As the internet has evolved and reached all corners of the world, the capabilities of hackers and scammers have also evolved. This is why many of us use VPNs to stay protected. However, not all VPNs are created equal. If you’re planning to get a VPN service to stay anonymous on the internet, there are some features you must look for. There are a number of VPN service providers in the market and it becomes difficult to choose a really good one. Thus, to save you from being wooed by razzamatazz of fancy ads and websites, we are going to share 8 vital features that you should check before settling on one VPN service.
Check These Must-Have Features Before You Buy a VPN Subscription
8 VPN Must-Have Features
Here are the features any respectful VPN service provider should offer their subscribers.
When you start researching about VPN, you will quite frequently see the terms OpenVPN. OpenVPN is the most secure protocol available for VPNs today,
It’s a great idea to get a VPN that offers multiple choices when it comes to protocols, but it must support OpenVPN. This would prevent hackers and agencies from accessing your data.
No Logging Policy
When you use a VPN, you trust the service provider with all your personal data. Most VPNs guarantee that all your communications are secure from eavesdropping, but the logging policies differ.
Mobile Apps and Router Support
Using a VPN, you should be able to derive a consistent experience across all devices and platforms. While most VPNs are for Windows and Mac, there are some that offer Linux solutions too. Thus, when opting for a VPN, ensure that it supports the platforms for mobile devices you use.
Also, another option would be to install the VPN directly on the router of your home network so each device connected to the network will have the benefit of anonymity. While this sounds like the best option, it would require a VPN that offers this feature on a compatible router.
Multiple Server locations
Depending on the VPN, you should be able to choose your server’s location. This feature helps when you want to access geo-restricted content. For an example, if you want to access BBC iTV that’s available only in the UK, your service provider should have some UK based servers.
Make sure that the VPN has a large server network (or at least has servers in the location you’re interested in). A good service provider will have a robust network of servers in multiple countries and would guarantee better streaming levels as well as varied options to choose from.
While VPNs guarantee privacy, it would not be wrong to say that they aren’t vulnerable. There might be chances when the servers are overloaded and IP leaks happen.
Having an integrated kill switch can monitor the VPN connection. In case of a connection drop, a kill switch can shut down data transfer, thereby ensuring that your original IP isn’t exposed. However, it is to be noted that not every VPN offers this feature. Companies that provide this feature have it embedded in the software. Check for the integrated switch and also check the app’s settings as many providers disable it by default.
Anonymous DNS Servers
There are many internet users who rely on DNS servers provided by their ISP. They aren’t aware that ISPs monitor and record logs of users’ activities and at times block them from certain websites.
Look for a VPN that routes your internet traffic through a good tunneling protocol and protects it with a high level of encryption using anonymous DNS servers. This feature adds on to the privacy and security factors.
It is to be noted that using a VPN doesn’t make you invulnerable. Ensure that you use HTTPS wherever possible and be cautious whenever you download something from the internet.
Some VPN providers bundle their software with anti-malware and anti-spyware features to ensure that you do not download any viruses or Trojans. While selecting a VPN, cross check if it offers anti-malware protection. Though not having a bundled antivirus is not a deal-breaker, but won’t it be great to have someone watch your back while you browse and download?
Above all, scan through the User Agreement to make sure you’re aware of the difference between their paid services and free ones (if available). Price is one of the most obvious features to make note of when getting a VPN.
While free services are most likely to maintain logs and display ads, subscription-based services do not necessarily maintain logs and won’t show ads. Plus, paid options are comparatively more secure and trustworthy.
8 VPN Must-Have Features – Final Thoughts
A good VPN has all the right features but doesn’t charge a lot. Do not get overwhelmed with the plethora of available options. Do your research and opt for the most voted providers.