There are plenty of reasons that can take you to the doors of a VPN provider. You may want to keep your online activity private, bypass internet censorship, or access geo-restricted content. Some people also want VPN to simply stay on the safer side with an extra layer of protection on private Wi-Fi. VPN does protect you while you shop, surf, or bank online, but it does not mean any sort of VPN can sate your needs.
Some VPNs do not deliver the optimal performance or the right features to securely get you through online activity. Some may even risk your personal information that you end up wondering why you have installed one. In this guide, you will learn the right of way of choosing a VPN so you can take the most out of your VPN investment.
Decide Why you Need a VPN?
Before riding on this bandwagon, you need to decide your VPN requirements. So ask yourself why you want to use a VPN. Do you frequently use public Wi-Fi and are concerned about your security? Do you live in a country with overwhelming censorship or surveillance capitalism? Or you might suspect your internet service provider might sneak into your confidential information.
If it’s simply watching a Netflix series or your favorite Olympics you are craving, you want a VPN that uses a tunneling protocol to safely connect you to a remote server and bypass geo-restrictions. However, if you are dealing with some sort of confidential information, such as in the financial or healthcare sector, you would have to look for a VPN with top-notch security and privacy protection.
So take some time and assess your needs before you even start searching for the best VPNs. Once you identify the need behind using a VPN, you can better outline your priorities in a VPN.
Important Considerations in Finding the Best VPN
Not all VPNs have the same capabilities, so you need to highlight your preferences first and then gauge the following factors to make a decision.
This is the most important consideration when choosing a VPN. You should not purchase a VPN service without testing its trial period. Make sure it meets your needs and delivers top-level customer experience. Likewise, the duration of the trial period should be enough to assess its
performance for making the right decision. If a VPN does not offer a free trial of a sufficient period or does not offer it at all, just move on!
Numbers (servers, IP addresses, countries)
What are all those numbers that VPN services usually present to show their level of coping? These are the number of servers and locations. This can factor into making your VPN choice based on the scope of their virtual network.
That said, these numbers are not that important. If all you want is to hide your internet traffic while using coffee shop Wi-Fi, the number of servers is the least of your concerns. Again, it depends on your needs. If you want to connect to a server in Amsterdam, a VPN that offers 10,000 servers worldwide but does not serve Holland, is useless. So you should not prefer a VPN based on the number of worldwide servers presented by the VPN you are eyeballing, just check if it provides servers from your preferred location or not.
Security, as we know it, holds the utmost importance. VPN uses encryption to securely transfer your traffic, so the level of encryption that a VPN offers makes a big difference. AES-256 is a non-negotiable encryption level these days, and many service providers are using it to secure user data.
Number of simultaneous connections
This refers to how many devices your VPN can support simultaneously. Here again, your VPN needs matter. For instance, if you are an individual user and need a VPN to support your smartphone, laptop, and iPad, then a VPN with three connection availability will suit your needs.
On the other hand, if you want to secure your home internet, then lean toward a bigger number, maybe 8 or 10, or more.
Now you are going to a bit of a technical side. If you are new to VPN protocols, let us tell you that VPN protocols are a set of rules that decide how data will be transmitted between your device and a VPN server. There is a long list of VPN protocols, each with its own capabilities and limitations.
For instance, WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols are best known for high speed, while IKEV2/IPSec serves high encryption. Likewise, some work best for streaming and torrenting, while others are pro at accessing geo-restricted content. So do some research to find out which VPN protocol works best for your particular needs, and go for a VPN that employs your preferred protocol.
Every VPN claims to be the fastest in the world. Some show their speed test results as well, but honestly, these results are unrelated, as the results would be different when you run through your own ISP. your precise situation can not be reproduced in the online tests. However, you can get a general overview of the comparison between the two service providers.
So how to accurately gauge the speed performance of a VPN? Remember when we said trial duration is important? When you run your own test based on your particular situation, you will get precise results that will help you make decisions.
Price is the last and also the least important aspect of making your VPN choices. A VPN with $5/month is cheaper than $15/month but is not beneficial if it has limited servers or slow connection speed. That said, it’s ultimately your budget that decides if you can pay upfront for several years or not.
Instead of looking for a cheap VPN, you can save some money by catching VPN deals or visiting recommendation sites, as they offer some discounts to visitors who purchase VPN services using affiliate links.
Your circumstances solely determine your choices. VPN is a must-have in this cyberattack-prone world, but it can only work if you make the right choices. Privacy, connection speed, and Security are some of the non-negotiable features of a good VPN, but you also pay heed to the VPN tunnels used and the trial period offered. Opt for a VPN solution that aligns with your needs and secures your confidential data on the web.