We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Pros & Cons of VPNs: Everything You Should Know (2024)

Kristina Perunicic Updated on 5th January 2024 Managing Editor

Thinking of using a VPN? Wondering if it is the right solution for you? You’ve come to the right place.

A good VPN – short for Virtual Private Network – comes with plenty of benefits. It will let you access geoblocked websites and content from all around the world, including your favorite streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC. You can use it to change your IP address and appear as though you’re in a different country, and get better prices on flights, hotel rooms and more.

But it’s not all fun and games. A good VPN will also secure your internet connection, protect your privacy and conceal your identity, keeping you safe from hackers or anyone else who might be trying to keep tabs on your online activity.

It’s important to remember that not all VPNs are created equal, and each one comes with its own set of pros and cons. We’ll break it all down for you so you can make an informed decision.

VPN pros and consAt-a-glance guide to the pros and cons of using a VPN

VPN Pros: A VPN's Advantages Can Make Your Life Better

The World at Your Fingertips: Access Blocked Content from Anywhere

Whether you’re traveling abroad and want to access content from your home country, or you’re trying to stream live video from a different country and you’re getting nothing but annoying error messages, a VPN can be your new best friend, helping you bypass any geoblock.

If you’re in a censorship-heavy country and need to access blocked websites, a VPN can give you back your online freedom.

A VPN allows you to change your IP address and appear as though you’re in a different country, and this can open up a whole new world of possibilities for you.

To do this, you want to be sure to choose a VPN that has servers in the locations you need. If it’s streaming you’re after, it’s important to choose a VPN with high speeds that can get around the anti-VPN software some streaming services use. ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs out there, and has proven time and time again that it can access Netflix, no matter how hard they try to keep it out.

A VPN Keeps You Safe

In this day and age, we are constantly sending personal information over the internet without giving it a second thought. But let’s face it – whether you’re logging into your bank account or just having a private chat with your best friend, you don’t want anyone snooping on you.

A VPN encrypts your data and keeps your private activity really private, whether you’re browsing the web at home, at the office or through public wi-fi. You always remain anonymous and nobody – from hackers to government officials – can see what you’re doing online.

ExpressVPN not only keeps you safe with military-grade encryption, it also offers lightning-fast speeds.

A VPN Can Save You Money

Once you use a VPN to change your IP address, you’ll soon discover that free access to content from all over the globe isn’t the only perk.

Many e-commerce websites display different prices to shoppers from different countries – for instance, a product which may seem very expensive if you’re accessing a site from Sweden may suddenly drop in price if you access the same site through a server in India.

It's wise to remember this when reserving a flight and hotel for your upcoming holiday.

For the most thorough market research, choose a VPN that has servers in a wide selection of countries.

VPNs Are Affordable

At no more than a few bucks a month, a premium VPN service can unblock any website you want and keep your connection anonymous and secure. VPNs are significantly cheaper than other types of security plans. There’s no hardware to install and no technicians to deal with, and your VPN can be up and running within minutes.

While there are various free VPN services out there, keep in mind that they’re never exactly “free”. You always end up paying one way or another, whether it’s popup ads, limited data transfer, excruciatingly slow speeds, or worse – some free VPNs will actually sell your personal data to third parties or provide you with mediocre security at best.

The good news is that many premium VPN services offer free trials and/or money-back guarantees, so you can try them out before you buy. This is great if you only need a VPN for a short while – but once you get used to the benefits of a premium VPN service, you just might feel that it’s totally worth paying for.

CyberGhost is an excellent VPN that offers a 24-hour free trial for Windows, a 7-day free trial for mobile apps and a 30-day money-back guarantee for all customers.

VPN Cons: Disadvantages of VPNs To Look Out For

A VPN Can Slow Down Your Connection Speed

A VPN keeps your connection secure by encrypting all your online activity, but this can come at the price of a very slow connection – and let’s face it, nobody has the time and patience to sit around waiting for websites to load or for streaming content to finish buffering.

You want to be sure to get a VPN that can handle the job. Choose one that offers high speeds without compromising your security, such as Hotspot Shield.

Anti-VPN Software Is Getting Stronger

Some major streaming services – such as Netflix, everybody’s favorite – try to combat VPN connections with VPN blockers, so you might wake up one morning and suddenly find that your trusted VPN can no longer access the content you want.

While some VPNs don’t stand a chance, ExpressVPN has proven time and time again that it can get through the toughest block Netflix throws in its direction.

Your VPN Connection Can Suddenly Drop

With a reliable VPN service, you shouldn’t experience connection drops very often - but it does happen from time to time. The main problem with this isn’t just the inconvenience of having to reconnect. It’s that the moment your encrypted connection drops, your real IP address is exposed, and you are no longer anonymous.

In order to avoid possible problems caused by server disruptions, a kill switch feature is available, which instantly severs your internet connection.

If your anonymity is particularly important to you, be sure to get a VPN with a kill switch, such as CyberGhost, PrivateVPN or VyprVPN.

Configuration Can Be Difficult If You Don’t Know What You’re Doing

Servers, protocols, and encryption – quite the trio! Should your VPN be improperly configured, the potential exists for IP and DNS leaks. Such leaks could leave your private data exposed to hackers and various online dangers.

If you’ve been reading about VPN features and you’re feeling overwhelmed, have no fear. You can read this guide to get a better understanding of what your VPN can do for you, or read about all the different security protocols here.

If you’re a VPN newbie and all this terminology is like a foreign language to you, you can always start out with one of the more user-friendly providers, such as CyberGhost or TunnelBear. They’ll make your first VPN experience smooth, painless, and even fun.

The Bottom Line

Although certain VPNs may have their drawbacks, it is evident that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. By utilizing a VPN, not only can you enjoy unrestricted access to desired content at your convenience, but you can also have the peace of mind that your private information remains truly confidential.

Once you know exactly what you’re looking for in a VPN, it will be easy to choose the right one for your needs. Check out the list of our overall top-rated VPNs.

Don’t miss out on the hottest VPN deals – check our deals and coupons page for a chance to get an excellent VPN at an excellent price!

View the Best Deals Now!

The best VPNs for 2024 are...

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 84%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 82%!
Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Kristina Perunicic is a former editor for vpnMentor. She’s a cybersecurity expert with an interest in VPNs and their importance in the digital privacy landscape.

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