How to choose a VPN

Do you ever pause to contemplate the sheer volume of information you exchange online and where that information could potentially reside? Of all the digital data in existence, over 90% of it was created in the last two years, and of the 2.5 quintillion bytes we generate each day there’s a posse of cyber crooks waiting to strong-arm their share from you.

One way to fight back against privacy pirates is to get yourself a VPN. At its core, a VPN will mask your IP address like an invisibility cloak. Hackers will still be lurking but luckily for you, you’ll remain undetected as all of your data will be transmitting through an encrypted tunnel. Despite this there are still dilemmas when selecting a VPN so here are a few key points to consider.

Security

When choosing a VPN to familiarise yourself with the different levels of security available will require some homework. How secure a VPN is will depend on the type of protocol the VPN provider uses. If you need a VPN that can protect a home PC or Laptop OpenVPN or PPTP (Point to Point Tunneling Protocol)will suffice. These are two of the most commonly used protocols and secure enough for web surfing or downloading music and photos.

You should also look for VPN providers that use AES-256. The Advanced Encryption Standard is almost military-grade level encryption and uncrackable to the most advanced hacking programmes. So really it’s a must-have.

Privacy

Privacy can be a contentious issue with some VPN providers. If absolute privacy is something that you are fervently passionate about you should consider a VPN service that operates a strict zero-logs policy. A true zero-log policy will forbid the collection or of any user-generated data ensuring there isn’t anything in their records that can personally identify you.

The only way a VPN service can guarantee complete privacy for its users is to operate outside the jurisdiction of intelligence alliances that comprise the 5, 9 or 14 Eyes Network. If a VPN company operates within the sovereign territory of any of these countries then that government can subpoena customer usage data.

Watch out for Scams

Sometimes cost price shouldn’t be the primary consideration when making a purchase and a VPN is a good example of one of those times. There is an avalanche of free VPNs available online and some others that charge a seemingly small fee for a lifetime subscription. If you’re thinking these deals sound simply too good to be true you’re right. Freemium VPN services can result in underhanded companies selling your data, offering little or no security and worse still, infecting your machine with malware.

Use this blog as a starting point. Consider the points raised and also explore some others like connection speed, customer service support and server network size. Why you want a VPN rests mainly on what you need it for which is why it’s crucial to research the topic.

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