Following the pandemic and its attendant tsunami of phishing emails, skanky scams and online skulduggery, VPNs (virtual private networks) became embedded on the cyber security radar. Previously the preserve of enterprises and savvy smaller businesses many consumers thought VPNs were technically complex and definitely not for home use.

This is perhaps understandable but the perception couldn’t be further from the truth. They can be incredibly simple to use, offer private browsing, online anonymity, robust security on public Wi-Fi and defence against hackers who try to intercept data.

But with so many VPN’s now on the market, how do you know what qualities you should look for when choosing a VPN provider? Read on to find out.

Security

This is clearly the top reason for choosing a VPN. As such there is no point in choosing a provider if you are not sure if it can protect you, your information, and your device. With the countless threats on the internet you need to be confident that your VPN service provider has all the necessary security in place. Within this context a paid for VPN service is the sensible choice, because by definition it will be reliable and safe and a far better option than a free VPN service. But just because its paid for doesn’t mean it is expensive.

Connectivity

If you’re accessing media streaming such as Netflix or regularly downloading large files you need to ensure the VPN service delivers good connectivity and the connection is reliable. The VPN should also enable safe browsing on all sorts of devices from smartphones, laptops and tablets to desktop PCs.

Server choice

A good VPN service provider will offer internet connections via multiple servers in different locations around the globe. And you should be able to choose from which location you want to access the internet from. If for whatever reason you are disconnected from one server, you will immediately be connected to another one nearby and should lose very little speed if at all.

Support for different applications

You need a VPN service that provides support for all the relevant platforms that you are using. Even though your PC may be running on MacOS or Windows, your smartphone is not on these operating systems. Many people for instance connect to the internet using Android phones such as LG, Huawei, or Samsung. When searching for the right VPN provider, you must ensure that all your devices are supported.

Easy-to-use

The user interface should be extremely simple to use, simply click and go. User’s shouldn’t have to wrestle with non-intuitive functionality.

Speed

Speed is an important factor. When choosing a VPN service, it is important for you to focus on the VPN service providers who have servers near to your location and preferably in several locations around the globe.

Customer support

Don’t use a company that lacks customer support. You need a VPN service provider that offers customer support services option such as a live chat option on their website. Essentially, you only get the best customer support from the best VPN providers as this is an indication of their commitment.

Protection for all devices

When browsing anonymously with a VPN it is important that all your devices have a VPN connection. This is important because malicious actors may try patching information that they have to gain access to your information via your unprotected devices. In short, a VPN license should be provide access for several devices so you can be confident that you are protected on which ever device you use.

Geographic locations

The best VPN service providers will always have multiple servers in different countries. One of the major reasons why people use a VPN connection is to be able to bypass some of the restrictions in different countries. As such you can still access the internet anonymously if restrictive legislation is enforced in one country by changing the country from which you access the internet.

Finding the right VPN service may seem like a challenge but keep the tips mentioned above in mind and you won’t go wrong. Also check BullGuard VPN, it’s one of the best on the market and is available at minimal subscription price, as low as £2.70 a month depending on the price plan you choose. Check it out here.