How to choose the right VPN service for your needs

Abeerah Hashim Last updated: March 24, 2023 Disclosure

Learn how to choose the right VPN in this detailed guide as we explain what you should look for before investing in a service.

Sneak peek at why choosing the right VPN is crucial

Using a VPN sounds easy – you pick a VPN, install it, connect to a server from your preferred location, and start browsing. But in reality, that is not the case. Not every VPN provider offers the right features and delivers the optimal performance you need for a specific activity. For example, if you need to watch Netflix in a restricted location, you need a VPN that resists Netflix bans. Similarly, if you’re an activist or a journalist, you should use a VPN that never leaks your actual IP address. Therefore, before jumping on the bandwagon, you must assess why you need a VPN and how your preferred VPN service would serve the purpose.

A Virtual Private Network, or what you know as a VPN, is a wonderful resource for switching online locations. These services not only change your IP address but also ensure data security. Thus, you will likely remain protected from common cyber attacks. But the problem with using a VPN is how to choose one.

Today, many VPNs are available in the market, offering different features and bearing different price tags. Of course, some providers offer free services too. But they are not as vigilant as the most paid ones regarding performance and security.

This abundance of VPN services has made it difficult for an average user to pick the right option.

So, here we present a detailed VPN selection guide for you. We will explain how to choose the right VPN and review the purposes a VPN would serve you.

What does a VPN do?

Usually, your device can connect to the internet because of the unique IP address assigned to it, which can reveal your location. That’s where a VPN comes in. It will reroute your traffic through an intermediary server and give you a new IP address.

Changing the IP address allows you to access blocked content from anywhere. Also, premium VPNs encrypt your traffic to keep you safe. As a result, no one can see what you are doing online, even your ISP. In addition, some VPNs have additional features like ad and malware blockers to give you a safe and smooth online experience.

How VPNs differ from each other

The primary technology behind all the VPN services predominantly remains the same. All of them comprise a widespread network of servers, offer virtual IP addresses and locations, and employ data encryption.

Then what makes so many VPNs thrive today if they are similar? We hear you ask.

Well, many other factors significantly distinguish VPNs from each other. These factors do not directly affect the VPN’s functionality but impact the service’s overall performance. Hence, knowing these parameters is essential for you to know before learning how to choose the best VPN.

Duration of free/paid trials

Most VPNs today offer free or paid trials to users. But what matters here is how long the service allows the users to assess a VPN’s usefulness. Depending on the provider, this trial period may range from 3 to 7 days to 30 days. Some providers, however, even generously offer a 45-day trial.

Device compatibility and apps

Most VPN users of today own multiple devices. So, they need to protect them all from online privacy breaches, for which they need a VPN. Hence, many service providers offer support for multiple platforms.

However, some VPNs lead the niche by offering diversified compatibility with dedicated apps. Others prefer to stay modest here and instead provide a VPN router client to facilitate customers.

Simultaneous connections

The number of simultaneous device connections a VPN can support varies with different providers.