Maybe you have an eye for a great outfit. Or are you always being complimented on your latest style and want to share your fashion tips with the world.
You’ve decided that now is the time to “purse-shoe” your dreams in the world of fashion blogging.
Today I’ve got some inspiration for you and perhaps someone that you can learn from.
Dave Bowden doesn’t run just any beauty blog; he’s the founder of Irreverent Gent, an online resource inspiring men with both fashion and confidence advice.
The Irreverent Gent has been featured in AskMen, HuffingtonPost, Business Insider, and Readers Digest. Dave also mentions that most important of all his articles were posted to his parent’s refrigerator.
If your goal is to become a fashion blogger, you shouldn’t expect overnight success.
In fact, it took years for Dave to start earning a real income with his fashion blog. But as he stuck with his goals, he was able to continually improve. In 2020 he was able to grow his web traffic by 131%.
The Irreverent Gent is a successful fashion blog that gets over 35k visitors each month. The traffic and success came with some valuable lessons learned.
Dave tells us about how he was spreading himself too thin. In the early days of his blog, initiatives such as social media, affiliate marketing, and creating brand partnerships consumed his time.
When he began to really focus and leverage professional tools, his fashion niche site began to take off.
Hello! Could you introduce your background and why you choose to start a blog in the fashion industry?
My name is Dave Bowden, and I’m the founder and editor of Irreverent Gent, a men’s style and lifestyle blog that shows guys how to sharpen their style and improve their confidence.
I’ve carved out a niche for myself in the men’s lifestyle space by creating articles that are not only informative and insightful but also engaging, fun to read, and (as the name suggests) irreverent.
I also take the same approach to writing books, a space in which I’m best known as the author of Man in Command: How to Go From the Most Self-Doubting Guy in the Room to The Most Confident Man, which is an Amazon #1 bestseller (in Canada… but still!).
Since I’ve been working from home over the past year, I’ve been pouring more time and energy into Irreverent Gent. The results have been rewarding.
My website traffic has more than doubled in the past 12 months, and my revenue is up by 10x.
What’s your backstory, and why did you start your fashion blog?
I started Irreverent Gent to basically combine a few of my passions into one project.
The first is style and menswear, which I’ve been obsessed with for more than a decade. I’ve always been fascinated with the effect that style can have both on you as an individual, and on the way other people perceive you.
Irreverent Gent gives me an excuse to not only explore that topic further but share what I learn with guys who can benefit from it.
The second passion it allows me to pursue is content marketing.
As a journalist-turned-blogger, I became a content marketer about eight years ago when I got a job running a travel blog, and quickly found that it’s the perfect way for me to combine my skill sets into one creative and professional endeavor.
What I love about blogging and content marketing is how I get to make both creative and business decisions. From what image to pair with a headline to what the overarching business strategy should be, I’m in complete control.
What has worked for you to drive traffic to your sites?
My biggest traffic source is organic, and my blog really started to take off when I got serious about SEO and keyword research.
This year I finally stopped using free keyword tools and invested in a monthly Ahrefs subscription, which has already paid for itself multiple times over.
To give you an example, my organic traffic in December 2020 is up 144% compared to the same month in 2019:
The two biggest things that have contributed to this growth are:
Improved keyword research tactics – I’m now targeting more competitive keywords and creating content geared specifically toward those phrases
Some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease, meaning that I’m producing more posts more frequently, resulting in a higher quantity of output.
It’s this combination of increased quantity and higher quality that’s really led to more growth.
Building a fashion blog, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
The most advantageous thing I’ve learned from building my blog is the supremacy of the 80/20 rule. Focusing on the 20% of activities that bring in 80% of the results.
Before this year, I was spreading myself too thin by devoting roughly equal amounts of time to content creation, keyword research, social media, link building, and brand partnerships.
Eventually, I realized that the two things that make the biggest impact on my bottom line are keyword research and content creation, so I doubled down on those, which resulted in exponential growth.
I think it’s common for entrepreneurs and website owners to get bogged down by bouncing back and forth between the various hats they have to wear and tasks they have to manage, but the truth is that real growth comes from identifying your most valuable tasks and leaning into them as much as possible.
How long did it take you to begin making money with your fashion blog?
