A VPN’s worth depends on mainly three things. Your needs, the quality of the VPN provider, and how you utilize it. This is why you need to work out a VPN’s worth based on your specific case. You may find a VPN valuable but your friend may think it’s a useless expense. You certainly cannot depend on your friend’s word.
To answer the question, yes, a VPN is worth it if you like to keep yourself secure online. Investing in a good-quality VPN then is beneficial as it keeps your online communication private. Its IP masking and encryption technologies protect your identity and hide your web activities.
In a growingly hostile world, individual users need to be extra cautious when surfing the web. But the added expense and trouble of VPN management prevent most users from even considering it. A good way to make up your mind is to weigh the pros and cons of a VPN. So, let’s take a look at the reasons why a VPN is worth it (and not) for the modern web user.
Reasons Why VPNs are Worth It
A VPN can do a lot more than cover tracks online and encrypt traffic. Here’s a quick list of what all a VPN can do for you.
1. A VPN hides your web activities
Imagine you are working from a café. You use the café’s free Wi-Fi to access your emails and work files. Everything is fine as long as the connection is not compromised. But what happens if it does get compromised? What if a hacker sitting in a nearby café sends out a malware attack on the network?
Chances are that your connection will be affected. Such an attack could harm your device and even gather data from your work and personal files. A virtual private network or VPN can prevent attacks like this. A VPN routes your web traffic through another server, which is usually located in another region. Essentially, it creates a private tunnel for safe and secure communication. Even when you are on a public network such as in the example above.
While 100% anonymity is too good to be true, any decent VPN can help you cover your online tracks. This is perhaps the number one reason to use a VPN.
2. Unblock sites with a VPN
Another great advantage of a VPN is its IP masking capability. With just a click, you can mask your IP address and change your web location. For instance, a user can switch to a South Korean IP address to watch the Netflix hit Squid Game if their native library doesn’t have it. All it takes is a VPN with a good server infrastructure.
Not just Netflix, a VPN can be used to unblock any given site on the web. This includes sites banned or censored in your country.
3. A VPN protects your privacy
Another reason why a VPN may be worth it is if you want to protect your privacy and online identity. When you surf the web, scores of analytical tools and websites gather your data every second. This is how you get targeted advertisements on email and social media. Although much of this happens anonymously, you are still a victim if you use the open internet.
A good way to avoid falling prey to such data miners is to use a VPN. Its encrypted connections separate you from your identity, thereby protecting your privacy.
If you are someone who deleted your Meta accounts (previously Facebook) recently, you surely value your privacy more. A VPN then becomes a crucial tool for modern-day web surfing and online shopping.
4. Affordable VPNs are available
Another reason that not many experts talk about is the affordability of VPNs. Ten years ago, you wouldn’t spend money every month to hide your web activities. The web was a much safer place back then anyway.
But things have changed now. The web is growingly hostile. On the positive side, VPNs are cheaper today, thanks to higher demand and more efficient technologies. At about $100 on average, you can stay protected for an entire year. And that’s an excellent reason to invest in a VPN no matter which country you reside in.
What VPNs Cannot Do
Before you do buy a VPN, it makes sense to know the things that it cannot do. Here are a few cons worth considering.
1. A VPN cannot make you 100% anonymous
The “100% anonymity” claim is a lie. No VPN can guarantee full anonymity as ISPs and surveillance agencies still have ways to track you if they want.
Having said that, a VPN does give you enough protection to stay out of the radar. A good example is when you are torrenting a movie. With a VPN, you can conceal your IP address and stay away from the public peer lists.
2. A VPN may throttle your speed
This is the best yet weakest argument against a VPN. Since a VPN creates a tunnel and encrypts your connection, you may face a slight speed reduction. For privacy protection, this means slower speeds across the board such as web surfing, downloading, and streaming.
However, most premium VPNs today hardly cause speed reduction. Reputed players like NordVPN have time and again showcased low to no reduction in speed. On the flip side, a VPN can help you bypass the throttling done by ISPs. In the United States, for example, certain ISPs are known to throttle speed to prevent users from accessing certain sites. With a VPN, you can avoid this and experience the free world wide web in all its glory.
Pro Tip – When using a VPN, opt for a server close to your location to get a better speed.
3. VPNs are prone to blacklisting
What is worse than purchasing a VPN and finding that it cannot unblock a site? In recent years, VPN IP blacklisting has diluted the efficiency of certain VPNs in unblocking sites. Certain websites blacklist IP addresses used by VPNs to prevent users from bypassing their blocks or geofences.
In some cases, you may not be able to unblock Netflix using a VPN. Its probability increases if you use a free or low-quality VPN. This calls for a wiser selection when it comes to buying a VPN.
Is Getting a VPN Worth It? – Final Verdict
Yes, getting a VPN is worth it if you value your privacy and want to hide your online activities. For a few dollars per month, you can enjoy secure connections, IP masking, and unlimited location change. When you surf the web via a VPN, your device and data are safe. This level of personal safety makes getting a VPN totally worth your hard-earned money.
Despite the downsides, a VPN can act as a privacy enhancer tool in the long run. When you don’t use a VPN, all you save is a few dollars per month. But the trade-off – unsecured connections, zero privacy, and vulnerability to malware attacks – is huge. In our expert view, it is not wise to surf the web without VPN protection.
Recommended VPN Services
Now that we have made a case for VPNs, it’s time to list some of the top providers. The best thing about these top-drawer VPN services is that they cure some of the shortcomings. For instance, both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are widely known to provide the best encryption at almost zero speed throttling.
A leading VPN provider with the right mix of top-notch encryption tech and features. It offers nearly 6,000 servers across 59 countries and is well-known as a high-speed VPN. Get NordVPN if you don’t like to compromise on VPN quality, speed, or features.
An affordable alternative to NordVPN, this one gives you total value for money. It has over 750 global servers, blocks ads and malware, and has superior VPN protocols. AtlasVPN is best suited if you stream a lot or download via torrents.
PrivateVPN is a true companion to torrent users with unlimited simultaneous connections. It also offers port forwarding, high-speed tunneling, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Get this if you want to balance good features at a reasonable price.
The best value-for-money VPN around, Surfshark excels in almost all departments. Its proprietary ad-blocking and tunneling functions are a class apart, making it one of the fastest-growing VPN services in the world.
ExpressVPN boasts of a lot of R&D-driven features like its special kill switch and RAM-disk servers. Apart from excellent privacy protection, it is one of the few VPN players that provide cross-platform support. Save for its inflated pricing, everything looks good here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about VPN’s worth.
Do I have to be a tech expert to install a VPN?
No, anyone with basic computer knowledge can download and install a VPN. Use our easy guide to get started.
Which VPN is best?
Can a VPN be hacked?
Yes, a VPN system is susceptible to hacking. Advanced hackers may find loopholes in the existing VPN architecture of a provider and gain access to its database. This makes it even more important to choose your VPN provider wisely.
What is the price range of a cost-efficient VPN?
A good-quality VPN that gives full value for money will cost you between $8 and $15 per month. There are tens of VPNs that are priced below and beyond this range. So, choose according to your budget and requirements. In most cases, if you opt for a long-term plan, you will get a discount.