Choosing a VPN

9 min readOct 3, 2022


In today’s age, VPNs are an essential tool for maintaining privacy. But how does one pick a VPN that meets their needs from a multitude of options available in the market? Since there are so many different kinds of VPNs, it is important to take a look at their features and then pick one according to your needs. Let’s take a look at things to keep in mind while selecting a VPN.

We rely on VPNs to perform more than one task. It is also important that the VPN itself be protected from being compromised. Here are some of the features that you can expect from an extensive, exhaustive VPN solution:

  • Encrypting Protocols: One of the tasks that a VPN must perform is to stop you from leaving traces, for instance, in the form of your search history, internet history, and cookies. It is especially important to encrypt cookies as doing so can prevent third parties from getting access to private information such as financial data, personal information, and other content on websites.
  • Two-factor Authentication: By using multiple authentication methods, a good VPN can check everyone who tries to log in. For example, you might be asked to enter a password. Once you enter your password, a code is sent to your mobile device. This makes it tough for third parties to access your secure connection.
  • Kill Switch: An interrupted VPN connection means that your secure connection will also be interrupted. A VPN should be able to detect abrupt downtimes and terminate certain selected programs reducing the likelihood of your data being compromised.
  • Encrypting Your IP Address: The main task of VPNs is to hide your IP address from your Internet Service Provider as well as other third parties. This makes it possible for you to send and receive information without the risk of anyone other than you and the VPN provider viewing it.

What Are The Different Kinds Of VPNs?

There are many different types of VPNs available in the market. Here are the 3 main types that you should know about:

Site-to-Site VPN

Site-to-site VPNs are private networks designed to hide private intranets and allow their users to access each other’s resources. If you have multiple locations in your company, each with its local area network connected to the wide area network, then site-to-site VPNs are useful. They also come in handy when there are two separate intranets between which you want to send data without users from one intranet accessing the other. As site-to-site VPNs are difficult to implement and are not as flexible as SSL VPNs, they are mainly used in large companies. Despite these problems, they are the most effective way to guarantee communication between large departments.


Often, companies may not have enough equipment for their employees. In such cases, employees have to resort to using private devices. In these instances, companies have to rely on SSL VPN solutions which are usually implemented via a hardware box. Usually, an HTML-5 capable browser is used to call up the company’s login page as a prerequisite. HTML-5 capable browsers are available for pretty much any OS. Access is protected with a username and password.

Client-to-Server VPN

You can imagine connecting through a VPN client as if you are connecting to your home computer to the company using an extension cable. Employees can log into the company network from their home office using a secure connection as if they were present in the office. To do this, a VPN client needs to be installed and configured on the computer. This involves the user not connecting to the internet through their ISP but rather establishing a direct connection through their VPN provider. In essence, this shortens the tunnel phase of the VPN cycle. Rather than using the VPN to create an encryption tunnel to disguise the existing internet connection, the VPN can encrypt the data automatically before it is made available to the user.

This is a prevalent type of VPN, that is very useful for providers of insecure public WLAN. It stops third parties from gaining access to and compromising the network connection and encrypts data up to the provider. In addition to this, ISPs are prevented from accessing data that remains unencrypted for whatever reason and sidestep any restrictions on the user’s internet access. This type of VPN is advantageous as it is more efficient and provides universal access to company resources.

Installing A VPN On Your Computer

There are different implementation methods of VPNs and it is important to know about them before you proceed with installing a VPN:

VPN Client: For standalone VPN clients, software that is configured to fulfill the requirements of the endpoint must be installed. The endpoint implements the VPN link and connects to the other endpoint, creating the encryption tunnel when setting up the VPN. Usually, in companies, a password issued by the company or the installation of an appropriate certificate is required. Passwords and certificates allow firewalls to recognize authorized connections. Then, the employee can identify themselves with their credentials.

Router VPN: For many devices connected to the same internet connection, it can be easier to implement the VPN on the router itself than to install a separate VPN on each device. Router VPNs come in handy when you want to protect devices that are not easy to configure, like smart TVs. They may even allow you to access geographically restricted content through home entertainment systems. Router VPNs are easy to install, provide privacy and security, and protect your network from being compromised when insecure devices connect to it. It is worth noting, however, that if your router does not have a user interface, the router VPN will be difficult to manage and can lead to incoming connections being blocked.

Browser Extensions: You can add VPN extensions to most web browsers. Some browsers such as Opera have their VPN extensions integrated into them. While extensions make it easier and faster for users to switch and configure their VPN, the VPN connection is only valid for data that is shared in this browser. Using different browsers and other uses of the internet such as playing online games cannot be encrypted by VPN. It should be noted that although browser extensions are not as exhaustive as VPN clients, they may be an adequate alternative for occasional internet users who desire an extra layer of security on the internet. However, it has been found that browser extensions are more prone to breaches. Users should also make sure to choose a reputable extension as data harvesters make use of fake VPN extensions to collect their private data. Advertising content is then tailored to you using this data.

