Spoiler: Not exactly! (Read on to find out more about it)
But, is it useful for every Internet user? Not necessarily.
Hence, in this article, I’m going to tell you briefly why you don’t need a VPN and when do you need it to keep your Internet activity private along with some potential solutions for you to enhance your online privacy.
Preventing Your Internet Service Provider To Spy On Your Activity Without A VPN
This is usually the #1 reason why people prefer using a VPN — it’s because they don’t want their ISP to keep tabs on their Internet activity.
However, you can prevent your ISP to monitor your Internet requests by simply changing the DNS server of your connection. Even though I already have a list of best DNS servers, I’ll recommend you to use Cloudflare’s DNS service.
You should find all the instructions to change your DNS for your PC or smartphone on its official website. In either case, you can follow How-To Geek’s guide to change your DNS server if you couldn’t figure it out.
Hide Your IP & Become Anonymous: Really?
If you’re trying something online and if you think that a VPN can make you anonymous, you’re completely delusional (sorry!).
A VPN hides your IP address — yes. But, it does not make you anonymous.
For instance, you’ve probably created a social account (without a VPN), performing bank transactions (without a VPN), and several similar activities without using a VPN.
So, your device information and your IP address is already out there on the web and you’re not anonymous by any means.
Even if you purchase a VPN and get it installed — you’ll never be truly anonymous.
Don’t get me wrong, a VPN still masks your original IP address and that enhances your online privacy but it’s limited to that part only. If you understand that you’re not really anonymous but just want to hide your IP address, in that case you can use a VPN.
But, that’s not very useful though.
Unblock Geographical Restriction: Yes, Indeed!
If you want to unblock geographical restrictions to access an online service, you would need a VPN.
Geographical restrictions mean that a site is inaccessible in your country or accessible from a specific country, in that case, you will have to utilize a VPN to route your connection through the preferred location.
Do note that if a website has been simply blocked by your Internet Service Provider for your country, you can still access it without a VPN. You can simply change the DNS server of your computer or smartphone to unblock the access.
I’d recommend you to use 184.108.40.206 WARP+ service (which costs 69 INR/month) because this is what I personally utilize.
You Can’t Trust Every VPN Service Provider
Of course — I don’t recommend services without personally testing them out. But, it isn’t possible to test every online service (especially, VPNs) to help you out.
So, you have to keep in mind that you can’t trust every VPN company with their claims like no log policy, military-grade encryption, etc.
Some of those claims are pure marketing gimmicks and some claims are just blatant lies.
Maybe they promise not to track your activity — but who knows? Yes, you can look for Independent audits of the company to make sure that you’re using a good VPN.
But, if you don’t have the time to research about the VPN service that you want to use, you should probably avoid using it.
Secure Your Communication Using A VPN: Holy Crap!
If you thought that a VPN protects your communication and messages — you’ve been a victim of crappy marketing campaigns. I don’t blame you, not everyone knows it.
A VPN simply hides your IP address and routes your connection through a different server location that protects your real IP address and location.
But, the rest depends on what messaging services you use and the applications you have installed on your phone or PC. Instead of using a VPN, you should simply start using secure apps and services.
Recommended Read: Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Use WhatsApp
VPN Companies Are Lying To You
In addition to some important points I mentioned above, you will notice that a lot of VPN companies make incredibly insane claims that encourages you to purchase their service.
Yes, a VPN is useful for some cases. But, unlike what they claim — it isn’t an all-in-one solution to keep your Internet activity private.
To get more idea about that and to summarize the points I’ve mentioned here, I’d suggest you to watch the video below:
Unless you’re looking to hide your IP, download copyright materials (which you shouldn’t), and unblock geographical restrictions — there’s no practical use of a VPN for a general consumer.
Do you use a VPN service? Did you think that a VPN made you anonymous? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!