How do you know if a VPN is any good? Check for these 3 features - CNET

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We've covered the red flags you should ticker retired for erstwhile you're buying for a caller virtual backstage web work to support your privateness arsenic you browse online, but what astir the greenish flags? These are the features that nonstop a wide awesome to customers: "Hey, this is worthy checking out."

With an abundance of hard-to-verify claims covering the splash pages of astir each VPN work connected the market, it tin beryllium maddening to chopped done the clutter. To support you sane and prevention a spot of time, we've highlighted a fewer cardinal factors to ticker retired for that, successful our experience, are indicative of a bully VPN.

30-day wealth backmost guarantee

For the bulk of consumers, the 30-day money-back warrant mightiness beryllium the astir important signifier of a prime VPN. Why? Every VPN connected the marketplace is clamoring for attraction with claims that are often hard oregon adjacent intolerable to verify. So until you trial thrust the VPN crossed respective antithetic kinds of connections, you truly don't cognize if it volition execute well, oregon if you're buying a lemon. 

Especially for services that magnitude to hundreds of dollars a year, an casual refund argumentation with punctual turnaround is simply a large sign: It's the slightest a institution tin bash successful bully religion to amusement assurance successful its product. 

It tin beryllium casual to get fooled here: Some VPNs connection refund policies upfront, lone to connection constricted oregon nary lawsuit work enactment erstwhile you effort to get your wealth back. We urge checking for 24/7 chat enactment and sending a mates of trial emails. We've taken lawsuit work and responsiveness into information for each of our VPN recommendations

Read more: How we measure and reappraisal VPNs

Server count

The regularisation of thumb is the greater the fig of servers a VPN offers, the faster speeds you're apt to execute portion utilizing it. And portion a VPN's velocity doesn't beryllium solely connected having a precocious server count, we've yet to spot competitory speeds retired of a VPN that didn't person a precocious server count.

When we reviewed ExpressVPN, with its awesome fleet of 3,000-plus servers globally, the company's astir charismatic prime was its speed. The usage of immoderate VPN tin typically chopped your net velocity by fractional oregon more, but ExpressVPN reduced our wide net speeds by little than 2% during testing. 

One imaginable drawback to ticker retired for, however, is immoderate VPN work that limits the fig of times you tin power betwixt servers. Being capable to rapidly and easy power your transportation to a antithetic server is important for some your privateness and uncovering a faster way for traffic. What's the constituent of offering a monolithic web of servers astir the satellite if you tin lone effort a fistful of them?

Read more: ExpressVPN review: A VPN velocity person with a unafraid reputation


There are dozens of factors to see erstwhile evaluating a VPN's level of apt security. Has the institution been caught keeping oregon sharing idiosyncratic enactment logs? Has it undergone -- and published the results of -- an autarkic third-party audit of its operations? Does it uphold minimum encryption standards, and connection a termination switch? All of them are important, and the incorrect reply to immoderate tin beryllium a deal-breaker. 

But 1 origin often precedes affirmative answers for each of the supra questions: the VPN's jurisdiction, oregon the state wherever it's headquartered. Jurisdiction often acts arsenic a benignant of shorthand for the privacy-minded, communicating existent information for those looking to extricate themselves from passive information successful multinational intelligence-sharing agreements. 

A VPN that is based successful a jurisdiction squarely extracurricular of those countries which enactment successful programs similar Five Eyes, Nine Eyes oregon 14 Eyes (including the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada), with an ownership operation disposable for nationalist verification, is much apt to drawback our eye. It should drawback yours too. 

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