By now you’ve likely heard that VPN is one of the best ways to stay safe and secure online. However, there’s also a world of misinformation out there about VPN services. Some of these myths drive people away as they think that VPN is too complicated, shady or could actually hurt their computer.
Today we will look at 7 classic VPN myths to help you separate fact from fiction and to make the best decision possible about selecting a VPN for your needs.
Myth#1: VPNs Are Only for Criminals
A common myth is that VPNs are only for those engaging in illegal activities. The truth is that VPNs are used for a wide variety of activities, and the majority are completely legal.
For starters, VPNs are great for using the internet over public Wi-Fi. Most Wi-Fi is unsecured and hackers can easily intercept your connection. VPN will protect you from identity theft over VPN. VPN is a necessity for mobile devices as most people access unsecured Wi-Fi using their smartphones on a regular basis.
VPN is also great for secured communication and web browsing. VPN encrypts your data so that only the person you wish to communicate with can access it. Encrypted web browsing prevents third-party sites from snooping on your private matters.
If you travel on business, VPN can also help you get around geo-restricted content. Are you traveling to England and can’t access your local US Netflix account that you pay for monthly? VPN will allow you access to blocked sites.
Myth #2: A Free VPN Is Enough
While it is understandable that you want to save money, skimping on your VPN service is generally not a good idea. The majority of free services offer limited access and slow speeds. Many free services restrict the amount of data you can download, and will only let you connect to a very limited number of servers. Some will even throttle your connection, making your connection as slow as or slower than DSL.
Myth #3: VPN is a Good Substitute for Antivirus
Some of you think that VPNs are a solid alternative to antivirus. But using a VPN instead of antivirus software opens you up to attacks and infections. While some VPNs offer a limited number of antivirus features, the majority do not actively block malware or other types of online attacks. In addition, VPNs cannot remove infections that have already infiltrated your device. Only antivirus software can do that.
Myth #4: VPNs Are Only for Techno Geeks
VPN has an undeserved reputation for being too difficult for the average user. If this were 1998 instead of 2018, you might be right. However, all modern VPN apps are setup with simplistic interfaces that allow even complete beginners access.
In most cases, all you need to do is install VPN, launch the software and click connect to start. The app will automatically determine the best server for you. If you need to access more advanced features, no problem! VPN apps have simple to understand menus that allow easy access to most advanced features.
And remember, customer support is always available to help you if you become stuck.
Myth #5: VPN Will Slow Down Your Connection
Another holdover from the 1990s is that VPN will slow down your internet connection. That’s not the case. Modern internet speeds are such that you will notice no difference in speeds using a VPN than with your ISP.
Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. Some of you may see an IMPROVEMENT in overall speeds with a VPN. Some providers offer optimized servers that will give you a speed boost over a standard connection.
If you have a provider that caps browsing speed through their proxy servers, then using a VPN may help to get around their throttling.
Myth #6: One VPN is As Good As Another
Some people believe that the only thing separating VPN products is price and that they all provide the same levels of service. Many have learned the hard way that this isn’t the case.
VPNs vary in quality and features provided. The following features can vary wildly from provider to provider:
- Network Size – Better provider offer a larger network of global servers, including servers in atypical locations such as Singapore, Turkey, and North Korea.
- Speeds – Top speeds enjoyed on some networks vary. A great test is whether you can enjoy high-quality video streaming. If this is difficult, then the network does not have top speeds.
- Streaming – Some VPN providers have problems with geo-restricted content, especially Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer. Streaming services are actively trying to block VPNs and on some, you will be unable to access your favorite shows.
- Supported Devices – Everyone supports Windows. However, what if you want to use a VPN on Mac, Linux, Android, or on iOS? Some VPN apps offer limited device support.
- Simultaneous Connections – If you need to use VPN on more than one device at a time, you might run into a problem. Some VPNs only allow you to use their service on one or two devices at a time. The best providers allow you to use their service on three or more devices for one price.
Myth #7 – My Mobile Devices Don’t Need VPN
Many mobile users think that they are safe because mobile devices are more secure than PCs. In some aspects they are, but in some ways, they are more vulnerable due to public Wi-Fi. Hackers can use public Wi-Fi to steal your personal information and install malware and mobile users are five times more likely to have their data sniffed because the majority of public Wi-Fi is unsecured. VPN will lock down your mobile device and prevent hackers from sniffing your connection.
A VPN is a Necessity – Not a Luxury
Now that you know the facts about VPN, it’s time to choose the best VPN service for your needs. VPN is an essential tool in the modern digital age. With a VPN you will enjoy encrypted communications, secured web browsing, unlimited data caps, smooth streaming and the ability to get around global geo-restrictions.
Remember, this isn’t 1998 where VPN was a luxury only enjoyed by techno geeks. It is a modern, robust tool that helps to keep computer and smartphone users safe from an ever-expanding list of global cyber threats.