As governments around the world increase mass surveillance of their citizens, the quest for online privacy has led many people to turn to VPNs. The 2021 Annual VPN Usage Survey shows that 85% of adult Internet users are aware of VPNs and what they do, up from 72% in 2020. Since a VPN is an important tool for protecting your online privacy, it’s important to choose the right one.
In this article, we will look at the reasons why you should use a VPN and the factors to consider when choosing a VPN.
Why use a VPN?
A virtual private network (VPN) refers to a set of technologies designed to increase your privacy and security online. A VPN encrypts and routes your internet traffic through a secure tunnel, preventing your ISP from tracking your internet activity and seeing your real IP address on the website you visit.
With a VPN, you can also:
- Bypass geo-restricted content and websites
- Use public Wi-Fi safely
- Mask your IP address and location
- Avoid censorship and government control
- Access streaming libraries from around the world
- Use P2P file services like BitTorrent
Consider when choosing a VPN
Although there are many VPNs on the market, not all are created equal, and your privacy may not be protected just because you use a VPN. You should choose only a private, reliable and secure VPN. These are the factors you should pay attention to when evaluating a VPN.
No logs policy
A no-logs policy should be the first requirement to consider when choosing a VPN. A VPN that uses a no-logging policy will not track your internet activity, meaning it will not record or collect information about what websites you visit, download or search. Everything you do online is private, and third parties like your ISP or authorities cannot access your information.
By default, Proton VPN follows a strict no-logging policy and we do not store session logs or metadata that could compromise your privacy. Our no-logging policy is verified by third-party independent security professionals and we publish the results on our website for all to see. Proton VPN is also developed by the same team that created the world’s largest encrypted email service, Proton Mail. Our mission is to create an Internet where privacy is the default, and we are committed to respecting your privacy by leaving zero logs of what you do online.
A VPN’s jurisdiction determines how it can operate and the laws it must follow. As a result, it plays a crucial role in determining the level of privacy protection. Some VPNs are located in countries that are members of surveillance networks such as the 5 Eyes or 14 Eyes data sharing agreements. If you choose a VPN that works in these countries, it’s possible that your internet activity will be recorded and shared with foreign governments.
Compared to other countries, Switzerland has strict privacy protections to protect its citizens and businesses. All surveillance requests from a foreign government must be approved by a Swiss court before they are legally binding. For these reasons, we have chosen Switzerland as the headquarters for Proton Mail and Proton VPN. This allows us to extend the privacy protection provided by Swiss law to the entire Proton community.
Strong encryption protocols
A VPN’s security starts with its encryption protocols. As technology evolves, outdated and outdated encryption protocols can pose a serious threat to privacy. However, there are still some cryptos and VPN protocols that have stood the test of time:
AES: AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard and is the encryption of choice for the US government to protect confidential information. ChaCha20: Advanced encryption as secure as AES. It is used to establish fast connections in the WireGuard VPN protocol. As a privacy-focused company, we built Proton VPN with the highest security standards and only trusted and verified VPN protocols. We use both WireGuard and OpenVPN, which are widely regarded as two of the safest and most secure VPN protocols available.
You should be able to protect your online activity with a VPN no matter what device you use, so cross-platform support is another factor to consider. Proton VPN offers apps for all major platforms, including:
- Mac operating system
- Android TV
Our native apps are intuitive and easy to use, so you can securely connect to the Internet anywhere. Our VPN apps are also open source and independently verified by leading security companies. You can find the results of the checks on our website.
The number of VPN servers has a direct impact on how much traffic it can handle and the speed of your connection. This means you should only choose a VPN that offers good server coverage.
Proton VPN has a global network of over 1,500 servers in 60 countries, and our unique VPN Booster can boost your VPN speed by up to 400%. If you’re looking for more privacy, Proton VPN’s Secure Core servers route your web traffic through privacy-friendly countries like Sweden and Iceland before connecting you to the server of your choice. This means that your web traffic passes through multiple servers, making it difficult for third parties to trace your activity back to you.
Protect your privacy with Proton VPN
At Proton, we believe that everyone has the right to choose how and with whom their data is shared. Using a VPN is one of the easiest ways to protect your privacy online. Our free plan:
- There are no speed or bandwidth limitations
- Does not show ads
- It has a strict no-login policy
- Protected by Swiss data protection laws