The list of benefits of using a VPN to navigate online is very long. They allow you to protect your privacy, avoid censorship, discover new content, and do all sorts of other activities in a more anonymous way. The problem with VPNs is that they are a very complex system and not every VPN provider delivers the same quality of service.
Choosing the best VPN can be a very hard thing to do if you don’t know which aspects do a proficient service. There seems to be a lot of technical information involved, and the list of features can be very long and confusing sometimes. For this reason, we’ve taken the liberty of listing what we consider to be the most important features that every good VPN should count with. With these, you should be able to pick a good VPN more easily, so pay close attention:
Choosing the Best VPN for Your Needs
Every provider is different in terms of speed, features, and security. This extends to the protocols present in their server network. Sometimes a provider won’t offer the options you should be looking for, so you have to make sure they are present in the service before making a choice.
The best protocol currently available for VPN connections is called OpenVPN, and it’s pretty much the only one you could need. However, you might also stumble upon another protocol like L2TP/IPsec which is also pretty solid and better for mobile devices but also slower. In short words, you can feel safe as long as you avoid a protocol called PPTP, bonus points if you go for OpenVPN.
One of the main reasons people are adopting VPNs is to bypass geo-restrictions imposed by media streaming services. If your goal is to be able to watch all of Netflix’s content, then it’s no use to hire a VPN service with the majority of its servers located in Asia. Try to look for a service with a network of at least a couple hundred servers in a very varied list of locations. Proficient providers have servers in dozens of countries, including at least one in every continent.
It is also wise to choose a VPN provider based on the location of its headquarters. Providers in a first world democratic nation with strong personal and internet freedom are more unlikely to be cooperating with governmental institutions and to end up in a legal tight spot after a sudden change in the rules regarding internet connections and VPNs.
It’s not uncommon these days to have more than one device connected to our home network. Whether it is a phone, a tablet or a PC, you’re likely to end up connecting to the internet from more than one gadget at the same time, so it is convenient to have a VPN service that allows you to have more than one device connected to their servers without having to pay for a second or third subscription.
Good VPN services usually allow between 3 and 5 simultaneous connections from a single subscriber. Although this would be of no use if the VPN client only works on Windows or any other OS exclusively, so you should also look for a provider that supports all the operative systems you use at home.
This is one of the most controversial aspects about VPN providers and one that is likely to be missing in deficient services. Even though VPNs can hide your internet traffic from your ISP, this traffic still has to go through the servers of your VPN, meaning there’s still the chance to have someone (in this case your provider) spying on your online activity.
Zero-logs policy guarantees they are not keeping any info about your navigation and ensures law enforcement agencies won’t be able to get any valuable information if they ever decide to seize your provider’s servers in any location. Plus, this also proves that they are not selling your information to third parties for advertising purposes, which would be the opposite of what a VPN should do.
You’ll find that even after knowing the aspects that make up a strong VPN service, there are still plenty of options available. After you’ve found a few decent providers, it all comes down to the little things that set them apart from the others and how they adjust to your particular needs. Some providers are optimized for fast connections, others for bypassing region locks and others for secure connections.
At this point, choosing the best VPN will depend on finding the one that helps you reach your objectives in the most efficient way. Here we present you with some recommendations that may or may not adjust to your specific needs but are surely going to deliver a very reliable service:
PureVPN is a provider based in Hong Kong, and it’s famous for its ability to bypass China’s ‘great firewall,’ which is a feat not all VPNs can do. They also count with a very big network of servers that distinguishes them from the crowd, with over 750 servers in 141 countries, you can be sure you’ll be able to bypass any geo-restrictions that stand in your way.
They’re also very safe to use; they feature 256 AES encryption on each server, the strongest VPN protocols, NAT firewall, an automatic kill switch and DDoS protection. You can be sure your privacy will be protected the moment you connect to their network.
As if this wasn’t enough, PureVPN is one of the few VPN services that embeds split-tunnelling options in their client. This, on top of their fast speeds and their multiplatform support, makes them one very comfortable option for all possible usages you might have for the VPN. All this at perhaps the most competitive price of the market.
This one’s a very well-known favourite among tech magazines. They’ve been reviewed by many tech sites, and they always get positive scores. They have over 850 servers placed in over 60 different countries and, as you’d expect from a proficient VPN provider, they feature all the strongest encryption and communication protocols. On top of that, they have DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch to ensure you’re untraceable at all times.
They allow P2P connections over their network, that added to their lack of bandwidth limit makes them an ideal pick for those who enjoy torrenting and high-quality streaming services. They allow up to 5 simultaneous connections with the same subscription, which is convenient if you have multiple gadgets at home. They also support every major platform, so your OS shouldn’t be a problem.
They have very competitive prices that can be paid several ways including Bitcoin. And they even have a 7-day money-back guarantee to ensure you are not dissatisfied even if you don’t like their service, so giving them a try shouldn’t be such a hard thing.
ExpressVPN has widely known thanks to the fact that its servers have been optimized to sustain fast connections. Few other VPN providers in the market can reach speeds as fast as them and, on top of this, they don’t put any limit on their users’ bandwidth, so you’re unlikely to notice you’re even connected to a VPN. These configurations come in handy if you enjoy downloading heavy files and even torrents because, yes, they allow P2P connections over their network.
They also count with the whole security package. They use 256-bit AES encryption and OpenVPN protocol on each of their servers. They have an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a very strict zero-logs policy to ensure the protection of your privacy at all times.
With their network of over 1500 servers in more than 90 countries, you’ll surely bypass any geo-restrictions no matter the device you’re using. This is possible thanks to their multiplatform support and the fact that they allow up to 3 simultaneous connections from a single subscription. The only downside is that they are a bit pricier than the others, but for the quality of their service, ExpressVPN is surely worth the extra investment.
When it comes to choosing the best VPN, there are no short paths. Even if you have the technical knowledge necessary to tell a quality service from the others, there’s still a lot of competition that will meet the same criteria. And you mustn’t forget that this is a service you’re placing your trust in to enhance your online privacy, so making the final decision is never easy.
With the tools we’ve provided, you should be able to have a better idea of which is the right path in this matter. And while there’s still the possibility to run into a bad service or a scam, you can be confident as long as you don’t forget that your privacy is one of your most valuable assets. Using this as your criteria should lead you to a good VPN provider in the end.