A virtual private network (VPN) is software that creates an encrypted connection between a computer and the internet. It's important to weigh as many options as possible before spending your money. Let's look at some helpful VPN tips to make your decision easier.
A great VPN provider will be open and honest about what measures they're taking to keep your data secure.
VPNs should offer the most up-to-date and secure levels of encryption. AES-256 encryption is the standard.
Additional features like kill switches, split-tunneling, and Tor compatibility are nice bonuses.
Vulnerabilities and leaks happen all the time, so the VPN you choose should have a clear policy for sharing that info. Some VPNs are prone to IP and DNS leaks, but you can test them to make sure your VPN is honoring its agreements.
It also helps if the VPN is open source, that way you can look through the code yourself and see any flaws.
And if privacy is their priority, they should at least allow you to pay anonymously.
It needs to be clear what type of data your VPN creates and stores. Look for software that clearly explains what their logging policy is.
Great VPNs only log a small amount of connection data like bandwidth, server load, or server location. This is only used to optimize the speed of the VPN, and can't be used to identify you.
A bonus is to find VPN companies that don't easily comply with the local government's request for data.
One of the most overlooked VPN tips is jurisdiction. Every VPN provider will have to comply with local laws and regulations.
It's important to know what those laws are, and how they affect your privacy.
Check the country your VPN is based in, some laws of that country, and how the company cooperates with law enforcement.
If the VPN logging policy is solid, it may not matter much. But still, your VPN provider should have clear steps for responding to legal issues.
In some cases, some VPNs will have a warrant canary, which can give you the heads up if the feds have access to their servers.
Whatever VPN you choose, make sure it's secure as possible. It needs to have the most updated encryption standards and protocols.
At some point, the government may get involved. VPN providers should have clear standards in place that still protect you if their servers get infiltrated.
And be sure to pair a VPN with a solid antivirus program.