Concerned about your privacy and security online? The easiest solution is to use a Virtual Private Network (aka VPN). However, with so many VPN services on offer, finding the one worth your time and money can be a challenging task. In this guide, we have discussed the essentials features to look for when choosing a VPN, and also mentioned our top recommendation.
7 Key Features a VPN Should Have
1. Global Server Network
A VPN keeps your data secure by passing it through an encrypted tunnel created between your smartphone or laptop and the VPN server. Your IP address is then replaced with that of the remote server, which makes it appears as if your traffic is originating from a different location than your actual one. This allows you to access services unavailable in your country, so any good VPN provider should have an extensive server network covering every continent.
2. Kill Switch
Unfortunately, VPNs aren’t 100% immune to IP leaks; these expose your real identity and location when you’re online! Therefore, you need a Kill Switch that will automatically disable all your traffic in the event of a VPN connection drop. By killing your connection, the feature stops unencrypted data and your original IP address from leaking on the Internet.
3. Mobile VPN Apps
Many VPN services out there offer software for Windows and Mac, but what about your handheld devices? A lot of people now use smartphones or tablets rather than desktops or laptops as a primary means for Internet access. For this reason, make sure the VPN you choose offers easy-to-use apps for mobile platforms like Android and iOS.
4. Reasonable Price
This goes without saying, but it’s an important point to mention because there are a wide range of plans and pricing available when it comes to buying a VPN. In most cases, you’ll be able to avail a much cheaper deal if you pay for a year’s service, and you can get some really affordable deals with a few VPN providers. Also, remember that some plans won’t include the entire suite of features, and you may end up missing out on something important.
5. Router Compatibility
If you have multiple devices in your household and wish to secure them each one of them, you have the option of installing the VPN directly on your router. Every device connected to your home network would then have VPN-protection. Pretty cool right? However, you’ll need a VPN service which is compatible with a wide range of routers.
6. Private DNS Servers
Domain Name System is what connects you to the websites or content of your choice. To put it simply, the primary purpose of DNS is to take human-friendly requests – a domain name such as www.justanotherwebsite.com – and translate them into machine-friendly IP addresses such as 22.214.171.124.
For most users, this DNS translation is performed through their Internet service provider (ISP) by default. However, the goal of using a VPN is privacy, which is why the provider should host their own private DNS servers to keep all your DNS requests confidential.
7. OpenVPN Support
When you use a VPN, your data is kept private with an encrypted tunnel and there are a variety of protocols that perform this encryption. While having a bigger selection of protocols always helps, you would want to opt for a VPN service that has OpenVPN support. The protocol is the recommended choice of most experts because it’s modern, highly flexible, and the most secure of all.
PureVPN – The Most Complete VPN Service Around!
PureVPN, a reliable name in the VPN industry and our top pick, has everything that one looks for in a VPN service:
- It boasts a huge network of 2,000+ servers and 300,000+ IPs for complete online anonymity and accessibility.
- It has a fail-safe Internet Kill Switch feature that keeps a user’s identity protected at all times.
- It offers intuitive VPN apps for Android and iOS.
- It has plans starting from as low as $3.33 per month for a year’s worth of service!
- It supports all major router brands, including DD-WRT, Asus, Netgear, Belkin, etc.
- It passes your DNS queries through self-hosted DNS servers and also provides top-of-the-line DNS leak protection.
- It allows users to choose from a variety of protocols, including PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2, and OpenVPN.
*Note* With PureVPN’s Buy One Gift One (B1G1) deal, both existing and new premium users can give their loved ones a monthly account for FREE. Check out more on PureVPN’s Support Centre for more information!
Sonia Theo has a long experience in writing, and now she is our associate journalist covering tech, gaming and mobile news. She has a BA in English and German and a BA in Arts and Design. Sonia likes writing about the latest updates in current and future games, guides and reviews. Her favorite past times is gaming, crafting and cooking. Sonia is always ready to help players with tips when they’re in a tough boss fight.