In a time when there is a constant attempt by everyone to steal your personal data in the current climate, a VPN can assist you in avoiding this by making your connections secure and secure. While the promises of military-grade security or invisibility may entice you, Consumer Reports Yael Grauer suggests that you look for more concrete evidence that the service you’re looking at is legitimate.

Start with compatibility. The service must support at the very least the most well-known operating systems like Windows, macOS and Linux, Android, and iOS. You’ll need to be aware of the number of devices supported by the service and the number of connections it can support simultaneously. You should also check the number of servers that are available and their locations around the world. This will help you choose a server close to your home or one with fast speeds when you’re traveling across the globe.

Certain services provide specialized features, like dedicated ‘Netflix servers’ that remove geo-restricted sites from their websites, or additional security features, such as a RAM-only servers, which erase data each time the service reboots and monitors the dark web, and security measures to protect against threats. Examine the ownership structure of the company and determine if there have been any data breaches or privacy issues in the past.

NordVPN was the top overall service we tested. It offers thousands of servers spread across the world in 94 countries. It also offers AES-256 encryption and ChaCha20, a reliable Kill Switch split tunneling, a split tunneling, and an encrypted server. It’s also one of the few providers to publish its detailed no-logs policy and engages PricewaterhouseCoopers for annual audits. Its pricing isn’t cheap, but you do get a lot of features and a great long-term plan comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.

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