How many times have you tried to stream your favorite show online but got your access denied? Or wanted to voice-chat with your friends in the middle of a game, but couldn’t due to your country’s internet restriction laws?
This is frustrating and all, but it gets much more serious. With so many hacking attempts, malware attacks and cyber crimes, using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that anonymizes your connection and breaks through censorship barriers has become critical. Luckily for us, we have a lot of VPN service providers to help… A little too many perhaps. So really, what should you consider when choosing the best VPN service?
Let’s go over all of the qualities that you should know about:
“Encryption” means that data that leaves your computer or smartphone pass through a secure, unbreachable “tunnels”, preventing third parties from accessing your information. Sounds like VPN 101, right?
VPNs protect your data from third parties, but you didn’t go through all of the trouble to have the VPN itself collect your information. Instead of scrolling down the terms of services like every other time, take the time to read it before signing up with a VPN. Make sure the VPN you use doesn’t log your traffic, even better, not monitor user activity at all. VPNs with Kill Switch and DNS leak protection features are a definite yes too.
There’s nothing more annoying than having to wait till that page loads. You might want to look for a VPN that offers different configuration options for different purposes: whether it’s streaming, gaming or otherwise.
When you connect to a VPN, it connects you to the internet from where the VPN server is located. So whether the site you want to access is only available in a certain country, or you want to bypass certain internet restrictions, you’ll want to choose a VPN service which has access in many countries. Another factor in choosing a country is the speed: the closer the country you connect from, the faster the connection.
5- P2P Functionality
Many VPN providers don’t really like the idea of torrents. If you need VPN for torrenting or any peer-to-peer activities, you need to choose wisely. Look for top notch DNS protection, excellent speeds, and a clear statement that P2P traffic is welcome… Be sure to avoid providers in countries prone to copyright challenges.
6- Static IP
In case you want to secure and monopolize an (anonymous) IP address, you’ll need to keep this on the list. You may not need it every time you connect to the internet, but it’s crucial in special cases where having a static IP address is mandatory.
7- Ease of Use
We’re no techies, and any VPN that requires you to become one isn’t really the right one after all. A lot of VPN providers have worked hard to make their services easy to use and access, while providing you with optimum user experience.
8- Tech Support
A good customer service goes a long way. Stellar VPN providers will go beyond providing premium user experience into satisfying all customer inquiries as well.
Ah, the hard part. By now we know how crucial it is to use VPN, but.. How much should you really invest in it?
When it comes to VPN, you really do get what you pay for… mostly if it’s free, then there are a lot of breaches that don’t meet the eye and should stay away from it. As an average, the cost of a top-rated VPN service is $10.68/month. You can even get better deals for the long-term plans, whether it would be wise to give it a try first before committing. Some services even offer free-trials, god bless!
Okay, I read the list, now what?
Now you do your research and try a couple of VPNs. There are a lot of options, but in the end it’s entirely up to you to choose the option you’re most satisfied with. But in a nutshell, find the VPN you can set-up, forget it’s there, and let it have your back.
Image Credits: VPN Qualities from Inspiring/Shutterstock