Is a VPN Worth It?
VPNs are becoming more and more popular, and with that comes one valid question, “do I need a VPN?”
Well, the short answer is, yeah, you probably do. The trick is, finding out why? I mean, I do believe that in one way or another, it’ll give you some advantages that you can never have with a standard network connection.
Sure, we all know that VPNs change the IP address, which means you can pretend to be somewhere you’re not and access geo-blocked websites. However, it doesn’t stop there, and even if it did, I’m sure I can open your eyes to how far things can go with this one particular advantage, let alone the other advantages that come with using a VPN.
So, without any further ado, let’s break things down so that you can decide if investing in a VPN will be worth it.
Why Use a VPN?
As I was just saying, there’s a lot that you can do with a VPN other than accessing restricted websites. In this part of the article, I’ll highlight the most common reason for someone to use a VPN.
Have you ever looked for one thing on Amazon, then all of a sudden you found it all over your Facebook and Instagram accounts? What’s even worse is that you might have used your credit card to buy an item from a store, then ended up with ads about other products from the same provider all over your social networks.
Hacking and accessing personal information has never gone this far, which explains why privacy is becoming a big concern. Anyhow, did you know you can set a level of encryption to your data using a VPN? How safer will this make you feel while browsing through different websites and going from one app to the other?
Connecting to Public Networks
Hacking is much easier if both your device and the hacker are connected to the same network. Let’s say you were getting a cup of coffee, and then you connected to the network at the coffee house for 15 minutes or so. To you, this as far as the story goes, but, we’ve heard this over and over, it’s safer to use mobile data than to connect to public networks.
That said, opting for a VPN is much cheaper than getting a monthly or even yearly data plan. Not to mention, because the VPN encrypts your data, you don’t have to worry about being hacked. In other words, your devices will be safe even if you connect to a public network.
Keeping Your Information Safe
Now that we got hackers and public networks out of the way, it’s time to think about what happens while using the service you get from your network provider.
Although it’s safer to have a private connection through your service provider, you’re still sharing an awful lot of information with this provider. Thus, it comes as no surprise that internet providers can sell your information to third parties at a good price.
You might be thinking you “technically” have nothing to hide from the government or whatever, but the truth is, things can get pretty ugly. Actually, in some countries like China, one can go to jail because of their browsing history. I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened in the US as well. Theoretically, your information can be used to put you on a scaling system that gives more privileges to those with a better lifestyle or better behaviors.
For instance, if you apply for a job and it’s down between you and someone else who has the same qualifications and experience, they might get the job just because they have a better sleeping schedule and you are usually late to work.
Now I’ve got you thinking, “my provider can’t possibly know that much,” but it’s simple math. All they have to do is follow the pattern to your location. Also, your home address is probably registered with the provider, so the place you usually spend your time in –that’s not your home- is probably your workplace.
Where does the VPN fit into all this? Well, with a VPN, the location your provider gets is wrong. Think about it, if your IP is set to Japan, how on earth will anyone know where you actually are? And if you throw in data encryption, you’d be leaving no traces behind.
Everything Is Accessible
That’s right! You probably know this already, but what I’d like to point out is that it doesn’t stop at unblocking some websites for your studies or for watching some foreign movies.
Using a VPN, you can get better deals on hotel room reservations, restaurants, and even book flights at lower prices. Not only that, but think about it the other way around. If you’re abroad, you might be blocked from accessing apps and websites that you used back in your hometown.
Personally speaking, not so long ago, I made a quick trip to Africa, and I found out I couldn’t use my Spotify app there as it hadn’t been launched yet, but you wouldn’t find yourself in a similar situation if you had a VPN subscription.
Cons of Using a VPN
Nothing is all good, but there are some situations in which VPNs become troublesome. Despite how affordable most VPNs subscriptions are, some always prefer the free versions. This is absolutely fine with trusted VPNs, but it could be a trap with unpopular ones. In fact, you might be doing more harm than good by installing such VPNs on any of your devices.
In addition, more often than not, a free VPN covers two of your devices at max, let alone hindering your internet connection in terms of speed. Consequently, any web page you open takes more time to load, and downloading large files takes forever.
To Sum Up
VPNs have a lot to offer, and you can probably get off with two or three months of free-trial if you subscribe to a new app. This adds so much value to your money, and also, you’ll get to test the service, so you can cancel the subscription if you think it’s useless. It’s crystal clear that it’s worth a try, though.
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