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Types of VPN Services

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There are different types of VPN software that you may use in different situations. The most common of all are personal VPNs, but you may find that you’ll need a remote access VPN, site-to-site VPN or mobile VPN.

  • Personal VPN: A personal VPN (also known as consumer VPN) shields your IP address and encrypts active data transfers (from you and to you). It also spoofs your location, which is how you can access previously inaccessible content from your country.
  • Remote access VPN: The most common use of a remote access VPN might be if you work for a company that requires you to log into a private network when you’re on open/public internet. The VPN protects the connection and the data transfer between the employee and the private network.
  • Site-to-site VPN: A site-to-site VPN is useful for companies that want to establish a single wide area network (WAN) between two or more other networks. A good example of this is a corporation that has multiple branches across the country with employees that need to access data across the combined network, such as AT&T or PetSmart.
  • Mobile VPN: A mobile VPN is similar to a remote access VPN, except it’s designed for those using mobile devices when there’s an expectation that one’s internet service could be on Wi-Fi or a cellular network. So, if you log into a company’s network using Wi-Fi, but the Wi-Fi goes out, your phone may swap over to cellular data, but the VPN keeps the connection going.
  • Zero-trust VPN: Zero-trust VPN is a security model that assumes that all devices and users trying to access a network are untrusted until proven otherwise. This type of VPN is used by organizations with strict security requirements, such as financial institutions and government agencies.
  • Cloud VPN: Cloud VPN is a type of VPN that connects a user’s device to a cloud-based virtual private network. It allows users to access cloud-based applications and services securely and is particularly useful for organizations that use cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Free VPN: Free VPNs are VPNs that are offered for free, usually with limited features and capabilities. They may be suitable for casual internet users who want to protect their data on public Wi-Fi networks, but they may not be as secure or reliable as paid VPNs.
  • Split tunneling VPN: A Split Tunneling VPN allows you to route specific applications or web traffic through the VPN tunnel, while other traffic goes through your regular internet connection. This can be useful for organizations that want to protect sensitive data while still allowing employees to access nonsensitive information.
  • TOR over VPN: This type of VPN routes your internet connection through both a VPN and the TOR network. This provides an additional layer of encryption and anonymity, but it can also slow down your internet connection.

Server Number and Locations

Server numbers and locations are important factors to consider because they can affect the VPN’s overall performance and levels of privacy and security, as well as speed and functionality.

Number of Servers

A large number of servers generally means more options for connecting to the VPN. This can help ensure you can find a fast and reliable server near your physical location. A VPN with many servers also allows for more flexibility in terms of server switching and load balancing, which can help improve overall performance.

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Server Locations

A VPN with a wide range of server locations allows you to choose a server located in a specific country or region. This can be useful if you want to access geo-restricted content or if you want to ensure that your data is transmitted through a specific country’s jurisdiction. The more server locations a VPN has, the more options you have to choose from and the more flexibility you have to ensure that your connection is fast and reliable.

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It’s also important that the VPN provider has servers in countries which are privacy-friendly and not part of any surveillance alliance. If you’re concerned about data collection and retention laws, you may want to choose a VPN server that resides in a country with no data retention laws, such as Switzerland or Panama.

If you’re looking for the fastest load times, quick downloads or gaming or streaming online, choose a VPN server nearest your location.

Speed and Performance

Speed is an important decision factor when choosing a VPN because it affects the overall performance of the VPN and your ability to use the internet effectively. A VPN that’s slow can cause delays in loading web pages, buffering when streaming video and difficulty using real-time applications, such as online gaming or video conferencing.

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Other performance factors include:

  • Latency: Latency refers to the time it takes for data to travel from your device to the VPN server and back. A low latency is important for real-time applications such as online gaming or video conferencing.
  • Bandwidth: Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be transmitted over a connection. A VPN with high bandwidth can support more data-intensive activities such as streaming high-definition (HD) video.
  • Uptime: Uptime refers to the amount of time a VPN server is available and online. A VPN with high uptime will be more reliable and less likely to experience disruptions or downtime.

There may be some differences in speed across devices, as some devices may have faster processors or better network connectivity than others. However, a good VPN provider should be able to provide fast and reliable connections regardless of the device.

To evaluate a VPN’s performance, you can use online speed test tools to measure the VPN’s download and upload speeds, as well as its latency and jitter. They can also look at the VPN’s uptime records and read reviews from other users to get a general sense of the VPN’s performance.

Before subscribing to a VPN service, it’s important to have a free trial or money-back guarantee period. This way you can test the performance and see if it meets your needs prior to committing to a plan.

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