It didn’t take long to make the first couple of bucks – I joined Amazon’s affiliate marketing program and started earning money almost right away, though very little of it.
What did take long was earning enough money that you could call it an income, or even a side hustle. It took a few years of consistent work to start earning a respectable amount of money from affiliate income, but what’s nice about blogging is that it compounds.
The posts that produced those first few dollars continue to produce a few bucks each month, but now I’ve got hundreds more doing the same.
The other thing that helped was expanding my income streams.
In addition to affiliate ads, I now also run display ads on the site. The ads bring in a smaller but steady stream of cash each month.
I also write books that I self-publish on Amazon, which also generate a nice monthly sum.
What platform/tools do you use for your fashion blog?
As mentioned, my favorite tool by far is Ahrefs, which has made my keyword research so much faster, more efficient, and more effective, leading to a lot of growth.
In addition to Ahrefs, I use ConvertKit as my email service provider, which was built for bloggers and works really well for capturing email addresses and dripping out content.
What is your philosophy or strategy when it comes to link building?
I tend to differentiate between active and passive link building.
Active link building is anything that requires time, which pulls me away from my primary duties of keyword research and content creation.
I only pursue active link building with sites that have a domain authority of 50-plus. This goes back to the 80/20 rule. If I’m going to spend time pursuing links, I want to make sure they’re high value links that will help me build my own authority.
Passive link building is done more through content creation.
Creating super high-quality posts that rank high in search also tend to get more linkbacks, so in that sense my content creation efforts don’t just help me build traffic, but also have a secondary benefit of resulting in more links.
Advice for other online entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
My advice for anyone getting started is to maintain a long view and understand that consistency is key.
It can be discouraging to pour hours into content creation and publish something you think is awesome, but then not see any traffic flowing to it.
You have to power through that and remain undeterred. If you only have one piece of great content, it’s hard to get the authority and attention you need to monetize it. But it’s a lot easier when you have 10, and easier still when you have 100, 1000, etc. So keep going, keep creating and keep publishing.
As your quantity of output improves, so does the quality. Building all that content requires putting in the famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) “10,000 hours”. Making you more skilled as you go.
So keep pushing, keep going, and keep at it.
Now that you’ve heard from Dave on what it takes to build a successful travel blog. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to start your own WordPress blog in the fashion world?
Here are a few steps you’ll need to know how to start a fashion blog.
Get set up with a WordPress web hosting service. We recommend using BlueHost. It’s cheap and easy to use for those looking to install WordPress for the first time.
Choose a domain name for your new fashion blog. Something short and memorable is always best.
Choose a WordPress theme that matches your fashion brand or personality.Here is a premium theme that can make your blog look like a professional fashion magazine.
Get set up on social media. Be an Instagram influencer! Fashion bloggers have the opportunity to double down on their great content. Posting visual fashion content to platforms like Twitter and their Instagram feed is great for engagement.
Write great content. As Dave mentioned, this takes time to get great at writing a viral blog post. Use WordPress Plugins like Yoast SEO and explore Ahrefs to take your content even further.
NOW GET STARTED BLOGGING!
If you have any questions about creating full-time income blogging, feel free to post your questions on the Niche Pursuits private Facebook Group. The community is always helping other bloggers and it’s a great place to bounce ideas off.
Another great resource when building your fashion blog will be our email newsletter. Subscribe to the Niche Pursuits newsletter for more insights and inspiration for your blog.
Finally, If you are looking for step by step instructions on how to start a fashion blog and get your Bluehost setup don’t forget to check out our article on starting your blog here.
How to look taller and leaner? Should men wear makeup? How to keep your shirt tucked in? These Youtube videos are generating The Modest Man millions of views!
Brock McGoff owns the website FullTimeBlog.com a site which documents his experiences growing a blog. His site TheModestMan.com now generates over 400,000 visitors and $30k in revenue per month.
Looking back through my old emails, I connected initially with Brock back in 2012 when he started.
Over the years of building websites, Brock has learned a lot.
Including getting hit by the first Google Panda update taking his traffic down to virtually zero.
Since then, Brock has made every effort to make sure a Google penalty would never happen again and only aims to build content and links that he is genuinely proud of creating.
So how does someone go from a corporate employee to a fashion influencer?
