Virtual Private Networks or VPNs have risen immensely in popularity over the last decade. As the internet becomes more dangerous, users need better technology to protect themselves and their privacy. VPN software has emerged as the perfect answer for these needs. Aside from protecting your online privacy, VPNs also perform a number of other functions. They can allow you to access data otherwise not available in your region. They can also help you bypass data throttling and enjoy the internet speeds you deserve.
But there is a popular question among new as well as experienced VPN users about its length of use. They wonder if a VPN has to remain on all the time. Let’s discuss some points to find an answer to this question.
Situations When You Should Keep Your VPN Turned On
It is fairly obvious that there is no need for a VPN when you are not connected to the internet. Unlike antivirus software, a VPN does not protect the hard disk data on your device. It only provides protection on communications and activities when you are online.
With that said, there are a number of situations where you should keep your VPN activated. Here is a list.
When You Want to Access Blocked Content
There are hardly any countries in the world where certain geo-restrictions do not apply. These are subject to the mandates issued by government agencies and the private decisions of companies. ISPs have to comply with these regulations and they cannot let you access certain internet resources through your native IP address.
In such cases, you will need to turn your VPN on and connect with a remote server where the data is not blocked. Also, you need to be sure that you keep your VPN turned on all throughout your online activities. Since your connection is being routed through the VPN service and bounced off a remote server, if you close the VPN, then the connection will cease, your actual IP address will be visible, and you will lose access to the blocked content.
When You Are on a Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi’s are very popular all over the world. They are a major reason why people visit public establishments like coffee shops. While everyone loves free internet, you have to be aware of the dangers you are exposing yourself to. In the recent past, cryptocurrency miners have been known to infiltrate public Wi-Fi and use the devices connected to it for mining purposes. This can deplete your computer’s processing speed significantly while you are connected.
Further, public Wi-Fi networks are happy hunting grounds for hackers and other cybercriminals. It is not uncommon for people’s devices to get infected with malware or ransomware which is then used to extort them. So, when you are using a public Wi-Fi, it is essential that you keep your VPN turned on and connect to the Wi-Fi through that. This will keep you safe from all dangers.
When You Are Experiencing Bandwidth Throttling
Bandwidth throttling has become a common practice among ISPs around the world. The basic idea behind this is that if you try to consume extra bandwidth (through torrents etc.), your speeds will be capped.
In such cases, you can turn on your VPN and circumvent the throttling altogether. Since a VPN encrypts your data, the ISP will not be able to see what data you’re accessing and won’t be able to throttle your speeds. But you will have to keep your VPN turned on at all times when doing so. Otherwise, you will just have to go back to the snail speeds you get when you use torrents.
When You have Slow Internet
Bandwidth throttling is not the only reason that your internet might be slowing down. There are a number of reasons why this might happen. One of the biggest among these is the actual physical distance between you and the server you are using. The greater the distance, the more time your internet will take to process your connection requirements. As a result, you might experience slower internet speeds than usual.
In such cases, you can use a VPN to get connected with a closer server. The lesser distance between you and the server will help you get better speeds. However, you still need to keep your VPN turned on all throughout. Otherwise, your connection will go back to your default server and your speeds will go down again.
When You are Making Online Transactions
If you are an online banking user or are into trading in online markets or even cryptocurrency, VPN is a must for you. It is quite common for unsecured transactions to be intercepted and rerouted. If this happens to you, then all your transfer money is as good as gone. Further, your personal account details might also get compromised and if you do not address the situation adequately, then all your future transactions might also be jeopardized.
So, whenever you are making any kind of monetary transaction, you need to keep your VPN turned on. The encryption offered by VPNs will protect you from online theft and also ensure that none can gain access to your accounts other than you. Some financial institutions might even insist on VPN connections as they know the potential risks involved in all such transactions.
When You Want to Save Some Money
If you shop online then you might know that products can be priced differently from region to region, even within the same country. You can save some money by using a VPN and finding out where the product you want is selling for a cheaper price. Then simply have the product delivered to your home. But to do this, you need to keep your VPN turned on while placing the order.
VPN Be Turned On At All Time – Conclusion
Basically, your VPN should be turned on whenever you are using any remote server or proxy service. The same goes for when you are accessing sensitive information or are transferring it. Since most top VPNs provide unlimited bandwidth, there is no reason to turn off your VPN anyway!
3 thoughts on “Should Your VPN Be Turned On All the Time?”
Thank you! Useful and so simply explained – very much appreciated by this novice (only using vpn for basic security purposes).
I’ve been using PrivateInternetAccess for a couple of months but find that the Android App does not keep VPN active. Seems a bother to have to manually activate the program, but when would I NOT want to have it working? Is there a way to keep it connected?
Hi Bill. Do you mean that the VPN connection disconnects by itself?