Nowadays VPN demand is increasing gradually as privacy awareness is growing rapidly among the youth and old. The VPN market is also touching the peak valley around the globe. With the availability of tons of VPN, it is very hard for a normal user to hunt the best. Read our whole guide on the 10 best VPN features.
Virtual Private Network mainly termed as VPN is the most feasible and effective way to guard online secrecy and activity. Guard in the sense means whatever you do on the internet can be recorded, processed and VPN prevent from happening. Normally when you connect to any VPN, all your internet traffic passes through an encrypted and secured tunnel making you completely anonymous from dangerous eyes.
Most VPNs use 256-Bit Encryption technology, though other encryption methods are also available. Many other background processes also happen to keep your privacy down. So before you click on the “Buy Now” option, know what are the critical and important VPN features.
1. Considerable Price
Don’t we look at the product which has less price while buying? Of course, we look and it’s human nature. A good amount of features at less price is considered as the best deal. The same applies to VPN and everything we buy. Starting from the last decade, the VPN market is growing and competition is happening to grab the users’ attention.
The average price for the VPN market is $10 a month which is considered the best. The well-established VPN providers like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, CyberGhost, and some more often charge $11 – $13 for a month and they know that their VPN features will attract the users. If you take any long term plan, then charges can come around $2 – $7 for a month.
New VPN players are trying hard to establish themself in the market. So they are giving the best VPN features in less than the market average. It is necessary for them to charge less in the beginning year.
Image Courtesy – CyberGhost VPN
2. Easy Installation & Clean Interface
A non-technical user may feel disappointed if VPN doesn’t do things automatically. VPNs should not require much attention from users while installing. It must be intelligent enough to identify the settings required to keep users’ privacy safe when he connects to the internet. However, some advanced settings and extra customization must be done manually that’s why customer support and quick guide tutorial is available at the official website.
Settings options and menus should be at the proper place and in one click action should be done. For example, the desktop mobile version app of ProtonVPN has a very clean interface and in one click it automatically connects you to the best server near you.
3. Rich Server and Server Location
Users must have a number of server options when he tries to connect. The two advantages of this are that multiple options to spoof the location and easy to find the fastest server near the device location. CyberGhost VPN alone has the highest number of servers in the world. It has made it possible to have more than 6400 servers in more than 110 locations. NordVPN is in the second position with more than 5000 servers in 59 countries.
The most optimized and reliable servers live in Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Lithuania, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, and Australia. Switzerland has the highest speed and is free from the 5th, 9th, and 14th Eye Alliances. United States server can guarantee you the best Netflix library for your all-day entertainment.
Don’t get confuse the number of a server with more security options, it gives you the freedom to connect around the world and faster server only.
4. Blazing Speed & Reliable Connection
Without a good speed, your Netflix or other OTT platform will buffer while watching your favorite movies or series. VPNs will be of no good if this happens. So look carefully while choosing a VPN. Some VPNs are good at providing the fastest speed, even Hotspot Shield VPN is considered as the fastest VPN.
All VPN providers should offer high-speed servers (mainly installed in Switzerland, United States, Germany, and some others). Here the number of servers plays a vital role as users can check every server’s speed so that users can enjoy smooth experiences. In fact, some VPN has inbuilt auto fastest server detection.
Unlimited bandwidth and ultra-fast connection can be the best add-on VPN features with blazing speed. Users can download any content over the hundred P2P servers.
5. Security Options
Internet security is the main reason for any user to opt for a VPN. As soon as you connect to VPN it should start masking the original IP address with any fake or virtual by routing all the traffic through an encrypted tunnel. There are multiple factors for internet security, it includes various technologies to create a secure connection. The best VPN features include:
VPN protocols are the way to create a secure connection between the client device and server and comes in a variety of flavors. Some of the well-known protocols are OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, and IKEv2. Though OpenVPN is industry standard and IKEv2 is mostly used in mobile devices.
Only a few VPN has gone beyond the current technology and one of them is VyprVPN. VyprVPN has developed its own proprietary protocol known as “Chameleon Protocol.”
2. Military Grade Encryption
Among other various VPN features, encryption is necessary. Encryption technology helps VPN to protect your internet traffic from ISP, government, or hackers. Without encryption, they could monitor what you do on the Internet.
Only a few VPN use AES-128 bit while most of the VPN uses AES-256 bit. I will recommend choosing a VPN that has AES-256 bit encryption technology.
3. Split Tunneling
Basically, VPN split tunneling works by routing some of your device/app’s traffic through the encrypted VPN tunnel, and for the rest, it allows you to access the internet directly. It comes in handy when your multiple devices are under one subscription and for some devices you want them to access local content instead of globally.
