A VPN can protect your information by ensuring your connections are secure and secure. While sweeping claims of military-grade encryption or total digital obscurity might be appealing, Consumer Reports’ Yael Grauer advises you to look for more specific indicators that a VPN is legitimate before you sign up.
It is a good idea to start with compatibility – look for a service that supports at a minimum the most popular operating systems, which include Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS. You’ll need to know how many devices are supported by the service and the number of connections it can support simultaneously. Then, you’ll want to examine the number of servers available and their locations around the globe. This can help you pick the server closest to your home or one with high speeds for those traveling abroad.
Certain services offer specific features, such as dedicated ‘Netflix servers that allow geo-restricted platforms or add security measures like RAM-only servers (which wipe data each when the service is rebooted) Dark web monitoring and security measures to protect against threats. It is also important to verify the ownership structure of the company and whether it has previous data breaches or privacy scandals.
NordVPN was the best overall service we tested. It offers thousands of servers spread across 94 countries. It also offers AES-256 encryption as well as ChaCha20, a reliable Kill Switch with split tunneling and an encrypted servers. It’s also one of the few providers to publish its detailed no-logs policy and engages PricewaterhouseCoopers for annual audits. The prices aren’t cheap, however you have a wide range of features for your money and a great long-term plan comes with a complete 30-day money back guarantee.