A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is software that protects your privacy online by redirecting your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel over the internet. VPNs have grown in popularity over the years as more individuals and businesses look for ways to secure their data.
VPNs also provide protection on public networks, change addresses online, and unlock geo-restricted content. For avid gamers, VPNs can help bypass ISP bandwidth throttling and reduce latency and ping times. People looking to save money can use VPNs to book cheap flights or buy cheaper products and services. This is possible because some companies tend to offer different prices for different locations.
The versatility of VPNs is one of the main reasons for their popularity. There is a VPN for PCs, phones and tablets. So no matter what device you use to surf the web, you can always enjoy the protection of a VPN.
Not all VPNs are equal. Some VPNs are better than others and if you want to get the most out of VPNs, you should choose a great one. This article focuses on what distinguishes a good VPN from a good one. Here we are.
Features of a Great VPN
1. Public audits
A VPN will hide your internet traffic from your ISP, government, cybercriminals, and any other party interested in tracking you or harvesting your data. However, the VPN provider has access to your online activity since you are redirecting your online traffic through their servers. So, by using a VPN, you are trusting the VPN provider to respect your online activity and not log or sell it.
The average user has no way of knowing how the VPN company handles their data. They just have to take the VPN company’s word for it. However, some VPNs like SurfShark submit to audits where security experts analyze their apps and report their findings.
VPN providers that undergo audits are highly rated and recommended by security experts. While only the VPN company knows how it handles user data, public audits provide valuable information to users. Thus, VPNs that have public audits are more reliable than those that do not.
2. VPN Power Across Multiple Platforms
Another quality of a good VPN is availability on multiple platforms. The best VPN providers offer software for Windows, iOS, Android, MacOs and Linux. It is not enough for a VPN to have software for different platforms. The service on all platforms must be powerful.
It’s not uncommon to see some VPN providers only focus on desktop applications. This means that most of their features will not be available for mobile users. Although each platform presents different challenges for VPN providers, the best VPN services strive to provide advanced features across all platforms.
3. Features for everyone
Early VPNs were developed for techies who liked technical features that let them choose their connection ports, algorithm type, and more. However, VPNs have become so popular that many users aren’t too tech-savvy or don’t care about advanced technical features.
Therefore, the best VPNs should have features that the average user can use. For example, VPNs now have features that automatically activate the app when the user connects to an unknown or untrusted network. There is also split tunneling where traffic from certain applications can be routed through your regular internet connection.
Interestingly, not all VPNs offer features that everyone can use. The best VPNs, however, cater to both the average and tech-savvy.
4. Superb customer service
As with any other product, VPN users will need help from time to time. Therefore, it is important for VPN providers to have good customer support. Live chat with an agent is one of the ways users can get help with technical issues. But VPN providers shouldn’t just provide support. They should also provide informative and how-to articles that can help users discover software features at their own pace.
Sometimes a simple FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) can shed some light on certain VPN features. Providing good informational articles requires an investment of resources by the company and those who provide them can be seen as putting their customers first.
5. Quick and frequent corrections
The best VPN services are not only those that provide excellent services, but those that constantly improve their services. Downtown servers, bugs in an update, and other issues users may encounter. But the best VPN services will deal with these issues as quickly as possible.
You can check how much a VPN provider cares about improving by checking the frequency of their updates. Regular updates mean that providers don’t rest on their oars and strive to improve the user experience. Some VPNs also listen to customer complaints and implement solutions in future updates.
Free VPNs Are Neither Good nor Great
Yes, you read that right. Free VPNs aren’t good or great. They can log your data and sell it to third parties, which is the opposite of what you want with a VPN. Annoying ads, bandwidth limit, slow internet speed, weak encryption, limited number of servers and lack of customer support are things you can expect from a free VPN service.
Therefore, free VPNs are neither good nor excellent. With monthly VPN prices ranging from $3 to $10 depending on the plan you choose, there are paid VPN services that will fit into your budget. Some even allow monthly contracts to ensure their services are more affordable.
From everything we’ve discussed in this article, you can see that great VPNs go out of their way to make sure their users get what they deserve: the best service. So, when you want to subscribe to a VPN, don’t opt for a good one. Go for excellent because you deserve the best.