Thanks to the rise of geographical blocks on many sites, huge amounts of data leaks, and online privacy issues, we have seen a large spike in the VPN market recently. There is intense competition between the various VPN software and apps which are now available. Advertisements are popping up all over the internet for different VPNs, which can make the process of picking a suitable service pretty confusing.
Essentially, VPNs are a cybersecurity tool. If this is not your area of expertise, it is worthwhile taking the time to do some research. That’s why we’ve put together these top tips to help you choose the best VPN for your personal use.
You’re probably already aware of the numerous benefits of VPNs: providing unmatched security, encryption, and anonymity in browsing. All this comes with complete access to all areas of the internet which may be blocked in your location.
This market is huge: there are over 300 VPNs on the market right now. The question is, therefore, how do you know which one you should use? In the end, this comes down to identifying your needs when it comes to a VPN and then picking one that best meets your needs. To help you do that effectively, we have the following tips just for you.
Decide what you actually need a VPN for
Just like any product, you don’t want to sign up for the first VPN you see. The best VPN for you will vary depending on if you need it for the whole family, or for individual use. In the former situation, you need to find a VPN which is linked to your router and enables multiple connections at the same time. For streaming videos, a VPN with high speed and consistent connections is essential.
On the other hand, people who are frequent travelers and often use public internet require an option with the highest level of security and global capabilities. A good start is to carefully consider your requirements, take note of them, and keep them in mind as you move forward.
Make sure compatibility is there
Obviously, it is important that you will be able to run your VPN on whatever platform you use. Luckily, the majority of VPNs are compatible with all common platforms such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. However, this is not true in all cases, so be sure to check this before signing up. This is particularly important if you are running multiple operating systems, that is, a combination of Mac and android or windows devices. Expert sites like VPN pro have further useful advice in this area.
Customer service is everything
Customer service is critically important with many products, and VPNs are no exception. Some VPN providers have around-the-clock customer support, so be sure to check whether the provider you are considering falls into this category. Cybersecurity is both a very important and very complex area and so having 24-hour support on hand to navigate updates and changes can make all the difference. Also look at the kind of support they offer (live chat is much more responsive than emails or issue logs, for example) and check online for other customers’ reviews of their level of service.
Make sure that all relevant locations are covered
This will greatly depend on your location, and whether you’re planning to travel to countries with a large number of restrictions. The VPN you need will be very different if you are using it somewhere with few restrictions, compared to a country like China, for example. VPN requirements can vary greatly by region. Be sure to check the locations covered and that they include all those relevant to you. This will be most important for those living under tight censorship and frequent (and more adventurous) travelers.
Seek out a user-friendly interface
VPNs aren’t difficult to use, per se, but they can be confusing in some cases, especially for the less tech-savvy among us. If you fall into this category, make sure that the VPN you choose comes with a simple and easy-to-use interface.
Look for a money-back guarantee
Even once you’ve done all your research, weighed up your needs with the services provided and looked at customer reviews, things can still go wrong. You may end up with a service which wasn’t what you expected, or simply doesn’t meet your needs and requirements. The best way to resolve this situation, and troubleshoot it in advance, is to make sure the VPN you choose comes with a money-back guarantee. This means that in the worst-case scenario, you can always move on without a dent in your bank balance.
Above all, you should understand that thorough research is essential for finding a good VPN for personal use. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that VPNs are the same and offer the same services. Just as different VPNs offer different services and benefits, every user has their own distinct needs and requirements. This is why you should take the time to examine what you plan to use the VPN for and weigh it up against the various VPN providers, to choose the best one for you.