A quick search online will show that that internet is full of VPN (virtual private network) options, all of them claiming to be the VPN that YOU need. All serviceable VPNs will help encrypt the data you send online for protection and privacy – but which one is right for you? Let’s go over what you can consider finding the service with the best fit and right features.
Ask If You Need a VPN on the Go – and Consider Compatibility
Some VPNs are primarily intended to protect desktop computers and laptops. If you frequently browse online or complete tasks from your smartphone or tablet, you should look for a VPN option that is compatible with mobile devices. Looking for specific iOS and Android support is a good start, but you should also look for examples of how the service works on smartphones and if it still includes all features.
Check Device Number Limits
Every VPN will have a limit on how many devices can use the VPN simultaneously. That’s pretty important in the average household filled with computers, phones, game consoles, and other devices. This limit can vary anywhere from 5 to 12 devices, with larger limits often being offered at higher prices. Think about your home or business and how many devices will be using the internet at the same time before you make a choice.
Look for No-Log Promises and Failsafes
A VPN that promises it won’t keep any logs means that it won’t store any activity about when and where you go online (or what kind of sites you visit), and that it won’t share that information with a government or an ISP (internet service provider). Some VPNs like to point out that they are technically based offshore, so a nation like the United States or the UK can’t force them to reveal any information about their users. These are great features to look for if you are especially interested in privacy.
Another great feature to look for is a failsafe or “kill switch” that automatically shuts down your internet connection if the VPN fails for any reason. This ensures that governments or hackers can’t collect any sensitive information. It’s an especially important feature under more oppressive governments that try to control how citizens use the internet in detail.
For Business Needs, Find a VPN with Great Security Features
If you are a business looking for a reliable VPN to protect your data in the office, or in a remote work situation, look for a VPN with the latest encryption technology. It’s also a good idea to find a VPN that can be rolled out to a larger number of people easily. Your IT department may also want a VPN that’s easier to customize or support open-source encryption options.
Think About If You Need a VPN for the Whole Family
Are you interested in a VPN that can help protect your whole family and all the devices they use? In addition to looking for a large device limit, you may also want to look for a VPN that’s compatible with routers. Some VPNs offer router installation that encrypts everything heading out of the router, no matter what device it’s coming from. This can be an effective way to protect the whole family’s devices without individually managing VPN apps on every device.
Take a Look at Screenshots to Find a Good UI
A good VPN will provide screenshots or walkthroughs to get a good idea of their user interface and how it works. Look for an option that seems easy to understand or learn. If a VPN is confusing, you won’t be able to use it as well!
Look at Server Numbers, But Take This With a Grain of Salt
VPNs are happy to talk about how many servers in various countries that they offer. This ensures support for a wider audience and helps let people know they can switch their server to different regions and get past geo-restriction for certain types of content. This is important, but it’s not necessarily a situation where “big numbers mean better service.” Many servers indicate that a VPN business is large and has invested in servers, but many other quality indicators may be more important. Check out the servers, but pay attention to customer service too!
Look for Free Trial Periods and Good Deals
A good VPN also tends to offer a free trial period, usually around 30 days, where you can end your service without making any payments. This is a great way to test a service you like and a sign of excellent customer service. You may also want to check out pricing plans and see if there are any great deals. Successful VPNs tend to offer significant discounts if you purchase the service for a year or more.
Generally, free VPNs have more limited features, log some of your data, and even be scams, so if you want a free VPN, you’ll have to do some very careful research for the right ones.
Look for Strong Torrenting Features
Finally, a good VPN will naturally make torrenting easier and safer when you want to download files. You may want to search for a VPN that gives preference to torrenting or P2P connections, or explains how they make it easier to download large files – this helps keep downloads from taking too long. Some VPNs may go the opposite way and restrict torrenting, so it’s important to find out the details.
Still not sure what you want? Try the best VPN on the market with excellent features, pricing, and free trial options today.