Should You Keep VPN On All The Time
Protecting your privacy online is paramount these days, considering the dramatic increase in doxing, data breaches and cyberattacks.
VPN is one of the most effective ways to stay anonymous while connected to the Internet, thanks to its ability to encrypt your traffic and redirect it through secure, private servers.
Although it sounds like a hassle, the entire process is automated and happens in the blink of an eye, so even non-tech-savvy users can benefit from VPNs anonymization capabilities without prior experience with similar products.
Considering its outstanding efficacy, people are wondering if they should leave their VPN on at all times. Although were more inclined to say Yes, reality is a bit more complicated than that.
Always leaving your VPN on should be alright for the most part, but in some situations it might benefit you more to temporarily disable it.
I Have It On All The Time
Now, I am using this product every day, and not just a couple times a month, but all of the time. I know that this is a lot more than just a price. I have had some major benefits, and that is why I would recommend I have my VPN from ExpressVPN on all of the time.
If you are someone who needs a great service and is also looking for a great price, then this is the option for you.
Number Of Locations And Countries For Servers
Paid VPN providers will offer servers in several different countries. As an example, Norton Secure VPN has servers in 31 different countries.
Why does this matter? Having servers in different countries offers you more flexibility and could boost your connection speed. Usually, your internet speed will be greater if you are connecting to a server that is closer to you. When you choose a VPN provider, then, it makes sense to select one that has servers in your country.
There might be times when you want to connect to a server outside of your country. Maybe you live in a part of the world where the government censors the internet. By connecting to a VPN based in a country without this censorship, you can browse the web more freely. Even so, it might be smart to adhere to a particular governments regulations and laws.
Or maybe you want to access online content that is only available in a country other than yours. If you connect through a server outside your country, the providers of this content wont see that your actual IP address is coming from your home country. Keep in mind, though, you may be violating your user agreement of your content service.
Again, there is no right number of countries or locations for a VPN service. Instead, look for services that offer a large number of locations in a variety of countries. This will give you the most flexibility.
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Which Features Make A Secure And Safe VPN
The question of how secure are VPN services typically depends on the VPN being used. A VPN from a reliable provider will feature encryption for the user’s data and online browsing history to shield them from hackers and ISPs.
Is using VPN safe? That is reliant on a provider that ensures online privacy, provides transparent privacy policies, fixes data leaks, and does not track its users. The best VPN tool or application contains the following features:
Should You Always Use A VPN It Depends On These 7 Things
A virtual private network, or VPN, is a powerful tool that prevents corporations and cybercriminals from accessing your personal information. When you use a VPN, your data travels to a remote server via a secure connection. The remote server masks your IP address, so it looks like you are accessing the internet from another location, which also allows you to .
Because of this, VPNs have grown in popularity over the past few years, particularly in countries like China, where online censorship is rampant and sometimes dangerous. However, people all over the globe use VPNs to protect their privacy, anonymity, and unrestricted access to the internet. But is it necessary to have your VPN switched on and connected at all times?
Well, it depends on why youre using a VPN. To help you decide if a constant connection is necessary, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their answers.
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When Should I Have My VPN On
Below, youll find a short list of reasons to keep your VPN on, but there are many reasons we didnt list. A VPN helps you maintain privacy, security, and stay anonymous online, which is especially important in stopping hackers. But how often do you need to have it on?
Here are some of the most common scenarios where you should keep your VPN on:
A VPN Will Not Make You Completely Anonymous
Even the best VPNs cant guarantee your anonymity online. Your browsing behavior can still reveal your true identity in ways that your VPN service cannot control.
If youre logged into a Google or Facebook account, a VPN wont be able to stop those companies from monitoring your activity.
Theres also a collection of techniques that advertisers use to track you across the internet. These include:
- Web trackers and cookies: Websites use trackers and cookies to tailor their service to your specific needs. They store details about you, such as your name and geographic location, and can be used to identify you despite a VPN connection.
