The increased need for online security has led to a dramatic rise in the number of VPNs on the market. VPNs hide your location and encrypt your data, thereby protecting you against identity theft. This is more important than ever, considering we have been trained to give out our information willy-nilly to any webisite that asks.
(TOP: VPN illustration. Image: 9to5mac).
With the sheer number of VPNs now available, you may be paralysed by choice. What’s the difference between a VPN that costs US$10 a month and one that is free? Do any of them even really work? Most of us don’t have the expertise to actually test whether VPNs are effective, and none of us can know for sure that VPNs are not harvesting our data.
But there are some simple factors to consider when looking for a VPN. With the following information, head to this VPN comparison tool to compare the best options available.
As I mentioned, few of us lack the skills to actually assess whether a VPN works. There are websites that show your IP, and you can check to see whether a VPN is truly hiding yours, but all that proves is that you’re being routed through an external server, and not if your data is encrypted. Furthermore, certain VPN providers have been revealed to log user data, which is especially difficult to protect yourself against.
This is why you need to go with a VPN that has a strong reputation. This means that there are independent reviews out there that have been written by experts. Check with the above comparison to see what the experts say before even thinking of committing.
VPNs are fairly technical software. While they are designed to be as user-friendly as possible, and are generally easy to use, problems do arise. When they do, you’re probably unprepared to troubleshoot on your own. Customer support is tehrefore particularly important for VPNs.
Check out what both the experts and actual customers have to say. There’s bound to be a few complaints, but if the general consensus is that the company is helpful and efficient, they will be a good fit.
The location of servers can be improtant for a number of reasons. For one, if you’re in a region where censorship is common, you want a VPN with servers elsewhere. This way you can get access to any information you need. It is also important that there are servers nearby, as the closer the server, the faster your connection is going to be. If your connection is slow to start with, this is going to be of particular concern to you.
A bonus of using a VPN is also that you can get access to the Netflix catalogues – as well as Amazon Prime Video, and other streaming services – in other countries. The Kenyan Netflix library is comparatively limited. And while the US catalogue is generally considered the most comprehensive, there are some good series and movies you can only get in places like Hong Kong and Japan. Having servers in these regions is therefore a nice bonus. You can find out in which countries a series or movie is available on uNoGS.com.