The internet and most other networks are not really that private, and although users can have logins to sites, passwords on computers and so on, being part of a network necessitates the sharing of information over the network, and such information can lead to privacy violations.
What is a VPN?
A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, is a tool for securing communications and ensuring privacy and anonymity over public networks. A VPN was conceived as a way for corporate clients and employees to access corporate applications and resources remotely, securely and with the same capabilities that a private network affords. In today’s world, these benefits of using a VPN are widely sought after by individuals who seek privacy and some level of anonymity as they browse through the internet.
What makes a good VPN?
To answer the question of what makes a good VPN, you first have to answer the question of “What is the use of a VPN?” Needless to say, not all VPN apps are created equal, and they vary widely in their capabilities. In this regard, the best VPN is the one that can offer the largest number of capabilities at the lowest cost. There is actually an excellent resource — vpnreviewpro.com — that lists the top ten VPNs that are available online, and you can check it out to see which VPN app suits your needs best. Either way, you still have to know the benefits of a VPN to make an informed choice on the matter, and to help you with this, here is a list of the most likely users of a VPN.
Who uses VPNs?
1. The Average User
It is always important to start any conversation with the little guy because his/her needs are always simple, and when it comes to VPN services, the average user just wants a decent amount of privacy and security while surfing the internet. Most VPN apps, even the free ones, offer this kind of capability – one that allows you to surf the web anonymously and visit a couple of sites without leaving a digital signature that leads back to them.
Gamers and other people who rely on streaming services need a VPN to mask their IP address from their internet service providers (ISP) and sometimes from their competition. ISPs often limit the amount of bandwidth available to users based on the sites that they visit. If a particular site uses too much data, for instance, then an ISP can discourage visiting it by limiting the data available to users. Gamers work around this by using VPNs to mask the sites that they are visiting.
3. Corporations, Businesses, and Governments
A VPN connection is the surest way of communicating safely over public networks, and if you are a government or a business entity with information that you would not want to fall into the wrong hands, then using a VPN is the way to go.
4. Users of Torrents
Torrent downloaders have to keep their identity secret, especially when downloading copyrighted materials. Some government agencies such as the FBI and the Motion Picture Association of America vigilantly watch file sharing sites such as The Pirate Bay in an effort to curb copyright violations. The way to interact with these sites safely is through a VPN that hides the identity of a visitor.
5. Activists and Dissidents
Activists, dissidents, and whistleblowers rely on VPNs to share sensitive information over the internet. Without this, it would be incredibly difficult for them to communicate without getting caught, especially given the ever-growing surveillance powers of governments around the world. But it is not just activists and the like, even average citizens of countries like China and North Korea rely on VPNs to circumnavigate the restrictions put forth by their respective governments.
6. Users Who Would Like To Access Geographically Restricted Content
Some sites such as Netflix and ESPN make different content based on the geographical location of the user. Users in places like the UK and other European countries, for instance, receive different content programming than those in North America. Netflix is able to do this because the IP addresses of users point to their geographical locations. With a VPN, however, one can easily fool Netflix and access the same services as residents of a different geographic region.
How to Evaluate VPNs
What is the use of VPN? Knowing the answer is one thing, but to correctly determine what makes a good VPN, especially without prior interactions with the software, is a daunting task. Here are the things to look out for when evaluating a VPN.
1. User Reviews
The wisdom of the crowd is a well-confirmed and tested theory, and it says that the many are smarter than the few, and while sometimes the few get it right, it is not on matters related to purchasing and overall decision making. All this is to say that online reviews really do tell how good a product is and should be trusted. The list of the best VPN services from vpnreviewpro.com is based on online reviews, for instance, and makes a very accurate assessment of the top ten VPN software tools.
2. Technical Support
Most VPN services, although intuitively designed, require some level of technical knowledge on the part of the user, and because most users are not well versed in how to take full advantage of the capabilities of a VPN, technical support plays a vital role in the matter. Look for software whose creators take the time to talk to clients, resolve their issues, and show them the ins and outs of their VPN. Again, you can rely on user reviews to see which service provider goes the extra mile when it comes to helping users.
3. Server Locations
Some VPNs only have a few locations to choose from, while others have thousands of servers spread across the world. You want a VPN that can mask your identity in as many places as possible. Also, look for a VPN that has servers in prime geographical regions like Europe or North America, for instance; you will get more geographically restricted content that way.
4. Simultaneous Connections
Can a VPN connect multiple devices? This is important to ask because the average internet user always has several devices-a phone, tablet, and PC- connected to the internet. You don’t want to purchase separate VPN services for all of these devices.
To conclude, what makes a good VPN is the ability to meet these requirements and more. It is also worth noting that any VPN worth its salt is never free, so you have to cough up some bucks to get one.