How to choose the right VPN for you?
In the current digitized world, web surfing has become an essential part of our daily lives. You could be surfing numerous websites for different needs. Not only do you do this at your home or workplace, but also you may have a habit of connecting to public Wi-Fi networks such as restaurants or shopping malls for browsing.
However, have you ever thought that some people are spying on you on the internet and monitor what you are surfing? The reality is, if your network is not secured enough, whenever you surf a website, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and third parties can see your real identity and what you are browsing. They can also sell that information for various purposes.
So how can you surf the web privately without revealing your true identity? This is where you need to be aware of what is a VPN connection and how it helps you achieve that essential privacy and anonymity. In this article, Let’s learn some important facts such as what is VPN, what is a VPN used for, how to use VPN, and what is the best VPN service available on the market.
What is a VPN?
A VPN which stands for Virtual Private Network, is a private network created from a public internet connection. When you connect to a VPN, it establishes a secure tunnel between your local network and a remote VPN server in another location hosted by the VPN service.
Data transmitted through this tunnel is encrypted, meaning that your data transform into secret codes that third parties cannot understand. Therefore, they cannot see what websites you are surfing and where you are because it makes you appear as if you are in a different location.
So how does a VPN make you anonymous? An IP address is what identifies your device on the internet as well as your location. Since the data goes out of the VPN server, your identity or IP address is masked, preventing third parties from identifying you. Due to this, VPNs offer you the following key benefits.
Key VPN Benefits
Protect your online activity from third parties
When you are not using a VPN, your network ISP can track your IP address and see what you are doing online. They can collect this information and share them with third-party organizations like advertising companies, governments, and police departments for various requirements. But this is not possible when you use a VPN connection since your IP address is hidden from them. Besides, the best VPN services like ExpressVPN and NordVPN do not keep your web activity data, guaranteeing your privacy when using a VPN.
Access restricted websites and streaming content
Some countries like China block social media sites such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Instagram to control their citizens from using them. Besides, streaming services like Netflix block content in some locations due to copyright and censorship issues.
You can bypass these restrictions using a VPN as it changes your IP address and makes the restricted websites or streaming services see as you are accessing them from a non-restricted location. For example, ExpressVPN< is known as the best VPN that unblocks Netflix and many other streaming services.
Prevent bandwidth throttling
Sometimes it is frustrating to see endless loading status when you watch your favorite movie or TV series. It happens when your ISP is throttling your bandwidth. They can do this deliberately if you forgot to pay the monthly internet bill or you have already used the specific amount of data that is available to you. For this, your ISP should know your IP address. Since a VPN service makes you anonymous to ISP, it helps to prevent slowing down your speed. For instance, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs that prevent bandwidth throttling.
How to set up a VPN?
A good VPN is fairly simple and easy to install. The setup steps can be specific to each VPN and device type, but most VPNs follow the same installation procedure. Once you have done your research and decided on what VPN and its plan to choose, you need to purchase it.
Then you need to download the VPN application. Most of the time, your VPN service will provide you with an installation guide. Note that some free VPNs may not have an application on their own. When installing it, you may be prompted to enter your username and password, and some may ask you to provide an activation code you received when purchasing it. Then the VPN service will either automatically connect you to the closest VPN server to your location, or you can choose one from the available servers.
What to look for when choosing a VPN?
There are a lot of different VPN services available on the market, including completely free VPN services. Most paid VPNs offer a free trial so that you can download the VPN and use it free for a certain period to check its feasibility. You need to consider a lot of factors when choosing the best VPN service that suits your needs. For example,
When choosing a VPN, the first thing you would look for is the cost. There are completely free VPNs on the market. However, make sure you do not lose your privacy and security by choosing a free VPN. Because most free VPNs earn their profit by advertising and keeping and selling your browsing data. Therefore, always go for a VPN with subscription plans and choose the most affordable option.
Your VPN should not degrade the speed of the network significantly after connecting to it. One of the factors that affect the speed of the VPN is the number of servers and their locations. The closer the servers are located to your place, the higher the speed. Hence, always choose VPNs that have a higher number of servers in multiple locations.
Ease of Use
Best VPNs provide their VPN application for almost every device type such as Windows, Linux, IOS, and Android devices. The download and installation are simple. And they provide specific instructions to follow when setting up the VPN. But some free VPNs do not have a dedicated application. Hence, if you are a novice user, always go for a VPN that is easy to use.
Another important factor to consider is customer support of VPN services. Check for their responsiveness through available contact methods. Especially, Check if 24/7 live chat is available for you to get help whenever you need it.
Privacy and Security
You also need to check the privacy and security policies of VPNs. Especially, check if the service does not keep your log data which ensures your privacy. Last but not least, check for additional useful features they provide like kill switch, multihop network, spam protection, etc.
VPN: An indispensable tool
As discussed in this article, a VPN is now an indispensable tool for web surfing. While most VPNs provide the essential anonymity and privacy you need, some VPNs go beyond that, providing some extra security features. Like many other services, VPNs are expanding to surpass the new restrictions imposed on the internet every day. Therefore, more and more people will make use of VPNs in the future.