How to choose the best VPN based on our location

By | 08/09/2022

How to choose the right VPN for yous – nine fundamental things to expect out for

VPN graphic

(Prototype credit: Shutterstock)

Whether you lot desire to heave your online security or have the flexibility of watching content from worldwide streaming catalogs, you may exist thinking of getting yourself one of the best VPNs. This security software is indeed perfect for encrypting your personal data and overcoming geo-restrictions that many streaming platforms apply to their content.

So far, so good. But then, afterwards scrolling through infinite reviews and VPN deals, information technology’s like shooting fish in a barrel to get lost inside the VPN world without existence certain which is the right service for your needs. A voice inside yous keeps asking: ‘which one should I choose?

The range of VPNs on offering is huge nowadays, with new products popping onto the market all the fourth dimension. Choosing the right one can exist a really demanding job, whether you’re a newcomer or but want to modify provider.

If you are not certain nearly which features to expect for in a VPN, read on this guide to exist equipped with all the tools for making the best choice for your own needs.

Why do you need a VPN?

There are heaps of things that a Virtual Private Network tin can do. First of all, you should recall advisedly which VPN uses you’re looking for earlier deciding which i could exist the best for you.

According to a recent TechRadar survey, around 2-thirds of respondents said that they utilize a VPN to protect their full general privacy. One-half apply them as a manner to access blocked websites or apps, while effectually twoscore% of readers want to stream shows and movies just available on catalogs overseas. Other VPN uses include fugitive government surveillance and censorship (35%), torrenting (25%) and gaming (xvi,6%).

If all VPNs are meant to ensure your connection is encrypted and anonymous, different services have certain features that brand them more suitable for a specific use. Permit’s see them at present in more item.

ane. Choice the path to privacy

If your primary concerns is protecting your privacy from governments and ISPs snooping on what you do online, you will have to choose your service amongst the most individual VPN bachelor.

First of all, yous demand to look at the software engineering, and there’s i characteristic in particular that is central for a secure VPN:
encryption protocols. Every protocol defines how the app and server connect with each other too as the methods used to send and encrypt data. VPNs offer several ways to anonymize your data into an encrypted tunnel.

The WireGuard protocol is a relative newcomer into the world of VPNs but is already seen as the gold standard for privacy and security. On acme of that, it delivers some of fastest connection speeds around. Major providers are now offering this protocol – like CyberGhost and Private Net Access – while others – like ExpressVPN and NordVPN – have developed their own protocols based on it.

A padlock icon next to a woman working on a laptop

(Prototype credit: Shutterstock)

When looking for a VPN, make sure that the service offers the
most secure encryption methods
bachelor, similar Blowfish and AES (Avant-garde Encryption Standard). The last is indeed been recognized as the worldwide standard for solid cybersecurity – you’ll frequently described by providers as ‘military-grade’.

After that, y’all should make sure that the VPN provider’s policies are the most privacy-friendly that can be. Offering a robustno-logging policy means that the provider pledges to only log the absolute essential details of your sessions and never in a style where the data could be tracked back to y’all. We’ve found that the likes of ExpressVPN, NordVPN and TunnelBear are amongst the providers that have the clearest and least invasive policies.

You should also opt for a provider outside the V Eyes countries to avoid intrusive authorities, even better choose a VPN registered in one of the so-called
Privacy Heaven nations. These include Panama, British Virgin Islands – where ExpressVPN is based – and Malaysia.

2. Boost your streaming experience

Looking for a VPN that’south going to unlock international catalogs of shows, movies and live sports that you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to stream at habitation?

Y’all should
showtime by making sure that the service works with your chosen streaming platform. Of them all, Netflix is patently the most popular but also 1 of the toughest to unlock. Using VPNs to stream, say, shows sectional to U.s.a. Netflix, is one of the reasons that their use has become so popular in recent years. But the service has got very aggressive in stopping this kind of activity, and then you’ll want to double check your getting a working VPN for Netflix.

Or practise yous prefer watching your favorite Television shows on BBC iPlayer, Disney+ or Amazon Prime number? These tend to be easier basics to fissure, but it’s worth checking out lists of the all-time streaming VPNs to brand sure that yous’re getting a service that will exist of use.

Couple laying in bed and watching Netflix

(Image credit: Shutterstock / WeDesing)

fast and reliable connection

is also vital. Plus, you should choose a service offering
many servers locations
across different countries to have the flexibility to browse amongst worldwide catalogs – near premium VPNs have over 2,000 servers beyond more than fifty countries.

Last but not to the lowest degree, find a VPN that
supports a broad range of devices
– from smartphone and tablets to laptops and TV. In that location are even ways to use your VPN on streaming devices like Amazon Fire, Apple Tv set, Roku and gaming consoles.

three. Torrenting anonymously

Without palliating any copyright breaches, watertight security is certainly something you lot’ll want if yous plan on using a VPN for torrenting.

integrated kill switch
is vital to avoid any unexpected data leaks, boosting in this way your online rubber. In fact, even the encrypted tunnel tin can get interrupted momentarily at times. This feature will cut the connectedness when a tunnel goes downwards to preclude your data beingness exposed to your internet access provider.

Likewise a
fast connection speed
is crucial when downloading large files. Plus, make certain to cull a VPN
without any caps on bandwidth consumption.

