NerdApp's quick guide to choosing a VPN

If you're considering getting a VPN (or Virtual Private Network), you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by all the choices and information out there. There are several reasons to get a VPN and a wide array of VPN providers, which makes decision-making tricky. 

Let's start with what exactly VPN's do; VPN's allow you to create a virtual network that can quickly and simply make your computer appear to be operating from a different location. VPN's also encrypt your connection, preventing others from seeing the data they're transferring, which can help keep your data secure, particularly on public Wi-Fi networks.

Before choosing a VPN, it's best to figure out why YOU want to get one.

Some of the top reasons people consider getting a VPN include:

  • Safely downloading files
  • Increasing online privacy
  • Bypassing censorship
  • Increasing online anonymity
  • Bypassing geographic restrictions
  • Changing your online location

Here are some questions that could help you choose the right VPN for you.

  1. Looking to increase security when casually browsing in public areas like airports and coffeeshops? 
    A simple, free VPN with average bandwidth would probably do the job.  
  2. Want to shift your location so that you can access content that's only available in specific areas? 
    You'll need to prioritise VPNs with servers located in the locations you want to access or pick a provider with a long list of exit nodes. 
  3. Looking to increase anonymity when downloading files?
    Experts say there is a limit to how much anonymity VPN's can really offer but that they can only allow for plausible deniability in certain situations. 

A final tip from those in the know… Skip PPTP and only run OpenVPN protocol if you are looking to achieve high levels of security with low processing overhead – particularly if you're looking for decent security. 

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