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3 important things to look for before buying a VPN service

8th May 2015

Online privacy and security are non-negotiable parameters for VPN users. However, there are some questions that must be answered, to determine the best-suited type of VPN. It is easy to get a VPN service for a few Dollars but does that suit your purpose? Find out yourself by getting answers to these 3 important questions.

VPN Protocols

The level of security that you get with your VPN is dependent on the type of protocol that’s on offer. Without getting too much into technicalities, let now look at the common types of protocols:

  • PPTP: Point to Point Tunnelling Protocol is the most common type of protocol and is also one of the oldest. It is fast to set up and easy to use but offers only minimal level of security.
  • L2TP: The encryption level in Layer to Tunnel Protocol is similar to PPTP but is more secure for the users. Most of OS and devices have built-in interfaces for this protocol and so, it becomes very easy to use.
  • OpenVPN: This relatively new protocol is also commonly referred to as the SS Layer (SSL) and is the most popular browser-based protocol.

There are other protocols but these three are the ones you need to look for in the feature list of the VPN service provider. What you choose is dependent on your requirements. If you are looking for just browsing privacy, any protocol will do but if you are looking to do more with the VPN, like downloads, remote access, bypass, etc, you’ll need an OpenVPN or L2TP connection.

Device and OS connectivity

The idea with getting a VPN is to have a secure connectivity, especially through the internet, right? So, you’ll need to make sure that your VPN gives you multi-OS and multi-device connectivity option. There is nothing more irritating to find out that you cannot connect to an open WiFi with your mobile device with your existing VPN. Get a VPN that allows automatic compatibility to iOS, Android, Windows (or any other OS you use).

Server Locations and Logs

Some countries mandate VPN services to keep a log of user activity for a specified period of time. This can vary for different countries. So, if you are using your VPN for bypassing or downloading, you’ll need to know where the VPN servers are located and then cross verify that particular country’s laws, to determine if it clashes with your requirements. Typically, all VPN services offer multiple exit server locations and also publish their ‘log’ maintenance details. So, pick and choose the VPN based on this information.
All VPN services offer some type of entry level, low price (or even free) plans to entice new users. Typically, these low priced plans do not offer the required level of privacy or benefits. Remember, price cannot be the factor that determines your type of VPN; you will need to select the right one, based on your own usage and requirements. You should not be averse to paying a few Dollars extra; if it helps you get a good deal. The three points mentioned above can go a long way in helping you to make that decision.

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