It’s Time to Bust These 5 Myths about VPN

The popularity of VPN services has exploded in recent years. More and more people are starting to catch on to the benefits of using a product like this, and the serious implications it has on modern digital security. And as with anything that eventually becomes popular, VPNs have fallen victim to their own prominence, as there are various misconceptions and myths going around about the way they function.

It’s Just a Ploy to Control Your Information

Many people are distrustful towards VPN services from a privacy point of view. Your traffic is being rerouted through some unknown servers located in another part of the world, shouldn’t that be worrying? The truth is that any legitimate VPN service will put extra effort to keep their hands as clean as possible of any traces of your activities. This gives them plausible deniability when working with law enforcement in most cases. And, even though it doesn’t completely protect them, it’s still a basic feature for any company operating in this field.

On the other hand, there’s also the practical point of view – storing all your traffic logs would simply be too costly, even for a small number of users and a relatively short storage period. Most companies will take the path of least resistance when setting up their services. They don’t want to have to spend even more money on something that will only make their service worse in the eyes of users.

It will Slow Down Your Connection

A good VPN will never impact your connection speed in any noticeable way. Many quality service providers pay special attention to this aspect of their products. Of course, it also depends on how exactly you’re using your VPN in the first place. If you’re a gamer living in Europe and you purchase an American VPN, don’t be surprised if your favorite titles become downright unplayable. Your connection is jumping all the way to the US and back, which adds a serious delay to it!

But for regular browsing and most types of work, as well as streaming services like Netflix, there won’t be any noticeable difference. Gaming and other latency-sensitive services can also work, as long as you pay attention to where the VPN server is located.

However, when it comes to a free VPN, you can expect a significant slow-down of speed.

It Will Get You Banned from X Service

Many companies keep talking negatively about VPNs. These companies claim that they are taking proactive measures to block VPNs from their services, but this rarely happens in real life. When this clause exists in service, it’s usually to protect the company after something has happened. For example, one of their users abuses their VPN connection to exploit issues in the service’s network.

For regular usage though, you should be fine, as long as you take the time to look for a VPN service that is not flagged. That’s one of the reasons why you should only trust high-quality commercial VPNs instead of free ones, but more on this in the next section.

You’re Okay with a Free VPN

Everybody wants to save money on everything they use, and when you’re looking for a VPN to sign up for, you’ll quickly find various free services on the internet. Don’t be fooled though – even if they’re making some fantastic claims about the quality of their products, you should still never trust your private data with a free product. If something goes wrong, they will have no liability in the situation, and you’ll be on your own. In this case, giving a shot with a free trial would be much wiser.

Plus, a free VPN service will likely cut a lot of corners to service all of its users properly, so don’t be surprised if you see painfully slow connection speeds and other network issues on a regular basis.

It Makes You Anonymous, so You’re Free to Do Anything

Some people seem to be under the impression that a VPN is like an “Internet Batman mask” that conceals their identity and makes it impossible to trace any activities back to them. This might work for something simple like torrenting – no copyright lawyer is going to go after a VPN provider for their records for one simple infringement. But for a more serious crime that attracts the attention of actual law enforcement? You can bet that they will be at your door before you know it.

VPNs have a large number of legitimate applications, and their user base keeps growing. It’s important to dispel the myths that surround them, as the average person can usually benefit a lot from using a VPN service on a regular basis.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.