A Virtual Private Network spreads, extends and connects a private network to a public network, also known as the internet. A VPN offers added security, functionality and enhanced management of resources. It allows employees or users to securely access the corporate intranet while travelling outside the office or the place where the VPN is implemented.
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When selecting a VPN you should keep in mind the 5 following points:
Security and Encryption: The most important benefit of a VPN is the extra level of encryption protocol it offers. So when selecting a VPN you should note and inquire about the encryption protocol used by the VPN, you do not have to be too technical just look for firms that offer OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSec, these are two of the best options for added network security.
Location and Number of Servers: Your VPN provider’s physical location should match your needs, for example, if you are located in the United States and you plan to hide your activities in a country with slack laws then a VPN with most of its nodes in the United States won’t be viable for you. On the other hand, if you wish to access services like YouTube and Netflix without the issue of geographical blocking, then going for a VPN with most of its nodes located in Asia and Africa will not be useful to you.
Go for a provider that has hundreds or thousands of reliable servers in multiple countries. Also, do note the geographic headquarters of the company and make sure that it aligns with your requirements.
Logging Policy: If your core requirement is privacy then do inquire and check the logging policy of your VPN provider. A VPN protects your data from hackers and security threats but your VPN provider can still access it, choose a company that does not keep logs of your data and has a solid ‘no logging policy.’
Data and Connection Restrictions: This is a very crucial point, given that a VPN can actually slow down your internet capability a bit, be sure to check that the connection speed you are going for and ask your provider the effects your selected speed can have on your bandwidth. Mostly, this isn’t such a big issue but if you are going to spend money for a VPN, your research should include this point.
Price and Payment Methods: Compare the pricing and services of three well known VPN providers, check with them the monthly fees you have to pay and inquire if the fee can go up or down depending on your usage.
Most VPN providers now provide a number of payment options such as credit card, PayPal or direct bank transfer. If your aim is to stay completely anonymous then go for a provider that accepts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins or gift cards, it’s recommended to not use your credit card in this case.
Some other points to remember when selecting a VPN provider are: checking for the device and OS support, is a ‘kill-switch-system’ included in the package and the number of allowed concurrent connections.
These key points will help you in selecting the best VPN service provider in accordance with your requirement. First, list down what you expect and need from your provider and then get in touch with a minimum of three VPN providers. This way you will be able to make a comparison and finally select a service that offers the best value for your money.
But first, don’t forget to check our Top 5 Recommended VPNs of 2018. This way, you will see all the features of the best VPNs available on the market easily.