As someone who spends a lot of time online, I’m always on the lookout for ways to protect my privacy from malicious hackers and other internet baddies.
That’s why I’ve been using a VPN orVirtual Private Networkfor years now.
If you’re not familiar with it, basically a VPN is like your own private tunnel through the internet that keeps your data safe by encrypting all traffic that passes through it.
But while its benefits are clear, there are also drawbacks to using one.
So in this article, we’ll be looking at both the advantages and disadvantages of VPNs so you can decide whether or not they’re right for you.
Advantages of Using a VPN
A VPN offers many benefits that make it worth considering as an additional security measure:
One common use case for people who travel frequently is accessing region-specific content such as streaming videos without being blocked due to geographical locations restrictions.
With a VPN, these barriers can be bypassed easily.
Provide Safety Through Anonymity
By hiding users’ network information behind encrypted data packets that travel via remote servers around the world, instead of revealing their actual location and IP address, access is granted only to those specific channels.
As a result, a user’s connection becomes very difficult, if not impossible, for unwanted third parties to track.
Secure Connection For Remote Access Work
Those working remotely now understand how important cybersecurity has become in modern times.
A great advantage of having secured connections means sensitive customer data/files remain private/hidden even when accessed from anywhere, which could prove catastrophic otherwise.
Save Money On E-commerce Prices Based On Locations
Some e-commerce companies often track customers’ network information, logs, and metadata states across broad lines.
Therefore, prices could increase based on varying degrees, depending on geo-location changes carried out during shopping activities, either indirectly due to location-based restrictions or explicitly due to the local currency type.
Cost-Effective Security Solution
Instead of sign ups on high-priced security firewalls and costly software packages, you can get the added protection at a fraction of that cost through VPNs.
While they don’t offer virus scanning or full firewall solutions, VPNs help keep users safe by hiding their online behaviour making it difficult for cyber criminals to track them down.
A VPN can enhance gaming experience with fast connection speeds freeing up bandwidth via other geo-locations servers thereby reducing latency in-game response time as well providing seamless interface provided the bandwidth permits.
Disadvantages Of Using A VPN
No solution is perfect so there are also some disadvantages/limitations when using a vpn:
Slow Connection Speeds
If your internet speed is already too slow, adding a virtual private network might hinder rather than improve your access speeds.
The service overhead required would put additional pressure on bandwidth sometimes causing slower connections, depending on the client’s activities’ demands.
VPN Blocking Software Exists Or Increased Data Monitoring By Host Sites
With more companies recognising that people use Virtual Networks Services(VPN) hence preventing exploitation through zoning areas from various locations it’s now become tougher to circumvent particularly with Detection Automation Systems(DAS).
Increasingly e-commerce websites such as media portals have blacklisted known IP Addresses tied to specific networks which eliminates backdoors formed while offering services.
Complicated Set Up For End-users
While connectivity may be simple to establish, connecting over an encrypted tunnel requires a little more footwork and due diligence involved in setting up correctly beforehand.
Moreso, leaks occur frequently during ad-hoc setups where compliance measures (i.e., configuration guides and manuals) have not been properly understood.
This can lead to identification data loss, leaving end-users vulnerable.
Dropped Connections Security Risks
Unlike ordinary dropped wifi connections, where devices disconnect from the router/modem temporarily and only means disconnection stops/restarts normal operations, dropped VPN tunnels have more severe consequences.
They lose all confidential transfer channels between both communicating ends. This results in an extra type of leak, facilitating detection processes for cyber criminals.
It also opens end-users up to monitoring activities by internet service providers (ISP), sometimes leading to questions about the actual motives of users.
Higher bandwidth is required; hence, the specter threat is doubtful on average or low-bandwidth.
Specifically, online gaming can experience restrictions depending on geographical locations due to licensing considerations.
This often leads to a break in continuity, resulting in game interruptions, which can be extremely annoying and/or frustrating.
While a VPN has many advantages such as secure connections wherever you are through remote access, bypassing geo-restrictions and saving money while shopping online among others, there’s no solution that’s perfect.
It all depends on your needs and understanding knowledge base.
For example, if you use a VPN when travelling frequently across countries’ borders, it is definitely worth considering getting one installed.
Otherwise, you may not see much utility in everyday situations, especially with high-speed browsers offering similar privacy features and protections.
And always remember to read the user manual before installing any type of hacking tool or software feature.
An inexperienced hand might accidentally cause more harm than good during initial setup or troubleshooting sessions, trying to get everything configured properly!