VPN Articles and News

How to Choose the Best VPN Service Provider?

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

A virtual private network is an online security solution that allows you to protect your data, bypass firewalls and access location restricted content from anywhere. While there are lots of VPN service providers available, you must choose a provider that delivers maximum bang for your buck.  So what should you look out for? The following provides an in-depth look at the factors that you should consider when choosing the best VPN service for you.

Server Locations
A lot of people use VPNs to access sites that are not available in their country. Most VPN providers have servers in important Western countries but if you want to access local content from a specific country then you need to check whether the provider has a VPN server in that country. You must also verify whether you are allowed to access all severs available with the provider. Most providers allow you to switch servers without any charges but some of them do charge extra for change of servers.

Security Protocols
Before you subscribe to a VPN service, you need to ensure that it provides adequate security for your web sessions. Most VPN providers support PPTP, L2TP/IPSec or OpenVPN protocols. The OpenVPN protocol is the most secure VPN protocol available but it is not available for mobile platforms. The L2TP/IPSec protocol is considered as a great alternative to the OpenVPN protocol and it is available for most devices. The PPTP protocol is the oldest and most versatile protocol available however it is considered less secure than OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec protocols. Some VPN providers also offer SSH connections for additional security so make sure that you use it for financial transactions and accessing sensitive sites.

Speed and Bandwidth
When you choose a VPN, make sure that it offers enough speed and bandwidth to meet your requirements. This is especially important if you are planning to watch streaming TV shows and movies, play games or share files online. A lot of VPN providers often advertise unlimited speed and bandwidth but in reality they start throttling the speed once you cross a particular data limit.

Shard vs Dedicated IPs
Most standard VPN plans offer shared IPs but you can choose a dedicated IP address if you are planning to use the VPN for more secure operations. A dedicated IP plan usually costs a lot more than a shared IP plan.

Before subscribing to a VPN plan, make sure that you are aware of the privacy policy of the VPN provider. Check whether the provider stores any kind of logs and what details goes inside those logs. This is especially important if you are planning to do P2P file sharing via a VPN.

Supported Systems
Most VPN providers support a wide variety of devices (iPad, iPhone, Android smartphone, laptop), operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android) and browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera) but if you want to use the VPN through a specific device like Boxee, XBox or DD-WRT router, make sure to verify that your provider supports it. It is also worthwhile to check how easy or difficult the installation process is and whether or not the VPN is available through web browser since a lot of organizations do not permit any kind of software installation.

Prohibited Activities
Before you sign up with a VPN provider, it would be worthwhile to check the list of prohibited activities. A lot of providers do not allow P2P activities or allow it only through specific servers so it is necessary to be aware of such restrictions before you enter your credit card details.

Who are the Best VPN Service Providers?
This is up to personal preference, but there are several well known VPN providers like VyprVPN, HideMyAss, proXPN, IPVanish and StrongVPN that offer excellent value for money. Make sure to evaluate the VPN plans and compare their features so that your VPN plan is tailor made for your specific needs.

March 31, 2013

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