VPN Articles and News

Pros and Cons of Using a VPN Service

Monday, May 12th, 2014

A Virtual Private Network is a networking framework that allows secure communications and remote access to content over long distances. Although earlier VPNs were designed specifically for corporations, over the last one decade they have also found favor with individuals who want to secure their privacy on the internet. This article will list down some pros and cons of using VPNs so that you can make an informed decision regarding subscribing to a VPN service.

Pros of Using VPNs

1) Secure Communication – A VPN is one of the best solutions available to secure communications and online activities. This is achieved by first encrypting the data through a secure protocol and then by routing traffic through a secure tunnel. These security measures help businesses to open up their corporate intranets to employees who are located far away as well as allow individuals to protect their privacy on the internet.

2) Protection From Security Threats – Using a VPN is one of the most effective ways to protect data from most known types of security threats. Due to double protection of encryption and tunneling, your data remains safe from hacking, sniffing, eavesdropping, snooping and brute force attacks. This makes it possible for businesses to protect their valuable data and information about new projects from corporate espionage as well as allows individuals to protect their data, money and identity from criminals while using wired or wireless networks.

3) Virtually Reside In A Different Country – Apart from security benefits, using a VPN also makes it possible to access content that is usually not available at your location. Most VPN providers have gateways in several countries allowing you can get an IP from one of those countries simply by connecting to that server. And once your IP address is changed, you are free to access local content as well as streaming sites (like Netflix and Hulu) from that country even if you are located thousands of miles away from that location. This feature is especially beneficial for expats, tourists and frequent fliers who cannot access their favorite streaming media sites due to the GEO-IP restrictions used by content providers.

4) Online Freedom – A VPN makes it possible to experience online freedom like never before. With a VPN, you can not only access blocked websites and online services that have been blocked by your government or network administrator but also circumvent speed throttling and traffic shaping techniques used by ISPs. For example, using a VPN allows you to indulge in bittorrenting activities without revealing your personal details as well as access social networking sites, video portals and VOIP services from workplaces, schools and countries that have a very strict level of online censorship (China, Middle East etc.).

Cons of Using VPNs

Cost – Deploying a Virtual Private Network is a costly affair since it needs specialized infrastructure that can support the demands of the business (or individual customers). For individual web users, subscribing to a VPN is more expensive than using other privacy solutions like web proxies or proxy servers.

Technology – The VPN technology is far more complex than other networking solutions. For businesses who wish to deploy their own VPN solutions, managing and troubleshooting the network on a day-to-day basis requires advanced technical know-how.

Speed – A VPN often reduces the overall speed available to the end users due to the overhead of encryption. While protocols like OpenVPN and PPTP manage to deliver good speeds, the L2TP protocol is slower since it encapsulates the data twice.

As with all other technologies, a VPN has its share of pros and cons. However, the advantages far outnumber the drawbacks which may be the reason why the technology is so popular with businesses and privacy conscious web users.

May 12, 2014

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