In the world filled with numerous online threats, geo restrictions, and unwanted blanket surveillances, the use of VPN is a must. A VPN protects your data from fraud and theft, allows you access to blocked content, and makes you anonymous over the internet.
With all these benefits and the increasing demand for a VPN, choosing the best VPN can be a difficult task. There are various VPN providers that are operating in the industry and each of them provides different features and services.
To choose the best VPN provider, we have come up with ten factors that you need to consider before making your final choice (we have explained each these factors in detail below):
- Number of Servers
- Company’s Location
- Protocol & Encryption
- Logs & Activity
- Anonymous Payment Options
- Compatibility & Multi-Logins
- P2P File Sharing & Torrent
- Availability of Shared & Dynamic IP
- Customer Support
- Value for Money
Top 5 Best VPN Providers
Based on the above mentioned elements, here are some of the best VPN providers that you can choose from. Each of these providers complies with the factors that make up a best VPN and they will safeguard you against various online threats, protect your privacy, and unblock geo restricted websites.
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10 Factors that make up a Best VPN Service
A best VPN service should not compromise on tight online security, high performance, and should provide top quality service. Here are the ten factors that will help you out in selecting the best VPN provider.
1. Number of Servers
Each VPN provider will offer you different servers to connect too. It is important that a best VPN offers wide spread of servers located across multiple locations around the world. These servers are what make it possible for you to access blocked and geo restricted content such Hulu and Netflix outside US, BBC iPlayer and ITV outside UK, Facebook and YouTube in China, and other similar blocked websites.
The wide spread of servers is also important as connecting the ones closest to your geographic location reduces lag and delay. This is particularly important if you enjoy playing online games and want to compete with players around the world.
2. Company’s Location
The location where the VPN provider is based is of significant importance. Thanks to the revelations brought to the limelight by Edward Snowden, governmental agencies such as NSA in US and GHCQ in UK, pressurize the VPN services to provide record of their customers or maintain logs of their activity. Some of these countries have laws and legislations pertaining to gathering user’s metadata; the late Patriot Act in US and the EU Data Retention Directive are among them.
Any VPN provider that is located in US and some European nations might not have the legal protection as those that are based in more legal friendly countries such as Hong Kong, Sweden, or Panama. When you are choosing the best VPN service, keep in mind where the country where the VPN service bases its operations.
3. Protocols & Encryption
One of the key features of a VPN is to provide online security and protection against various cyber-goons. The two mechanisms used by a VPN to keep your data safe are through secure protocols and encryption levels.
Different VPN providers will offer you various protocols such as PPTP, L2TP/ IPSec, SSTP, and OpenVPN, in their packages. We recommend that you choose the provider which offers OpenVPN protocol as it is the securest of all protocols. L2TP/IPSec protocol is also a good option and it is known work well on mobile platform.
Encryption levels also vary between VPN providers. However, we reckon that 128 bit encryption level is no longer sufficient and in this troubled time of cyber crime and online surveillance, you should opt for providers that offer 256 bit AES encryption levels.
4. Logs & Activity
A VPN may keep you anonymous over the internet and protect your sensitive information, but you might still not be safe. There are different VPN providers that maintain various logs. The providers we are interest in are those that keep usage logs; they record and monitor all your internet activity while you are connected to the VPN. These VPN providers should be avoided at all costs.
5. Anonymous Payment Options
We think that when you purchase a VPN service, the entire process should be also keep you anonymous as you are looking for online privacy and anonymity. A VPN service will offer you various payment options but majority of them will not keep you anonymous. BitCoin comes closest to keeping you anonymous while you pay for the service. Hence, you should choose the best VPN provider if it offers anonymous payment options such as BitCoin.
6. Compatibility & Multi-Logins
Different VPN providers are compatible on certain devices and operating systems. To select the best VPN provider, look for service that has high compatibility and is available on the devices that you regularly use. Also, look for number of multi-logins offered by a provider. Some providers may allow you to have multiple devices connected simultaneously. Choose the one that offers the maximum number of multi-logins.
7. P2P File Sharing & Torrent
Not all VPN providers support P2P file sharing and torrent services. If you are heavy user of torrents and P2P file sharing services, then you should look up providers that support this feature. A best VPN service will offer you separate or designated servers to download/upload torrents. These servers are located in torrent friendly regions such as Sweden, Netherlands, Switzerland, and more.
8. Availability of Shared & Dynamic IP
A VPN keeps you anonymous by replacing your original IP address with one of its own. This is achieved when you connect to any of the VPN servers. When you are looking for the best VPN, make sure that it offers shared IP addresses as this makes it difficult for anyone to track you over the internet.
With that said, a best VPN should also offer dynamic IP address. This will be a unique IP address, exclusively for you. Recently, many streaming services have been blocking various VPN IP addresses. With a dynamic IP, it is much difficult for the streaming services to determine if the IP is coming from a VPN as the internet traffic won’t be in bulk compared to shared IP addresses.
9. Customer Support
Mark of a premium VPN service can be found in its customer support service. When things go wrong while using a VPN, the customer support service is your only option. Many VPN providers will offer you multitude of support options and the best VPN service, by our reckoning, is the one that provides support around the clock. Look for services that have 24/7 live chat feature, are ready to offer remote assistance, have a detailed tutorial guides, and respond to your queries in short span of time.
10. Value for Money
As you know by now, there are many VPN services available in the industry and each of them are available at different prices. The best VPN provider will be the one that gives you great value for money. You can gauge the value for money by analyzing the different discounts and deals offered by the VPN service, the add-ons and other services included in the pricing packages, and if there is a trial or money back period. A best VPN provider will offer you quality service and host of different features at reasonable prices.
The increasing demand and use of VPN service worldwide has given advent to numerous VPN providers in the industry. Selecting the best VPN might seem like a complicated and difficult task, but with our guide you can now easily choose the service that works best for you. The factors listed above will provide you with the guidelines or a blueprint that you should look for in a best VPN service.
We have also listed the five best VPN providers above. These five providers fall within the ten factors of best VPN and if you are looking for ultimate privacy and unrestricted access to the internet, choose from our list above. For more comprehensive information about the providers, you can check out the detailed reviews for each of these providers.