7 major benefits of VPN services: no room for doubt

Last updated: October 20, 2020
benefits of VPN

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VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are services which allow individuals to connect to websites and other online services anonymously. By using encryption systems and networks of servers located around the world, VPNs manage to route traffic wherever it needs to go, without leaving data vulnerable to outside eyes. This makes VPNs incredibly useful – increasingly so in a world of authoritarian governments, all-powerful corporations, and smart cyber-criminals. If you’ve never explored the benefits of VPN services, now is a great time to do so. We will introduce the 7 reasons why you should give it a try – along with some downsides that everyone should know.

Why did people start using a VPN?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of VPN advantages and disadvantages, some background is probably handy. After all, a few years ago few of us automatically sought protection when browsing the web. So how has this market for VPNs come about?


  • One major reason was technical. As internet connections became more powerful, users could stream videos and other data-intensive files. Some of the means used to share these files were on the edges of legality, leading to fears that the authorities would track users, so VPNs stepped in to help file sharers and torrenters.

  • Crime is another factor. These days, we make huge amounts of payments via online portals. We don’t necessarily want external actors to know what we buy, and we definitely don’t want them to know our payment details. VPNs emerged as a response, providing peace of mind.

For all of these reasons, Virtual Private Networks have become a common feature of daily online activity. But if you’re still new to the idea, here’s a quick rundown of the most important VPN advantages and disadvantages.

The main benefits of VPN services

There are plenty of reasons why a huge market for VPNs has developed. For instance, with a VPN, individuals can:

1

Get around annoying geo-blockers which restrict those in certain parts of the world accessing online services. For example, Netflix offers different rosters of movies and TV shows in different countries. With a VPN you can pose as a French user and access the French service, accessing shows that aren’t available in the USA.

 

2

Enjoy total personal security. VPNs (should) act as a protective shield, preventing outsiders inspecting data packets from the moment they leave your computer or smartphone. This is vital for those worried about surveillance or hacking, but it’s just good practice for all of us in a world of mounting digital threats.

 

3

Avoid censorship. One of the most hopeful aspects of the rise in a VPN use is the ability to circumvent government-imposed restrictions. Across the world, free speech is routinely blocked by preventing access to websites deemed dangerous or offensive. VPNs are designed to render that kind of censorship obsolete, at least in theory.

 

4

Make use of P2P services securely. Most of the best VPN services accommodate heavy data users like torrenters, allowing them to download music, software or movies without fear of prosecution. At the same time, VPNs also make it easier to work around download restrictions of “throttling” by ISPs.

Are there any VPN advantages for business users?

Those are just the benefits of VPN services for individuals. However, the technology behind Virtual Private Network wasn’t created for home use. It actually came about to meet the demand of businesses, who often find plenty of advantages in implementing VPN-based solutions. For example:

 

5

VPNs allow companies to make cost savings. Before Virtual Private Networks came about, if companies wanted to create secure remote networks knitting together numerous locations, they often had to lease phone lines and bandwidth and spend a lot of resources on maintaining their own servers. With VPNs, the servers are outsourced to specialist network providers, and bespoke connections are replaced by access to a secure publicly accessible VPN.

 

6

Make remote working much more viable. Many companies intend to allow workers to work from home or on the road, but mixing this kind of flexibility with security doesn’t always work. With VPNs, you can create protected information sources that are accessible from anywhere, and do so in a cost-effective way.

 

7 benefits of vpn

Protect IP and other information. Corporate piracy and espionage are real concerns for many businesses, and protecting intellectual property or financial information is one of the major VPN advantages.

What about VPN disadvantages?

So there are definitely benefits of VPN services for both individuals and businesses, and these benefits of VPN services are propelling the technology to prominence across the world. But before you sign up for an eye-catching service, it pays to consider a few VPN disadvantages as well. No tech is perfect, after all, so here are some potential downsides:


      • Transparency is a problem. It has to be said that some VPN operators aren’t the most transparent businesses in the world, and rogue networks are in prime position to harvest valuable information from their logs. SO pick wisely from reputable brands.

      • Privacy may not be as total as you think. Although they tend to make people much more secure online, VPNs aren’t always watertight. In fact, IP address leakage plagues low-quality VPNs, and can give away your identity in seconds.

      • Speed. Not all VPNs have Usain Bolt-like speeds. Actually, some can resemble snails at times, despite making big promises up front. So compare speeds before signing up for anything. It’s still the internet superhighway, not a traffic-blocked side road.

      • Working across devices can be risky. Unless you are careful, using VPNs with laptops and smartphones together can cause problems. Choose a VPN which handles numerous devices, not separate VPNs for each way to access the web.

Finding the best VPN for your needs

That’s pretty much. As you can see, there are plenty of VPN benefits for business and individual users. But, on the flip side, you’ll need to exercise caution when picking the best VPN.

Based on our in-depth analyses, we feel pretty confident in putting ExpressVPN in our number one spot, with NordVPN close behind – especially if you’re more price conscious. But if you’re looking for a bit more options, feel free to look at our best VPNs list.

With plenty of excellent providers right now, and more coming online as you read this, it’s not hard to protect your online privacy, and with so many digital threats, can we afford not to?

Top VPN providers
NordVPN
9.6 / 10
30-day money-back guarantee
Military grade encryption
Friendly support
Surfshark VPN
9.4 / 10
Strong encryption
Great performance
Unlimited simultaneous connections

Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.

8 comments
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  1. Snow54

    Every service has its pros and cons and that is true for VPNs as well. Data leaks and logging are two more disadvantages that you might want to add to the list above.


  2. Dan

    My core benefit is to protect myself from snooping on the many open WiFi networks I find myself using. Using a commercial VPN from a company that has been in business for 10 years satisfies that. Using a VPN on public WiFi networks also means I don’t have to fight whatever restrictions/ad injections/streaming throttling the hotel or whatever might have.


  3. Alma van

    VPNs are so affordable that there’s not much reason for a business not to get one—especially when you factor in the potential time lost by employees who are unable to get their work done because of network restrictions.


  4. Paul125

    Of all the benefits of the VPN, I am specifically thrilled by the ability to connect to the internet and other online services anonymously. There are still some other benefits of using VPN though. I have only identified what drives my interest


  5. Mattie Casper

    Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Keep up the excellent work!


    1. Julie Cole Author

      Thanks so much! It really means a lot to us 🙂


  6. Peverell Brochu

    As a regular web user for data gathering and research, there are many reasons that I consider VPN an absolute necessity. There are numerous dangers when associating with the web notwithstanding for only 10 sec. More like “You versus unknown forces” lol. So VPN is a must


    1. Julie Cole Author

      Hi, I cannot agree more! It is always the best option to take some actions of precaution before something unpleasant happens than later, when all unwanted things happens. For sure, VPN services will help you to be prepared and safe! 

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