“If you spend more on coffee than onIT security, you will be hacked.What’s more, you deserve to be hacked” – Richard Clarke, US National Coordinator for Security. Studies suggest that there are over 130 large-scale, targeted security reaches reported in the US alone every year, a number that’s expected to rise by 27% within the next 12 months.

When it comes to the ongoing growth, evolution and success of your business, investing in the right security measures is essential: if you don’t take action today, it’s likely that you will suffer the consequences tomorrow. That said, concerning the fortification of your online activities, a virtual private network (VPN) is a robust, reliable and user-friendly option. A VPN is a platform that creates a secure and encrypted connection across a public network, like the World Wide Web, by creating a water-tight system on top of it. In turn, this closed system is exclusive to the owner, and only they can use it, ensuring that all of the data that you’re both sending and receiving is encrypted – safe from evil entities or prying eyes.

In short, a VPN is safe, it’s secure, and it’s essential to the protection of your various online assets and activities.

The key characteristics of a solid VPN

Now we’ve explored the importance of VPNs in addition to what virtual private networks do, let’s consider the core characteristics of a quality VPN that you can rely on:

Mobility: In today’s hyper-connected digital age, we spend more time on our smartphones than ever before, and as such, the best VPN providers will offer virtual private networks that are supported on mobile devices.

Support: Inevitably, there aretimes that we might need support or assistance with our VPNs – and any providerworth its salt will be able to assist with any potential issue, challenge orquery. Before you commit to a provider, research customer reviews and delveinto the level of user support on offer – it will save you a great deal oftime, hassle and unnecessary stress in the long run.

Variety: In this context, we mean that a good VPN provider will offer plentiful server locations or IP addresses. The virtues of having a variety of server locations is that you will have more freedom and flexibility when it comes to accessing information and consuming content safely. For instance, If you need to access YouTube videos available exclusively to a UK audience, you may require a UK IP address to do so.

Privacy: Any reliable VPN provider will give you the option of complete privacy, offering shared IPs while avoiding the maintenance of any activity logs. The maintenance of logs can be risky and may backfire if any records end up in the hands of hackers, sensor boards or governmental authorities. If a VPN provider doesn’t offer this level of anonymity, you should avoid them at all costs.

Torrent and file sharing provisions: While this isn’t an essential characteristic required from a stable VPN provider, if you’re looking to share reports, documents, audio files and video content frequently, you should ensure your provider facilitates, and is renowned for, torrenting and file sharing.

Leading VPN providers: the plus points

The world’s leading VPN providers not only share the core characteristics mentioned above, but they also boast unique features or functionality developed to cater for the needs of different types of user. To offer you more insight, here is a rundown of three leading VPNs and their
primary strengths:

VyprVPN: As this particular VPN provider is based in Switzerland, a country with some of the world’s most advanced privacy laws, this service is specializes in web security and with 70 server locations worldwide, VyprVPN offers a solid level of user flexibility.

● IPVanish: Particularly useful for P2P and torrenting, IPVanish boasts a wide range of server locations as well as top-notch user support.

TunnelBear: A celebrated Canada-based VPN provider, TunnelBear is renowned for being easy to use – it also offers servers in more than 20 countries – an excellent choice for light use.

Tunnel Bear vpn

ExpressVPN: Available in over 148 cities across the globe, ExpressVPN’s speed is remarkable. What’s more, this speedy and robust service extends to 154 countries, boasting a total of over 2000 servers.

Now that you understand the power of virtual private networks and you know what to look for,you should sit down and consider your specific needs concerning VPNs, using this guide to help you make your final decision.

Cyber security is no longer a luxury: in the digital age it’s compulsory to ensure survival – and a VPN will help you do just that – happy browsing.

For more practical cyber security tips, explore our guide to keeping your online activities secure.