A VPN or virtual private network is one of best ways to shield one’s network from attacks and other security issues that may or may not originate from the Internet. Today, businesses and individuals have the option of getting a paid or free virtual network. There are many free VPNs, but most if not all of them are incapable of providing the complete security that paid ones could offer.

Nevertheless, not all virtual private network providers are created equal. Hence, people must follow some criteria when choosing a paid virtual private network for their business or personal needs. First and foremost that one should consider is the speed. VPNs, at least the free ones, are notorious for significantly reducing the Internet or network connection speed. This factor is especially important if one is using a virtual private network for work or business.

Take note also that speed here means the normal connection speed and not burst speed.

Another important aspect to consider is the price. In hard economic times, businesses and even individuals give the utmost priority in reducing their expenses. Hence, it is important that one spends as little as possible without compromising the quality and speed of the connection. When considering the price, it is not always a question of which VPN provider is the cheapest. This is because it would be useless to spend, no matter how little, on a cheap virtual private network that gives more headaches than benefits. So, the rule of thumb is whether the company provides benefits commensurate to the price that one has to pay for its services.

A third thing to consider is the level of security that the company can provide.

Security features can usually be gleaned from the protocols that a virtual network provider offers. Most companies offer several protocols with varying degree of security. This is important if one is operating in a country where Internet security is curtailed by the government.

Finally, one should also inquire about the bandwidth that the virtual private network has. Some providers offer “unlimited” bandwidth but actually limit connection speed when one uses up a certain level of bandwidth. This is perfectly normal, if the company informs the customer before reducing connection speed. People should stay away from those companies that reduce connection speed without informing the customer.

This should serve merely as a guide and must not be understood as a hard and fast rule in choosing a VPN. One must still consider the needs of his or her business when picking a VPN service provider.

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