UNITED STATES—A Virtual Private Network or VPN is a highly useful tool that can help you encrypt your online traffic and save you from a good number of threats on the Internet. Even if you’ve already settled on a particular provider, you might want to reconsider your decision, and approach the task based on some important questions related to such services. On the other hand, you could also go through this list of Best VPN 2017, wherein all the listed providers have already been tested and approved by the experts.

Where are its servers and how many are there?

Your primary consideration should be the places where the VPN provider’s servers are located and how many of them are there. The best VPN providers normally have hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of servers spread over different parts of the world. A provider that has its servers at all major global locations would be able to provide you with quick connection no matter where you may be.

Where is it headquartered?

VPN services work as powerful tools often used against restrictive Internet rules and oppressive governments. If your intent is to publish some sensitive stories, you must ensure that the VPN provider is headquartered in a country that’s not friendly with the country/institution you’re up against. Ideally, you must avoid using a VPN based out of your own country.

Is it OpenVPN compatible?

All VPNs run based on some protocol to connect you to the Internet and to encrypt your data. However, not all of them are created equally. As of now, OpenVPN is the standard for the VPN protocols, far better than the ageing L2TP/IPsec and PPTP protocols. It would be best if your VPN provider allows you to select the protocol of your choice. Nevertheless, you must ensure that they have OpenVPN on the list. While you’re looking for OpenVPN support, please keep in mind that Windows 10 Mobile doesn’t support this protocol as of now.

How many devices would it allow you to use simultaneously?

It’s alright to encrypt the Internet traffic on your laptop, but how’d you do that in case of your Xbox, smart phone or tablet PC? A reputed VPN provider would allow simultaneous usage of its services on a good number of devices, allowing you to remove/add devices at will.

You should opt for a provider that allows at least 5 different devices simultaneously. Although it might seem like a lot to you right now, you’d be glad you went with such a plan, at a later date. It would be even better if the provider offers a mobile app that can be easily downloaded and used on your mobile devices. Connecting to the VPN server with the press of a single button is always better than having to configure everything manually, on your own.

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Some of the other questions you should ask are

–      If it would log your information or not? Ideally it shouldn’t.

–      If it would make it mandatory for you to use a credit card or not? Ideally it shouldn’t.

–      Does it have any bandwidth caps? Ideally it shouldn’t.

–      Does it provide a kill switch? Ideally it should.