How to Choose the Best VPN for YOUR Needs in 5 Easy Steps
Ever gone to a hotel or a restaurant and absolutely enjoyed using that free wi-fi?
Well, chances are that hackers, too, have enjoyed misusing your private information.
In 2021 alone, cyber-criminals ran away with the sensitive data of as many as 86.6 million Indian users.
With a whopping 4X rise in the rate of cybercrime, protecting your data is more important than ever. And that is what a VPN is all about.
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Connection, or VPN, is like a blanket that protects all your internet activities. It is a tool you can use to freely browse across internet sites, without the fear of hackers stealing your personal data.
But the problem is- how will you know which VPN works the best for your needs?
This is what the article will help you find out.
This article is a guide that will help you choose the best VPN for yourself in 5 easy steps. This includes:
Step 1: Understand why you need a VPN.
Step 2: Check the background of the VPN provider.
Step 3: Make sure your locations are covered.
Step 5: Determine which VPN purchase plan is the best for you.
Reading this article will give you a crystal clear idea- not just about how to choose the best VPN, but also what to avoid.
Let’s dive right in.
Step 1: Understand Why You Need a VPN
Want to find out what’s the best VPN for you? Figure out why you need one in the first place.
All VPN providers are not the same. Every provider has its own point of strength.
But how will you know which one works the best for YOUR needs?
It’s rather simple. Find out what you exactly need from a VPN. Then, see if it matches the plus points of a VPN provider.
And to make this easier for you, here are 3 factors to help you decide why you need a VPN.
Watch Content from Other Countries
Do you want to watch that foreign show- or enter a website that’s restricted in your country?
With a VPN, it’s easier than ever. All you have to do is geo-spoof.
Don’t worry about the tough word- it just means that your device has to look like it’s from another country.
In other words, you have to fake-change your location, virtually.
Is watching something that’s not available in your country your primary need?
Then choose a VPN provider with servers from the specific country, where the content you want to watch is available.
Browse on the go with Tighter Security
Do you want to browse securely, without the worry of who is sneaking up on your data?
Many of us access internet services from public Wi-Fi networks.
This means that we are practically connecting to networks (and devices) we know nothing about.
Here’s what you need to be aware of:
Exposing your information while using these networks can be a mouth-watering treat for hackers. This can result in the theft of data- as sensitive as your credit card information!
If this sounds like your kind of problem, go with a VPN provider that has multiple servers across the globe. (More on this in the 3rd step)
This will protect your device from the dangers of public networks, wherever you go.
Establish a Secure Internet Connection at Home
What would you do if the entrance to your house had no lock, and anyone could walk in at any moment?
This is what exactly happens when you have a bad router at home, just virtually.
The wi-fi network at your home may have a hive of harmful bugs buzzing around, continuously chipping at your internet security.
What does this mean?
You are unknowingly inviting hackers to infect your devices. This can lead to irreparable loss of your data.
If protecting your home network is your top priority, look for a VPN provider that works well with home routers.
Step 2: Check the Background of the VPN Provider
You can do a speedy background check on the VPN provider in 3 simple steps:
1. Find out the home country of the VPN provider.
2. Go through its customer reviews.
3. Check if your device is compatible.
Home Country of the VPN Provider
The home country of a VPN provider plays a major role in your privacy.
What does this have to do with you? Quite a lot.
Some nations are not fond of too much user privacy. This may result in rigid laws that force VPN companies to hand over their customer data to authorities.
Or the other way around: the lack of strict laws may encourage VPN companies to mishandle your data.
Either way, this can put your privacy at great risk.
This is why you should consider checking on the regulations of the home country of the VPN provider.
Doing this will help you filter out all the VPNs that might misuse your data.
User Reviews of the VPN Provider
What is the opinion of the people who have already used the VPN? Determining this will help you make the best pick for yourself.
- Go through the user reviews of the VPN provider available on the internet.
- Determine whether the real-life experience of other VPN users matches the standard of your needs.
If a VPN provider has a good reputation among its users, it means that it has a good quality of service.
But be careful- not all reviews are real. A VPN company sometimes pays an individual or a group to write fake and biased reviews.
To avoid falling into this trap, read reviews only of certified buyers on independent e-commerce stores.
