If you’re a Snapchat user, you know how frustrating it can be when you try exchange pictures only to find that the service is blocked where you are. It can happen in school, in the office and in many public places. Using a VPN will, most of the time, let you bypass the restrictions in place. You’ll be free to use the app as you see fit. Let’s explore what the best VPN for Snapchat are.
In this article, we’ll start off by talking about Snapchat, what it is, where it’s coming from and where it’s going. We will then introduce you to VPNs and delve deeper into the reasons why you might want to use one together with Snapchat. Then, after discussing which features of VPNs are important to consider in choosing the right provider for you, we’ll illuminate our top 3 picks for best VPN to use with Snapchat.
The best VPN for Snapchat is ExpressVPN
- Subscribe to one of the VPNs in this guide.
- Download and install the VPN’s client software.
- Connect to a VPN server that is in the desired location
- Enjoy unrestricted access to Snapchat.
- 1 What Is Snapchat?
- 2 What Is a VPN?
- 3 The Benefits of Using a VPN
- 4 Choosing the Best VPN for Snapchat
- 5 Our Top 3 Picks
- 6 How About Free VPN Providers?
- 7 Conclusion
What Is Snapchat?
In the simplest of terms, Snapchat is an image messaging and multimedia mobile application. Its main feature is that pictures and messages are only available for a short time before they are destroyed.
Snapchat was created as a class project by three Stanford University students, Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown. Their idea was to create a selfie app that allowed users to share intentionally short-lived and self-deleting images. Their temporary nature, they thought, would encourage frivolity and permit a more natural flow of interaction.
It was launched as an iOS-only app in July 2011, then relaunched under the Snapchat name in September of the same year. An Android app was released a year later, in October 2012. Since then, it has enjoyed a growing popularity. Originally centred on private, person-to-person photo sharing, additional features were later added. They include the ability to send short videos, communicate via video chat, and saving necessary chat information through a press on a message.
Researchers originally hypothesized that the app’s self-deleting nature would encourage sexting, but later studies concluded that privacy-sensitive messaging is a minority-share of its usage. Today, Snapchat is helping people to communicate while having fun, using unique filters and effects to make their photos and videos more entertaining.
What Is a VPN?
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a system that securely extends a private network across an unsecured public network such as the Internet. It allows users to send and receive data across public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Originally created to be used by businesses and institutions to give users remote access to their local network through the Internet, they are now often used by ordinary Internet users to increase their privacy and security.
How Does It Work?
A VPN works its magic by building a virtual (hence the “V” of “VPN”) tunnel between a client application that runs on your computer or device and a VPN server somewhere in a remote location. Every packet of data leaving the client computer will necessarily go through the tunnel and exit it at the server end, which is usually connected to the Internet. Furthermore, all the data between the client and the server will be encrypted in a way that no one can decipher it (hence the “P” of “VPN”).
The remote system you’re communicating with will see all data as coming from the VPN server instead of coming from your computer. In fact, there is almost no way that traffic can be traced back to you or your computer.
Similarly, all responses from the remote system will arrive at the VPN server and will be sent back on through the same tunnel to your client.
The Benefits of Using a VPN
The most obvious benefit of using a VPN is to improve privacy. Internet Service Providers have been known to monitor their client’s Internet usage. They say that it is to ensure no one violates their terms and conditions, but we’re free to think they might have ulterior motives. Likewise, when using a public Wi-Fi network, other computers on the same network could also see your traffic if equipped with the proper software. Finally, the authorities might also be interested in your Internet usage. With a VPN, all of that is invisible to their prying eyes.
Another major benefit of VPN is location obfuscation. As we indicated earlier all traffic arriving at the destination will be seen as coming from the VPN server rather than from your device. Thus, by connecting to an appropriately selected server, you can make your destination “believe” you’re located in a different place. You want to access a server that only accepts connections from the US, choose an American VPN server. It’s that simple.
What About the Benefits to Snapchat Users?
The main reason why a Snapchat user would want to use a VPN is to circumvent local restrictions. Snapchat, just like many other social networking platforms, can be quite disruptive and time-consuming. Consequently, many schools not only prohibit its use on campus but they also block it. Office environments and public Wi-Fi access points often do the same to reduce their Internet bandwidth usage. With a VPN, all your traffic is encrypted and the systems that would normally block your Snapchat traffic won’t even recognize it as such.
Choosing the Best VPN for Snapchat
There are many VPN suppliers to choose from, and they all seem to offer similar features, making choosing one a daunting task. Despite looking very similar, all VPN services are not equal. Some are better in one area while others excel in another. When looking for a VPN for a specific use, you need to be aware of what you’re trying to accomplish.
VPNs have been around for a while and people have used them to circumvent restrictions for as long as they’ve existed. As a result, the systems meant to block traffic have gotten smarter and smarter and will often block VPN traffic. Fortunately, there are ways around this, and some client apps are better at it than others.
Important Features to Look for
Generally speaking, there are a few important features you need to consider when shopping for a VPN supplier:
- Zero-logging policies – VPNs that keep logs of your activity leave you vulnerable to legal repercussions, as the law may change to require providers and ISPs to fork over everything from your traffic to your DNS requests and more. Strict zero-logging policies provide better anonymity.
- No bandwidth usage restrictions – Streaming is a data-intensive process. You need to ensure that your VPN doesn’t limit your bandwidth. To avoid sudden interruptions, go for providers that allow unlimited bandwidth.
- No restrictions on traffic – Many VPN suppliers prohibit certain types of traffic, most notably P2P and torrents. Many Kodi add-ons use these protocols to function. Make sure you pick a provider that allows any traffic.
- Software compatibility – If you want to enjoy the protection a VPN provides, you’ll need to make sure that it can function on that device you’ll be using. The best VPNs work on a wide variety of platforms.
