Do I need a VPN

It’s 2021, and our lives have all but moved online. As a natural reaction to the lack of privacy (like the notoriously intrusive COVID-19 apps) in our current digital space, more and more people turn to VPNs. But here’s the thing: do you really need a VPN at home? Let’s go over all the pros and cons you need to consider.

In short: do I need a VPN?

Yes, you need a VPN to secure your internet connection, increase your level of privacy, access blocked websites, circumvent censorship and firewalls, and more. 

    What is a VPN?

    VPN stands for Virtual Private Network

    Private network represents the fact that a VPN connects you to a website or a service as if both of you were the only actors on a network (unlike on the public internet, which is full of users).

    Virtual means that this privacy is only simulated; you are not the only two users on a network. However, a VPN creates this effect by encrypting your data, making it unreadable for the rest of the participants online and thus private. 

    So a VPN works by having the VPN app encrypt your data before it’s sent out, then directing all the traffic to a VPN server. The VPN server decrypts your data (so the service you reach could use it) and forwards it. Once a reply arrives, the VPN server encrypts it and forwards it to you.

    What is a VPN?

    Why do I need a VPN at home?

    There are multiple reasons why you need a VPN at home. Let us break them down in an easy-to-digest form:

    1. Protect your privacy online 

    The basic way that a VPN protects your privacy is by changing your IP (Internet Protocol) address. It’s like your home address, only for the internet… and you leave that address plastered wherever you go. You don’t post your home address in real life, so why would you do that online?

    But once you’re connected to a VPN server, you’re only leaving the server’s address in hand, which can’t be traced back to you. This ruins cross-site tracking and other ad tools and tracking plans that rely on IP. And, you know, the IP no longer points at your real home

    1. Entertainment. Privately

    The quarantine made a lot of people stir crazy. Streaming services helped alleviate the pressure, which exposed many people to spend more time online and stream content.

    If you’re one of the more privacy-oriented people, you’ll want to stay safe and VPN-protected no matter what you do. This includes entertainment. With a VPN, you can steer clear from prying eyes when playing games or streaming your favorite movies.

    So, look for a VPN that has fast servers and doesn’t limit your bandwidth. (Psst! Surfshark has 1GBit ports on all of its servers and unlimited bandwidth!)

    Disclaimer: Surfshark does not encourage using a VPN in any way that would potentially violate the law or Terms of Service of other service providers.

    1. Secure your whole family online

    Remember: a VPN at home helps not only you. You’re not the only one in your household with an online presence. Therefore, it’s important to protect even those who don’t have an interest in online security and privacy. With a good VPN, you can protect the rest of your family – either by installing a VPN on your router or just making use of unlimited devices supported under a single account. 

    Remember: with a VPN, you’re not only improving privacy on phones, tablets, and computers but also your internet-of-things devices. Having a VPN on at home can decrease the chances of them getting hacked to spy on you – or to play unwelcome content. 

    1. Defy invasive laws and practices 

    Wherever your home is, you probably already have a love-hate relationship with your ISP ( Internet Service Provider). Depending on the country, the law might mandate your ISP to keep six months of logs of your browsing activity – or even allow them to sell that same data to marketers. This would be a lot harder to accomplish if all of your data was encrypted – there’s not much to be discovered if the only thing an ISP can see is that you’re using a VPN. 

    A VPN also allows you to overcome online censorship carried out by the state (and, since you can put a VPN on your phone due to Surfshark’s unlimited installs policy, firewalls established by your work or school). A combination of factors that make a VPN work enable it to bypass a lot of the filters that such institutions use to keep you from reaching what you want to reach. 

    VPN pros and cons in short 

    VPN pros:
    VPN cons:
    Increase privacy in your digital life
    Some loss of speed (depends on the provider)
    Privatize your entertainment
    Good VPNs cost money
    Secure your whole family online
    Defy invasive laws and practices

    How to get started with a VPN

    Here’s how you get started with a VPN:

    1. Find a VPN app you like (remember: free isn’t great)
    2. Sign up.
    3. Download and install the app on the device of your choice. 
    4. Log in.
    5. Connect to any server you like.

    If you set up a VPN on a router like we had previously mentioned, you’ll only need to do this process once to secure your entire home – especially if you buy a router with a VPN already installed.

    BONUS: Do I need a VPN on my phone?

    Actually, a VPN on your phone is probably even more necessary than at home:

    1. You need protection on public Wi-Fi.
    2. You may go on holidays or business trips to countries that engage in censorship, so you need a VPN to bypass that.
    3. You can shop for airline tickets or anything else online and find cheaper prices.

    So when it comes to smartphones, they need VPNs probably more than homes do!

    Yes, you do need a VPN at home

    Using a VPN at home will improve your privacy and security in many ways, even if they’re not obvious. After all, you don’t always see data thieves circling outside your window, so such benefits aren’t immediately clear. So give a VPN a try – after all, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    Fulfill your need for a VPN today

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