VPN is a technology that we go for it, especially for safe and secure connections. Apart from that, we also use it to gain access to geographically restricted websites. If it’s used for just audio or video streaming purposes, then probably we need not worry about whether it’s safe. But when it comes to transmission of your personal data such as financial transactions, personal videos, etc, then it’s important to ask your the using a VPN safe? Let’s discuss in detail whether it’s safe, secure and whether it meets what you expect. Read more about VPN in details in this VPN Guide.

Why Should I Trust my VPN Provider?

Every VPN provider is selling their own product or network for a cost. After all, it is a business for them. If it is so, then why should I trust them? This is a common question that most of us have about our VPN provider. Also, they log our information such as connection duration, IP address, connection date, etc. They can even sell that information to any third parties or can provide it to government agencies as well. If things are so, we would definitely raise the question, “Using a VPN safe?”. We are here to answer all such questions in detail now.

Don’t Trust Every VPN Service

Never ever trust a VPN provider for the sake of its popularity or for its geographic dominance. Some of them keep the logs for longer duration whereas others delete it periodically. Whatever it is, is not always safe to hand over your data to others, especially, when the education is longer. Here are few ideas and tips to find using a VPN safe? Also, we would reveal few strategies to judge the qualities of a VPN before you pick it up. So you can choose the right, safe VPN for all your purposes.  

Points to Look in a VPN for Security

We say that you should never trust a VPN provider blindly without assessing their potential. Then you might ask what should we do or how should we assess them? Here are few proven strategies to assess them for using a safe VPN.

For What Purpose You are Using the VPN?

Some of us use it to stream, to unblock geo-restricted websites (see how you can unblock websites on Chrome), to break their office or institute’s firewall, etc. The purposes are different and so is the VPN should be. Yes, not every aspect or need is better served by a single VPN provider. Every provider excels in a certain aspect and we should identify which is best for what. Only then we can end up with the right VPN for our purpose.

Also, there are few common features that each one of us expects from our VPN provider. They are Security and the Privacy. None of us leaves these two features as such while we choose a VPN. It is because they are the two pillars on which the VPN need stands. Yes, Just ask a person why you need a VPN? Almost 8 out of 10 replies the for security and privacy. Such an importance that these features have in our day-to-day communication as fraudulent activities are also increasing.

If you choose VPN for Security

Most VPN providers offer this feature and in fact, it is one of the core features. If you are choosing a VPN for secure connections while you use a hotel, airport, or coffee shop, etc Wi-Fi, then pay attention to whether your VPN provider id against sniffing the traffic by themselves. It is very difficult to identify the thief who is inside the home than identifying him/her outside. Therefore, it is better to know it for using a VPN safe. Let us discuss in detail on how to choose a VPN for security in the same article.

If you choose VPN for Privacy

If privacy is your concern, then make sure that your VPN provider itself is not keeping your data for their purposes (read more how VPN protects online privacy). They can even sell it to their parties to see money in other ways. It is important to identify that your VPN is not indulged in such activities. It just needs a little more effort and research to identify using a VPN safe. Here is what you need to do.  

Look into the Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

We generally put a tick on the checkbox for whether you agree on the terms & conditions? It may be not an issue with other kinds services but it an issue here. Yes, you should never skip the privacy policy and terms of service before you subscribe to a VPN service. In the case of free VPNs, you should be very careful as those VPNs should somehow make money. They can sell your data or manipulate it to earn money. So here you are paying money for VPN usage instead you are giving your personal information such as connection logs, IP address, etc as a fee. On the other hand, there are few free VPNs that never logs your data or never sells it to make money. Some of them are Hideman, CyberGhost VPN, and HotSpot Shield. If they not concerned with money making even for free VPNs, then they would be really serious in the privacy of their paid customers. So it is better to go for such VPNs. Whatever they do is mentioned in their policies and hence just read it twice to understand it. The Express VPN is also doing its best as it follows a no logging policy. Read the ExpressVPN Review here. Using a VPN safe? is our main motto here and we are discussing in that angle.   

Search for the VPN’s Logging Policy

Using a VPN safe? is your primary question, then you can query a search engine with the “VPN name” & its logging policy. It’s going to reveal you some of the unexpected details of the VPN provider. We may think that the paid VPN providers need not sell our data as we are paying them already. It is not at all true. Some VPN providers even cancel your subscription for petty reasons, so that they can sell our data that was already with them. We should expect such things and therefore, look before you leap. Read The Ultimate Privacy Guide to know about a VPN.

