A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a decades-old technology that allows any computer to securely connect to a remote server in distant location, yet appear as though it’s connected locally.
Most of you would already be familiar with VPNs and probably use one to circumvent geo-restrictions, engage in P2P activities, or otherwise remain anonymous online. Although VPNs have been around for a while, there are still several damaging myths about them that could potentially negate the benefits of the service, or even confuse you when looking for the best VPN provider.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the top five myths about VPNs and why they’re simply not true.
Myth #1: A VPN Slows Your Internet Connection
This is logical, or is it? We know that a VPN connects through a server elsewhere and then to the Internet, so it “should” slow down a connection and reduce your super fast broadband speed?
Well not exactly.
Lets put it this way, your maximum speed is what your Internet Service Provider (ISP) gives you. There’s no way you are going to exceed that. You’re also limited to where and how you are connected, factors such as physical distance to the server and cable quality to your ISP. Almost everyone isn’t actually getting 100% full speed from their ISP (Yes the truth hurts!)
You can consider using a VPN service that has numerous high speed reliable servers in different countries and many locations within each country. Some even have features to connect to the fastest server in your chosen VPN location to get you the fastest possible connection.
“My internet connection is too fast!” said no one ever. But no one questions how “safe” they are when we get online.
Myth #2: A Free VPN Is Good Enough
Which camp do you belong to?
Most of us are probably somewhere in between. Free is good, but to a certain extent. There’s always a trade off where you’re giving up something to get “Free” stuff or service. Sometimes you may unknowingly be giving away much more than you think.
We discuss more about –> Free vs Paid VPN here.
In short, “Free” VPN servers also need to cover their costs of server, manpower and electricity. That income comes from other sources which can include advertising or worse, selling your personal data.
To understand what you’re getting yourself into, Always read the terms and conditions carefully. And remember, you get what you pay for!
Myth #3: Every VPN Is Similar
In short, “NO”
If you’ve decided to use a VPN, you’ve taken your privacy to a whole new level, securing your online presence significantly. Different VPN providers have different levels of encryption and techniques. Different users can customize what they need.
Of course like any other end product, some will give mediocre encryption while some give state of the art encryption.
Double check that your VPN provider DOES NOT keep logs. Some VPNs will indicate they do and reveal how and what logs they keep. If in doubt, check with them that no personal information is collected
Myth #4: I’m Using a VPN, so I Can Do Anything I Want Online
No VPN, Anti Virus, Anti Spyware, Anti Malware can protect you 100% online. This is the easiest myth to dispel. If you partake in risky online activity, like visiting dodgy websites, even while on a VPN. You’re more than adequately protected by there might be a slight remote possibility that malware or phishing software still can get through.
You must still remain vigilant while you’re online. That means staying safe while you’re connected to free public Wi-Fi, being cautious about suspicious emails, and employing other measures such as using an adequate firewall, anti-virus, anti-malware; in addition to being savvy.
Your safety and online privacy are important. Therefore, understanding the truth about VPNs and signing up with a good VPN provider can help alleviate any worries you may have about your security online.
Myth #5: I Only Need a VPN if I Access Something Illegal
Many people actually think they need a VPN to “bypass” geo restrictions or access something not available in your country of Residence. Lets be honest, there are many creative uses of VPN, including (not limited to) stuff like Pornography, Pirating software or Obtaining Music/Movies without paying.
While all these are definitely possible, many online actually do circumvent such rules of their country and ISP via a VPN. Its not the utmost of importance why you should use a VPN..
VPNs are designed to encrypt your communication, thereby securing your data. So even if you’re not engaged in shady internet activities, using a VPN whenever your data security could be at risk (e.g. when connected to a public hotspot) is always a good idea.
Are there any other myths about VPNs you know to be false? Or do you have any lingering questions about the service? Let us know in the comments below!