The Pro and Cons of Using a VPN in 2019

Published by Benjamin Walsh on December 20, 2018

Utilizing the full potential of a VPN can come with a plethora of advantages. When it comes to privacy, security, and accessibility online, a VPN is the ultimate tool.
ExpressVPN encrypted virtual tunnel While the use of technology and the internet grows in popularity, as do VPNs, making it an essential part of our lives, and without one, we’re all at greater risk. However, it is important to know that nothing is perfect, not even a VPN.

Although the technology has developed well over the years, there are still aspects of a VPN that need improvement. The downsides differ for everyone but usually relate to location, connection, and other user-specific issues.

In this article, we will explain the pros and cons of using a VPN and which ones are best for keeping you safe online.

Pros: Why a VPN Is so Important

Whether you’re accessing important emails, using social media, streaming videos, or downloading content, enabling a VPN will protect you from any potential threats from using public and private Wi-Fi.

There are many reasons why you should use a VPN, here are some of the most important:

A VPN Will Keep You Safe

stay safe online

These days people are becoming more and more willing to share their personal information online. This means that hackers have their pick of the litter when it comes to stealing personal and financial information.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) Furthermore, governments and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) snoop on your activity, track, and monitor everything you do online. With this information, they send targeted ads, throttle your connection, and sell your data to third parties.

With a VPN, all data transmitted and received by your device becomes encrypted, keeping your personal information private and rendering all who wish to see it unable.

Typically, governments, ISPs, and hackers, access your information by intercepting it, however, with encryption, it becomes unreadable to those who don’t have the encryption key.

With some VPNs offering military-grade encryption, your information will be safe and secure, giving you peace of mind.

A VPN Will Allow You to Access Geo-Restricted Content

W TV website outside of America access is denied message Depending on what country you are in, some online content can be geo-restricted meaning it cannot be accessed unless you are in an eligible country.

Using a VPN to bypass geo-blocks is easy, as they change your IP address to that of the server, misleading websites. For example, if you want to watch La Liga, you can choose to connect to a Spanish server.

Unfortunately, there are some websites can detect if you’re using a VPN and will block you from accessing their content. Netflix is a major culprit for this.

Known IP addresses are scanned to determine which are VPN servers, so when a device tries to access Netflix, they can match the IP and block the content. However, this is a complicated algorithm few websites use.

A VPN Can Speed up Your Connections

network cyberspace
Virtual Private Networks and Internet Service Providers are not fond of each other
. ISPs seek to restrict bandwidth to urge customers to spend more money, whereas VPNs strive to enable unrestricted access, so users can browse, stream, and download without interruption.

ISPs have a tendency to participate in throttling, reducing users’ connection speed. When your data is encrypted, ISPs have no way of knowing what data is transmitted through the VPN, therefore, there is no way to throttle your data.

If you choose the right VPN provider offering a quality service at top speeds, it won’t feel like you’re using a VPN at all. Thus, whether you want to freely send private information, stream, download, or just browse the internet, you can do so at high speeds.

Cons: The Setbacks

In today’s tech-driven society, a VPN is becoming so essential, every household should consider one. The popularity of VPNs has surged recently, but as they are still rather new, some issues remain. It is important to know the “cons” shouldn’t be considered a disadvantage, rather a challenge to overcome.

VPNs Aren’t the Perfect Solution

Just because you use a VPN it doesn’t mean you are impervious to online threats. Though they are a powerful tool, they can lead you into a false sense of security if you aren’t cautious.

The internet is riddled with threats a VPN cannot prevent, usually down to personal error. For example, using a VPN does not protect you from hackers who breach your accounts due to weak and predictable passwords.

Moreover, if you forget to connect to a VPN server, you’re activity won’t be encrypted. The best solution is to improve personal habits and security.

Regularly change your passwords, make them more difficult to guess, and be wary when opening unfamiliar emails or visiting unsecured websites.
Use virus protection and firewalls to defend against potential malware. Implementing these habits combined with using a VPN can maintain the utmost security.

A VPN Can Be Costly

If you want to utilize the full potential of a VPN, you should get a premium service. Unfortunately, a premium service can be expensive. For the most popular services on the market, prices can range upward from $12 per month.

There are free VPNs available to choose from, but in some cases, they don’t provide you with an effective service. Some sell your information to third parties, one of the reasons why you choose to use a VPN in the first place.

Using a VPN Can Be Complicated

Not everyone has the knowledge to benefit from the full potential of a VPN. Some premium services on the market offer more technical features that can be difficult to understand.

The technical terms and protocols relating to software and hardware increase the complexity of proper implementation.

If you aren’t familiar with VPN technology it can be challenging to utilize properly. However, providers are coming up with new and intuitive ways to improve and simplify their user interface so everyone can use all the features they offer.

Considering the pros and cons, the following VPNs our top 3 choices for premium services. We believe these VPNs are the best job at maximizing the pros while eliminating the cons:

1NordVPN

NordVPN
Pros:

  • AES 256-bit military-grade encryption
  • 5,000+ servers in 60+ countries
  • Automatic killswitch
  • Zero logs

Cons:

  • Slower speeds
  • Expensive

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2ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Pros:

  • High speeds and reliable performance
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Over 2,000 servers in 94 countries
  • Split Tunneling

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Allows only 3 device connections

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3CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN

Pros:

  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Easy-to-use interface

Cons:

  • Slow customer support
  • Unconfirmed zero log policy

Try Now Risk Free

Benjamin Walsh
After earning his degree in Business, Ben decided to pursue his passion for marketing, writing and content development within the technology and cyber security industry. He would like to continue traveling and embracing other countries and cultures while furthering his career.