When you’re searching for a VPN, you’ll be greeted with dozens of them. Some are paid subscriptions while others are offered free. The question is, how to choose the right VPN? 

It’s an important decision to make because getting the wrong VPN can lead to a bad browsing experience. In worse cases, you could even be subjected to online threats despite connecting to a VPN server. 

So, before you sign up for a VPN, check out this article and ensure you’re making the right choice. 

Aren’t All VPNs the Same?

VPN is a network technology that provides a secure communication tunnel between a device and the internet. Data transmitted over the tunnel is encrypted, and the device’s IP address is hidden. 

With a clearly-defined mechanism, aren’t all VPNs the same? Would it matter if you sign up for a VPN that costs $14.95 per month or use one that’s available for free? 

The truth is: VPNs are not the same, despite sharing the same goals. 

Most free VPNs have questionable security as they could be relying on outdated VPN protocols with known vulnerabilities. You don’t have such issues with premium, leading VPNs.

There could be differences in terms of speed, features, and supported devices even amongst top VPNs. The number of servers and the server load can affect the connection speed for VPNs. 

A handful of VPNs provide features like multihop, allowing users to route the data through two VPN servers for twice the protection.

Also, not all premium VPNs can unblock Netflix. Getting past Netflix’s blockage isn’t as simple as changing the device’s IP address. Only some are getting the upper hand against the content provider. 

Each VPN is unique on its own. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to choose the right VPN.

How to Choose the Right VPN for You 

When you’re shopping for a VPN, you ought to check out these factors on each provider. They’ll help you decide if a particular VPN is right for you.

Security

Security is non-compromisable. A VPN needs to offer impenetrable protection at all times. To do that, the VPN must offer secure VPN protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec. Check out the encryption used by the provider. It must be at AES-256 or better encryption.

It’s also helpful to choose a VPN that’s built in a kill switch. A VPN connection can sometimes disconnect on its own, which exposes your connection to the public. A kill switch terminates the internet connection when a VPN connection is dropped. 

Privacy

When you’re using a VPN, you’re trusting the provider to protect your personal information at all costs. This means that the provider should not store information like your IP address and browsing history on its data center. Read through the privacy policy of the provider and ensure that it has a clearly worded no-log policy.

Flaws in the app can also result in a privacy breach. Some VPNs are notorious for IP or DNS leaks where the device’s IP and DNS remain visible to the public despite being connected to the VPN server. Make sure that the VPN provider does not have a checkered history of such incidences. 

Speed

Despite adding another node between your device and the internet, a VPN shouldn’t slow down internet speed significantly. You’ll get a much higher speed when connected to a server near your location, and the speed will drop when connected to a server hundreds of miles away. 

Yet, you’re still able to stream Netflix US in HD from Asia without interruption if you’re using a good VPN. 

User-friendly App

The underlying technology of a VPN is complicated. But the app shouldn’t be. Top VPNs offer apps that are well-designed, uncluttered, and easy to navigate. You can connect to a VPN server right away from the app’s main panel. If it takes too much effort to do so, you’ve got the wrong VPN. 

Customer Support

Connecting to a VPN server is easy. However, there are times where you stumble into technical problems when using the VPN app. In such situations, you’ll wish for a support team that is just a click away.

Look for a VPN that offers live chat support or at least 24/7 email support. You don’t want to end up with a provider that takes days to reply to an email when you’re trying to connect to Netflix now! 

Best VPNs

Still can’t decide which VPN works for you? Here are 3 of the best.


FEATURES
NordVPNClearVPNCyberGhostExpressVPN
Kill Switch
Fast Speeds
AES-256 encryption
Server counts5404+Unknown6300+3,000+
Number of countries58+20+90160
No-logs policy
24/7 Customer support✅ email or LiveChat✅ email or LiveChat✅ email or LiveChat✅ email or LiveChat
No of devices6675
Supports chain VPN connectionsYes (Double VPN)Yes (Double VPN)NoNo

Summary

We’ve given a clear guide on how to choose the right VPN. It shouldn’t be difficult if you could spare some time to check out the various VPN providers. But to save time, try out one of the recommended options handpicked for you. 

Mark Coulman
About Mark Coulman

Cybersecurity expert with a keen interest in technology and digital privacy. Mark has more than 14 years of experience in creating and managing various reliable WEB applications for IT companies in the EU and the US. Loves 3-4 letter words like PHP, XML, HTML, CSS, DB2, ASP, CRM, ERP, SAP, etc.