In an emergent information age, VPN companies often make claims around making your incredibly insecure data much safer.
However, with the security provided by modern website encryption, the price you have to pay for what a VPN promises seems to be unnecessary for the average consumer.
Read on to find out what these tools can do, can’t do, and whether they are worth your money.
What is a VPN?
A VPN builds a tunnel between your machine and another location, encrypting the data you send over through it. This can be used for several things, including:
- Stopping your ISP seeing your search history
- Streaming content from other countries not usually available in your location
What can they do?
Companies claim that their VPNs offer increased internet security. These claims of extra encryption involve talk of protecting your identity online when accessing important, private websites like social media and online banking outlets.
ExpressVPN advertises its product as having “stronger data protection; online, without borders; ultra-fast connectivity”.
So, can a VPN do what it says?
A VPN certainly can access content around the world. It is a powerful tool for bypassing locational locks on parts of the internet, with VPNs being a non-illegal tool for foreigners to access western websites from China.
However, the idea that VPNs give more security than standard website encryption for HTTPS sites is not always true.
The “S” in HTTPS stands for “Secure”. This tells you a website has “SSL” encryption, the same layer of security that most VPNs offer. This extra protection will be offered on most modern sites that store personal data, like banking and social media sites (including your Google, Twitter and Facebook accounts).
VPNs also claim to stop ISPs from seeing your browsing data. However, they do let another party see your online activity – your VPN company. VPN providers often state a no-logging policy, but there are accounts of this not being totally true, as seen with Avast, a popular VPN and antivirus company.
Some claims made by VPN companies are true, and they are a tool that can have a lot of uses.
For the average consumer, however, VPNs do not offer a significant enough difference in security when compared to the SSL encryption on regular websites to justify the price point.
User comment about a VPN is worth the money
Why a VPN isn’t a Waste of Money
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a very popular way to protect yourself from internet security risks, especially if you are involved in online banking or other sensitive online information. However, is a VPN a waste of money?
After all, it only costs a few bucks to purchase a VPN, and if the site that you are trying to access does not have a good reputation, you can expect your information to be vulnerable to hackers. For this reason, many people decide to turn to more secure forms of internet browsing instead.
The first thing to consider, however, is that there is no such thing as an “easy” or free VPN, so you should consider whether or not the money you are spending is really worth it. After all, if a website does not have a good reputation and you want to use an IP address masking service, why do you need to pay for a VPN?
Get a really good VPN deal for longer periodes of time
Many VPN services will charge a one-time low fee, but you can usually find better offers in a two-year contract. Also, if a site has a good reputation and is trustworthy, you may want to consider paying a monthly fee for a VPN service that will automatically mask your IP address, but this can be a little costly for most people.
You need to realize that not all internet connections are protected by IP masks, and even if a site offers a free VPN service, it may not actually give you enough protection from hackers to be able to trust that you are actually being protected.
As a general rule, you should always have a strong VPN service that protects you from hackers, spyware and other internet threats. It is important to understand how a VPN works and what it can do for you, so that you can make an informed decision on which type of internet protection is best for your personal computer. Before using a VPN service, however, make sure that the website provides adequate information about its services.