Threat exposure grows in tandem with the frequency and activity of transmitting sensitive data over the internet. Your daily visits to various websites mean that you’re at risk of attack by cybercriminals. The reason being, you enter sensitive information on these websites.
To help protect yourself from online threats and dangers, you can use a virtual private network (VPN). Like any other internet service, it’s essential to ensure that you get a reliable and reputable one.
VPNs help mask your online activity and location, thus providing an extra layer to your cybersecurity measures. Even though most cybersecurity experts recommend paid VPNs, you can still get reliable free VPN sites you can use.
Meanwhile, when choosing a VPN service, it’s advisable to do a critical vetting process. This helps ensure that the one you settle for gives you the best service. Below are some key considerations when choosing a VPN service that’s right for you.
1. Prioritize Security And Privacy
The decision to look for a VPN service is to improve your cybersecurity measures. Thus, it wouldn’t be logical if the same service couldn’t guarantee your privacy and data security. You can check with the service provider on data protection measures.
Moreover, it would be best to look at the encryption level the service offers. You may get VPNs that give 128-bit encryption. However, cybersecurity experts consider the best encryption to be a 256-bit one.
Furthermore, check if a VPN service has other security features like kill switches. A kill switch continuously monitors your VPN connection status. If it detects an anomaly, it blocks your connection to the internet and restores it once the issue has been resolved.
Meanwhile, some VPNs, like NordVPN, can have two types of kill switches. One is a system-level which blocks your internet traffic for the whole device. The other is an application-level kill switch, which blocks internet traffic for specific apps on your device. For the application level, you would need to select the apps for which you want the kill switch to be active.
2. Consider Customer Support
Online technology can fail at any time of the day. When this happens, you should be able to request and get assistance at a moment’s notice. Additionally, there might be some aspects of the VPN technology you’re not well-versed in. Thus, having a VPN service provider that can adequately assist and address your concerns is vital.
You can check the track record of customer service via reviews and other customer feedback. Checking the communication channels can also provide a clue on the level of customer focus. For instance, one service can have email and office-hours phone numbers only. In contrast, another can have a 24-hour support line, email, and a live chat option.
3. Check Its Versatility
It’s not uncommon for you to use devices with various operating systems (OS) and platforms. Therefore, when considering using a particular VPN service, it’s essential to check if it can work on all your devices.
This ensures that you avoid using more than one VPN for the different operating systems of your devices. Not to mention you reduce your cost if it’s a paid VPN. Hence, if you use a desktop computer and a smartphone, you should get a VPN that can work on both.
In addition, it should work well over mobile data networks or Wi-Fi connections to enable your protection on the go.
4. Look At Its Speed And Accessibility
Even though your major priority might be security, you should also check the VPN’s speed. In most cases, users can experience a reduction in internet speed when using a VPN.
However, a good VPN should provide you with the same speeds as a direct connection. Although adding an extra server can lower your speeds, a service provider should assure you of high speeds despite this fact.
Furthermore, your VPN choice should be active in as many locations as possible. Thus, you need to look for a VPN service with active servers across various geographical locations. In this way, if you travel to several countries frequently, you should continuously use your VPN. Also, your internet speeds shouldn’t be reduced when using the VPN in these other locations.
5. Pricing And Policies
Some VPNs can boast of offering the best services at competitive prices. However, you should check their policies to make sure there are no hidden costs. In addition, checking their performance history for instances of data breaches or poor privacy policies is vital.
On the other hand, while you might want a cheap VPN service, it may come at the cost of your security and data protection.
When looking for a VPN service, you need to consider various factors before settling on one. The above key considerations can help you choose a reliable VPN. These factors can also help you improve your cybersecurity, thus keeping your data secure.