9 biggest VPN myths and misconceptions debunked
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A VPN enables users to secure their internet connection through the server that’s controlled and run by the VPN provider. The tool has allowed people to use public hotspots without worrying about their information getting leaked or hacked.
VPN encrypts your data and ensures that the information you share with others remains private. It is important to note that not all VPN providers offer the same security features. Some are better and more secure than others.
With the rapid evolution of VPN technology, many people believe in the common VPN myths. For example, contrary to popular belief, your internet connection doesn’t suffer when you use a VPN. Similarly, VPN is not only for tech-savvy people.
There are many misconceptions about VPNs. In this post, we are going to walk you through the top VPN myths and their reality. Let’s get started without wasting any time further.
VPN myths and misconceptions
Below you go with some of the biggest (the most-common) myths and about using a VPN service debunked with actual facts:
VPN leads to an unstable internet connection
VPN encrypts your data. Your data passes through the VPN server. Then the server encrypts data before sending it to the destination.
This process could slow down your internet, as it takes time to encrypt information. However, it doesn’t cause an unstable or poor internet connection.
In fact, the change in the internet speed is not even noticeable. If you are on a paid plan of a quality VPN, rest assured you will get a fast and secure network.
In some cases, VPN can even speed up your connection. Such cases include when ISP is throttling your internet speed for specific traffic. Many ISPs around the world throttle users’ speed when they are torrenting.
The speed of the internet also depends on the service provider and the country.
If you are using a VPN on the other side of the world, then you should expect low internet speed. However, it doesn’t happen in general. All it takes is making sure you connect to a server that’s close to your actual location.
In essence, VPN does not cause an unstable network or poor internet connection.
I don’t need to pay for a VPN
You must have heard of the saying, “you get what you pay for.” No VPN service is available for free.
Free VPN service providers do not tell you how they make money. While premium companies charge a premium fee, others, the free ones, earn by displaying ads.
Some cheap providers leak your information to the third-parties to make money.
If you don’t want to compromise your connection quality and security, then consider choosing a paid VPN plan. Paying for a VPN service is worth it as such VPNs are safe. Here are a few ways how free VPNs make money:
Selling your information
Advertisers and brands need your information to grow their audience and offer personalized services. They are always up to pay for this private information. VPN companies can make money by selling this information to these brands. And, they have been caught doing exactly that in the past.
The main purpose of using a VPN is to protect your private information. There is no point in using a VPN when your information is intentionally leaked to third-parties. It is better to pay a few bucks on a VPN than to lose your privacy.
Free VPN bombards you with ads
The ads that keep popping on your screen aren’t only annoying, but these are the advertiser’s trick to sell their product or get you to their landing page. VPN companies get paid for displaying such ads.
Another essential thing to note is that the VPN service providers that claim to offer a reliable internet connection for free can trick you into paying for it. Usually, these are the free trials that last only a couple of days.
Once the free trial or quota expires, the company asks you to pay for the product to enjoy the benefits. You must pay special attention to the terms and conditions of the VPN before signing up.
VPN is only for tech-savvy users
VPN seems like a complex technology that only tech geeks can understand. That’s another common VPN myth.
The complexity of VPN depends on the service providers you choose. For example, ExpressVPN and NordVPN, the two best VPNs out there, have a clean and intuitive user interface that offers reliable services.
You can customize your plan and connection easily. Besides, they have qualified and trained assistants that are willing to provide support round the clock.
The VPN technology is developed, keeping in mind the regular users. You don’t have to research or learn the VPN fundamentals to get going if you select a good provider. Most importantly, you don’t need to know how it encrypts the data and how the VPN server transmits the information.
All you need to do is select the best plan. Once you have activated the VPN on your device, it will be up and running in a matter of seconds. Some VPNs are super simple to configure and use.
You don’t even need the basic knowledge of this technology to get started. As long as you have collaborated with the best service providers, rest assured that the configuration will be super simple.
VPN is for criminals
One of the common wrong concepts about VPN use cases is that it is for criminals and hackers. There is no denying that many hackers and cybercriminals use VPN technology to access people’s personal information.
However, they use it illegally. People who live in a state that doesn’t have strict censorship laws think that they don’t need VPN.
VPN enables users to prevent geo-blocks in certain regions. Once you cross the international boundaries of the state that has strict censorship laws, you will no longer be able to watch movies or videos online.
Many censorship regulations can restrict online video calling services, as well. That’s when VPN services come in handy. Besides, people have a habit of connecting to public WiFi. Hundreds of people connect their devices to the airport hotspots. It sounds quite tempting to use public WiFi, especially when it isn’t protected with passwords.
However, you can never be sure that WiFi connections are 100% secure. What are the chances the network is legit?
Surprisingly, anyone who has a basic knowledge of IT can easily hack your smartphones and access important information. The hackers can get access to your passwords, banking details, and other sensitive data.
