A virtual private network extends a private network across a public one. This action enables an Internet user to send or receive data across a shared connection as if their device was directly connected to the private network. Any applications running on the item can benefit from improvements to security, management, and functionality because of this process. Encryption is also a common component of a VPN, although it is not an inherent part of this technology.
Virtual private networks were originally developed to help remote users and branch offices to access corporate resources and allocations security. It uses a tunneling protocol to establish an encrypted and layered connection that uses authentication methods to gain access to the VPN. This structure can help some users get around censorship laws or other issues that create geographic restrictions.
If you want to improve the security of your Internet connections, then these VPN advantages and disadvantages will want to get carefully examined.
List of the Advantages of a VPN
1. A virtual private network helps to keep you safe.
We are consistently sending personal information over the Internet with our online activities. Most people don’t give this transfer of data a second thought in this day and age, which means someone who is snooping on you could gather a lot of info about your personal finances, passwords, and more.
When you use a VPN, then your data gets encrypted so that your private information doesn’t get into the hands of someone else. You can use this service at home, through public Wi-Fi, or at the office. Your Internet traffic remains anonymous so that no one can see what you’re doing online.
2. You can access blocked content from anywhere in the world.
Geographic blocks prevent you from accessing specific forms of content in your home country. This issue may occur because of censorship, video blackouts, and territorial agreements. Legal restrictions on sites that provide torrenting services face this issue very often from a global perspective.
When you use a virtual private network, then you get to change your IP address to make it appear that your traffic comes from a different country. This advantage can open a new world of possibilities for your online activities. You’ll want to choose a VPN that focuses on your primary Internet requirements to achieve the best outcomes.
3. A VPN can save you a lot of money.
When you start using a virtual private network for your daily needs, then you will discover that there are several ways to save money. Even if you don’t use torrenting services that have questionable legality, you’ll discover that many websites display a different set of prices to customers that have traffic originating from unique countries. If you went through a server in India, then an item might become much cheaper than when you route through Canada.
Keeping this advantage in mind when booking hotel rooms or flights can help your budget in numerous ways. If you work with a virtual private network that offers a presence in most countries in our world, then you can maximize this benefit.
4. It is affordable to have a VPN that goes with you everywhere.
Premium VPN services are only going to cost you a few dollars per month. That means you can unblock any website, keep your connection anonymous, and improve your security with one simple investment. Using a virtual private network is much cheaper than most other security options that are available today. You don’t have any hardware to install, technicians to manage, and a simple download can have you exploring the Internet with confidence in only a few minutes.
5. Free VPN services are available from some providers.
If money is tight for you right now, then a free virtual private network could be an opportunity to explore. The service isn’t entirely without cost – these services typically have popup advertising, email address requirements, or limits on the data you can transfer. It is still a no-cost way to secure your identity, although you’ll want to review the included terms and services.
Some free VPN providers do reserve the right to sell your personal information to third-party providers.
6. It can thwart speed-throttling activities from ISPs.
Some ISPs that don’t have laws around net neutrality that they must follow have been found to intentionally decrease the amount of content you can access or watch. That approach allows them to receive higher profits because it creates an artificial restriction on your Internet activities. When you subscribe to VPN services, then you can prevent some ISPs from having the chance to identify you so that they can slow down your access speeds.
This issue applies to the data caps that sometimes apply to ISP customers, even in the United States. Your information is not only free from the prying eyes of regulators and hackers, but you’ll also get around the restrictions that limit what you can do online.
7. Businesses can bypass network capacity lines.
If you operate a small business at home or represent the IT department for a larger enterprise, then a virtual private network is worth considering. It can offer specific savings for companies because it allows for a bypass to renting capacity lines that achieve connections between office locations. You’ll get to connect through the public infrastructure instead while using local broadband connections without compromising your overall security.
Although you’ll need to route your traffic through a local ISP and pay those costs, the charges are still significantly less than what they would be when companies go through the traditional approach.
8. VPNs can reduce long-distance telephone charges.
If you live in an area that still charges additional rates for long-distance calls, then a VPN can help you to reduce this expense. Instead of connecting through remote access servers and dial-up networks within an intranet structure, you can go through your local ISP access point instead. With VoIP tech continuing to evolve, you can make calls over the Internet to further reduce your expenses of long-distance calls.
This issue can even reduce your support costs. Using a virtual private network can help to eliminate the expense of maintaining a local server since the supports get outsourced to third-party providers. That means a small investment in VPN services can support lower overall cost structures.