- Browser fingerprinting: Most browsers reveal small pieces of information unique to you and your session. Authorities and advertisers can collate this information to build a fingerprint that identifies your online presence, even when youre using a VPN. Learn more about browser fingerprinting in our best private browsers guide.
To maximize your anonymity, you should pair your VPN with a genuinely private browser like Mozilla Firefox.
Consider also using an anonymous search engine like DuckDuckGo, and think carefully about your behavioral patterns online.
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What Are The VPN Basics
A VPN enables you to connect to the internet in an encrypted fashion, which adds security and privacy to your online browsing. This is especially important when using public Wi-Fi. Thats because it’s easier for identity thieves and other cybercriminals to eavesdrop on your online activity and steal the personal information you send and receive when you are using public Wi-Fi.
It gets worse. You may think youre using the free public Wi-Fi provided at an airport, hotel, or coffee shop. But you may have logged onto a Wi-Fi network created by a cybercriminal. Once you’re on this network, the hacker can easily spy on your browsing and steal any personal information that you include in email messages or forum chats. If you log onto your online bank or credit card accounts, the cybercriminal might snag your log-in information.
A VPN, though, allows you to use inherently non-private public Wi-Fi by creating an encrypted tunnel through which your data is sent to a remote server operated by your VPN service provider. The VPN server then sends the data to the site youre seeking to connect with, encrypted and safe from the prying eyes of identity thieves and other cybercriminals.
This isn’t to say that VPNs don’t come with challenges. They can sometimes slow your computers performance, especially if your VPNs servers are geographically distant. For best performance, consider a VPN with servers located around the world. That way, your data can be routed through a closer location.
Are You Looking To Save Money
You can also use your VPN as a tool to save money when youre shopping online. This is especially useful when youre booking flights and hotel rooms, as prices tend to change drastically depending on your location.
Booking websites track your search history and use that information to change the deals and prices they offer you. A VPN will hide this information from them and ensure that you get the best price every time.
You can also make the best of sales when you shop online by changing your virtual location to regions where the product is available for a better price. For example, if you buy gifts for friends and family overseas, you can access the store from a server in their home country for the best deals.
If youre a fan of great prices and deals, HMA operates servers in over 190 countries so youll be able to shop virtually anywhere.
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Choosing A Safe VPN Provider
While your ISP will not be able to see your internet traffic, your VPN provider will. So, if your VPN provider is compromised, you will be too. That’s why it is essential you choose a VPN provider whom you can trust. We recommend looking around and reading reliable and impartial reviews before making a decision to purchase.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Always Using A VPN
Always using a VPN can have major drawbacks unless its first-rate like CyberGhost. Some VPNs have small server networks, so youll deal with slow speeds and delays. They have fewer IP addresses to use, so they can get more crowded.
Some even sell your data thats a major security hazard!
CyberGhost VPN gives you access to its 8000+ servers in over 90 countries. Weve got plenty of IP addresses to make sure you always have options.
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Does Your Isp Throttle Your Bandwidth
If you remember paying for a lightning-fast Internet plan and you notice that your connection isnt nearly as fast as advertised, your ISP might be throttling your bandwidth.
This means that even though your connection should take up to 1000 MB/s, your ISP might limit it to, say, 5 MB/s.
The reason your ISP might resort to doing that is usually cost reduction, or to circumvent network congestion instead of fixing the routing or managing subnets properly.
More often than not, bandwidth throttling isnt occasional and you should be able to notice it all the time. It also happens that your bandwidth might be only limited during traffic peak hours.
Regardless, its still unfair and annoying when it happens. If you want to take your mind off of it, just connect to a fast VPN server, leave your VPN on at all times, and forget it even exists.
Do I Need A VPN At Home
Staying in is the most effective way to protect yourself during the pandemic, and that means a lot more time online at home. A VPN can help secure that critical connection.
Since my start in 2008, I’ve covered a wide variety of topics from space missions to fax service reviews. At PCMag, much of my work has been focused on security and privacy services, as well as a video game or two. I also write the occasional security columns, focused on making information security practical for normal people. I helped organize the Ziff Davis Creators Guild union and currently serve as its Unit Chair.
