First, let’s summarize what a VPN is and why you might use it. A VPN service is a tool that disguises your connection to the Internet from your PC, tablet or smartphone.
This is especially useful if you use your device at a public Wi-Fi hotspot where your transmissions may be open, unencrypted and intercepted. Running the VPN client software on your device creates a secure tunnel between your device and a VPN server on the Internet.
Note: This protects the connection from you to any point on the Internet. It does not protect your connection from this VPN server to your destination server on the Internet.
Some people also use a VPN to hide their place of origin and their IP address. This can happen for very legitimate reasons, for. For example, to make sure you can securely access the Internet without revealing your location to a stalker or other predator, for example. It can also be used to falsify your location so you can access something that is not normally available in your area, such as: For example, video or sports programs. This is illegal in many places.
Unfortunately, many VPN companies are actively promoting this use, and some even go so far as to label some of their servers particularly optimized for illegal streaming (though they usually omit the word “illegal”).VPN services vary according to a number of criteria. These include:
- Trial periods
- Number of unique IP addresses
- Number of servers
- Number of unique countries
- Number of simultaneous connections
- Devices and apps
- Logging and jurisdiction
- Kill switch
Each of them can incorporate less or more in your buying decision depending on your personal needs.
Remember that your circumstances determine your choice. Normally, for example, when I’m surfing outside the home, I go back to my house via VPN with my operating system client software. I do not use a VPN service. But when Hurricane Irma brought Florida back to the Stone Age and the power was turned off at home, I could not make a VPN connection to my home servers. At that time, I decided to use a VPN service and rely on it when traveling.9But the fact is that all of this requires a lot of time and technical skills that many people do not have. For those who do not want to be nerds, many of the VPN services we discuss offer good solutions to the problem of protecting Wi-Fi connections at a local café or hotel.
If you are a dissident, activist, spy, or someone trying to hide the activities from a nation state, do not trust any criticism. Do your own research and be sure that you are safe.