Are you skeptical of using a VPN because you’ve heard that only people who intend to indulge in illegal online activities use them? Maybe you’ve been told that they’re illegal to use? Both of these popular misconceptions are entirely untrue, and believe it or not; there are more of them.
Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, have become increasingly popular, particularly during 2020 as the worldwide COVID-19 restrictions forced more than a fifth of the world’s population to work remotely from their homes.
There are many benefits to using this online tool, and up until recently, it was most commonly used by large corporations to secure their data from third parties and prying eyes.
Today we look into the five biggest VPN myths and unveil the truth about these misconceptions once and for all.
5 Biggest VPN Myths
#1 You Don’t Need a VPN if You Partake in Illegal Online Activities
False. The old, “I am not doing anything illegal, so I have nothing to worry about” opinion is completely wrong.
How would you like it if people kept tabs on your daily activities? Would you set up cameras inside your home and stream for the world to see? Probably not, and this is because you, like most other people, value and expect a sense of dignity and privacy.
Unfortunately, what many of us forget is that each time you access the internet, you leave a digital footprint – and third parties are noting exactly what you do for future reference.
Besides keeping your online movements private, a VPN will also allow you the freedom to access the internet without geographical restrictions. Want to watch the latest Netflix shows that are only available in the US? A VPN helps you do that. Maybe, you don’t want to see so many targeted ads? Problem solved.
#2 Free VPNs are Fundamentally the Same as Paid VPNs
Why would you pay for something when you can get it for free, right? So, so very wrong.
Your biggest objective when using a VPN is to retain your online privacy. One thing you need to know is that purchasing and maintaining all those servers for you to connect to doesn’t come cheaply. This means your “free” VPN has to be making money somehow.
The simplest way for VPNs to make money is to inject countless ads into their service or record and sell your data to interested buyers. There are some freemium options available from top-notch VPN service providers, but they’re typically restricted either in bandwidth or speed.
When it comes to VPNs, there is one thing to keep in mind – you get what you pay for.
#3 A VPN Slows Down Your Internet Speed
This is partially true. The nature of a VPN is that it routes your internet connection through to its own servers, so you may notice a slight change in performance.
However, it isn’t always true that you will have a slower internet connection as a result. If you connect to a local server or at least one nearest to your country of residence with high download speeds, you might just be able to hit the same speed or even higher than what your ISP provider delivers.
#4 VPNs are Only for the Tech-Savvy
The reality is you don’t need to be a tech mastermind to work your way around a VPN. Most of the best VPNs have dedicated, intuitive apps that take care of the whole process for you. All you need to do is head over to the website of your chosen provider, find the appropriate app for your device, pay for a subscription, and install.
There is nothing else to do except hitting the big button to turn it on and watch your online connection become genuinely private. The top providers will also let you automatically connect to the best and fastest server available.
#5 VPNs are Illegal
If you are in a country such as the United States, VPNs are completely legal to use. In fact, most countries do not impose any form of strict regulations or bans on VPNs.
There are some countries around the world, however, that do enforce strict internet laws and also outlaw VPNs. One of those countries is China, where some VPNs can operate within the country but must agree to specific terms set by the Chinese government.
Other countries with similar practices include Russia, Iran, UAE, Oman, Turkey, Iraq, Belarus, and North Korea.
VPNs are a hugely popular software for privacy in 2020 and will continue to rise in popularity within the next few years.