A very good reason for using a VPN is the added security that it brings. If you need to send or receive any sensitive information over the Internet, a VPN is vital. Match the level of security you need to the VPN protocol to ensure you’re always safe and secure online.
Coupled with security and bandwidth is the number of servers you can connect to. Paid VPN services have the income to invest in a vast amount of servers to ensure your VPN connection is always live and fast, allowing you to stream content without buffering issues or the connection dropping.
A VPN offers unrestricted access to websites and apps that might otherwise be blocked, for example due to local censorship. No matter where you are located, a VPN will give you access to a number of servers located around the world, allowing you to access your favorite websites with ease.
Also worth knowing is that a VPN uses what are called networking protocols. This is the language the VPN uses to encrypt the information you are sending or receiving over the VPN (consult the dedicated protocols answer for more information).
Generally speaking, most VPNs are available on more or less every device you are planning to use but please check that the VPN you are planning to subscribe to covers your operating system. For example, SaferVPN and CyberGhost support all of the leading operating systems.
The level of security you need will also mean choosing the right VPN protocol. You will see that VPN vendors will have different protocols available for specific operating systems. This is why you should take your time to assess the VPN protocol you want to use and then identify which VPN vendors offer this for the operating system you use.
And paid services will almost always have much better customer service than free services. Free services will often require you to troubleshoot and fix your own VPN issues while Paid services come with built-in assistance to quickly resolve the problem. Paid VPNs also offer good customer service over the phone which may come in handy if you can’t fix the problem online.
Security is an extremely important factor when choosing a VPN provider. In most instances, free VPN services will offer a PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol) which is the easiest to set up (it is also the type of VPN protocol that all operating systems will have built into them). Some security flaws have been highlighted with PPTP, which can make these VPN connections highly vulnerable to attack. Paid services on the other hand, from vendors such as ExpressVPN and PureVPN, offer a number of VPN protocols including IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) and L2TP (Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol) that are inherently more secure than PPTP.
In most cases, you will be able to set up your VPN by downloading the setup software after signing up to a provider and installing it on your device. Most VPNs offer software for all major operating systems.
All you need in order to do this is a VPN app on your device and an affordable subscription. The best VPNs work across laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets – even a Smart TV, with the aid of an ethernet cable or a Chromecast dongle.
Most of the time, this means using a VPN client (software) that you install on the device(s) you want to connect to the VPN with. The VPN client then will give the option to connect to a range of servers located around the world. The number of locations available will depend on the VPN provider you choose to connect with. By using a VPN, you are in fact setting up a secure connection between your device – a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone – and the server, network or other digital device you need to connect to.