9. You can choose from a variety of service providers.
There are plenty of virtual private networks on the market today. Determining which option will be your best VPN depends on the specific needs you have and what you’re willing to pay to receive those services. Free options may not provide all of the features you need, while for-profit companies might charge more than you’re willing to pay.
Although there are no guarantees, you’ll typically receive better features and more security when you’re willing to pay a premium price for VPN services.
List of the Disadvantages of a VPN
1. A virtual private network will almost always slow down your connection speed.
A VPN works to keep your online connections secure through the encryption of all of your online activity. This advantage comes at the price of having slower speeds when you access websites online. It is not unusual to see your overall mpbs rating drop by at least 50% when using a high-quality virtual private network.
You can account for some of this disadvantage by increasing your ISP speed, but that may eliminate the cost benefits that you seek. You’ll want to look for a VPN that minimizes this issue without compromising your security.
2. Some platforms can detect the presence of a VPN.
Anti-VPN software is better today than it has ever been before – and it continues to evolve. Several streaming service providers, such as Netflix, are using virtual private network blockers to prevent consumers from accessing specific content items. It is entirely possible for you to wake up one morning to discover that your activities have been encountered, charted, and stopped by your service provider.
Some VPN providers work against these blockages to ensure that consumers can still access the content they want each day. You’ll want to review the history of your virtual private network to see how they provide counters to this disadvantage.
3. Your VPN connection can sometimes drop.
A virtual private network may come with a kill-switch feature. This item will instantly disconnect you from the Internet when a server drops the connection. Reliable VPNs won’t have you experiencing this disadvantage very often, but it can happen even with premium services occasionally. The issue here isn’t the inconvenience of needing to reconnect to the network. When your encryption drops, then you’re no longer online anonymously. Your IP address receives exposure to the general public.
4. It can be challenging to configure a VPN if you aren’t familiar with the technology.
When you start using a virtual private network, then you’ll be managing protocols, encryption, servers, and more. If your VPN doesn’t have the correct configuration, then you could experience a DNS leak or IP exposure that still makes your private information vulnerable to data hackers or additional online threats.
Local technology service providers can help to guide you through this process. Online videos can take you through the configuration points that you’ll need. Having this learning curve for some consumers is still going to be a disadvantage that requirements some management.
5. Some countries have made it illegal to use a VPN.
Some countries don’t allow their citizens to use any type of virtual private network services. Most VPNs get blocked in these nations so that the casual user can’t access an account. China is the most notorious blocker of this technology because of the propaganda campaigns that the government runs, but places like Belarus, Russia, Turkey, and Uganda all have bans in place for this technology.
6. Your VPN service has the option to monitor your activities.
Some virtual private networks will allow you to use their private servers in exchange for the data that you send and receive. They’re helping you to bypass certain restrictions while hiding your IP address, but then this company that you’re paying for VPN services can track what you are doing. If there are activity logs being kept, then any activities that any country would find to be illegal could come back to get you one day.
Although the terms of service of a VPN provider should provide clarity about this disadvantage, that isn’t always the case. That’s why a free or very low price virtual private network should be something that you approach with great caution.
7. You might experience platform compatibility issues.
If you’re using an older operating system on your computer or device, one that isn’t as popular as Windows or macOS, or a unique hardware configuration, then you might find some compatibility issues awaiting you when you sign up for a VPN. There might not be many (or any) ways for you to use or configure the virtual private network to your device.
If you use anything outside of the Big 4 of Android, iOS, Windows, or macOS, then you will want to speak with the VPN to see what your options might be. You may need to work with the virtual private network to protect your entire Internet network instead of a single device.
A virtual private network provides security and anonymity when you need it the most. Although some Internet users take advantage of this technology to access copyright-protected content, most people use it as a safer way to send and receive information online.
VPNs will always have some issues that require proactive management, especially when you choose a low- or no-cost provider. If there is a high risk of IP exposure or DNS leaks, then you should look for other options.
The advantages and disadvantages of a VPN will make it easier to manage your streaming needs, professional responsibilities, and much more. You can access whatever content that you want wherever you are, and most service providers today extend this coverage to the traffic that originates from your mobile device.
Blog Post Author Credentials
Louise Gaille is the author of this post. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Louise has almost a decade of experience in Banking and Finance. If you have any suggestions on how to make this post better, then go here to contact our team.