Are you concerned about your online privacy? Have you been a victim of fraud or identity theft in the past? Do you wish to access regionally restricted websites (such as those who provide online movies) without being blocked out? These are three of the most common reasons why individuals choose to work with a virtual private network.
Often simply abbreviated as VPN, these services essentially mask your identity so that third parties and similar software bundles cannot determine your IP address. In other words, you will remain completely anonymous when browsing the Internet. While this can be a highly technical subject, there are still some main takeaway points to keep in mind if you hope to be able to choose the best VPN provider for your needs.
Let's take a quick look at some of the features which define the majority of services as well as a handful of features to look out for well in advance.
A VPN essentially represents what is known as a secure firewall. In other words, it will mask your identity when accessing the Internet. The good news is that these software packages are fully compatible with all modern browsers.
Once installed, they can be activated when required and deactivated when necessary. They will function in the background as a standalone application and you will normally have a choice of connections or (hubs) found around the world.
These can be chosen based off of your geographic region and certain countries are associated with more online nodes than others.
There are two main types of VPN services currently on the market:
While the 128-bit method was quite popular in the past, it has now been largely replaced by 256-bit methods due to enhance security features. This is important in terms of keeping all of your most pertinent information safe at all times. This type of encryption essentially employs two types of digital "keys" which must be received by both the sender and recipient. If there is even a slight deviation in regards to any such information, it will be blocked. This is why hackers and other unscrupulous individuals have a very tough time intruding into VPN systems which employ 256-bit AES encryption.
The other main difference between VPN providers is the number of connections that are made available to the end user. This is important, as those associated with fewer nodes will be slower during peak hours of Internet traffic. If you have ever used a VPN service in the past, you might have noticed that it can take a significantly long time to download large files. This is most likely due to the fact that you were working with a provider that did not offer as many connections. So, try to use a service which offers hubs in a variety of nations (those into the hundreds are generally the best portals to employ).
While the details mentioned above are obviously important, you also need to select a service which provides ample amounts of technical support in the event that you encounter an issue or problem. Not only should a dedicated email address be offered, but the best in the industry also are able to handle live chat support.
Another factor involves whether it is better to pay for a VPN service or instead to opt for a free alternative. While free hubs can be useful, keep in mind that the number of available connections at any given time can be limited.
Assuming that you simply wish to browse the Internet, this may be sufficient. However, downloading or streaming large files is normally better through the use of a paid VPN subscription. Let's also keep in mind that paid bundles offer higher levels of customer service and support.
At the time that this article was written, the most well-respected services included:
Feel free to examine each of these services in greater detail.