VPN: Pros and Cons

VPN: Pros and Cons

Intro

There was a significant increase in the number of global users for VPN services. It is becoming an essential piece of the 2020 internet user kit. And why should it not, if it can keep online navigation secure and unrestricted?

Apart from keeping you protected while you are surfing on the internet VPN providers also allow you to access media and streaming services otherwise inaccessible in some regions of the globe. Spotify songs, exclusive Netflix movies, series, early access games are only a few examples. While there seem to be quite a few upsides to using a VNP we should also consider potential risks or disadvantages of using a VPN. We hope this can bring some clarity on the subject

In this section, we will not go over complex technical elements so please consider reading our vpn beginners guide, but to put it simply a VPN enables you to browse the internet securely while keeping your identity anonymous on any device with an active VPN.

PROS

Remember these keywords when contextualizing the pros of a VPN: Private, Anonymous, Encrypted, Unrestricted. 

Security

You won’t have to worry about companies and search engines collecting your personal data in order to push consumer products and services on to you. These security features offered by most VPN providers keep their consumers safe and anonymous:

  • 128-bit or higher encryption – Your data is encrypted so that even potential hackers won’t have an easy time craking through your code.
  • Anonymous servers of DNS – no one knows your location or IP address (well potentially only your VPN provider)
  • Does not store connection logs – normally after you end the session with your VPN software your browsing logs are automatically deleted
  • Virus and malware protection features – not a common feature, but some providers offer this feature as an addition

Bypass regional restrictions

If your first for knowledge and content want unlimited access then VPN is what you need. Today a lot of times, while traveling the globe or waiting for a movie or game to be released in your country of origin can sometimes take time. VPN opens the gateway towards accessing content that is restricted by geographic positioning and time constraints. Just connect to the VPN provider’s servers in the country that has that Netflix movie or Nintendo exclusive, to experience it from “anywhere” at the moment of release.

A broad range of providers

The VPN market is filled with competition so you can easily switch between your VPN providers to see which one caters to your needs best. Some users prefer speed, other streaming options or security. There are more than 44 companies worldwide and thus it’s up to you to decide which one to go for.

CONS

A Virtual private network is easy to set up and use, it is a great tool for improved privacy online, but it also has disadvantages. Here are some of them:

Reduced internet speed

You’ll experience loss in browsing speed or video streaming quality the moment you start your VPN. Even top tier providers like Express VPN provide a seamless experience when switched on, every now and then have connection speed issues, that correlate with their server capabilities in a given part of the globe.

Connection reliability

We live in an interconnected world, but some are more interconnected than others. Thus there may be critical times when connections can drop out, or simply stop working. Go through user reviews online, to check out the specific connection issues that arise for different providers and how these are handled.

Hidden fees 

While not as present in paid VPN providers, there can be hidden fees that come with the service. Let’s say you use about 50 GB of data and afterward you get charged additionally or get limited access to a provider’s services. Be careful when going through reading your terms of use.

Only as good as the provider

A VPN is only as good as its company values and business conduct. Great companies like Nord VPN had security hiccups and sensitive issues that arrive in this particular market. Not all VPN providers delete your DNS logs after a session and many gather data without their users knowing about it and don’t deliver on anonymity. You should be vigilant in a companies day to day actions and stay informed.

Platform compatibility

Even if most providers already cover the entire spectrum of operating systems and devices, you should still be careful about what you get from your provider. There are many situations when a PC or device running a particular operating system didn’t have full access to a VPN provider’s features and these usually create frictions and frustrating customer support issues. 

Legal aspects of VPNs

Using a Virtual private network is legal in almost all countries. The legislation regulating VPN providers depends on the state it operates in and its political relations with other countries. In general, using a VPN is considered legal as long as it’s not used for any prohibited activities like cyber theft, to download copyrighted material or for online scams. It is worth mentioning that China is the only country that has blocked all Virtual Private Networks. Many Chinese users use VPNs to access otherwise restricted websites. The government motivates this measure was taken to avoid any leakage of data and sensitive security information to rival states.

Conclusion

You’ll find that the Pros outweigh the cons of using a VPN, but be vigilant. The only constant in our world is change and that means that VPN providers can change for the better or for worst. As a responsible user, stay informed, don’t be afraid to test out different options and use these services wisely. As always, Techfiddle will keep you updated on everything VPN related.

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