In case you are wondering is a VPN worth it, you may want to check the following facts and reasons. A lot of people have been using VPN service for different reasons, but they are mainly trying to protect their data and their privacy.
Of course, the level of VPN’s importance to different people will vary, depending on how much you need it and how you value your privacy. However, it’s still important to take a look at the major functionality of the VPN and what it can offer you.
VPN and Its Functionality
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. As the name suggests, it creates a private connection between two devices (or even more) within the network. Imagine it as a safe and secured tunnel that protects the connection from the world. Communication can be done safely within that tunnel and other prying eyes won’t be able to get into it.
The idea of VPN is to create a totally safe and private communication so they can interact without worrying about other people. Sending (or receiving) data can surely be done in a safe mode and manner, ensuring confidentiality. You can find more about VPN at our post : What Is a VPN, How to Benefit and How To Choose The Best One.
Who Needs VPN?
Is a VPN worth it? Before you answer the question, you need to ask yourself whether you need one. VPN isn’t for everyone. Not every person feels the importance of having the service, whether for business or for personal.
In most cases, VPN service is worth it as long as you are in need of it. So, who are the people in need of VPN so much?
- Those who are use public WiFi quite often. Sure, accessing the free public WiFi is nice, but let’s not forget that it is most sensitive to security threats, especially the ones related to malware attacks and data breaches. Read more a post from Norton here.
Whether you use the connection for business or personal, using this type of connection would be unsafe. The VPN will come to the rescue as a private and safe tunnel that will ensure that your online activities will remain hidden. It also functions to mask or disguise your identity.
- Those who need to break geo-restrictions. This function is usually crucial for those who value their infotainment and entertainment.
The internet acts as this major huge library and resource for such a thing, but unfortunately, most of them are geo-restricted. It means that only the contents aren’t available for all users. Only users in certain geographical places can watch those contents.
With the VPN, however, you can break the boundaries, allowing yourself to access those contents even though they aren’t actually accessible within the region.
- Those who want complete privacy and security. If you deal with sensitive, or even confidential, data and yet you need to process or send them over the net, then you want something that is super solid and safe to protect you. VPN will be able to protect you in this matter.
- Those who want complete anonymity. VPN can be helpful for those living in areas or countries with limited freedom of speech, or such thing alike. It gives them the ability to hide themselves and mask their virtual presence.
The Common Issues
Before we get to answer is a VPN worth it, you need to realize the increasing popularity of the VPN in the last few years. Not only it helps improving your security and privacy, but it can also help you unblock contents and ‘break through’ some restrictions.
The common problem we have today is about privacy. It has become an increasing issue for everyone. Many think that all of the websites they visit are safe. They also believe that everything they do online (buying or selling stuff, watching contents, downloading contents, etc) would be private.
In reality, they aren’t. Data is the gold mine today and those who know it will make use of it. Your internet provider, for instance, can make a fortune by selling your data – without you knowing it!
Not to mention that there are website trackers that will follow you and….well, track you. It’s done for marketing and sales purpose.
Don’t be too surprised if you have tons of sports shoes ads, for instance, after you have viewed several shoes online. Or you probably have purchased craft tools and then you will be ‘bombarded’ with tons of ads about craft tools.
If you don’t want such a thing happening to you, then a VPN service will help. Is a VPN worth it? In this case, yes, it is. The VPN will encrypt your activity and data, so no one would be able to see what you are doing; not the government, not your ISP, or other people.
What Can a VPN Do?
If you are getting a VPN service and you want to ensure is a VPN worth for your or not, it would be handy because it will do these things below:
- It stops trackers. The VPN will hide your IP address, which is basically your virtual connection address. With the VPN, the website tracker will experience hard time pinpointing your exact location and track whatever you do.
- It stops the ISP from selling data. Whenever you connect to the net, your ISP will get your data within a readable and understandable format, especially things that are related to the URL sites you have visited, the web search, and others. With VPN and encrypted data, your ISP won’t be able to read your data. It won’t be able to sell your data
- It can be used on several devices. This is a perfect setup for those in need of a lot of connection or for families in need of solid protection and privacy.
So, is a VPN worth it? If you are looking for these things, the answer is yes. You may have to spend extra, but you get yourself a good deal and an exchange for secure connection
Things VPN Can’t Do
On the contrary to what people believe, a VPN can’t offer you a complete and full anonymity. Yes, it is able to hide your presence and yes, it is able to mask your online activities, but it doesn’t mean that you will be completely anonymous.
Whenever you log into a site with the password and username, that website KNOWS you. It recognizes you from your username and also password despite you using the VPN.
