VPNs made easy: 3 services with one-click desktop apps

Choosing the right VPN for you is hard enough. Why make it harder by having to muck about with network settings?

We've talked before about the importance of virtual private networks (VPNs) to keep you safe and protected when using open Wi-Fi networks. The downside of VPN's, however, is that some need manual set-up, requiring you to muck around with the built-in VPN client in Windows or a third-party client like OpenVPN.

That's all well and good if you like getting your hands dirty, but the whole point of what we do here is to find solutions that are--dare I say it--hassle-free.

Many VPNs these days offer their own no muss, no fuss downloadable client. You just download the program, turn it on, and boom! You're connected.

Here are three examples of VPNs that do just that, and all three have Android and iOS clients in addition to desktop clients.

Tunnel Bear

This VPN is perhaps the simplest of the bunch. Just fire up the app, click the dial to change it from Off  to On,  and when the app turns blue you're secured.

Tunnel Bear is a popular choice for those who want to make it look like they're in the U.S. This VPN will cost you $5 a month or $50 per year for VPN access on up to three devices.

Tunnel Bear also offers a free version that allows you to use up to 500MB of data.

CyberGhost

Similar to Tunnel Bear, CyberGhost requires you to press the big gold button in the middle of the app's screen to activate the VPN.

CyberGhost offers three different tiers of service. The first is a free version that is slower than the other tiers and restricts the list of country-specific exit nodes--the country the service routes your traffic through--available to you.

The second tier, called Premium, costs $7 per month or $70 per year, is 5 times faster than the free tier, works on one device, and you can choose your country exit.

The top tier, Premium Plus, costs $11 a month or $110 per year, and lets you use the VPN on up to 5 devices with all the features of the premium tier.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access works a little differently from the other VPNs we've looked at. Instead of a desktop app with a big button, PIA sits in the system tray on the far right of the Windows taskbar. You simply have to click the PIA robot icon and choose Connect or the name of the server you'd like to connect to.

PIA costs $7 per month or $40 per year. It allows you to access the VPN with up to 5 devices and choose which country you'd like to exit from.

These are by no means the only VPNs offering easy-to-use desktop clients. When looking for the VPN that best suits you, check for a one-click app--because seriously, mucking with Windows' network settings is no fun.

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