There are many free and non-free VPN services that make their servers and infrastructures available to customers. In this article, we will examine how to choose the best solution for every need, in fact explaining what we pay attention to when we review a service.
Checking these aspects allows you to choose a safe, efficient, suitable for our needs and economic (or free, depends on your needs) service.
1. How does a VPN service work?
VPNs work in a conceptually very simple way, a client (sometimes integrated into the system) routes user traffic through a (secure) tunnel connection, with which traffic reaches a server. The server connected to the Internet will appear as the source of all user traffic.
The services usually have servers all over the world, so as to provide its users with the possibility of appearing connected from any part of the globe. For its structure, a VPN service can be an excellent tool to protect your anonymity on the network and to bypass restrictions on sites. Each component of a VPN (the client, the tunnel and the server) is essential to guarantee the efficiency and security of the service.
2. What are the differences between paid and free VPNs?
A VPN is an IT service with significant management and maintenance costs. In fact, each service must keep the servers located in various locations in operation, and pay the cost of traffic (bandwidth). These two components are by no means free, so services that offer a free VPN connection must find ways to monetize their traffic to be economically viable.
They earn by profiling their users, recording their activity through their servers and reselling it to the highest bidder. These recordings are called “log” in jargon and often contain the user’s IP address and all its activity. In addition, they also often save on security protocol implementation work by opting for the old, deprecated and notoriously failed PPTP protocol.
Often in the IT field when a service is free, it is because the product is basically the user himself. So no free VPN guarantees anonymity on the network. Free VPNs are strongly discouraged for streaming and P2P file sharing: they often offer a maximum of traffic per user (frequently 500 MB).
3. How to choose a paid VPN service
Choosing a paid VPN service is necessary if you want to use this technology to protect your anonymity on the network. Not all paid services are automatically good choices; there are some parameters that must be checked in order to make an informed purchase. But based on our experience, NordVPN is one of the best ones. You can read its reviews page here.
4. Security protocols
It is a fundamental component of any good VPN service. As we explained in the quick introduction, all user data is routed by the client in the tunnel connection. If the tunnel connection is clear or encrypted with a vulnerable algorithm, it risks exposing not only the user’s IP, but also all his network traffic.
5. The no-logs policy
Another fundamental component is the servers of the service, if they keep logs with all the activities and the user’s IP address they seriously jeopardize their anonymity and security. If a service keeps logs and its servers are attacked by a pirate or seized by the authorities, it risks seriously exposing the privacy of its users.
6. The registered office
The registered office of a service is by no means negligible, as it defines which jurisdiction and therefore which laws the service must be subject to. In some countries, it is mandatory to keep user records and even to provide them to the authorities when requested. Hence the registered office is of critical importance for the operation of a no logs service. Usually, countries that do not have legislation on the retention and consultation of customers’ computer data do not even accept requests from third countries for this purpose.
Got it?? We hope after reading this article you can choose the most suitable VPN service.
This content is sponsored by Jin Kazma.