There’s no question that you need a VPN. Regardless of who you are and what you do online, you are putting a lot of personal information out there. Even if you don’t use social media at all, simply connecting to the internet reveals to websites your location, what device you’re using, and more information. In the wrong hands, personal information can be used against you. Identity theft is on the rise for that very reason.
However, knowing you need a VPN is only the start. There are thousands of VPNs out there, some great, others absolutely terrible. Yes, some of them not only do not work, but may even steal your information.
So, how do you decide which VPN to choose? You read reviews, of course. If you want to see a good example, check out this PureVPN review. Look out for the following.
Having lived through the days of dial-up internet, it is easy to be under the impression that early broadband speeds are still acceptable. Fibre and LTE speeds are on another level. Do we really need the speeds available today?
The answer is yes. Speeds have increased exponentially, but so have our requirements. High definition TV (and UHD, if you have some smart TVs) requires a lot of bandwidth and very high speeds. You don’t need to watch UHD TV, but if you can get it, why not?
And so, when you look at VPNs, you should take note of speeds. A VPN will always slow your connection down, as it’s routing you through an external server, but some are worse than others. You should choose one with servers so fast that it barely makes a dent.
VPNs are very technical products, and even if you have experience working with similar software, you are inevitably giving up a lot of control to the provider. For this reason, you need to know that they’ll be helpful when things go wrong. Otherwise, you’ll end up using the internet without protection.
Good customer service should be a non-negotiable. Check out what the expert reviews say, but also take note of customer reviews.
Prices of VPNs are generally quite similar. You should be paying around $10 per month on a monthly basis. However, if you pay for a year at a time, you will get significant discounts from some providers. Go for these discounts. They may be as much as 40% on the monthly price.
One note on free VPNs: do not use a free VPN. The problem is that they have to make money some other way, and are more liable to make use of your information for that purpose, selling it to advertisers to target you more specifically. At best, you may find free versions of good VPNs, that give you a limited amount of bandwidth. These will serve as a good trial, but no more. Ultimately, you’re going to be using a lot more bandwidth than the 1GB of data that most free versions provide.