VPN Advantages and Disadvantages – Do You Really Need to Use a VPN?

Are you concerned about how companies use your data? Or the government, for that matter?

Privacy continues to be an important topic of discussion in today’s digital economy. As data breaches and security threats prevail, are we really doing enough to protect ourselves online?

In this article, we will discuss the use of a VPN and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of having it connected to your device.

What is a VPN?

A VPN, or a virtual private network, allows you to stay secure on the internet. VPNs encrypt your data and act as a privacy measure to shield your identity. When you use a VPN you are connected to a private server that accesses the internet on your behalf.  VPNs masks your IP address, meaning that it hides location and device.

The VPN is NOT an internet connection. It’s just a secure way to access the internet. 

Do I need a VPN?

You may not need a VPN if you are just surfing websites using your home wifi. However, it is recommended to change the default wifi password on your router as hackers may be able to find out the router and default password.

If you use public wifi, you should certainly consider a VPN. Using your personal details such as name, password, address, and postcode is a very risky business while using public wifi. 

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Think about if you were a homeowner. You wouldn’t leave the door open for people to come in and invade your private space now would you?

As the internet becomes a more indispensable part of peoples’ lives, hackers find innovative ways to exploit people’s personal and business information, which could lead to serious financial losses. As a result, many people are now opting for a VPN.

More than 26% of all internet users rely on VPN services.

-Global Web Index
VPN Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of a VPN

Why use a VPN? There are certainly many factors to consider when making our decision. We discuss the advantages and implications of using a VPN below.

Access Entertaining Content

The VPN can trick the internet into thinking you are in a different location. This is ideal when you are travelling and you want to access news and entertainment.

For example, you may be currently located in Vietnam but you want to trick your device into believing you are actually in London. You can do this by using a VPN.

A VPN might be a good idea if you want to use services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, for example. You will be able to access shows not even available in that location.

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Access Social Media and Other Restricted Sites

The same applies to social media and restricted websites. There are countries that restrict or censor certain websites or social media platforms.

By using a VPN and downloading it BEFORE you go to the location in question, you can easily catch up with the latest and talk to your friends.

Cheaper Goods and Services

Goods and services may be priced differently depending on your geographic location.

These pricing tactics may seem unfair, as businesses, such as airlines, segment their customers.

Who wants to pay a high-end price for a flight? I teach English online and I know my pay rate with the company is affected by my location so this is an important measure to take. 

You can actually avoid price discrimination and save money by using a VPN.

Please note that this may not always work 100% of the time, as there may be cookies on your browser. This way the websites remember you. Be also sure to clear your cache while using the VPN.

The cache files are junk files and temporary data stored on your browser from websites. You can safely clear your cache without worrying about losing important information.

Save Money with VPN

Easy to Use

You don’t have to be tech-savvy to use a VPN. 

VPN providers walk you through the set-up. They make it easy and accessible to all their users, so that people can use their internet securely.

How to Use a VPN?

  • Download the VPN and install. You can use it on many devices.
  • Connect to the internet and start up your VPN.
  • Choose a location server and enjoy it!
  • When choosing the most suitable VPN, make sure that it has platform compatibility, high speed, no hidden fees and is available in many countries.

When choosing the most suitable VPN, make sure that it has platform compatibility, high speed, no hidden fees and is available in many countries.

Can be used by individuals or businesses

Regardless of the field that you work in, everyone can use a VPN. Whether you are an employee who wants to access blocked sites at work, a traveller who wants to connect to a hotel wifi or a businessman trying to encrypt your internet traffic, a VPN is a good safety net.

Connect to Multiple Devices

You can connect many devices to your VPN, including but not limited to your tablet, your phone, laptop or computer.

For the devices that don’t support VPN applications, such as some gaming consoles, you may have to set up a VPN connection on your router. You can then access the web through the router. Make sure to choose a VPN company that provides ongoing customer support who can help you set up your VPN at home for multiple users.

Protection

It keeps your data secure. Many people don’t understand how easy it is to spy on someone through a public Wi-Fi network.

A VPN provides an extra layer of protection for privacy. If you use public Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or hotel, seriously consider using a VPN.

For example, if you were at the airport and you wanted to perform a transaction with your bank account, you will have to enter your password and details. Advanced hackers have the ability to spy and hack into your device because you are not using a VPN. You could potentially lose thousands.

VPN Security

Keep your Activities Private

A priority for VPNs is to NOT allow your activities to be tracked. This provides privacy when surfing online.

Peer-to-Peer Networking or Torrenting 

If you are using a torrent site, you will definitely need a VPN. ISPs do not like torrenting and you may not even be able to access the torrenting site without a VPN.

Disadvantages of a VPN

Having discussed the advantages of the VPN, we will now look at some of the known issues people have. Here are the disadvantages of using a VPN:

Internet speed

VPNs can slow down internet speed. There is an extra path in the process to encrypt and decrypt your data so this can reduce your speed. 

Encrypting and rerouting your traffic reduces the speed of your internet. However, it may not be very noticeable if you have a high CPU and good bandwidth. It also depends on the VPN you choose, as some slow down the internet speed more than others.

Free VPNs are particularly slow. Make sure that whatever VPN that has little impact on speed.

Connectivity Issues

Sometimes users experience a drop in connectivity. When this happens, your real IP address can be exposed and you will have to reconnect with the VPN.

If you don’t want to lose your anonymity, you will need a VPN with a kill switch feature to disconnect your internet immediately when the service is lost.

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Personal VPN

Free VPNs are unreliable and not suitable for sensitive data. They can sometimes sell your information or display lots of ads, basically doing the opposite of what you intended.

A paid VPN is necessary for proper encryption. The paid VPNs also have a faster speed. You can perform a speed test to check how fast the VPN is. Make sure to choose a VPN that doesn’t keep logs of your online activities or IP addresses.

Recommended VPN:

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the best VPN on the market in 2020 due to its 24/7 customer support, best speeds and wide range of servers and locations.

Why Choose ExpressVPN?

  • Many Servers Around the World: Only links to premium, high-quality servers. 3000+ Servers in +150 countries. Connect to different locations in a matter of seconds.
  • High-Speed: High-powered VPN built for speed. Currently the server has the best download speed and you can take advantage of this when using platforms like Netflix 
  • Great for Travelling: Works in countries where there are many restrictions, such as China and UAE.
  • Privacy and Security: They cannot keep logs on what you are doing. Their priority concern is to never log your IP address, DNS queries, traffic destination, metadata or browsing history.
  • Connect all Your Devices: Using a router app, you can connect all your devices quick and easy. This way, everyone in your home is protected even when they don’t have a subscription
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • 24/7 live chat and email support

BEST DEAL FOR EXPRESSVPN: Get 3 months free here with the annual plan.

Express VPN

Overall

I wouldn’t risk your private data and passwords while travelling and relying on public wifi. Hiding crucial information such as your credit card or company details will avoid costly hassle in the long run.

If you are using private wifi, make sure to change the default password on the router to prevent hacks. Take protective measures to ensure you are safe browsing on the internet!

What are your thoughts on internet security? Please let us know in the comments section below.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

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I am an online English teacher from Ireland with a writing addiction. My talents include being more productive than 98% of Grammarly users and teaching online before it even became trendy. This blog aims to help educate you on the existing possibilities of becoming an online teacher.

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