The Hitchhiker's Guide to VPNs

~5 min read | Published on 2023-05-17, tagged GuidesPrivacyVPN using 1097 words.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the most common tools that provide increased online security and privacy.

VPNs provide you with security and privacy by hiding your location by hiding your real IP address from the sites that you visit, protecting you from surveillance by your ISP, encrypting your data and protecting you when you use public WiFi networks, and helping you circumvent censorship.
There are tons of VPN providers to choose from. You should focus on selecting a VPN provider that meets your security needs.
Some of the most important factors to consider when selecting a VPN include;

VPN Protocols Implemented

A VPN protocol determines how data is encrypted and treasured between your device and the VPN's servers. VPN protocols are used to provide stable and secure connections.
Good VPN providers provide strong protocols such as WireGuard and OpenVPN.
WireGuard is the latest VPN protocol. It is open source and uses cryptography in its encryption, making it one of the fastest and most secure protocols available.
The most popular protocol. It is open source and is made up of configurable authentication, handshake, and encryption parts. You can configure the encryption schemes of these parts to your ideal settings to meet your security needs.
OpenVPN can bypass most restrictions and firewalls.


Reputable VPN providers should be able to provide you with their services without collecting unnecessary information that could put your privacy and security at risk.
They should for example not collect personal information during registration. They also must accept anonymous forms of payment i.e. cash or anonymous cryptocurrency such as monero.


The main reason for using a VPN is to secure your online activities. Worthwhile VPN providers ensure their services implement the latest and most secure encryption schemes by default.
The ideal Encryption Schemes for OpenVPN are: SHA-256 for authentication; at least RSA-2048 for handshake; and
AES-256-GCM for data encryption.
They should also implement additional security features such as:


To be able to trust A VPN provider with your internet data, the provider should be open about their ownership and leadership.
Trustworthy providers should be transparent about how they handle government requests. They should also provide regular reports regarding government requests if they receive any.
Good VPN providers should also be transparent in their marketing. Transparency in marketing can be demonstrated by providing educational information on privacy and anonymity including on the limitations of VPNs and when use of Tor.

Additional Features

Other factors you could consider include adblocking, warrant canaries, ease of use, customer support, the number of allowed simultaneous connections, etc.

Recommended VPNs


Mullvad is a VPN provider based in Sweden that focuses on transparency and security. Mullvad has servers in 43 countries.

You can access Mullvad's website via Tor through their onion address.


IVPN is another transparency and security-focused VPN provider. IVPN is based in Gibraltar and has services in 35 Countries.

Using a reputable VPN provider will significantly increase your online security and privacy. Using a VPN should not stop you from taking additional measures to protect yourself.
VPNs do not provide you with anonymity, when looking for anonymity just use Tor.