Feeling anxious about how many companies and hackers follow your internet steps these days? You’re not alone! Lots of everyday folks want more privacy and security online. Using a “virtual private network” (or VPN for short) is an excellent place to start.
But all the VPN options out there can feel overwhelming for beginners. Let’s break the process down so you can pick the best one for your needs.
Are you in Hurry?
Here are some personalized VPN recommendations for common use cases and requirements with additional details on their features and benefits:
Streaming Fanatic – ExpressVPN
Great for accessing extra shows and sports abroad thanks to:
- Very fast speeds for 4K/HD streaming
- Super simple apps allow quickly changing server locations
- Unblocks all major streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, BBC
- Split tunneling only VPNs streaming apps
Travel Jetsetter – NordVPN
Ideal privacy for public Wi-Fi connections overseas thanks to:
- 5,600+ servers in 60 countries for global coverage
- Double encryption for all internet traffic
- Onion over VPN adds extra anonymity layer
- Strict zero logging policy across 4,500+ NordVPN servers
Work Remote – TunnelBear
Easy to use with flexible work devices/OS thanks to:
- Simple clean interface even luddites can handle
- Light and mobile friendly with just 10-20MB install
- Supports MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows devices
- Affordable plans start under $3 monthly
Security Wonk – Surfshark
Robust protections for the ultra paranoid including:
- Open source encryption protocols for transparency
- MultiHop feature re-routes connections twice
- Camouflage Mode masks VPN use from your ISP
- Automatic Data Leak Protection
Figure Out Why You Want a VPN
First, think about why you feel you need more privacy online. Do you connect to public Wi-Fi at the mall or airport often? A VPN secures those types of internet use. Or maybe you want access to more streaming shows and sports? A VPN helps you bypass geographic borders. List your reasons so you know what features matter most.
Make Sure Your Devices Are Compatible
You’ll access your VPN through an app on your computer, phone, tablet or other devices. So check that the VPN service offers apps for your operating system, like Windows, Mac, iPhone iOS, or Android. For example, some VPNs don’t support Linux devices. Pick one catering to all your gadgets if you jump between a few.
Know Your Budget Limit
Paid VPNs offer the fastest speeds, biggest server networks, and highest safety. Expect costs between $5-$15 on average per month. But start with promo pricing! If you’re short on cash, some trustworthy free VPNs work in a pinch too, just with limitations. Figure out what pricing fits your wallet.
Read Lots of VPN Reviews
Do your homework before buying! Search “best VPN reviews 2023” and read what 3-5 different expert sites recommend. Cross check their speed tests and ratings focused on things like server number, privacy policies, ease of use. Analyze a few top contenders that check your feature boxes.
Sign Up With a Money Back Guarantee
The most reputable VPN companies stand behind their product with at least a 30 day money back pledge. This lets you safely test drive the app and speeds with enough time to ask for a refund if unhappy for any reason. A guarantee gives you flexibility finding your best match.
Get Your Connection Secured!
Once signed up, install your slick new VPN app on devices and secure your internet! Change locations to access more content globally, use public Wi-Fi without fear, and breathe easier knowing your data travels safely wrapped in encryption shields. Enjoy the new peace of mind privacy provides!