People are living in such a world where there is an extreme threat to their internet security and safety. To curtail this threat, you might be thinking of some best ways to protect your data and personal information. One of the best solutions is to use a VPN. Many people in the world are still unaware of VPN service and what features it offers.
If you are thinking about the benefits a VPN offers, then you have come across the correct location. But before talking about the pros and cons of VPN services, we must first understand the terminology.
What does VPN stand for?
In the present time, understanding a VPN is a must. A VPN, i.e., Virtual Private Network, is a service that allows access to geographically restricted websites and virtual content. It helps protect your sensitive data and private information from cyber criminals like hackers by masking your IP address and providing a layer of encryption to your internet connection. A VPN has two utmost features, which are of prime importance. They are:
- SAFETY and SECURITY
How does a VPN work?
To establish a secure internet connection, a VPN depends on two essential key elements, i.e., a VPN server and a VPN client. What you need to do is to install the VPN client on your device and then connect it to a VPN server.
When a user connects through a VPN, an encrypted tunnel establishes between a client and a server, which helps in encrypting data and sustaining privacy and security.
A VPN client allows a user to send the encrypted data to the internet, and the VPN server decrypts this data for the internet. When the sent data is received, the VPN server encrypts it and, in turn, sends it back to the VPN client. Finally, you access the decrypted data through the VPN client on your device without compromising safety, security, and privacy.
It is how a VPN works effectively and in an efficient way.
Pros and Cons of VPN Services
Advantages of VPN Services
Talking about the advantages and disadvantages of VPN services, you will come to know the variety of benefits it offers. Although, like any other service, there are certain disadvantages of VPN, these are far less than in comparison to the advantages of VPN.
The advantages of a VPN are as under:
1. Protect your online identity
A VPN is very beneficial because it masks your IP address and provides encryption to your data to protect your identity online. It helps to hide your online activities and creates a barrier so that cybercriminals, hackers, government agencies, or ISPs can not keep track of your online activities. It does not allow them to use your IP address to explore your details or private information.
A VPN also safeguards you from the advertisers who can sell your data to the third-party. Always keep in mind that the U.S. is one of the countries where ISPs can sell your data to third-party advertisers. Whether you are a resident of the U.S. or not, but be aware of the fact that your ISP can sell your personal data to advertisers.
You may be surprised to know that search engines like Google is free to share your sensitive data to any advertiser. These advertisers mostly use their ads and cookies to keep track of your online activities to sell their products and services to you. So, never blindly trust anyone.
2. Secure online connections
In every other house, you will find a Wi-Fi connection; it may be secure or not. The second thing is free Wi-Fi, which is also known as public Wi-Fi that may not be secure, which means lacking security and safety. Hackers can track any of your information if you use a free or public Wi-Fi. They can steal your sensitive data like your email credentials, bank details, and credit/debit card details, etc.
If you opt for a good paid VPN, your data and personal information would be safe and secure as it uses an encrypted tunnel to offer privacy. No hacker can read the encrypted data. It means you are cent percent secure while with the use of a VPN.
A VPN is developed to secure your connection so nobody can find out your personal details. It is also helpful if you need to access any file from remote locations.
3. Bypass geo-blocking
Many times you come across the content or websites which are banned or not available in your location to access it. It is what geo-blocks means. In many countries, certain websites, movies, TV shows are restricted but, if you use a VPN, your problem will be solved as it allows access to these websites or content by removing geo-restrictions.
It generally happens because they need to comply with their bylaws and terms of agreement and conditions of service. You might be wondering how a VPN helps? The answer to your question lies here. A VPN hides your IP address through which no one can track your identity and location, and it helps to overcome geo-barriers. This way, you get accessibility because the ISPs fail to know your location, and it seems like you are from the same location.
For instance, all the U.S. based content is not accessible to the entire world, or different countries block these content because it may be inappropriate according to them. You can access restricted websites using a VPN. In this way, a VPN helps to bypass geo-blocking.
4. Prevent bandwidth throttling
Are you unaware of bandwidth throttling? Do you what it means? A bandwidth throttling usually occurs when your ISP decreases your internet speed. They do it often to improve and regulate the traffic and reduce network congestion. They do it for proper bandwidth allocation to all of their subscribers.
