A person standing next to a switch, wondering if they should keep their VPN running. The VPN is a force field.

Should I always use a VPN, you ask? Let me put it this way – would you walk around town with your pants down? Of course not. The same goes for VPN usage – it’s preferable you keep it on. Now, let’s get down to all the dirty details.

Table of contents

    Yes, you should always use a VPN. Here are 7 reasons why

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

    1. Connect to public Wi-Fi securely

    A hooded hacker waiting for the person to turn off the VPN so the hacker could start hacking from a public Wi-Fi

    Using a public Wi-Fi 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, 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, using Skype, or downloading files.

    Fortunately, a VPN gives you a new IP (Internet Protocol) address, obfuscates it, and helps you avoid being throttled. That decreases the chances of having to wait for everything to load, upload, or download. One thing to remember – faster internet.

    3. Bypass tracking and ads while browsing

    Our browsing habits, preferences, visits to online shops, etc., can be easily traced through tracking, logs, and relevant ads. 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.

    To prevent you from getting hooked by malicious ads and malware Surfshark offers the  CleanWeb feature. It comes with our VPN, and you can go ahead and switch this ad blocker on as soon as you download our VPN. It will increase your security and the need for a running VPN even more.

    4. Beat local firewalls by connecting to a remote server

    The people who set up the internet connection at your school, dorm, or workplace may have their own ideas on what you should be able to access. 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 the VPN on.

    5. Stay safe even without the S in the HTTP

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

    So don’t gamble and put all your chips on one spot, 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 with online privacy. Essentially, it bypasses censorship and hides the digital traces of doing so.

    7. Save money when online shopping

    Every time you access a web page, your IP address is tracked to provide you with information based on where you are. Imagine you’re flying to a wine tasting. You and your Australian mate might be tasting the same wine in France, but your tickets to Champagne definitely had different prices.

    That’s what happens when two people book the same flights while in two different countries. All I’m saying is you can save money with a VPN when shopping online.

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

    When you may need to turn off your VPN

    A VPN’s primary job is to keep you and your browsing 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:

    • 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: 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

    Pros
    Cons
    Hide from prying eyes on the internet
    The device may slow down if using old hardware
    Browse the internet securely
    Slower connection (unless you use the “fastest server” option, in which case it’s unnoticeable)
    Avoid ISP throttling
    Some sites which require a specific location 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 choosing which device to install your VPN on, open your app, and select any country server. Choose between the fastest server and nearest country, or select any country where the server is emptier to ensure a fast and stable connection. Your VPN will remain on until you manually turn it off.  

    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 somewhere 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 use a VPN. Its use is essential when using electronic devices and surfing the web. Adding an extra layer of protection won’t hurt, especially when the setup on any device is easy to follow.

    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 24/7 VPN will keep this information safe and secure.

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    FAQ

    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 checking in (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 also 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.