Miranda Howell

How to Choose the Best VPN: 5 Tips for Beginners

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Not all VPNs are created equally so it’s important to know what to look for when you’re choosing the one that you use.

From adware-bloated “freemiums,” to service models that nickel and dime you, there are plenty of VPN providers out there that are a little less-than-savory. Especially if you’ve never used a VPN before, it’s important to know what you’re looking for and choose the best fit.


Compare and contrast

Sometimes, it’s as simple as Googling Private Internet Access vs. NordVPN. Other times, you need to do a bit of digging. But whatever you do, before you even think of giving out your credit card info, you need to make sure you’ve at least weighed several options. Look at reviews, check policies, and compare features. Sometimes, process of elimination really works.


Find a money-back guarantee

Sure, free software can be a winner. Sadly, most of the time, “free” doesn’t really mean free. From service fees to upsells, cheap software always has a cost. Even if you’re paying for a service, though, make sure it has some form of guarantee so, in the case that it doesn’t work, you’re not out your hard-earned money.


Features first

If someone asked you right now “Why do you need a VPN?” would you be able to answer them? It’s important to know the “why” of your buy and make sure you can find features that match your specific needs. Even if a provider has a killer price tag, is it worth it if your number one feature is missing?


Device compatibility

This one is pretty cut and dry. If you run a computer that uses iOS and purchase a VPN that only supports Windows, that would be a bit silly, now wouldn’t it?


Interfaces matter

So you did it. You weighed costs and features. You found a VPN that works on your operating system. You’re ready to start using it. Only problem is, the interface is…less than user-friendly. This is where demos, user reviews, and screenshots come in handy. Make sure you know how to use your product.


VPNs aren’t the most intuitive purchases out there so it’s important, as a beginner, to know what you’re getting yourself into. Research, reviews, and demos can be your absolute best friends. And remember: Never buy a product sight unseen!

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Miranda Howell