Watch The Entire Interview
The Inspiration for The Modest Man
It started by solving a problem.
Brock is only 5’6″, and looked young compared to his corporate colleagues. By taking the time to dress professionally, he found he could gain more respect.
He encountered the problem that no matter how much money he spent or research he did, finding clothing advice that would fit and look good on his 5’6″ build.
He knew that millions of others were encountering this same issue, so he started the TheModestMan.com as a way to document his findings and share his clothing experiences with others.
Learning how to dress well and earn passive income converged to create a significant income for Brock. Eventually, the site went from a blog to a larger authority site.
Today, the site has morphed into a general men’s style and confidence platform.
In the last year, Brock has double the site traffic. In our podcast interview, Brock uncovered the primary steps he took to make this happen. Here are just a few of the major things Brock is focused on.
Focusing on Search Intent
For a long time, Brock was syndicating the same content on Youtube and his Blog. He found that people discovered his content much differently on YouTube than on his blog.
Since they were so different, he shouldn’t be handling them the same.
YouTube content needed to have a bit of a “viral component” where his blog content should have more search intent.
Brock gave the example of one way he is doing this by changing titles of content depending on the platform.
SEIKO SNK809 REVIEW: THE BEST AFFORDABLE AUTOMATIC WATCH
Is This Really the BEST Watch Under $100? | Seiko SNK809 Review
The subtle difference significantly impacts what gets clicked by optimizing for clicks in Google Search or on Youtube.
The Modest Man makes money from Affiliate Marketing, Adthrive, YouTube Monetization, and Sponsored Posts.
As Brock has put himself on the map as an influencer, he was getting quite a few sponsored posts requests.
His influencer deals were not coming from the influencer marketplace sites. Sites such as Brandbassador and Invocial are typically more suitable for micro-influencers or Youtubers looking to get free products.
Brock wasn’t looking to get free products, his influencer deals were coming from agencies or large brands that would bring along unique stipulations and requirements such as YouTube view counts.
Each deal and brand is a bit different. These deals take a lot of time and work but are profitable.
For a dedicated video, a brand would pay The Modest Man anywhere from $4-6k for a few minutes of visual content.
A non-dedicated 60-second ad at the beginning of one of his YouTube videos, Brock would charge approximately $2-3k.
These were significant margins and were a perfect way to help monetize his 300,000 YouTube subscribers, but it took a lot of work.
Early on, the majority of the content Brock was creating for The Modest Man was all informational content.
The informational content was great for driving traffic, but he knew he was leaving a lot of money on the table when it came to affiliate revenue.
Adding in buying guides to the type of content he was creating helped grow revenues.
Even with the unfortunate Amazon commission reduction, Amazon Affiliate links brought him in over $16,000 in Q3.
Creating the guides is only half the battle. It’s choosing the keywords which make the buying guides work.
Brock invested more time into using tools like Ahrefs to identify keywords. His favorite metric to monitor is the number of ranking keywords.
When Brock finds a great keyword, he will only create the content when he knows he can do better than the competition.
A perfect example of this is when the competition created lots of listicle articles stuffed with affiliate links.
By creating actual editorial content, better (unique) pictures, formating, and longer content, The Modest Man was able to find its competitive niche and outrank the mainstream fashion publications.
The Modest Man, with the help of a few writers, is now consistently publishing two articles per week, and keyword research is planned nearly three months ahead of time.
Updating The Modest Man Outdated Content
Taking the time to go back to old posts feels like a hassle, but it continues to be proven worthwhile.
Sometimes updating old content was more powerful than adding in new content.
I know Brock isn’t wrong. I’ve been doing some of the similar tactics he has, such as fixing broken links, images and updating content to make it more relevant for the Niche Pursuits brand. The effort is also paying off.
For The Modest Man, content length sometimes came into play with updating content as well.
The typical post is about 1500 words. For higher competition keywords, The Modest Man posts get up to 5000+ words.
Updating the old content has also highlighted the need to focus on evergreen content. Brocks says, moving forward, he is not putting effort into any non-evergreen content.
Understanding The Modest Man content silos and what he wanted the site to be known for became a priority.
One example he found was that content on watches was doing well. By focusing on what was doing well and then expanding on them, traffic came easier.
