VPN buying guide- How to find the best VPN service?
With more than 300 well-known VPNs available in the market, it becomes annoying to find the best VPN service among them. To make this task super easy, we’ve decided to create a detailed VPN buying guide for you.
There’re literally hundreds of VPNs out there that claim themselves to be the best in the business. No doubt, these VPNs are equipped with fast-speed servers, modern security features, strong encryption, and protocols that make your connection secure.
But it’s also important to keep in mind that not all VPNs listed on the internet are good. A majority of VPN services (free VPNs, predominantly) are in fact, nothing but crap. They are only there to push countless irritating advertisements before you and make money at the cost of your privacy.
Similarly, not all paid VPNs are worth your hard-earned money. Today, we’re going to tell you certain factors that determine whether a VPN is worth it or not. You can use these factors to shortlist good VPNs and eventually, find the best VPN service for yourself.
We’ve already discussed the best VPNs for PC, Android, iPhone, and Firestick in our previous articles. But if you’ve to find the best VPN by yourself, you can use this guide. Before that, let me tell you a bit more about VPNs and how they work.
What is a VPN and how does it work?
VPN, also known as a Virtual Private Network, makes a secret tunnel between your computer and internet service provider, giving you an anonymous, fast, and secure connection.
It’s a kind of virtual network that encrypts all your internet traffic such that no one can access your web data. It helps you in maintaining privacy on the internet by creating an encrypted internet traffic route.
We access the internet through internet service providers that assign us unique IP addresses. A VPN replaces your real IP address with one of its own. This prevents your ISP from tracking your online activities as it can’t see your original IP address.
Apart from that, a VPN also comes in handy for unblocking geographically restricted websites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney, Hulu, BBC, etc.
How to find the best VPN service?
There are numerous factors that you should consider to find the best VPN. And to be very honest, no VPN will fulfill all these criteria altogether. Different VPNs focus on different features. Each VPN has its own area of expertise and you need to choose them accordingly.
Before heading to these factors, you’ve to question yourself – Why do you need a VPN? What purpose are you looking to achieve through a VPN? Answering these two questions will solve half of your problem.
If you want to make browsing secure, you should go with a VPN that posses advanced security protocols. If your wish is to prevent your data from being exposed on the internet, a VPN with strong encryption should be your preference.
If you value your privacy and can’t see your sensitive data getting leaked, a VPN that keeps no logs is what you should look for. Similarly, if you’re into streaming movies and TV shows, you’ll need a VPN that offers fast and reliable connections.
Now, once you get the answer to the above questions, you can consider the below-mentioned factors as well.
Factors you need to consider to find the best VPN service-
Speed is one of the most important things to look for while buying a VPN service. No matter how secure a VPN is, if it isn’t offering you consistently fast internet speed, it’s of no use.
Now, it’s obvious that while using a VPN, you’re going to observe a small amount of speed loss, generally 20%-30%. This is pretty common and happens with almost every VPN. But if the speed loss is high, let’s say, around 70%, 80%, or 90%, then the VPN isn’t good enough for you.
So, how will you find out the speed loss in a given VPN? Well, for that purpose, you can either read its reviews on multiple websites or try out the VPN by yourself. Many VPNs offer a limited-time money-back guarantee, which you can effectively use for finding things out.
The speed of a VPN largely depends on the location of its servers. More server concludes more internet speed. To find the best VPN for you, check out the number of VPN servers available in your country.
Suppose you’re living in the US. If a VPN has only 1 or 2 servers in such a large country like the US, then it isn’t going to be beneficial for you. If there’re more servers, the chances of getting good speed in different parts of the country are better.
So, try to find a VPN that has more server locations nearby you. With more close servers you’ll get good speed compared to what you’ll get with far ones. Moreover, if you love traveling, search the availability of the VPN servers in the country you’re going to visit.
A majority of users employ VPNs only to stream geographically banned content including movies and TV shows. A VPN lets you access such geo-restricted media that you can’t access otherwise.
A VPN that can effortlessly unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, BBC, Disney, or any other such platforms of different countries is the best VPN for streaming. To find the best VPN for streaming Netflix, click here.
This is one of the most overlooked factors that play an important part in maintaining your complete privacy online. Find a VPN that lies outside the 5/9/14 eyes countries. Before knowing why this is important, you should know what are 5/9/14 eyes countries.
It is basically an alliance of countries that generally share their intelligence data with one another. They are known to keep surveillance on their people’s online activities and track their online presence. So, if your VPN is based out of these countries, the government might force it to share its user’s data. Here no-logs policy also comes into play, which is discussed below.
No-logs policy ensures that the VPN won’t keep your logs or data. If any VPN follows a strict no-logs policy, it means the VPN won’t keep a record of your online activities, your real IP address, the websites you visit, the time you spent on the internet, and other similar details. You can thoroughly read the privacy policies of VPNs to know whether they keep logs or not.
It is important because if a VPN doesn’t keep any logs, then how will it share that data with the respective authorities. So you have to ensure that your preferred VPN must lie outside 5/9/14 eyes surveillance and follow a strict no-logs policy.
Security protocols and encryption
The VPN must have standard security protocols like OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2, and military-grade 256-bit encryption. I won’t tell you how different protocols work to keep it simple for you. Just keep these little things in your mind. In most of the paid VPNs available on the market, you’ll easily find these security protocols.
When it comes to free VPNs, these protocols are usually missing. Free VPN mostly uses PPTP protocol which is quite insecure. Apart from that, a few VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN have developed their own protocols named Lightway and NordLynx respectively.
Many users believe that to find the best VPN service, they’ve to search for the costliest ones. But this isn’t true at all. Not all expensive VPNs are good enough to protect your online privacy. Numerous budget-friendly services offer the same features as their costly counterparts.
A VPN that can keep your online presence anonymous and comes under a great price range would be good to go. Moreover, always purchase long-term plans to get the maximum discount.
So, these are some important factors that’ll let you find the best VPN service available out there on the internet. You should consider all these features before opting for any service. Furthermore, there’re still some other additional characteristics that you can look for in a VPN.
- P2P support- If you’re into torrenting, you should check whether all the servers of a given VPN support p2p file-sharing or not. As many VPNs prohibit torrenting from their servers, it’s good to check before committing to them.
- History of VPN- A lot of VPNs differentiate between the actual story and what is written on their policy. For instance, IPVanish had a no-logs policy but it was caught sharing data with the US government back in 2016. So it’s always recommended to check if the VPN has a clean history or not.
- Platform- A VPN that supports numerous platforms like Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, and Firestick is a good buy. You should also watch for its multiple browser extensions.
- Interface- A VPN with a nice and uncluttered interface is preferably better than the VPN having tons of confusing functionalities on its interface.
- Payment options- You should prefer the VPN offering anonymous payment options like Bitcoins. In this way, you can completely protect the personal information that’s required while paying through other ways.
The bottom line
So, I hope this article will help you to find the best VPN service that can comfortably make your online data safe from all sorts of potential threats. Before buying any VPN, you need to be clear about why do you want it. Only then you would be able to find the perfect VPN for yourself.
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