5 Important Things to Look Out For When Choosing a VPN (and Why)

Data leaks, ransomware, deep fake videos and audios, incredible hacking feats, the dark web – the cyber world gets scarier and scarier every day. What’s even scarier is that no one is safe – individuals, organizations, businesses, large corporations, and even entire industries are at risk. 

But besides hackers that wait around every cyber corner, we also have to be wary about internet giants, like Google and Facebook, who make a living out of invading our privacy and following us around wherever we go online. 

Luckily, both individuals and organizations have a few methods of protection they can use to reduce the risk of being hacked or followed online. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is one such solution, and the offer is diverse enough so everyone can choose their favorite. 

But how do you actually choose a VPN solution? If you’re feeling a bit confused by the multitude of offers and features, below we listed the top five features to keep in mind:

#1: The Size of the Network

VPNs allow users to stay safe by creating a secure connection between their device and the server they select. Once the connection is established, the user’s real identity and location will be obscured and they can use the internet as a new persona, with a new identity and the location of the server they selected. 

Now this also means users can unblock geographically limited content (usually streaming platforms) or view sites that are not available in their country. 

Therefore, a reliable VPN solution should support a solid number of servers, in some of the most popular areas of the world. 

#2: Look for a Money-Back Guarantee Option

It’s important to understand that a free VPN solution is not really free (every business needs a source of income). Therefore, you should look for a paid solution, with good reviews, and a money-back-guarantee option. 

This way, you can download a VPN app for free, test it for a period of time, and see if it truly fits your needs.

#3: Experience on the Market

New VPN solutions and providers are everywhere you turn. Moreover, new companies and products pop up overnight, promising increased security and protection. 

Still, it’s best to select a reliable brand, supported by an experienced provider, with a wide range of customers. This way, you know the solution is working and people are happy to keep using it. 

#4: Data Caps

When you’re connected to the VPN, you will be navigating at their bandwidth and speed. This means that, even if your Internet Service Provider offers high-speed and unlimited uploads and downloads, your speed and data usage will be limited by the VPN. 

You will also notice that most solutions offer several monthly submissions. Usually, the free or the cheapest one is the one with the most limitations in speed and data usage. Also, you may be limited to only a few servers. However, even when you buy a more expensive package, you may still be limited since this is a resource shared by thousands of other users. 

#5: Read the Fine Print

The big promise of any VPN solution is complete anonymity and privacy online. But, when you read their Terms of Use, you’ll learn they keep logs and save some user data that can be used for user identification (at least partial). All these are normal and useful in preventing cyber crimes committed via their network. 

However, it’s equally important to know when they are willing to hand over the data and to who. This also depends on the country where the provider is located (their headquarters). 

Wrap Up

In summary, a reliable VPN helps you stay safe from a wide range of cyber attacks and privacy intruders, but you need to be careful when you’re choosing the provider.