Over the last few weeks, Zoom has gone from useful video calling app to an absolute household name. User numbers have grown exponentially, as Covid-19 lockdown has inspired the public to find new and creative ways to enjoy human contact in digital form - so why would a VPN help?
Zoom's quickly inflated userbase (the app has been downloaded more than 50 million times on Google Play store alone) has also brought greater scrutiny over the service and now questions are being raised over its privacy practices, vulnerability to hijackers and apparent lack of true end-to-end encryption. In a time when we're using our computers and phones to share more data with each other than ever before, that's a potentially worrying development.
As well as helping with streaming Netflix from abroad, using WhatsApp in China and a multitude of other functions, the most important function of a VPN (or Virtual Private Network) is to keep you and your data safe while you're online.
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How VPNs can keep you safer online
Very simply, VPN providers reroute all of your internet traffic through their own secure servers.
As well as keeping you anonymous and giving you the ability to change your IP address to a location pretty much anywhere in the world, VPN services also end-to-end encrypt all all of the data sent via that traffic. The encryption part is critical, as it means that if a cybercriminal or hacker did manage to access any information exchanged - say while using public Wi-Fi, downloading torrents or, yes, on a Zoom call - it would be completely unintelligible.
It's this lack of true end-to-end encryption for which Zoom is currently coming under fire (as reported by the Intercept (opens in new tab)).
And because VPNs can be applied to your home computer, laptop, mobile - even your router - it means that a single VPN subscription can cover a whole household of online devices.
What is the best VPN for Zoom?
The main facets that make the best VPN for Zoom are security, speed and simplicity to use.
Watertight security is an obvious one, especially if you're using Zoom for sensitive business calls. While choosing a VPN with fast connection speeds will ensure that you get as little lag and drop-off as possible during your calls.
And because Zoom is now being used by ordinary families across the globe, we admire any VPN that's easy to download and operate - even for people who aren't that skilled with technology.
ExpressVPN tops our list of favorite VPNs at the moment and is the one we'd recommend. It ticks all of the above boxes - it uses a variety of the world's strongest security protocols and a strict no-logging policy, boasts some of the fastest connection speeds we've tested, even to far away servers, and is a doddle to use. Plus, it has excellent 24/7 customer service that is generally helpful if you find yourself struggling with any aspect of the VPN.
You can effectively try ExpressVPN for free by taking advantage of its 30-day money back guarantee. And if you sign up for a year, you currently get 49% off and three months extra absolutely free (opens in new tab).
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