Personal VPN: The Top Features to Look For in 2020
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) protect user data by encrypting communications and blocking attempts to hack or trace wireless connections. Different types of VPNs provide unique services, depending on what you need them for.
If you’re looking for a personal VPN in 2020, it helps to know what’s available and what kind of features to look for.
How a VPN Works
When you connect to the Internet, your computer communicates directly with your Internet service provider (ISP). Your ISP then logs your activity and keeps a record of your location. In other words, your communications are not private, and third parties will be given access to your browsing your data.
VPNs provide privacy by routing your connection through an encrypted server. This can be a server in your home or office, or a remote server owned by a VPN provider. Which option you choose depends on what your needs are and how you’re using your VPN.
What Type of VPN Do You Need?
VPNs can be configured directly, via an office network, or a LAN. These systems provide a direct connection between your computer and the local intranet. Such systems are almost always used by businesses that want to connect employees in different offices.
Another type of commonly used business VPN is remote-access. A remote-access VPN works best for employees who need to securely connect to company servers while in the field or working from home.
The third main type of VPN is more common for personal use. Extranet VPNs are the most common type of personal VPN in 2020. These encrypt your connection and let you browse the Internet or connect to sites through a third-party server. The server can be a router you install in your own home, or it can be a server located in a data center owned by your VPN provider.
When you connect to the Internet through a personal VPN, your browser sets up a direct line to the encrypted VPN server, which then connects to your ISP for you. As far as the ISP can tell, your IP address is whatever the VPN server is set to. This both conceals your location and keeps your data secure.
Features to Look for in a Personal VPN in 2020
No two VPNs are the same, as every provider configures its network in a unique way. The differences between VPN providers can make a big difference in your user experience. The below factors are important to consider when looking for a personal VPN in 2020.
Secure Encryption Protocols
Encryption has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Consequently, a good VPN provider should be fully up to date on the latest protocols. The old standard, PPTP, is now obsolete and vulnerable.
Instead, most VPNs now offer OpenVPN and L2TP/IPsec encryption protocols. If you have a choice, OpenVPN is more secure, though it doesn’t always work on mobile devices. Some providers offer both.
A VPN acts like a tunnel for your Internet connection. It’s important that your VPN provider has enough bandwidth to facilitate the traffic of all its users. In essence, you don’t want aforementioned tunnel to become congested. As a general rule, it’s best to opt into the plan with the most bandwidth you can afford.
Cost is a serious consideration when subscribing to a personal VPN in 2020. Most reputable providers offer entry-level packages in the $10/month range. Some services have no-cost introductory periods, but it’s a good idea to avoid free VPNs altogether. Nothing is free, and some VPN companies make money by selling user data.
The risks of using free personal VPNs in 2020 aren’t going away, but the costs of premium services are falling. Equipment and bandwidth are less expensive than they have ever been.
Even better, the explosive growth in mobile connectivity is set to drive a lot of build-out in VPN data centers over the next few years. More availability is likely to translate into lower costs for people who pay for a personal VPN in 2020.
Investing in a reputable VPN for your laptop, smartphone or other device is one of the easiest and least expensive things you can do to keep your identity and Internet activity private.
Have a look through some of the most reliable services on the market today at VPN.com. We look forward to helping you find a great personal VPN in 2020.