A VPN can safeguard your data by ensuring that your connections are secure and private. While the promises of military-grade security and total invisibleness may appeal to you, Consumer Reports Yael Grauer recommends looking for more evidence to prove that the service you are looking at is legitimate.
Begin with compatibility. The service should support at least the most popular operating systems such as Windows, macOS and Linux, Android, and iOS. You’ll need to know the number of devices supported by the service and the number of connections it allows simultaneously. Finally, you’ll want to look at the number of servers available and their locations around the world. This will help you choose a server close to your home or one with speedy speeds when you travel to another country.
Certain services offer specific features, such as dedicated “Netflix servers that can unblock geo-restricted platforms, or extra security measures, including RAM-only servers (which wipe data each time the service reboots), dark web monitoring and threat protection. You should also check the structure of ownership for the company, and whether it has previous data breaches or privacy scandals.
NordVPN was the most reliable overall service that we test. It offers thousands of servers spread across 94 countries. It also offers AES-256 encryption as well as ChaCha20, a reliable Kill Switch, split tunneling, and the obfuscated server. 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, but you get plenty for your money. A generous long-term plan includes a 30-day guarantee on money back.