Do I need a VPN? There are a lot of reasons to consider using a VPN in 2019, and there are also a few reasons you shouldn’t bother with a VPN. This guide will help you decide if you should use a VPN or if you should stick with your current setup and habits.
A VPN is a virtual private network, which can add privacy and help you get around location locked content to some degree. It’s easier than ever to use a VPN on your phone, laptop or tablet.
Here are the reasons you need a VPN in 2019;
- You Rely on Public WiFi
- To Get Around Location Restricted Content Blocks
- For Enhanced Privacy
- To Speed Up BitTorrent Downloads
- To Get Around Content Blocking at Work or School
- If You Travel Abroad
While there are a lot of reasons you need a VPN, there are also a few reasons you shouldn’t use a VPN.
- Don’t Use One if You Always use a personal hotspot
- Don’t Use To Be Totally Anonymous
- Don’t Use an Untrustworthy VPN
Keep reading for more information on each of these reasons to help you decide if you should get a VPN in 2019 or if you are OK without one.
Get a VPN if You Rely on Public WiFi
Do you routinely get online with public wifi at a coffee shop, airport, while on a plane or anywhere else that you can connect to the same WiFi as random people?
If you answered yes to any of those spots, you need a VPN on your phone or laptop. When you are on public WiFi, it is possible for someone to steal your login information or a man in the middle attack, both of which aren’t good. You might think no one in your small town or at this specific place is trying to steal information, but it’s much easier than you’d expect and can happen anywhere.
With a VPN in place, your connection is protected from other users on shared WiFi. This is the biggest reason to use a VPN.
Get a VPN to Get Around Location Locked Content
Another very common reason to use a VPN is to get around location restrictions.
Do you want to watch something that is only available in another country? If so, you can use a VPN to pretend you are in that country and gain access.
This can help you watch the BBC or it could even let you get around MLB blackout restrictions.
Netflix is notorious for blocking VPN usage, so don’t plan on using this to see the library in another country.
Use a VPN for Enhanced Privacy
Using a VPN prevents your cable company or your mobile service provider from seeing you go online.
Of course, you need to make sure that the VPN you choose doesn’t also keep logs of your visits, which is just transferring who knows about your browsing habits.
Use a VPN for faster BitTorrent Downloads
If your ISP throttles BitTorrent downloads and other downloads, using a VPN can help speed these up.
While BitTorrent is most well-known for illegal downloads, there are legal uses that get slowed down by the same throttling.
With a VPN, the ISP can’t see what your traffic is, so it can’t slow down your downloads.
Get a VPN to Get Around Content Blocking at School
Do you need to get around content blocking at school or work? You can try using a VPN to get around this blocking.
If you are doing this at school it may be against your student rules, and if you do it at work you are likely breaking an agreement. Both of these can get you in trouble, but it’s an option.
Keep in mind some schools are now blocking VPN access, so you will need to look into bypassing a VPN block or try out a VPN free trial before you commit.
Use a VPN if You Travel Abroad
If you are traveling in a foreign country you should consider a VPN. This will keep your browsing secure and it may allow you to get around any restrictions that the country has in place for browsing. Be aware of laws and rules before traveling with a VPN.
Many experts specifically recommend using a VPN if you travel to China.
Don’t Use a VPN if You Always Use a Personal Hotspot
If you are just thinking of using a VPN to stay safe from public WiFi, you probably don’t need a VPN.
You can simply use your phone as a hotspot to connect your tablet or laptop to the Internet and you don’t need to worry about a man in the middle attack or packet sniffing.
This doesn’t stop ISP’s knowing where you go, but it will keep you safe from the hazards of public WiFi.
Don’t Use a VPN as a Be All End All Privacy Shield
A VPN isn’t the be all end all privacy solution. If you are on a VPN your computer will still know where you are going with cookies and browsing history and it is not as full-fledged as using Tor.
For most users, a VPN is a good option, but if you need more privacy then it is not the only tool you need to use.