Is It Smart To Use VPNs?


A Virtual private network, basically abbreviated as a VPN, is a system whereby you can connect to another computer over a secured passage. Connecting via VPNs is totally different to connecting to a computer via a simple SSL, Secure sockets layer; protocol for internet browsers that allows for authentication of data shared over the internet.

When connecting this way, which is via using a VPN you could use a computer in Johannesburg, South Africa to connect to the internet, which in turns make your computer in London, United Kingdom look as though it is in South Africa. So your computer has created a tunnel-like system from the UK to South Africa and emerging on the other side and accessing internet resources there. Generally it is safer to say paid VPN services provide better utilities to internet users. You’re at the right place if you need the

Secure local traffic while surfing public Wi-Fi

When surfing public Wi-Fi spots in places that includes airport, subways, parks a VPN can safeguard your local traffic. It substitutes your address and points it to a new direction, masking where your device is, when it comes into contact with the internet webpages. It also encipher the information you’re sending over the internet rendering it undecipherable to any party that is likely to seize it.

Bypass some filters and restrictions.

In cases where the connection you’re using gets stuck, difficult or delayed to access due to paid prioritizations throttling which is the temporary reduction of bandwidth (the rate of data flow in digital networks typically measured in bits per second) through an internet network, by controlling the package flow rate in order to minimize congestion, subscriptions, you can bypass it use of a VPN.

A VPN can also prevent one’s Internet Service Providers (ISP) from monitoring your online activities by coding your internet traffic. Your ISPs can access your unencrypted internet messages, websites, searches, connection times and dates, your geographical location, passwords and other personal information for various purposes that might include commercial/profit purposes, data retention, and bandwidth throttling.

A VPN service will redirect your traffic via a VPN server, cipher it and alter your real IP address making your internet activity private. In this way your ISP knows that you are using it but they cannot see the actual activities you’re engaged in.

Bypass some governmental restrictions and censorships.

There has been a rise of regional censorships of internet connections being filtered that ends up expanding into country-level censorships. VPNs can get around these barriers and blocks and URLs. A VPN will direct your internet traffic through a remote server allowing you to choose your virtual location.

Then, when you connect to a webpage, the webpage ‘thinks’ that the virtual location you provided by your VPN is your actual geographical location, which translates to your actual location getting masked, allowing you access the blocked content.


Protection when downloading files illegally.

VPN services are generally used to shield and hide illegal download of copy-restricted files.

Using torrents is one of the most common form of peer to peer file sharing. It is usually associated with piracy and copyright infringement because it is often used to share files that are right protected including movies, games, music and licensed software.

Unsecured Torrent users who are likely to access and download files illegally are susceptible to a range of potential punishments ranging from nuisances, to civil law suits, to a legal sentence in extreme cases.

Many ISPs are likely to throttle all torrent traffic. Repeated torrent downloads can further cause your ISP to interrupt your internet access. A VPN will therefore shield your activities and make them obscure from your ISP.

How do VPNs keep your data secured?

It gets interesting as the data you are accessing is only decrypted/ converted at end points which is your computer and the data host/source. There is no any way for any third party or anyone else to access the data moving across the secured system you have created. This process is commonly referred to as end to end encryption. Your two end points generate encryption keys that cannot be compromised by any third party.

Downsides to VPN use

Government legislature prohibiting VPN use.

A given number of nations have prohibited their citizens to use any type of VPN service, especially in countries that consider private networks to be illegal. This is one of the biggest and most common disadvantages that users normally encounter while using a VPN.

The VPN service might use your data and track your internet activities

In some instances some private network services will allow a tradeoff for using their private services in exchange for your data. It’s worth noting that most VPN services are not nonprofit organizations that operate for the general good of the public. While many are involved in reforms, they are all still operating as businesses that need to make profits.

Decline in performance levels

Since majority of VPN connections works by first connecting your network to a private server before you can actually accessing your target website, one is likely to encounter performance hindrances in the process. Some virtual private networks might take a longer time to contact the private servers, which might result in a longer time for you to load the website that you access.

Impossible to bypass all the established restrictions

One of the commonest reason people use VPN is to unblock specific websites or content and bypass restrictions. Although it is not that difficult to unblock most websites or content, some content may still be difficult to access. Streaming giant Netflix is a perfect example in this case.

No full anonymity guaranteed

VPN services do not instantly turn you invisible on the internet. There have been instances where the services have been keeping connection logs for users. They offer some level of anonymity but not full anonymity.

Having outlined the merits and demerits of having a VPN in your device, it generally can be concluded that a VPN will not cover each and every need for your privacy and anonymity while using the internet, but it is one way of starting to secure your space on the internet and reclaiming access to your private data. Investing in an appropriate VPN is therefore recommended.

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