Choosing a right VPN provider can be uneasy for an inexperienced user. In this article we describe the main reasons for using a VPN connection trying to choose a VPN provider that suits your needs.
VPN or Virtual Private Networks are widely used by large corporations and small businesses for better security and providing access to network resources (shared files, databases, devices). As VPN establishes encrypted connection, all traffic between a user and a VPN server is safe and cannot be tracked or intercepted. This makes VPN attractive for individuals looking for privacy protection.
As user connected to VPN looks for the entire world as if he was browsing from the VPN server on his own with the end IP address changed, this technology can be really useful for unblocking websites or using geographically locked content, such as regional online TV.
There are various VPN providers all over the globe offering VPN accounts. However, choosing the right one can be an issue for an unprepared user. There is basically only one question you should ask to choose the VPN provider that suits you.
What is the main reason for using a VPN?
Let us first talk about security. Normally 128-bit encryption is a standard security level. It means that all traffic between you and your VPN server is encoded with a 128-bit key, and even if a hacker captures, it will be hardly impossible to decode it without the right key. If your answer is security, and you are looking for encrypting your traffic the best possible way, look for those offering 256-bit AES encryption, it provides even better security level.
If you need to change your IP address into the one of a specific region, make sure your VPN provider offers such service. There are companies dedicated to providing, let’s say UK or German IP address, which will allow you to work with specific regional services closed to other parts of the world.
You should also consider connection methods. The most typical one is PPTP, it is supported by Windows and is easy to set up. However, it may be unavailable due to some reasons, or can be prohibited to use in your corporate network. Should you require VPN for sites unblocking, for better flexibility consider using Open VPN protocol. It will be necessary to install a 3rd party software which allows to connect even from those network dedicated for pure web-surfing.
The price for VPN services varies, but in most of the cases one month of services will cost you from $4 to $12.
Home users may want to set up VPN network themselves. This will allow them using their home network resources remotely and “stick” to the home IP address from any place of the world. It is not required to use server operating systems or special software – setting up a VPN server on Windows 7 is easy.
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