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Should You Always Use a VPN? No, Here’s Why

should you always use vpn

Ever wondered if that VPN you’ve been advised to keep on 24/7 is always your best bet? Think of your internet connection as your favorite coffee shop. Just as you might not need a double shot of espresso for every coffee run, you don’t need a VPN for every online jaunt. In this article, we’re spilling the beans on when to turn that VPN off. And, when to actually you need to use it.

By the end, you’ll not only know why flipping the VPN switch off occasionally can be a good idea. You’ll also be equipped to make smarter, more informed decisions about your online privacy.

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Why You Shouldn’t Always Use a VPN?

VPNs offer strong privacy and security. However, there are times when using a VPN can be more harmful than helpful.

One of the more common issues VPN users face is a drop in internet speed. VPNs can slow down your connection by rerouting your traffic through different servers. This can be frustrating if you want to stream a video or download large files.

Using a VPN for online banking can trigger fraud alerts, lock your account, or disrupt the service. These are just a few examples of how a VPN can hinder instead of help. We will discuss these reasons in detail to show that sometimes it’s better to not use a VPN.

Using a VPN all the time can result in lots of annoying CAPTCHAs. Websites want to make sure you’re not a bot causing problems. Additionally, if you’re on a secure home network that you trust, you might not need the VPN. Many modern home routers already have strong security features.

When You Should Keep Your VPN On?

Securely Use Public Wi-Fi

Using a VPN on public Wi-Fi networks is crucial. These networks are not secure. Cybercriminals use them to steal your data. A VPN encrypts your connection, keeping your online activities private.

Improve Speed by Avoiding Throttling

Internet service providers can slow down your internet if you use it a lot. A VPN can stop ISPs from seeing what you do online. Avoid internet slowdowns by protecting your personal information. This is especially important when you’re doing activities that require a lot of internet, such as streaming.

Safeguard Your Personal Information

A VPN acts as a shield for your personal data, encrypting your online interactions. It is very important to be cautious when sending private information to avoid it being accessed by hackers and snoops.e

Prevent Targeted Advertising

Companies and websites track your browsing habits to serve you targeted ads. A VPN can hide your IP address. This makes it more difficult for services to track your online activity and send you targeted ads.

Bypass Regional Firewalls

A VPN can help you access the internet freely and easily, even when you’re traveling or in an area with limited internet access. It allows you to get around local firewalls and connect to a free and open internet.

Enhance Security on Unencrypted Websites

Not all websites use secure HTTPS connections. When you visit an unencrypted site, a VPN will provide an extra layer of security, protecting your data from prying eyes.

Defeat Censorship

In countries with heavy internet monitoring and censorship, a VPN is a powerful tool. It can bypass government restrictions, letting you access the full internet.

Browse the Web Anonymously

Privacy-conscious individuals may want to keep their browsing habits private. By keeping your VPN on, you can roam the internet anonymously, without leaving a digital footprint.

Save Money While Online Shopping

Prices online can vary based on your location. You can save money on flights, software subscriptions, and more by changing your virtual location with a VPN.

Secure Multiple Devices Simultaneously

A VPN can protect multiple devices simultaneously. This means that all of your internet devices can have the same protection. You won’t need to use multiple security solutions.

Protect Against Phishing and DDoS Attacks

VPNs add an extra security measure against phishing and DDoS attacks. These attacks often rely on knowing your IP address, which a VPN can hide, making it more difficult for attackers to target you.

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When Should You Turn Off a VPN?

To Improve Connection Speed for Local Services

If local websites or services are slow to load or stream, turning off your VPN can make your connection faster. The data doesn’t have to go through an extra server.

To Access Local Content and Services That Block VPNs

Some local online content and services block access from VPNs. To use these services, you’ll need to turn off your VPN to gain access.

To Use Devices or Services That Require Your Real IP Address

Certain devices or services need your actual IP address to work correctly. For these, disable your VPN so they can operate properly.

To Perform Online Banking That Might Flag VPN Use as Suspicious

Banks often flag logins from foreign IPs (which can be a result of using a VPN) as suspicious activity. To avoid potential account locks, it’s wise to turn the VPN off.

When the VPN Significantly Drains Your Device’s Battery Life

Using a VPN can drain your device’s battery faster. If you need to conserve battery life, consider disconnecting the VPN.

To Reduce Data Usage if Your VPN Is Data-Intensive

VPNs can use more data due to encryption overhead. If you’re on a data cap, turning it off can save your data allowance.

To Troubleshoot Network or Connectivity Issues

Some network problems can be caused by VPNs. To diagnose these issues, switch off your VPN to see if it solves the problem.

To Ensure Accurate Local Search Results

For local search queries, where accurate location data matters, turn off your VPN to get the most relevant local results.

To Access a Corporate Network That Does Not Allow VPN Traffic

Corporate networks may have strict security policies that don’t allow VPN traffic. Disconnect your VPN to access these networks.

When Engaging in Some Online Gaming VPN Use May Affect

Some online games perform better with a direct connection. If your VPN is causing latency issues, shut it down for a smoother gaming experience.

What Happens if You Always Keep Your VPN On?

Keeping your VPN on all the time increases privacy and protects data. It encrypts your online activities and hides your IP address. This encryption is great for security on public Wi-Fi and defends against cyber threats.

However, having a VPN connected all the time can slow down your internet. It can also cause frequent CAPTCHAs, limit access to local content, and create problems with online services like banking.

