Thinking about whether to use a VPN or not? You’ve come to the right place.
A good Virtual Private Network (VPN) comes with a lot of benefits as it’s a powerful tool that not only protects your online privacy but also helps you bypass firewalls and geo-blocks. It comes with its pros and cons. Therefore, an understanding of advantages and disadvantages can help you decide if you want to use a VPN or not.
VPN is not all about accessing geo-restricted sites and games. A good VPN helps you keep safe online by securing your internet connection and concealing your online identity. But, remember not all VPNs are equal, and each VPN software comes with its own pros and cons. Let’s discuss some pros and cons of VPNs to help you make an informed decision.
VPN Pros: Advantages of using a VPN
1. Access blocked sites
The first most prominent advantage of using a VPN is that it can help you bypass firewalls and censorship. Whether you are traveling or want to access international content from your location, you will get an error message if it’s restricted in your country. For example, if you try to access HBO Max abroad, you will get a message that it’s not available in your region.
However, with a VPN, you can circumvent these restrictions and access restricted sites like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more. A VPN allows you to connect to a server from another country and change your IP address. With a VPN, you can have the world at your fingertips.
Some of the best VPNs in the industry are ExpressVPN and Surfshark. Beware, not all VPNs are created equal. You will find most free VPNs online promising amazing features, but they are not safe as they log your data and sell it online. Therefore, we highly discourage the use of free VPNs, however, you can get a risk-free trial of ExpressVPN, which is the leading VPN in the market that offers top-notch security features.
2. Secure Online Privacy
In this digital age, everything is connected – be it our smartphones, PC, Google Home, speakers and more. Although it’s convenient for us, it also means more personal information online, thus a broad target for hackers. When you are logging into your mobile banking app online or having a chat with your friend, you don’t want people to snoop on you.
A VPN encrypts your online data and reroutes your traffic, so not even your ISP can track what you are doing online – keeping you safe and private online. When you connect to the internet using a VPN, you remain anonymous, and no one can see what you are doing online. This way, you can also prevent ISP bandwidth throttling. For instance, ExpressVPN offers military-grade security encryption making it impossible to hack your data and protect you on public Wi-Fi.
3. Save money
Did you know, Netflix is priced differently in different regions? For example, Netflix in Canada is cheaper (USD 8.1) as compared to Netflix in the USA (USD 8.99). Therefore, with a VPN, you can save money by getting Netflix at a cheaper rate.
But, this is not limited to streaming sites only. Most e-commerce sites have different prices for customers from different countries. For example, if you visit a store from Canada, product pricing may be expensive, but if you visit the same store by using an Indian server, you will see a drop in the price of goods.
This comes in handy when you have to book a flight or a hotel room at a cheaper rate.
VPN Cons: Disadvantages of using a VPN
1. Slow internet speed
One of the most significant cons of VPNs is that when they encrypt your traffic, you might experience a slow down in your connection speeds. It’s only natural, as the VPN has to encrypt and reroute your data to secure it. As the data has to take a longer route, it slows down your internet speeds.
But, security aside, we don’t have time to sit around looking at the loading donut icon for the buffering to finish or page to load. Speed is the small price you have to pay for securing your online connection and accessing blocked content from abroad.
2. Sudden connection drops
When you are using a VPN for important tasks, you might experience a sudden drop in connection, and if you have the kill switch enabled, it will cut off your internet connection. Then you will have to sit around and wait for it to reconnect. When the connection drops, your real IP address can also be exposed if you are not using a kill switch.
3. Complex Configuration
VPNs come with several protocols like IPSec, IKEv2, OpenVPN, and more, and if your VPN is not configured correctly, you could experience DNS or IP leaks which makes you vulnerable to hackers and scammers.
Therefore, configuring a VPN on a device can be a challenge for most people who are not adept with technology. But the good news is that most VPNs like ExpressVPN offer setup guides that you can follow to install the VPN on your device.
While Virtual Private Networks (VPN) have their downsides, we can safely say that the advantages and pros outweigh the cons. VPNs are powerful online privacy tools that not only keep you safe online but also access all the content in the world from your screens. Now you know exactly what to look for in a VPN, so you can choose one that fits your needs and take your online security into your own hands.