Laptop? Check. Good WiFi? Check. Comfy sweatpants? Check. A well-stocked snack drawer? Check. A Nintendo Switch so you can play Animal Crossing: New Horizons over your lunch break? Double check.
Yep — for the most part, it sounds like you’ve got this whole “working from home” thing on lock. The only thing you’re missing now is a virtual private network.
A “VPN,” as they’re often called, is a service that reroutes your internet connection through its own private server(s) to establish a safer, more secure network. The benefits of such technology are twofold: For one, it masks your computer’s internet protocol (IP) address to hide your identity and location from prying eyes and hackers. It also encrypts your data so that no one can see what you’re searching for, which sites you’re visiting, or what you’re downloading — like, say, confidential company documents.
SEE ALSO: The 6 best VPNs to help keep you anonymous on the internet
Some organizations have provided VPNs for their employees to protect the work they do remotely amid the coronavirus outbreak, but if yours hasn’t (or if you’re self-employed), you’re in luck: Several popular providers are offering steep discounts on their services to make sure online privacy is the least of your concerns right now.
Surfshark: Save 83% on a 24-month plan and pay just $1.99 a month by entering the code sharkstart during checkout. (Plans are fully refundable for 30 days.) If you’re a small business owner whose livelihood has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, you can also apply for a free six-month subscription. Click here to learn more.
PureVPN: Anyone who signs up for a PureVPN plan right now will receive 12 monthly accounts for gifting to their friends, family, and/or coworkers. For the best deal, opt for its two-year plan — it’s currently on sale for $3.33 a month (a 74% savings). Click here to sign up.
Private Internet Access: You’ll get two bonus months of protection for free when you snag a one-year Private Internet Access plan today at $2.85 a month (a 71% savings). Click here to sign up.
CyberGhost VPN: If you sign up for a three-year CyberGhost VPN plan at $2.75 a month (a 79% savings), you’ll get two extra months of protection for free. Click here to sign up.
ExpressVPN: For a limited time, you can get 12 months of online protection for only $8.32 a month (billed $99.95 a year) — a 35% savings. Plus, your purchase is covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee. Click here to sign up.
NordVPN: NordVPN’s three-year plan is currently on sale for just $3.49 a month, or 70% off. Click here to sign up. (Note: NordVPN suffered a breach in March 2018 when a hacker exploited an insecure remote management system at a Finnish data center from which the company was renting servers. However, we still think it’s a strong contender in the VPN space. Click here to learn more.)