VPN services and VPN technology are two different things
Oftentimes when people are confronted with the terms “Network VPN” and “Service VPN” they aren’t sure of the difference. And that’s understandable, VPNs are a relatively new technology and most people have only recently become aware of them.
A Virtual Private Network sits as an intermediate between your device or network and the end point you’re attempting to connect with. It’s easier to understand visually.
A VPN, by virtue of its position, offers users a secure, private connection. It masks your IP address and protects your identity using any one of a number of protocols (based on what’s appropriate in that specific context):
- Internet Protocol Security (IPSec)
- Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)
- Point-to-Point Tunneling (PPTP)
- Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS)
- Secure Shell (SSH)
This is VPN technology, which is sometimes referred to as network VPN. This can actually be implemented on a proprietary basis, within an organization or company. It’s often used in an Enterprise context where it can be deployed at scale for a large corporation and used by its employees for a range of functions (site-to-site, remote access, etc). In those cases, because the organization controls its own servers, it can still monitor its own traffic, while defending it from outside interference.
So, what is a VPN Service?
A VPN service refers to a commercial operation where users are either sold (or in the case of free VPNs, given access to) a product that supports multiple types of VPN technology. They typically come with some additional features and some even offer support. It ranges based on what you’re paying (or not paying) for.
Chances are, if you’ve arrived here you’re looking a VPN service – or service VPN, if you will – which is great because we can help with that . And if it’s not, and you’re interested in network VPN – we can help with that too.
But before you head on your way, here are a few things to consider when looking for a VPN.
Not all VPNs are created equal
Chances are you’ve already heard of a handful of VPNs, and some of them are probably high-end with plenty of features and bandwidth. But keep in mind, just because a VPN advertises doesn’t necessarily set it apart from its customers. Oftentimes quality VPN services invest their budgets in their infrastructure and focus more on the quality of the user experience.
That’s why it’s important to look for certain indicators before committing to a VPN. Marketing can mislead you, but a VPNs actual specifications and practices don’t.
- What VPN protocols does the service support?
- How many servers does the VPN service have?
- Where are these servers located geographically? (Proximity matters)
- Does the VPN service log any of your data? If so, what data?
- What operating systems does the service support?
- Does the service cater more towards business or personal users?
- Does the service offer residential/streaming IPs?
One last thing: you get what you pay for. Free VPNs are great if you can trust them and they support the VPN protocols. If you can’t check both of those boxes, you may want to consider finding a good deal on a paid VPN. Many of them offer discounts and coupons . It’s also typically cheaper to pay for a longer membership than going month-to-month.
If you’d like to see an unbiased ranking of the best VPNs, we took the time test out all of the market’s top CAs and produced this list of the Best VPN services.
If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment or contact us.