In a time when everyone is trying to steal your personal information, a VPN can help you avoid that by keeping your online connections secure and private. While the promises of military-grade security or complete invisibility might be tempting, Consumer Reports Yael Grauer suggests that you look for more proof of a service you are considering is legitimate.

An excellent first step is compatibility – search for a service that can support at a minimum the most popular operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS. You’ll need to know how many devices are supported by the service and how many connections it can support simultaneously. You should also check the number of pros and cons of using protegent servers that are available and their locations around world. This can help you choose the server closest to home or offers fast speeds when traveling to another country.

Certain services offer specific features, such as dedicated ‘Netflix’ servers that unblock geo-restricted websites, or additional security measures, like RAM-only servers (which erase data every time the service reboots), dark web monitoring and security measures to protect against threats. Check the ownership structure of the company and determine if it has been involved in privacy breaches or privacy scandals in the past.

NordVPN was the best overall service that we test. It offers thousands of servers across 94 countries. It also provides AES-256 encryption and ChaCha20. a reliable Kill Switch split tunneling system, as well as an encrypted server. It’s also one of the few providers to publish its detailed no-logs policy and engages PricewaterhouseCoopers for annual audits. The cost isn’t cheap but you get plenty for your money. A long-term plan that is generous includes a 30 day money-back guarantee.