Last Updated on March 6, 2021 by Staff Writer
Background of a VPN
Is a VPN safe and legal? In this article, we explain why some VPNs are not safe and whether VPNs are legal in all countries.
A VPN allows you to browse the internet securely and anonymously.
In addition, you can select any virtual geo-location that is supported by a VPN service provider.
It encrypts your traffic that passes in a VPN tunnel and blocks unauthorized access to this encrypted data.
Third parties on the internet usually use your data for financial, political or other malicious uses.
This group include hackers, advertisers, governments, and other individuals who use your browsing data without your consent.
Fortunately, a VPN solves this problem, provided that you use a trusted VPN with the latest encryption protocol.
You even unblock content from sites like Netflix that restrict some countries from accessing all their content.
- Got no time? Our VPN of choice is NordVPN because it has all the essential features and is affordable.
A. Free VPNs are not safe
It is not advisable to use most free VPNs because you put yourself at a high risk of hackers.
Remember, it costs money to run a VPN service, and you pay for that service in cash or in kind.
Nowadays, when online, it is crucial to keep your data safe.
Free VPNs use the following tactics to take advantage of you:
- They usually have no clear policies on how to handle your data.
- In the end, they easily sell that data to third parties like advertisers
- Ads displayed when you connect are intrusive and cause poor user experience.
- In addition, since ads use the internet to be targeted, they use up your data.
- A significant number of free VPNs originate from China and they gather information from specific countries
- Your login credentials are at risk of hackers if you enter them in a free VPN network because there is no security guarantee.
- Free VPNs use inferior encryption protocols that sacrifice security for speed. Watch out if the main strength is speed only, because developers cut too many corners.
B. Can a VPN be hacked?
A VPN must be immune to cyber-attacks and there is a continuous evolution of VPN protocols to plug any vulnerabilities present in older versions.
The latest VPN protocol is Wireguard and this promises to surpass OpenVPN protocol.
You reduce the risk of cyber-attacks by using trusted VPN services.
To begin with, a free VPN is out of the question as it has the highest risk of being hacked.
In other words, most of the free VPNs have questionable security features as highlighted above.
If security policies are transparent, this means the service provider is doing an excellent job in keeping hackers at bay.
Premium VPNs have all standard features are available and these features include:
- A reliable kill switch
- No DNS leaks
- Widespread coverage to guarantee high speed of the network
- Masking of your IP address
- Good customer support
- No log policy
- Ability to access unblock online sites like Netflix and Hulu
- At a glance, these are the best VPNs services:
C. Is a VPN dangerous?
The quick answer is it depends on the type of VPN you are using.
If you use most free VPNs then you are putting yourself in danger as they are not safe.
A good VPN should keep your data secure while you browse the internet.
We have covered free VPNs that we consider to be safe, although the features are usually limited.
A VPN provider should not keep your data in their servers or give access to browsing history to third parties.
Therefore using a VPN is not dangerous if you stick to trusted names.
If you don’t find a VPN with positive reviews in any independent review site, proceed with extreme caution.
D. Are VPNs a waste of money?
If you value online security and privacy, then using a VPN is definitely not a waste of money.
Remember that when you are online, your personal data is at risk.
Consequently, this can cost you a lot of money if it falls in the wrong hands.
You need to take advantage of free trials and money-back guarantees that premium VPN providers offer.
That way you get a VPN that suits your needs and your pocket.
No two VPNs are created equal and they fall into these categories:
- Overall best
- Best for speed
- Ease of use
- Number of servers
E. Is it safe to keep your VPN on at all times?
You have to use a VPN every time you go online.
This is because attempts to get hold of your private data do not stop.
In addition, your ISP views all the sites you visit if you don’t use a VPN.
However, when you access sites like Google Maps, make sure you are showing the right IP address to get the right results.
Some VPNs use split-tunneling to whitelist sites that you specify, thus route some of the traffic outside the VPN tunnel.
This means you can access a restricted site with a masked IP address while using your actual IP address for other functions.
Be aware of the risks associated with exposing your IP address, because once you enable split tunneling you are partially visible.
F. Is a VPN legal?
VPNs are legal in most countries.
In countries with internet restrictions, a VPN is the best gateway to freedom of access to information online.
This is because a VPN makes it difficult for your ISP to keep track of your online activities.
To counter that, countries like China outlaw VPNs and allow a few VPN providers with close ties with the government.
In such a case the network provider logs your internet data and any dubious activity on your part attracts litigation.
These countries allow VPN services to operate under strict conditions and the government has access to user data on VPN servers on demand.
Check with your local regulatory authorities before using a VPN. That way you are not found on the wrong side of the law.
So in summary a VPN is safe if you stick to reputable VPN providers like the ones I mentioned.
As for the law, first you need to check with your local regulatory authorities.
In most countries, use of a VPN is legal as long as you don’t use it to commit a crime online.
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