What does a VPN do and not do?

The Article Title: Exploring the Benefits and Limitations of VPNs


Personal Experience: The Power of VPNs

Throughout my work and personal life, I’ve come to rely on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) as an essential tool for maintaining online privacy and security. VPNs offer a range of benefits, but they also have limitations that users should be aware of.

Benefits of Using a VPN

VPNs provide several advantages for internet users:

1. Enhanced Online Security

By encrypting your internet traffic, VPNs protect your data from potential eavesdropping and hacking attempts. This is particularly important when using public Wi-Fi networks, where your information is highly vulnerable.

2. Anonymity and Privacy

VPNs allow you to browse the internet anonymously by masking your IP address. They also prevent your internet service provider and other third parties from tracking your online activities, providing an extra layer of privacy.

3. Access to Restricted Content

With a VPN, you can bypass geographical restrictions and access content that is otherwise unavailable in your location. This is especially useful for streaming services, social media platforms, and news websites.

4. Secure Remote Access

VPNs enable secure remote access to corporate networks, allowing employees to work remotely while ensuring the confidentiality of sensitive data.

5. Protection Against ISP Throttling

ISPs sometimes throttle certain internet activities, such as streaming or torrenting. By using a VPN, you can bypass these restrictions and enjoy faster and more consistent internet speeds.

Limitations of Using a VPN

While VPNs offer numerous benefits, it’s important to understand their limitations:

1. Reduced Internet Speed

When using a VPN, your internet connection speed may be slower due to the encryption and routing processes involved. However, this speed reduction is often worth the enhanced security and privacy.

2. Vulnerability to VPN Software Flaws

While VPNs provide encryption, they are not immune to security vulnerabilities. It’s essential to choose a reputable VPN provider that regularly updates their software to address any potential flaws.

3. Incompatibility with Certain Applications

Some applications and websites may not function correctly when accessed through a VPN. For example, online banking platforms and streaming services sometimes block VPN connections.

4. Limited Protection Against Phishing and Malware

While VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, they do not offer comprehensive protection against phishing websites or malicious files. It’s important to use additional security measures, such as antivirus software, to safeguard against these threats.

Questions and Answers

1. Can a VPN Slow Down Internet Speeds?

Yes, VPNs can reduce your internet speed due to encryption and routing processes. However, the degree of speed reduction varies depending on factors such as your VPN provider and internet connection.

2. Does a VPN Provide Complete Online Anonymity?

A VPN provides a level of anonymity by masking your IP address, making it difficult for others to trace your online activities back to you. However, it’s important to note that VPNs are not foolproof and cannot guarantee absolute anonymity.

3. Can a VPN Protect Against Phishing and Malware?

While VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, they do not provide comprehensive protection against phishing websites or malware. Users should employ additional security measures such as antivirus software and caution when browsing the internet.

4. Is Using a VPN Legal?

In the majority of countries, including the United States, VPN usage is legal. However, some countries impose restrictions on VPN usage. It’s crucial to comply with local laws and regulations regarding VPN usage.

5. Is it Safe to Use a VPN on a Mobile Phone?

VPNs are a secure method to protect your internet activities on a mobile phone. They encrypt your data, ensuring privacy and preventing unauthorized access to your personal information, whether you are using cellular data or Wi-Fi connections.

6. Can a VPN Be Tracked by Law Enforcement Agencies?

If a VPN has security flaws or vulnerabilities, it is possible for law enforcement agencies or third parties to track its usage. It’s important to choose a reputable VPN provider that prioritizes security and regularly updates its software.

7. Should I Leave a VPN On at All Times?

Leaving a VPN on at all times is generally recommended for ongoing protection of your personal data. By encrypting your internet traffic, a VPN safeguards your browsing history, physical location, IP address, and other sensitive information.

8. Can Someone Track My Location Through a VPN?

If a VPN connection is properly configured and has no security vulnerabilities, it is highly unlikely for someone to track your location through a VPN. VPNs provide an additional layer of privacy by masking your IP address and encrypting your internet traffic.

