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Should you always use a VPN?

Always keeping a VPN on is necessary to ensure that your device and personal information is protected. For instance, with a VPN (Virtual Private Network) always on, can protect you from cyberthreats on public Wi-Fi.

It can also hide all of your browsing activities and other data from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and even the government. Not to mention that you can always take advantage of all the internet has to offer, such as geo-blocked websites or streaming platforms.

In fact, the best VPNs will be able to do this and more without compromising speeds or costing too much. So, continue reading to find out all the reasons why using a VPN at all times is beneficial for you.

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Best VPNs to use at all times

While the VPN market is filled with promising providers, not all of them ensure great performance and security. To help you out, we gathered a list of our approved best VPNs for staying connected all the time.

6 reasons why you should use a VPN

You can use a VPN for various reasons but online privacy and security of your data should be the main ones. However, a VPN can also be beneficial for entertainment reasons, such as bypassing geo-blocks.

  1. Stay private and anonymous online
  2. Unblock geo-restricted content
  3. Stop bandwidth throttling
  4. Stay secured from cybercriminals
  5. Safely access public Wi-Fi
  6. Save money

You can use the jump links to navigate through the VPN benefit descriptions. So, without further ado, let’s dive into more in-depth explanations of each perk:

1. Privacy and anonymity from third-parties

The biggest reason to constantly have a VPN turned on is privacy and anonymity. While you may not have anything to hide, it can still be uncomfortable knowing there might be outsiders looking at what you’re browsing.

A VPN carries your data through an encrypted tunnel, meaning all of your information, including your browsing activities, become unreadable and inaccessible to anyone’s eyes. This includes your ISP, hackers, or even the government.

Reliable VPNs, such as NordVPN, have a clear no-logs policy (even better if they’re audited), meaning they can’t track your activities either. So even if the government knocks on their door asking to give up your information, there won’t be anything to give in the first place.

On top of that, websites won’t be able to track you or your browsing activities either. This means that external companies won’t be able to use targeted advertising. So, if you’ve searched for a product on Google, it won’t reflect in the adverts you see.

2. Access any geo-restricted content

Keeping a VPN constantly connected means that you can bypass geo-restrictions and unlock content from around the world. When you use a VPN, it connects you to a secure server in a location of your choosing, so it can make it look like you are in that country.

HBO unblocked with Nord

So if you want to access Hulu or HBO Max but aren’t in the US, a VPN will let you bypass these restrictions from anywhere in the world. It will connect to an American server and create an American IP address to make it appear as though you are in the States, even if you’re not.

The other benefit of this is that you can switch servers seamlessly, so you can access an American server to watch Hulu, then switch to a British server to watch BBC iPlayer.

3. Avoid bandwidth throttling

Some ISPs will impose bandwidth limits to encourage you to upgrade to a more expensive package that promises faster internet speeds. If you always have a VPN turned on, your ISP won’t be able to constrain your internet speed. That’s because they won’t be able to see what you’re up to online.

So whether you want to download files, stream content, or play your favorite game in peace, you’ll find a VPN to be a valuable asset. However, if it so happens that your VPN slows down your connection even more, make sure you’re connected to a server that is closer to you physically. If switching between servers doesn’t help, consider looking into the fastest VPNs.

4. Security and protection at any location

Using a VPN all the time also guarantees that you’re protected from prying eyes of cyber attackers. Because your information, including sensitive data and online activities, is encrypted with such ciphers as AES, it becomes inaccessible to anyone.

In layman’s terms, even if someone could access your data, they would never be able to decipher it. To give you an example, the VPN tunnel will secure your communication channels, including your emails and Zoom meetings, from anyone trying to steal it.

Additionally, having a VPN turned on lets you transfer money safely. Since your online activities are hidden, it doesn’t matter where you make transactions. Be it your home network or unsecured public Wi-Fi – cyber felons won’t stand a chance at taking a peek.

5. Safe access to public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks are extremely vulnerable as you can never know who connects to them. This makes it easy for hackers to access your private information. That is unless you use a VPN for public Wi-Fi. It will make it appear as though your data is coming from the server you’re connected to instead of your own device.

To put it simply, if your VPN is always turned on, it will be impossible for hackers to decipher the encrypted data. As an extra precaution, you can turn on the kill switch feature in your VPN’s settings.

