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Are VPNs Worth It? Do You Need to Use One in 2020?

When browsing online, one can be exposed to various malicious activities hence the need for protective services. One of the best services that internet users can use in protecting themselves is a VPN.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a short form for a virtual private network. It protects users’ online privacy and makes life harder for hackers by anonymizing users’ location and traffic.

How a VPN works?

A VPN creates an encrypted channel between a remote server and a user-operated by the VPN service. In this case, all the internet traffic generated by users is routed through a VPN tunnel, thereby securing users’ data. Since the traffic exists through the VPN server, the users’ computer will appear to have an IP address of the said server. As a result, the location and identity of the user are masked.

Are VPNs worth it?

Individuals who wish to get more information can look at the additional resource related to this question: https://surfshark.com/blog/do-i-need-a-vpn. However, the information below can be of great assistance when determining if VPNs are worth it.

What can a VPN do?

A VPN protects assists in protecting the users in the following ways:

  • Block malicious trackers, ads, and websites

Malicious people can download trackers and malware from other people without their knowledge. As a result, VPNs with in-built protection assist in preventing infections by blocking malicious sites before they can harm users. When all malicious ads are stopped from causing an infection, users can enjoy streaming platforms ad-free.

  • Masks IP addresses

A significant number of websites use the users’ IP to determine the location of traffic. When users connect to a VPN server, all the sites they access will only see the VPN’s IP address. Since such websites cannot see the real IP, they cannot know where the user is located. The idea of masking IP is essential, especially for individuals who wish to censorship, bypass geo-blocks, and torrent. This implies that the users can access any game, movie, or show in the world and can browse without any restrictions.

  • Data encryption

VPN encrypts internet traffic foR web browsers. Nobody can see what they are doing online; even it is their internet service provider. Consequently, internet service providers cannot throttle the users’ speeds, which they usually do, especially for those who engage in speed intensive activities such as gaming or streaming.

Additionally, data encryption limits hackers from seeing sensitive information such as the password that users enter into websites. Encryption is essential, especially for individuals who like using public WiFi as cybercriminals can easily monitor connections made on public networks. Furthermore, a VPN makes sure that even if the users’ data is stolen, the hackers understand or encrypt it.

Does a VPN guarantee the privacy of the users?

VPNs handle a lot of sensitive information. Therefore, they have strong security measures and robust privacy policies. However, some VPNs cannot be trusted, so users must be careful in choosing a safe and reliable one. By getting reliable VPNs, users can enjoy privacy protection features such as:

  • Anti-logging policies

Strict anti-logging policies prevent VPN service providers from recording the browsing history of the users. This implies that even if a VPN is compromised, hackers cannot get any information from the VPN servers.

  • IPv6 Leak protection

A significant number of VPNs still use IPV4 addresses, even though IPv6 is currently available. This disparity creates the potential for a severe security breach. In case the users’ internet service providers support IPv6, and they access websites that support it, their traffic to those websites will be routed through the ISP and not their VPN. Consequently, the users’ activity and location would be revealed to the ISP. Therefore, internet users are advised to use trustworthy VPNs, which can disable IPv6 traffic. However, users can access safely IPv6 enabled websites by using IPv4 addresses.

  • DNS protection

Every time internet users access websites, their computers send a request to the Domain Name System(DNS) to learn the website’s IP address. Usually, requests go to the Internet Service Provider’s DNS servers, thereby revealing the users’ browsing activity. When users are connected to a VPN, their DNS requests are routed to their VPNs DNS servers. Specifically, the DNS leak protection prevents the browsing history from leaking. 

Free Versus paid VPN services

Individuals who wish to use VPN can either opt for free or paid service. However, users might wonder why they are supposed to pay and yet they can access free services. The free VPN services might extremely slow. Conversely, the paid services are meant to limit the number of users. This is because an increase in the number of users can slow down the VPN service due to increased bandwidth going through the servers. Additionally, the free VPN services are prone to track users’ activities, something which compromises the reasons for using a VPN. Other services providers do include ads into the data that users are receiving through the VPN service.

With the free VPN users cannot access excellent performance. For instance, they might be using the fastest internet connection by their browsing speed can crawl if the connection speed of the VPN servers is not fast.

What VPNs can not do?

Although VPNs appear to incredible in offering online privacy, there are some things they cannot do. Some of these things are:

  • Protection from cookies

Even though internet users can use a VPN, there are still other ways companies can track their visitors. One of the best ways is by using cookies. Cookies include the information about the site visitors such as the pages on they visit online and any personal information they offer voluntarily (such as their names and email addresses).

  • VPNs cannot make the internet load faster

Users must know that VPNs will do the opposite by slowing down their internet connection. This is because they will be required to connect to both the VPN server and ISP’s server.

Is VPN legal?

YES. However, in some countries such as Russia, China, and Iraq, it is banned totally. Although the VPN is legal in many countries, it does not encourage users to engage in illegal activities such as downloading copyrighted information, hacking networks, and cyberstalking.

From the above guidelines, internet users will understand that it is indeed worth it to invest in a VPN. By paying subscription fees, one can access blocked content. Therefore, users must consider the potential cost of having their sensitive data stolen before deciding if they will invest in a VPN.

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