VPNs are multi-faceted tools you can use to enhance your digital life in a variety of ways. From enjoying more content to saving money, VPNs seemingly do it all.
If you’re asking yourself, “But at what cost?”, you’ve come to the right place. While VPNs come with a few drawbacks, their benefits far outweigh any disadvantages. As you’re about to see, the latter is a small price to pay considering how important VPNs are in today’s world.
Advantages of Using a VPN
At their core, VPNs are security tools, but because of how they work, they can do so much more than safeguard your information. This is what you can (and should) gain from using one.
1. Data Security
The internet is a vast system of devices communicating with each other. When you visit a website, the server you connect to takes your request, processes it, and sends data back to you.
Cybercriminals can intercept this communication and see what you’re doing online. This might not sound like a big deal if you’re just looking at memes, but what about when you’re sharing sensitive information like your bank account details, passwords, address, ID number, or confidential work?
It would be life-ruining, and it happens more often than you might realize. Cybercrimes have increased in prevalence by almost 300% since 2020.
VPNs prevent this by encrypting all the data you transfer. This way, even if a cybercriminal were to get their dodgy hands on your information, they wouldn’t be able to decipher it.
CyberGhost VPN uses 256-bit AES encryption. This is an incredibly strong cipher, and it would take a cybercriminal millions of years to crack it, even with the fastest computers we have. Using a VPN is an easy way to protect your data.
2. Privacy Protection
When you connect to the internet, your device takes on a unique identifying number — your IP address. It lets the servers you’re communicating with know where to send data to, so without it, you wouldn’t be able to use the internet at all.
Your IP address is public, and your activity can be associated with it. In other words, every time you connect, you’re leaving a virtual paper trail. Cyberstalking, doxxing, DDoS attacks, and other cybercrimes are only possible if the perpetrator can see your IP.
There’s more bad news: cybercriminals aren’t the only ones you have to worry about. ISPs, network or Wi-Fi admins, businesses, and the government are just as nosy.
VPNs protect your privacy by replacing your IP address with a virtual one. When you connect to a VPN, your data is routed through the VPN’s encrypted servers before it’s transferred to the websites you visit. This means no one can spy on you or trace your activity back to you.
CyberGhost VPN takes it a step further with our No Logs Policy. We promise to never pry, spy, or store your information, no matter what — not even to provide our service. We’re also headquartered in privacy-friendly Romania, where no one can demand your data from us. Our quarterly Transparency Report sums up exactly how little we know about you.
3. Internet Freedom
Jim Morrison, of The Doors, once said: “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.” It might be time to replace “media” with “web.”
The internet is so significant, populated, and useful, some governments have weaponized it. Getting Zucked on Facebook is child’s play compared to what some fascists are capable of.
In Myanmar’s military coup d’état, one of the first things they did was black out the internet across the country. In Venezuela, the internet is controlled to such a severe degree that you could face jail time for messages you send in private. Not to mention North Korea’s propaganda, China’s censorship, or the numerous human rights violations Iran imposes on its people by controlling communications.
VPNs may not be able to end wars, but they’re the best way to access unfiltered information. Since they obscure your IP address and activity, and encrypt your data, tyrannical governments lose their power to control what you do (or see) online.
4. Smoother Streaming
The internet isn’t all doom and gloom, and VPNs let you have fun on your own terms. If your work or school network blocks social media or entertainment sites, a VPN can get you around their firewalls. They’re also handy for when you go abroad and lose access to your location-based streaming libraries.
VPNs can also give you a smoother viewing experience, depending on their servers. CyberGhost VPN has streaming-optimized servers so you’ll always get blazing-fast speeds. We maintain these servers every day, and they’re set up in locations able to support 10-Gbps. Our servers also have unlimited bandwidth, so you don’t have to worry about that annoying buffering wheel.
5. Better Deals
Have you ever had your eye on something but weren’t quite sure you actually wanted to buy it, but then when you decided to go for it, the price had skyrocketed? This is called dynamic pricing — when businesses change their prices according to market demand. Regional pricing is similar, except where you are affects how much you pay.
VPNs solve both of these problems, because businesses can’t alter prices based on your searches, activity, or location if they can’t see who or where you are.
Some regional pricing is enforced under copyright and licensing law, and using a VPN to circumvent it is illegal. Video game prices are an example of this. CyberGhost VPN does not endorse or support any criminal activity, and using our VPN to do so goes against our terms of service.
6. No Content-Based Throttling
Another IP-based issue you’ve likely dealt with is throttling. It’s extremely irritating, and by its very nature kicks in at the most inconvenient times — when you’re trying to stream or game during peak hours, or download large files.
Usually this happens because your ISP monitors your activity. When they see you’re doing data-heavy tasks, they deliberately slow your connection so you can’t bottleneck their network. When you use a VPN, all your ISP can see is that you’re connected to one — not what you’re doing with it.
