Thanks to evolving work cultures, millions of people today are either working remotely or working as freelancers. You could be working out of your home, a coffee shop or have embraced the digital nomad lifestyle – the opportunities of work flexibility are endless.
However, with these benefits comes the risk of being connected and dependent on the internet wherever you go. The risk of connecting to a public WiFi network is far too real, from backdoor access to data theft, the list is practically endless.
This is where a VPN comes in. VPN or Virtual Private Network uses an encrypted internet connection to keep your data safe. As a remote working professional or digital nomad, it is important to take care of your cybersecurity needs. Apart from this, using a VPN gives you access to content that’s otherwise restricted in particular countries.
What To Look For When Selecting a VPN
Not all VPN services are the same. Although they might provide a similar service, there are many differentiating factors when it comes to selecting the best VPNs for remote work. These factors decide the benefit you get and the value for money that the providers give through their VPN services.
Security is one of the main reasons why you should get a VPN service. The service of a VPN is highly dependent on the level of security it provides. A VPN service should use the best encryption technology – if at all a third-party manages to gain access, they should not be able to decrypt your data.
2. No-Logs Policy
A reliable VPN service should have a strict ‘no-logs’ policy. What this means is that they do not store any sensitive data. This protects you even if there is a security breach or any unforeseen government intervention.
3. Internet Speed
Using a VPN service can slow down the speed at which you browse the internet. While selecting a VPN service, make sure that it provides high-speed internet access, otherwise, you’ll be stuck with an average browsing speed.
4. Customer Support
Using a VPN is fairly easy. However, there are times when you can’t figure out a particular setting or the VPN isn’t working the way its supposed to even if you’ve tried everything. This is when a good support team comes in handy.
5. Server Network
As a digital nomad or a frequent traveler, you want a reliable VPN service. This translates to a wide range of server network all across the globe. A close server equals a better VPN experience.
6. Bandwidth Usage
VPN usage often comes with bandwidth limits. This means that your data is at risk right from the moment your limit runs out. Before selecting a VPN service, consider ones that offer unlimited bandwidth.
Selecting The Right VPN
After looking at the basic criteria that will help you choose the best VPNs for digital nomads, it’s important to compare the available VPN providers that are most suited for a nomadic lifestyle.
NordVPN offers plans that range from $3.49/month to $11.95/per month. NordVPN has 5200+ servers in 62 countries, and is one of the more well-known VPN providers. They also offer a full 30-day refund if you wish to cancel.
They offer P2P, dedicated IP servers, double VPN servers and more. NordVPN has a strict no logs of user activity, offering up to 6 simultaneous connections, works in China and has a 24/7 live chat.
ExpressVPN has been around since 2009 and offers many benefits to its users. The company has higher than average pricing at $6.69/month along with a kill-switch if a VPN network fails. ExpressVPN offers the choice of choosing your server locations but has limited control settings for advanced users.
Romania-based CyberGhost VPN offers access to 3000 servers over 60 countries. CyberGhost has a strong focus on Europe along with a strong protocol and encryption practices. It is best for those who seek a long-term plan and ideal for streaming and torrent downloads.
While the company is out of Europe’s 14 Eyes jurisdiction, it also uses Hotjar which is a session-recording script even though it has a no-log policy. CyberGhost has limited payment options such as Credit Card, PayPal or BitPay.
PureVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is a high level of encryption, thus ensuring a secure network. It also offers a generous 31-day refund policy and accepts Bitcoin. It has features like Kill Switch, Multiport, VPN Hotspot, Split Tunneling, and over 2,000 servers.
However, the download speeds are often slow, the customer support is insufficient and there are connectivity issues with some servers.
IPVanish is a US-based VPN service provider with 1,300+ servers (and counting) across more than 75 different countries (primarily located in Europe and North America). It supports multiple devices and P2P sharing and torrent downloads. Its encryption and protocol are high-end AES 256-bit, OpenVPN, SOCKS5.
The only major con is that IPVanish has slow customer support. The lack of live chat can dampen the user experience, especially when it comes to a crisis situation.
HideMyAss is an easy-to-use VPN service. It has 940+ VPN servers in 280+ locations, spread all across the globe. HideMyAss is a great option for multi-device connectivity as it offers simultaneous connections for upto 5 devices. It also offers a 7-day free trial and a 30-day cancellation policy.
HideMyAss belongs to UK-Based Privax LTD, which makes it compliant to intelligence sharing under Five Eyes jurisdiction between the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States.
Private Internet Access or PIA has been around since 2010. It allows users to choose connection protocol and offers various anonymous forms of payment. The payment plans are far cheaper than most VPN services ranging from $6.95 to $3.33 monthly.
PIA does offer ease of use and a simple interface, however, the UI is pretty dated and the simplicity and ease of usage also mean that there aren’t a lot of advanced options when it comes to usage and customization settings.
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