How to Choose a VPN: 5 Factors
Are you currently on a personal quest to get the best VPN for your needs? Have you been browsing Reddit and similar forums to understand how other Internet users are choosing their private network? Well, you need not look further. We at Astrill have devised this easy guide to help you choose a service that aligns with your needs, is reliable and fast, and one that can be trusted. These are the top 5 factors to consider when you are hit with arguably the most relevant question of 2018: how to choose a VPN?
5 Factors to Choose the Ideal VPN Service
Before you jump into the on-line frenzy of tens and hundreds of VPN providers and associated guides, ponder upon these five essential factors first. These will give you clarity about your own requirements and help you take a wiser decision.
What is it Intended for?
Your answer to this question will pave way for the rest of the factors. It is absolutely important to have a clear measure of what you intend to achieve through a virtual private network service. Are you going to use it to increase your on-line privacy? Or is it to exchange files over the P2P network or to access websites or applications blocked in your country? Or just as a tool for marketing purposes?
Whatever be the purpose – and there can several of them when it comes to VPN – zeroing in on a primary one will make your quest easier. For example, if anonymity and privacy are your main areas of focus, look for a VPN that has the best security features and encryption standards.
A VPN is supposed to have a strong security framework. Only then can it protect your data and save you from prying eyes on the Internet. Does it log your usage or harvest your information? Does it follow privacy guidelines such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Do Not Track (DNT), for instance? What about encryption?
Does it use the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) or an inferior one like Camelia? What about IP and DNS leaks? Answers to these questions – which you can find on a VPN service provider’s website – will help you shortlist the best ones.
Also look at what protocols the VPN provides. While PPTP and IPSec are older protocols that compromise both on speed and security, OpenVPN is a good bet for a reliable service.
This parameter automatically cancels out the existence of free VPNs which almost often never satisfy the requisite. Because if you want a VPN that you can trust for a lifetime, you have to look at a premium one.
Speed and Additional Features
Speed is more important for people who are going to be continuously connected to the Internet through a VPN. It makes no sense to have a fiber-to-home network only to find the connection speed to be pegged down by the shield network. (A good way to check this is to request a demo or by signing up for a free trial. Get Astrill for seven days for free!)
Additionally, look at what auxiliary features a VPN application can provide you. These can include router service, support for multiple devices and systems like Android and iOS, dedicated IPs, and multi-hop VPN feature to name a few.
Always look if the provider has advanced features for business users, which signals to how seriously the company takes security and privacy.
Price and Value
The price tag is definitely an important factor for most users. But over the years we have observed that serious users look beyond the tag. They consider the value they are getting from the service, and measure if the price can be balanced against all the bells and whistles a VPN provides.
Therefore, it suffices to say that if you have found a VPN that checks all the above boxes, then the price tag shouldn’t be a deal breaker. (Make sure you go through all available plans for maximum savings.)
Last but not the least, a VPN provider must have excellent customer support. You may be an advanced user, but there can still come a time when you need to clarify a setting feature or just confirm with the support team about the availability of a specific server. And if there is not a dedicated team sitting round the clock to attend to your query, what good is it anyway? A forum or a wiki site is a definite add-on.
How to Choose a VPN – Conclusion
Next time you are looking to buy a VPN service or trying to switch from your existing provider, remember these points. Studying different providers and comparing them can take up some of your time. But when it comes to on-line security, a little research can go a long way. We hope this guide has given you new ideas in your search for the best VPN.
If you are open to suggestions, why don’t we suggest Astrill to you? A superior VPN service! Learn more about us here, or if you are new to VPN, check out our blog for more such helpful tips and articles.