If a post for the Best Watch Under $100 was gaining traffic, creating other posts in the different tiers for Best of $500 or $1000 also likely would do well.
It was almost like he was a miner. When he found a vein, he would dig deeper and broader to mine all the traffic he could.
The architecture created opportunities for overlap in the content silos.
For example, “Watches for small wrists” may have low search volume, but when visitors landed on the page, they would be delighted with 15 other articles they would be interested in reading.
What’s next for Brock?
Brock has had 4-5 brokers reach out to him just this year, offering to purchase his site. He’s interested in selling his website and putting plans in place for a sale in the next 12-18months.
Brock plans to still hold onto his YouTube channel and plans to only sell the blog.
With success in both YouTube and his blog. So if starting over again or starting new, what is Brock’s advice?
Look at what you enjoy. Do you enjoy talking in front of the camera or do you prefer writing?
If you like the aspects of becoming an internet celebrity, Youtube is probably your option. Brock says if you prefer more passive income, focusing on an SEO blog is perhaps a better option.
Brock has a great eye for visual content and creating valuable content. I am excited to see what comes next after a sale of The Modest Man. If you want to learn more about Brock and his work, you can check out his blog Fulltimeblog.com or TheModestMan.com
A VPN is a private network that’s run through a public network — imagine that a remote worker sitting in Starbucks had an extra-long Ethernet cable. They plug one end into their computer, and the other end directly into their company’s servers at work.
That’s basically what a VPN does; it creates a secure and encrypted tunnel from your computer to a server on the internet.
This is great because it means no one can access the data you’re sharing with your computer and company server. You have privacy and data security.
We’re going to look at seven of the top VPN Services, explaining the pros and cons of each service.
How to Choose the Best VPN Service for You
When you’re looking for a VPN, the first thing you’ll want to do is identify your needs.
What do you want your VPN to do for you?
Beyond privacy and data security, are there other features you need from your VPN?
In general, most people focus their attention on four specific criteria.
Speed and Reliability
If you’re planning on using your VPN for things that require a lot of data or activity, you’ll want to choose a service that’s optimized for speed and reliability.
For those who share large files routinely or stream video consistently, you’ll want to select a VPN that provides unlimited connections, unlimited bandwidth, and high download and upload speeds.
When it comes to speed and reliability, there are factors you control and factors your service provider controls.
Factors within your control include:
Improving Wi-Fi stability
Using a wired connection (which is always faster)
Upgrading your internet connection speeds or your VPN
Choosing a VPN service with more servers or servers closer to your desired location.
Factors outside your control include:
Number of servers
Server location/distance (longer distance = slower speeds)
International bandwidth restrictions (i.e., VPNs in Australia are slow due to underwater fiber optic cables carrying a set amount of data at any one time)
Complicated peering relationships between networks (also reduces speed)
You’ll want to test your VPN speed so you can verify the claims your provider is making. You’ll need two things to do that — an accurate testing method and a baseline for your tests.
Here are some of the more reliable speed tests you can use to verify your VPN speeds.
Next, run a speed test on the same connection, with and without your VPN. If you’re on Wi-Fi, stay on Wi-Fi for both tests. Run the tests twice to get an average speed. Run your tests using the same VPN server/location you plan on using with your service.
Security and Privacy
VPNs should be secure by default; the VPN service you choose should have the basics of security and privacy protection down.
Here are the most important security and privacy requirements you’ll need to consider when choosing a VPN.
Handshake encryption: This takes place at the beginning of the VPN session where you and the server you’re communicating with exchange private keys that encrypt or decrypt data and messages to acknowledge each other.
Authentication: Reputable VPN services will use a hash algorithm to automatically verify the packets they receive, making sure that data from a middleman hasn’t been injected into your packet. They’ll also verify that your data hasn’t been tampered with or changed in any way.
Ciphers: This is an algorithm, like AES, that encrypts and decrypts your data in a series of clearly defined steps. Using a key to encrypt your data makes it impossible for unwanted eyes to spy on your data unless they have the specific key that was used to encrypt the message. So the unencrypted message “VPNs made easy” would become “FVWWOluB9rHb5KUtyJYqlA==” using the AES algorithm.
Encryption strength: 128-bit AES encryption is faster but less secure; 256-bit encryption is slower but more secure. Stronger encryption is obviously harder to break, so this is more of a priority if you’re focused on security.
