VPNs have become popular tools over the last few years. Their effectiveness in offering user anonymity, privacy, and security has led to a spike in their usage by netizens seeking to secure their online activity.
However, even with the important protective shield, they are do fall short sometimes. Although it’s still super useful to get yourself one the top 5 VPNs, here are some pros and cons that you should keep in mind.
Pros of using VPNs
They are cross-compatible
Although there exist other services and tools that can achieve the same function as VPNs, they lack wide platform compatibility. VPNs are flexible, thus capable of working on different mobile and computer platforms. VPN providers offer client software for various operating systems. Some even throw in browser extensions and Smart DNS services.
Guarantee your privacy and security
VPNs are very reliable when it comes to securing your online activity. They assign your system a new IP that masks your real IP address. Further, they provide solid encryption to your traffic ensuring no prying eyes see what you are up to on the internet.
Support anonymous file torrenting
ISPs often throttle your bandwidth when you access torrenting sites. This means you can only download torrents at low speeds. VPNs are useful if you want to avoid this throttling and enjoy anonymous torrenting.
Unblock restricted content
Streaming service providers such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer often tailor the content they offer based on location. If you reside in Canada but want to access a show only available in the UK, employing a VPN is your best bet. The VPN will assign your system an IP corresponding to the UK, thereby granting you access to the content you want.
Shield you from price discrimination
Online commercial stores sometime price their goods and service differently depending on the region and demographic. A product might cost a little bit more in your region compared to other regions. The trick is to access the site with an IP corresponding to the other region and make purchases from that region. VPNs are perfectly suited at reassigning IPs.
Cons of using VPNs
Might slow internet connection
This is easily the biggest drawback when using VPNs. The encryption used could be too strong, VPN protocol might not be speed optimized, or the distance between your device and the server may too big all of which could slow down your connection speed.
Some can’t unblock restricted content
Most people leverage the boon of circumventing ge0-blocks to access content from media service providers. However, recently these providers have started banning VPN usage with their services. Netflix, for instance, has a blanket ban on several VPNs. Such VPNs are rendered ineffectual, and so you need to choose your VPN wisely.
VPN providers might monitor your activity
Some VPN providers, especially those that offer free services, track your activity and collect your online data. In extreme cases, they may even sell your online data to interested third-party companies. Whichever way you look at it, this is too big a cost even with the ability to hide your IP and bypass restrictions. Other providers might have a zero-logs policy but still, keep some of the users’ logs.
All these stress why you need to be very careful when choosing a VPN provider. To bring down the cost of using a VPN, we recommend going with highly reputed, tried and trusted VPN providers.