Selecting Your VPN
You may get the impression that everyone’s talking about VPNs right now and you’re probably right. There’s been a heated discussion about privacy and online security going for some time now, and it seems like VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) hold a lot of answers to these problems. Whether you want to stay safe while watching movies online, you would like to access British Netflix while living in Spain or you want to watch ESPN in Canada, VPN services are the thing to consider. And when you decide that it’s something worth trying, what should you actually look for? Here are some tips on selecting the right VPN service.
1. Provider’s location – if you care about your privacy (as you should), you probably wouldn’t like to get a VPN service provider from one of fourteen countries that are members of fourteen eyes accord. They have agreed to share information about their users, and their governments have the right to ask about all your browsing history. There’s no privacy there.
2. Speed – the best way is to simply read the numerous reviews available on the web that rate services and their speed. With the best VPN, you will get a range of servers in various countries from all over the world for you to choose from. It will be easier to connect to the chosen one and get the best possible speed. For the VPNs to work, they need to encrypt your route and send it through a secure server – if the connection is not good, it will affect your speed significantly.
3. Security – you need to check how your potential VPN will encrypt your data, and how rich is their offer of strong protocols and additional security features. If the information is not evident and transparent, you probably shouldn’t decide on this provider. Keep your eyes open for additions like AES-256 encryption or OpenVPN functionality – you would like to get them. VPNs should accept anonymous payments and have clear policies. Don’t agree for anything that sounds even a little bit shady and beware VPNs suffering from DNS and IP leaks. Paid VPNs are much safer when it comes to protecting your data because they don’t store it at all.
4. Privacy – good VPNs will only store basic data like bandwidth usage, server load or location which they can’t use to identify the user. Unfortunately, there are providers that store IP addresses, DNS requests, and even users’ browsing and downloading history or messages. What makes it difficult is the fact that even these providers that are not 100% legit, claim to have zero logs policy, and it’s hard to get to the truth by reading their vague explanations. So you should probably look for a VPN that’s clear and transparent about it. Read everything there is to read and only decide if you’re sure that you know what their logging policy is.
5. Sources of money – this is especially important when it comes to VPNs that offer their services for free. Everybody needs to make money on something so if they don’t take any from you, they have to look for other ways. Considering that developing and maintaining a good VPN can be expensive, some providers turn to ads that are never good for users’ privacy. In may include data collection, sharing or even selling, that’s why it’s essential to know where your potential provider’s money comes from. It should be stated clearly, along with the information about what happens to your data and personal details.
6. Why you’re looking for a VPN – this is almost as important as speed, security, and privacy. There are VPNs created for specific reasons – some are dedicated to streaming platforms, others for torrenting, etc. They can vary in their limitations and features, so it’s good to know their offers and read a lot of reviews before you decide on anything.
7. Customer support – you don’t only want to be treated right whenever a problem or a doubt arises, but you also want personalized, native support that knows what’s going on. Otherwise, you risk getting only partial protection or mediocre or even bad user experience.
8. Device compatibility – you want your VPN to always work everywhere so make sure that your provider offers dedicated apps for your types of devices.
A good VPN can help you stay safe whenever you go online. It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. Make sure you do your research and try not to skimp. It will be worth it.