Even the simplest and seemingly harmless online activities performed these days need protection, awareness, security, and privacy. Numerous hacking scandals, smishing and phishing attacks, identity thefts, malware and ransomware events, and other occurrences have taught us that we stand to lose valuable commodities and assets if the worst scenario presents itself.
To safeguard users from those hazards and other risks associated with the Internet, Virtual Private Networks exist and are among the most preferred option for users in all locations looking for extra security and anonymity.
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VPNs: what are they?
VPNs are online encryption tools that have the ability, through technologies called protocols, to hide the users’ IP addresses and shared content (also called traffic,) so that the information can’t be used by any external agents that may potentially represent a risk.
Your Internet Service Provider is keen to collect logs of your data to feed them to any entity that may represent a profit possibility down the road. That is why you need to mask your content from it, as well as from governmental surveillance agencies, law enforcement organizations, online advertisers, crypto miners, hackers, malware developers, and others.
VPN apps use protocols such as OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, IKEv2, or even the old PPTP to build a virtual, computer-generated tunnel for the user’s IP number and traffic to pass safely. VPN technology, therefore, offers privacy and anonymous browsing, which will, in turn, provide security since no entity will be able to track your activity.
Given the importance of our data privacy and security, it is fair to wonder: should your VPN be turned on all the time, or can you afford to give it a rest in specific situations? For starters, you should know that there is no harm in leaving it on for an extended period unless you are using a free service with a data cap.
Security is a crucial subject among the online community these days. And if the consequences of leaving your VPN on are minimal, then we recommend you that you always activate the VPN encryption and forget about it. If you can find a VPN with a kill switch, then better yet: that feature can protect you in the case your VPN connection falls through.
However, if you want to know the exact and specific situations in which you should leave your VPN encryption connected, here they are:
For bypassing geo-blocking measures:
VPNs act as location spoofers. What does that mean? Well, since they can hide your IP address and offer you a list of virtual servers from other countries to connect to one of them, you can practically choose the location that your connection will appear from.
Remember that most Internet services, streaming platforms, and sites are destined to be shown for specific audiences, and the primary thing factoring in that decision is geography. If a person wants to enter the BBC iPlayer, a British service, from South Africa, then the app will restrict access and show a message saying that the content is not available for that area. However, connecting to a VPN service with servers in the United Kingdom will lift the ban and get you unlimited access to any site you want, as long as its host country is included in your brand’s server list.
Torrenting is an enjoyable activity. It is a way to download files quickly and easily through the BitTorrent protocol. However, everything is not perfect, as it can be quite dangerous because it has the potential of getting you in contact with hackers, cybercriminals, and malware. You need to be wary of infected material.
However, the most worrying aspects of torrenting are the legal issues that could potentially mean fines or, in the most extreme cases, jail time. Copyright trolls are serious about enforcing the law and protecting the intellectual property of content creators.
To protect yourself from all the scenarios mentioned above, you need a reliable VPN with robust enough encryption to not leak any details about your connection habits or browsing history.
For online privacy:
The Internet is full of evil people. They want to make a profit from your data, and the methods they use to do that are not always pretty. Your Internet Service Provider is often associated with entities that need your browsing information, so you ought to protect it.
With a VPN app, you can safely browse knowing that your traffic will be encrypted. That means that your ISP will not be able to decipher it, so there will be nothing they can share with third parties.
For money-saving purposes:
If you want to save a few bucks, you should leave your VPN turned on all the time. Online stores offer you price basing on your current location: remember that they can track where you are with your IP address.
However, a VPN can offer you lower prices in critical activities, such as tourism. You would be amazed if you knew how much money you can save while acquiring flight tickets or hotel rooms with a VPN.
For defeating ISP throttling:
Your IPS provider has a certain bandwidth limit that it needs to spread among its thousands of users and subscribers, so sometimes, they decide to throttle the bandwidth of people engaging in substantially data-consuming activities such as streaming.
To avoid having your ISP throttling your connection speeds, you should activate your VPN connection and eliminate the problem. As long as your VPN app is on, your ISP won’t touch your bandwidth.
For Internet use in public Wi-Fi networks:
For online security reasons, you need to leave your VPN on all the time if you are going to use a public hotspot. Taking advantage of free Wi-Fi is excellent and can even save your life in a pinch. However, there are hackers, crypto miners, and malware developers lurking around in these networks.
Actually, public hotspots are the most obvious places in which you can get hacked. Connecting to one of them requires that you always leave your VPN on.
Consider turning your VPN off for:
Monet transfers: some platforms may block you if they detect you are using a Virtual Private Network, so to save you from any hassle, deactivate your encryption while you perform banking transactions.
Improving speeds: VPN technology offers all kinds of benefits. However, they decrease Internet connection speed by a slight percentage. If you want a speedier connection, consider turning your VPN off.
TorGuard: Best VPN to Leave on All the Time
With TorGuard, you can leave your VPN on for as long as you want as still be charged the same $10 per month. You also have a quality support team with a live chat feature, as well as the possibility to connect five simultaneous devices.
In conclusion, there are moments in which you may be better off leaving your VPN on and others in which it would be more convenient if you turned it off. However, if you choose the right brand, your speeds won’t get affected, and you may want to activate your VPN encryption at all times.