Are VPNs worth it? 10 reasons to say yes to a VPN
Are VPNs worth it? This question might linger in your mind every time you connect to an unsecured network. The digital space can be everything you ever hoped for in terms of possibilities and endless volumes of information. However, it is also rich in threats and dangers that netizens unwittingly encounter daily. Thus, your digital lifestyle can be a rewarding experience, but it takes very little for it to take a wrong turn. Threats online have tainted thousands of lives, from identity theft to account takeovers. While a VPN is not a cure for all, its contribution minimizes the risks significantly. Let’s figure out when VPNs are worth it and can make a tremendous difference.
Short recap on Virtual Private Networks
A VPN refers to a program that secures all your internet traffic and ensures confidential data exchange. It achieves these goals by relying on the following techniques:
- Building a secure and encrypted tunnel. A VPN designs a tunnel that represents a safe route for your data. No one can snoop inside the tunnel, and a VPN encrypts everything inside it anyway. Thus, even if someone could break through the tunnel, the scrambled data would be useless.
- Robust encryption. Encryption protocols are key components for any VPN. For instance, Atlas VPN uses AES-256 encryption, a highly sophisticated cipher. Additionally, we use IPSec/IKEv2 protocol for building our secure tunnels.
- Anti-leak protection. A VPN leaves no gaps in its protection. Atlas VPN equips multiple defense mechanisms for preventing DNS or IP leaks.
- Hiding users’ IP addresses. Once you connect to a VPN server, your actual IP address is no longer visible to entities online. Instead, they see the IP address belonging to that specific VPN server. The best part is that you can choose the location you want. For instance, Atlas VPN offers over 700 servers in nearly 30 locations.
Why you need a VPN
1. Ease of use
Many users might assume that VPNs are exclusively for tech-savvy individuals. However, adding this app to your security toolkit is a hassle-free experience. Once you finish the necessary steps (signup, installation), you are a click away from securing your traffic.
We believe that your background or financial situation should not determine how secure you get to be online. Thus, Atlas VPN is not only a budget-friendly solution but a beautiful and user-friendly one as well. We have designed our app to serve anyone, be it a long-standing VPN fan or a newbie. Our app has no learning curve: after all, all you need to do is connect to our secured servers. After that, you are set for smooth sailing to every digital shore you desire.
2. More privacy and anonymity
One of the strongest motives for using a VPN is privacy and anonymity. Have you ever encountered targeted ads? Does your instant messaging app send metadata on your conversations to third parties? Do websites bombard you with cookies and not the good kind? Well, all netizens experience these intrusive stumbling blocks.
Want to know what assumptions Google has made about you? By visiting this page, you can see a summary of your interests, age, marital status, education, gender, etc. All these details influence the ads you see. If you have not done it yet, you should always refuse ad personalization.
How can a VPN help? Well, it won’t make you completely anonymous and private online. However, you can achieve a lot by encrypting your entire internet traffic and keeping your true location a secret. Then, entities such as Google won’t be able to pinpoint your whereabouts or interests accurately. The main benefits are as follows:
- Online entities get less information about your activities. Translation: ISPs, advertisers, and websites won’t be able to collect as much data on you.
- You get to blend into the crowd by using a VPN. Thousands of other users connect to VPN servers. Thus, it becomes impossible to identify someone specifically and trace certain actions back to them.
- IP address no longer identifies you. Many entities associate your online activities with your IP address. By concealing it, you can prevent this identifier from relating to your digital identity.
3. Staying safe on any network
Free Wi-Fi is the root of many problems. First of all, these networks lack protection and might not encrypt any information that the connected users exchange. Thus, all activities and data you send over an unprotected network may be visible to random bystanders. Network managers can also be snoopy, especially if you accidentally connect to an evil twin.
A VPN is the tool that can eliminate all the common threats surrounding free Wi-Fi. By default, VPNs encrypt your traffic and prevent snooping. Thus, once your traffic gets rerouted through a secure tunnel, no one can see inside. Remember that VPNs are worth it even if you rarely connect to free hotspots. In some cases, you might accidentally allow your device to connect to available networks.
4. Overcoming censorship
Millions of people worldwide suffer the consequences of oppressive regimes. In many cases, government control extends to the digital space. Countries ban specific products, applications, websites or might even cut off internet connectivity altogether. Typically, governments impose strict censorship and other internet restrictions to accomplish several goals:
- Limit free speech online. Citizens are unable to exchange information or contact foreign media centers. During times of political unrest and protests, many governments decide to limit internet connectivity or make it temporarily unavailable.
- Spread propaganda. By blocking independent media and oppressing journalists, governments can transmit misleading information. Typically, it promotes specific political causes and paints a distorted image of reality.
