Internet Safety: How, Why, And When To Use A VPN

Internet safety is more critical now than ever, with threats like data breaches and cyberattacks lurking online. VPNs play a vital role in protecting our digital footprints, encrypting data, and masking IP addresses to keep us safe. Yet VPNs can also be confusing to the uninitiated. In this article, let's discuss how, why, and when to use a VPN to safeguard our online activities.

Understanding VPNs

What is a VPN?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, creates a secure tunnel for your data to travel through the internet. This tunnel encrypts your data, which means that it turns your information into a code to prevent unauthorized access. Encryption is a way of scrambling data so that only someone with the right key can read it. VPNs also mask your IP address, which is the unique number assigned to your internet connection. This makes your online actions much harder to track, enhancing your privacy on the web.

When you use a VPN, your data is sent to a VPN server through an encrypted connection. This server, which could be located anywhere in the world, then sends your data to the internet. As a result, websites see the VPN server's IP address instead of yours. Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) sees only that you're connected to a VPN, and nothing beyond that - not the websites you visit, the things you download, or the services you use online.

To break it down simply:

  • Authentication: The process starts with your device (like your phone or laptop) connecting to the VPN server, which verifies your identity. This is known as authentication.
  • Encryption: Once authenticated, the VPN server encrypts your data, turning it into a secure code that can only be read with the right decryption key.
  • Tunneling: Your encrypted data is sent through a secure "tunnel" over the internet; this prevents outsiders from intercepting and reading your data.
  • Encapsulation: This involves wrapping each piece of data in an outer packet, which is then encrypted to keep the data secure during its journey on the internet.
  • Decryption: When your data reaches the VPN server, the outer packet is removed, and the data is decrypted so it can be sent on to its final destination on the web.

How VPNs Protect Your Internet Privacy and Security

VPNs safeguard your privacy and security in several key ways:

  • Encryption: This is the heart of a VPN's security feature. It ensures that your data is unreadable to anyone who intercepts it. High-quality VPNs use strong encryption protocols like AES-256, which is considered military-grade encryption.
  • Hiding IP Addresses and Locations: Here are the main points about how VPNs protect your identity online by concealing your IP address and geographical location:
  • Prevents tracking by websites: Websites log your IP address to monitor your visit; a VPN ensures they see the IP address of the VPN server, not yours.
  • Evades ISP surveillance: Your ISP can track and log every site you visit. With a VPN, they can only see encrypted data to and from the VPN server.
  • Bypasses geo-restrictions: By hiding your real IP address and letting you choose from servers around the world, a VPN lets you access content that may be restricted in your region.
  • Enhances privacy on public Wi-Fi: Public networks are notorious for their security vulnerabilities. A VPN encrypts your data, protecting it from hackers on the same network.
  • Preventing tracking and data collection: ISPs and websites frequently monitor your online activities and gather personal data. VPNs shield your browsing habits and location, reducing the data accessible to them. However, it's worth noting that ISPs can detect VPN usage, albeit they're unable to see the specifics of your browsing activities.

VPNs in the Corporate World

VPNs for Secure Company Access

Companies are leveraging VPNs to secure remote work more than ever. Through encrypted tunnels, VPNs enable employees to safely access company resources like file servers, printers, and databases from any location, maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive corporate data. Selecting a secure VPN involves evaluating factors such as encryption standards, logging policies, support quality, speed, and the number of simultaneous connections.

Pros and Cons of VPNs in a Corporate Setting

When VPNs are used correctly, they effectively secure communication between remote workers and their company's internal network, offering cost and management advantages over traditional solutions.

  • Enhanced Cybersecurity: Encryption shields online activities, making data breaches more difficult for cybercriminals​.
  • Secure Remote Access: Employees can securely access internal networks and resources from anywhere, ensuring business continuity​.
  • Protection on Public Wi-Fi: VPNs secure connections on unsecured networks, safeguarding against potential cyber threats​.
  • Access Control: Businesses can manage who accesses the network, enhancing security by limiting access to sensitive information.
  • Remote Collaboration: Secure communication and document sharing among team members are facilitated through encrypted tunnels, which is vital for remote teamwork​.