7. Enhanced Gaming
If you’re a gamer without a VPN you’re missing out. Investing in a good gaming VPN will save you a ton of hassle, and may even broaden your gaming horizons. It will protect you and your gaming accounts too.
Video games have seen such a huge boom, they’ve become cybercriminals’ main target. Almost 40% of all DDoS attacks in the US happen within the gaming industry. This doesn’t include doxxing, stalking, cyberbullying, or swat attacks. Many video games allow the use of VPNs to combat this, so long as you’re not using one to cheat, rig video game prices, or circumvent their ToS in any way.
You can also use a VPN to reduce latency. If you connect to a VPN server closest to your game servers, you could lower your ping, or as mentioned above, hide from ISP throttling. Depending on the game, you could even use a VPN to improve your match-making, join servers in other countries, or get around unfair IP bans.
CyberGhost VPN has gaming-optimized servers in more than 100 countries — and they all run on 10 Gbps. We’ll never cap your bandwidth either, so you can game to your heart’s content.
8. Faster Torrenting
Stealing copyrighted material is illegal, but file sharing is not. Still, torrenting gets a bad rap, and most ISPs will spite you (by putting your connection in a chokehold) if they catch you doing it. This is to deter people from using their network to visit torrenting websites — something they could take the fall for if authorities choose to intervene.
It’s problematic because people generally turn to torrenting when downloading or sharing large files. Firing up your VPN before you torrent will hide your activity from your ISP and potentially boost your download speeds. You’ll also be protected from harmful trackers on dodgy torrenting sites.
CyberGhost VPN was the first to optimize servers for torrenting. This means we have servers reserved for P2P file sharing, and only P2P file sharing, so you get safer, faster, and more reliable connections.
9. No Geo-Restrictions
Sometimes geo-blocks aren’t because of licensing, they’re security measures. Take banking services — if someone with a foreign IP tries to access your account, banks, or credit card issuers immediately flag it, in case your account has been compromised. This could happen with your work or school logins, or even your social media accounts.
It’s nifty, but it can get in your way. If you were to travel to a different country, this same failsafe will work against you, and you’ll lose access to your work intranet, banking apps, or local networks. Then what are you supposed to do?
Take a VPN with you, and this won’t be an issue. Simply connect to your home country, and the security bots won’t look twice.
10. Public Wi-Fi Protection
The very thing public networks are loved for, is the very thing that makes them unsafe — they’re open to anyone. We all love free Wi-Fi, but because they have little to no security, your data is exposed for all to see when you use one, making them a magnet for cybercriminals.
VPNs hide and encrypt your data on all networks, so you can connect to the local coffee shop’s Wi-Fi or Play Pokemon Go outside without making yourself vulnerable to data theft (or real world dangers, like stalking, blackmail, or even trafficking).
Set CyberGhost VPN to launch automatically when it connects to unknown or unsecured networks, so you don’t even have to think about it. We’ve also got a Kill Switch to prevent data leaks if you lose connection to your VPN.
Disadvantages of Using a VPN
Every coin has two sides and VPNs are no exception. Before you invest in one, here’s what you should know.
1. VPNs Might Slow Your Connection Speeds
A lot goes on in the background when you connect to a VPN. Instead of your request going directly to the site you’d like to visit, it gets routed through the VPN’s servers first. This extra step, as well as the encryption, could cause your connection to lag a bit.
Keep in mind, premium VPNs — like CyberGhost — compensate for this by using top tier VPN protocols to pick up the slack. If your speeds drop, it will be such a small difference you won’t even notice.
CyberGhost VPN lets you choose your protocols, or you can set our app to pick the best one for you by default. Pick from IKEv2, WireGuard, or OpenVPN.
2. Anti-VPN Software Is On the Rise
Streaming services and game stores have to abide by licensing law, so they tend to make a concerted effort to block VPNs on their platforms. Oppressive governments do the same, only to keep their citizens controlled and in the dark.
Every now and then these entities succeed, and you might find your VPN isn’t working for what you need it for. Premium VPNs work round the clock to stay ahead of the pushback, but smaller, less sophisticated VPNs might not have the power to get around these blocks.
3. Sometimes VPNs Are Against the Rules
We hate to admit it, but sometimes VPNs aren’t blocked, they’re just not allowed — and there’s nothing we can do about it. If your employer has banned VPNs while on the intranet, or if a video game publisher explicitly states using a VPN is against community guidelines or ToS, you could face real consequences for taking the risk.
You might get a write up or get perma-banned from your favorite video game. In more extreme cases, where governments have banned VPNs, you could be fined or jailed if you’re caught.
VPNs are not illegal in most countries, though you can still land in trouble if you’re using a VPN for illegal activities. Act responsibly, know the laws of the country you’re visiting and always abide by a service’s ToS.
