We are in the age of the Internet of Things. Our devices connect us to the Internet in some form or another- for better or worse.
This connection allows us to access countless sources of information that we use in our daily lives. But, if the Internet is open to us, we also become open to the Internet. This is the ugly side of the Internet of Things.
This presents a problem for privacy and security as the number of cyber attacks increases every year.
You may have encountered this issue yourself or are just trying to stay one step ahead of trouble. Regardless of your reason, getting a VPN to secure your online privacy is the right way to go.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) secures your online privacy through two basic functions: 1) By hiding your true IP address and 2) By encrypting the requests your browser makes, thereby, making them unreadable to anyone snooping around your data.
Nowadays, getting a VPN is easy (if you know what you’re looking for) and, with this guide, you’ll be able to find the best one for you- while saving money in the process!
Formulate your criteria
Now, I know we just talked about securing your privacy with a VPN. But, VPNs have more to offer other than security. You may have heard about some of them already and have formed somewhat of a list in the back of your mind.
That’s good! Now, carry on and write that list down because you’ll be needing it.
Through that list, you can form your own criteria based on your needs. Ask yourself questions like:
- Does it have airtight security?
- Who’s the team behind the VPN?
- How long have they been around?
- Where are they based?
- How fast are the VPN’s speeds?
- Does it have Netflix unblocked?
- Does it support torrenting?
- Is it easy-to-use?
- On what devices can I connect it with and how many at the same time?
- Does it have a great customer support team (if you aren’t tech savvy or you’re just curious, like me)?
- How much bang for my buck does it offer overall?
These are just some of the questions that you should ask yourself when you’re looking for a VPN. Finding the one that resonates with your own criteria not only means a satisfying experience for you but, it also means you won’t need to spend more money through trial and error.
Know thy VPN
Since VPNs are such a popular service nowadays, you’ll find a lot of different ones offering you fancy-sounding features and sky-high promises.
Don’t be fooled.
Look into your prospective VPN’s site and read through every single page. Check out their features and google any technical term that you don’t understand. While you’re there, take some time to read through their privacy and logging policy as this will show you exactly what they’re doing with your data.
Read through reviews
Now, you may not have enough free time to read through a VPN’s site yourself.
Good news: You won’t have to!
As with any product, you can find lots of VPN reviews on the Internet.
You can check out the reviews on trustworthy sites like thebestvpn. Sites like these aren’t sponsored by any of the VPNs that they review which means their views aren’t skewed by the lure of money.
They also have a step-by-step process of reviewing a VPN which starts by actually subscribing to the service to test it out themselves. You might even learn a thing or two about how to improve your list of criteria (as listed above).
But, the beauty of these sites is the abundance of customer reviews. You can dig through customer reviews for each VPN simply by scrolling down to the very bottom of any review. You can often tell the popularity of a VPN based on the number of customer reviews it has.
There is one caveat when forming your opinion on customer reviews, though: Look for good and bad reviews. Doing so lets you weigh them to see if they’re acceptable for your needs.
Another good source for customer reviews is online forums like Reddit. You’ll often find members who want to speak their mind about the best and/or worst experience they had with a VPN. They’ll let you learn from their mistakes.
Beware of “free” VPNs
There’s an old saying that goes: “Nothing is truly free.”
This saying is especially true in the world of VPNs. After all, a company has to make its money back somehow, right? This means that if a company isn’t making any money off you, they’re more than likely making that money on you. This means that YOU are the product.
That said, you should know that there are two types of free VPNs:
- “Sample platter” type
This type of “free” VPN is the better of the two. It only offers a limited free subscription instead of being “free” forever. A limited subscription often has a bandwidth ceiling and the bare minimum of features.
You’re not paying for anything yet but you do get a taste of what you’re getting if you ever upgrade to the paid version.
Just like a sample platter, the company hopes that you’ll like what you see and eventually decide to upgrade. This means that their service is funded by paying customers and not by other shady means.
- “Free lunch” type
This is the one you should watch out for. They’re making money off you and have been known to suffer security issues.
This is because the company behind this VPN will often take your data (which they logged) and use it for advertising purposes with their partners or third parties.
While it may not sound too bad, bear in mind that these partners or third parties may not have the same respect for your data as the VPN did, which means they might share it and spread your personal data even more- now, isn’t a VPN supposed to secure your privacy in the first place?
This is why if you want to truly secure your privacy, there are better options than “free lunches”.
Ultimately, you’ll need a little patience and resourcefulness if you want to save money while choosing a VPN.
Your search will be a lot easier if you know what you’re looking for and write down those criteria.
Visit your prospective VPN’s website and read through their privacy and logging policy.
Dig through the web for official and customer reviews to see if the VPN delivers on its promises.
Lastly, watch out for VPNs that are “free forever”. With a little digging, you can find dirt cheap deals on even the best VPNs on the market.
In fact, there’s a way to get NordVPN (one of the best and CHEAPEST VPNs money can buy) at a HUGELY discounted price. If you want to know click here: NordVPN Coupon.