Whenever you go online, big brother will be watching everything you do. If you visit that porn site, well, you know, the ones that your mama warned you about … big brother will be watching, a log will be entered somewhere. You cannot hide your online footprints, unless you make deliberate efforts to do so. This you can do by knowing how to choose the best VPN for your needs. There are many VPN providers in the market and since they all claim to be the best in the market, well, you will find it a bit of a challenge to find the best one. But not to worry because after reading this short post, you will know how. Easily too.
Read online reviews
I know you have heard about reading online reviews one time too many until it has started to sound so cliché. But tell you what? It is the main thing to do when you are buying any product or service online. The good thing about reading reviews is that they will tell you everything that you need to know about a service before you can subscribe to it. For example, here are a few things that you can learn from a user review for the best VPN criteria:
- Its price
- Factors of best VPN
- How it works
- The resources it consumes in your computer
- Whether it is really worth it
- Many other factors
You will be getting information from customers who used the VPN service and therefore you can be assured that you are getting the real deal. However, be smart and learn to distinguish between a bitter customer and one who got an unsatisfactory service. This means that if you find many positive reviews and a few negative ones, it is a good service.
Compare VPN services before buying one
Never buy the very first one that you got through an advert on social media. Do some footwork. In fact, take some time to shop around, all the time comparing several VPN providers. The same way that you would do due diligence when buying a car or a web hosting service, it is the same way that you should search for information when looking for the best VPN. Look at the features, and go for the one that has many. Among the features that you should look for include:
- Integrity of the network – this means that the information being exchanged on the public networks is not altered in any way
- Confidentiality – this means that the information you are sending or receiving is not compromised in any way
- Authentication – this means that the identity of the sender and the recipient of information over VPN can be authenticated. How? By signing in with a password or by the use of a digital certificate.
These three, as mentioned above are also the factors of the best VPN. If it cannot offer those three at the very least, then it is not a good VPN service and you should move on to another one.
What are your VPN needs?
This is also one of the factors to consider when you are considering getting VPN. For example, if you need a VPN service so that you can keep your online transactions private, you will look for one that covers such. If you need a VPN because you use public/open networks a lot, well, you are well advised to turn it on all the time you get to that coffee shop and decide to use their Wi-Fi because you do not know whether it is secure.
To be able to access content that is banned in your country, well, you will need to do a geo-shift. This will make you appear as if you are browsing in another country where the content is allowed. Thus, you will have to look for VPN that offers such a feature and more.
When you are looking for deniability, well, look for a VPN that offers just that, you know a service that does not keep logs. You should also ensure that the VPN service is popular with many users so that it is close to impossible to nab just one user.
Consider their servers and their location
This is one of the factors of the best VPN services. How many servers do they have and where are these servers located. Well, the more the merrier and these should be located in different locations. If a VPN provider has servers in the US only, then that will not help you access content that is banned there. Scrutinize your needs carefully and find a company that has many servers in as many locations as possible.
Can you connect with many devices?
Today, many people have at least two devices that they use to access the internet. Thus as you seek to know how to choose the best VPN, you will also seek to know whether you can connect more than one device, concurrently. That way, everyone at home can use the same VPN.
Look for a VPN with a kill switch system
VPNs are known to go offline some time, especially due to too much use. Therefore, when that happens, the device that was already connected goes to default mode, that of connecting to the internet without the VPN. A kill switch can however solve that for you, by making sure that the device switches of, or disconnects from the internet when the VPN fails.
Protocols are basically encryption systems that the VPN uses. Some are just so basic while others are quite advanced. For example, the protocol PPTP (point-to-point tunneling protocol) is not one of the factors of best VPN. On the contrary, it is too basic and is most likely outdated. This one comes with the Windows systems as it is inbuilt but you are advised to look for a more advanced option.
L2TP/IPSec is another one of the protocols that you can use. It is hard to maneuver around firewalls. However, it is easy to set up and much more secure than PPTP. However, note that L2TP (layer 2 tunnel protocol) is not an encrypting technology thus it can only be implemented together with IPSec.
This is the best of all the protocols since it is easy to get around firewalls and is easy to configure for any port. It also uses more advanced technology like the SSL v3/TLS v1 protocols and OpenSSL for encryption. Today, OpenVPN is used as one of the VPN criteria, which everyone considers when they are comparing VPN services.
The other protocol is SSTP.
Method of payment
Well, many times, when it comes to buying stuff online, we only think of the more conventional means like PayPal, or debit and credit card. However, all of these methods require you to verify identity and therefore it does not make sense to use such to pay for a service that is supposed to keep you anonymous. On the contrary, if you want total non-detection, hot to find good VPN requires a payment method like gift cards and so on.