A virtual private network or VPN is a software tool that keeps your identity and browsing habits confidential. It protects your data from being used for identity theft and can be used to show a different location from where you are in reality. VPNs are popular for streaming services like Netflix to get additional content, and they can add additional security to your online activity.
The most important feature for any software that you use is to protect you from viruses, hackers, and malicious software that could infect your system. To learn about the most valuable security features to look for in VPN software, take a look at the following six aspects.
It’s standard nowadays for software programs to be compatible with any device including smartphones. VPNs are no different and they need to be compatible with Android OS, Apple, Mac, Windows, and Linux. The true value of a VPN can be evaluated by the support it provides through different devices.
Many people regularly connect to public Wi-Fi, which can be a security risk if they do any banking. VPNs are designed to protect you against these types of threats, so be sure to look for a provider that supports whatever device you are using.
Variety of Server Locations
The objective of a VPN is to hide your data by encrypting it to run between your device and the VPN server using a technique called tunneling. When a shopping or streaming website has geoblocking enabled, you may not be able to pick up the same content. The VPN provider essentially replaces the client’s IP address with one from its web server. The customer then chooses which geographical location they want their device to be recognized under, and the system does the rest.
This means VPN providers need to have a vast variety of web server locations for customers to access. The more locations a VPN service has to offer the better your security and identity will be protected.
Additional Security Protocols
All VPN software that is credible will have a minimum of five additional security protocols in place for your protection. These include Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2), Point-to-Point Tunneling (PPT), layer two tunnelings (L2T), secure socket tunneling (SST), and OpenVPN.
- The SST protocol uses secure HTTPS to travel through traffic quicker, and it has firewalls to block other protocols.
- The PPT protocol uses encryption to protect the transmission of information.
- L2T is a combination of PPT and layer 2 forwarding (L2F), which also uses encryption protocols to transmit data.
- IKEv2 uses the IPSec-based protocol to securely re-establish a VPN connection that has been lost.
- OpenVPN is open-source software that allows all of these VPN technologies to be integrated with secure connections for remote capability.
All of these individual protocols work on a deeper level in the system to allow a person remote access to different services and security measures. Without these five in place, the VPN software likely won’t give you a robust enough layer of protection. These protocol layers allow you to securely download a VPN without worry. If you want to download a VPN, check out Atlas VPN. This software allows unlimited devices to be connected with 4K streamlining capability and uses all five of these protocols.
There is no online system that is completely safe from hackers or IP leaks. VPN providers know this, and so a kill switch is included in the service to keep your information safe. A kill switch works by monitoring your connection, and if at any point it drops, the system shuts down any transmission of data. This is because for those few seconds that your connection is down, you are the most vulnerable to IP address detection.
The switch quite effectively stops your IP from being leaked and protects any unencrypted data from being sent over the internet. For a secure VPN service, look for one that has the kill switch internally embedded in the software. Some providers choose to switch this off by default, so you should only purchase one that has it included.
No Logging Policy
A no-log policy is one where the business agrees not to store any of your information no matter how insignificant. Your browsing activity, however, is one of the areas that need to be logged in the case police authorities need it as evidence. Your name, email address, and other personal information shouldn’t be kept though. Look carefully through the terms and conditions of the VPN provider and identify how they structure their no-log policy.
Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems
Comparable to a firewall or antivirus that protects you from malware intrusion prevention systems (IPS) work to identify suspicious activity that may harm your device by searching for patterns and sequences of malicious software. Intrusion detection systems (IDS) use machine learning to accurately detect when these patterns or sequences arise and take action against it.
Both IDS and IPS are complementary to the existing firewalls and antiviruses the provider has integrated into the software. Currently, it is the most effective way to keep customers’ personal information private and secure while they are online. A VPN that has different levels of ad blockers and firewalls combined with IPS and IDS can provide you additional security that subpar programs just cannot.
By looking out for these security features, you can find an effective and efficient VPN service that protects all of your personal information when you are online. The price you pay will determine which features you receive, so make sure to check all the available plans that have these six elements included.
Jack is a software tester who has been working in the industry for over 10 years. He has a lot of knowledge and experience to share, and he loves to help others learn and grow in their careers. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing chess and spending time with his family.
Jack is a professional who tests computer software for defects and usability. He works in the software development life cycle to find and report problems with the software and is often involved in manual or automated testing.
As a software tester, Jack plays an important part in the software development process because he ensures that the software is defect-free and meets the needs of the end users. He understands this fact and writes about the role of software testing in his articles in Software Tested.