Most users worldwide now understand the importance of using a VPN, with the countless vulnerabilities attached to todays modern internet. But, how many of us know how a VPN truly works? How and what vulnerabilities come with a VPN?
What is a VPN?
The short answer is – a VPN is a security software. It allows users to unblock or access geo-restricted content, secures their devices, connects company devices under one solid system, or even used to bypass ISP throttling. A Virtual Private Network may have been popular years ago, but with the sudden spike in online attacks, or fraudulent websites, a VPN is needed now more than ever. Many perks come with using a VPN, but there are as many vulnerabilities with VPN users’ sudden progression around the world.
Sure, a VPN comes packed with advanced features and promises the best military-grade encryption – impenetrable encryption, securing user data, device, and anonymity online. However, how has a VPN changed in the new digital age?
Let us go over the pros and cons of a VPN below.
According to CBT nuggets…
VPNs are now obsolete in 2021, but, why? It claims that modern-day apps are way more secure and easy to access, than what they used to be a couple of years ago. You will find apps, or web services like online file-sharing, video call apps, or security software that are evolving over time, built with stronger security backing. Does this mean that VPNs are not needed entirely?
That is not true. There are still a few reasons why you would need a VPN, which the now evolved internet has caused higher usage rates. There might be better or secure means of apps, and security software that overtakes the VPN rein, but they are not enough. There are still online restrictions and countries that enforce online censorships or surveillance that only a VPN can help curb.
A VPN offers a large number of servers that you can use to bypass a surplus of online restrictions, all while masking your physical IP address. You could use a proxy or sort, but it still does not come with the same encryption standards that a VPN offers.
There are always positive and negative points to every software, including a VPN, but that does not mean you should overlook one or the other. The sudden spike in VPN usage was recorded last year in 2020 due to the pandemic. It was especially used for the workforce that migrated to home life.
However, even though VPNs have evolved with advancements in better security sources in the recent years, there are still a few issues you need to be clear of.
How does a VPN hamper overall performance online?
As mentioned above, there are a few vulnerabilities that come with VPN services. However, this is the case for most security software. No security device or app is a 100% solid. If you choose the wrong VPN, it could slow down your speeds even more than usual. There are also situations where VPNs claim to unblock certain popular platforms but fail to do so from lack of adequate tools. The worst thing a VPN could do is store sensitive user data, or be used to steal large files of data from mega dollar organizations and hold it as ransom. There have been such cases in the past.
You need to choose the best VPN with careful consideration, since many providers come with major flaws. Take a look below to understand rules behind choosing the best on. However, there are still ways to make sure that you use a VPN wisely, without being completely dependent on it, especially if it is linked with business corporations.
How to choose a VPN that is safe and reliable
As mentioned above, there are many VPNs that aren’t reliable nor safe. You will find many on the Google or Apple Stores that claim to be the best, but in fact come with loads of vulnerabilities. Here is a short guide showing you how to choose the best VPN you can rely on:
Why do you need the VPN?
Before looking for features or perks, you need to understand why you need a VPN. Do you need one for streaming? Is it to bypass ISP throttling or for online protection? Or, do you need one to change your IP address? Even though a VPN serves the same purpose, they all offer different attributes that make them different from eachother. Figure out why you need one, and then move on to the next tip.
Affordability of a VPN
Sometimes you might have a set budget in mind for a VPN service. However, make sure you don’t look for a free VPN just because of your budget. It could cause more harm than good for your device. Also, remember that sometimes the price of a VPN doesn’t determine the performance. For instance, a cheap VPN sometimes works better than more, while a few expensive providers work poorly in comparison. It all comes down to how the VPN performs, which brings us to the next point.
Look for a VPN with a free trial. In this way, if the provider is boasting the fastest speeds or tight security features, you can test the app to crosscheck. Choose a VPN with either a free trial or one that offers a money-back guarantee. You can use that to hack a free trial.
For all those who require a VPN mainly for streaming, torrenting or gaming, then make sure you choose a VPN that offers not a massive but a dependable list of servers. It should be enough for you to connect with multiple geo-restricted services. Make sure that the server you require is already on the list. If you’d like a dedicated IP choose a VPN that offers it.
For most beginners, navigating through a VPN won’t be such an easy task. Choose a VPN that offers straight to the point directions and apps that are easy even for beginners to use and simple to install.
Online protection is important in today’s digital world, and that’s what this whole guide is about. The VPN you choose needs to offer strong military-grade protection, and advanced fetaures like a Kill Swich, Split-Tunneling, Ad-blocker and much more. Use the free trial or refund period to put the VPN’s fetaures to the test.
This might not seem like a valid point, but it is. There are more cases of users investing into VPN services and not knowing how to use it. For this, you require a reliable customer support or team thar can assist you during the set up, installation or any other issues if ever the need arises. Many chat supports aren’t helpful. You can test their promptness before subscribing to a VPN. All you need to do is head to the website and ask them a few questions to see how they repond.
VPNs are a great way to safely stay connected online, while accessing content not regionally available to you, but there are always flaws that come with it. Although one thing is for sure, a VPN has managed to evolve over time, with the rapid increase of cyberattacks in the new digital age. This influx has forced VPN providers to evaluate their software with new and better solutions. However, you still must be careful while using a VPN, regardless of what you’re using it for.