To VPN or not to VPN? This question pops up frequently nowadays, and there’s only one way to settle this debate—by making a pros and cons VPN use list. Naturally, as it is with any technology, there are benefits and downfalls. To make the best out of this technology, it’s best that you learn the strengths and weaknesses of VPNs when facing different tasks and challenges.
The article will put VPNs under the microscope. We’ll unravel the quirks and oddities of virtual private networks according to their level of performance under different circumstances.
Pros and cons of VPN for security
A VPN is known to enhance your online security. In fact, that is the very purpose behind the creation of virtual private networks—to protect your public, unsecured, unencrypted network in a private way. If your main concern is online security, then without a doubt, a quality VPN is the way to go. Still, there are pros and cons when it comes to using VPNs for security purposes, such as:
- Pros: A VPN protects your personal data. By creating a virtual encrypted tunnel between your device and a VPN server, a VPN will serve as your online cloak of invisibility, cleverly disguising your online activity. In other words, VPNs provide a safe connection between a secure server and your device, through which you access the Internet. Watch this video from the well review ExpressVPN for more information.
- Cons: At the cost of providing you total security and anonymity, some VPNs are known to burden your Internet connection. To prevent this from ever happening, choose a VPN that guarantees to maintain a stable and fast Internet connection. A key note to remember here is the best online security is only granted by top-notch VPN providers.
Quality VPN providers use strong VPN protocols and encryption methods, like the AES 256-bit encryption method, to secure your data. Because of this strong encryption, the VPN prevents hackers, snoopers, and ISPs from accessing what you’re browsing online, torrent downloads, listening to Skype calls, or anything else that you might send over an Internet connection.
Furthermore, top-quality VPN providers have upgraded their technology in such a way that their encryption won’t slow down your connection. So the bottom line is using VPNs to secure your network is worth it, even if it means sacrificing the speed of your connection. Any unprotected Internet connection is dangerous; with a solid VPN, you’ll significantly boost your online security.
How to find a good VPN for security
Before you go VPN hunting, you need to assess your needs. When it comes to choosing a VPN for maximum security, here are some of the features that a good VPN for security should possess:
- 256-AES encryption
- Multiple VPN protocols
- Multiple simultaneous connections on various devices
- 24/7 customer support
- Integrated kill switch
- No logging policy
For ultimate security, you need a VPN that will secure all your devices in your home network. The best way to do this is by connecting your primary router to your VPN. By doing this, you will be able to use the Internet without any worries as your privacy will be protected across all your devices. It will even cover your guests who wish to use your WiFi network.
Pros and cons of VPN for torrenting
Torrenting files through a peer-to-peer (P2P) network is a dangerous endeavor that may get you into legal trouble. While torrenting allows you to share big files, it exposes you to certain risks. Some countries explicitly ban torrenting; if you don’t use a VPN, you may face extreme penalties or even imprisonment. Either way, the pros and cons of VPNs for torrenting are the following:
- Pros: Quality VPNs state on their website that supporting torrenting or P2P networking is one of their specialties. Given that downloading torrent files is considered somewhat illegal, you really ought to look for a VPN provider that will guarantee that your online activity remains anonymous. Look at these VPNs which support P2P and torrenting for suggestions.
- Cons: Potential drops can occur in your VPN connection. That’s why it is vital to look for a provider that has a “kill switch” feature. If you’re not supported with a kill switch, then your IP address, location, and the rest of your personal data will be left exposed if the VPN connection drops. You will be instantly disconnected from the Internet until the VPN connection is safe once again. This prevents your true IP address from being exposed.
Keep in mind that while VPNs protect you when you’re torrenting files, other online protection tools like the Tor browser or proxies don’t want to or won’t. There is no substitute here: You need a VPN if you’re going to torrent.
How to find a good VPN for torrenting
Torrenting files is an activity that is recommended to be done in an anonymous manner. To accomplish that, you’ll need a VPN that is not going to leak your personal data. Here’s what you should look for in a good VPN for torrenting:
- Strict no-logging policy.
- Strong encryption and VPN protocols.
- Integrated kill switch.
- Location of the VPN headquarters in a safe country.
In countries where VPNs are mainly government-controlled (China and Russia being the worst), your data may be monitored by the authorities as there may be laws that can force VPN providers to turn over their users’ data. We strongly advise that you choose a VPN in a country with more liberal VPN regulations.
Pros and cons of VPN for geo-unblocking
Another big reason why VPNs are so popular is that they grant you access to geo-restricted websites. When you’re traveling or when you want to access content that is restricted in your country, you can use a VPN that has servers in the country of your choosing. Here are the pros and cons of VPNs for geo-unblocking:
- Pros: Other than providing security and anonymity, geo-unblocking is one of the most compelling features of VPNs. A good VPN provider that has a lot of servers around the world will allow you to bypass any content and other geo-based restrictions.
- Cons: Anti-VPN software is getting stronger as we speak. Major services, like Netflix, are relentlessly looking for ways to combat VPNs. Quality VPNs, like the ones we have reviewed here on our website, are always one step ahead. Their encryption methods are guaranteed to be iron-clad.
You also need to be extra careful when traveling to countries like Turkey, Russia, and China, where VPNs are heavily restricted. Still, in a lot of places, VPNs are free to use. So other than the fact that you need to be cautious about the places you travel to, the benefits that come out of VPNs for geo-unblocking are far bigger than the downfalls.
How to find a good VPN for geo-unblocking
If your goal is to appear as if you’re in another country, then you’ll need a VPN with different characteristics than the ones we went through so far. In short, the features that you should be looking for in a good VPN for geo-unblocking are the following
- A lot of VPN servers in different countries.
- No logging policy.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- No speed limit.
- Integrated kill switch.
- Strong encryption.
Even the best VPN is useless if it doesn’t have servers in the geographic region you need to access. Read our reviews of the top VPNs for geo-unblocking to find a suitable VPN for your needs.
Pros and cons of VPNs: Conclusion
We’ve covered all the major pros and cons of using VPNs in different scenarios. Whether it is for boosting security, torrenting, or geo-unblocking, the pros of VPNs trumped the cons every single time. Still, not all VPNs are the same, and you will need to find the right VPN that will align with your preferences:
- Avoid low-quality providers: It’s quite evident that the perks of using VPNs are outnumbering the downsides. In fact, all of the cons that we mentioned here are only a threat if you choose to go with low-quality, questionable VPN providers. A dubious VPN provider will burden your connection, serve you multiple ads, or even sell your personal data to third parties.
- Learn how to recognize bad VPNs: The thing is that every VPN provider you stumble upon will promise all of these fancy features that we went through. However, only a small number of VPNs can genuinely live up to their promises. The best way to learn how to recognize low-quality VPN providers is to do research and find those loopholes that separate the good from the bad VPNs.
You can learn to distinguish the bad VPN providers from the good ones by reading our thorough reviews, which are based on our own experiences testing these providers over months.
Remember: just because a certain VPN is deemed as top-notch, it doesn’t mean that it will respond to your particular needs. Learn to assess your needs first. Then based on those needs, search for the most suitable VPN provider that best aligns with your requirements.