A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to quickly and easily conceal the location of your computer online. This IT solution will make it appear as if your computer address is coming from a different location than the actual one. Home users might think they aren’t doing anything that they need to hide but there is always a chance someone my be snooping on your wifi. For those who use computers or smartphones while traveling and connect to shared WiFi connections at hotels and airports though, a VPN is essential for keeping private documents, banking records, and personal data private.
As their name suggests, VPNs establish virtual networks that drive traffic through an encrypted tunnel that makes other users believe you are at the physical location of the VPN server. Although this strategy helps you overcome geographic restrictions or avoid censors, you still need to choose the VPN provider carefully.
The number of servers and their location
In order to be able to hide your true location to the best, you need to learn how to use VPN and it’s uses. The VPN uses multiple servers located across the globe. In some cases, a provider might have a single server in one country, which makes it a really ban VPN option.
What you need to look in providers is the number of servers they own. The math is simple in this case: the more servers the better, as today there are providers who have more than 100 servers across the globe. The geographical distribution is important because the best pieces for using modern communication channels is not to keep all your eggs (servers) in one basket.
More than a single connection
So far, we have been discussing how to connect a single device to a VPN. However, you are likely to need more than one connection, as you want another member of the family to have the luxury of a VPN or you simply access the Internet across various platforms.
In this case, you will need multiple concurrent connections to a VPN service. The bare minimum is two; but just as the number of servers, the more nods a VPN can generate the better. If you choose a really good provider, you should be able to connect to your router and mobile device in addition to the PC.
Regular updates and consistency
As you are well aware by now, nothing is forever in the world of online browsing. Namely, a list with names of actual providers changes so fast that it is futile to list them all. VPN providers that were a hit last year are either down today or they have significantly decreased the number of servers.
That’s why you should look for consistency in providers. We found a great list of reliable free VPN providers that still work great, check this blogpost out, it might help you make a decision. All in all, we always recommend that you explore the recent history of the desired provider to see have they been able to deliver in the past.
(Not keeping) logs
With the state of global online freedom in jeopardy, the issue of privacy ranks high in VPN users. In this sense, you should check if your VPN keeps any logs of users’ online activity. Because of their customers’ privacy preferences and the benefit of not storing extra data, luckily, most providers don’t keep logs.
In fact, the biggest providers will probably inform you that they couldn’t keep logs even if they wanted to due to the sheer size of disk space required for storing all that data. Of course, some VPNs do keep logs for technical reasons but only for a few hours before the data is fully processed.
Does the VPN have a kill switch system in place?
Trust is the keyword when it comes to choosing the right VPN. You are basically entrusting the VPN with your safety as you browse the Internet anonymously. The last thing you need is for the private network to crash and all your private data to end up in the public domain online.
In order to prevent the worst-case scenario, any solid VPN has a system in place colloquially called a “kill switch.” If the VPN connection fails for any reason whatsoever, the connection is automatically locked down so there is no danger the computer will create an open, unsecured Internet connection.
Payment methods available
People who use a VPN for precocious reasons, such as political activity, prefer to remain anonymous, even to their provider. That’s why such individuals appreciate the existence of anonymous payment methods. The ability to pay using an online payment system like PayPal, a cryptocurrency such as bitcoins, altcoins and tokens or using gift cards is highly valued by most users.
We hope that now you have a clearer picture of what a good VPN consists of. From the number of servers to the ability to pay for hosting services anonymously, take into consideration all traits of a VPN.