However, they come with drawbacks:

  • Security risks: A VPN credential compromise grants attackers access to sensitive company applications and data. Protecting these credentials is crucial to prevent unauthorized access and data breaches.
  • Mounting costs: Businesses using on-premises NAS systems for VPN connections must constantly upgrade hardware to combat evolving cyber threats. Overloading can lead to system crashes, necessitating replacement.
  • Management time: Maintaining multiple VPNs for varied employee access requires significant IT effort. Installing and updating VPN clients on remote devices are essential but time-consuming tasks.
  • Cloud and hybrid cloud complexities: VPNs may not be compatible with cloud-hosted business applications, leading to security and access control issues. IT teams struggle to effectively manage security tools and track user access.
  • Latency penalties: Cloud-based VPNs introduce latency due to remote data center locations. This delay impacts employee network interactions, affecting productivity and user experience.

Managing Corporate VPNs

Deploying and managing VPNs at scale presents challenges, such as ensuring consistent security policies across various traffic paths and managing performance issues. The shift towards cloud services has also introduced complexities in using traditional VPNs, as they may not always efficiently support direct cloud access. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is emerging as a solution, offering integrated networking and security from the cloud to address these issues effectively​.

Moreover, maintaining business VPNs involves balancing security with performance and manageability. Security risks, latency penalties, and the complexities of cloud-based applications pose limitations to traditional VPN use. Innovations like Cloudflare Zero Trust aim to provide more granular control and easier management compared to conventional VPN setups, presenting a viable alternative for secure remote work​.

Reasons to Use a VPN

Enhancing Privacy and Anonymity Online

VPNs act as a shield for your online activities, making it challenging for ISPs, governments, and websites to monitor your actions. By encrypting your data and masking your IP address, VPNs prevent third parties from tracking which sites you visit or collecting your personal information. 

This encryption is particularly beneficial when you wish to avoid surveillance by ISPs, which might throttle certain services, or by governments, especially in countries part of extensive surveillance agreements like the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes​.

Safe Use of Public Wi-Fi Networks

Public Wi-Fi networks, often lacking in security, present a playground for cybercriminals. Using a VPN on such networks encrypts your data, rendering it indecipherable to hackers. Without a VPN, your sensitive information, such as passwords and bank details, can be exposed to cyberattacks like Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks, malicious hotspots, malware distribution, and data sniffing. The encryption offered by VPNs ensures that even if criminals intercept your data, they cannot understand or misuse it​.

Bypassing Geo-restrictions and Censorship

VPNs allow you to connect to servers across the globe, making it appear as if you're browsing from those locations. This capability enables you to access geo-restricted content, such as streaming services' libraries that vary by country, and to bypass government-imposed internet censorship. 

The reason VPNs are restricted or banned in some countries stems from governments' desires to control internet usage and prevent anonymity online. Authoritarian regimes, in particular, view VPNs as a threat to their control over the populace, as these services enable users to bypass censorship, access blocked websites, and communicate anonymously. This undermines mass surveillance and censorship efforts, pushing some governments to either restrict or outright ban VPN usage. 

Notably, even in countries where VPNs are allowed, using them for unlawful activities like downloading copyrighted material, cyberbullying, or breaching security systems remains illegal​.

Protecting Sensitive Transactions

Engaging in online banking, shopping, or any form of sensitive transactions on an unsecured network can put your financial data at risk. VPNs ensure that your connection to these websites is secure and encrypted, safeguarding your personal and financial information from cyber thieves. This protection is invaluable, not just on public networks but also at home, where the perceived safety can sometimes lead you to underestimate the risk of cyberattacks. 

By encrypting your data, VPNs provide a secure tunnel for all your internet transactions, ensuring that your sensitive information remains confidential and protected from potential threats​.

