Just knowing these 5 things will get you ahead in the VPN game.
In any discussion of online privacy and security, virtual private networks (VPNs) are one of the first topics to come up. As we explain below, they’re an absolute must-have for today’s Internet users. They not only make you safer, but they can actually save you money too.
So, without further ado, here are 5 things you need to know about VPNs.
'5 Things You Need to Know About VPNs' Contents (select to expand)
1. VPNs do not automatically make you anonymous online
This is one of the most important things you need to know about VPNs.
While a good VPN will greatly improve your online privacy, they won’t suddenly turn you into an online ghost. For instance, there are ways to connect you to your VPN use, though it’s a lot harder if your VPN provider doesn’t keep logs.
If you’re an average Joe or Jane with normal Internet habits, you’ll be fine, but don’t go thinking you can start hacking into government databases just because you have a Private Internet Access subscription.
2. VPNs will slow down your connection and download speeds
When you use a VPN, it’s routing your web traffic through its servers on its way to and from your computer, tablet, smartphone or whatever other device you connect to the VPN service. This extra step between you and your favorite online content is going to cause a slight decrease in your connection and download speeds.
If you’re using a premium VPN and have a good Internet connection, it won’t make a huge difference, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
The good news is, your ISP won’t be able to “see” what you are doing when you’re using a VPN, so it’s harder for them to throttle your speeds.
3. VPNs can be free but you should pay for a premium VPN
Strangely, too many people will balk at the idea of spending even just a few dollars a month to enhance their privacy and security. This may be especially if you’re the type of person who gets everything else free online.
But “free” VPNs simply can’t be trusted. Not only are they more likely to turn over your information to the authorities if requested, they’re paying for their servers somehow, and it’s usually through methods that harm your privacy and security.
Read more about why you can't trust a free VPN.
4. VPNs are now a must-have tool
Between all the data breaches, hacks, corporate data collection efforts, and government spying, VPNs are now a must-have privacy tool.
Do you really want your Google search history, erotica habits, and torrent download logs sitting in some database connected to your name, ready to be used against you or sold to the highest bidder? We didn’t think so.
No matter what you’re doing online, you need a VPN.
5. VPNs can save you big money
The price you pay for any kind of online purchases can change depending on the country you’re in – or the country the site thinks you’re in, based on your IP address. Using a VPN to switch to a server and IP address in another country can save you hundreds of dollars on flights and car rentals.
It can also get you deals on software, but be careful. For example, Steam games are much cheaper in lower income countries, but Steam does reserve the right to lock your account if you use a VPN to buy games like this.
Using servers in different countries can also help you get the most out of your Netflix and other online streaming services, since the movies and TV shows available vary widely by country. With a VPN, you can seem to live in the US, UK, Canada, Brazil, Japan, etc and access the content you want. 🙂
Online tracking and profiling, data breaches, hacks, geo-dependent predatory pricing, malware and ransomware. The list of risks to your online privacy go on and on.
Hopefully, the 5 things you need to know about VPNs above has wet your appetite and you are keen to learn more about them.
VPN services continue to grow in popularity and for good reason. Check out the best VPN services on the market today. Don't spend another day unprotected.