A VPN offers safe and secure online connections, but there’s more to VPNs than improving the built-in security layers of a device. Many people don’t seem to be are aware of that. If you’re still not convinced whether or not you need a VPN, here’s a list of ten benefits that can change your mind.

1. Access Geo-blocked Sites and Services

Without a VPN, your Internet Protocol (IP) address and geographical location are visible. Wherever you go and whatever you do online, your IP address reveals your device’s location, preventing you from accessing exclusive content from other regions.

Not all web services are accessible in all locations. Some streaming services, for example, are available only in specific communities. Other sites and services limit what users in different regions can access or view.

Based on your location, business websites may also restrict your use of their services or limit how much information you can get about what they do. With a VPN, you can enter a regional server and go where you please while keeping your IP address and location data private. Your online activities will be virtually undetectable.

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2. Greater Network Scalability

Expanding a private network can be expensive. With a VPN, businesses can give employees and remote workers alike secure and simultaneous network access using a simple login. A VPN network can be accessed remotely and securely by anyone who has the correct login information.

It supports employees working from home or those who engage in business travel. The network can be accessed wherever you are, and as long as you’re using the VPN, your information will be safe. VPNs provide a private online network where you can run multiple software applications in a secure cloud environment. You can expand this network as much as you wish.

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3. Reduce Staffing Costs

One of the benefits of a VPN is its ability to reduce costs. A VPN with cloud computing architecture can save you a lot of money on support services. Companies with an onsite setup must typically hire internal IT staff to manage the in-house server’s performance and upkeep.

Maintaining the server and ensuring its safety from hackers can be a full-time endeavor for numerous IT personnel. If something goes wrong, the mistake can be costly to fix, and it can hurt your company.

A VPN can handle that for you. Security measures, performance tests, and daily maintenance activities are all taken care of by the service provider. With an abundance of subscriptions, VPN service providers can easily afford to cover your company’s IT costs. Monthly subscriptions cost considerably less than what you would spend on an in-house team.

4. Protect Your Personal Data

Sensitive information you enter online can be intercepted by other people and used for nefarious purposes. A high-security VPN can prevent that with 256-bit encryption. Should your information somehow get intercepted, only strings of nonsense text will be visible.

The encrypted network can be used remotely to foil would-be hackers on the go. Even your ISP won’t be able to see what you’re doing. Instead, they’ll be treated to encrypted statistics from the VPN server.

5. Protect Your Network Against Tracking

Unbeknownst to you, certain applications and websites can silently track your online movements. What they’re doing as they follow you around is collecting data about you. Ultimately, they use that information to target you with annoying pop-ups while disturbing your online experience.

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It doesn’t matter who is trying to hack your system or torment you with constant advertising. When you have a VPN, the information you send and receive will be anonymous and secure.

6. Avoid Data Throttling

Some benefits of a VPN have something to do with data throttling. This happens when your ISP intentionally slows down your internet speed. This might happen if you are approaching your data cap or internet traffic is especially heavy.

With a VPN, you automatically avoid data caps. Your ISP won’t know where you are or what you’re doing. You can cruise online to your heart’s content with no internet slowdown. A properly configured VPN also increases overall network efficiency while maintaining a high degree of performance. It can cut costs for employees with data caps on their smartphones and provide them with unrestricted access to regional content.

7. Prevent Bandwidth Throttling

For reasons known only to ISPs, they can slow down your online experience from time to time for no apparent reason. Websites may be unavailable. This kind of system tampering can be carried out by anyone with the power to control your network’s performance.

Bandwidth throttling can be triggered if you visit certain websites or engage in certain internet activities. ISPs sometimes employ bandwidth throttling to clear network congestion. It can also be activated if you are consuming overly large quantities of data. Some providers offer so-called unlimited data plans that power down to 480p when you’ve used 50GB of data in one billing cycle.

Most people are not throttled because of questionable online activity. Nevertheless, with encrypted transmissions to and from your network, it won’t be an issue. Since a VPN can cloak your online travels, your ISP has no way to know if you’re streaming too many HD movies or accessing geo-restricted content. No one can detect which websites you’re visiting with state-of-the-art encryption.

