A VPN can safeguard your data by ensuring that your connections are secure and secure. While the promises of military-grade security or complete invisibleness may appeal to you, Consumer Reports Yael Grauer suggests that you look for more concrete proof that the service you’re considering is legitimate.

Start by checking compatibility. The service should be compatible with at least the most popular operating systems, such as Windows, macOS and Linux, Android, and iOS. It is important to know the number of devices supported by the service and how many connections it can support simultaneously. Also, take a take a look at the number of available servers and their locations around the world. This can help you pick one close to your home or one with high speeds for those traveling across the globe.

Certain services offer special features, such as dedicated « Netflix servers that do not block geo-restricted services, or other security measures, such as RAM-only servers (which erase data every time the service reboots), dark web monitoring and threat protection. Check the ownership structure of the company and determine if there have been any privacy breaches or privacy scandals in the past.

The best overall service we tried was NordVPN, which has thousands of servers spread across 94 countries AES-256 encryption and ChaCha20, an effective kill switch split tunneling, obfuscated and split tunneling servers. It’s also one of the few providers to publish its detailed no-logs policy and engages PricewaterhouseCoopers for annual audits. It’s not cheap, but you get plenty for your money. A long-term plan that is generous includes a 30-day guarantee on money back.