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What to look for when buying a VPN?

29.01.2023
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VPN service is no longer a rarity for modern Internet users. The number of VPN users is growing every day, but a few years ago VPNs were much less popular. Today, there are still many people who are not familiar with the term.

There are several reasons why people use a VPN service regularly. Here are some of the main ones:

  • Change of location;
  • Privacy protection;
  • Enhanced security;
  • Web site access.

While a VPN is a great tool that helps separate your location from your data, they are not perfect. Like any other computer program, they, too, are susceptible to malware and online attacks. The big question is how prepared they are to repel them.

Generally, the likelihood of attacks and breaches of your security is highest with a free VPN. While it's definitely better to use a free VPN service than none at all, the experience of paid VPN users is much more positive.

In general, when you know how to use a VPN, you know that it gives its users great benefits. Providers mask your IP address and protect you from anyone you come in contact with online.

It pays to take your online privacy seriously these days and look for a reliable VPN. The problem, however, is that there are so many options that choosing one can be quite difficult.

Choosing a VPN is similar to buying any other service: you have to weigh the pros and cons, as well as the features offered and the cost of the subscription. Some of the main factors to consider when buying a VPN subscription are listed below.

Number of servers
If you're not familiar with VPNs, you might think that a VPN service only has one highly secure server. The reality is that any good VPN requires dozens of servers for it to work properly.
Having multiple servers is the only way to be guaranteed to handle a lot of traffic. That being said, you should look for an ISP that has as many servers as possible.

Speed
How fast will my Internet speed be if I use a VPN? This is a question that many users who want to stay private online are asking. The first thing to do is to understand what metrics are most important to maintain optimal Internet speed. These are the download and upload speeds of files, as well as the ping.

A ping is the time it takes for one unit of data (called a packet) sent from your computer through the VPN server to reach its final destination. And after that - you get a response that the request was successful. The ping itself is measured in milliseconds. The shorter this time, the better. A short ping is crucial for real-time applications such as Skype and various online games.

Which metrics matter to you specifically depends on your needs when using a VPN. Once you're fully aware of them, you'll be able to pick the VPN service with the fastest download or upload speeds. Note that if a VPN provider has incredibly fast servers in the US, it doesn't guarantee that the same will be true for other countries.

Privacy and logging
For many users, a high level of online privacy is the main reason to use a VPN. If this is important to you as well, the first thing to find out about your future provider is whether it keeps logs.
There are a variety of logging records. Some ISPs claim they don't keep any information about you, but the log may show metrics such as connection times, bandwidth usage, or IP addresses visited by a person. Of course, this information by itself is not enough to unambiguously identify a user. However, if you add your ISP's activity log records to this, it becomes quite possible.

Another thing to pay attention to is the type of personal information your service provider keeps about you. Does it need your email address or a real phone number? All of these things matter.

The country the VPN company is assigned to also plays an important role. Its laws can affect both data retention policies and what the service provider can tell the state about you. If possible, choose a country where privacy is highly valued (such as Panama or Romania).
Where can I find information about a particular VPN provider's privacy policy? Visit the Terms and Conditions page on the service's official website. There you'll usually find complete information about what data the provider collects about you, and with whom they can share it.

Location
Let's start with the simplest of things. People usually use VPNs to give a false location (to access a certain resource, for example). Make sure your ISP can provide you with this capability, and its "network masks" belong to the countries you want.
Also, note how many servers and IP addresses are available for that location. The more there are, the better.

Conclusion
So, a VPN provides you with more anonymity, security and freedom on the Internet. Nowadays, more and more of our lives are spent online, and if you don't protect your Internet connection, you run the risk that intruders, whoever they are, will know more about you than you would like them to.

In the end, the relevance of a VPN subscription depends solely on your online habits and preferences. Reliable and reputable VPN providers will keep you safe online, and a small investment in a VPN service can save you a lot of trouble now and in the future.