Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are central to enhancing internet freedom, privacy, and security. By making it possible for people to bypass unfair geo-blocking restrictions imposed by big corporations, they allow internet users to enjoy the freedom that is at the heart of what makes the internet great. And since they come with advanced security tools and also encrypt a user’s traffic, they provide a level of privacy and security protections that guarantee peace of mind when accessing the internet.
However, not all VPNs are equal. Since they are provided by different companies, they tend to vary in terms of the features that they offer, privacy protections, pricing, and the overall user experience that they provide. Therefore, if you are looking for a VPN, you should always take the time to ensure that you get what meets your needs. The following are the factors that you should never ignore when shopping for a VPN.
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Top 7 things to consider when selecting your VPN
1. Number of simultaneous connections
VPN service providers usually restrict the number of devices that you can connect simultaneously to the VPN. If you have multiple devices, this is something that should be at the top of the list of the things that you consider simply because it means that your other devices will be left unprotected. While you can choose to use one device at a time in order to ensure that you always enjoy all the benefits that come with a VPN, this can be quite inconveniencing.
Most good VPNs allow for up to 5 simultaneous connections. Some allow for up to six, while a few allow for unlimited simultaneous connections. For most people, an allowance of 5 simultaneous connections is good enough. Anything lower is probably not worth spending money on.
2. Connection speeds
VPNs are effective at providing privacy protection and bypassing geo-restrictions because they come in between your server and the target website’s server. As a result, they essentially make requests on your behalf. Therefore, if you end up with a VPN that has a slow connection speed, you will have trouble accessing content on the web. It will make the whole process frustrating, and this may even discourage you from using it.
What you want to go for is a VPN that has a reputation for offering fast connection speeds. Since most providers offer free trials, you can test a service out to find out whether its speed is acceptable for your use. Reading reviews from experts is also a great way to know whether a given VPN has fast connection speeds.
3. Ease of use
A good VPN should take a few minutes to set up. Using it should also be a breeze as it should be able to connect automatically. Furthermore, it should have a user-friendly interface that doesn’t seem overwhelming.
If a VPN takes long to set up, or if it requires technical knowledge to operate, then it is not worth your time. You should be able to use it straight away without requiring to use exhaustive tutorials, and if the VPN service doesn’t make it easy enough for beginners to use, you should avoid it.
4. Number of servers
VPN services provide privacy protection by spoofing your traffic. They do this by using the servers that are at their disposal. Therefore, assuming that all things are constant, a VPN that has more servers will do a better job of protecting your privacy than one with fewer servers.
5. Distribution of servers
The geographical distribution of the servers is also as important as the number of servers. This is so especially in cases where you want to bypass geo-locked content. A VPN service whose servers are more geographically distributed will offer you more freedom of access. A service with better geographically distributed servers will give you confidence that you can get an IP address for any place easily. For example, if you want to make it seem like your traffic is coming from New York, all you need is to download VPN to get free NY IP address.
6. Customer support
Just like when using any service, you are bound to run into problems when using a VPN service. It may be that you get stuck or that you have a problem accessing some features of the service. When this happens, it can be very frustrating to not have a helping hand.
Therefore, when choosing a VPN service, always go for one that has a reputation for offering great customer support. The trial period that most services offer is also long enough for you to judge their level of care, and it should be enough to help you make a decision.
7. Security and encryption
When evaluating a VPN service, you should look out for features that guarantee a safe and secure connection like the availability of kill switches, IP hiding capability, advanced security protocols, data logging features, top-shelf encryption, and no-logging policies. Generally, the more the security features that a VPN offers, the better it likely is.