Sam - August 15, 2016

What to look for when choosing a VPN

There are many reasons to use a VPN. These include stopping people spying on your browsing, helping you get access to region-restricted content and helping you evade censorship.

Because of this VPN use has been increasing recently, which has lead to an increase in VPNs on the marketplace.

However, with so much choice it can be a struggle to know what exactly to look for when choosing a VPN, as well as which is the correct VPN for you.

In this article, we aim to inform you about the main features you should be looking for when choosing your VPN.

Here are some of the things you will want to check out when choosing a VPN:

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  • Encryption protocol

  • Server locations

  • Location of VPN company and its privacy/logging policy

  • Bandwidth

  • Price

  • Useability

We will now take a deeper look into what exactly these terms are and why they are important for you when choosing a VPN.

And don’t forget, if you want to try a VPN out for free, then why not head over to www.proxyrack.com/vpn/ to download their VPN.

The encryption protocol the VPN uses to encrypt your data.

The encryption protocol is how a VPN hides your data. This can affect things such as how secure the VPN is, as well as the speed of your internet connection.

When choosing a VPN you will notice that there are many different protocols that VPNs use to protect your data.

Some of the names you may see are PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN.

Of these, PPTP is the oldest and least secure option. Because of this, it has some security issues and when considering the wide range of VPNs available it should really be avoided where possible.

The second option is L2TP/IPsec. While it is certainly better that PPTP it is not as fast as the third option, OpenVPN. It can be a good choice for protecting yourself on mobile devices, however.

The option that is generally regarded as the best quality is OpenVPN. It is secure and has plenty of setup options. One its biggest plus points is that it is also hard for sites looking to block VPNs to tell the difference between traffic coming through an OpenVPN server and a normal internet connection.

The location of the VPN servers

The location of a VPN server is a big deal if you are looking to get around geo-blocks or access sites blocked in your country. This is because when you connect to a server in another country it can trick websites into thinking you are browsing the internet from that country.

Therefore when choosing a VPN, if you know there is a specific site you want to access, you should make sure the VPN you choose has servers located in an area that will allow access to that site.

The location of the VPN company and logging/privacy policy

This is especially important if you are mainly worried about privacy. While a VPN will stop your ISP from logging your browsing it may well keep a log of your activity itself. Therefore if you are worried about privacy you should check the company’s logging policy before signing up.

One thing to note is that as a VPN sells itself on keeping your privacy, they will generally want to keep as little data as possible. Therefore the specifics of the logging/privacy policy will often depend on the laws of the country it is based in.

Each country has a different law when it comes to what data the company has to retain and when it comes to turning this data over to the authorities. This means that if you want a VPN that doesn’t log your data you should choose one based in a country that doesn’t require VPNs to keep their customer’s data.

Bandwidth and data limitations

When looking for a VPN you should also check if there are any limitations on the amount you can use it.

While most paid VPNs will give you unlimited bandwidth, some of the free ones will limit you to a certain number of megabytes of data a month. This can be a problem if you plan to stream music or play games.

As well as this even some paid VPNs have limits or bans on things such as downloading torrents. Therefore if this is something you plan to do you should check before signing up for a service.

Price

VPNs vary in price quite a lot so it is worth shopping around and thinking about what you will use your VPN for.

For example, if you just want a bit of security it isn’t necessary to have server connections in 90 different countries. This is because you can only use one server at a time and as long as your data is being sent through a VPN’s server it doesn’t matter how many other options there are.

On the other hand, if you want specific features such as the ability to access Netflix, lots of different options or mobile use, you should make sure that you pay for a service that allows what you need.

Usability

Usability is certainly a key thing to think about when choosing a VPN. VPN’s range from programs where you simply pick a server and go, to ones with hundreds of adjustable options and features.

For some people, a more complicated VPN with access to all the options will be a good choice while for others one that offers the simplest and quickest service possible will be the best choice for them.

And that is our list of what to look for when choosing a VPN. The most important thing is to decide what you want to use your VPN for and choose one that suits your uses.

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