Our team of experts performs rigorous tests on every VPN that we review. We start by purchasing and installing the apps on various devices and platforms to get a first hand look at the features, ease of use, speed, and more.
We connect with servers in different countries throughout the testing process, both close and far away from our physical location, and run speed tests throughout the day. We use this data to determine if a VPN is only good if you need a server close to you or if it can be trusted for a quality online experience regardless of where the server is located.
After going through the user experience, we take a deeper look at the software itself, the online security tools, and the VPN protocols. We run tests to ensure that the kill switch (where applicable) works, the VPN isn’t leaking our IP address, DNS, or sharing data with third parties.
We take a look at the prices, but instead of just looking at the price, we evaluate the value for the price. We rank some “expensive” VPNs over cheaper ones because they have better infrastructure, a variety of servers, and better speeds. So its value is higher and ranked above a lesser VPN with a lower price tag.
Lastly, we contact customer support to ensure that we’re talking with real people and not bots, and that they can answer our questions.
For the same reasons you need locks on your front door.
A VPN is an essential online security tool even if you’re not doing anything that you need or want to hide. The servers that you connect with are encrypted with the latest technology. This will protect the personal or financial data on your computer from hackers even when you’re using an unsecured Wi-Fi or hotspot network.
Additionally, a VPN keeps unwanted people or agencies from seeing what is happening with your online life. It allows you to be anonymous online by connecting you with a remote server and assigning you a different IP address, so your ISP cannot track what you are doing.
One of the biggest VPN myths is that your internet speeds will slow down significantly. While it might have been true when VPNs first started becoming popular, it’s no longer the case. The technology has improved, and the VPNs have thousands of servers to avoid overcrowded and slow servers.
Not only do VPNs not really slow down your online speed, but they can also improve it at times. Some ISPs will throttle or slow down a user’s speed when they’re doing certain online activities. However, the VPNs hide what you’re doing from the ISP, so it has no reason to throttle your speed.
The answer to this question can vary based on your jurisdiction. Some countries such as China, Turkey, Iraq, Russia, Belarus, and North Korea restrict their citizens’ online freedom. They have strict VPN laws, where you either can’t use them or are required to use government approved VPNs.
However, in most of the world, using a VPN isn’t illegal and is considered a vaueable online security tool. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that everything done while using a VPN is legal. You still have to follow copyright or licensing laws in your country or region.