Activity logs: Many free VPN services track your activity — the websites and pages you visit, files downloaded, etc. These free VPNs sell or monetize your usage activity on their VPN without your permission or knowledge.
Connection logs: Other VPN services track assigned IP addresses, connection start/end times, or bytes of data transferred. This typically doesn’t include your data, but it can be combined with other data (i.e., the IP address you used to log into your Slack account) to expose your identity.
If privacy is important to you, you’ll want to stick with log-free VPN services that don’t track your activity or metadata.
If you have an iPhone, but you use Windows on your computer, you’ll want to verify that the VPN services are compatible with your devices.
While most VPN services are compatible with the standard platforms (Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iOS), some aren’t available on all platforms. The VPN that’s Windows ready may not be available on Android or iOS.
You’ll want to verify that your devices are all compatible before signing up.
How many devices can connect to your VPN service simultaneously?
The availability of connections tends to vary from service to service. Some providers allow just one; others allow up to three, while others are unlimited. You’ll need to identify what you need ahead of time.
It’s not just connections that you have to worry about, though. You also have to take a look at the availability of countries and the availability of servers.
If you have specific availability needs, you’ll want to verify this with your VPN service provider ahead of time, then confirm this during your free trial or guarantee period.
Other important VPN considerations include:
Payment plans: The cost you’ll pay for VPN services varies considerably, and it depends on the features you choose and the length of your subscription.
Customer service: If you need on-demand customer support (in case something goes wrong), you’ll want a VPN service that provides live chat or phone support (which will impact the price). If that’s not as much of a concern, then a provider who offers email support may be a better option.
Free trial or money-back guarantee: If you opt for a service that offers a free trial, you’ll want to choose a service that gives you enough time to try things out. Some VPN services’ free trial period is quite short, which may not be enough time to verify the service on your end. A money-back guarantee is ideal because you have a way out in case their service isn’t what you’ve expected.
User friendly or tech-savvy: If you’re not comfortable with setting up and configuring your VPN, you’ll want to make sure you find a provider with a user-friendly interface. Some providers will configure your VPN for you virtually, so everything is done for you ahead of time.
Now that you have all the important considerations spelled out, it’s time to consider which type of VPN service is going to handle the job best.
The Different Types of VPN Services
It’s important to make a distinction between VPN technology and VPN services.
As we’ve already discussed, a virtual private network boils down to a secure, private connection between your device and endpoint. That is VPN technology.
VPN services, on the other hand, provide a suite of tools that allow companies to take advantage of VPN technology instead of having to set it up themselves.
Using VPN services, you can not only protect your internet connection and guard your privacy but gain access to extra customer service with configuration guides, automatic setup, and live chat support.
Generally speaking, VPN services break down into these four distinct types:
Remote Access VPN – Provide a secure connection from a user to a remote server to gain entry to a private network.
Intranet-based Site-to-SiteVPN – Provide a secure connection for various users in different, fixed locations to connect to each other’s resources. For example: With a site-to-site VPN, multiple local area networks (LAN) can connect to a single wide-area network (WAN). Think of one company with numerous locations sharing resources.
Extranet-based Site-to-Site VPN – Difficult to implement, these VPNs are common in large-scale business environments where you are looking for a secure connection between two separate intranets, but you do not want them having the ability to access each other directly. Think of two different companies working together.
Cloud VPN – Also known as virtual private network-as-a-service (VPNaaS), is designed for organizations that rely on outsourced cloud data centers instead of in-house infrastructure. A traditional VPN doesn’t work if your organization stores all of your data in the cloud. A cloud VPN allows users to access a company’s resources — applications, data, and files through a website or via a native desktop or mobile app.
As a user looking to secure your privacy and access the internet, or secure business data for your remote workforce, you’re most likely looking for commercial VPN Services.
Let’s take a look at our picks for the top VPN providers.
NordVPN Teams is a new VPN service from an industry leader. NordVPN is known for its consistent performance, a strong stance on privacy, and aggressive security features. The company is based in Panama, where there are no mandatory data retention laws and no legal obligation to collect your data. It’s also important because Panama doesn’t participate in the five eyes or fourteen eyes alliances.
