Knowing the pros and cons of a VPN or Virtual Private Network is an essential step before making a purchase. After all, the use of this type of online protection has become much more popular in recent years.
Over 3 billion people use the Internet worldwide. This necessarily creates demands in terms of security and anonymity.
For you to have a better overview of which benefits such a security product can bring you and your family, we have made a small summary of the pros and cons of using a VPN service.
Benefits of a VPN connection
Without any further ado, let’s jump right into the many benefits of using a VPN on your devices. That way, you will gain a good understanding of why you should use this tool.
As we said earlier, the first big advantage when using a VPN connection is security.
By opting for such a security solution, you will protect your internet connection. Whether you are connected to a public or a private network, your data will be safe and encrypted.
Virtual Private Network providers like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, NordVPN, Surfshark, and much more use military-grade encryption (256-bit AES).
To put it simply, no hacker will be able to access your data. The security quality of this type of tool and the encryption technologies used are recognized worldwide.
All your data will be safe with a VPN connection activated. In addition, anonymity will also be at its best. What does that mean? Simply that no one will be able to trace what you do on the Internet.
By using a VPN server, you will use another IP address than yours.
Thus, no navigation data will be recorded. This is called “No-Log”. Thanks to this, you will not have to fear getting into legal issues with the authorities. It is also a good alternative so that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) cannot access sensitive information linked to your activity online.
Bypassing censorship and geo-blocking
A Virtual Private Network allows you to change your IP address with that of another VPN server while you are connected. So you can choose any server in the world from the network of servers offered by your VPN provider. A VPN company will always provide you with many server options.
It is therefore the ideal solution to solve the problems of censorship and geo-blocking. You just have to choose a server in a country where your favourite site is not blocked.
Thus, you will use an IP address from this country which will relieve you at the same time of the constraints linked to possible censorship. Note that in some countries like China, these censorships are very effective.
Downloading content or torrenting
Note that the best Virtual Private Network providers allow you to download without any risk. You will be able to download all kinds of files without anyone snooping around your download activity.
How is it possible? As mentioned earlier, the tool will hide your IP address which will prevent you from being identified when downloading online. This is really convenient when downloading using P2P/Torrent.
All you have to do to take advantage of this is to make sure that your supplier uses offers a strong “No-Log” policie. Add to that features like a Kill Switch function and you should be able to sleep well at night, knowing that your personnal online activity is in good hands.
Unlock streaming services
Of course, unlimited streaming is one of the main benefits of a VPN service. To put it simply, all streaming platforms will open their doors to you with a VPN, regardless of your real location. There will be almost no limit.
Streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime, Hulu or HBO Max are also affected by geo-blocking. You just have to choose the country where the platform is not geo-blocked and voila.
You can do the same with all platforms to watch their content as you wish. You can even watch programs from foreign TV channels in the US. Likewise, you can always follow your favourite US shows live from abroad. This can for example be an excellent solution to unblock and access American TV from abroad.
Find cheaper fares
Did you know that using a Virtual Private Network could lower prices when shopping on the internet? Yet, it is indeed the case. It is mainly the airlines that are concerned but this can apply to other services.
When you go to a site, they record your IP address. If you come back a second time to make a purchase, the website can take advantage of it. Indeed, they know that you are interested in the product, so they will increase their prices to have a better profit margin.
By using a Virtual Private Network, you will only have to use different IP addresses when you access the website again. This way, they will think that this is your first visit and offer you very low prices to get you going.
Disadvantages of a VPN service
These days, there are many providers in the field of Virtual Private Networks. This competition plays a lot in your favour. Indeed, to attract customers, service providers are continually improving their offers and services.
However, there are bound to be disadvantaged when using VPN services.
Of course, we are not talking about negative points that will create big problems or security concerns. These are only minor annoyances that need to be adressed so that you know what to expect before using this kind of tool.
Reducing your bandwidth and connection speed
The first disadvantage of using a VPN is the effect on the overall Internet speed. When you use a Virtual Private Network, your internet connection will undoubtedly slow down. You will have to choose the best suppliers on the market to mitigate this negative point.
Indeed, with some providers like NordVPN and most providers offering the Wireguard protocol, the loss of connection speed is barely noticeable and the download speeds excellent.
Note that the loss of speed is not so considerable with the main providers. You can make the comparison with the Tor network or proxies which also offer a certain form of anonymity.
At this level, Internet speed is more than acceptable with a Virtual Private Network. We had to mention it in this article dealing with the advantages and disadvantages of the VPN.
Increased battery consumption
Of course, using such online protection necessarily leads to a significant battery consumption as your VPN client has to be running in the background constantly.
Unfortunately, a Virtual Private Network is a power-hungry application. It will therefore consume part of your battery once your protection is activated. However, this negative point will not be much of a problem if you install the software on your computer. It is more a problem for mobile users!
In any case, all portable devices such as smartphones and tablets will necessarily suffer this effect. It is a necessary evil to benefit from the security of your data and anonymity on the Internet.
We must also mention the price among the disadvantages of a VPN. Indeed, all the benefits we talked about earlier have a price. Admittedly, there are many free Virtual Private Networks, but we do not recommend using them in most of the cases.
The performance of the free versions is atrocious. In addition, the average price of this type of service is not that unreasonable. Are you still going to risk disclosing your online data to save a few dollars a month?
Besides, there is a little trick to allow you to optimize your VPN costs. You just have to sign up for the longest subscription which is usually 2 to 3 years long. This way, you will benefit from a better monthly rate. And at the same time, you will be protected for several years.