Optimal Times to Use a VPN

Using Public Wi-Fi Networks

Public Wi-Fi is convenient but fraught with risks such as Man-in-the-Middle attacks, ransomware, cookie theft, and packet sniffing. These vulnerabilities stem from the open nature of such networks, where security is often sacrificed for connectivity.

Guidelines for VPN Use in Public Settings

1. Always Use a VPN on Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks are notoriously unsecure, making them prime targets for hackers looking to intercept data. By using a VPN, you encrypt your internet traffic, making it much harder for anyone on the same network to spy on your online activities.

2. Choose a Reputable VPN Provider

Not all VPNs are created equal. Opt for a VPN provider known for strong security features and a strict no-logs policy. This ensures that your data is encrypted and not being recorded or sold.

3. Keep the VPN On

To maintain continuous protection, keep your VPN enabled as long as you're connected to public Wi-Fi. Some VPN apps offer an auto-connect feature that automatically starts the VPN when connecting to new or unsecured networks.

4. Select a Server Location Wisely

If speed is a priority, choosing a server close to your actual location can result in faster connections. However, if you're trying to access content restricted to a particular region, select a server in that region.

5. Use Secure Protocols

Ensure your VPN uses secure protocols such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, or WireGuard. These protocols provide a good balance between speed and security.

6. Enable Kill Switch Feature

A kill switch is a critical feature that stops all internet traffic if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, ensuring your data remains encrypted. Check your VPN settings to make sure the kill switch is activated.

7. Avoid Free VPNs

While the idea of a free VPN is appealing, many free services offer limited security features and may log your browsing activity. Invest in a paid VPN service to ensure comprehensive security and privacy.

8. Check for DNS and IP Leaks

Regularly test your VPN connection for DNS and IP leaks to ensure your real location and browsing activity aren't being exposed. Many VPN websites offer free tools for this purpose.

9. Update Your VPN Software

Keep your VPN app updated to benefit from the latest security enhancements and features. Regular updates can fix vulnerabilities and improve overall performance.

10. Be Aware of Legal and Ethical Use

Understand the legal implications of using a VPN in your location and abide by the terms of service of both the VPN provider and the online services you access.

Accessing Personal or Work Data Remotely

When working remotely, the security of your data connection is paramount. VPNs play a crucial role in ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of your data when accessing it outside secure networks. By creating an encrypted tunnel for your data, VPNs keep it unreadable to unauthorized parties, making it safe to access work documents or personal information even on public Wi-Fi networks.

While Traveling

Traveling introduces unique challenges to internet access, including varying international internet laws and risks of cyber threats. A VPN can shield your online activities from local surveillance and cybercriminals, ensuring your internet use remains private and secure regardless of your location. This is particularly relevant in countries with strict internet regulations, where accessing certain content may be restricted. A VPN allows you to connect to servers in different locations, bypassing these restrictions and maintaining access to your usual services and websites.

For Accessing Content with Geo-restrictions

 A more effective VPN to bypass geo-restrictions and VPN blocks, particularly for streaming services, is characterized by several key features. These include a broad server network across various locations to ensure accessibility to region-locked content, strong unblocking capabilities enabled by technologies like anti DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) tools, and the use of obfuscated servers to avoid detection by advanced streaming service blocks. 

Furthermore, a range of secure tunneling protocols (e.g., OpenVPN, WireGuard) and robust encryption methods (e.g., AES-256, ChaCha20) are essential. A strict no-logs policy ensures your activities remain private, while support for multiple devices and platforms, along with responsive customer service, enhances user experience.

