More and more web users across the world are using VPNs or virtual private networks due to concerns about privacy and security. Though many people use VPNs to view geo-restricted material from streaming services, there are many other good reasons to use a virtual private network. Changes to laws about protecting personal data are just one reason why so many people are using VPNs, after Congress brought in new legislation permitting ISPs to sell on information about browsing habits and more.
It’s also wise to use VPNs if you are using public Wi-Fi networks like the ones found in public places such as coffee houses and airports, as these can be extremely vulnerable to hackers.
Considering your options
If you’re wondering what to look for when choosing a VPN provider, there are many things to consider. One of the factors you need to assess if the location of the company and the servers that it offers. The further you are away from your server, the slower your online experience is likely to be. You should also find out about the encryption protocols that are used to protect your data and whether they log your activities. Whilst VPNs can hide your behaviour from ISPs and hackers, many do log your information. There may also be limits on how much data you can transfer and certain limitations regarding devices and operating systems ie mac devices. Are you allowed to use more than one device at a time? If you need to stay connected via your phone, tablet and laptop simultaneously, you will require support for multiple devices.
Free versus premium
There are many free VPN services on the market, though you can normally expect to enjoy the highest levels of efficiency, security and privacy when you use premium services. If you are hoping to unlock content that’s meant for a certain country, the VPN will need to offer services in that territory. For instance, if you are using a streaming service and certain content is only available in the US, you will need to use servers located there. The more server locations a VPN offers, the better and more versatile the service will be.
Tired of targeted ads?
A huge number of companies have been using VPNs for years. Doing so enables staff working remotely to get access to intranet files and view the files they require to carry out their duties. Over recent years, VPNs have become increasingly associated with unlocking geo-restricted content and boosting privacy levels. VPNs can also help you avoid being targeted by advertisers.
Over time, companies can build up profiles of you based on your browsing habits and IP address, but as your IP address changes every time you log on to a VPN, this isn’t something you’ll need to worry about.
Look at the small print
Always read the terms and conditions before you sign up for a particular VPN. Whilst some VPNs won’t log your activity at all, others may store details about your behaviour for a short period of time and others will keep hold of it permanently. Whether the VPN records your activity and how much and long it might keep it for can depend on where they are based.
Some people opt for VPNS that support cryptocurrency payments, so they don’t need to use their credit card details or full name when making purchases online. Which service you opt for may depend on what your needs are. If you only need to use a VPN to unlock a YouTube video here and there, it may be best to simply download a browser plugin so you can view the material.
Shall I purchase a subscription?
If you require constant VPN support, you may wish to pay for a subscription so you are constantly protected. More and more people are realising their data isn’t as safe as they once thought, which is just one reason VPNs are on the rise. The use of VPNs is not illegal in most countries except those that are synonymous with censorship such as China. Many Chinese citizens used VPNs to get around censorship laws until the Government clamped down on them and effectively made them illegal. In any case, using a VPN could give you the valuable peace of mind you require.