Is A VPN Worth It?
Technology is having an unprecedented impact on the world we live in.
Not only has it revolutionized how we communicate and conduct transactions, but it has also changed how we work and live our lives — from day-to-day habits to the way we do business.
Taking advantage of the right technology can give us a competitive edge and help us stay safe from harm.
Tech elites or not, there’s one thing everyone needs in this day and age: a virtual private network.
It’s a network of networks that encrypts everything you do online, ensuring your internet traffic is kept safe from prying eyes.
The question: Is a VPN worth it?
Some VPN User’s Statistic
Before we jump into the topic, let’s warm up with some VPN stats.
These are just a few of the many statistics from each category.
- Indonesia is the country with the highest number of people using VPN, sitting on the top with 55%.
- India comes in second, with 43% of their people using VPN in the country.
- 34% of VPN users in the world are male, while 25% of them are female.
- Only 36% of users pay for their VPN service, which leads to consequences such as a security breach and malware attacks.
- Major internet shutdowns often correlate with high VPN usage.
*Sources from GlobalWebIndex
Surprisingly, the United States, which is not on the list, has its people searching for the abbreviation VPN for a volume of half a million times per month.
The statistic shows that Internet freedom still exists with the numbers of VPN usage in the world.
Or, is it?
The Pros and Cons of A VPN
Just like all other technology, VPN has its ups and downs too.
Let us move further with the discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of VPN.
While the pros are good but what concerns us are the cons as “a bad apple spoils the bunch”.
We had listed some brief examples below to highlight some of the obvious pros and cons:
1. The World Is At Your Fingertip: With a VPN on hand, you can access blocked content anytime, anywhere.
VPN comes in real handy when you have to access blocked content or services from other countries such as the most popular content platform Netflix.
Great VPN can bypass the strict Netflix VPN ban with ease.
Unlock geolocation restriction content such as Livestream videos, with the help of a VPN, bypassing the restrictions.
Some VPN service providers out there even accelerate Internet connection speed for a better browsing experience as compared to your internet service provider.
2. Keeps Your Connection Safe All The Time: In the era of constantly exchanging information, our data are exposed to digital threats such as cyber-attacks and malicious viruses.
Sometimes when we are logging into bank accounts or having a chat of the lifetime with our friend, the last thing we want is somebody snooping on us.
A VPN protects data by encrypting them. Your data will be kept private to yourself when you’re browsing the web, anytime, anywhere.
3. VPN is Affordable: The VPN subscription price is relatively affordable. Without breaking your bank, at no more than 10 dollars per month, VPN grants you access and keeps your connection safe and sound.
While other hardware requires a technician to perform installations, which means extra cost, VPN skips the hassle!
There’s no need to install any hardware. Follow the instructions from your service provider, and within a few clicks, your VPN will be up and running.
1. Slows Down Your Connection: A VPN might be a perfect plan for you to access restricted content from all over the world, but it will slow down your connection speed.
To protect your data safe and sound, VPN will have to encrypt every packet of the data, which results in 10-20% connection speed loss.
Some unauthorized and poorly built VPN might cause even worse connection speed loss.
Be sure to get VPN services from a trusted VPN service provider.
2. Some VPN Might Be Insecure: While most of the VPN out in the market are reliable, there is a small chunk of them that might be causing threats to your data.
Free VPN is mainly the root of the problem. Due to the incapability to generate a good income from its free solution, free VPN providers might be using other methods to monetize their operations.
This includes illegally collecting your data and flooding you with unwanted ads.
Reasons for Using a VPN
People use VPN for a variety of reasons.
While I had written a detailed article on Do We Need a VPN here. Still, it’s good to revise some of the main points over here.
Here are the top 3 most common reasons for using a VPN.
The majority of people use VPN for security reasons. In the cyber world where security attack is way too common, VPN has become the first choice of netizen to encrypt their data. VPN provides full-on protection, even from your own ISP provider.
- Breaking Geo-restrictions
Internet is an endless rabbit hole that provides entertainment and information. Unfortunately, some of the content on the Internet are geo-restricted, in other words, restricted based on location. People use VPN to bypass geo-restricted content, to enjoy entertainment and information from all around the world.
While VPN allows one to bypass restrictions, it can also keep the user’s identity anonymous. When a user browses through the myriad world of the Internet, a VPN always keeps their identity and location anonymous, even to the web-hosting site.
However, most VPN providers will still collect data or information such as your choice of servers location, or the frequency of servers switching and etc. While this will not affect your online activities as most of the time, those data are for maintenance in general and do not poses any threat to your privacy.
The Difference Between a Free and Paid VPN
Apart from the pricing, there are a few differences between a free and a paid VPN.
We look more closely into each of the categories in order to figure out what makes the differences.
Paid VPN makes their money by charging subscription fees, which users in return can enjoy a reliable and stable VPN connection.
Free VPN doesn’t charge their users with subscription fees. Instead, they will blast a series of advertisements in the middle of your connection to monetize their operations. Some might log your IP address and online activities in the background.
Free VPN often has a small team behind them. And with the lack of financial resources, it will be slightly difficult for them to maintain operations and provide high-quality service at the same time.
Things go differently for paid VPN. With all the money they gained from service subscription fees, they will have enough resources to maintain good operations and provide top-notch service at the same time.
Free VPN is free for a reason. While a minority of them do provide customer support, the majority of them don’t. It’s often a programmed bot with default answer templates only.
Paid VPN will have a 24 hours customer support team, standby to solve your problem. These well-established VPN services hire prioritize humanize support rather than robotic support.
While it’s clear that it was better to pick a paid VPN over the free option.
However, we do understand that most of the time not everyone is willing to pay for it.
In that case, check out our best free VPN and pick the one that most suited to your usage.
Is it worth paying for a VPN
Now that you’ve seen the differences between a free and a paid VPN, the next question would be “is it worth it if I pay for a VPN?”
Well, to be honest with you. I might actually ask you to log into your online activities and monitor how much time you are spending online.
If you do not browse the internet as much or are just for casual entertainment such as youtube or music listening.
I see no point in getting a paid VPN. It’s not worth it as per said.
If you are on the other side like me, uses the internet on a daily basis for research, banking, working, live streaming services for sports, and will be on the screen for 4 or 6 hours per day,
I would suggest you seriously consider paying for a VPN.
It might even worth it if you got more than yourselves to protect.
Most paid VPN provides simultaneous connections to multiple devices for a secure connection.
As such, you can share your account with others. Thus providing an extra layer of security for everyone.
Otherwise, you pose a high risk of exposing yourself to cybercriminal and online threats such as snooping and etc.
Conclusion: Is A VPN Worth Investing?
I started with an open-ended question, thus I would like to end my statement with an answer to it.
The short answer to this question is probably yes.
One can get complete personal online protection from VPN and also access to geo-restricted Internet content from all around the world.
It also keeps you “invisible” from the unwanted people on the Internet.
You may opt for a free VPN service, but paid VPN will be a better deal for long-term investment.
If you value online privacy and freedom on the Internet, think no further, subscribe to a VPN today.
Any form of protection is better than no protection at all.
Take our quiz here to see how you stand against privacy concerns.