You must be already more than aware of the most important benefits that virtual private networks bring to the Internet users: privacy, anonymity, extra security – all this is especially vital when connecting via public Wi-Fi. The number of solutions offered today is unbelievably huge. Worth mentioning, the price is far from the only differentiating factor, since there are many VPN features to consider. What you can do to ensure a successful deal and convenient usage in the perspective is study the offers made by VPN service providers listed on AntaNET or any other VPN reviews. Indeed, why pay for something you do not actually need?
Prior to comparative analysis of the available VPN services, do assess your VPN needs:
- If you are going to securely access the home network only, there is no need to pay to a VPN provider, since a remote VPN is initially designed to provide a secure access to a remote network. Instead, a VPN server should be running on a home router. For that, you can get a router that supports DD-WRT or the one with a VPN server pre-installed (e.g. Netgear Nighthawk and Nighthawk X6).
- Next, think of secure casual browsing. As long as you tend to be a frequent public Wi-Fi user with high-bandwidth needs, you should study the paid offers made by VPN providers.
- In case you have a reason to appear as if you use the online source from another country in order to access some specific content exposed to geographical restrictions, you definitely need a VPN service possessing servers in that particular region.
- Prioritize anonymity and plausible deniability. If the total anonymity is what you need first of all, then a serious VPN may not be enough – empower it with TOR.
As soon as the VPN needs are defined, it is time to compare the offers made by several providers relying on a set of criteria to check:
If you look into any comparative review of the modern VPN protocols applied by VPN services like the one published on AntaNET, you are most likely to find OpenVPN to be the leader in terms of security levels and so-called ‘processing costs’. The only case when OpenVPN is soundly rejected in favor of another protocol is the VPN use on mobile devices: for now, Android and iOS only support L2TP/IPsec natively, but not OpenVPN.
Remember that PPTP is currently the most vulnerable protocol, applying weak encryption methods and threatening with unstable connections. This can only be acceptable in the case of casual web browsing in a coffee shop.
Number and location of servers in use
Most VPN providers manage hundreds of servers all over the world today, which is not surprising given the fast development and promotion of VPNs. It is good when the VPN provider possesses stable servers in rather diverse locations.
Do pay attention to the countries though. You won’t benefit from using the VPN with servers in Africa, for example, in case you aim to access US media sources applying geo-blocking. What’s more, mind the country where the VPN provider’s company is located: make sure it is not a close ally of your own state, if you want to avoid the government pursuit in case of some unforeseen circumstances.
Number of concurrent connections allowed
A common VPN service must guarantee at least 2 concurrent connections, added by the opportunity to link your router to the VPN.
Of course, the more available connections, the better: ideally, you will want to build a security system for all of your personal and household traffic, which requires connecting multiple devices to the VPN.
All possible limits and restrictions (there are always some)
This may be surprising, but some VPNs do restrict a number of protocols or services you might wish to access. In this connection, it is recommended to check the list of blocked services beforehand.
Furthermore, make sure not to get throttled by your VPN like you used to by the ISP – what is the point of connecting to the VPN then?
In addition, try to avoid VPNs with bandwidth restrictions, unless they are reasonably high.
Perfectly, the VPN provider will not keep any logs. However, it is a very rare case, so do ask about the log’s content and retention period.
Presence of a kill switch system
The feature is a precious one in situations when the VPN connection drops for some unknown reasons: the tool will simply lock the connection automatically and thus break traffic exchange with the open internet, which may start by default.
These are worth considering when you wish to stay totally anonymous or avoid any kind of government pursuit – then anonymous payment methods are what you need. A number of VPN providers accept cryptocurrency and even gift cards from large retailers like Walmart or Target as a VPN credit.