Whenever you are using the public internet connection in your nearest coffee shop or grocery store, you are susceptible to several types of attacks that can steal your work and personal data. To counter this, VPNs make it easy to secure your unsecured internet connection by encrypting it and anonymizing the connection. In case you don’t know, VPNs provide a secure tunnel to protect you from the public and unencrypted internet. But let’s face it, VPNs are for the most part are looked upon as strangers and there are several myths that might stop you from using it entirely or makes you ignore things that you shouldn’t ignore in the first place.
VPN Connections are Always Slow
This is not a myth entirely, but the VPN connection speed actually depends on your choice of the VPN. For instance, if you choose a free VPN service, say like the VPNbook then you shouldn’t expect anything more than general browsing speed. The reason for this is pretty simple and straightforward, being a free VPN, many people use it to secure their internet connection. The more people there are, the slower the connections get.
On the contrary, many premium VPN services limit the number of users per server making the VPN connection more reliable and speedy. So if you want the best possible connection then you should use a premium VPN service that guarantees the speed and reliability.
Anonymity and Privacy are Same
Anonymity and Privacy are never the same and never will be. So if you see any service that uses this statement or promises to completely eliminate all and any personally identifiable data then stay away from that service as they don’t know what they are doing or they are just trying to trick you.
Generally, VPNs and other private browsing or internet tools like using tor, private messaging, incognito mode in browsers help you reduce the amount of information you send to the third parties. This helps you from defending yourself from the mass surveillance and data collection done by big companies and governments.
VPN Makes Me Be Completely Anonymous
This is another popular myth among people who are using are thinking of using a VPN service. Though most VPN services provide anonymity as part of the deal, they cannot provide it 100%. The reason for this is pretty simple, all most all the VPN services log certain data either for legal purposes or to improve their services. Even if a VPN service promises to not log or store the logged data, you can never be 100% anonymous on the internet. All the VPNs can do is that they make it very difficult to track the personally identifiable data by encrypting your connection. That’s just the truth. Simply put, if you are using the internet then you cannot be anonymous.
VPN Services Don’t Log Data
This is yet another popular myth that is believed by most people. One thing to keep in mind while choosing a VPN is that not all VPNs are created equal. Unless otherwise stated by the VPN service, all most all VPNs log certain data like your real IP address, operating system, location, browser, etc.., either for legal or in-house requirements.
That being said, some VPNs do log data for legal reasons but they do delete the data after certain period of time after, say like 60 or 90 days. Like I said before, even if a VPN says they won’t be logging any data, do not equate it to you being anonymous on the internet.
VPN Magically Protects you From Internet-Borne Attacks
VPNs are not designed to protect you from the internet-borne attacks. All VPNs does is that they encrypt you connection and make it harder for hackers to steal your data while you are browsing or transmitting the data between your computer or mobile to the target server. VPNs are not designed to act as a firewall or antivirus and they certainly don’t vet their traffic for malicious items. If you visit any web page that is infected with some kind of malware then there is every chance for your system to get infected. This is especially true if you are not following the safe browsing tips that every internet user should know and follow.
So, never think of your VPN service as a firewall and always be cautious while you are on the internet.
Tor is the Free and Best Alternative for VPN
Well, Tor is one of the best alternatives if you want secure and anonymous browsing. Compared to a VPN, the workings of Tor is entirely different as the traffic passes through different random nodes and anyone can act as a relay node. But there are several restrictions in place if you want to be secure and anonymous. For instance, you need to use the specially designed browser, you shouldn’t enable any scripts to run, you shouldn’t enable any browser add-ons, etc.
Though Tor doesn’t necessarily restrict you from using all those above features, as soon as you use the above features, your Tor browser can be distinguished easily from other Tor browsers on the network. This makes it easy for attacks to target you. Most of all, Tor network is ridiculously slow. Simply put, Tor is just like a good proxy. You cannot equate it to a good VPN service.
That’s all there is to do and hopefully that helps. Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about the VPN myths shared above.