4. Internet Kill Switch
Internet/VPN Kill Switch is another interesting feature among VPN features. Suppose you are surfing the internet (you don’t want others to know about it) while connected to a VPN and suddenly you lost the VPN connection. Before your VPN connection comes back, you might be exposed to outsiders. Internet Kill Switch will block internet access for that broken period and lets your privacy stay safe.
6. Data Privacy
If a VPN can’t guard a user’s privacy, then it is of no use. That’s why it is a major topic among VPN providers. Mostly all VPN providers believe in the data privacy of users and have implemented such excellent features. The VPN features may vary among the providers, some use self-made technology while some rent. Let’s see what are the privacy factor which should be under VPN features.
1. No-Log Policy
2. DNS Leak Protection
DNS leak is another problem and must be handled by VPN users. When you connect to the internet using ISP data, your data traffic travels through ISP’s DNS server and this is the point where they can track all your internet activity.
Even if you are connected to the internet and if no DNS protection is provided by your VPN then all your traffic will go through ISP’s DNS server only instead of a secured tunnel. This is termed as a DNS leak. So choose a VPN that has DNS leak protection.
3. WebRTC Leak Protection
VPNs should have WebRTC leak protection features among other VPN features to prevent the public IP addresses from exposing when users visit any site. WebRTC leak happens due to web browsers’ WebRTC functionality. Many VPNs that come in free don’t have WebRTC leak protection in the app. VPNs like ProtonVPN cares about users’ privacy and has included the prevention method.
7. Multiple Device Connection
Multiple Device Connection means you can have a different number of the device under one subscription. The present VPN provider’s VPN features can vary. Some offer only 5 connections, some 7 while only a few offers 10 connections. In fact, Surfshark VPN doesn’t care how many devices you connect to under one subscription. If you have more than 10 devices, no problem SurfShark VPN will take care of.
These VPN features indicate that VPN software/apps are available for a variety of devices and platforms. People generally prefer Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac OS-based devices and you can protect all of them at the same time. What more connect Fire TV, Android TV, and Game Console.
Image Courtesy – CyberGhost VPN
8. Entertainment Freedom
Don’t you want to unblock Netflix’s U.S. library? Don’t you want to access Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video in your country where it is banned? Many premium VPN providers claim that their VPN can unblock Netflix anywhere in the world, but when such VPNs pass through my test, only a few were able to play Netflix with Ultra HD quality and some were buffering. Not all servers were great with fast speed.
Look for a VPN that can defeat content restrictions and censorship, unlimited access to video, music, social media, and more, from anywhere in the world. If you ever wish to go to China, then subscribe to a VPN that can dig inside the Great Firewall of China to provide entertainment. The good thing is these features are available in well-established VPN like ExpressVPN, PureVPN, and a few others.
Image Courtesy – CyberGhost VPN
A decent VPN must-have platform-independent software/apps and that should not work on just 1-2 devices. It must have multiple platform support where users can utilize the subscription completely. Some people may want to install a VPN on a router so that all their devices can be protected at the same time without delay.
Few people have a passion to store multiple numbers of devices like laptops, smart TVs, PCs/Macs, iOS, and Android devices in the home. That’s why decent VPN providers offer cross-platform compatible Softwares/apps. If their app doesn’t have compatibility for a particular device then proper configuration files and tutorials should be available.
Image Courtesy – Surfshark VPN
10. Customer Support
Customer Support and tutorial guides are the two options from where you can ask for help whenever you ran into a problem. VPN providers should not stop at technical features only, proper setup guidance and 24/7 support, email support, and a ticket submission system are also necessary. The quality of a VPN service is that any questions you (specifically non-technical users) have will be answered quickly.
Non-technical support also comes under VPN features like helpful FAQs and quick Chat Window are emerging these days and you can find it on the official website of decent VPN. After typing your query you should expect a solution within the minute and well-established VPN providers will help you as soon as they can. It is a sign of a good VPN provider that not only offers products but also values its customers as well.
For example, NordVPN has a well maintained and stylish website with each menu section in the right position. Users can find most of the solution under these menus which contains proper documentation for technical and non-technical users. Good VPN providers also offer extra add-on tools like encrypted chat, web proxies, DNS leak test, IP address finder, and VPN comparisons.
The more you spend, the more VPN features you get. I don’t think the price should be a concern in respect of privacy. Still, the recommendation is to look for a free trial or first take a month’s subscription. If things go fine then take 2-yearly or 3-yearly and save your lots of money. Don’t go for free VPN services if you want all the above-mentioned VPN features, otherwise, leave some of them and take.
Choose a VPN among the best which are ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark, CyberGhost, IPVanish, PureVPN, and VyprVPN. Do comment if you find anything which I have missed.