VPN’s Pros and Cons: Is My Security Worth It?

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VPN’s Pros and Cons: Is My Security Worth It?

Have you ever been concerned that “big brother” may be watching your every move on the internet? Or maybe you’re a bigwig within a company and you want to keep important information away from online lurkers and spies. Perhaps you are just an entertainment junkie looking to stream some shows onto your laptop for your own enjoyment. If any of these scenarios sounds familiar, then a VPN (Virtual Private Network) may be a great option for you.

First off, it is important to understand what a VPN is supposed to do. Essentially, it is meant to make you virtually “invisible” on the internet. By design, the internet is not the most secure place. When you connect to an unsecured wifi network and are not using a VPN, you are instantly making yourself a target.  Anything you search for, watch, look up, or email is out there in cyberspace, attached to your IP address. To get around this vulnerability, a VPN may be your best friend. When you use a VPN, you are connecting to an encrypted server that creates a “secret” tunnel between you and the VPN Company’s server. In turn, their IP address becomes your IP address.

It sounds great but let us weigh the cons against the pros:

Not All VPNs Ensure Security

  • Wait, what? Isn’t that the point of using a VPN? Yes, but there are a couple of factors that may jeopardize the security of using a VPN.
    • Human Error: Once you choose a VPN, you will be required to set up which security protocols you would like to use which can be confusing. If the VPN is not set up properly, your data may not be as safe as you think.
      • Lack of Control: Large companies mainly use VPNs so employees can access and share information with each other remotely. The security of a company’s VPN depends on the number of remote users and whether or not they are accessing the company’s VPN in a secure manner. If one employee slips up then the company’s VPN may be compromised.

Not So Fast

  • Because a VPN encrypts your data, it creates more internet traffic, thus making the whole process slower. Not all VPNs are like this but if speed is a big issue to you, be sure that you choose a VPN that ensures speedy internet delivery while not compromising on security. You may visit vpnAlert for more details about the fastest VPNs in 2018.

Access Denied

  • If you are looking to stream videos via VPN, unfortunately, many companies are catching on this. For example, if you are vacationing in another country and are looking to stream your US Netflix account using your VPN, you may be denied.

It’ll Cost You

  • There are free VPNs out there but you get what you pay for. If you skimp on a VPN, you may be sacrificing your security; not all VPNs have the same security protocols. VPNs can cost you anywhere from $30 to $100+ per year. Obviously, if you are a major enterprise, the cost goes up substantially.

Now how about some Pros:

Safer Internet Browsing

  • As a private user: Even if you don’t set up your VPN properly at first, you have still ensured a safer internet experience. You can feel more at ease when using your VPN remotely over an unsecured wifi connection, making it extremely difficult for hackers to steal your information.
  • As a business: Using a more industrial strength VPN, there are often several options for levels of service that you can change as your business grows. By using a business level VPN, you can be more confident that your enterprise’s information is being kept confidential if remote employees log in to the VPN safely.

Cloaking Device

  • Because data is being secretly “tunneled” through an encrypted server, it is possible to gain access to streaming video through a VPN. Although some companies have put up geo-restrictions against VPNs (blocking access to streaming video based on your geographical location), it is still a lot easier to get around these restrictions to website and content using a VPN.

Better Business

  • Using a VPN in a large business makes it safe and convenient for multiple remote employees and locations to exchange large files and information without sacrificing security.

When it comes down to it, whether or not you use a VPN is, of course, a matter of how safe you want to feel on the internet. It is best to do your homework and not only know what dangers lie out there but what you can do about it.

 

Also Read: 6 Easy Tips That Could Make Your Web Browsing Secure

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