NordVPN kill switch feature for protection

Even if your VPN connection drops, the kill switch will temporarily shut your Internet down until the connection is restored. This way, there won’t even be accidental data leaks.

6. Save money

External companies can gain access to your information and use it for their own advantage. For instance, if you keep looking for flight details or the same hotel rooms, the prices may increase the next time you come back to the same site. That’s because companies track your search history and frequency.

If you have a VPN turned on at all times, such companies won’t have a clue how many times you come back to their site or search for particular services. This means that a VPN will ensure the price won’t be affected, ensuring you get the best deals.

Plus, some companies may apply discriminatory pricing structure – people from one country may get products/services cheaper than those from another. To avoid this, you can simply use a VPN to change your location and compare pricing to save a bunch of money. And since there are plenty of cheap VPNs, your wallet won’t suffer.

What can a VPN be used for?

Depending on what you need a VPN for, it can be beneficial in many ways. So, without further ado, here are a few advantages of using a VPN as a business user or for entertainment:

1. Business VPNs

VPNs for businesses can be more expensive than regular user VPNs. However, they’re much more than worth it. For starters, they protect employee data from being stolen or viewed by third parties. This includes remote workers who tend to work connected to their home network. A VPN does not let anyone, even the Internet Service Provider (ISP) of the employee, see what they are up to online.

Additionally, remote workers can feel safe on public wifi knowing that their data is encrypted. That’s because public networks are known to be a cybercriminal hazard.

2. Streaming VPNs

Streaming VPNs do exactly what the name says… help with streaming. So if you’re one who feels that they often run out of things to watch on their streaming service, a VPN is a great solution. The best VPNs for streaming movies will help you unblock huge Netflix libraries, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney Plus, or any other service.

Plus, if your ISP tends to limit bandwidth as soon as you start doing data-consuming activities, including streaming, a VPN can help. Since your data is encrypted, your ISP can’t see what you’re up to. This means that the VPN won’t let your ISP limit your data, thus improving overall streaming speeds.

3. Gaming VPNs

If you can’t go a day or two without gaming, a VPN can benefit you in multiple ways. For starters, gaming VPNs can help you access other regions on services such as Steam. Changing your virtual location helps access a larger game library.

Also, some unfair gamers attack other players to get them out of the game. This is called a DDoS attack, or distributed denial of service. A VPN hides your IP address and personal data, securing you from cyber bullies and attacks.

Just like with streaming, some ISPs tend to limit speed for gamers. If that’s the case for you, a VPN will improve your speeds and gaming experience.

Should I leave my VPN on all the time?

For the most part, yes, because your data should be protected all the time. VPNs are one of the best security tools on the market and not that expensive considering the value they bring. VPNs ensure data protection from hackers and secure browsing. In result, this prevents advertisers or ISPs from accessing your browsing data.

At the same time, there may be times when you need to turn your VPN off. That is when you need to access local sites or devices, such as streaming platforms or a printer.

When should you turn off your VPN?

While we recommend to keep your VPN on as much as possible, there may be cases when you actually need it off. This includes accessing local content or devices.

For instance, you may need to access streaming services that are unavailable in countries you’re virtually connected to. The same goes for various websites that may be geo-restricted elsewhere. You may also need to connect to devices on your local network, such as a printer. In such cases, it’s easier to just pause your VPN connection for some time.

NordVPN pause button

Another reason you may consider pausing your VPN is if it slows down your device speed. But first, try switching to other servers or choose those that are physically closer to you. If that doesn’t help, consider checking fastest VPNs we've tested.

Pro tip

When you need to turn your VPN off, we suggest pausing rather than switching it off entirely. For that, pick a VPN with a good pausing option – such as NordVPN that even lets you choose for how long you want to disable the VPN.

Get NordVPN

Should I use a VPN at home?

Using a VPN at home is preferable, advised even, but it isn’t always essential. The main reason it may not be necessary, is that your internet activity should already be shielded by your password-protected Wi-Fi network. The other concern is connecting to a remote server can slow your connection speed. Yet, it shouldn't be the case with NordVPN – it offers great speeds.

At the same time, the pros of using a VPN at home largely outweigh the negatives. Even Reddit users agree that using a VPN at home is a great way to secure yourself from your own ISP. When a VPN is on, your ISP can’t see what sites you visit or sell your data to third parties.

