7 Things to Consider When Choosing a VPN

Updated

So, you want to get a VPN. It’s a good thing, a VPN. Data privacy and access to the whole world. What’s not to like? However, as with every purchase, you need to do your homework first. The internet world is tricky, and in this article, we’ll show you how to choose a VPN. So strap in and let us take you on this brief but detailed ride!

7 Things to Consider When Choosing a VPN

What Is a Secure VPN? Why Do You Need It?

Let’s study some basics first. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. The goal of a VPN is to protect your identity and privacy on the internet. Consider it a shield keeping you safe while you swim in dangerous waters.

And make no mistake, the internet is dangerous. Every step you take, every move you make, someone is likely to be watching. Your IP, your physical location, all of these things can be tracked and kept as a dataset, which is then sold all over the world to provide you with targeted ads.

A product like FastVPN protects you from all of that. You get to keep where you go secret while also accessing the entire world of the internet without issue. However, choosing a VPN is the real issue here, especially if you’re new. So, let’s fix that. Here are the top seven things you need to keep in mind when picking a VPN!

#1 Security

Security is the currency that VPNs work with. They need trust from their clients, and the users need to be able to trust the VPN to protect their internet usage data. Without this, there is no business.

And in the security business, outdated technology simply does not work. Everything that goes into a good VPN: high levels of encryption, kill switches, and split tunneling technology, needs to be state of the art and constantly evolving because any security measure that falls behind is prone to be hacked, and people simply won’t work with that.

# 2 Privacy

Some VPNs offer a ‘zero logs’ policy, preventing identifiable information from being stored. At the same time, many providers don’t give any supporting evidence, and it can be challenging to determine if a service is logging or not without additional information.

Every VPN stores some data before and after each session, which can cause complications. You use a VPN explicitly to avoid this issue, and you need to ensure that the service you choose does not do this. To get this right, look at VPNs that refuse to accommodate the police’s requests for data because these are the companies that will protect you when all the chips are down.

7 Things to Consider When Choosing a VPN

#3 Jurisdiction

Law enforcement officials can request data from VPN providers if they fall within their jurisdiction. However, suppose the company’s policy about sharing data logs is uncrackable. In that case, it really doesn’t matter where it is based because nobody will be able to make a successful claim to the data.

Still, when choosing a VPN, look into what country they’re based in and what legal acts control cooperation with the law. Ideally, you’d want a service that doesn’t cooperate at all.

#4 Ownership

It’s always possible some data collecting may occur to support the company. Many services also rely significantly on advertising, which is not suitable for those concerned with their privacy.

Finding out about your VPN owners is paramount. Is the brand name they use different from the parent company? Why is this? What other kinds of things do these companies take part in? Do other third-party companies have a stake in the VPN company? If so, how much data sharing happens, if any? All this information is helpful for you. So, find it out.

#5 Pricing

The operational costs of running a VPN are high. In addition, if the VPN operator does not generate money from your subscription fees, they will make money from your data, including stealing and selling your personal information.

Free isn’t always better, so always check the price when selecting a service you have to pay for. Is it in your budget? Can you afford it? Think about all of this beforehand.

#6 Free Trials

Before settling on a VPN provider, put contenders through their paces in a realistic setting of your choosing. It is for this reason that trial periods and money-back guarantees are provided. Any company that offers them should be higher among your list of VPNs to consider. Free trials are always a show of good faith and reflect well on the company.

#7 Compatibility

A VPN is akin to any software and thus has its own needs and requirements. First, you need to figure out if it’s compatible with your system. You want the most coverage possible. Failing that, you’d like the VPN to cover at least the basics. These are Windows, Mac, Linux, Routers, iOS, Android, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, and possibly browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

Conclusion

A VPN is a layer of protection you can get for yourself that will help you surf the tricky waters of the interwebs without much risk. It is a necessity, and now, you know how to pick the best one for you.

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Lucy Bennett

Lucy Bennett is a Contributing Editor at iLounge. She has been writing about Apple and technology for over six years. Prior to joining iLounge, Lucy worked as a writer for several online publications.