- Block content deemed unsuitable or offensive. Governments might decide which content spreads inappropriate or derogatory messages. Thus, they might block access to it for ethical reasons. In more complex situations, blocks can work as another instrument for suppressing free speech. For instance, many encryption-based apps are unavailable in China as they allow citizens to communicate in private. Even the newest iOS update won’t feature Private Relay in its version for Chinese clients.
A VPN is the saving grace for many independent journalists and human rights advocates. By encrypting their traffic and masking IP addresses, they can exchange information safely. Additionally, citizens can reclaim access to various services, especially when certain internet restrictions violate free speech rights. Thus, unfortunately, thousands of people must rely on VPNs to be their window to the world.
5. Quality streaming and more content
Binge-worthy shows are the entertainment we all appreciate. Be it during quarantine or a lazy Sunday, a grand selection of shows rarely disappoints. However, true enthusiasts might struggle to find new titles and get stuck in a loop of rewatching their favorite shows. Some try to find fresh content through secret Netflix codes; others might turn to VPNs.
After connecting to a VPN server, you might find titles that are unavailable in your region. Atlas VPN not only unlocks the doors to more content but is a solution that won’t hinder your experience. Our speed-optimized servers are ready to handle all of your activities. Thus, you should not notice any significant speed drops or frown at the sight of grainy content.
6. Say no to bandwidth throttling
Bandwidth throttling might affect your browsing experience without you ever knowing. This process relates to ISPs (Internet Service Providers) automatically slowing down certain types of traffic. Unfortunately, streaming is a bandwidth-heavy activity. Thus, once providers detect it (especially during peak hours), they might choose to interfere with your connection. The same rules apply to gaming, which might require even more bandwidth to give you a lag-free experience.
To understand how a VPN can defeat bandwidth throttling, let’s remember its main purpose. VPNs encrypt information about your internet traffic, meaning that no one can learn what exactly you do online. Your ISP is one of the entities that will no longer distinguish between different types of activities. Thus, it won’t be able to tell when it should throttle your connection.
7. Avoid price discrimination
A common pricing strategy online is to sell identical products at different prices based on clients’ location. By residing in a country deemed as more capable economically, you are bound to pay more. Price discrimination can charge consumers according to different characteristics. For instance, online shops might treat clients using high-end products as more capable of paying more. However, location is a common factor that influences the prices consumers need to pay.
A VPN, as you already know, masks your IP address. You can pick the exact location you want online entities to see. As a result, you can obviate price discrimination and pay a price you are comfortable with it.
8. VPN for work-from-home
Millions of people work from home (WFH), be it freelancers or employees at companies supporting WFH. A VPN is an excellent assistant at home, and it is an essential instrument for anyone dealing with confidential data. You need to be confident that your connection to the internet is safe and no one can monitor it. A VPN, after performing encryption and masking, guarantees that you perform each task safely.
9. Secure your financial transactions
Users are fluent in managing their finances remotely. Thus, various transactions take seconds to complete. But what about their security? Your financial information is confidential and should never be shared. However, the internet is unpredictable and not in a good way.
Credentials might leak due to unsecured connections, or criminals might extort private details through online scams. To ensure that all your financial transactions happen safely, connect to a VPN. It is incredibly essential if you accidentally reveal your financial details to an unsecured shopping site. A VPN could be the defense against such threats.
10. Additional security features
A VPN tool is already responsible for many things: building tunnels, encrypting information, and masking IP addresses. However, some programs on this market stand out with their additional security features. For instance, Atlas VPN lets you combat other online threats as well:
- Tracker blocker. A feature that allows you to block dangerous websites (malware links, phishing sites, etc.) and ads.
- Data breach scanner. Worried about your credentials and other personal information? Our data breach scanner finds out whether accounts associated with your email address have been compromised.
- SafeSwap servers. These servers perform automatic rotation of IP addresses, meaning that you further bolster your anonymity.
- Killswitch. Even if your VPN connection suddenly drops, a killswitch reassures that your information does not leak. How? By temporarily blocking access to the internet (restored as soon as the connectivity bounces back).
Are VPNs worth it? Yes, they indeed are. Consider all benefits and security mechanisms that these tools apply. With them in your arsenal, your digital lifestyle will not only receive the defense it deserves. As a bonus, you will access more content, overcome censorship, beat price discrimination, etc. Thus, a VPN is a seemingly minor change that you won’t even notice after installation. However, its advantages and use cases will continue to surprise you pleasantly.
Former chef and the head of Atlas VPN blog team. He's an experienced cybersecurity expert with a background of technical content writing.