A VPN allows you to freely and safely explore the web as often and as long as you wish. There are no caps on how much data you can use. Because you can bypass internet filters, you can access the websites you need to interact with and kiss bandwidth throttling goodbye.

8. Get Discounts on Flights and Rentals

A VPN lets you change your IP address and network location. It can save you substantial money on travel and rentals. Many reservation centers offer different deals on flights and accommodations, depending on where you are located. You can look for states or countries where flights and rentals are cheaper. If you find a good deal, connecting through a VPN gives you access to location-specific savings.

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9. Save Money

VPNs are surprisingly budget-friendly considering the privileges they confer. You get privacy, protection, and security in one plan. Depending on the type of plan you choose, you might pay as little as $3.50 per month.

10. Preserve Online Anonymity

A lack of online anonymity can increase your exposure to scams, hackers, identity thieves, and bullies. Fortunately, a VPN allows you to run applications and visit websites without exposure to prying eyes.

Unlike web proxies and incognito modes, VPNs offer a level of protection that allows you to maintain a sense of anonymity regardless of what you do.

Are There Any VPN Disadvantages?

For privacy and security, a VPN offers excellent online protection. However, the wrong plan can increase vulnerability by reducing your privacy and internet performance.

Fluctuating Internet Speed

The process of encrypting data can take time. How much time it takes depends on the specifications of your system and your VPN service provider. Certain VPNs have this problem more than others.

VPN Blocking

Some countries block VPN users from accessing content or visiting websites. That can include news and entertainment outlets. VPN blocking helps governments to shield their citizens from potentially harmful online content.

In other countries, VPNs are heavily regulated or outlawed altogether. Be sure you understand the VPN restrictions in your area to avoid trouble.

Complex Configuration

You can install a beginner-friendly VPN setup yourself. However, you’ll need a thorough understanding of networking technology. Alternatively, a good VPN service will have a support team in place to help you get your network properly configured. Without proper configuration, your system is vulnerable to malware and hackers.

Who Has the Best VPN?

Many reliable service providers offer inexpensive monthly subscriptions. Some providers offer free service for a limited time.

Free VPN is also available. However, some are not really free. Excessively slow internet speeds and service limitations are part and parcel of some free plans. A small monthly fee and a reliable service provider can save you from these and more:

  • Bugs in the system that create security issues and leave you vulnerable to malware and viruses
  • Embedded third-party trackers found in 75%of free VPN services
  •  Intrusive advertisements that limits the proper use of some services
  •  Possible bandwidth and DNS hijacking by service providers and hackers
  • Use of your network in a botnet attack or to conduct illicit activities

If you only plan to use VPNs occasionally, however, you can opt for a free VPN from a reliable provider. Some free VPNs can offer basic functionalities with reasonable service limitations. McAfee Secure VPN, for one, provides 500MB of free data every month.

As much as you can, check the functionalities and hidden vulnerabilities of your free VPN service to eliminate the aforementionedrisks and service limitations. Pay attention to alarming dangers, such as bandwidth hijacking or botnet attack, by monitoring your internet speed and scanning your software and hardware systems regularly using antivirus software.

Is a VPN Worth It: The Pros and Cons in A Nutshell

A VPN can let you unlock and discover the best things on the Internet—in a safe and private ecosystem. However, there may be times that you have to experience fluctuating internet speeds and unpredictable geo-blocking when using one. Further, a VPN shouldn’t be a standalone security layer. Virtual private networks keep your online activities private; they don’t shield you from malicious software on websites. A VPN should always be used with reliable antivirus and anti-malware protection, such as McAfee+.

Considering the disadvantages and benefits of a VPN, it’s important to weigh your needs and options and do some research to find out if a VPN is worth it. The answer is based on your everyday internet activities and depends on the VPN features. In most cases, investing in a VPN can ultimately improve your online privacy and protection.