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How to Choose a VPN Service

Have you decided that you want a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service? That must mean you understand the advantages of a VPN and are ready to take the next step.

As you've probably realized, there are hundreds of VPN services to choose from. Some VPNs are outstanding for certain things, but not so great for others. As such, knowing exactly what you want to do with your VPN can help you to decide on the perfect VPN service for you.

In this guide, we take a look at the most common reasons that people come to looking for a VPN recommendation. That way you can quickly and easily navigate to the right 'five best VPNs' list for your needs.

What Is Your VPN for?

When it comes to selecting a VPN, the most common reasons fall into various categories.

 Click the links below to jump to a section relevant to your needs.


What you need: Lightning fast connection speeds.

You can use a VPN to pretend to be in a different country or to conceal what you're doing from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Either way, a VPN service is a massive advantage for people who like to stream content. 

If you want to live stream content, and/or stream high quality HD videos, then your VPN will need to be reliable, secure, and provide lightning-fast connection speeds.

For more information: Five best VPNs for streaming


What you need: A secure service that permits P2P activity.

Many people want a VPN for torrenting. Downloading via peer-to-peer (P2P) technology can open you up to possible cyberattacks at the hands of hackers. In addition, many governments around the world flag up internet users at the ISP level for torrenting (because they know many people use BitTorrent for piracy). 

A VPN is the best way to protect yourself from other users connected to the same peer (by concealing your true IP address). It's also the best way to gain digital privacy so you can torrent in secrecy.

For more information: By using a VPN, torrent sites are a lot safe, for more see our best VPN for torrents guide.


What you need: A secure service with a large coverage of servers.

Gamers often want a VPN in order to connect to a different nation’s game servers and play against other users who speak their native language. In addition, people who play in online gaming tournaments can use a VPN to protect themselves against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks at the hands of other players. Whatever your reason for wanting a VPN for gaming, it's vital the VPN has the very best tier servers (because gaming is notoriously data heavy).

For more information: Best Gaming VPN, VPN on Xbox One, VPN for PS4.

Unblocking Content (Sport/TV)

What you need: A robust VPN with servers in specific countries.

Perhaps the most common reason for wanting a VPN is to unblock content. A VPN can overcome both government censorship and geo-restrictions. A VPN can also overcome annoying restrictions that workplaces, schools, universities, colleges, and sometimes even landlords enforce. You can also use it to overcome ISP-imposed restrictions. 

With a VPN, you can unblock content from another nation to access its geo-restricted TV channels and sports events. You can also pretend to be back home when you go on vacation or move abroad, so that you can use geo-restricted services while you're there. 

For more information: Please navigate to one of the following articles, depending on what you would like to unblock.

Please note: For anybody wanting to unblock a specific service that isn’t on this list, please refer to the list of countries below and select the appropriate article for the service you want. For example, if you want to watch Ten Play, then select Australia. If you're looking for an Australian VPN take a look at our best VPN for Australia guide. 

For Specific Operating Systems

What you need: An all-round VPN service that's compatible with your chosen operating system.

Some people simply want a great all-round VPN that is specifically designed for their particular device’s operating system (OS). Some VPNs have better software for certain platforms than others, so this is a solid way to approach finding the right VPN.

For more information: Please click through to one of the following articles to find the best VPN for your device.

For Privacy

What you need: A VPN with high-grade encryption and keeps no user logs.

Some people want a VPN that is particularly good for privacy.

For more information: 5 Best no-logs VPNs

For Routers

What you need: A VPN service with the functionality to be installed on a router.

Others prefer to install a VPN on their router to protect all the devices on their network. This is a good option if you want to protect multiple devices with encryption, or you want to pretend to be in a different country while using those devices.

However, it is also worth noting that there are some issues surrounding VPNs on routers. This is due to the KRACK vulnerability. As such, please keep up to date with these issues and their impact. 

For more information: Here are the best VPNs for routers articles that you need.

For a Specific Country

What you need: A VPN service with servers near or in your chosen region.

A final useful way of selecting a VPN is by country. Some people want to unblock services from a specific country. However, not all VPNs have superb servers in all countries. 

This list of articles will help you to select a VPN for the country that interests you:

How to Choose a VPN Service - Conclusion 

In this article, we've attempted to list as many of the specific articles that has as possible. However, we provide so many useful articles that it's possible that some have slipped through the net! If you're looking for a VPN for something that isn’t in this article, please search for it using the search tool at the top right of this page. 

If you still can’t find what you are looking for, leave us a message below so that we can look into making a page that meets your requirements.

Title image credit: spaxiax/

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 


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