Choosing the Right VPN

Factors to Consider

  • Speed and Stability: Look for VPNs offering fast protocols like Lightway and WireGuard. Features such as optimized servers and the ability to customize encryption levels can boost performance. Testing the VPN's speed through online speed tests like Broadbandsearch Speedtest, InternetAdvisor Speedtest, and Earthlink Speedtest. is also recommended to ensure it meets your needs.
  • Encryption Standards and Security Features: Security is a cornerstone of any VPN service. Ensure the VPN uses strong encryption like AES 256-bit to protect your data. Also, a no-logs policy and features such as a Kill Switch, which disconnects you if the VPN fails, are crucial for maintaining privacy​.
  • Jurisdiction and Logging Policies: The VPN’s jurisdiction can affect how much privacy protection you’re afforded. Choose a VPN based in a country with strong privacy laws and avoid those within the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances to minimize risk of government surveillance. Additionally, a strict no-logs policy ensures that your online activities aren't recorded or shared with third parties. Proton VPN, for example, is based in Switzerland, offering strong privacy laws, and enforces a strict no-logs policy.
  • User Interface and Support: A VPN should be easy to use, with a user-friendly interface and support for multiple devices. Additionally, having responsive and knowledgeable customer support, preferably with 24/7 live chat, is vital for troubleshooting.
  • Number and Variety of Servers: A vast server network ensures you can always find a fast and reliable connection. Look for VPNs with a significant number of quality servers across multiple locations to ensure good speeds and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions.

Free vs. Paid VPNs

Free VPNs may seem appealing due to their no-cost access, but they often have significant limitations and risks. For instance, free VPNs might sell your personal data to brokers, display intrusive ads, and offer restricted data and speeds, impacting your browsing experience negatively. They might also lack robust security features, providing weak encryption that could leave you vulnerable to cyber threats.

Paid VPNs, on the other hand, invest the subscription fees into their infrastructure, offering a more secure, fast, and reliable service. With a paid VPN, you're more likely to enjoy an extensive server network, strong privacy through no-logs policies, top-notch encryption, and additional security features like a kill switch and IP leak protection. Paid VPNs also allow for streaming, P2P sharing, and provide 24/7 customer support, which free VPNs often lack.

When evaluating VPN providers based on your needs, consider the following:

  • Security and Privacy: Look for VPNs that offer robust encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and additional features like a kill switch and DNS leak protection.
  • Speed and Performance: Ensure the VPN provides reliable and fast connections, which are crucial for streaming, gaming, and general browsing.
  • Server Network: A vast network of servers increases the VPN's ability to offer stable and speedy connections while also providing more options for geo-spoofing.
  • User Experience: An intuitive interface and responsive customer support can significantly enhance your overall experience with the VPN.
  • Price vs. Value: While free VPNs may seem cost-effective, they often lack the features and security of paid services. Determine what you're willing to pay for and whether the VPN's price reflects the value it offers.

Setting Up and Using a VPN


On Windows 10 and 11

  1. Start by downloading the NordVPN app.
  2. Locate the NordVPNInstall file in your Downloads folder and double-click it.
  3. If prompted, authorize the app to make changes to your device.
  4. Follow the installer prompts, including selecting shortcuts and completing the installation.
  5. Once installed, choose whether to launch NordVPN immediately.

Setting up NordVPN:

  1. Click on the NordVPN logo on your desktop and log in.
  2. Enter your username and password on the Nord Account login page.
  3. Click "Quick Connect" for immediate secure browsing.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the main screen options:
  • Quick Connect: instantly connect to the fastest server.
  • Disconnect button: disconnect from the server.
  • Refresh button: switch to a new recommended server.
  • Expander: access connection choices and search bar.
  • Recent connections: view previously connected countries.
  • Search bar: find specific servers by country, city, or specialty.
  • Specialty servers: explore servers with unique benefits.
  • All countries: browse available countries and server options.

On iPhone or iPad

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Search for "NordVPN." (Note: NordVPN may not be available in regions with VPN restrictions.)
  3. Tap "Download."
  4. Once downloaded, tap "Open."
  5. If you have an account, click "Log in"; otherwise, tap "Sign up" and follow the prompts.
  6. After signing up, click "Agree and continue."

Connecting to NordVPN Servers:

  1. After logging in, tap the Quick Connect button for automatic server selection.
  2. If prompted, allow NordVPN to add VPN configurations.
  3. If using Touch ID, confirm with your fingerprint.
  4. Upon connection, you'll see a "Connected to (country)" message and a green pin on the map.
  5. A VPN icon appears in the status bar.

