VPNs provide you with safety for all online activity, whether you're downloading torrents, sending emails, or reading the news- you can relax knowing that your movements and activity are not being tracked. However, there are certain limitations to this protection.
VPNs consume system resources and, to some extent, hinder transfer speeds. Unsurprisingly, such difficulties can deter users from leaving VPNs on all the time. But do these difficulties outweigh the benefits of keeping your VPN switched on all of the time? Let’s find out.
So, do I ever need to turn it off?
VPNs can be used for a variety of purposes, including bypassing geographical restrictions, securing your online activities, and preserving your privacy. Most of the time, a VPN may be left switched on and will not cause you any problems. However, disconnecting your VPN every now and again is advised to minimize unwanted complications.
The advantages of keeping your VPN turned on:
- You can securely access public WiFi connections without the risk of third parties and individuals stealing your data.
- You can view and transfer all of your personal information safely and securely.
- You can access home networks while traveling to other countries.
- You can bypass geographical restrictions.
- No data throttling.
The disadvantages of keeping your VPN turned on:
- Your battery will drain much faster than usual.
- You may experience a reduction in your connection speed.
- You may encounter multiple unnecessary security warnings.
When should I leave my VPN on?
1. If you’re using public WiFi
Using public WiFi can be both a pleasure and a genuine danger. Because free Internet is never something to be turned down, many people ignore the need of being safe in this type of atmosphere.
Any malicious person can make use of public WiFi networks as bases for their activities. When you walk in without any form of protection, you are essentially painting a large bullseye on your back.
Furthermore, the excitement of surfing the Internet without having to pay for it may cause you to overlook the importance of using security software. As a result, even if you have a VPN in this instance, you may forget to activate it before connecting.
That would not happen, however, if you had your VPN turned on and ready for you to connect to that public WiFi so it could encrypt your connection and preserve your privacy.
2. If your ISP throttles your bandwidth
If you currently pay for a super-speed Internet package yet your connection isn't quite as fast as advertised, your ISP may be restricting your bandwidth. This means that, while your connection should be capable of up to 1000 MB/s, your ISP may limit it to, say, 5 MB/s.
Instead of repairing the routing or managing subnets properly, your ISP may resort to doing this to save money or to avoid network congestion. Most of the time, bandwidth limiting isn't sporadic, and you should be able to detect it at all times. It is also possible that your bandwidth will be capped solely during peak traffic hours.
Whatever the case may be, it is still wrong and inconvenient when it occurs. If you want to get your mind off it, connect to a fast VPN server, leave your VPN on at all times, and forget about it.
3. If you’re downloading torrents
It's widely known that downloading torrents can result in you ending up on a variety of lists. Not even the good ones. This is because of the numerous websites that facilitate pirated content via torrenting. Whatever the cause, you'd be better off downloading torrents while protected by a VPN.
Your VPN connection may fail, and your device will most likely revert to a previously reliable, non-VPN-secured connection. A kill switch prevents this by turning off your Internet access if no VPN connection is detected.
4. If you make lots of online purchases
If you're unlucky, your payment information could be captured by criminals, and before you know it, your money could be gone. Using a VPN will not always prevent this from happening, but it will make it immensely more difficult for the culprits.
If you're a busy person who prefers not to overcomplicate things and prefers to keep a clean shop, you should keep your VPN on all the time. It will spare you the trouble of having to manually activate it every time you need to perform a transaction.
5. If you want to unblock restricted content
If you believe that internet censorship and geo-restrictions are unjust, you've probably discovered that a VPN can easily circumvent them. Consider Netflix in the United States or the United Kingdom. You cannot access either of them if you are not physically located in the appropriate region. A reliable VPN, on the other hand, can assist you in quickly overcoming these restrictions.
In this instance, leaving your VPN operating at all times is not a bad idea. It can protect you from hackers, your ISP, and data-seizing government authorities in addition to allowing you to view prohibited content.
6. If you’re concerned about your online privacy
Most users consider VPNs to be a secondary tool. As a result, many people are unconcerned about their online privacy, despite the fact that it should be their primary priority. To get back on track, if you're concerned about your online privacy, you should have your VPN operating at all times. This makes it far more difficult for anyone to follow your every move online.
If, on the other hand, your ISP has the terrible tendency of restricting your bandwidth, as described in point 2, you'll be able to get around it straight away. VPNs are often used to reduce packet loss and improve in-game ping with minimal effort.
While a virtual private network is great and necessary for most daily online activities, there are a few instances where you might want to consider switching it off. However, to guarantee the most protection and to keep cybercriminals at bay, we recommend keeping your VPN active at all times.