial
Availability on Different DevicesNo
High-Speed ConnectionYes
AnonymityNo
Comprehensibility of the InterfaceNo
Private NetworkYes
Free VersionYes

Tor

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Tor allows you to protect your identity online. In the case of using Tor, all user actions are encrypted on the network, ensuring the confidentiality of online activity.

Pros:
  • The browser is like most others, which makes it simple and straightforward to use;
  • Ensures the privacy of the user by not revealing the IP address on the visited sites.
Cons:
  • Since traffic passes through many repeaters, there is often a delay in displaying content;
  • The user may have problems if someone is engaged in illegal activity, and the user is the final repeater (all traffic will lead to the user).
FeaturesAvailability on Tor
IsolationNo
Availability on Different DevicesYes
High-Speed ConnectionYes
AnonymityYes
Comprehensibility of the InterfaceYes
Private NetworkNo
Free VersionYes

Silo

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Silo is a cloud browser that not only disguises your connection but provides complete isolation from the local IT setting. By using the program, no web code reaches the local endpoint. It makes it impossible to invade the browser network through any malicious pages.

Pros:
  • Complete isolation from the local environment;
  • Compression of bandwidth, since the user does not download all web resources;
  • Protection against various security threats via the global Internet;
  • Providing reliable and fast network speed.
Cons:
  • A request for a demonstration is required.
FeaturesAvailability on Silo
IsolationYes
Availability on Different DevicesNo
High-Speed ConnectionNo
AnonymityYes
Comprehensibility of the InterfaceNo
Private NetworkYes
Free VersionNo
You may like: Why Every VPN Needs a Strong SIEM By Its Side?

Whonix

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Whonix is ​​a Linux distribution based on Debian. Previously, it was called TorBOX. A feature of this system is its architecture, aimed at protecting against active and passive de-anonymization.

The operating system can only be used as a virtual OC. It consists of two systems: Whonix-Gateway and Whonix-Workstation.

Pros:
  • Maximum protection against active and passive de-anonymization;
  • All network attacks are carried out at Whonix-Gateway, while Whonix-Workstation remains completely safe;
  • Complete safety from RAT;
  • Availability of a flexible network configuration system separately for each application, site, service.
Cons:
  • Tor traffic is vulnerable on the outgoing repeater, so in some cases, the data can be intercepted by intruders;
  • The system is inconvenient for daily use;
  • The charge consumption is significantly increased on laptops due to the two active virtual systems.
FeaturesAvailability on Whonix
IsolationYes
Availability on Different DevicesYes
High-Speed ConnectionNo
AnonymityYes
Comprehensibility of the InterfaceNo
Private NetworkNo
Free VersionYes

Tails

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Tails is a free open-source operating system focused on protecting data on the user’s computer. The system is distinguished by the property of forgetting all the previous actions of the user after a reboot, leaving no opportunity to establish what activity the user had previously. The only exceptions are those files that are transferred to persistent storage.

Pros:
  • The system stores only the selected information, and all other data instantly disappears;
  • Securely encrypts all stored information; you can access it only after entering the correct password;
  • User anonymity is provided by default;
  • Immune to Trojans and other viruses.
Cons:
  • Tails provides a high level of security but is inconvenient for everyday use;
  • It does not work correctly on all computers. Therefore, users often encounter problems in work;
  • It is difficult to start virtualization, configure traffic through a personal VPN, etc.
FeaturesAvailability on Tails
IsolationYes
Availability on Different DevicesNo
High-Speed ConnectionNo
AnonymityYes
Comprehensibility of the InterfaceNo
Private NetworkNo
Free VersionYes

Thus, considering the question “Are there any practical alternatives to VPN?”, we can confidently give a positive answer. Indeed, there are several good alternatives to VPN. But each of them has a number of pros and cons.

Usage Reviews

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So that you have a clear opinion about VPN alternatives windows, it also seems appropriate to give a few examples of user`s usage feedback on their work.

VPN

Point 1

I first encountered the problem of Facebook inaccessibility 1 year ago, when I was in China. Local colleagues recommended using a VPN extension to get the IP address of another country and thus communicate freely on Facebook. I chose VPN since it is the best service. Excellent speed, high safety, work all over the world.

I use VPN for purchases in foreign stores. It so happens that the versions of the site, the choice, and the cost of things depend on the country where you are located. I always review several versions and find great deals.

OpenWRT

Point 2

OpenWRT is generally a good program, but I don’t like that it provides partial isolation on the network. Perhaps, I will search for other better services. Performs its main functions but has a complex interface.

Tor

Point 3

Tor is easy to install and use for free. However, many sites block Tor access. I like this program but am not satisfied with the fact that the display of content is often delayed. This is most likely due to the fact that traffic passes through many repeaters.

Silo

Point 4

It’s great that Silo provides complete isolation from the local environment. I like it very much! In my opinion, the disadvantage of the program is that it is not available to the community. A request for a demonstration is usually required.

Whonix

Point 5

Whonix-Workstation always provides high security, that’s why I use the program’s functions successfully. The system is rather difficult, so I cannot recommend using it on a daily basis.

Tails

Point 6

The most important advantage of the system is that it stores only the selected information. So, all other data instantly disappears. I tried to use Tails on three different computers, but I succeeded only on one device. Therefore, in the case of using the system, be prepared for operational problems.

You may also like: What are Hidden Dangers of Using Free VPNs on Your Smartphone?

Final Words

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So, in this article, we have provided you with up-to-date information about VPN and its alternatives, talked about the advantages and disadvantages of each program. In our opinion, VPN still looks promising compared to other systems. But the choice is yours!

This article is written by Stacey Davis. Stacey is a successful cybersecurity professional working for the VeePN VPN company. She managed to accumulate enough knowledge to provide relevant information regarding the quality of encrypted data, data transfer speed, connection stability, and other issues of the VPN technology and its alternatives.
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1 thought on “VPN Alternatives – Are They Worth It?

  1. Recently, another product has appeared that the ViPN company has released for its users. This is a vpn ipod. It is also great for iPhones and iPad. It can be downloaded for free and quickly from the app store. I highly recommend it as I am part of the development team and I know how safe and practical it is.