You’ve probably heard about VPNs, also known as Virtual Private Networks. They are more popular than ever. However, not everyone is aware of what a VPN can offer them. That’s why today we’re going to talk about the real pros and cons of having a VPN. With that information in mind, you’ll be able to decide if you should get one or not!
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network is an online service that you can use to unblock restricted content on the internet and protect your online data. You can see it as a secure tunnel between the internet and your devices.
The pros of VPNs
There are a lot of pros of using a VPN service:
1. You can hide your IP address and protect your privacy
Your IP address is your online identity. With a VPN you can change your IP address. This helps to hide your online identity from apps, websites, and services that want to track your online behavior.
2. You can unblock websites
Have you ever gotten the message: “Sorry, the content you requested is not available in your area.” This is a geo-block. Some countries block websites such as Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube. With a VPN you can unblock these websites and bypass geo-blocks.
3. VPNs secure your online connections
Free public WiFi networks can be found everywhere nowadays. They are super easy to use and are especially useful when you have a tight mobile data plan. However, we all know that free WiFi networks are often not the safest. This means that when you use them, you might be putting your personal data in danger. Hackers can easily steal your banking details, address, and login details. With a VPN you don’t have to worry about this, because your personal data is encrypted.
4. You can change your location
When a VPS changes your IP address, it can also change your online location in the world. Depending on the VPN service you choose, you can browse the internet as if you were in the United States, the UK, Canada, Japan, or the Netherlands.
5. It can make your online gaming experience better
With a VPN you’ll be able to play in different geographical regions, play games that are banned, avoid unfair IP bans, and protect yourself from DDoS attacks.
6. VPNs can help you avoid price discrimination
Some websites sometimes like to show different prices on their website, depending on the location of the visitor. Online retailers, car rental sites, and airline companies do this to drive more profit. However, it isn’t fair to pay more than others for the same product only because of your location.
Since you can hide your IP address and your location with a VPN, it makes it possible to get better prices.
The cons of VPNs
Even though there aren’t a lot of cons of using a VPN, it’s worth to mention them:
1. Using a wrong VPN can be dangerous
The goal of a VPN is to protect your personal information. However, there are a lot of free VPNs that do the complete opposite.
2. A high-quality VPN costs money
To prevent using an inexperienced VPN service, you can pay for high-quality VPN services. The downside is that these often cost money.
3. A VPN can slow down your online speed
The speed of your VPN depends on a lot of factors such as how far you are from the VPN server, what kind of VPN protocol you use, how powerful the encryption is, and more. Your online speed doesn’t always slow down, but it can definitely happen.
4. VPNs don’t work with every device
Whilst VPNs are becoming more and more popular, not all devices support them. This means that you will have to set up the VPN yourself on the device that you want to use.
There are many more advantages of using a VPN than there are disadvantages. Whether you should purchase one depends on how you use the internet and what you want to do with it. Overall a VPN is a great choice if you want to use the internet safely and avoid geo-blocks.
Do you want more privacy? Then it’s a good idea to block “browser fingerprinting” techniques. More about this in the next blog!