There are many VPN providers to choose from but with so many options, it can be difficult to decide which is the best service for you. It is important to keep in mind your needs and what are your specific requirements from a VPN. A good VPN should offer a strong set of features, secure protocols, a wide selection of servers location and value for money. We will take a look at the main aspects to consider when choosing a VPN service. Don’t forget to check our reviews for more information about specific VPN services and to find out which one suits better your needs.
Company’s Location and Servers
When choosing a VPN provider, it is important to check where the company is based and where are their server located. This will allow you to understand how they manage the data transferred through their service and if they are the best solution for your needs. For instance, a company based in the United States, will be subject to US laws, meaning that they will release data, if required by law enforcement. They could also be under a stronger surveillance from the NSA. This does not mean that companies outside the US are not under scrutiny and would not share information. Many of the known risks are covered in-depth on our privacy guide.
However, if you are concerned about privacy and government surveillance, it is advisable to check what are the laws regarding data that could cover the provider you choose. When it comes to location of servers, it is necessary to ensure that the VPN provider offers options that adapt to your needs. This means that if you want to watch media content that is only available in the US, you need to get a provider that has servers there. This will allow you to appear as if you are connecting from that country and will get access to websites or TV shows available there.
If your main reason to use a VPN is privacy, the most important thing to check when choosing a provider is their logging policy. Even though using a VPN protects you data from eavesdroppers, your VPN provider would still be able to access it. This is why it is crucial that you select a trustworthy company and if you want complete confidentiality, you should opt for a provider that doesn’t keep logs of your data. As mentioned before, some providers may be required to release data by their local law but if they have a no logging policy, they would not have any relevant details to provide.
When visiting a VPN provider’s website you will notice that they refer to terms such as OpenVPN, PPTP, IPsec and more. These are protocols that are designed to offering you a secure connection. Each protocol has its own advantages and downsides. SSL is the most commonly used but OpenVPN is generally regarded as a highly secure option. Most corporate clients use IPsec or SSL clients. VPN providers generally support multiple protocols and each of them would suit a different solution.
Even though a VPN is secure in the sense that it protects your data from eavesdroppers, it does not necessarily protect you from malware. You should still be careful with the files you download or the websites you visit. It is also important to ensure that you use HTTPS whenever possible. However, if you want to count with complete protection when you are surfing internet, there are some VPN providers that include NAT firewalls, and anti-malware scanners to keep you safe from viruses. Last but not least, it it of upmost importance that your VPN passes security tests. Any failiures can indicate that something may not be configured correctly, or worse yet the service does not work and is leaking your info.
A good VPN service should allow you to have a great experience, whether you are using your PC or your smartphone. The leading VPN providers offer versatility and extended compatibility, counting with dedicated clients for desktops and mobile devices. This will ensure that you can protect your data while you are on the go with the same effective service that you enjoy at home. If you specifically want the service for one device or OS in particular, you can verify app capabilities per provider, such as for iPhone 6, or Android based VPN apps.
Value for Money
Even though there are providers that offer convenient free VPN services, they have limited features and do not offer all the privacy that you would expect. The best option to enjoy all the advantages of a VPN is to get a paid service. With a quality paid VPN service you can enjoy protection for your data and flexibility to enjoy all the media content and access the websites that you want. There are options for small budgets and different plans. Just as with everything else, it is advisable to keep in mind that if you want quality, you may have to pay a higher price. However, most companies offer discounts and special offers and the price gets considerably reduced when you subscribe for a longer period of time.