There are a lot of VPN providers out there. This can make it hard to determine the best one for you. This guide will help you work your way through the offerings to ensure you are buying VPN services that work for you.
In what countries are its servers?
There’s two reason to ask this question. If you’re intending to use your VPN for mostly privacy then you’ll want a VPN in your own country. If you are Canadian and suddenly try to log in to your bank from a German IP address that will set off alarm bells.
Another use for a VPN is for geo-displacement (seeming to be in a different country). If that is your intent, then you will want to ensure it offers servers in the country you need.
Does it restrict any types of usage?
As is typical with any privacy software, VPNs can be abused. Some VPN providers restrict certain types of activities such as BitTorrenting. If you’re intending to use your VPN for exotic uses, you want to ensure that is allowed before buying VPN services.
Does it support your operating system?
Most operating systems can be configured to use a VPN without any special software. However, many VPN services provide their own software which you may want, or have, to use. The software can sometimes give you enhanced features such as switching IPs on the fly, or connecting you to the nearest VPN server to you.
You will want to make sure that their software is available for your operating system before buying a VPN. Almost all providers support Windows, most support Mac and a smaller subset support Linux.
What does it cost to buy VPN services?
The almighty dollar is frequently the decision maker, but it really should be the last consideration. If you buy a VPN service that does not have servers where you want them or does not let you do what you need to do, the price really doesn’t matter.
Most VPN providers will let you buy their service monthly or annually. Some offer intermediate subscriptions in the 3 or 6 month range as well. Typically, buying a VPN service for a longer period of time gets you a larger discount on the price. Keep in mind that the service may not be as wonderful as advertised. It may make sense to purchase one month to test it out before committing to a larger subscription.
Where can I get more information on buying VPN services?
Top Canadian VPN maintains a small, but growing services page here which can help. Please check back often as more providers are being added all the time. We’re also updating the features of each service as the site evolves.