They don’t track, collect, or share your private data — activity, usage, or metadata. They invited one of the big four auditing firms PriceWaterhouseCoopers AG, to run an industry-first audit of their no logging claims to verify that they’re telling the truth.
NordVPN is one of the few providers that offers double VPN, an advanced VPN security feature that routes your traffic through two VPN servers instead of one, encrypting your data twice.
They provide two-factor authentication and single sign-on, which are standard features for top-tier VPN services. They also provide you with a kill switch, if your connection drops for even a second, the kill switch will cut off all the Internet traffic on your device, ensuring none of your information is exposed online.
For business customers, they provide you with a dedicated account manager that’s assigned to your account.
Your Control Panel enables you to manage user accounts, control permissions, and create gateways. You can oversee user activity, monitor server load, add new users, and create custom teams from inside your control panel.
ExpressVPN doesn’t have a product strictly designed for businesses. They’re consumer-focused, which is great if you’re a sole proprietor or a remote, contract, or freelance worker on your own. Their apps are compatible with almost every device on the usual platforms; they also have apps for nontraditional platforms, including— Linux, Kindle Fire, Chromebook, and even Barnes and Noble’s Nook!
Since they’re consumer-focused, their apps are user-friendly, easy to set up, and simple to maintain. They provide you with all of the standard encryption and security features you’d expect from a top-rated VPN provider. And, they also provide you with some unique features like split-tunneling or using their own DNS servers.
Like NordVPN, they have a no-logging policy as their company is based in the British Virgin Islands. There’s no mandated government surveillance and no data retention laws.
Perimeter 81 is an Israeli-based business VPN service that’s unique because of its Cloud VPN architecture. It’s great for users on multiple devices. You don’t need external legacy hardware or tools. It comes with the business features you’d need to run your remote organization safely in the cloud.
Perimeter 81 is ideal for remote businesses because it protects your business from unexpected mistakes. Their automatic Wi-Fi Security and DNS Filtering features instantly shield your data by automatically activating VPN protection when employees connect to unknown, untrusted networks. According to their website, “All outbound and inbound traffic is encrypted and routed through your dedicated private servers – concealing your company’s actual IP address with an IP mask.”
This protection shields your company from man-in-the-middle attacks and unsecure Wi-Fi networks. Their service keeps your business safe from data breaches, lawsuits due to negligence, and other claims. Employee training is important, but Perimeter protects your employees and your business when they’re working.
They also provide you with the data you need to monitor network activity. You can audit resource access, monitor bandwidth consumption, and detect network anomalies remotely and at any time. All of this is important because more organizations have a “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy in place.
The potential downside to Perimeter 81’s service is access points. As of today, they have 700 public servers in 36 countries. That might sound like a lot until you realize some of their competitors have double or triple that amount in twice as many countries.
Single sign-on (SSO) functionality
User friendly and easy-to-use
Great for remote businesses
Auto-integrated with all cloud providers
Secure access to both managed and unmanaged devices
Pricing: $2.50 per mo. (24 mo. plan), $3.75 per mo. (12 mo. plan), $12.95 per mo. (1 mo. plan).
Number of servers: 700+
Money-back Guarantee: 30-day
Support: 24/7 response within 3 hrs
Multi-device support: desktop and mobile
Owned by Golden Frog GmbH and incorporated in Switzerland, VyprVPN focuses on a few areas — speed, anti-censorship, and privacy. They call their service the “most powerful VPN.” They offer more than 200,000 IP addresses and 700+ servers, across 70 locations internationally.
Their platform resolves speed issues due to ISP bandwidth throttling. It’s common for users to state that their speeds are close to 100% of their original speeds. This is impressive when you realize that they rely on AES 256-bit encryption. They provide users with unlimited switching between servers and protocols without restrictions.
VyprVPN provides some of the same features listed from other providers — kill switch, public Wi-Fi protection, and DNS protection. But they also offer a proprietary technology called Chameleon. In this protocol, VyprVPN scrambles your metadata, so it’s not recognizable via deep packet inspection, but it’s still fast and lightweight. As a result, VyperVPN can bypass restrictions from governments, corporations, and ISPs while fighting censorship and maintaining speed.
