Stanford, California is an unincorporated area of Santa Clara County. It has a population of approximately 15k with a daily population of 35k. It is right next to Palo Alto. So much so that some consider it to be part of the city. There are a number of reasons to visit the area including its proximity to San Jose and San Francisco as well as what the area is known for, Stanford University. Whether you are there to watch the Stanford University Cardinal or another reason, you won’t want to use public WiFi without a VPN. We’ll tell you why in a moment. First, have a look at our best VPNs for Stanford list.
Stanford University, Stanford Medical Center, and other support activities take up most of the Stanford area. It consists of a total area of almost 2800 square miles. The school is officially called Leland Stanford Junior University. It is a private research university and known for its academic strength, wealth, and proximity to Silicon Valley. That makes it one of the world’s top universities. In fact, many consider it to be on the level with the Ivy League schools of the eastern US.
As you probably know, the school also does quite well in athletics. As part of the Pacific Athletic Conference (Pac 12), the school is definitely a force to be reckoned with. While there are many high-end donors, the founder of Nike, Phil Knight, donates millions of dollars to Stanford University. He is just one of the factors that contribute to the schools all around success.
Though there is plenty to do in the area, if you visit the city, you will likely use public WiFi. With all the technology just down the road, you can expect to find an abundance of fast speeds from establishments there. While that is great for the user, it is also great for cybercrooks. You better believe that there are predators just waiting to get ahold of your sensitive information. When you connect to a VPN, you create a secure and private connection to the server you want to use. In other words, it makes it much tougher for thieves to steal your private data.
Despite the progressive nature of the area, you don’t have to look hard to hit a firewall. The leaders often put those devices in place to block the user from seeing “inappropriate content”. They are common with schools, businesses, organizations, and even some countries. With a VPN, you can make the software think you are located somewhere else. Additionally, all it will detect is the use of encrypted traffic. That way, you can still view anything you want to view. Of course, if you try to watch some sports online, the media companies will block you because of location.
While you may discover other reasons, those two points are the biggest reasons to use a VPN while in the area of Stanford. At the moment, the OpenVPN protocol is the best option to choose, and you will want to do so whenever possible. Almost every single provider will offer you that option. If the providers offer you a TCP and a UDP version, both will do just fine. In this case, the difference is that UDP is the fastest. Good speeds are important if you want to stream any content. If you have connection issues, TCP would be a better option for you.
1. Best VPN for Stanford: ExpressVPN
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A big issue that some VPN providers have involves location. ExpressVPN is under the laws of the British Virgin Islands. This makes a difference because it places the VPN outside of the jurisdiction of the “14 eyes” countries. If you are not aware, that is an alliance of countries that share information. In other words, if one country has access to it, the all 14 nations do as well. When combined with their no-logs policy, you can feel confident that ExpressVPN will help to keep you and your information safe.
If you are in a larger city, especially one that has a top-tier sports team, and you want to watch the game or match online, licensing rights will stop you from doing so. When that happens, the companies refer to it as a sports blackout. To get around this issue, you need to connect to a VPN server provided by ExpressVPN. The easy way to do that is to choose a server that is outside the area. That will make the blocking software believe that you are in another region. Then, you can enjoy the game or match.
ExpressVPN is our top-rated VPN service of 2023. Regardless of your goals for using a VPN, ExpressVPN combines a robust network with privacy features to keep you protected. We commonly use it to protect our privacy while traveling and to access our favorite streaming services back home. While you can sign up for monthly access, we recommend you take advantage of this exclusive deal that gives you 3 extra months free when you sign up for a year. You can also get a full refund within 30 days if you’re not completely satisfied, so you can test their network with ExpressVPN’s money-back-guarantee.
2. Best VPN for Stanford: NordVPN
Whether you like to travel abroad, are an ex-patriot, or just want to stream from other parts in the world, NordVPN can help you. Built into their service is a feature they refer to as “SmartPlay.” It combines aspects of a SmartDNS service and a VPN to allow the user to stream from everywhere. Unlike some SmartDNS services, NordVPN encrypts the connection by having it built-in directly to their VPN. That way, you do not have to worry about taking extra steps to configure the service. All you have to do is connect.
If you have watched the news and are a gamer, you may already know what kind of an effect a DDoS (Distributive Denial of Service) attack can have on you. Those types of attacks can spell trouble, no matter what game you are playing. The way to avoid them is to connect to a VPN server with NordVPN. Since they can lock you out of your game based on your current IP address, changing it will stop that from happening. Then, you should be able to play like normal.
3. Best VPN for Stanford: PIA
If you are a gamer and you play match-based games, connecting to a VPN with Private Internet Access is a good idea. That is because most of the time, the gaming companies assign you to a server in a specific area. The way to change your area is to connect to a VPN in a different and less busy area. By doing so, you do not have to contend with many of the elements that would cause you to lag. That can be a significant benefit whether you are playing casually or competitively.
Established in 2010, Private Internet Access has an excellent reputation in the community. They support several different privacy foundations and organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, the Internet Society, OpenMedia, Open Rights Group, and many more open source projects. That shows their commitment to protecting the privacy of their members and why so many users love the service. In addition to reasonable pricing, Private Internet Access offers a trustworthy service that you can not go wrong with if you choose it.
4. Best VPN for Stanford: CyberGhost
If you play older games that move to browsers or games that you would natively play in one, you should consider connecting to a CyberGhost VPN server. Unfortunately, some games can take a while to load. Of course, that depends on the browser you choose. Often, that is because of ads or processes that are running in the background when loading the page. By connecting to a VPN, you will be able to block all of the things that could slow you down when playing your favorite browser games.
Some VPN providers state they do not keep logs. However, they do not always keep that promise. CyberGhost says they keep their no-logs policy strict. In this case, that means they do not store or collect your IP address, DNS queries, browser history, web content you accessed, connection and disconnection timestamps, session duration, bandwidth usage, or even the VPN servers you use to connect. That is because they feel that information is none of their business. As you can see, when it comes to privacy, CyberGhost has you covered.
5. Best VPN for Stanford: IPVanish
Some of the most valuable sports teams in the world have international followings. Those include sports organizations like the Dallas Cowboys (NFL) in the US, the New York Yankees (MLB) in the US, Real Madrid (Soccer), and more. If you are outside their home country, though, you can only watch them if you connect to a VPN server in the home country from IPVanish. Of course, you would also need to have a subscription to one of the sports apps, depending on what you want to watch.
No matter where you are from, you probably know that the US has some excellent streaming services. Whether it is an stand alone service like HBO Now, a package of channels like Sling TV, or others, you will miss out on them unless you connect to a VPN server. Luckily, IPVanish makes it easy. All you have to do is pick a server from the US if that is the region you wish to use. Then, log in with your credentials and you are all set.