Should I always use a VPN? Yes, here’s why

You should use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) whenever you’re online. By doing so, you make sure that your data and privacy are protected. Without a VPN, your every action online may be monitored and taken advantage of. A VPN encrypts all of your data, effectively hiding any information about you from prying eyes.

Table of contents

    8 reasons why you should always use a VPN

    A VPN encrypts your traffic and makes you safe online. Keeping it on protects your information from data breaches & leaks, annoying ads, and cyberthreats. Let’s dive deeper into the irrefutable arguments for keeping your VPN running 24/7.

    1. Connect to public Wi-Fi securely

    a Wi-Fi router protected by a glass dome, with viruses flying around

    Using a public Wi-Fi network can be very risky. Hackers can connect to the same network and easily access your data and personal information. This risk increases even further if it’s an open network without a password.

    To prevent others from accessing your email, photos, login information, or credit card details, use a VPN to protect yourself on public Wi-Fi and encrypt all your internet traffic. 

    2. Avoid ISP throttling and boost your internet speed

    Some internet service providers (ISPs) limit your internet speed when you take up high-bandwidth activities, such as streaming videos, video calling, or downloading files. Fortunately, your ISP cannot see what you do online whenever you are connected to a VPN. As a result, they are far less likely to throttle your connection speed.

    3. Bypass tracking and ads while browsing

    Unprotected traffic is easy to track. Third parties collect data that is easily accessible and sell it to advertisers. Any traffic that is encrypted by a VPN is useless to advertisers, and you don’t get targeted ads as a result.

    On top of that, Surfshark offers the CleanWeb feature, which has a built-in ad blocker. It comes with our VPN, and you can use it as soon as you download our VPN. It will add an extra layer of security to your connection, which gives you yet another good reason to always use a VPN.

    4. Beat local firewalls by connecting to a remote server

    Your school, dorm, or workplace may have their own ideas on what you should be able to access online. But with a VPN, you can trump their primitive censorship measures with ease. In fact, you won’t have to do anything extra – just have a VPN on.

    5. Stay safe even without the S in the HTTP

    HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, and it keeps you safe by encoding your data when visiting a site. Some websites don’t use the secure HTTPS extension. Even for those that do, HTTPS uses a TSL (Transport Layer Security) encryption which is far easier to crack than a standard VPN encryption.

    So don’t gamble with your safety and privacy; keep your online activity as secure as possible — keep that VPN running.

    6. Crush censorship

    The internet isn’t as free as we would like it to be. In fact, some governments around the world use censorship to block your access to news, entertainment, and even social media apps.

    Having an active VPN helps you bypass censorship and hides the digital traces of doing so.

    7. Surf the web privately

    Privacy is one of the main reasons for using a VPN. Whenever you are online, your every move is being watched. It’s unsettling, but the sooner you realize it, the better. 

    A VPN encrypts all traffic as soon as it comes out of your device. So whenever there’s an attempt to snoop on you, your data is intelligible and, therefore, useless to anyone. If you still wonder if your VPN should be on or off, think if you’d rather surf privately or constantly be followed.

    8. Save money when online shopping

    The prices you see when shopping online can differ drastically depending on your location. You are also likely to see an increase in price if you show continued interest in a certain product or service. This is most obvious with flight tickets and accommodation.

    You can save money with a VPN whenever you’re shopping online. A VPN connection allows you to change your virtual location and hides your activity. As a result, you will often get better deals when your VPN is on

    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 other service providers.

    When you may need to turn off your VPN

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

    • Banking: some banks may prohibit signing in from a foreign IP (Internet Protocol). As a result, you would have to switch the VPN off or use a split-tunneling feature;
    • At home: if your internet seems to be lagging and you need to get on that very important conference call, then turning off your VPN for a while might be a good 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 way, they try to mitigate online fraud like money laundering.

    Pros and cons of always having a VPN on

    Hide from prying eyes on the internet
    The device may slow down if using old hardware
    Browse the internet securely
    Slower internet connection (unless you use the “fastest server” option, in which case it’s unnoticeable)
    Avoid ISP throttling
    Some sites require a specific location and may not allow connection through a VPN
    Stay safe on public Wi-Fi
    You may be logged out from websites that don’t recognize your location (i.e., banks)
    Get the best deals for online shopping
    Bypass local firewalls
    Safely share and download files

    How to keep a VPN on all the time 

    It’s easier than you’d expect. After installing a VPN, open the app and simply select a server to connect to. If you have a hard time choosing a server, you can simply click the “Fastest location” button on your Surfshark app. Once connected, a VPN will stay on until you turn it off manually.

    Why cybersecurity should be your top priority

    From losing your log-in info to getting your identity completely stolen (along with all your money), cyberattacks prove to be a rising threat to everyone. According to a 2020 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 35% of Americans had received notice that someone had compromised their personal information online. 

    As more life-altering info makes its way over to the internet, privacy should be treated as the top cyber priority. 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. 

    Final takeaway — to keep or not to keep my VPN on at all times?

    Yes, you should always keep your VPN on whenever you’re online. Adding an extra layer of protection won’t hurt, and the setup process is super simple.

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

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    Should I keep a VPN running at home?

    Yes, you should keep a VPN running, especially when you’re working with sensitive data. If you feel like your privacy is breached with intrusive ads or you have reasons to believe your internet service provider is spying on you – then you HAVE to use a VPN.

    Why shouldn’t I use a VPN?

    • A VPN might reduce your connection speed even if your internet service provider isn’t throttling your speed;
    • Using a VPN on mobile will increase your mobile data usage;
    • Using a VPN is considered an offense in some countries, and you can get fined or even be incarcerated for it.

    Should I leave my VPN on all the time on my phone?

    Yes, if you’re looking for maximum security and privacy. However, if you’re using a limited data plan, bear in mind that keeping a VPN running will increase your mobile data usage.