Chances are you’ve already decided to subscribe to a VPN service. After all, it seems like everyone talking about internet security is obsessed with convincing you to do so. I’m not going to go into all the reasons why a VPN is necessary. Suffice it to say that I agree with just about everyone else: you need a VPN to be safe online.
So, if you’ve decided to get a VPN for your Android device, you’ll want to know what to look for. Before you start searching for the best option, here’s what you need to consider.
A VPN’s reputation
It’s not that newcomers or lesser known services aren’t effective. However, it is almost impossible to determine the effectiveness of a VPN that does not already have a reputation. There are countless VPNs – especially for Android – that simply do not work. Even if they’re not complete cons, they could have bugs that open the door for hackers to steal your information.
That’s why you should only choose a VPN that has reviews from customers, as well as reviews from reliable tech insiders. Leave the newbies to the people paid to try them out.
I can’t say that VPNs are cheap just because I am currently able to afford one. I understand that some of you just don’t have an extra $10 a month to spend. I’ve been there. But you should do whatever you can to make that money available. Decide if there are other expenses you can sacrifice in order to make a VPN a priority.
If push comes to shove, use a free VPN. There are some which are reliable, especially the free versions of some of the most popular VPNs. However, you will sacrifice usability. You’ll face bandwidth limitations, and won’t necessarily have all the features you’re looking for.
In a move that still frustrates me, streaming services cracked down on VPN users in order to prevent people in different regions from accessing restricted content. The less important factor here is that it’s difficult for those in countries where streaming services are limited to gain access (and for those who want some of the best content, an effective Amazon VPN is necessary). More pertinent for me is that this restricts innocent VPN users as well. These services cannot identify where you truly come from, and block access even if you are legally permitted to view their content.
That’s why it’s important to find a VPN that still works with streaming services. You don’t want to have to compromise your security every time you use Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.
And that leads to another consideration. Most VPN providers offer big discounts if you subscribe for a year or two years at a time. The downside is that a VPN that circumvents streaming blocks now, may not do so in a month. It might be prudent to choose a monthly option, even if it does cost a bit more.
Ultimately, any reputable VPN is better than none, even if you do have to turn it off for streaming. When doing your research, remember these tips and choose the service that’s best for you.