Another reason for bandwidth throttling might be to encourage you to upgrade to a costlier data plan.
A VPN encrypts internet traffic and masks your online activities and data consumption. Thus, ISPs remain unaware of the activities you do like playing online games, downloading, or streaming. As a result, they don’t throttle your bandwidth, and you take full advantage of the service.
5. Bypass firewalls
You are lucky enough to use a VPN because it hides the IP address and enables you to bypass firewalls. A network firewall prevents access to certain content. It is mostly used at schools, offices, airports, or hotels, etc.
Network administrators are instructed to do it because they want you to comply with the bylaws. In this case, a VPN helps you to bypass such network firewalls and provides easier access to censored content.
6. Better online gaming experience
As a VPN provides security through an encrypted connection, hide your IP address and personal data. Thus, you can easily get access to certain banned games in your location. It helps you to choose a virtual location to play your favorite game and improves your gaming experience. VPN allows you to play online with full safety and security. It also protects you from DDoS attacks and helps to avoid certain gaming restrictions like IP bans. It helps you to enjoy online games and makes the gaming experience better.
7. Avoid price discrimination
Many airline companies charge varied prices from online visitors just because you are from a different geo-location. It is pretty unfair. The same practice is doing by other online retailers. They do it to earn profit for their business growth. It is foolish enough to pay a high price for the same product or service just because you are from a different region.
But, using a VPN, you can avoid price discrimination as it hides your IP address through which you will not have to pay a high price. It hides your real geographical location, and if you are from a more developed country, it will show that you belong to a developing country, and therefore you will get the same service at a reasonable price.
You need to use a VPN smartly because online retailers are using such technologies, you are visiting their website again and again from the same computer or mobile. Thus it required to every time you visit the same website, remove all the browsing history, internet cookies, and browser cache so that websites do not keep track of your visit and charge a high price from you. You may also use private or incognito mode of your web browser to maintain your privacy and anonymity.
8. Secure torrenting
VPN helps in securing torrenting. All the torrent users can easily see your IP address, which means you are in great danger because they may pose you to a threat as they can track your location or region. Torrenting can also be considered illegal as per your country’s rules and regulations. If you do not want to be in danger due to illegal activities, it is better and a smart decision to use a secure VPN.
9. Protected file sharing
If you are a VPN user, you can easily share your files at any place and time with others. A VPN offers security and safety through which your data will not be stolen and unmasked.
Most of us want to be anonymous to maintain our privacy on the internet. The internet is an essential part of our life but can also be a curse if someone steals your personal or sensitive data.
No one can deny the fact that cybercriminals/hackers can easily steal your data if your identity is revealed. If you are surfing, you want that no one should keep track of your activities. In this case, using a VPN is of a great choice to being almost anonymous online.
You can easily access desired content or websites which are blocked with complete anonymity. One thing you always need to remember is to hide your identity by using a paid VPN. A paid VPN service always keeps you anonymous online.
After reading the advantages of VPN services, let’s move to the disadvantages.
Disadvantages of VPN Services
The cons of a VPN are very less than the pros. Still, you need to keep in mind certain cons to avoid or eliminate trouble and danger. Increasing awareness about some disadvantages of a VPN will cause no harm to you rather create better experiences. The disadvantages of VPN are as under:
1. Free VPN means risk
The most basic feature of a VPN is safety and protection. But, anything wrong can hamper your safety and privacy. Choosing a better VPN service is essential. You need to opt for a paid VPN instead of choosing free VPNs. The paid VPN offers better encryption and security than unpaid ones. It is up to you which one to choose. So, be smart and make a correct, mindful decision.
Never buy a VPN that keeps logs of your online activities. It can cause trouble for you and your privacy. It is to be considered when paying for a VPN to keep yourself safe, secure, and anonymous on the internet.
2. Quality VPN is costly
Anything with better quality will be expensive. For better security, you need to opt for a paid VPN. It will pose a problem if you are short of funds and cannot buy paid ones. But, there are many VPNs available that are cost-effective and offer good quality at reasonable prices through subscriptions, and they also give discounts and promotional offers more often.