Our Top 3 Picks
The best feature of ExpressVPN is its speed–it is simply amazing! With today’s media-intensive apps, speed is everything. ExpressVPN has consistent speed across all its servers and yet, they don’t compromise security like some suppliers do.
Express VPN has over 1500 servers spread across 94 countries. They also include a “smart location” option that will help you choose the service that’s best suited for you. Finding the best connection should never be a problem.
ExpressVPN uses resilient encryption standards such as OpenVPN connections encrypted with 256-bit AES as default. Their 4096-bit DHE-RSA keys are identified by a SHA-512 hashing algorithm. Sound confusing? Put simply: these protocols put ExpressVPN handily in the premium category of VPNs.
This provider retains minimal individual data. Being based in the British Virgin Islands means they are not legally required to retain any user data at all. The client app features a “network lock”, often referred to as an internet kill switch. It will keep your traffic private by stopping it completely if the connection drops.
Finally, your subscription will grant access from three devices simultaneously, and they have apps for both Android and iOS so you are covered no matter what platform you use for Snapchat.
ExpressVPN have a special offer which is exclusive to Addictive Tips readers: If you sign up for the yearly plan, you’ll get an extra three months for free, bringing the total to just $6.67 per month. To make it even better, this deal includes a 30-day, no-question-asked, money-back guarantee, so you can try out the service risk-free.
IPVanish is one of the biggest players on the VPN market. It is also one of the best. Their reputation is based mainly on their top-notch security and privacy.
IPVanish offers both L2TP and OpenVPN protocols using 256-bit AES encryption as standard. In addition, they have a few great security features including an automatic kill-switch (which will cut your internet connection automatically if the VPN connection goes down) as well as a feature which allows users to switch IP addresses periodically for extra online privacy.
But that’s not all! IPVanish also has privacy policies which are among the best. And their no-logging policy is one of the most comprehensive you can find anywhere. Even their own employees have no way of knowing what you’re doing with the service. This is how private it is.
IPVanish offers fast and consistent connection speeds. Their vast network of servers includes more than 850 servers in over 60 countries around the world. You can use IPVanish on almost every device, including iOS and Android. A subscription offers 5 simultaneous connections Making it a good choice to protect the whole family.
Another great advantage of IPVanish is that it is the best VPN for Kodi. So, if you’re using the popular media player in addition to Snapchat, it might be worth considering.
IPVanish has a special offer that is exclusive to Addictive Tips readers! You can get a huge 60% discount on the yearly plan, which brings the cost down to only $4.87 per month. And they even offer a 7-day money-back guarantee so you can try their service risk-free.
NordVPN has been around for over a decade, making it one of the oldest providers. It has managed to remain popular to this day thanks to their huge server network and excellent value for money. Their network of servers is one of the largest with 1779 servers in 61 countries around the world. Some of these servers have been known to suffer from speed issues, though. This is something NordVPN have made great efforts to address in recent years. Privacy is NordVPN’s strongest point. Being based in Panama means they are free to retain no user information whatsoever.
NordVPN offers 256-bit encryption on OpenVPN with 2048-bit Diffie-Hellman keys as standard. They also several additional useful security features including a kill switch and shared IP Addresses. Other unique features include Double VPN servers (which means your data is encrypted twice and rerouted through two servers for extra protection) and Onion Over VPN servers (which will redirect your data through the TOR Network as well as a VPN for additional security).
Your NordVPN subscription grants access to six devices. There are apps for both Android and iOS. Some reviews of the service mentioned that the apps were a bit clunky at times but they won’t let you down. An internet kill switch is also present.
How About Free VPN Providers?
For high school or college students, the idea of shelling out money to pay for a VPN service may not be attractive at all. Even if the monthly rates are low, the investment might not seem to be worth it. And when you start doing research on the Internet, you quickly discover that there are suppliers offering a free VPN service.
It might seem like a tempting alternative but it usually isn’t. Remember that when something sounds too good to be true, it usually means it is not true. Let’s see why.
4 Reasons to Stay Away from Free VPNs
Security: With free VPN suppliers, one must be careful that they actually do securely protect your online presence. Some suppliers have been known to have very shady practices when it comes to security. In some cases, free VPNs have been known to sell access to anyone who is willing to pay for an “anonymous” IP service which, in fact, merely diverts traffic through your connection.
Privacy/Anonymity: Logging, or the absence thereof, is of the utmost importance when concerned with privacy. While most paid VPN services do not keep logs, free VPN suppliers might. At some point, details of your activity could be revealed or even sold.
Reliability: With paid VPN services, you are paying for the assurance that your connection will remain constant and reliable. This way, your security won’t become compromised with connection dropouts, another issue commonly encountered with free VPN services.
Performance: You want security and privacy online but you don’t want to have to sacrifice speed and performance. Performance is a common issue of free VPN services. Without revenue from their users, they usually don’t invest as much in their infrastructure. The result if often subpar performance.
As with most anything else, you only get what you pay for. So, when you don’t pay, don’t expect to get much. And don’t let yourself be fooled into using one many shady suppliers with doubtful practice.
Using a VPN will allow you to circumvent any usage restrictions, no matter where you are connecting from. In addition, a good VPN service will greatly increase your online security and privacy. With the multitude of providers out there, picking the best one can be difficult. We’ve introduced you to the 3 best VPNs for Snapchat, and they all offer great security, great privacy and great prices. There are free VPN services out there, but their quality is usually no match for paid services–in short, you should probably stay away from them.
We love to hear from our readers. Tell us what VPN you’re using together with Snapchat. What are the features you like most about it? Are there any things you don’t like? Use the comments below to share your thoughts.