So, you’re in the market for a VPN provider? Great!
VPNs provide a bunch of excellent security benefits by encrypting your data, masking your IP address, and essentially, protecting you while you’re connected to the internet.
But now that you’ve started shopping around for VPN providers, you’ve probably noticed that there are plenty of them to choose from. In fact, there are hundreds of VPN providers on the market, which can make it a bit difficult to choose one that’s best for you.
So, how do you choose the best VPN provider, when there are so many to choose from?
Below, we’ll look at some of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a VPN provider.
Learn more about the rankings of VPN service providers.
Figuring Out Why You Need a VPN
If you were shopping for a brand new computer, you wouldn’t just walk into the store and purchase the first computer you saw. Well, the same goes when shopping for VPN providers.
As we’ve already mentioned, there are hundreds of VPN provider on the market, which means that you need to figure out what you need a VPN for before deciding on a service provider to use.
For example, if you’re planning on using your VPN to keep you safe while streaming movies, you’re going to want to look for a VPN that provides consistent, high-speeds, as well as providing reliable connections, and unlimited bandwidth usage.
Whereas, if you’re looking for a VPN to protect your entire home’s private Wi-Fi network, then a VPN router might be the best option, instead of a VPN application.
Finally, if you’re looking for a VPN to keep you safe while travelling, it’s best to look for a VPN provider who offers excellent security features, as well as a large network of servers located all around the world.
Once you’ve figured out what you’ll be needing a VPN for, make a list of all the features that are important to you, as well as those that you’re not going to need. With this list, you’ll have a much easier time screening prospective VPN providers.
Check for Compatibility
Most VPN providers support the most popular systems such as Mac, iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux. However, there are certain VPNs which are not available on all platforms.
So, if you own an Apple computer, but use an Android smartphone, then you’re going to want to make sure that your VPN provider supports both Mac and Android platforms.
It’s also a good idea to check how many devices are supported by your VPN service provider. Many VPNs allow for an unlimited number of devices, but there are some that will only let you connect one or two devices at a time.
Look for Special Features
Whether it’s speed, encryption, or anonymity, every VPN provider specialises in offering something more to their customers.
So, for example, if you want a VPN to be able to access geo-restricted content, then it’s essential to find a provider that specialises in being able to unblock content.
Some VPN providers are excellent at encrypting your data but may have issues bypassing certain website’s geo-restrictions. In this case, you’d want to choose a provider such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, which are known for being able to bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions continuously.
On the other hand, if you’re in need of privacy or anonymity, a VPN with a zero-logging policy and secure 256-bit AES encryption should be your priority.
Number of Servers and Locations
Another important factor to consider when looking for a VPN provider is the number of servers that make up their network, as well as where they’re located.
For those who live in less populated regions or countries that have strict censorship laws in place, it’s important to look for a VPN provider with plenty of servers nearby.
For example, China is known for having very strict censorship laws in place. Therefore, if you plan on accessing the internet from China, you’re going to want to find a provider with servers near your location to effectively circumvent their restrictions.
Find a User-Friendly VPN
The user interface of some VPNs can be a little complicated if you’re not wholly tech savvy. So, if you don’t want the hassle of having to configure your VPN, it’s important to find a VPN that offers a simple, user-friendly interface.
For this, make sure to read the provider’s customer reviews to see what other people have to say about using their interface.
Since setting up and configuring your VPN service can be a bit complicated, it’s crucial to choose a provider that offers 24/7 customer support.
The internet is constantly changing and evolving. Therefore, it’s essential that you find a provider that you can easily contact if you ever run into trouble while using their service.
Try to look for providers who offer live-chat or phone support, since emails and service tickets generally take more time to answer.