This technology is a must for entrepreneurs and professionals that store sensitive data in their devices. VPN is also used by students studying abroad (especially, in a state with strict censorship laws).
I don’t need VPN as I have nothing to hide
Many people living in repressive censorship states know the importance of VPN. They use this technology to hide their information from authorities.
This leads us to an important question. How will VPN be useful for the law-abiding citizens that don’t want to hide anything from the Internet Service Providers or the certified authorities in their country?
First thing first, you must know that VPN isn’t only for privacy. It is a security tool that helps prevent hacking and keep your personal data from hackers. Cybercrimes are not uncommon these days.
They can infiltrate your device and steal your private information if you use unsafe public WiFi. VPN is necessary for everyone who uses their smartphones and laptops for internet banking, sharing personal information, and storing sensitive data.
The technology boosts security and makes it easier for you to transfer information in the encrypted form. So, even if there is nothing you have to hide from the government or local state authorities, you need to use VPN services for privacy.
With the increasing rate of cybercrimes, it is essential to secure your network and information with a quality VPN. There is no guarantee that the authorities or ISP will safely use your private information.
All VPNs are the same
This is yet another VPN misinformation. The primary function of the VPN servers is to make your IP address anonymous and browsing history private.
That’s pretty much what most types of VPN service providers offer.
However, modern companies have started to add more features to the package.
If you sign up for the latest VPN plans, you will get malware protection, data encryption, and multiple connections. You only need to find the best plan that works for you.
VPN is illegal
VPNs are not limited to watching censored content in states with strict censorship laws. Technology is essential for your privacy and security.
If you are watching the censored content that is forbidden using VPN, then this technology might be considered illegal.
However, that’s only for people who want to access the apps and websites that are restricted in a particular country.
VPN, in general, is considered legal and safe. This technology’s main application is to protect your information and provide you with a secure and reliable connection.
Many people have this misconception that VPN is used by criminals and hackers that want to hide their crimes and other illegal activities from the government. Hundreds of thousands of people buy a VPN plan just so they can browse websites, download apps, and share information safely.
The information that’s transmitted through the secure VPN server will be completely encrypted. There is no way the hacker can access your browsing history or other data stored in your device when you have the VPN system.
VPN can keep me 100% anonymous
VPN service providers do everything in their power to keep your identity anonymous.
The technology is designed to protect users from data theft, malware, and information misuse.
Despite being a privacy-protection tool, VPN does not guarantee 100% protection. Security breaches are not unusual.
Even if you combine VPN services with other security protocols, chances are hackers can still infiltrate your device and steal your private information.
However, it needs tech geeks and professional hackers to access a device that’s secured with VPN servers.
The following are the conditions when the VPN might not offer 100% security:
- If you use a compromised service: You need to be extra careful when using unsecured websites and apps. VPN can restrict hackers from accessing your data. However, if you use web services that don’t have high-security protocols, then even VPN can’t help protect your information.
- It may not protect your device from social engineering: Scams are designed to bypass all kinds of security measures on your device. Now, if you let these scammers access your phone, then even VPN can’t protect your data. These malicious links and data can bypass the firewall as well as your antivirus software easily.
- VPN doesn’t protect your data if you share it intentionally: Facebook, Google, social media, and eCommerce platforms require you to register an account using your personal information. No security tool can protect the data you have shared with your consent. You must avoid the apps that look unsafe.
- VPNs may or may not protect your device from malware: Most hackers use malicious links to get access to your system. They can also send a file or unsafe message through email. There is not a lot VPN can do to protect your system if the hacker gets access through malicious links. However, some VPN service providers, such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, can block apps, software, and websites containing malware or other viruses. Consider combining ExpressVPN with the antivirus software for the best protection.
A proxy can Offer the same benefits as VPN
Many people use VPN and proxies synonymously. However, they both offer different sets of functions.
For instance, Proxies are used to hide your IP address. They cannot protect your data or encrypt private information.
Besides, proxies are quite unsafe. Even if it manages to provide some sort of anonymity to the user, these services hardly offer a stable and good internet connection.
On the other hand, a VPN isn’t only safe, but it does wonders when it comes to your privacy and security.
Once you have found a reliable VPN service provider, rest assured that the VPN server will encrypt your data and protect your system from unauthorized access.
VPN protects your private information, enables you to access uncensored content, and enhances your security. Whether you are using an unsecured public hotspot or a safe connection, the VPN can help encrypt your data.
Knowing what this technology does, it is safe to say that a VPN is a must for all users today. But, the above-covered common VPN myths were needed to be busted for good. It is always best to kill misconceptions around any product or service you are using or opting to use.
About the author
Nwachukwu Glory is a writer, blogger, and tech nerd. She loves trying new gadgets that make life more fun ( and easier). Glory is passionate about digital security and privacy alongside browsing the World Wide Web without any limitations.