Illustration to represent torrenting

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

iv. Is a free VPN enough?

You may be be tempted to opt for a gratuitous service to relieve some bucks. Just
complimentary does not necessarily hateful better, especially when information technology comes to security services.

If you are looking for a VPN to unlock geo-restricted content when traveling, you should know that many free versions have problems working with streaming platforms. They oftentimes have a limited bandwidth of data allowance available. Plus, they may deadening downwardly your internet connection.

And you tin’t be sure that the free software you’re downloading will offer the same security protections as paid versions. In fact, without asking users for a fee, companies need to plough to advertising to proceed the software running. Beside offering a poor online experience, ads are also known to collect your personal information – exactly what you are trying to avoid with a VPN. And in the very worst cases, they may actually terminate up infecting your device with malware or viruses.

So if information technology’s all doom and gloom, why would you ever become for a freebie? Well, they may be perfectly fine if your requirements from a VPN are less about the added bonuses like streaming and torrenting, and more than about just wanting that extra layer of online privacy. For example, they’re handy if y’all want anonymity when visiting somewhere known for heavy internet censorship, or y’all like the idea of ensuring you’re fully encrypted when surfing in a café or airport – merely make sure that y’all cull one of the best free VPNs and avoid the duds.

5. Paying the price

Assuming y’all go for a premium paid-for provider, consider how much use you’re probable to exit of your VPN before you lot sign upward – the best pricing is reserved for people who commit to longer subscriptions. Sign up for a single month, and you’re likely to pay upwards of $10. But
if you think that you’ll be using your new VPN for the next year or two, then the value gets much ameliorate.

The best inexpensive VPNs, for example, bring the effective monthly price all the fashion down to
just a few dollars per calendar month. Surfshark costs less than $2.50/£2 per month when you sign up for its ii-yr programme. While we’ve seen PureVPN come up equally low as $ane.15/pm if you’re happy to sign up for a full five years.

The likes of ExpressVPN may exist more than expensive, simply throw in added extras like Backblaze cloud backup for costless. So look out for any added extra you become.

On top of that, many of the top VPN providers offer
risk-complimentary trials – y’all’ll need to pay the money upfront merely you can get a full refund if you get out within the first 30 or 45 days.

6. Make information technology simple with like shooting fish in a barrel-to-utilize apps

In one case you’ve subscribed for a service, the side by side step is to correctly install your new VPN on your called device. This is likely to be on your laptop or smartphone, merely besides other platforms like your abode router, streaming device or smart TV.

Long gone are the days of struggling to configure a VPN on your arrangement. Nowadays, every provider has its own applications and clients, and most of the best ones work really hard on their user experience developing piece of cake-to-utilize apps and user-friendly interfaces.

You lot manifestly can’t give them all a test-drive before picking, but
consider contained

VPN reviews

to get an idea of which are easiest to utilize
. Providers similar TunnelBear and Surfshark, for case, offer a actually friendly and intuitive application for both computers and mobile. While our testing also found the likes of ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Private Internet Access are all also offering some of the best mobile VPN apps around.

ExpressVPN working on several devices including Apple TV

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

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vii. Protect all your devices with i sub

Make sure that your virtually frequently used devices are compatible with your chosen VPN
before subscribing. Luckily, pretty much all the top providers back up the main devices like Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux, and they tend all to work with a range of streaming devices, besides. That said, even some of the better VPNs are not available on all platforms, so exist sure to cheque.

Installing a VPN on a router
is a good mode to cover all your devices at home in one become. But it’southward going to be a nightmare if you choose a VPN that isn’t compatible with your model.

You lot’ll also want to know
how many devices you tin can use at one time with the same subscription. ExpressVPN, for instance, simply offers upwardly to five connections at once – that’south i of the everyman amounts around. In dissimilarity, providers similar Surfshark and IPVanish don’t put any limits of platforms you can use simultaneously at all.

eight. Turn your VPN provider into a privacy powerhouse

If y’all are looking to boost your online security even further, yous may want to
integrate your VPN with other privacy-friendly applications, such as secure email or cloud storage services. If that sounds tempting, choose a VPN provider where you can upgrade your subscription with these tools.

Doing and so will effectively help turn your VPN into a all-singing all-dancing cyberspace security suite.

For instance, the same company operating ProtonVPN as well offers also ProtonMail – an encrypted electronic mail service.  ExpressVPN offers complimentary unlimited secure cloud backup from Backblaze
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when you lot subscribe for a year plan, And NordVPN now includes Threat Protection, which promises to salve you from web trackers with malicious ads, harmful websites and infected files.

ProtonMail on a MacBook

(Image credit: ProtonMail)

9. On-call customer service

A feature often overlooked, an
effective customer service
could be really handy for coping with whatsoever issue yous may have – because even the most advanced services tin accept hidden difficulties at times.

Ideally, it should be 24/7 and delivered by dissimilar methods, similar email, online portal and live chat.

Chiara is a multimedia journalist, with a special middle for latest trends and issues in cybersecurity. She is a Staff Writer at Future with a focus on VPNs. She mainly writes news and features virtually data privacy, online censorship and digital rights for TechRadar, Tom’s Guide and T3. With a passion for digital storytelling in all its forms, she also loves photography, video making and podcasting. Originally from Milan in Italia, she is now based in Bristol, Great britain, since 2018.