Virtual Private Network (VPN) Advantages and Disadvantages

If you are looking to create a more cyber secure environment for your business whilst remote working, a VPN network is a complete game changer when it comes to establishing a secure connection and protecting your data.

What is a virtual private network?

A virtual private network, better known as VPN, is a tool that establishes a secure and encrypted private connection whilst using a public network. It allows you to browse the web anonymously and prevent hackers from stealing or compromising your data.

A VPN network is primarily used for cyber security purposes and the protection of data, they not only provide you with complete anonymity but are also very effective at hiding your device’s IP address whilst being connected to a public network.

If you are someone that travels a lot for work or is a remote worker, a VPN network will provide you with the right protection needed to keep your data safe whilst being on the go. Public networks and home routers often come with their fair share of vulnerabilities that hackers can easily exploit in order to gain access to your data which can cause serious damage and disruption within your organisation.

VPN advantages and disadvantages

Now that we have covered the basics of what a virtual private network is and an overview of VPN protection, we will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of VPN.

What are the advantages of VPN?

 

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Anonymity

Aside from being super easy to use, VPNs give you complete anonymity by masking your true identity and information from other users on the network. Therefore if a hacker attempted to compromise and steal your information, they would only be able to see the VPN server data.

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Establishes a secure connection

One of the biggest advantages of a VPN network is that it provides you with a secure connection. We often absent-mindedly use public networks to quickly check or look up something and don’t take into consideration that someone could potentially be tracking your online activity (Forbes).

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Cost-effective solution to increasing cyber security

Some of the best VPN networks such as Surfshark or ExpressVPN can cost anywhere between £5 to £10 a month (subject to subscription length period). When we compare the pricing of VPN protection services to other everyday security solutions, such as firewalls or the latest security software, they are a  cost-effective option for keeping your data secure. With some VPN networks, you will gain a series of advanced security features and encryption at a much lower cost, including the ability to change your IP address location (Security Gladiators).

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Accessibility

You may have noticed or experienced geo-location limitations where you are unable to visit certain websites or watch specific videos due to your location. This is easily solved with VPN networks as you have the ability to unblock this content by simply changing your IP address to another geo-location. This feature is particularly useful when using streaming services such as Netflix to access more films and series.

What are the disadvantages of VPN?

 

Dropped connections

It is crucial to understand that VPN is not meant for regular heavy usage. Therefore if you are working in a busy office where masses of traffic are passed continuously through a VPN, this can lead to dropped connections. This is where you risk potential cyber security issues, dropped connections can lead to data and privacy leaks as during the drop the user’s real IP address and identity is exposed. Therefore the security and anonymity of the user is no longer protected and can be compromised by hackers.

VPN service provider has access to your data

Although VPN provides protection to your data and your identity, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your information is anonymous to the VPN provider. This is why VPNs are not 100% secure; if a cyber attacker gained access to the VPN server, they would be able to view the real IP addresses of the users using the VPN server. Alongside using VPNs, you need to establish other security solutions that you can rely on should your information become compromised.

Slow connection speeds

A VPN is almost the middle-man between you and the public network, it is normal to expect your browsing experience to be a little slower than what you may be used to as a result of the back and forth that the VPN network does in order to encrypt your data, transmit it to the VPN server and then back again to your device.

Global restrictions

Unfortunately, VPNs are not supported by all countries. Some have completely banned or heavily regulate the use of VPN protection such as Russia and China (Forbes). This means that you may be restricted with how far you can go to protect your identity and your data, leaving you potentially more vulnerable to cyber attackers.

How to get secure VPN

Setting up your secure VPN is really simple, you just need to perform the following:

  • Choose a VPN provider
  • Download and install the VPN application
  • Connect to one of the VPN servers

There are hundreds of VPN providers to choose from, it all depends on your budget, expectations and requirements. View some of the top VPN providers in our recent post.


VPN is a valuable investment if you want to increase your privacy and security online. Not only that, but VPN protects you from various privacy breaches and provides you with access to blocked websites by establishing a secure and encrypted connection. It also prevents third parties and other platforms from tracking your online activity.

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