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VPNs Explained

Anytime I read an article about staying secure while utilizing public hotspots, I see "use a VPN" being promoted as one of the most effective solutions. And, truth be told, virtual private networks may be able to help keep your data secure, depending on the tunneling protocols that they are using. But what criteria should you use when it comes to choosing a VPN service? Read this article to find out.

People working for their employers from the comfort of their homes are used to utilizing virtual private networks. The system allows them to connect to the company servers without jeopardizing the data.

Basically, their laptops are connected to a secure server, which will then reroute the traffic using an encrypted Internet connection. As a result, the IP address of the device will be masked, and most of the data can’t be intercepted.

Others use VPNs to bypass Internet censorship or speed restrictions which are imposed by their Internet service providers. And then, we’ve got lots of people who utilize virtual private networks because they want to get access to movie streaming sites which are only available in certain regions of the globe.

If you are interested in using a VPN service, it is important to understand that not all of them are created equal. In fact, many people who were frustrated by the limitations imposed by the existing providers have decided to create their own VPNs. Still, this may be overkill for most of us, who would rather pay a company $10 per month, instead of spending our time patching servers.

Virtual private network providers will often times limit the number of devices that can be connected to the network at the same time, for example. It is true that some providers offer unlimited device access, but most of them will limit the number of devices to 2...6. So, take this into account if you're interested in subscribing to a VPN service; otherwise, you may have to pay a lot more to increase the number of smartphones, tablets and computers that can make use of the virtual private network.

How much data do you plan to transfer on a monthly basis? Once again, some providers will offer unlimited data transfers, while others will limit the monthly data amount to 5...20 GB. If you're only interested in using the VPN for work related purposes, a 5 GB plan should be more than enough. However, if you want to binge watch the latest movie series, you may need an unlimited data plan.

This goes without saying that speed is also crucial. Okay, it may not be that important for sending or receiving emails securely, but if you plan to play games online or stream movies, you will want to choose a VPN that provides decent data transfer speeds. For best results, sign up for a free trial, and then test the service in real life conditions. If free trials aren't available, sign up for services that provide a 30-day moneyback guarantee, and then cancel the ones that don't live up to the hype.

Another important aspect is the number of online servers. Check the server locations, and then take your time to connect to each server that is (or may be) of interest to you, making sure that it works as expected.

Finally, be sure to read the VPN provider’s data logging policy. I hate fine print just like the next gal, but this is an area where you will have to pay extra attention. How much data is collected, and what are they doing with it? And if your data is stored, where are they storing it? Here’s a site which can be of great help with this.

It makes a lot of sense to go for a virtual private network service that doesn't log any of your Internet traffic. That's one of the key reasons why you are using the VPN, after all.

I hope that things are much clearer now. Don't forget to do your own research, and then choose the best VPN service that you can afford. Yes, services like these can really help keep your data secure, especially when you make it a habit to only visit sites that utilize the secure HTTPS protocol.