A Swiss army knife in a form of a shield, with VPN written on it

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your traffic and hides your IP address to protect your privacy online. You’ve probably heard it a thousand times before. But while privacy and security are the main building blocks of any good VPN provider, they’re far from being the only benefits that a VPN offers.

Having a VPN can enhance your experience on the internet, increase connection speeds, or even help you save some money. Follow along to learn more about the benefits of a VPN.

Table of contents

    What are the advantages of using a VPN?

    The benefits you get from a VPN vary depending on which VPN provider you choose. Each has a unique set of features designed to give its customers the best possible VPN experience. Here are some of the most common advantages of using a VPN:

    a listing of the benefits and disadvantages of using a VPN

    Curious to experience the benefits firsthand? Try Surfshark’s VPN free trial to explore the full features and advantages.

    1. Improved security

    First and foremost, a VPN is a security solution. It establishes an encrypted tunnel of communication between you and the internet. Simply put, it creates a secure internet connection that protects you from external threats.

    Your security is further boosted by features like Kill Switch and Private DNS. Kill Switch shuts down your internet connection if a VPN disconnects so that no sensitive data gets leaked. And Private DNS adds an extra layer of security to your searches and the data that you send to websites when you visit them.

    1. Enhanced privacy

    When it comes to VPNs, privacy is just as important as security. A lot of your private information can be collected if you don’t use a VPN. This includes your searches, the websites you visit, your activity on said websites, or even your name, email, phone number, and location.

    By encrypting all your traffic and changing your IP address, a VPN app effectively eliminates such issues. When connected to a VPN, neither your ISP (Internet Service Provider) nor bad actors can see your online activity. On top of that, you can even hide the fact that you’re using a VPN if you connect to one of Surfshark’s obfuscated servers.

    1. Unrestricted access to the internet

    The internet may seem like an open ocean that you can explore without restraints or limitations. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Oppressive governments tend to heavily censor the internet for their citizens, while lesser restrictions or changes to the internet can be applied depending on the region you live in.

    You can overcome oppressive censorship and freely access the wonders of the World Wide Web by connecting to a VPN server. The secure encryption won’t let anyone spy on your activity online, so you can enjoy the best that the internet has to offer without worrying.

    Disclaimer: we prohibit using Surfshark services for any unlawful purposes as it is against our Terms of Service. Please be sure to act in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations of streaming service providers.

    1. No internet throttling 

    Your ISP can throttle your connection when you play games, download files, watch video content, or take part in other data-heavy activities. When you use a VPN, your ISP can’t see what you’re doing online. As a result, it can’t throttle your connection based on your activities.

    It’s worth noting that a VPN only helps with selective throttling. It won’t do anything to your connection speed if the ISP has placed a data cap on your network or is slowing the connection down for other reasons.

    1. Saving money on online purchases

    While any good VPN costs money, it can also help you save some. Some websites keep logs of your activity and use this information to increase their prices. This is particularly common with airline tickets and accommodation booking. The more you visit to check the prices, the higher they get. To reverse this damage, clear your browsing history, cache, and connect to a VPN

    Sometimes prices of goods and services may differ according to location. You can try changing VPN servers to get an even better deal.

    1. Access to your native websites

    Video libraries and news outlets tend to restrict their content to a certain country and region. A VPN allows you to keep up to date with your favorite shows and local news while traveling abroad. Simply connect to a VPN server in your home country, and you’ll be able to consume content as if you never left.

    1. Protection on all devices

    Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections and is supported by all major platforms. There’s no need to count your devices — you can run a VPN on iPhone, Android, PC, or Mac simultaneously.

    Alternatively, you can set up a VPN on your router. By doing so, you secure every device that connects to your home network, and you don’t need to install apps or set up extra connections.

    1. Smoother online experience

    Some VPN providers go above and beyond to provide a surfing experience that’s as pleasurable as it is secure. For example, Surfshark’s Clean Web feature blocks annoying ads and helps prevent malware, phishing, and cookie pop-ups. And it’s all included in the standard plan, so you don’t have to pay extra.

