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Do I Need a VPN at Home? Pros and Cons of Using a VPN
Benefits of Using a VPN at Home: Shedding Light on a Nearly 25-Year-Old Technology
It is nothing short of mind-bending when you consider that the tech behind VPNs is nearly 25 years old. This decades-old evolving technology allows individuals to send and receive data anonymously across shared or public networks. For much of corporate America, VPNs offer multiple benefits. This begs the question, do I need a VPN at home?
Why Use a VPN at Home?
If you're hesitant about using a VPN at home, you should take note of its many benefits.
All internet service providers (ISPs) can observe and record your web traffic. Although most websites use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) to encrypt data, not everything is encrypted. A good VPN for home network use can fill in the gaps by encrypting all of your online traffic before it ever makes its way to the ISP. As such, you're less likely to receive unsolicited, targeted ads or have your personal information compromised.
In addition to privacy, another good reason to consider using a VPN service at home is security. And let's face it, surfing the Web, even on trusted websites, carries some risk. Using such services can help mitigate such concerns.
You can hide your IP address, passwords, data, and even physical location away from prying eyes. Not even an ISP can see what you're doing while you're online via a VPN portal. The only thing they are privy to is the encrypted statistics coming from its server. Additionally, the technology is not relegated to home use only. For people on the go, you can access it remotely.
Exploring the world
Do I need a VPN to access content?
Unfortunately, the answer is often yes.
To the shock of many people, some countries have greater access to websites and online content than others. And all of this is regulated by your ISP address which broadcasts your physical location. As such, your IP address, without a VPN, will show up whenever you connect to your home WiFi with your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or another WiFi-enabled device. But there is good news for those who use a VPN for home WiFi.
Since you can select the country of origin when using a VPN portal, such restrictions are eliminated, making it possible to see content that is uploaded, streamed, or otherwise broadcasted from anywhere around the world. Meaning you can watch shows on online platforms that you would otherwise not be able to watch.
Improved WiFi Performance
Not many people know that using a VPN can improve overall WiFi performance. Several studies show that this boost in performance stems from improved bandwidth and efficiency, both of which are part and parcel of having a home VPN.
While this is not an exhaustive list of the many benefits afforded to VPN users at home, it should bolster your determination to get off the fence.
Downsides of Having a VPN at Home: What You Should Know Before Investing in One
While many benefits of a VPN at home are evident, it’s worth noting a few of its flaws.
Anonymity Is Not Guaranteed
While some VPN providers might make such guarantees, no vendor can definitively make someone completely anonymous. For example, browsing behavior is still very much visible, and using a VPN does not prevent websites from using trackers and cookies when someone signs on to them.
VPNs Are Illegal in Some Countries
While legal in most countries, some do not allow VPNs. As such, you could be subject to legal consequences should you be caught using one in a country that does not permit them. Some of the countries and territories that have made VPNs illegal are:
- Hong Kong
- Saudi Arabia
Your Privacy While Online Hinges on the Quality of Your VPN
While using a VPN does afford you some privacy as you peruse the internet, your privacy hinges on the quality of your VPN service provider. And yes, some are better than others. Some VPN service providers, for example, will log personally identifiable information. As such, when choosing your VPN for home use, premium service plans are your best bet.
So, if you're asking yourself, do I need a VPN at home? The answer is that it depends on how much you value your privacy and whether or not you believe you can benefit from such technology in your home. If you answer in the affirmative, your next move should include deciding which VPN provider best meets your needs.
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