In very simple terms, a VPN connects your PC, smartphone, or tablet to another computer or server somewhere on the internet.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the public Internet. VPNs can be used to access many services and region-restricted websites, shield your browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi.
VPNs essentially forward all your network traffic to other networks through an encrypted tunnel, to consume benefits – like accessing local network resources remotely and bypassing Internet restrictions. Most operating systems have integrated VPN support.
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Why VPN was created?
These days VPNs are really popular, but not for the reasons they were originally created. They originally were just a way to connect business networks together securely over the public internet or allow you to access a business network from home.
As you know, a VPN is basically a mediator server that masks all your network activity and prevents your Internet service provider (ISP) from tracking your traffic.
Historically, VPNs were used by large corporations to encrypt the information used by their remote employees. However, the use of VPNs has grown exponentially in recent years, specifically to deal with internet censorship in different countries.
For those who use a VPN, the question arises as to whether they should keep it connected at all times or not.
There is no definitive answer to that question; keeping it always connected or only occasionally depends on your needs.
To help you know what to do, we analyze several situations in which you should keep your VPN connection and others in which to give it a break.
If you use the Internet to browse, download torrents, or access geo-blocked content.
If you usually watch streaming movies or try to access blocked web pages in your country, you should consider keeping your VPN always connected, since without a VPN you will not be able to access this content. However, once you’ve finished watching the videos or the website, it may be worth putting your VPN to rest.
If you are concerned about your privacy on the Internet …
If Internet security is your main reason for using a VPN, we recommend that you keep it connected continuously. VPNs encrypt your traffic, which makes it extremely difficult to hack into your information. A VPN also masks your IP address, so governments and ISPs cannot monitor your activities on the network.
If you want to save money …
VPNs are useful tools that help you save money. Most web pages track your location and history and show you prices based on them, but by using a VPN, which hides your location, you can get cheaper prices. Booking a flight or hotel takes about an hour, so if this is the only thing you’re using a VPN for, you can safely disconnect it once you’ve confirmed your reservation.
If you connect to public WiFi networks …
If you access the Internet through public WiFi, it is highly recommended to use a VPN. Public WiFi is very dangerous and is the easiest way to get hacked. Therefore, if you plan to connect to the WiFi of your regular coffee shop every time you want a coffee, you should always keep your device connected to a VPN.
If we make online bank transfers …
If you carry out any financial transaction, your bank may block you if you use a VPN. Even well-known platforms such as PayPal can freeze your account if they detect the use of a VPN, so we recommend keeping VPNs disabled when you go to make a financial transaction.
Using VPN affects your performance on the Internet
If you connect to a VPN server located in a nearby area, experiencing an average 10% reduction in your Internet speed is normal. This occurs because encrypting and decrypting your information requires processing and time, so if VPNs greatly affect your connection speed, try giving them a break.
VPNs are very useful, but they are not necessary all the time. If most of the websites you visit are on a secure network and you can access them without problems, you don’t need to be permanently connected to a VPN.