Additionally, if your ISP throttles your Internet speed, a VPN could even improve it by shielding your activities. All you’d have to do is set up a VPN on your router, and all of the devices on your network will be protected. Not to mention that it also allows you to watch geo-restricted content at home for your entertainment.

What VPN should I use?

When picking a VPN, it’s important to choose one that offers high-class security and performance. You want to be guaranteed advanced security features as well as a clear no-logging policy. However, you don’t have to compromise speeds for the sake of it, so it’s important that the VPN can also deliver fast speeds.

At the same time, we strongly advise against using unreliable free VPNs. Since they have to make some profit too, they may end up selling your data to external third parties and running malware-infected ads.

Therefore, if data privacy is something you are looking out for, consider trying out these premium VPN services:

BrandSurfsharkVPN comparison table logo NEW
No-logging policyNo logs, independently audited twice by PwCNo logs, independently audited by Cure 53No logs, independently audited by Leviathan
Servers6300+ servers in 111 countries3200+ servers in 100 countries2400+ servers in 55 countries
UnblocksNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreNetflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and moreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Disney+, and more
Simultaneous connections10UnlimitedUnlimited
Check NordVPN dealsCheck Surfshark dealsCheck IPVanish deals

These VPNs offer high-level security and are astonishingly fast. Also, all of them protect your browsing data with some of the strongest encryption ciphers. In terms of entertainment, they’re all capable of unblocking geo-restricted content, like Hulu, HBO Max, or BBC iPlayer.

The bottom line

Ultimately, a VPN is a necessary and valued tool in 2024. It completely secures your private and personal information and prevents your data from getting into the hands of third parties who can use this information against you. For such reasons, it’s recommended to keep your VPN on for most if not all of the time.

However, it may so happen that you need to turn off your VPN. That is when you need to access local content or devices on your network. In such cases, using a VPN that allows pausing your connection is a great solution.

For this, we recommend using NordVPN. It ensures advanced security, is one of the fastest services out there, and lets you pause your connection for a chosen amount of time.

More great topics on VPN usage



prefix 5 months ago
For MacBook users, do they need to use a VPN for home Wi-Fi networks?
Cybernews Team
prefix 5 months ago
Hi there. It depends on the purpose of using a VPN. As it is safer when you are connected to the home Wi-Fi, you are still being "watched" by your ISP, or trackers can detect your browsing patterns. VPN encrypts your internet traffic, hides all your online activities, and provides you some perks, such as connecting to another location to access online content restricted in your original region. Hope this helps!
prefix 2 years ago
Your comment regarding the protection a VPN offers is only partially accurate. I have been using a free VPN for about 6 months n=but just recently upgraded to a paid version. However the issues I faced that I thought were due to the VPN being a free version continued in the paid version.

So what are these issues? That the more secure a website and sites that require valid personal identifiable data don't work on a VPN. These sites and apps see the random and often connections from locations that differ from your actual location are identified as security risk because they behave in exactly the same way that criminals and fraudsters use.

To use a VPN with these services you have to either disable your VPN or add the site/app to an excluded list. these sites are banking, online selling, shopping and government sites. The fact that the VPN is there to protect your data and identity is negated by this and therefore makes the VPN just extra clutter on your system. As an illustration, to allow access to an major online shopping site I was going to use to sell on, I had to find out the IP numbers they used to add them to the excluded list, (for some reason the VPN only recognises apps or IP's not domains for exclusion) how many users would know how to do that? Plus, using this site with customers personal and payment details, as well as my own banking and site access data is now unprotected! So why bother with the VPN?
Cybernews Team
prefix 1 year ago
Yes, VPNs are a risk if you use them on super secure websites like banking. But as these sites are usually very secure, there is no need for a VPN. However, you can still get dedicated IP if you are paranoid. Why bother with VPN? Simply put, VPN is to keep you secure on less secure websites, like casual browsing, social media, etc. That's the whole point. Other uses of a VPN are mentioned in the article: unblocking geo-blocked content, hiding activity from ISP, add security if you connect to unknown or public wifi. Moving on to the use of customer data, then it's the site's job to protect that data in the database and it's the person's job to protect said data by connecting to a secure network.
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