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Should I Leave My VPN on All the Time?

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Given the sharp rise in data breaches and cyberattacks, protecting your privacy online is crucial.

Because it can encrypt your traffic and route it through a safe, private server, a VPN is one of the best ways to maintain anonymity while using the internet. 

VPNs are helpful. The web is now considerably safer and more practical, thanks to them. 

But after taking all of that into account, you may be asking yourself, “Should I leave my VPN all the time?”

There are particular circumstances in which it makes sense to do that. Keeping your VP on all the time may not be necessary if you are at home, checking Facebook while speaking with friends and playing video games unless you engage in any of the activities listed below. 

When should I have my VPN on?

When you browse public WiFi

If you use free WiFi to access the internet, ensure your VPN is permanently active. 

This lack of security is initially handy for you (you don’t need a password) because approximately 33.92% of public networks don’t utilize encryption, but it can quickly cost you. Hackers can observe your internet activity and attempt to intercept the data packets you transmit to websites.

If successful, they can take your bank account details, credit card numbers, and login information. Even worse, networks that employ encryption are not secure. The current industry standard is WPA2. 

Unfortunately, because of a significant flaw, it is not at all secure.

Consequently, you should always use a VPN on public WiFi until WPA3 is released (possibly even after).

Cybercriminals cannot spy on your traffic because it is encrypted.

Browsing the internet privately

Keep your VPN turned on if you prefer more anonymity when using the internet. Your information is kept confidential by VPNs using encryption software. 

On the internet, the right to privacy is only sometimes protected. Invest in a reliable VPN if you want to be safe and keep your data private and secure. 

When you send sensitive data or perform financial transactions

Despite the possibility of hackers intercepting your connection, VPN encryption protects your online banking traffic from prying eyes and other parties. 

Some of the more concerning hacks include credit card fraud and banking scams. Your information should be safe on banking sites because they are always encrypted. Your data can also be stolen and accessed in other situations, such as when using a public WiFi network to do business or when using an unencrypted website to make payments. Any internet connection should always be encrypted using a VPN.

When shopping online

You must enter your credit card information or, at the very least, your PayPal credentials when making purchases online. This information is susceptible to outside interference, just like with internet banking. 

When utilizing a shopping app, this is very crucial. They frequently store your account data, transaction history, and credit card information. The data the app sends out is easy to access if it is not encrypted. You can prevent outside parties from intercepting this data by keeping your VPN active. 

When your bandwidth is being throttled

ISPs might slow down particular forms of web activity, such as streaming or gaming, to save bandwidth. Throttling is the term for this. Buffering could result from this, especially during rush hour. ISPs cannot observe your activities when your VPN is active so they won’t slow down your traffic based on your actions. 

When you’re dealing with firewalls

You’ll need to keep your VPN on all the time if you want to get around a firewall, whether it’s one at work or school, a government-enforced firewall, or both. Your real IP address will be exposed if you don’t do it. When that occurs, you won’t be able to get around the firewall because it needs to know your correct address. 

When you want to access any geo-restricted content

You may get around geographic restrictions and access content from anywhere worldwide by continuously using a VPN. When you use a VPN, it links you to a safe server in the area of your choice, creating the illusion that you are there. 

Therefore, a VPN will enable you to get around these limitations from anywhere in the globe if you want to watch Hulu or HBO Max but aren’t in the US. It will establish a connection with an American server and generate an American IP address to give the impression that you are in the States even when you are not.

The ability to move smoothly between servers is another advantage. For example, you could access an American server to watch Hulu and then switch to a British server to watch BBC iPlayer. 

When you download torrents

Always utilize a VPN when downloading torrents if you reside in a nation where torrenting isn’t legal. If you don’t, your IP address will be displayed in the torrent client, and your ISP will be able to monitor your torrenting traffic. You may face serious legal repercussions, such as fines or jail time. 

When you want to save money

Turning off the VPN is not an option if you want to avoid online price discrimination. By doing that, websites will again be able to view your actual geolocation, and your IP address will be made public. After that, they’ll start showing the standard prices you’re used to seeing. 

Turning off your VPN, for instance, can prohibit you from finding lower-cost flights. Once you’ve located and chosen the pricing, you should just cut the connection. 

When should you turn off your VPN?

Man hacker in hood and headphones working on laptop in the dark

While it is generally advised to keep your VPN on, there may be circumstances where you must switch it off. Accessing local devices or material falls under this category. 

For example, you might need to use blocked streaming services in the nations you are electronically linked to. The same is true for numerous websites that might be geo-restricted in other locations. You might also need to connect to local network hardware, like a printer. It’s simpler to interrupt your VPN connection in these circumstances. 

Another argument is that using a VPN can slightly reduce your internet speed. Although it’s difficult to predict whether you’ll notice the change, you can want to disable your VPN to increase your internet speed. 

You may notice slower internet speed if your VPN is linked to a remote server. Connect to a server closer to you to avoid this from happening. Your battery life can be protected by turning down your VPN. Although not all VPNs do this, some are infamous for depleting batteries more quickly than others. Your battery life may suffer if your VPN makes your network time out and requires you to sign in often. Use a reliable VPN, tried, and trusted to avoid this.   

What VPN should I use?

It’s crucial to select a VPN that provides top-notch security and performance. A clear no-logging policy and cutting-edge security technologies are two things you want to be guaranteed. However, it’s crucial that the VPN can also give quick speeds because you shouldn’t have to sacrifice performance for convenience. 

Nevertheless, we caution against utilizing shady-free VPN services. They might sell your information to outside parties and display adverts that include viruses. 

So, if protecting your data privacy is important to you, think about using one of these expensive VPN services: 

Conclusion

A VPN is, in the end, a valuable and necessary tool. In most cases, you should leave your VPN on to stay safe from hackers and snoopers, mainly if you use a public WiFi hotspot to conduct critical financial transactions or share sensitive information online. For these reasons, it is advised to have your VPN on most of the time, if not permanently.

You’ll have to disable your VPN. When that happens, you must access local files or networked devices. Using a VPN that enables suspending your connection is an excellent answer in these circumstances.

Nevertheless, we should all make our own decisions because we each have different priorities, just that others can use this post to decide whether to use a VPN or leave it on all the time.