If you’re considering getting a VPN service, you’d probably want to take a few minutes and assess what you need it for so that you don’t end up spending money on a VPN service package that doesn’t serve your needs. The assessment will also tell you if you need to get a VPN in the first place. To make the job easier for you, we’ve designed a set of questions based on what you may need VPN for.
Do you need to securely access your home or private network?
If the only reason you’re considering investing in a VPN service is to remotely connect to your home network, you most certainly don’t need to get it. And that’s not because getting a VPN service for this purpose would be an overkill, it’s because it isn’t even the right tool for the job. A remote VPN service, which you are thinking of subscribing to, will let you access a random remote network that could have its exit node in an entirely different country.
If creating a remote connection to your home network is all you want, then establishing your own VPN server on a router or a computer is the only thing you need to do. You will easily be able to find comprehensive online guides on how to set up and configure your own VPN server at home.
Are you worried about security and privacy when accessing the internet on a public network?
One of the most important uses of a VPN server which everyone, even the less security-conscious, should consider employing is securing your laptop or mobile phone when accessing the internet over a public network. When accessing Wi-Fi outside of your home, like in a café, restaurant, airport, or hotel, you have absolutely no idea if it’s a secure connection.
There are a lot of risks involved in such a situation. The router providing the internet connection could have a redundant or vulnerable firmware, or the router itself, if you’re at an untrusted location, could be tweaked to sniff packets and record all your internet activity and data.
To safeguard yourself against such scenarios, you don’t necessarily need a full-package VPN service, in fact, you don’t really need to purchase a VPN service at all. The home VPN server we mentioned earlier in the article will do perfectly well to secure your browsing activity and safeguard it from prying eyes.
Do you need to spoof geolocation?
Spoofing is the term applied to the process of geo-shifting your location to trick websites, services, and anyone else monitoring your online activity into thinking you’re in a certain part of the world when, in reality, you could be thousands of miles away. To do this, you’ll need to subscribe to a VPN service with a vast network and exit nodes in your preferred country so you can access its content.
It is important that you browse the provider’s website and determine that they provide sufficient IP addresses and exit nodes in the country of your choice. Even the best and the most expensive VPN services will end up being of no use to you if they don’t have servers in the country you want to access content from.
Are you in need of something more serious?
If getting to watch Netflix or preventing a bunch of misguided youths in the café from snooping around your internet activity is not what you are after, and you require complete anonymity, you definitely need to consider getting a VPN subscription. You also need to thoroughly evaluate all providers to determine one that meets your needs best. It is preferable to choose a bigger service provider with a large user base. This is important because the more people there are channelling through every exit server, the more difficult it will be for prying eyes to pinpoint one person in the masses.
Another important factor to consider if you need to cover your tracks is to choose a provider that does not keep logs of user activity. If a provider keeps data of user activity, no matter how confidential they claim it to be, it can be accessed. They can also be compelled to reveal it by the government or other influential parties under special circumstances, although there are no legislations as of now that require VPN providers to log or reveal user activity.
Evaluating your needs allows you to determine what kind of VPN service it is that you require, or if you need to get one at all. You will need to consider a few providers and thoroughly examine their services to ensure that they efficiently meet your needs.