One of the biggest motivators behind those who sign up for VPN services like Tunnelbear is a desire for privacy and security. And while most VPNs deliver a blanket degree of anonymity to begin with, it might be worth going the extra mile and making sure your privacy is protected properly - especially if that’s the reason you’re getting a VPN in the first place.
I care about privacy - what features matter in a VPN?
It’s always worth taking a look at the fine print before you sign up for anything and VPNs are no exception.
The first thing you want to look for here is logging policies. If the VPN you’re looking at doesn’t have a no-log policy, you might want to resist the urge to sign up with them - particularly if you’re conscious about your privacy (which, if you’re looking at setting yourself up with a VPN, you probably are).
A no-log policy is essentially an assurance from your VPN provider that they don’t keep logs of your online activity. The need or desire to surf the web in private is one of the biggest reasons people sign up for VPNs but if your VPN doesn’t have a no-log policy, your search history is probably not as anonymous as you think.
Beyond just a no-login policy, you’ll also want to look into whether your potential VPN comes with any extras like firewalls or ad-blockers. For example, SurfShark has a feature called CleanWeb built into their mobile app. This automatically shields you from ads, trackers and other phishing attempts. It’s not quite a necessity but, if you’re using your VPN a lot, it’s definitely nice to have.
The same goes for kill-switches. VPNs with kill-switches will automatically cuts your internet connection completely if they detect even the slightest disruption on the end of your VPN. This way, even if your VPN fails you - your anonymity is still completely protected.
The last thing worth investigating is whether or not your VPN operates in a country belonging to a multilateral security agreement like Five Eyes or 14 Eyes. There are no guarantees here but, since VPNs based in countries belonging to those coalitions can sometimes be compelled by government or law enforcement organisations to share information they collect on their customers.
Our Pick - ExpressVPN
Express VPN is a little pricier than some of the other options out there. However, if you’re privacy or security-minded, there are more than enough features here to make the case for it.
Based in the British Virgin Islands
3,000+ servers in 94 countries
$12.95 per month
6 months at $9.99 per month
1 year at $8.32 per month
Up to 5 devices at a time
Other Options - NordVPN
Based in Panama
5,000+ servers in 60 countries
$11.95 per month
1 year at $6.99 per month
2 years at $4.99 per month
3 years at $3.49 per month
Up to 6 devices at the same time