You may know what a Virtual Private Network, VPN, is. A big number of the online populace uses a VPN while surfing the web. And if you’re not using a VPN, then you should start using one immediately because it helps in keeping your web communications safe. Plus, you can get more internet freedom with a VPN than you usually get with your ISP.
But not all VPN services are the same. Before I move onto comparing several different types of VPN services, let me give you an overview of what a VPN is.
What Is A VPN?
VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a network of servers that are usually spread out around the globe. VPNs allow normal web users to connect with this network of servers and take advantage of several different features. For example, connecting to a different server using your VPN client can change your IP address from your location to where the server is located.
Other than changing your IP address, VPN services also provide you with many useful features, such as online privacy and security through the use of encryption and security protocols. You can read this Wikipedia page for more information about how VPN works.
How Can You Benefit from Using A VPN?
How you can take advantage of a VPN depends on how you browse the internet. A VPN can serve several different use cases. Some use it to bolster their online security and privacy. Others use it to avoid ISP speed throttling. Many use a VPN to avoid censorships and geo-restrictions on the web.
Streaming & Downloading
Those who use VPNs for streaming or downloading find it incredibly beneficial for this purpose. ISP speed throttling is an issue that most streamers face these days. Whenever you start consuming large amounts of data in a short period, your ISP starts throttling your speed so you can give up on consuming all this data. The similar case happens when you’re downloading a large file on the internet. You’d often find your speed slowing down in such instances.
A VPN helps you avoid ISP speed throttling issues by anonymizing your online communications. Because your online traffic passes through VPN tunnels, your ISP hardly notices the spikes in traffic when you’re streaming or downloading something from the web. This ensures that you keep on receiving the best speeds from your ISP.
Online Anonymity and Security
VPNs are important tools if you want to keep your online communications safe and anonymous. VPNs pass your online traffic through encrypted tunnels. Depending on the protocol you’re using, these tunnels encrypt your traffic and keep it safe from prying eyes.
Other than that, VPNs let you choose from a pool of IP addresses. Because these IP addresses are shared, it is difficult to monitor the online activities of a particular user even without the cover of encryption.
Expats often complain that they’re unable to access channels that were usually available in their own country. This happens with streaming services that purchase geo-licenses and are therefore forced to keep their channels blocked in other countries.
VPNs help in avoiding this issue by letting you change your IP address from your location to one of your choices. With a VPN, you can change your IP address to your home country and access any channel that is geo-restricted abroad.
What Makes for a Good VPN?
The best VPN services offer a solid balance of features, server network, good speeds, and price. It also matters profoundly whether the VPN service provides software clients for various platforms and devices.
The best VPN services provide loads of features for the security and anonymity of their user base. Major VPN brands offer encryption and security protocols to their users, allowing them to ensure the best safety over their connection.
Other essential features include DDoS protection, anti-malware, split-tunneling, and Internet Kill Switch and this is what PureVPN offers.
Server network is probably the most important part of any VPN brand. A large server network, with plenty of servers spread out in several different countries, ensures that users enjoy complete online freedom.
A large server network means that users can change their IP addresses from their location to one of their choices, helping them avoid censorships and getting access to almost every content on the web.
It is necessary for big VPN brands to provide the best speeds to its user base. VPN speeds depend on two factors: servers, and the security protocol that is being used.
Highly optimized servers ensure that users receive the best speeds while connected to the VPN. It also helps if the server network is large enough to cope up all the users connected to the network without affecting its performance.
Security protocols also have a big say in the speed of the service. Security-centric protocols are generally slower compared to lighter-security protocols because of the amount of time it takes to secure any passing traffic.
The best VPN services are usually available on all major platforms. For any device to remain safe from online threats, it needs the protection offered by a VPN service. But what would be the point of having a VPN subscription if you cannot use the service on the device that you’re using?
The best VPN services support all major smartphones and computers, but also work on consoles of all kinds, including gaming consoles, as well on routers and other internet connected devices.
There are different kinds of VPN services available on the web. Some are paid while others are free. Our first instinct calls us to choose a VPN service that is available for free. But before you listen to your instinct, it is necessary to understand the revenue model of most free VPN services.
Though free VPN services do not ask for monthly or annual payments, they do require compensation for the investment they have made in their network. This is why free VPN services plague your browsing activities with ads of all kinds.
Most free services also monitor the online activities of their users, which they compile and sell to marketing or surveillance agencies. This data is then used to create personalized ads or keep tabs on your personality, depending on which agency your information is sold.
This is why buying a paid subscription is necessary because the revenue models of these services are healthy for your privacy.
The Best VPN Service?
After reading through what we had to say, we believe it should be now easier for you to choose which VPN service is the best of the lot. There are plenty of major VPN brands available on the web. These include PureVPN, NordVPN, PIA VPN, Express VPN, and many others.
If you ask me, I will choose PureVPN as the VPN service that I would prefer using. It offers a server network of 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries, as well as loads of features that cater to your privacy, security, and streaming needs.
Whichever VPN you choose will have a massive impact on your browsing activities. Which is why I suggest that you do lots of research before selecting a VPN service and make sure that it fits your browsing needs.