Ask the VPN Provider of their Data Retention Policies

Many at times, we do not answer for our searches related to a VPN’s data retention policies, especially, when they do keep our data. Some VPN providers say that they are storing it as per the Government’s Data Retention Laws. It is true to an extent but we never know what they store and what the law says. If “Using a VPN safe?” is your question of interest, then you must ask the VPN provider of their data retention laws. There are a lot of ways to contact them and the quickest one is their chat support. If they do not have it, the just email them right away.

Don’t Think that Foreign VPNs are better

The local VPNs should abide by the rules and regulations of our government and people say that “that is why we chose a foreign VPN”. A foreign VPN means that it’s operation is from a different country than that of ours i.e, it’s geographically located elsewhere. Such a thought is definitely wrong as the government can get an information from wherever he wants by pushing them to do so. Therefore, geography cannot save you when you have the question “Using a VPN safe?”.

Technology Used

A lot of VPN providers are popping up every day with a promise of secure and safe transmissions. But the saddest part is that they do not have the required technology to support their promises. It is our duty to verify whether the VPN has proper encryption schemes and good supporting back-end processes. If they lack technology, then definitely they could not make it happen. So when you look for using a VPN safe, you should actually look for the technology used.

Investigate it on Your Own

No one can help you if you trust a VPN blindly. It is you who have to check whether using a VPN safe? As a general rule, your traffic from the VPN server to the destination server need not be encrypted. It is because a hacker can never track your IP with those details. But when it leaves your system, make it sure that you use HTTPS kind of secured transmissions. It is where the hackers look for possible security holes in your network. All you can do is, investigate by yourself.

Which VPN Protocol to Choose?

Lastly, the level security of a VPN network main depends on the protocol, encryption, and the key used. Let us discuss which protocol is better under various circumstances now.

PPTP (Point-to-Point-Tunneling Protocol):

It was introduced by the Microsoft in 1999 and is one of the oldest protocols that we use today. It was designed to be used with dial-up connections and therefore it works faster with modern internet connections. Anyhow, it has its own flaws and PEAP authentication was introduced to patch those flaws. But so many people are unaware of PEAP and they continue to use the one with flaws.

Pros:

  • It works well even without any third party software.
  • It is comparatively faster.
  • You can set it up easily.

Cons:

  • The strength of PPTP is determined by the encryption used along with it.

L2TP/IPSec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol)

L2TP is just a channel to transfer data and therefore IPSec was included with it to provide security. It is easy to set up unless you have a firewall on your network. This protocol uses UDP 4500 to transfer data and it is generally blocked by Firewalls. This issue requires Port Forwarding to resolve it. Apart from that, it is a commonly used protocol as to how PPTP is used.

Pros:

  • It is relatively easy to configure and it is secured as well.
  • It is there for almost every platform.

Cons:

  • Networks with Firewalls need changes in their network.
  • It works slower than the SSL-based communications.

OpenVPN

It is an Open Source protocol and it uses OpenSSL for its communications. The interesting part of it is that you can configure it easily to fit your needs. Even though it uses UDP port, you can also configure it to TCP with just a little effort. The OpenSSL used here supports a variety of encryption algorithms such as AES, Blowfish, etc and we should choose whichever suits our needs. Also, it works faster than the IPSec but the only issue is that you need the configuration files during the setup process.

Pros:

  • It can bypass Firewalls with no issues.
  • Highly secure.
  • Easily configurable.
  • It can work well with a variety of encryption algorithms.
  • It is an Open Source and you can use it freely.

Cons:

  • It requires extra software for a smooth setup and working.
  • It needs configuration files for the setup process.      
  • Not suitable for use with mobile devices.

SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol)

It is a Microsoft product and is far better than PPTP as it overcomes the flaws in it. It also has the benefits of OpenVPN with the TCP Port 443 usage. But the only issue is that it works stable only on Windows platform.

Pros:

  • Excellent customer support from Microsoft.
  • Highly secure protocol when used with AES ciphers.
  • It bypasses Firewalls without any issues.

Cons:

  • Reliable in Windows platform alone.

Conclusion-Is Using a VPN Safe?

Using a VPN safe is a million dollar question and the answer depends on how you select it! Yes, finding a safe & secure VPN provider is possible when you follow the strategies that we have discussed in this article. Read here to know the Most Secure VPN Services 2017.  

 

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Jerold Forney is technology admirer and a computer specialist who is always curious for new technological advancements in the IT industry. With his extensive experience and apprehension of IT industry and technology, He writes after concrete research and analysis with the intention to aid the reader the content full of factual information. Being so ambitious to facilitate the readers, he intermittently tries his hand on the tech-gadgets and services popping frequently in the industry to reduce any ambiguity in his mind related to the project he works, that a huge sign of dedication to his work.

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