Attached to the rapid advance of the technological era is a large number of cyber risks for both individuals and organizations. However, several solutions are coming out to help with protecting the privacy and ensure online security, one of which is a VPN.
A reliable VPN can come up with various benefits from torrenting, privacy, bypassing censorship, staying anonymous online, getting around geographic restrictions, and location shifting.
Providing you’ve mulled over and eventually arrive at the decision to go for a VPN, it’s also not a simple process to opt for the right one among a multitude of confusing choices. But don’t be stressed out, you are at the right place. This article will provide you some useful practices to pick the right VPN for you.
5-point Checklist When Looking For A VPN
1. Be Clear With Your Requirements
Before heading to the shop for a VPN, the first and foremost step is listing down all the features you need from a VPN. Having a transparent idea of what you look for in a VPN will work wonders for you when it comes to choosing the ideal provider. Thus, it’s a good idea to ask yourself some questions and highlight how different VPN features can meet your needs. Below are some useful questions to go through for your reference:
- Do you need secure access to your home network?
- Do you need secure casual browsing?
- Do you need to geo-shift your location?
- Do you need anonymity and plausible deniability?
This can, to some extent, help you frame your thoughts about what is most important for your personal use.
2. Browse For Necessary Features
Once you get your priorities clear, it’s time to look for a VPN service that matches what you’ve aligned. Every VPN company prioritizes different features, it can be either speed, encryption, anonymity, security, or affordability. Hence, take your time and browse for more specific references before getting to determine the final decision.
Nonetheless, it’s crucial to be aware that not all of the comparisons and reviews you see on online forums or any other platforms are independent and unbiased. VPN solutions are about cybersecurity and privacy, so be critical about the one you trust.
3. Check Out The Security Policy
The VPN market is growing fast, thus, there is an increasing number of vendors. But VPN solutions are about online security and privacy, it’s your right to demand transparency and decent background in cybersecurity from your provider.
In terms of encryption, despite being at a very low chance, VPNs can still be hacked. To avoid this, 2048-bit or 256-bit encryption is a good offer from a VPN provider as they are harder to crack.
4. Unlimited Bandwidth
Streaming videos, music, and more can burn up the bandwidth fast. So unless the bandwidth restrictions are very high and intended only to avoid people abusing the service, VPNs that impose bandwidth restrictions are not a good option. A limited number of TBs of data is acceptable, but unlimited bandwidth should be expected.
It’s also important to carefully read the fine print to check if there’s any restriction on protocols or services you wish to use the service for. Plus, check whether there are restrictions on the number of devices connected simultaneously.
5. Stay Away From Free Service
A free VPN might be tempting, but, understandably, all companies need to make money to cover their costs. Hence, even though you don’t have to pay the fee for the service, you will have to pay in another way either via a multitude of annoying ads, slower connection speed, fewer features, or even worse, the loss of your data.
Some free VPNs will keep logs of your data, which defeats the point of having one at all. Then they’ll know the websites you visit; how much time you spend on those pages; and timestamps, which benefits them from selling your data to their partners.
So it may cause more harm than good when going for a free VPN. In case you prioritize affordability, searching for great discounts and coupons in advance is a better option.
An ideal final option depends on your technical expertise, your purpose of using a VPN, and where you want to use it. Thoroughly consider all the features and its pricing. And last but not least, no matter what your needs are there’s no substitution for a securely deployed Virtual Private Network.