Choosing Servers:

  1. Tap a country pin and press Quick Connect.
  2. Swipe up to view all countries and specialty servers.
  3. Tap a country to connect automatically or tap the three dots for specific cities.
  4. Use the "Search" option to find servers by number.

On Android

  1. Open the Play Store.
  2. Search for "NordVPN" and select the app.
  3. Tap "Install" to download and install the app.
  4. Open the NordVPN app.
  5. Tap "SIGN UP" to create an account or "LOG IN" if you already have one.
  6. Follow the prompts in your browser to complete the sign-up process.

Secure your internet connection by connecting to a NordVPN server. Here's how:

  1. Tap the "QUICK CONNECT" button for the fastest server.
  2. Browse the Country List to choose a specific country.
  3. Use the search bar to find a server by name, city, or server number.

Swipe up on the main screen to access additional features:

  • Quick Connect: Connect to the closest and least congested server.
  • Traffic Routing: Use Meshnet to route your internet traffic through other devices for added security.
  • Specialty Servers: Explore various server types for specific needs.
  • Search Bar: Find servers quickly by name, city, or specialty category.
  • All Countries List: Scroll through to select your desired country.
  • Meshnet: Create a secure network for remote device access.
  • Notifications: Stay informed about updates and security tips.
  • Statistics and Settings: Access connection statistics and adjust settings as needed.


On Windows 11

  1. Navigate to the ExpressVPN account dashboard and sign in with your credentials.
  2. Enter the verification code sent to your email for added security.
  3. Click "Download for Windows" and keep the browser window open to access the activation code later.

Obtaining Your Activation Code:

  1. To use ExpressVPN on your Windows PC, you'll need the activation code.
  2. Click the "Copy" icon to copy the code to your clipboard for later use.

Installing the App:

  1. Locate and double-click the downloaded file on your computer to initiate installation.
  2. If prompted, click "Install" to proceed with the installation process.
  3. Wait for the app to install on your PC.
  4. Upon installation completion, sign in and paste your activation code. You can paste using Ctrl + V or by right-clicking the field and selecting "Paste," then click "Continue."

Alternatively, you can sign in using your email address:

  1. Click "Sign In with Email Sign-In Link."
  2. Enter your ExpressVPN account email and click "Email Sign-In Link."
  3. Open the email on any device and select "Sign In to ExpressVPN" to activate the app.

Customize Your Settings:

  1. Choose whether to launch ExpressVPN on startup.
  2. Opt to anonymously share analytics to improve ExpressVPN.
  3. ExpressVPN prioritizes user privacy and anonymizes data before reaching their servers.

Congratulations! You're now equipped to explore ExpressVPN's extensive server network.

On iOS

  1. Open the App Store and search for ExpressVPN.
  2. Tap "GET" to download the ExpressVPN app to your phone.
  3. If you can't find ExpressVPN, try changing your App Store country.
  4. Once downloaded, tap "OPEN" to launch the app.

Setting Up the VPN App:

  • On the welcome screen, tap "Sign In."
  • If you didn't purchase ExpressVPN from the App Store: Enter your email and password, then tap "Sign In."
  • If you bought ExpressVPN from the App Store: Tap "restore your App Store subscription," and enter your Apple ID password if prompted.
  1. Agree to the information collection statement by tapping "Agree and Continue."
  2. Proceed with the installation by tapping "Continue."
  3. Allow ExpressVPN to add VPN configurations by tapping "Allow" when prompted.
  4. Use Touch ID or enter your passcode to confirm.
  5. Choose whether to receive notifications from ExpressVPN.
  6. If you opt-in, tap "Allow" to confirm.
  7. Decide whether to share anonymous analytics for service improvement. ExpressVPN values your privacy and anonymizes data for analysis.

On macOs

  1. Visit the ExpressVPN account dashboard and sign in if prompted.
  2. Enter the verification code sent to your email.
  3. Click "Download for Mac."

Getting Your Activation Code:

  1. To use ExpressVPN on your Mac, you need your activation code.
  2. Click the "Copy" icon to save it to your clipboard for later use.

