Should I always use a VPN

Keeping your VPN on all the time comes with many perks, but also a few drawbacks (don’t worry, they aren’t too bad, I promise). For many people who use electronic devices on a daily basis, a VPN can come in handy. In this article, I’ll go through the most common use-cases and why it’s important always to leave it on. 

If you’re here for one thing and one thing only – whether or not you should leave a VPN on all the time – here’s your answer:

Yes! You must keep your VPN activated all the time. In this way, you’ll be sure that your information will be protected from data breaches & leaks, annoying ads, and prying eyes. VPN encrypts your traffic and makes you safe online.

Now, let’s get down to the details.

7 reasons to leave a VPN on 24/7 

1. Connect to public wifi securely

Connect to public wifi securely

Using a public wifi network can be very risky. Other users on the same network can easily access your data and personal information, especially if it is an open network without a password. To prevent others from accessing your email, picture, login information, or credit card information, use a VPN connection on public wifi and encrypt all your internet traffic. 

2. Download torrents freely  

Many countries, offices, and schools prohibit access to torrenting and file-sharing websites, mainly due to the amount of bandwidth they consume. When using this peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing, your internet service provider (ISP) and other corporations block these websites. 

With a no-logs and no ads VPN, you can rest assured that your real IP address will not be compromised or logged into a database and you’ll be able to download torrents freely. It’s also completely legal. 

3. Avoid ISP throttling 

Internet providers are known to limit your connection speed when you take up high-bandwidth activities, such as streaming videos, using Skype, or exchanging information on BitTorrent. Fortunately, a VPN helps you mask your IP address, so your ISP won’t know that you are using so much bandwidth, decreasing the chances of having to wait for everything to load, upload, or download.

4. Bypass tracking and ads while browsing

Our browsing habits, preferences, visits to online shops, etc., can be easily tracked with tracking, logs, and relevant ads based on this information. In other words, all your actions are compiled and possibly sold to third parties unless specific data protection and privacy laws are implemented in your country. 

With Surfshark’s CleanWeb, you’ll be able to easily block ads and malware by just turning on the function in your app. 

5. Access geo-blocked websites and apps

When out of the country, you may realize that your go-to websites and applications are blocked. This is due to country restrictions called geo-blocking. Fortunately, a VPN can help you change your location to access them.

6. Unblock location-exclusive streaming libraries

Unblock location-exclusive streaming libraries

On the other hand, streaming your favorite content may come with restrictions as well. For example, if you are in Europe and the VPN server is in the United States, streaming services will believe that you are browsing from the US. 

This allows you to access the content available only there, such as the most extensive Netflix library in the world. By changing your server location, you can unblock 15 other Netflix libraries, as well as BBC iPlayer, Disney +, Hulu, sports sites, and more! 

7. Save money when online shopping

Save money when online shopping

Every time you enter a web page, your IP address is tracked to offer you information according to your location. Depending on the country you are in, you might see lower or higher prices. For example, when you enter a website, prices and even results may differ because of your location. This may result in seeing cheaper or more expensive flight prices depending on your country. 

When you may need to turn off your VPN 

A VPN’s primary job is to keep you safe online and your browsing private. Nonetheless, it is possible that you will run into situations where it’s best to turn off your VPN. Here are some: 

  • Banking: some banks may prohibit signing in from a foreign country if you are connected to a server outside of your home country
  • At home: though not always a great idea, if your internet seems to be lagging too much and you need to get to that very important conference call, then turning off your VPN for a while might not be a bad idea
  • Certain websites: some websites may not let you enter while having a VPN on, mainly done to limit unlawful or annoying behavior
  • Paypal: according to their User Agreement, any use of a proxy or other anonymizing service is not allowed. This is done in order to mitigate online fraud like money laundering 

Pros and cons of always having a VPN on

Pros:

  • Hide from prying eyes on the internet
  • Browse the internet securely 
  • Avoid ISP throttling
  • Stay safe on public wifi 
  • Get the best deals for online shopping  
  • Access blocked content (websites and apps)
  • Safely share and download files  

Cons:

  • The device may slow down if using old hardware 
  • Slower connection (unless you use the “fastest server” option, in which case it’s unnoticeable)
  • Some sites which require location may not allow connection through a VPN 
  • You may be logged out from websites that don’t recognize your location (i.e., banks) 

How to keep a VPN on all the time 

It’s easier than you’d expect. After choosing which device to install your VPN on, open your app, and select any country server. Choose between the fastest server, nearest country, or select any country where the server load is emptier to ensure a fast and stable connection. Your VPN will remain on until you manually turn it off.  

Why cybersecurity should be a top priority

Why cybersecurity should be a top priority

According to a 2020 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 35% of Americans had received notice that someone had compromised their personal information somewhere online. This is why everyone must treat their privacy as a top cyber-priority. 

Also, safeguarding personal information with a VPN is an essential cybersecurity measure every person or company should take when working with technology. Getting a hold of someone’s web traffic is much easier for any skilled hacker than you’d expect. 

A barrier like a VPN works like your home’s front door; only when it’s closed will it keep strangers out and all your belongings safe. That’s why not having one can potentially put you at significant risk of losing your personal information and other sensitive online data. My recommendation is that everyone who uses an electronic device in this modern-day and age must have a VPN turned on all the time.  

Final takeaway – to keep or not to keep my VPN on all the time?

Yes, keep it on. A VPNs’ use is essential whenever using an electronic device. It’s even more important to leave it on when surfing the internet in order to avoid the evils that wander the web. Adding an extra layer of protection won’t hurt, and the setup on any device is easy to follow and understand. 

Likewise, the security layer that it provides through encryption and protection from third parties is important to keep in mind, mainly due to the growing dangers found online with hackers and other services that seek to steal information or promote advertising. With VPNs continually emerging and becoming more popular amongst all users, there are many more additional VPN advantages to benefit from other than those listed above.

If you seek privacy and security when connecting to the internet, be it on public wifi, at home, or at work, you can be sure that a 24/7 VPN will keep this information safe and secure.  

Protection ensured. Always.

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