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How Can A VPN Help Protect Against Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when thieves steal your personal information and use it to commit crimes in your name like taking over or opening new accounts, filing tax returns in your name, or renting or buying property. A VPN can help protect against identity theft by helping protect your data. It creates an encrypted tunnel for the data you send and receive thats out of reach of cyberthieves.
If your smartphone’s Wi-Fi is enabled at all times, your device could be vulnerable without you ever knowing it. Everyday activities like online shopping, banking, and browsing can expose your information, making you vulnerable to cybercrime.
A VPN can protect the information you share or access using your devices. Thats especially important when using a public Wi-Fi network, where a cyberthief on the same network could capture your login credentials and the credit card number you type in when you shop online.
You cant prevent identity theft. No one can. Some security aspects like a data breach at an organization where you have an account are out of your control. But a VPN can help safeguard the information you send from and receive on your devices.
VPN Can Be Kept On All The Time
To sum it up, keeping your VPN on all the time is not only perfectly safe but actually recommended. It can keep your online identity anonymous, protect you from attacks associated with unsecured public Wi-Fi networks and help you bypass various artificial restrictions.
However, it may also slow down your connection and drain your devices battery faster, which may make you want to temporarily turn it off. If you do, first consider the security and privacy risks you could expose yourself to.
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Cons Of Keeping A VPN On All The Time
Unsurprisingly, there are some mild cons when it comes to leaving your VPN on all the time:
- Shorter battery life
- Potential data logging
- Unnecessary security warnings
They are pretty self-explanatory, but what matters is that you can mitigate them by picking a well-made and optimized VPN for your system.
Why Cybersecurity Should Be Your Top Priority
According to a 2020 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 35% of Americans had received notice that someone had compromised their personal information somewhere online. This is why everyone must treat their privacy as a top cyber-priority.
Also, safeguarding personal information with a VPN is an essential cybersecurity measure every person or company should take when working with technology. Getting a hold of someones web traffic is much easier for any skilled hacker than youd expect.
A barrier like a VPN works like your homes front door only when its closed will it keep strangers out and all your belongings safe. Thats why not having one can potentially put you at significant risk of losing your personal information and other sensitive online data. My recommendation is that everyone who uses an electronic device in this modern-day and age must have a VPN turned on all the time.
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What Is A No
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How To Bypass VPN Issues
One way to bypass the risks of a VPN is not to use one. However, there are many online activities and concerns people have that require a higher level of online security. For these things, it is vital to take all the right precautions and be prepared.
These are concerns and online activities that do require a VPN:
- Privacy concerns: If you fear that people are going to steal your personal information, or you are on a sketchy or scam website. In this case, a VPN would protect your personal information from potentially being stolen. This is one of the main reasons why people do use a VPN.
- If you are trying to access geo-blocked content, a VPN will effectively hide your location. If you turn your VPN off, you will likely be kicked from the site as it will recognize your location.
- Transferring money: When transferring money or conducting financial transactions, a VPN will work to protect your financial information. This is the leading and most important use of a VPN, as you are dealing with real money and financial information.
- Hiding your location: If you need to hide your location, a VPN will help you with that. It conceals your IP address and only shows your location to be the IP address of the VPN. This makes the computer or website think that you are at the VPNs location when you are not.
What Does Not Need A VPN
Some things online are very ordinary and mundane. These pose just about no security risk to you, and they do not require a VPN:
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Stay Safe By Blocking Ads Trackers And Malware *
Did you notice the little asterisk next to the word malware? Its not a typo its there for a reason. And its that not all VPNs provide nuisance and malware blockers.
Ads, trackers, and of course, malware funnel as much of your personal information as they can, can slow down your device, increase your consumed bandwidth, and, in the case of malware, can download and install viruses, trojans, and all that good stuff. Using a VPN that provides a blocker can significantly enhance your privacy and keep your device safe from malware another compelling reason to use a VPN .