Choosing a VPN

There are many reasons today for wanting to use a VPN service.  Some of the top reasons are:

  • Downloading movies or TV shows
  • Watching Netflix or Hulu from a different country
  • Safe Web Browsing
  • Hiding your identity

What to look for when choosing a VPN

What you want to use a VPN for often determines what features you will want or need.  But here is a general rundown of the main features you should be looking for.

Security Protocols

There are a number of security protocols available today including PPTP, L2TP, SSTP and OpenVPN.  While all protocols have pros and cons, we highly recommend choosing a VPN provider that uses the OpenVPN protocol.  None of them are perfect, but several of them such as PPTP are not very secure and in fact have been compromised by the NSA, meaning that whatever you are doing online could theoretically be viewed by others.  That defeats the purpose of using a VPN in the first place.

You don’t really need to understand all the details of how these protocols work as any good VPN service will have good software that just works automatically for you.

Bandwidth

Almost as important as security is how much bandwidth you are allowed.  There is no point in signing up for a monthly VPN service if you are constantly going over your bandwidth limit and either being shut down until the new month or being charged extra.  Many good VPN providers like Torguard provide unlimited bandwidth so you never need to worry about downloading too much or watching too much Netflix.

Logging

Read the VPN website carefully when it comes to logging.  Or Google the service and see what others say.  Some services actually log what their users do, so if you are doing something like downloading torrents, there is a possibility that you could get caught.  It is very important to never use a VPN service that maintains logs or admits to handing over user information to enforcement agencies.

Locations

See what locations the VPN provider offers and make sure that they match up with what you need to use the VPN for.  If you need a VPN in Germany for instance and the service doesn’t have connections in that country, it would be pointless to sign up with them.  The US is the most common place for servers on VPNs.  If this is your normal country of choice, make sure the service has lots of servers in the US all over the country.  That way if there is a bottleneck on one server, you can simply change to another one.

Price

A good VPN provider is not free, but that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive either.  Some services charge a lot more than others just because they are well known and people will just assume they are better than all the others.  This is not always the case.  You can also look around for VPN deals to save on your favorite VPN service.

Conclusion

There are many other factors you may need to look at when choosing a VPN, depending on what you want to do with it but the list we have presented should be a good starting point for most people with average needs.  Remember – the reason you want to use a VPN in the first place is for security and privacy so make sure that you remember our tips and choose wisely.