In an age when so much of our day-to-day activities depend on digital technology and the Internet, cybersecurity and privacy are two issues that are perpetually at the forefront of the public consciousness. Internet users around the world want assurance that they are protected as they go about their online activities, and VPNs have been developed to serve this purpose.
The VPN industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past several years, and there are no signs that that will cease any time soon. However, the expansion of the VPN market has created resulted in something of a dilemma for users: With so many options to choose from these days, what should one look for in a VPN?
Fast Connection Speed
Connection speed is an incredibly important aspect to consider when looking for a VPN. Of course, it’s important to remember that since VPNs work by routing your internet traffic through a remote server, they add extra steps to the connection process, so browsing the Internet with a VPN will typically be slightly slower than browsing without.
However, while users should expect to compromise on speed to some extent, the reduction varies according to the specific service, as higher-quality VPNs have considerable bandwidth that helps to alleviate slow-down. For this reason, it makes sense to consider VPNs that offer unlimited bandwidth to users. Urban VPN, for instance, is a VPN that offers unlimited bandwidth, but other services such as Private Internet Access or NordVPN also provide this.
Increased privacy is one of the primary motives for using a VPN, regardless of whether it is for personal or commercial purposes. However, research indicates that as little as 54% of VPN users actually feel protected while using one. So, it stands to reason that you are going to want to find the best possible encryption available so you can feel secure that your data won’t be accessed by third parties.
There is a variety of different kinds of encryption available, such as Triple DES, Blowfish, or RSA. The Advanced Encryption System, or AES, is an especially safe bet, however, as it has a solid reputation for security and is even the choice encryption method of the US government.
Some VPNs that are well-known for their security are ExpressVPN, Proton VPN, and Surfshark.
Server Count & Locations
Since the whole VPN process relies on the use of remote servers, they can have a profound impact on the final experience of actually using a VPN service, and this should be a serious consideration when choosing the right one for you. There are a couple of primary aspects to think about in this regard.
The first is the number of servers. The more servers a provider has access to, the more bandwidth they have at their disposal, which can dramatically affect connection and download speed. The second aspect is the location of those servers. Having access to servers in nearby locations is preferable as it provides a faster, more responsive connection. Moreover, having a wide array of servers to choose from in different regions will allow you to more easily bypass geo-restrictions and censorship. So, when choosing a VPN, it’s best to opt for one that has a large number of server locations.
Atlas VPN has 30+ server locations, for instance, while TunnelBear has 40+ and Urban VPN has more than 80 locations on various continents.
Security and privacy don’t cease to be a concern when you switch off your desktop computer, so it’s advisable to use a VPN at all times when online, especially while on the move. This means that the VPN you choose needs to be flexible, easy to use, and convenient.
Providers are increasingly striving to create VPN applications for mobile devices so that users can remain protected when they need it most – while using public networks out in the world. Of course, most people aren’t experts in tech and cybersecurity, so these apps are designed to allow users to enable protection with just a couple of taps.
There are a variety of providers who offer multi-device subscriptions and convenient mobile applications for their VPN services. Some good examples here are CyberGhost, PrivateVPN, and VyprVPN.
Depending on whether you need a VPN for the cybersecurity of a small business, a large one, or just for personal use, the price you’re comfortable paying may vary. While VPNs are generally a very cost-effective privacy solution, it never makes sense to waste money on something you don’t have a use for, so it’s worth deciding what features you really need before you decide to start using a specific VPN.
With the market being so big, there are various tiers of VPNs available to suit every kind of user. Providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer premium paid subscriptions which give users unlimited access to their complete server networks, while Surfshark offers a more affordable subscription rate.
Alternatively, Atlas VPN offers a free version of its service, albeit with access to a limited selection of server locations. Lastly, Urban VPN provides a free premium VPN which gives full access to its server network, making it a good all-around option for those who want added security without the added cost.
VPNs have fast become a must-have for all internet users the world over. Thankfully, there is a wide selection of different VPN solutions available to help you stay protected online. With such a depth of options on the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices. However, by doing your due diligence and establishing a clear idea of what you expect from your VPN, you can find a product that aligns with your needs.