6 Reasons You Should Use a VPN All the Time

Last Updated by Joel Timothy on May 15, 2019

With the continuing increase in cybercrime, geo-restrictions, and ISP/Government monitoring, VPN popularity has risen significantly as people seek better ways of protecting their privacy and freedom.

A VPN is a powerful tool that secures your data and obscures your identity online to prevent third-parties from accessing your personal information.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)By masking your IP address and facilitating internet access using a proxy, it provides you with a false presence, and from there you can browse, stream or torrent anonymously, as well as unrestricted internet access and local content from almost any location.

VPNs perform various other functions like circumventing firewalls and preventing ISP throttling, making them a more vital tool for general internet usage. However, there’s a popular question among both new and experienced VPN users: Should I use a VPN all the time?

The answer isn’t so straightforward, and so let’s discuss some situations when you will need to have a VPN on to ensure safety and optimum performance.

Six Situations When You Should Keep Your VPN Turned On

1When you want to be anonymous online

ISPs can observe everything you’re doing online. They can see the websites you visit at any particular time, and even what you’re streaming or downloading. While this may not seem like a big issue, there are some places you shouldn’t expose your online activities, especially if you’re in a country where the government is repressive.

Keep Your Identity Safe OnlineIn such a situation, you should always keep your VPN activated. This also applies to people who like torrenting or streaming copyrighted content, as in some cases that is illegal.

Your ISP, the website you stream or download from, and copyright trolls can always see your activities and even your location. Thousands of users have received DMCA notices, something that is avoided using a VPN.

However, when choosing a VPN for privacy, you need to ensure that the VPN is registered offshore and that it keeps zero connection and usage logs.

Additionally, the VPN should have IP or DNS leak protection, as breaches can easily expose you. One of the best VPNs that we would recommend for privacy is SurfShark.

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2When You Want to Access Blocked Content

Geo-restrictions have become the norm with various websites and almost every streaming service. These restrictions have either been implemented by governments through ISPs, or the streaming services have been forced to do so by copyright owners. To circumvent all these and restore your online freedom, you need to keep your VPN turned on.

ČT Sport geoblock message There are, however, some streaming sites where you can turn off your VPN after your stream has started, which can be helpful in situations where your VPN offers limited bandwidth.

However, you won’t be able to load another video or even open another webpage if you were unblocking a website. However, only a few streaming sites allow that, and Netflix is not one of them.

It’s therefore wise to get a VPN with unlimited bandwidth, and can unblock various streaming services as well as websites in high censored countries. One of the best VPNs at this is NordVPN.

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3When You Are on a Public Wi-Fi

While public hotspots are popular and useful, they pose a significant danger to your data and security. In 2016, Steven Petrow, a USA Today reporter, had his computer hacked while he was using American Airlines’ in-flight Gogo Wi-Fi. The hacker read every email he sent and received during the flight.

Belgium best vpn trip online securityPublic hotspots are the haven for hackers and other cybercriminals, and there are many ways how hackers abuse public hotspots. It’s easy to lose your data or get infected with malware/ransomware on public networks.

Since we can’t always remember to turn on our VPNs when your device automatically connects to a network that it recognizes, it’s advisable to use a VPN with automatic Wi-Fi protection. By doing this, you will always be protected when connected to an unsecured or unknown network.

CyberGhost VPN’s security features can help you deal with this effortlessly.

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4When You Are Experiencing Bandwidth Throttling

ISPs have made bandwidth throttling a common practice. They do this when they see that you are consuming a lot of bandwidth streaming or torrenting, and when they want to ease network congestion, or even as a way of luring you to upgrade your plan.

ExpressVPN Torrenting The result of this is that your speeds get slower than usual, especially when you use bandwidth-intensive services like streaming or gaming.

By leaving your VPN connected, you can easily circumvent ISP throttling.

Since a VPN encrypts your data, your ISP will not be able to see what services you are accessing, as all that will come their way is encrypted gibberish, resulting in faster connections. However, you will need to connect to a server near you to get maximum speeds. ExpressVPN operates servers in 94 different countries, and so you will get a server near you.

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5When you want to make an online transaction

In 2017, an Austrian man had $117k in bitcoin stolen from his account while connected to a restaurant’s public wireless network. The victim had logged into the unsecured network to check the value of his Bitcoin holdings. 

Incidents like this highlight how risky it is to perform any financial transactions with a network you don’t trust or without a VPN.

Unsecured transactions can be intercepted, and if it happens to you, then your money will be as good as gone. If you are into online trading or cryptocurrency, always keep your VPN on during transactions.

However, PayPal is a bit complicated, as it will lock your account as a safety procedure when they detect a sudden change in location.

To avoid having to verify your account, always connecting using a server near you. Even better, get a VPN with a dedicated IP address like PureVPN and PayPal won’t realize it belongs to a VPN.

Get our PureVPN Deal

6When You Want to Save Some Money

Various online stores usually have different prices for users in different regions and locations. Generally, this mostly happens with commodities like travel tickets, hotels, car rentals, but also with many other products and services, including Netflix.

stay safe online To save money when shopping online, you can connect your VPN to a different location and check out the best prices for a particular product before ordering. To make the most out of it, you will need a VPN like HMA that offers servers in 190+ countries.

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How do I keep my VPN connected all the time?

Most VPNs provide an option of launching the VPN at startup and automatically securing your connections. To do this, you can open setting and set this up and the preferences or customization section (name varies with the VPN).

Even better, you can automatically secure your whole home by installing the VPN at the router level. If the router you are using is from your ISP, this may not be possible, but you can always buy a VPN-capable router.

You can easily configure your VPN on the router, or you can even get a pre-configured one at flashrouters.com. These, however, cost significantly higher, and so it would be cheaper to do it for yourself or ask a tech-savvy person to do it for you.
Linksys WRT32X Gaming Router Additionally, you can go with ExpressVPN, which provides easy to install applets for various router models. With the VPN, you will even be able to select the devices that you want to secure and the ones that you want to use through your ISP.

Here’s a 57% discount to get you started.

Conclusion

VPNs have become a necessity if you spend a significant amount of time online. They can secure your data, offer privacy, circumvent geo-restrictions, and much more. Ultimately, whether you should keep your VPN turned on will depend on you.

However, there are still some scenarios that will require you to turn off your VPN, for example, when accessing your bank or you want to access local news. In such a case, you can disconnect your VPN, and then reconnect later.

To make it easier, you can opt for a VPN with split tunneling like ExpressVPN and choose the apps you want to leave out.

Depending on your needs, you can also choose from our top five VPNs below.

Rank
Provider name
Our score
Price
Top Choice
1.
Top Choice
NordVPN
$3.49 / month
Save 71%
Top Choice
2.
Top Choice
ExpressVPN
$6.67 / month
Save 48%
Top Choice
3.
Top Choice
CyberGhost VPN
$2.75 / month
Save 77%
Top Choice
4.
Top Choice
Surfshark
$1.99 / month
Save 83%
Top Choice
5.
Top Choice
PrivateVPN
$1.89 / month
Save 73%
Joel Timothy
Joel is an online privacy advocate, writer, and editor with a special interest in cyber security and internet freedom. He likes helping readers tackle tricky tech and internet issues, as well as maximize the boundless power of the internet.