VPNs Are Not Magic Privacy Protectors

I’ll start off by saying there are a few good reasons to use a VPN. But for most people you are wasting your money and maybe even leaking more meta data if you turn on a VPN and don’t change your behavior. So every time I see someone pushing a VPN as some kind of magic privacy solution I cringe. But for now lets start with a few of the good reasons you might need one.


Why you might need a VPN

Your country is blocking parts of the internet.

If you live somewhere with an oppressive government you might find that some web content is blocked. So in this case a VPN could be helpful if you can find a VPN that itself is not blocked.

If you live in the USA this is not really an issue. Because if the US government decides a website is bad they take it off the internet. It’s not just blocked. But other countries don’t have this ability so they block websites.

You have a static IP address

This might be the biggest reason. If you have a static IP address at home then a VPN is useful in hiding your identity from websites you visit. Otherwise your IP address could be connected to your real ID. But if your logging into websites while on the VPN then the protection of the VPN is useless. Because now you have connected your login ID with the new IP address the VPN has given you.

Why you don’t need a VPN

You don’t need a VPN for encryption in most cases.

Most web traffic is encrypted now days. There might be a few sites out there that don’t use HTTPS but not many. So if you go to fakebook your ISP knows you connected to fakebook but they don’t know anything else about the traffic. If you use a VPN you are paying to have all your internet traffic routed through someone else’s computer. They can see your connecting to fakebook but everything else is still encrypted.

So congratulations you paid someone for not much. Your only hiding the fact that you connected to a website. So Unless you want to hide the list of websites you connecting to from your ISP your not gaining much.

But there may be a good reason to hide that info.

VPNs are targets

With a VPN provider now all these privacy minded people have their traffic routed through one place instead of it being split up and mixed in with everyone else. That sounds like a juicy target for someone with the ability to take advantage of it. Some VPN providers have been hacked in the past and i’m sure it will happen more in the future.


It also would not surprise me if some VPN companies are honeypots. I have no proof of this other then it seems like it would be so easy to do so I feel like there is a chance it has been done.

There are also legal gag orders that prevent a company from warning its customers if the government has subpoenaed data.

So don’t buy a VPN unless you really need it.

So in the end make sure you understand how a VPN works. Don’t get one and expect it to magically protect you just by turning it on.

I’m sure some people will say I’m wrong. Your welcome to give reasons why in the comments below.

But if you do want one make sure it’s a VPN you can trust.

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