Hello, you! Are you considering getting a virtual private network (VPN) and unsure if it’s worth it? You’re probably thinking – “Let me check the benefits first… no! What are the downsides of using a VPN?” Those are good thoughts to have, so let me elaborate.

A VPN enhances your security while on the web, improves your browsing privacy, and makes entertainment (and information)… let’s say… more accessible. But there’s more, so sit tight, and let me elaborate.

Table of contents

    What are the advantages of using a VPN?

    A rarely mentioned benefit is convenience. It’s great to have many issues resolved by a single VPN. But how much does a single VPN app pack? And is it as necessary as it’s made out to be? You wouldn’t believe me even if I told you. But let me try, nonetheless.

    Improved security

    Firstly (and mostly), a VPN is a security solution. It establishes an encrypted tunnel of communication between you and the internet – a secure internet connection, ensuring protection from external threats.

    To keep you safe, many VPNs come with a wide range of features that boost your computer’s defenses. For example, to combat malvertising, Surfshark has an AdBlock called CleanWeb (part of its feature-filled Surfshark bundle).

    Another example – let’s say some malware slips into your computer. Surfshark One (a greater bundle) comes packing an antivirus to scan, identify, and eliminate the malware. 

    Premium VPNs (such as Surfshark) aim to keep you secure on the web and off it as well.

    Enhanced privacy

    The P in VPN stands for privacy, and it’s there for a reason. Some entities can see what you’re doing on the web and track your activity across websites. And a VPN service helps you mitigate that by giving you back the privacy you sorely deserve.

    The internet service provider (ISP) and the owner of internet router you’re using have the privilege of seeing what you’re up to on the interwebz. That’s because all your internet data traffic flows through their servers and hardware.

    A VPN encrypts all data that passes through, making it unreadable. It also obfuscates the encoded traffic, hiding the fact a VPN is used in the first place.

    Also worth mentioning, a VPN gives you a new internet protocol address (IP) – it hides your identity while on the web – tracking you on the web became that much harder. But there’s more to what a changed IP can give you.

    Access to restricted content

    Internet freedom isn’t as equal as you might think – information access differs from region to region. Sometimes search engines provide you with different search results depending on your location. Other times, content is censored or blocked for political or commercial reasons. Both are achieved by imposing regional blocks.

    By giving you a new IP, a VPN circumvents regional limits – bypasses content censorship – and lets you access geo-blocked websites and applications.

    However, remember that a crime committed using a VPN is still a crime. So be sure to stay off Santa’s naughty list – don’t break the terms of service of any service while using a VPN.

    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.

    Additional benefits

    A VPN is an internet security solution. To know if a solution is just good or great, pay attention to how many different issues a single VPN can solve. Apart from privacy and security, a VPN solves many other issues.

    No internet throttling 

    A VPN gets you the speed the internet provider promised you.

    Better pricing

    The pricing of the same items differs depending on the location and market they’re at – access to other markets with a VPN.

    Access your native websites

    By providing you with a new IP, a VPN lets you access the rest of the world and your local news outlets and banking apps when you’re abroad. For example, many banking apps can’t be accessed without a native IP, and a VPN is there to save the day.

    Protection on all devices

    If you dare to go another step, you can set up a VPN on your router. That would secure your whole network and every device on it. Even those that don’t have or support VPN apps.

    Safer gaming

    Some games that require an internet connection don’t hide your IP and require you to configure your router in a way that leaves you open to a DDoS attack.

    A VPN keeps you safe from exposing your address, closes open ports (which are otherwise susceptible to hacking), and saves you from DDoSing when playing.

    Too good to be true? Maybe. Possibly because there IS a price to pay for increased security, both literally and figuratively speaking.

    What are the disadvantages of a VPN?

    To cut to the chase, you sacrifice internet speed for increased security on the internet, and sometimes a VPN subscription costs a pretty penny.

    Slows down internet speed

    Honestly speaking, if the internet service providers aren’t throttling your internet speed, a VPN increases your ping and may slow down your overall download and upload speed.

    That’s 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 it gets to your device.

    Those extra steps that ensure security take only a fraction of a millisecond, adding to additional ping. Treat the speed-security balance the same way a car owner treats the balance between speed and torque.

    But don’t fret – some VPNs offer split tunneling, so you can choose which part of the data traffic gets encrypted. It’s a solution within a solution.


    As VPNs are getting more popular, more people are choosing to secure themselves with a VPN, which leads to a bit of a competition in the market.  Meaning you get more features from top-notch VPN providers, having to pay more for… more benefits. And sometimes, you might overpay for features that you don’t need.

    For example, at the time of writing this article, most premium VPN services were asking for around $13 a month. So make sure you check what you’re buying, so you get what you actually need. Also, keep in mind that some VPNs are cheaper when subscribing for a longer period. 

    But what about free VPN services? That’s a bit complicated. As I’ve briefly mentioned before, your internet traffic goes through VPN servers. The free ones take that data and sell it to third parties. That’s how they maintain their business.

    The best you can do is stay informed and decide once you know where your money’s going and how your data’s treated. Many premium VPN providers offer different pricing plans, so you’d get the same for less.


    VPN use is restricted, limited, or upright illegal in some places. The reasons vary from minuscule to grandiose, but the overall argument for such bans is that the state wants to monitor its people’s internet usage. Naturally, a VPN contradicts that goal.


    A virtual private network gives you back privacy and ensures a level of security while on the web. It helps you to get in touch with the info outside your country’s borders, combat censorship, and stay in touch with news of your hometown if you’re an ex-pat.

    The benefits may be limitless, depending on where you are and how you use it.

    With the pros and cons in mind, it’s up to you to decide if a VPN is a commodity or a necessity. It may not be for everybody, and there some VPN alternatives you can checkout. But in the same way we encourage online freedom and the internet without borders, we encourage you to consider using a VPN.

    Consider the one solution to (at least) a dozen issues

    Get Surfshark


    Are there any drawbacks to using a VPN?

    You might notice a minor drop in speed, and if you’re using a free VPN, there’s a chance that your data is being sold to third parties.

    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 scale up. A software VPN is an app that also gives private access to the internet  but is done by a provider, freeing you from a headache of a hefty setup process.

    What are the benefits of a business VPN?

    The benefit of having a VPN for your 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 out. Suppose you operate a business with employees that are on the move and need to connect to an unknown wireless network. In that case, a VPN will mitigate any risk of leaking vital business data and give safe remote access.