When you log into your Instagram, or Twitter, or Facebook and you have to type in your password and username, such information is unique only to you. The site will naturally link the info to you, so you won’t be completely anonymous even when you have used the VPN.
Moreover, VPN can’t stop malware. It ‘hides’ you and mask your activities, but it won’t be able to stop any malware. Some VPN providers do offer antimalware feature, but it can’t replace the true (or proper) antivirus.
The best thing that a VPN can do is giving you a warning of a potentially risky and dangerous site, but they can’t actively protect you (and your device) from any threat or attack.
You should also be careful of free VPN service. They do exist and there are pretty a lot of them out there, but they basically have limited capabilities and abilities. And the worst thing they can do is to sell your data.
They need to make money, after all, to run the website and the fastest way to do so is to sell their visitors’ (or users’) data. Such free VPN providers typically have something in mind, in the exchange of their service to you. Can you really trust them? I don’t think so. Is a VPN worth it for such a free service? You know the answer yourself.
Drawbacks of VPN
You have learned the perks of having VPN service to answer the question of how worth a VPN is. However, not many people know about the disadvantages of using the VPN.
Just like everything in life, nothing can be 100% perfect and flawless. There are several possible drawbacks of using the VPN that you should look out for.
- Sluggish Connection Speed
The VPN will encrypt all of your online data and activity to keep the connection safe, but then again, it may affect the connection speed, causing your connection to slow down and even become sluggish.
Do you really have the time to wait for your streaming contents to complete the buffering or to wait for your destination sites to load? Are you even willing to do so?
In order to prevent such a thing, go with a service that can tackle such issue professionally and efficiently. Make sure you perform thorough and correct search. Go with a provider that can offer high speed and smooth connection without sacrificing your own security. It would be the best option
- More Software with Anti VPN Mechanism
Many websites (including streaming services) dislike the VPN because it can breach into their services. That’s why these websites try their best to combat VPN connections by using VPN blockers.
Some VPN providers are still able to break through such a solid blocker, helping you get access to the desired website, but they can be costly.
In short, don’t be too surprised if you find out that you are no longer able to access the website you want easily (and without paying).
- The (VPN) Connection Can Drop Suddenly
A reliable provider should be able to guarantee solid and strong connection. If you choose a trusted and reliable provider, the connection shouldn’t drop.
However, it may happen once in a while. Expect more and frequent occurrence if you choose the cheap and not-so-reliable provider. The problem with dropped connection isn’t only about having to reconnect again, but it compromises your security.
You see, when your connection drops, it means that the encrypted process is interrupted. At that time, the real IP address would be open and exposed. What does it mean? You aren’t anonymous anymore.
If anonymity is crucial, you want to choose a reliable VPN provider having an automatic kill switch feature. This will automatically disconnect you (from the net) if your VPN server drops.
- Difficult Configuration
You may have to deal with difficult configuration, especially if you are clueless about it. Keep in mind that you need to tweak with protocols and servers to enjoy complete protection and safety.
If the VPN isn’t properly configured, it’s possible that you suffer from DNS and IP leaks. It will make your private and confidential data sensitive to online threats and hackers.
This may be overwhelming for VPN beginner, but give it a time. Once you get the hang of it and you understand the terms (and what their functions are), then you should be able to go through with everything.
It would be even better if you can go with VPN providers that are user-friendly. These providers can make your first experience painless, smooth, simple, and even fun.
Considerations when Choosing a VPN
So, when you are thinking about a VPN and is a VPN worth it, there are several things to consider when you are about to choose a provider. There are many providers out there, but they aren’t created equal; in quality, performance, or structure. That’s why you need to perform a careful research in order to choose the right one.
So, what are the important factors to keep in mind?
- Speed. It is one thing that differentiates a mediocre provider from the high-quality one. You can ask anyone, no one wants slow and creeping connection. You want connection that is fast, stable, and effective.
You also need to consider the purpose of your VPN: whether it is for peer to peer actions, for gaming, for streaming, or for others.
- Security. Besides speed, you need to consider the security perimeter too. There’s no use having a super fast connection if it isn’t secure.
The reason why you choose a VPN from the first place is to protect your online activities and privacy. If a provider can’t give you a sense of solid security, then what’s the point of having a VPN at all?
- Reliable encryption. The encryption technology plays a crucial role in a VPN service. It can either break or make the service.
If you choose a provider that can ensure solid encryption system, it helps directing your traffic through several servers (so not only one) that are safe and protected.
In the overall sense, a VPN can help you achieve many things although you can’t disregard its complexity and possible downsides. The outcome of VPN and its functions depend on your personal preference, really. So, the answer to the question is a VPN worth it is that it is worthy of your extra spending, for sure.