Virtual Private Networks or VPNs have been around for a long time now, and their primary use among people is to provide secure connection through remote servers, making it seem as if you’re situated locally someplace close to that remote network.
Let’s take you through the 4 biggest myths surrounding Virtual Private Networks’ usage, so you can make a well-informed decision about their purchase and use only the best VPN service for your needs.
You don’t necessarily require a VPN if you’re not doing anything illegal
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding VPNs is that you require them only for illegal online activities, for instance, accessing copyrighted content or content restricted for your geographical location. Although an efficient VPN service can prove to be a godsend in such situations, these situations shouldn’t be the only reason you use such services for.
VPNs do their work by encrypting everything that is sent from/to your computer on the Internet, providing you with complete data security. Hence, using a VPN is important even if you’re not indulging in any questionable Internet activity, simply to secure yourself, for instance while using public hotspots.
VPNs reduce your internet browsing speed
The speed of a VPN service entirely depends on the speed offered by your Internet service provider. You’d never get a lower or higher speed than what is offered by your ISP. Secondly, the remote server’s location also plays a significant role in this regard. The more is the distance between your computer/device and the remote server, the more will be the latency, slowing down your Internet speed. Hence, it’s always better to go with VPN providers that have their servers spread out in different parts of the world, allowing you to use them effectively and at the fastest speed.
Free VPNs are as good as the paid ones
While no one minds things that come for free, people often end up paying a heavy price for such freebies. You should always check if the so-called free VPN service is actually worth giving a try. Although such VPNs do offer their services at no cost, they place several restrictions on their usage. You might need to put up with speed limits, apart from caps on maximum monthly bandwidth. Furthermore, the service provider might actually be making a note of all your browsing details, including email addresses and personal information. Therefore, do make sure that your free VPN service provider offers high Internet speed and doesn’t keep any activity logs.
Using a VPN service gives you a license to do anything on the Internet
Contrary to the popular perception, please note that no matter how reputed or effective a virtual private network may be, it can never guarantee you 100% protection, especially in cases where there are inherent risks involved in your online activities. So, browsing risky websites using a VPN connection might not prevent you from hacking attempts or malware attacks. You must be particularly cautious about such risks when using public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Photograph by Jeroen Bennink