    1. Safer gaming

    Playing online games can pose a threat to your online privacy. Many such games don’t protect your IP address or protect it poorly. Some may even ask you to set up your network in a way that leaves you open to DDoS attacks. When you use a VPN for gaming, it hides your IP address and closes vulnerable ports, protecting you from most privacy and DDoS risks.

    What are the disadvantages of a VPN?

    Using a VPN can have its disadvantages. And while they’re a small price to pay for privacy and security online, they still need to be considered before you get yourself a VPN subscription.

    Connection speed

    While a VPN can help with ISP throttling, it will slightly slow down your connection when it’s not being throttled. This happens because data travels to a VPN server and is encrypted before reaching your desired destination on the internet. Once there, the data is fetched back to the VPN server to get decrypted and only then reaches your device.

    The impact on speed depends on the distance between you and the server and how crowded the server is. If you use a premium VPN to connect to a local server, the speed shouldn’t fall by more than 10-15%. If you connect to a server thousands of miles away, the impact on speed will be slightly more noticeable.

    If you want some of your apps to stay unaffected by a VPN, you can set that up with a split-tunneling feature. This way, selected apps will make the most of your connection speed while the rest of your traffic will stay protected by a VPN. This feature is commonly used to run banking apps or to exclude data-heavy apps like YouTube or Netflix from the VPN.

    An infographic showing how a VPN works: data travels to a VPN server, is encrypted, fetched back to the VPN server, is decrypted, and reaches the user's device.


    If you want a truly secure and private connection to the internet, you need a premium VPN. And premium VPNs aren’t free. That said, not all VPN subscriptions cost the same. You can get Surfshark as cheap as $2.49/month, while some providers may charge more than twice as much. So take your time and do your research before overpaying for a VPN.

    While free VPN alternatives do exist, they don’t provide the same safety or experience as premium services. The connection speeds tend to be painfully slow due to overcrowding, and you get shown excessive amounts of ads. In some cases, free VPN providers have even been known to collect and sell user data.


    While VPNs are legal in most of the world, some countries have decided to restrict or outright ban VPN use. Such restrictions are typically imposed by oppressive governments to keep track of every step their citizens take online. VPNs provide users with freedom and privacy, which is why they get banned.

    Do the benefits of a VPN outweigh the disadvantages?

    Using a VPN is the best online privacy and security solution available today. It’s easy to use, affordable, and secure. The only downsides are a slight drop in connection speed and the bad reputation that VPNs get from sketchy free service providers.

    A premium VPN will keep you safe and private while enhancing your surfing experience with additional features, such as ad blockers and unlimited connections. All things considered, it’s only fair to say that the benefits of the VPN far outweigh any disadvantages.

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    Are there any drawbacks to using a VPN?

    A VPN marginally slows down your connection speed because it has to send traffic through a VPN server. That’s the biggest drawback of premium VPNs. Free VPNs, on the other hand, do pose some privacy and security issues, so it’s better to choose a paid option.

    What are the different types of VPNs?

    There are physical (hardware) VPNs and software ones. Hardware VPNs are VPN routers (or VPN firewalls) and are commonly used by tech enthusiasts. They give you private access to the internet but are often hard to set up. A software VPN is an app that also gives private access to the internet but is done by a provider, which makes it easy for the end-user to connect.

    What are the benefits of a business VPN?

    The benefit of having a VPN for business is keeping it private and secure while on the go. 

    Hackers set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots in public venues to lure valuable data. A VPN will mitigate any risk of leaking vital business data and give safe remote access, even on public Wi-Fi.

    When should I use a VPN on my phone?

    You should use a VPN on your phone whenever you’re online. A VPN encrypts your traffic and hides your IP to keep you safe on the internet. Whenever you access the internet without such protection, you’re vulnerable to a number of threats.