There is a lot more involved in assessing VPN access than looking at the technical details. For most people, signing up for a VPN provider isn’t about technology: it’s about privacy. Privacy protection and how far your VPN provider is willing to go to ensure it should be one of the first considerations you have when you’re choosing a VPN service. Depending upon your usage habits and what you need the service to protect, your requirements will be vastly different.
VPN providers have different policies regarding user log files. Most of them guarantee that they will delete those files after a certain amount of time. Remember, however, that any VPN provider you choose is required to abide by the laws that apply in their home nation. For example, if you were up to something illegal and your user logs were subpoenaed, it would be likely that the VPN provider would have to give them up. Of course, doing anything illegal is against the terms of service for just about every VPN provider out there, which means that you’re the one who actually went against the stated agreement.
Some VPN providers offer payment methods that are more anonymous than others. These are typically most useful to people who are located in nations where they could get in trouble for using a VPN at all. Remember that your VPN may well be a business expense, however. If you’re really worried about privacy, look for a provider that accepts Bitcoin, money orders through the mail or other forms of payment that are virtually untraceable. If you want to make certain that your VPN expenses are traceable for tax purposes, choose one of the many providers that use PayPal or credit card payments or any other easily traceable form of payment.
Jurisdictional layering is a privacy technique that has some similarities with incorporating your business in a nation with no disclosure requirements or having a Swiss bank account. The idea is that you ensure your privacy from legal intrusions by buying your VPN service from a nation that doesn’t have any agreements with your home nation as far as honoring requests for information goes. Panama is a popular choice for this. Russian VPN providers sometimes advertise their services as being useful to businesses that are interested in this, as well.
VPN providers that put themselves out there as good choices because of jurisdictional layering usually advertise the fact that there is a language barrier between their nation and the home nations of most of their users, which makes it extremely difficult to even get a request for information acknowledged. Again, the point of this is not making it possible to engage in illegal activity but simply to provide insulation against intrusion and to increase the level of privacy that businesses have online.
Not every VPN provider is going to let you use their network for whatever purposes you want in terms of protocols. For example, many VPN providers restrict the use of bit torrent trackers on their VPN networks. The ones that do so usually impose these limitations because of the amount of bandwidth that the protocols in question consume.
When you’re looking for VPN providers, be aware that the ones that are more oriented towards business users will be the ones most likely to restrict torrent usage. If you’re simply tired of your ISP choking your bandwidth because you use bit torrent now and then, you’ll want a VPN provider that allows you to do it. You can use a proxy service, in some cases, as well, though it doesn’t offer the same levels of protection that you get from a true VPN.