VyprVPN also owns and operates their data centers to reduce any risk of a data breach. Other VPN providers route traffic to third-party servers, so they’re not as secure as a service that keeps things in-house. VyprDNS keeps your browsing history private. Their no-logs policy makes a breach unlikely.
Pricing: $1.99 per mo. (24 mo.), $5.99 per mo. (12 mo.), $11.95 per mo.
Number of servers: 1,700+
Money-back Guarantee: 30-day
Support: 24/7 live chat, email tickets
Multi-device support: Desktop and mobile platforms
Surfshark is an award winning VPN service that offers incredible value for the price. According to VPNMentor.com, SurfShark is ranked 4th out of 357 VPN services. Their service provides users with 256-bit encryption, double VPN, an automatic kill switch, and a no-log policy.
They’re headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, so like other VPNs in our list, they’re free from the five, nine, fourteen eyes alliances. While they don’t collect usage or connection data, they do collect your email address, password, and basic billing information. If you’d like to avoid sharing this info, you can use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. They also collect unique advertising identifiers from third parties for marketing purposes and user analytics.
One detail that stands out with Surfshark is unlimited connections. The number of devices that can connect simultaneously, per license is unlimited. This is great if you’re an individual, but it’s also great if you’re running a business. There are no additional licenses or requirements once you’ve signed up. Just set your VPN up, pay for the service, and you’re all set.
Surfshark offers its Adblock VPN that blocks advertising and malware, counters phishing attempts, and boosts browsing speed. They offer premium features like private DNS on each server, camouflage mode to mask activity from your ISP, and Multihop – connecting via multiple countries at the same time to maximize footprint masking and ID protection.
Privacy isn’t the same as security. If you’re looking for a VPN service that will go to extreme lengths to protect your privacy, Sweden-based Mullvad is at the top of the list. They don’t require an email address or even a password from their customers. The company randomly generates a unique code for your username. You use this code to log in to the desktop apps or add credit to your account. They even allow customers to send cash in the mail to pay for your account!
They want to know as little about you as possible.
Mullvad will store your account number, your counts, paid time remaining, and the number of simultaneous connections that are used by your account. This data is kept in temporary memory, then purged once you log off. They log the total number of current connections for a given server, the bandwidth used per server, and the CPU load per core on each server. None of these items contain personally identifiable information.
Mullvad only offers connections in 38 countries, and they only have 315 servers. They don’t use virtual servers, so your VPN connections are running on physical hardware at the location specified. The speed varies based on your location. If you’re in Europe or North America, speeds are generally good. If you’re in Australia or Asia, the performance is generally much slower.
Pricing: Free, $3.33 per mo., $5.75 per user, per mo. for teams
Number of servers: 20
Money-back Guarantee: 30-day
Support: 24/7 email support tickets
Multi-device support: Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android
TunnelBear‘s service is designed to be incredibly simple for newbies.
“TunnelBear makes good faith efforts to provide you with the ability to delete your Personal Data. However, there may be circumstances in which TunnelBear is unable to delete all your Personal Data.
For example, we are unable to delete it where we are legally required to keep it, including where we need it to continue to offer you the service or if you are involved in litigation with us, we would be required to retain your personal data, which is limited to the fields we discuss above in 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4.”
This data includes your email address, twitter id, paid user designation, operational data, and personal and financial data.
If this isn’t a concern for you or your organization, TunnelBear is a great option for individuals and businesses that want to get started with a VPN but aren’t as knowledgeable as they’d like.
TunnelBear includes the standard features you need to get started with a VPN — AES 256-bit encryption, tunneling (Android only), hashing, and more. Their service is reasonably priced and designed to help inexperienced people get started with a VPN.
TunnelBear is transparent about its service, sharing the results of its independent security audits each year on its website.
Designed for inexperienced users
Generally open and transparent about their service
Built for individuals and teams
Offers a free plan
May share your data with governments
No phone or customer support
Whether you’re a freelancer, an entrepreneur with a small team, or a growing business looking for options, a VPN will provide you with the security and peace of mind you need to keep your remote team connected and working safely.
Your needs are unique, and they’ll dictate which VPN service will work best for you and your business. Weigh the options against your needs for speed, security, privacy, compatible devices and number of connects.
Millions of people are working remotely, and that number continues to grow every day. If you’re not already using a VPN service, now’s a good time to start.