How to Choose a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) should help you browse anonymously and safely. However, not all VPNs are made equal. Some offer the best security and privacy features. Others boast a reliable network of fast servers. Unfortunately, a few VPNs deliver poor-quality services.
This article provides a checklist of essential factors to consider when choosing the best VPN service.
Why Select the Best VPN
To get the right VPN, you must figure out why you need it. Generally, the following are the reasons people buy VPNs:
- Stay anonymous when browsing
- Torrent or live stream in peace
- Bypass government censorship
- Increase online safety and security
- Hide browsing activities from ISPs
- Bypass geographic restrictions
- Mask browsing activities while using the public internet
Once you understand the purpose of your VPN, it will be easier to start the selection process.
How to Select the Best VPN for Your Needs – Factors to Consider
As hundreds of Virtual Private Networks exist these days, it’s easy to choose the wrong service. You can prevent this by considering the factors below.
Robust Security and Privacy Features
30-day money back guarantee
AES 256-Bit Encryption
AES 256-bitis the top encryption feature nowadays. If it works for institutions like banks and the military, it should also help you. This feature focuses on hiding confidential information from prying eyes. It works better than the previous 128-bit encryption.
Leak Protection security and privacy features can prevent your web browsing data and computer IP from leaking. You can remain invisible as you visit your favorite sites.
Latest Security Protocols
A good VPN tool must support the latest safety protocols. Many protocols exist but the best options are WireGuard, OpenVPN, Lightway, and IKEV2. Focus on these since they’re the fastest and most secure options.
Look For a VPN With a No-logs Policy
An ideal VPN should hide your browsing activities and IP from hackers, ISPs, the government, and other third parties. However, it shouldn’t log your browsing history and personal information. Some VPNs have an awful reputation for logging and sharing their customers’ data. Many VPN service providers claim to follow a no-logs policy, but some lie to you.
A trustworthy VPN provider should only keep basic information:
- Email address and username
- Payment data to ensure you renew the subscription once it expires
- Diagnostic data on software crashes, which is optional.
A good VPN service provider shouldn’t collect and store the following data about you:
- Full Names
- Computer IP address
- Current location and residence
- The operating system of your device
Any company that collects the above data doesn’t obey its no-logs policy. The best VPN has a way of deleting your browsing history from its servers upon restarting.
Choose Fast VPN Speeds
A VPN should slow down your internet connection – that’s what all VPNs do. The additional encryption tunnel they create for your data is the cause of this problem. To solve it, choose a VPN with the fastest server speeds. Since most service providers claim to offer top server speeds, it can be hard to verify the truth.
Also, the speed of your connection will depend on your current location and how close you are to the VPN server. Most VPN providers have a free trial period or a money-back guarantee. Hence, you can test different programs until the specified trial period ends. This way, you can select the best VPN tool for gaming or torrenting. Briefly, focus on these factors to ensure you get the fastest VPN:
- Choose a fast VPN protocol, including WireGuard and Lightway.
- Focus on optimized servers for activities like gaming and torrenting.
- Ensure you can customize the encryption level to do streaming activities on Netflix, Hulu, and similar sites.
- The split tunneling feature can help you transmit traffic of given applications via the VPN server.
- Use internet-based speed test tools after connecting to a VPN. Do this during the trial period.
Opt for a VPN Service Provider With a Reliable Server Network
A VPN company can have several servers it doesn’t maintain. Choosing such a provider can be inconvenient and costly due to constant server downtimes. A reliable server network should have many functional servers. If it only has a few working servers, people will grab them all. That will leave you with servers that can disconnect without a warning or sluggish ones.
A reliable server network allows users to view geo-restricted content. For instance, people from some countries can’t access social media sites like YouTube and Twitter. However, they can bypass this restriction with a dependable VPN tool like ExpressVPN. This company has three thousand servers in ninety-four countries. Lastly, a reliable VPN server network should provide high security and the speeds necessary for gaming.
Consider Optional VPN Features
VPNs have mandatory and optional features. The latter can provide an extra layer of security and privacy. You don’t need all of them, though.
Even if you run an antivirus software tool, you need more security when downloading internet files. Threat Protection is an optional tool that scans files as you download them. It spots threats and stops them from harming your computer or phone. It also blocks the annoying pop-up ads and trackers that will sometimes intrude on your network.
Double VPN or Multi-hop
This security feature routes your traffic via two servers. Therefore, it encrypts your network two times. Multi-hop increases your anonymity and keeps you safe from hackers.
This security and privacy feature is crucial because it masks your VPN usage. Nobody can tell that you are using your VPN, allowing you to bypass government censorship and geographical restrictions.
This software allows safe file sharing between users. You can use it to create a network for external and internal devices. This can help you access office files from a home computer and vice-versa.
Onion Over VPN
Tor is the browser that lets you surf the web anonymously for free. It is called The Onion Router. To use Tor and VPN concurrently, you need a VPN tool with a special feature called Onion Over VPN. You can find it on NordVPN.
The Automatic Kill Switch is an emergency tool that locks your connection when the VPN disconnects suddenly. It stops the VPN connection from sliding back to the regular, unprotected internet connection.
Ensure a VPN Is User-friendly and Supports Many Devices
Not everyone is a programmer or an IT guy. Most VPN providers consider this fact when developing their anonymity programs. For that reason, look for one of the user-friendliest VPNs online. It should have a simple user interface and not require complicated configurations. If a VPN can support many simultaneous connections, it will help you more.
You won’t have to disconnect one device to connect another in its slot. A great VPN for multiple devices is PIA. If your family is big and everyone wants to connect to the internet via a separate device, this VPN can help.
Can a VPN impose bandwidth restrictions?
Some VPN companies have bandwidth restrictions to check those who abuse their services. If you stream media content more than browse, choose a VPN without these restrictions. Since you will pay for a VPN service, opt for a company that offers unlimited bandwidth.
How can I pay for my VPN?
Paying for your VPN shouldn’t be a problem since companies offer different payment methods. However, if you want to pay anonymously due to government censorship, choose a VPN company that accepts Bitcoin payments.
Choose a VPN Confidently
Selecting a suitable VPN service can be hard if you don’t know what factors to consider. You can get confused by hundreds of VPN providers who claim to offer the best tool. Luckily, you can sift through numerous options with a checklist of things to consider when choosing a VPN.
Are you on the lookout for a new VPN? If so, has any of the information in this article helped sway your decision? Let us know in the comments section below.