There have been a couple of circumstances when I encountered the term “VPN”. The first time was when I read about people downloading movies en masse in the late 2000s. “Experts” in the field of piracy then advised those who want to download stuff to use a VPN so that their identities can be masked and the authorities would not be able to trace their illegal activities. I had a friend forward to me a copy of a movie he downloaded illegally, and the quality was so poor that I didn’t bother finishing the film and waited for it to be released in theaters of my little ‘ol town. Suffice to say that first experience didn’t warm me up to this VPN thing everyone else seemed to be enamored.
The next time I heard of VPN was when I started playing Pokémon Go. One of my friends who also played the hottest game at that time had “caught” so many Pokémon, even those I only read of as available in other parts of the world. When I asked him how he got this monster that players can only catch in Japan when I know for certain that he hasn’t even taken a plane ride in his life, he nonchalantly replied, “VPN”. And so, I tried this VPN thing for myself. Apart from the game, I noticed my browsing speeds were at a snail’s pace. Right there, I decided virtual private networks are not my thing.
If you are considering installing a VPN on any of your devices, take note that they also have a number of disadvantages. With all the hype you surely may have heard about VPNs, there are some things that may make your web experience not that pleasant. It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons, but for now, let’s look closer into the cons.
You will encounter issues in speed
As I remarked earlier, a VPN may decrease your internet speeds. As a VPN works hard to encrypt your network traffic that should result in your improved security and anonymity, it also will use more resources and may time more time. Thus, the introduction of some overhead can slow VPNs. You may find ideal VPN services that strike a balance between security and speed, but prepare to shell out some cash for that, because these services are paid.
There are many reasons for a slow VPN, starting from your device’s limited resources to the encryption method used and everything in between.
Your VPNs can stalk you
Some VPN service will give you access to their private servers to provide you with enhanced services such as improved speed and security, but at a price: your data. This can be hidden in their fine print when you agree to their services, and who has the time and patience to read the fine print? So you have to be aware that if you’re getting free private connection for cents, chances are high that they are tracking your activity.
VPNs that log your data may choose to do so for their own gain, like bad free VPNs, or they may be forced to log for other reasons, like some kind of restrictive country law.
VPN Security for Business Users
Businesses usually benefit from VPNs because they allow remote employees access to the network of the company. This is especially beneficial nowadays that people are working from home and afraid to go outdoors least they want to get the COVID-19 virus. But then, the company’s network admins may not have a lot of control over the devices that remote employees use to connect to their network, which is obviously a security risk.
Yet while VPNs could effectively enable and secure remote access in the past when most work was done onsite within company walls, their use has become increasingly risky in a world that includes a preponderance of virtual workers.
100% Anonymity? Not Really
Even die-hard users of VPNs can still have their identities revealed. If your DNS leaks, or your VPN gets disconnected while you are still browsing, or if your VPN provider has agreements with government agencies that your information may be forwarded in the interest of national security, then you may not really be anonymous after all. Just know that VPNs aren’t really the Alcatraz of web user identities that they claim themselves to be.
You could argue that a VPN has a bad name in some circles. Connecting in a secure and anonymous way does protect some nefarious individuals who are transmitting illegal software, child pornography, copyrighted movies, and other illicit material. However, that view of a VPN is completely false.
While you need to exercise a bit of caution when using VPNs, so must you with important documents. If your system got hacked because you used a cheap VPN, we may help you with recovering files. Read more to see your options on data recovery with your laptop here: https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/laptop-data-recovery.
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