While looking for a VPN there are many features to take into account. Every VPN provider website lists why their service is better than competitors and vice versa. The whole market is crowded with little originality. There are a few key features to look for when choosing a provider. This is NOT what to look for in a VPN, this is merely features. Please read our ‘How to choose the right VPN for you needs‘ for more information on the whole rundown.
A VPN should include some basic and standard features. There are always little additions providers can add to enhance the experience.
Supports OpenVPN: All VPN Providers should support the OpenVPN protocol. 9/10 providers support, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN. PPTP and L2TP should be considered insecure, and data rendered over those algorithms should be considered plain text. The algorithms are slow and insecure. If you are looking for a VPN provider, OpenVPN should be supported, if not, do not even bother with the VPN provider. OpenVPN is the only realistic and secure protocol to transmit data over.
Non-logging Service: When choosing a provider the service should keep no logs on users. This means the VPN should not record what websites you visit, what you download, or any form of traffic whatsoever. Some logs such as bandwidth used during sessions is okay. If a VPN provider logs IP addresses, that provider many not be optimal for privacy, but such is not detrimental to the security of the service. The service should not log any user data or ever retain logs for periods of time.
VPN Server Locations: VPN providers should have a number of servers in different countries to connect to. If a user is located across the world, they may want a server close to them to get extremely fast speeds. Others may want to appear across the country to unlock geo-restricted content. Server location is of great importance, especially with legal bounds in certain countries, along with firewalls and various other issues.
BitTorrent: May seem a bit odd, but users may want a service that supports bittorrent. Bittorrent is a fully legal protocol that many providers have ban over the years as the increasing rate of it’s use for downloading illegal content. While bittorrent is in no way illegal, it is recommended to search for a provider with no restrictions.
Clients: Many VPN providers offer operating system specific clients. Such clients can be of tremendous use as they offer great features and can help secure the internet. Most providers allow users to connect to specific DNS providers, choose countries with one click, prevent the VPN from leaking or disconnection along with other noteable features. Depending on your operating system you may want to look for Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, Android, or specific clients.
Compatibility: VPN compatibility is a huge feature to look for. If you plan on using this on a DD-WRT Router, or Tomato Router, you will need specific compatible providers. Also Linux or non-commercially used operating systems will need to have specific capability. It is recommended to search VPNFTW.com or the providers website for compatibility of systems.
Payment Methods: Many providers in the industry note to never trust a VPN that doesn’t accept the anonymous currency named BitCoin. There is a truth to it because if the provider doesn’t want their customers to be anonymous, how can we trust them to keep users anonymous? Be sure providers accept what payment provider you desire. It is always a plus when providers accept BitCoins as it means they respect privacy and security in their customers. Credit cards, PayPal, and other payment industries are also great to see widely accepted.
Look over the Provider: It is always good to see who the provider is in total. Reading their About Us, FAQ, and other pages can be of help. Come to VPNftw.com to check on providers, but do some research within the site. It is always good to know your potential provider as you are trusting them with your data. Just look over features, who they are, and how they operate.
It is important to know key features in the VPN industry. This article features over what every provider should contain and what you should look for. Many providers try to upsell the fact of unique features even when such features are commonly implemented among the industry. Other features not noted here can be added as a plus, but don’t get caught on the upsell of features that are either common or not realistic.