4. VPNs Can’t Hide Data You Give Away
VPN encryption can’t help you if you deliberately share sensitive information online. This doesn’t only apply to chats or direct communications — it applies to the whole internet. No VPN can hide information you share with Google, banking services, game services, or sites and apps like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.
Speaking of social media networks, they’re very public platforms, and whatever you post to them can be viewed, shared, saved, or even screen shotted by anyone who can see your page.
The same goes for social engineering attacks — like phishing. This is why it’s so important to know how to recognise scams and cyberattacks, so you won’t fall for them. VPNs can only stop cybercriminals from acquiring your data if you don’t forfeit it.
5. Malware Is Still a Problem
By the same token, VPNs are not antiviruses, so if you visit dodgy websites, click on suspicious links, or download shady files, you’re just as vulnerable to malware with a VPN as you would be without one. VPNs also can’t remove malware or alert you of suspicious software on your device.
Never trust a VPN that claims to protect your device from malware — it’s simply not possible. Some VPNs might offer antivirus software as an add-on or extra, but it’s important to remember they’re two different apps doing entirely different things.
This doesn’t mean VPNs let viruses run wild. When you install CyberGhost VPN, you get a built in content blocker you can use to automatically block domains used for malicious content, ads and trackers.
6. The Best VPNs Cost Money
In service delivery, there’s the Good – Cheap – Fast triangle, in which the client can only pick two. If you want something good and cheap, it won’t be fast. If you want something cheap and fast, it won’t be good, but if you want something good and fast, it won’t be cheap.
This applies to VPNs, only your digital safety comes into play. If it’s free and fast, it’s not safe. If it’s safe and free, it’s not fast. If it’s fast and safe, it’s not free.
Use the rule of thumb: if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Free VPNs simply don’t match the capabilities of premium ones. At best, you’ll have a VPN with limited servers and unstable connection speeds. At worst, the VPN itself is selling your data to keep itself afloat, or it’s a trap and by installing it, you’re downloading hidden malware onto your device.
Is a VPN Worth It?
VPNs aren’t just worth it, they’re necessary. Cybercrimes are more prominent and vicious than they’ve ever been before, and a good VPN is your best line of defense. You also need one if you’re traveling and hope to stay connected to important services like your work, classes or bank. Improving the quality of your online activities like gaming and streaming are a huge bonus.
It’s important to stress this only applies to premium VPNs. Free, low quality VPNs are more trouble than they’re worth, and they can’t make the same promises — or offer the same services — that paid ones can.
CyberGhost VPN is your best bet. Not only do you get all the VPN benefits listed here and more, you’ll also get ultra-fast connection speeds and unlimited bandwidth on all plans, access to thousands of IPs from more than 100 countries, and help from our 24/7 customer support team.
The best part? You can try us out risk-free with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
You should use a VPN as much as you can when you connect to the internet, but in a few cases, it might not be viable or wise. Some services ban the use of VPNs and using one could cause issues as small as content blocks, and as large as account strikes or bans. Read their terms of service and community guidelines to establish whether or not it’s allowed.
You’ll also want to turn your VPN off if the content or service you’re trying to access is incompatible with the IP you’re hiding behind. Banks are the best example. Attempting to log in to your bank app while IP masking could lock you out of your own account.
Multitasking and need your VPN for one task, but can’t use it for another? CyberGhost VPN offers split tunneling, which you can use to do just that.
VPNs are versatile tools, so it depends on what you’re using it for. Even so, VPNs are first and foremost security tools, so the point of using one is to keep your data safe and private. Use a VPN to increase your anonymity, connect to IPs from around the world, or even enhance the quality of your entertainment, like streams and online games.
CyberGhost VPN safeguards your data with 245-bit AES encryption. We also have ultra-fast streaming, gaming, and torrenting-optimized servers to make your life easier.
Whenever possible. VPNs work the same on mobile devices as they do on any other, so you should fire yours up whenever you need an extra layer of protection while online. If you game or stream on your phone, a good VPN will enhance your experience by keeping you connected to your content libraries while you travel, and even improving your connection speeds while you watch or play.
Be careful with your accounts though. A VPN might interfere with your banking services, navigation, or certain apps that explicitly block VPNs, like some online games.
VPNs were originally developed to protect business networks. Once it was realized they could protect everyone, not just corporations, they made their way into the personal sphere.
A VPN is vital to any business as it secures your network and protects it from cyber attacks and data leaks. They’re a cost effective way to keep your company communications private, encrypted, and safe on all networks, including public Wi-Fi, if you employ remote workers.
No. Your ISP knows when you’re using a VPN, but they won’t be able to see what you’re up to. This also applies to your Wi-Fi admin. If they were to pry, they’d see an encrypted mess, but not what you searched for.
Some VPNs might monitor you and hand your data over to whoever asks for it, but not CyberGhost VPN. We operate under a strict No Logs Policy, and we’re headquartered in Romania where nobody, not even the government, can demand we sell you out.