Choosing Your VPN Provider: The Bandwidth Question


Bandwidth is one of the defining aspects of just about every type of network access product available. Your cellular phone plan likely has a bandwidth cap on it and your home Internet connection, though the bandwidth may not be limited, has a limit on how fast your Internet access actually is. VPN services are no different in this regard. To break things into the simplest possible categories, there are two types of VPN providers: those who have bandwidth limits on their services and those who do not.

Are Limits too Restrictive?

Bandwidth limited plans from VPN providers can actually be quite economical for some users. For example, if you only use your VPN access when you are using your computer for business purposes, a bandwidth limited plan may be just right for you. They’re generally more affordable than unlimited plans and, if you do happen to run out of bandwidth, you can always buy a more generous plan when you need one.

If you’re interested in going the route of a bandwidth limited plan, the logical way to do it is to start out with the lowest possible amount you think you’ll need. Upgrade if you need to but, if you don’t, you’ll end up only paying as much as you need to for your VPN service. There are plenty of providers out there that will also offer you a bandwidth limited plan so that you can try out their service. You can use this to your advantage.

Most of the time, these free trial accounts will have fairly low amounts of bandwidth allotted to them. If you manage to use the free trial account for an entire month without going over, you know that you don’t need a great deal of bandwidth to accommodate your Internet usage. Trying out a few different providers can give you an opportunity to try out different bandwidth limits and see which ones work for you and which ones do not.

Unlimited Plans

Unlimited bandwidth plans for VPN access are generally quite a bit more expensive than limited plans but, that being said, they are precisely the right plans for some users. There are definitely Internet users out there whose privacy concerns mean that they would prefer to surf with a VPN on at all times. Unlimited bandwidth providers provide an easy way to do this.

Be aware that you may end up paying a considerably higher amount for your VPN access if you go with one of these providers. Some of the VPN providers that offer unlimited access, however, offer additional services on top of the VPN they provide. In some cases, the VPN access is logically tied in with other services, such as USENET access or encrypted file storage. This has the effect of making a great business package for users who work out of their homes and who need all of these services bundled together in some affordable way.

Testing the Waters

One of the things you’ll want to make certain of is that your VPN provider is fast enough for your Internet usage. If all you need to do with your VPN is access your e-mail securely and send the occasional file, you shouldn’t need a particularly fast connection. Any VPN provider is going to slow down your Internet connection at least to some degree. At the very least, it will slow down because your computer will have to decrypt the webpages and other information you get as it receives them. This is not as much of a concern these days as bandwidth, however.

The easiest way to determine whether or not you need an unlimited plan is to simply sign up for a VPN provider and see how much bandwidth you actually use. Most of them will allow you to access this information on your account page, which can give you an idea of whether or not you need to expand your plan in the future.

Michael Maxstead provides VPN reviews and information at Visit for more information on how to use VPN and choose the right service for you.

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