CAPTCHA shown when using a VPN

In addition, it uses more data and drains your battery faster. If you’re a gamer, you may experience delays or be unable to access certain things with a VPN. Deciding whether to keep your VPN on all the time means considering these pros and cons. You need to decide whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and if it suits your internet needs.

Pros and cons of always keeping a VPN on

Keeping your VPN on permanently has its advantages and disadvantages. Below is a table summarizing the key points:

Enhances online privacyCan slow down internet speed
Protects against cyber threatsMay lead to frequent CAPTCHAs
Bypasses geo-restrictions and censorshipCertain local services and content may be inaccessible
Prevents ISP throttlingCould interfere with certain device functions
Helps avoid targeted ads Might be flagged by banking and financial services
Safeguards against insecure Wi-Fi networks Can increase data usage due to encryption
Provides an encrypted communication tunnel May not be compatible with all internet-dependent devices and services
Conceals your IP address for anonymity Potential drain on device battery life
Can potentially save money on e-commerce and travel Might require adjusting settings for local search results
Multi-device security with one service May necessitate troubleshooting for connectivity issues
Offers protection from phishing attempts and DDoS attacks Certain games may experience latency or block VPN usage

How To Keep a VPN On All The Time

Here’s how you can keep a VPN on all the time. The best choice would be NordVPN as it has all the necessary features to automatically connect to the VPN server.

  1. Pick a Good VPN. Choose a VPN with a kill switch.
  2. Create an Account and Install
  3. Sign up for the VPN and put the app on your device.
  4. In the VPN app’s settings, find and enable “auto-connect.”
  5. Activate the Kill Switch
  6. If the VPN lets you pick which Wi-Fi is safe to not use VPN.
  7. Turn off the VPN and restart your device. It should connect on its own.
  8. Make sure the VPN program is the latest version.
  9. Look for the VPN icon on your device to make sure it’s working.
NordVPN auto-connect feature

How To Pause Your VPN?

To temporarily disable your VPN without completely turning it off, you can use the pause feature, as offered by services like NordVPN. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the NordVPN browser extension or mobile app.
  2. Look for the ‘Pause VPN’ option.
  3. Choose how long you want to pause the VPN: 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 1 hour.
  4. Click ‘Pause’ to activate the timer.
  5. Your VPN connection will pause for the time you’ve selected.

After the time expires, NordVPN will automatically reconnect, ensuring you don’t stay unprotected for longer than necessary.

NordVPN Pause VPN feature

Can You Use a VPN for Specific Websites or Apps?

Yes, you can use a VPN with specific websites or apps using split tunneling. With NordVPN, for example, you can use this in a browser extension or a VPN app:

  1. Open NordVPN’s extension settings.
  2. Look for Split Tunneling.
  3. In this section, select websites or IP addresses you want to exclude from the VPN.
  4. After you make your selections, only the chosen websites won’t use the VPN.
  5. Now you successfully set it up for specific sites!

This feature is particularly useful when you need a VPN connection for certain privacy-sensitive tasks, while preferring other services to remain fast and direct.

NordVPN split tunneling

Do You Need a VPN at Home?

Even at home, a VPN can increase your privacy and help secure your internet connection. Using NordVPN at home can:

  • Protect against cyber threats.
  • Keep your internet activities private from ISPs and advertisers.
  • Access geo-restricted content like streaming services from different regions.
  • Safeguard your smart home devices by encrypting your home network.

While your home network is likely more secure than public Wi-Fi, a VPN like NordVPN can enhance that security and give you greater control over your digital privacy.

Pros of Using a VPN at HomeCons of Using a VPN at Home
Enhances privacy from ISPsCan slow down internet speed
Protects against hackers and cyber threatsMay interfere with local network devices
Accesses geo-blocked contentSome services block VPN use
Secures all connected devicesMay increase cost with subscription fees


In conclusion, while a VPN is a valuable tool for online privacy and security, it’s not necessary to use one at all times. Assess your specific needs and the task at hand to decide when to activate your VPN.

For instance, if security is your priority or if you’re using public Wi-Fi, keeping your VPN on is wise. However, for high-speed internet tasks or when using services that block VPNs, you may choose to turn it off.

Try NordVPN – it has great features to optimize your VPN usage.


Should I use a VPN at home?

Yes, if you want extra privacy and security for your internet activities at home, use a VPN.

Why shouldn’t I use a VPN?

Don’t use a VPN if you need fast internet for activities like gaming or if the service is blocked by the content you wish to access.

Should I leave my VPN on all the time on my phone?

Only keep your VPN on all the time if you want constant privacy protection. It may drain the battery faster.

Is a VPN really necessary?

A VPN is necessary for protecting your online data, using public Wi-Fi safely, and accessing geo-restricted content.

Should I get a free VPN?

Be cautious. Free VPNs may have limitations and can lack security features. Paid VPNs are generally safer and more reliable.

Do I need a VPN?

You need a VPN if you want to keep your internet activities private and secure, especially on public networks.

Should I always turn on my VPN?

Not always. Turn it off for speed-intensive tasks or if using a service that blocks VPNs.

Should businesses use VPNs?

Yes, businesses should use VPNs for securing remote work connections and protecting company data.

When should I use a VPN on my phone?

Use a VPN on your phone when connecting to public Wi-Fi, traveling, or when you want privacy for your online activities.

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