Guide To VPN Features
With the multitude of VPN providers out there, picking the best VPN might be challenging, especially if you’re new to the world of virtual private networks. That’s why we’ve decided to go through some of the most important features of VPNs you should look out for when choosing a VPN.
Choose the right VPN and you’ll never complain about the lack of features again.
What VPN Features Should You Look Out For?
Not all VPNs come with the same features. Some of the features included in this article may not be offered by the VPN services you come across. As such, consider the information provided in this article as a simple guide for what to look out for when choosing which VPN service to use. If you stumble across a VPN that you like but doesn’t have all the features that are listed here, don’t let that stop you from using that VPN!
Powerful Data Encryption
One of the top reasons that people use VPNs is data encryption. When your data is encrypted, hackers or external agents will not be able to tap into your network and track your online activity or worst, steal confidential data like passwords or bank account information. As such, ensuring that the VPN service offers top-notch data encryption should be a priority when choosing a VPN.
Try to use a VPN that offers AES encryption. AES, or advanced encryption standard, is adopted by large companies like Apple and even the US government for data protection and security. To date, there are no accounts of AES encryption being hacked so you can rest assured that your data is well protected.
DNS Leak Protection
In simple terms, DNS, or domain name system, leaks occurs when your internet service provider (ISP) is able to see your search activity like websites you have visited or are visiting. Though DNS leaks don’t occur very often if you use a VPN, knowing that your VPN provider offers this is an added bonus.
Secure VPN Protocols
VPNs tunnel encrypted data between your computer and the VPN server. VPN protocols are responsible for how such data is tunneled. There are different kinds of VPN protocols but the most secure one that’s available is OpenVPN. Of course, there are other protocols that offer good data security such as SoftEther or IKEv2. Just ensure that your VPN provider offers a secure VPN protocol so that you don’t have to worry about your data or any other sensitive information being compromised.
In the event your device disconnects from the VPN server, the Apps Killer will shut down any applications that require an internet connection to operate. This may be useful if you’re using a torrent client and the connection between your device and the VPN server cuts off. This shields whatever activities you’ve been carrying out on the torrent client from your ISP.
VPN Kill Switch
A VPN Kill Switch is kind of like an Apps Killer. But, unlike the Apps Killer that shuts down apps connected to the internet, a Kill Switch severs your device’s internet connection entirely if you lose connection with your VPN server. Though this may sound extreme, this is one of the most important features a VPN service can provide as it ensures that your online activity or data isn’t exposed online by accident.
There are a few reasons why the connection between your device and the VPN server might be affected, some include a sudden influx of traffic on the server or an increase in distance between the server and your device. Whatever the reason, you’re at risk of exposing your true IP address and online activity if there is a drop in connection.
If your VPN service comes with a Kill Switch feature, you don’t have to worry about any of this if you experience connection disruptions with your VPN server.
Shared IP Addresses
As its name suggests, shared IP addresses are simply IP addresses that are shared amongst different internet users. When an IP address is shared, it makes it close to impossible to trace any online activities back to a single user.
Hence, when choosing a VPN service, make sure that the provider offers shared IP addresses and not dedicated ones.
Simultaneous Connection Support
Most people own more than 1 electronic device. Apart from mobile phones, people also use tablets, laptops, and computers. When using a VPN, there’s a high chance that you’ll be using it on these other devices as well. If you foresee yourself using a VPN on more than 1 device, make sure that your VPN supports simultaneous connection on multiple devices. With simultaneous connection, you don’t have to go through the hassle of logging into your account everything you use a different device.
As mentioned above, most people will be using VPNs on multiple devices. Before signing for a VPN subscription, ensure that the VPN is compatible with all your devices and operating systems. If a VPN isn’t offered for certain devices or operating systems, most VPN providers will still provide users with information on how to configure the VPN for their device.
VPN Servers Close To You
A VPN server’s location determines your connection speed and performance. As such, having a server that’s close to your physical location is preferable. Check to see where a VPN’s servers are located before subscribing to one to ensure that you’ll enjoy fast performance speeds.
Last but not least, you should look out for VPN services that offer high-speed servers. With a high-speed server, you don’t have to worry about your webpages taking a long time to load. This is especially so if you plan on using your VPN to stream videos or movies as such activities require faster connection speeds.
So far, we’ve covered some of the more important VPN features you should look out for when choosing a VPN service. This list is not exhaustive and there are other things to consider depending on your personal preferences and online activities. However, now that you know all this, choosing a VPN that’s best suited for your needs should be a little easier.