Company VPN: Company VPNs are custom solutions that need personalized technical support and setup. It is usually created by the company’s IT team for you. Users have no administrative influence from the VPN. Activities and data transfers are logged by the company. This helps companies minimize the risk of potential data leakage. The major advantage of corporate VPNs is that they are completely secure connections to the company’s intranet and server even for employees who work outside the company and use their internet connection.

Can VPNs Be Used On Smartphones And Other Devices?

Of course! There are many different VPN options for smartphones and other devices connected to the internet. VPNs can be crucial for mobile devices if they are used to store personal data or payment information, or even just to surf the web. Lots of VPN providers offer solutions for mobile and most of these solutions can be downloaded from Google Play or the Apple App store.

Are Free VPNs Any Good?

The security of your data depends on the kind of VPN that you use. You may be tempted by some VPN providers who promise to keep your data safe and secure online for free. However, when it comes to VPN, there are no free lunches. VPNs require specialized software and some pretty expensive infrastructure. If a provider is offering these services for free, then you will pay in other ways.

Here are a few cons of free VPNs, so you won’t be tempted by free VPNs:

  1. No Protection Of Personal Data: VPNs only mask your IP addresses and encrypt your data. This is why even standard VPNs don’t guarantee absolute anonymity on the Internet. Websites that you have an account with, like Google, will always have your data, despite VPN. Free VPNs are worse. Free VPN providers may embed tracking mechanisms in their service and collect the data of their users. Often, you become the provider’s primary source of income.
  2. Slow Internet Speed: VPN connections affect your internet speed as the processes of encrypting and decrypting your data need to take place to make your internet usage private. The connection between you and the internet via a VPN is rerouted and encrypted using a VPN server. This adds a good amount of lag to your internet speed. Free VPNs amplify this lag which means that you will waste much more time waiting for web pages to load.
  3. Increased Consumption of Data: The encryption and decryption process of VPNs increase the amount of bandwidth that you use when you are connected to the internet. This means that you will consume more data. Free VPNs will consume even more data as your data would be wasted due to intrusive ads, bad encryption technology, and the sales of your bandwidth.
  4. Advertisements Get Traffic Priority: Even if your free VPN provider is not selling your data, the provider still needs to earn money. This is usually done using advertising revenue. Ads on VPNs use third-party advertisers who are unique to your proxy server session. As VPNs need you to click those ads, the network of the ads gets priority. This means your page will load slower and you will not have a very smooth experience online.
  5. Your IP Address Can Be A Network Endpoint: Your free VPN provider may turn your connection into an endpoint to increase the network’s bandwidth and also offer a portal to other users. It may even sell your endpoint. This can be an issue as your IP address will be on a server log. If someone does something illegal while using your exit node, then the police will come knocking on your door. Another reason this is problematic is that someone accessing a site in your country while using your exit node will leave an IP address trace with the sites they visit. This is exactly what the VPN is supposed to prevent

Best Paid VPNs

Here are a few of the best-paid VPNs in 2022:


ExpressVPN provides agile data protection which is great for frequent travelers. It has strong privacy features as well as a lightweight proprietary protocol. This protocol helps it run fast on most mobile devices and computers, making it an ideal travel companion. ExpressVPN easily connects its users with fast speeds, and even with a kill switch, so users are protected even when the connection is lost. ExpressVPN makes it possible for you to simultaneously be on public and private networks, which is useful when multitasking.


Surfshark has a camouflage mode that makes it a great VPN for users who are worried about government restrictions. If you are worried about getting into trouble for connecting to a VPN, be it in school, at the office, or in countries that are not VPN-friendly, then you can Surfshark. This VPN makes it easy for users to torrent and download movies and shows without any fear of retribution. You can use unlimited devices per subscription to Surfshark. It also gives you a different IP address every time you connect, making tracing much more difficult. However, for those who want the same IP address, there is an option available for that as well. You can even stream Netflix in addition to torrenting.


For users that need the best-in-class digital security, NordVPN is the best option. It has many advanced features that veteran VPN users will appreciate. However, it is also easy for novice VPN users to use. NordVPN subscription provides the best security features such as AES-256 encryption and the OpenVPN protocol as well as its proprietary protocol NordLynx. NordVPN has many extra features that you won’t find in other VPNs. For example, it blocks intrusive ads, malicious websites, as well as trackers. With the help of multi-hop, users’ connections are routed through many encrypted tunnels for the sake of security. NordVPN also has a strict logging policy, so whether you’re looking to avoid hackers or government spying, NordVPN can do it all.

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