VPN will cost you less when you buy for one year or more.
3. Sometimes slow internet speed
Not often, but sometimes a VPN can slow down your internet speed. Apart from its features, like, strong and secure connection, encrypted tunneling, VPN protocol, server location, etc. can hamper the speed sometimes. But, if you have a compatible, powerful CPU and high-speed bandwidth, it might not be the case. Still, you need to be aware of the fact as a VPN user.
4. VPN blocker technology exists
Many times the star of all the services- Netflix also comes in the path of VPN connections with the availability of VPN blockers. It might happen that in spite of your VPN connection, you are not able to access the content according to your choice. But, there exist some preferred VPN services like Nord VPN and Express VPN, which can combat the VPN blocker technology of Netflix and other streaming services.
5. VPN connection may drop
Even though you use a trusted and reliable VPN, sometimes your connection drops. The main problem is that when the connections drop, your real IP address can be seen, and your anonymity is no longer sustained.
But, you can get through this major concern with the help of a kill switch feature, which suddenly disconnects you from the internet when the VPN server drops.
I recommend a VPN with a kill switch if you want anonymous and concern about your privacy and security. You can opt for a VPN like Hotspot Shield, Nord VPN, CyberGhost, PrivateVPN, or VyprVPN.
6. Difficult to configure sometimes
It is very important to properly configure your VPN. If you do not choose a good quality and a reliable VPN, then the VPN server, protocols, and encryption nothing can save you from IP address and DNS leaks.
Once your IP address and DNS leaks that very moment, you are gone. Cybercriminals can take advantage of this loophole in your privacy and security.
If you’re aware of the VPN features and configuration, then what are you waiting for? Hurry up! Make the right choice. If you are a beginner, then go for user-friendly VPNs like CyberGhost or Tunnel bear. I am sure these VPNs will make your first experience remarkable and fun-loving.
7. Not built for all devices
There are many devices like Linux, Chromebook where VPNs are still unsupportive. Most VPN services support operating systems like Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS. If a VPN is not supporting your operating system, then you need to set up a VPN connection on your device manually.
There are certain platforms like gaming consoles, set-top boxes, etc. that do not support a VPN at all. For this, you need to buy a router on which you can set up a VPN for security, safety, and privacy.
Do You Really Need A VPN?
After looking into the Pros and Cons of using a VPN, it is good enough for you to choose a VPN to enjoy the safety and security features on your device. Opting a VPN is also beneficial to access censored, blocked, and geo-restricted content.
It is totally up to you to choose a good quality paid VPN or an unpaid one. It is advisable to choose a VPN that offers a high-speed connection and unlimited bandwidth to avoid bandwidth throttling. Don’t forget to go through the list of best top-rated VPNs, depending on positive reviews before purchasing a VPN. It will help you to make the right choice.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of VPN Services
To conclude, I would like to point out the advantages and disadvantages of VPN services that you can keep in mind while making the right choice.
|VPN Advantages||VPN Disadvantages|
|Masks your IP address and location to bypass geo-blocking||Better VPN services charge money and unpaid ones do not offer safety and security benefits.|
|Helps to bypass firewalls||Does not support all native devices and operating systems.|
|Saves you from hackers. Encryption tunnel provides security and safety to your data.||Lowers down the internet speed sometimes due to its security features.|
|Deal with bandwidth throttling||A few VPN services log the data, which poses a great threat to your anonymity, safety, security, and privacy too.|
|Offers a better online gaming experience, which adds fun and entertainment.||Anti-VPN software are available.|
|Helps in eliminating or reducing price discrimination.||A VPN connection may randomly drop.|
|Ensures safety and security while torrenting.||Difficult to set up on some devices/OS.|
If you want to enjoy certain features like bypassing geo-blocked content, privacy, anonymity, encrypted data transfer, etc., you should go for a VPN.
So, I would suggest keeping in mind all the advantages and disadvantages before choosing a VPN which is best suited for you. Privacy and security should be held high while selecting a good quality VPN.