Installing the App:

  1. Locate and open the downloaded file on your computer.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions until you reach the "Installation Type" screen.
  3. Choose your installation destination and click "Install."
  4. If reinstalling, select "Keep existing account"; for a new activation code, choose "Remove existing account."
  5. Wait for installation to finish, then close the window.

Setting Up ExpressVPN:

  1. After installation, the app will open automatically. Click "Sign In."
  2. Paste your activation code and click "Sign In."
  3. Allow ExpressVPN IKEv2 to be added to your VPN configurations if prompted.
  4. Choose if you want ExpressVPN to launch on startup.
  5. Decide whether to share anonymous diagnostics with ExpressVPN.

You're now ready to access ExpressVPN's VPN server locations!

On Android

  1. Depending on access to the Google Play Store, tap "Get it on Google Play" or "Download APK."
  2. In the Play Store, tap "Install," then "Open." For APK download, toggle on "Allow from this source" in Settings.
  3. After downloading, tap "OPEN," then "Install."

Setting Up the VPN App:

  1. Open the app and tap "Sign In."
  2. Enter your credentials and tap "Sign In."
  3. Choose your preference regarding sharing anonymous diagnostics with ExpressVPN.
  4. Approve VPN setup and connection requests when prompted by tapping "OK" to continue.


On Windows 11

  1. Download the Surfshark VPN app for Windows by clicking here. Simply click the “Download the Windows App” button to begin.
  2. Once the download finishes, locate the installation file in your device's Downloads folder.
  3. Double-click the Surfshark.Setup file to initiate installation.
  4. You may receive a prompt asking if you want to allow the app to make changes to your device. Click "Yes" to proceed.
  5. Wait for the automatic installation process to complete.
  6. After installation, the app will start automatically.

Logging into the App:

  1. Open the Surfshark app and log in as an existing user. If you're new, click "Create account" to sign up.
  2. Enter your email address and password, then click "Log in."
  3. If you've set up two-factor authentication, enter the provided code and click "Verify."

Connecting to the VPN:

  1. Upon logging in, you'll see the main dashboard of the Surfshark app.
  2. Click "Quick-connect" to connect to the fastest server, typically closest to your location.
  3. The dashboard displays recently used servers and all available locations. You can also manage your connection by disconnecting or pausing.

On macOS

  1. Locate the Surfshark VPN app in the App Store on your Mac. You can search for Surfshark using the search bar or find it on the App Store page.
  2. Click the "GET" button to download and install the app.
  3. Once installation is complete, click "Open" to launch the app.

Logging into the App:

  1. Open the Surfshark app and click "Log in."
  2. Enter the email address and password associated with your account, then click "Log in."

Connecting to the VPN:

  1. On the Surfshark app homepage, tap "Connect" to automatically connect to the fastest VPN server.
  2. You may receive a pop-up asking for your Mac User password. Enter it and select "Always Allow" to proceed.
  3. Surfshark will add VPN configurations to your device for the first-time connection, ensuring a secure connection.
  4. Once connected, you'll see the "Connected" status. To disconnect or pause the connection, use the respective buttons.
  5. Customize your connection by selecting a different server from the "Change" option. Choose the fastest or nearest server or browse the Locations list for specific servers.

On iOS

  • Open the App Store and search for "Surfshark." Tap the download icon to begin installation.

Logging into Surfshark:

  1. Once installed, locate the Surfshark app on your device and open it.
  2. Log in as an existing user if you have an active subscription. If not, sign up by clicking "Create Account."
  3. Enter your email and password, then tap "Log In."

Connecting to the VPN:

  1. On the Surfshark app homepage, tap "Connect." You may need to allow VPN configurations for the first connection.
  2. Choose a server by tapping the "Quick-connect" button for the fastest available server.
  3. Customize your default location by tapping "Change" and selecting the fastest or nearest server.
  4. Once connected, you'll receive a notification and see the "Connected and safe" status on the app homepage, ensuring your internet connection is secure.

