- A November 2020 report by GlobeNewswire reported that there was a 27.1% increase in VPN usage in 2020. This was mainly due to employers migrating to a work from home model.
- Statista estimates that by 2027, the global VPN market is forecast to reach 75.59 billion U.S. dollars.
- Global interest in VPNs hit its highest level in Google Trends in May 2020.
This Ask the Experts session stems from a question originally posted on Quora titled “What Should Be Considered When Choosing a Corporate VPN?”
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are appealing to privacy enthusiast as a VPN allows you to securely create a private connection over a public (or somewhat private) internet connection. VPNs do this by creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet, with traffic being routed through a “secure” server controlled by the commercial VPN provider. Since you are essential trusting the VPN provider with your data, you should opt for a VPN provider that can guarantee:
- Fast upload and download speeds to meet your use case
Some VPNs are great for just browsing the internet however, if you are someone who streams a lot of content, or completes a lot of high bandwidth task, you want to make sure your VPN can keep up with your online habits. Additionally, you will want to make sure that the VPN provider has servers that are in your geographical region as the farther away the VPN provider’s servers are from you, the longer it will take for data to travel from the VPN providers server to your device and vice versa. Thus, slowing down your online activity.
- Session logs containing data that can link back to you are not generated while using the VPN, or at the very least, session logs are deleted at the conclusion of your VPN session and never shared with a third party
If privacy is your main reason for wanting to use a VPN, it is imperative that the VPN provider you ultimately choose never stores any data that can be linked back to you. If session data is stored, it should be immediately deleted at the conclusion of your VPN session. There are so many no log VPN providers however that I would personally recommend just going with a no log VPN provider over one that deletes logs at the conclusion of your VPN session.
If you are super paranoid about your online activity being monitored, another recommendation is to choose a VPN provider who is located in a privacy friendly country as these providers will typically do everything in their power to protect your identity. It is also worth noting that most free VPN providers will sell your session data to companies. Some may “anonymize” the data, while others will provide interested parties with the raw session data.
- Security, to include strong encryption protocols, DNS leak protection, and a “kill switch”
If you are going to pay for a VPN, your VPN provider better be able to provide you with a variety of features to keep you secure when traversing the wild west known as the internet. Security features vary from provider to provider, but you want to look for a provider who utilizes approved cryptographic algorithms to secure your connections, offers Domain Name Server (DNS) leak protection which prevents DNS request from being visible to prying eye (like your internet service provider), and a kill switch which prevents your online activity from being exposed to an unprotected network in the event that your VPN connection is suddenly disconnected.
- Multiple devices can use the VPN service with no issues
Nowadays, people tend to have multiple internet-connected devices. With that being said, you want to make sure that your VPN provider supports multiple devices being connected to their VPN service for maximum coverage.
The above list of consideration is not all inclusive as considerations can vary based on ones browsing habits, risk apatite, and threat profile however, these four considerations should meet the needs of most people who are looking to purchase VPN services from a reputable provider.
Have any questions regarding selecting a VPN provider? Contact us and we will be glad continue the dialog! Do not forget to click here to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more information security related tips and tricks.