What is the Safest VPN Service? What makes a VPN service safe? These are questions we are asking and answering today.
Safety is one of the most important things to consider when using a VPN provider since you don’t want them giving up your information to ISPs for torrenting, or using your data in advertisement schemes or botnets.
After all, you are using a VPN to stay secure on the internet, so having a VPN that isn’t safe is like using a car without wheels. In this article, we go over what makes a VPN safe, how some VPNs do that, and we give you some VPN recommendations that are all great to use.
What are the Safest VPN Providers?
#1 No logs
You need to make sure that your VPN doesn’t collect logs. We have a list of all of the VPNs here that don’t collect logs. But, what are VPN logs?
Well when you connect to a VPN, you are sending your virtual traffic through their servers. So information on your use can be left behind, so if your VPN logs this information–it will be and like I mentioned before, they can either sell this data to advertisers or other companies.
Fortunately, most VPNs claim they don’t log, but a lot of lesser known or newer VPNs do log. You can find sketchy VPNs everywhere, and a lot of the time if it seems to be good to be true, the chances are that the VPN collect information and logs it.
#2 Powerful Encryption
AES-256 is by far the strongest encryption rate used right now, so make sure your VPN has that. Most of the bigger VPNs do, but every once in awhile I’ll test a VPN that claims to have this encryption rate and it turns out they only have 128-bit blowfish which is much less secure than AES.
There are a few different things you need to consider when choosing a safe VPN service. For your security you need the best encryption, but you also need things like the best protocols.
L2TP/IPsec is okay for mobile since iOS doesn’t support third party developers using anything else–but for PC or Mac, you need to be using OpenVPN as a protocol. You can find a more in-depth guide on protocols here. Most VPN providers support it, but again, some cheaper ones don’t!
The short explanation is that OpenVPN is the newest protocol for VPNs to use, and it’s the fastest and most secure option. PPTP or SSTP can be OK if you aren’t worried about security.
#3 Security features
Depending on your VPN provider, you will either have a ton of integrated security features, or not that many at all. Some things you need to look out for are kill switches (some VPNs have app + network kill switches, like TorGuard–these kill your torrent app if your VPN disconnects), DNS leak protection features (so your IP doesn’t ever leak while using VPN), supported proxy support (some VPNs let you use a double layer of security with a proxy, or they include one you can use through BitTorrent (Private Internet Access and TorGuard are two), and other things like dedicated IP address integration, and even script support.
A lot of these extra security features are just that “extra, ” but if you’re a power user or someone who is paranoid, or you just like to have the SAFEST VPN service, then these can make a huge difference.
#4 Multiple apps
To stay protected and safe on the internet, you need to use a VPN on each one of your online devices. Some VPN providers go the extra mile and have apps on iOS, Android, Linux, Mac, and Internet browsers (TorGuard has the most apps) while some barely support apps on all of the various platforms available.
If you have a particular need for a good iOS app, you need to chose your VPN carefully since I’ve really only had good experiences with a few (TorGuard, Private Internet Access, ExpressVPN, IPVanish).
A lot of people debate the importance of location and how it affects the safety of your VPN experience. Some people hate the FBI and they tell everyone not to use a US-based VPN service whereas other people acknowledge that spy services exist everywhere in the world and at the end of the day, if you are a criminal, and you are caught, your information can be rooted out somehow.
But for most of us, we aren’t criminals–just privacy advocates who want our information to be kept safe and secure, I wouldn’t worry too much about the location, but instead worry about the other things on this list that can more directly affect the safety of your VPN experience. If you want my full thoughts on this, read this article here where I talk about EU VS US VPNs.
#6 Company behind the VPN
It’s important to know the business behind the VPN, but it can be hard to do that without actually testing their service. Some VPN providers are assholes, whereas others generally have real people behind their team looking to make money but also help privacy around the world.
As a VPN reviewer who has a lot of experience dealing with VPNs trying to corrupt my rating list, I would say watch out for VPNs like NordVPN, Cryptostorm, BlackVPN, PureVPN, and Ivacy VPN since these VPN providers have questionable owners, and their advertising schemes never cease.
When purchasing a VPN, you need to consider the price as well. If the VPN’s price seems too good to be true, chances are it is. Although, providers like Private Internet Access are quite good even if they are super cheap, but the reasonable price for a VPN is somewhere around $9.99. But if a VPN costs less than that, or more, you should start thinking “why”?
Some VPN companies realize that they can spend more money on marketing and draw customers into buying something that is slightly overpriced. Or maybe they think that having such a cheap price will entice customers into purchasing an inferior product.
#8 Extra Features
While it’s essential to have 256-AES and OpenVPN as options, it’s also beneficial to have other extra features provided alongside your core VPN app. Some VPN providers help you step up your game even more with things like encrypted email, VPN routers (extend VPN across the entirety of your Wi-Fi), or other services like BitTorrent proxies.
#9 Reliability / Server Uptime
Is your VPN going to be reliable? If you need a safe VPN, you can’t have your connection going down or experience frequent connection issues. Also, a lot of smaller VPNs have overloaded servers which causes latency during media or game consumption.
#10 Secure Payment Methods
Finally, if you want the safest VPN service, you need to make sure that the VPN service has secure payment options like Bitcoin or even gift cards. I wouldn’t use paypal or your debit card, but some VPN providers don’t like to process Bitcoin, and some VPNs don’t like to give Bitcoin refunds!