On Android

  1. Open the Play Store app and search for "Surfshark."
  2. Tap the first result to open the Surfshark VPN app page, then click "Download" or "Install" to complete the installation.

Logging into the App:

  1. Open the Surfshark VPN app from your home screen or applications list.
  2. If you already have a subscription, select "Log in."
  3. Enter your registered email and password, then click "Log in."

Connecting to the VPN:

  1. Upon logging in, you'll see the main dashboard.
  2. Tap the blue "Quick-connect" button to connect to the fastest server.
  3. Customize your server selection by tapping "Change" and choosing the fastest or nearest location.
  4. Confirm the VPN setup request by tapping "OK."
  5. Once connected, view the connection status on the main screen and look for the key icon at the top indicating a VPN connection.
  6. To disconnect or pause the connection, tap "Disconnect" or "Pause" respectively.
  7. Drag down the highlighted area for more connection details.

Advanced Features and Settings

Once your VPN is up and running, it's worth exploring some advanced features for an enhanced security experience.

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Legal Implications of VPN Use

In most parts of the world, using a VPN is perfectly legal, provided it's not for engaging in illegal activities. However, a handful of countries have strict regulations or outright bans on VPN usage. For example:

  • Belarus, North Korea, Oman, Iraq, and Turkmenistan have made VPNs illegal, primarily due to government efforts to control internet access and prevent the bypassing of censorship.
  • China and Russia allow only government-approved VPNs, severely undermining the privacy aspect that VPNs are meant to provide. Despite heavy restrictions, in China, VPN use is widespread due to the Great Firewall, with advanced VPNs employing obfuscation technologies to evade detection.
  • Türkiye, UAE, and Iran also impose significant restrictions on VPN use, targeting VPNs that do not comply with state censorship and surveillance requirements.
  • Egypt, India, and Oman have complex stances where VPNs aren't outright illegal but are heavily regulated or discouraged, especially when used to access banned content or evade censorship​.

Wrapping Up

As we've explored, VPNs are vital for enhancing privacy, securing data, and accessing unrestricted information. However, their use demands a balance of ethical consideration and awareness of legal landscapes. Embrace continuous learning and adopt proactive steps towards safeguarding your digital footprint. Remember, a safer internet experience starts with you.


Can a VPN protect me from viruses and malware?

A VPN doesn't directly protect against viruses and malware. It encrypts your data, making it harder for malware to compromise your connection, but it won't stop these threats from infecting your device. Some VPNs offer ad-blocking features that can indirectly prevent malware by blocking malicious sites and ads​.

What is the difference between a VPN and a proxy?

VPNs and proxies both conceal your IP address, but VPNs offer comprehensive encryption for all your internet traffic, enhancing privacy and security. Proxies, on the other hand, only mask your IP for specific apps or web browsers without encrypting your data, making them less secure​.

Are there any websites or online services that block VPN usage?

Yes, some websites and online services block VPNs, especially streaming platforms keen on enforcing geo-restrictions. However, many VPN providers continually update their servers and employ techniques like obfuscation to bypass these blocks and maintain access.

Can using a VPN make online banking safer?

Using a VPN for online banking, especially on public Wi-Fi, adds a layer of security by encrypting your data. This makes it more difficult for hackers to intercept your financial information. However, it's essential to use a reputable VPN alongside other security measures for the best protection​.

What should I do if my VPN connection drops frequently?

Frequent VPN disconnections could be due to various factors, such as unstable internet connections, VPN server issues, or incorrect configuration. To resolve this, try connecting to a different server, check your internet connection, update the VPN app, and consider using the VPN's kill switch feature to protect data during drops. If problems persist, contact your VPN's customer support for specific advice and troubleshooting​.

InternetAdvisor Team

We are passionate about aggregating large, accurate data sets and providing it all to our users in an easy-to-use format. Simply put, shopping is easier for the consumer when he/she knows all available options. We are not beholden to any single provider and therefore are dedicated to transparency and giving you unbiased information on all providers.

Follow us on Twitter: @InternetAdvisor