Check if Your Devices are Compatible
Find out if a VPN provider:
- Supports all your devices.
- Has a user interface easy enough for you to use.
- Allows multiple connections.
Most VPNs work on all important platforms like Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. But, there are some that do not support all platforms at once.
If a VPN works perfectly on your Windows-based laptop but does not support your i-phone at all, that could be a huge problem for you.
To prevent this from happening, use a VPN that supports all your devices.
Multiple Device Connections
Imagine you’ve connected your cell phone to a VPN. Now, as you’re about to connect your desktop to the same VPN, you realize that the VPN allows only one connection at a time.
And that is the last thing you’d want.
Ensure that the VPN provider allows you to readily connect multiple devices at once.
Ideally, a VPN shouldn’t just support your devices, but also be easy to use.
Ask yourself- can I handle the VPN’s user interface without breaking a sweat?
If the answer is no, then it’s not the best option for you.
For a smooth user experience, go with a VPN with a less complex, easy-to-use setup.
Step 3: Make Sure Your Locations are Covered
Do you live in a region where using the internet properly is a daily struggle?
With the existence of third-world countries with fewer resources, this problem is more common than you think.
But there is a solution.
If you are staying in an area with a poor internet connection, you’ll definitely want to use a VPN.
But a VPN can help you speed up your internet, only if it has servers nearby.
Pick a geographically diverse VPN, with a higher bandwidth limit.
In simple words, make sure the VPN provider you choose:
- Has multiple servers, covering all your important locations.
- Provides you with fast and stable internet, after connecting.
If you want to use a VPN, chances are that privacy is one of your main concerns. A VPN, in fact, protects your private data with considerable security.
But what about the information that you share with the VPN provider?
You need to ensure that the data you share with the VPN provider is in safe hands. For that, you need to find out what logs they keep.
What are ‘logs’?
Logs are basically a record of information that a VPN provider collects from you, while you’re using their services.
Most VPN providers claim that they keep no logs at all. However, in reality, it’s not possible.
To provide you with better services, VPNs need to keep at least the connection logs.
But collecting any other data might be a threat to your privacy.
Data such as your IP address and browsing history are highly sensitive information. This can easily be used to identify you, and even track your activities.
With all this, how will you know if your data is safe?
This is how you can easily figure it out:
- Thoroughly check which logs they collect from you.
Ideally, the less a VPN provider knows about you, the better.
Make sure the data they collect is as little as possible, and only for a temporary amount of time.
Step 5: Determine Which VPN Purchase Plan is the Best for You
Deciding on a suitable purchase plan for a VPN can be trickier than you think.
Here are 2 factors you need to keep in mind:
- A free VPN is not really free.
- A business VPN plan is completely different from a personal VPN plan.
Free vs Paid
Why should you go for a VPN that costs money- especially when there are free VPN services already available?
“Free” VPNs are not truly free. If a VPN service doesn’t cost you money, it definitely costs you something else- your privacy.
VPN companies need capital to run. If they are offering their services completely free of charge, they will need to compensate for that in some other way.
And they do it by selling your private data to third party organizations, or individuals, in exchange for profit.
This is why you should consider opting for a secure, paid VPN plan.
Individual vs Business
Do you want a secure browsing experience for yourself, or are you looking for a protected data tunnel for your enterprise?
Your VPN purchase plan will largely depend upon this factor.
A VPN plan for personal use allows you to
- Safeguard your data and identity.
- Browse anonymously.
- Access restricted content.
Whereas, a business VPN plan usually provides
- A secure channel for remote data sharing.
- A dedicated server for your team.
- Water-tight security for your business communications.
Usually, a VPN company can offer both a business and a personal plan.
If you run a business organization, no matter how small-scale or large, a VPN plan for businesses is the way to go.
But if your needs do not involve an enterprise, purchasing a personal VPN plan will serve you better.
To sum up, this guide basically boils down to 3 simple steps:
- The problem: Have a clear idea of what you exactly want.
- Reality check: Understand what you can get.
- Solution: Make sure you can use it well, with zero problems.
Remember, determining the best choice is not just about figuring out what’s best for you. It is also about being able to make the best use of your choice.