9. Are VPNs Safer Than Incognito Mode?

VPNs and incognito mode serve different purposes. While incognito mode helps prevent your browsing history from being stored on your device, VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and provide anonymity by hiding your IP address. Both can be used together for enhanced privacy.

10. Are There Alternatives to VPNs?

Tor, also known as The Onion Router, provides online anonymity by obscuring your IP address. For online activities that require higher levels of anonymity, Tor may be a preferable option, although it may be slower than VPNs.

11. When Should I Turn off a VPN?

While it is generally recommended to keep your VPN on for enhanced privacy and security, there are instances when turning it off may be necessary. For example, troubleshooting internet connection issues or accessing certain local services that do not allow VPN usage.

12. Is it Safe to Use a Credit Card with a VPN?

Using a VPN when making online purchases adds an extra layer of security to your credit card information. VPNs encrypt your data, making it difficult for hackers to intercept and misuse your credit card details.

13. Does Incognito Mode Protect My Activities from Wi-Fi Owners?

Incognito mode prevents your browsing history from being stored on your device, but it does not hide your internet activities from Wi-Fi owners. Wi-Fi owners can still monitor your traffic and see that you are connected to a VPN, although they will not be able to see the specific websites or content you access.

14. What is the Most Reliable VPN?

ExpressVPN is consistently praised as one of the most reliable VPN providers. It offers a strong balance of security, speed, and usability, making it a top choice for many users.


VPNs are invaluable tools for safeguarding privacy and enhancing online security. Despite their limitations, the benefits of using a VPN far outweigh the potential drawbacks. By understanding how VPNs work and their limitations, users can make informed decisions about their online activities and protect their sensitive information.

What does a VPN do and not do?

Is there a downside to using a VPN

One reason why you may not want to use a VPN is because it could slow down your internet connection speed significantly. There are several factors that affect your internet speeds when using a VPN, including the fact that a VPN encrypts your data and routes it through different servers, which slows down the process.

What does VPN not protect you from

It's important to remember that VPNs do not work in the same way as comprehensive anti-virus software. While they will protect your IP and encrypt your internet history, but that is as much as they can do. They won't keep you safe, for instance, if you visit phishing websites or download compromised files.

Is it OK to leave VPN on all the time

The short answer is: Yes, you should keep your VPN on at all times. By encrypting the traffic that you send and receive, VPNs can prevent your personal data from being intercepted by third parties. This data includes your web browsing history, physical location, IP address, and more.

Does a VPN hide your browsing activity

VPNs encrypt all internet traffic, effectively hiding your browsing history from your ISP. However, that doesn't mean the ISP is blind to your activities. They may be able to tell that you're connected to a VPN and for how long, based on the fact that the encrypted traffic is headed to an IP address of a VPN server.

What is better than a VPN

Tor is better than a VPN for the following: Online anonymity: It's almost impossible to trace a Tor connection back to the original user. You can safely visit a website without leaving any identifying evidence behind, whether on your device or the website's server.

Is it worth having a VPN on your phone

Smartphone VPN services are a reliable way to protect your internet activities. Since tons of personal details are sent in your phone use, hackers love to target this data. Whether using your cellular connection (3G, 4G, 5G, etc.) or Wi-Fi, your smartphone leaves you open to identity theft and other cyber dangers.

Can the police track a VPN

With a VPN on, the user's online activities and data are encrypted. But, if the VPN software has security flaws and vulnerabilities, the police (or any other third party, for that matter) can use them to “break into” the VPN and see what data is being sent and received. So technically, the policy could track a VPN.

Can my employer track my location through VPN

The short answer is: yes, they can.

Why would you turn off VPN

Despite the inherent security risk, there are legitimate reasons to do so, such as: Troubleshooting a faulty or slow internet connection. Accessing local services such as online banks that do not allow signing in from a foreign country. Accessing corporate networks that do not allow VPN usage.

Is it safe to use credit card with VPN

A VPN is a surefire method to protect your credit card while shopping online, and should be the first service you turn to whenever you plan to pick up a new pair of boots on Amazon or just want to get a quick bite delivered to where you are on the go. VPN for online shopping will be a safe and secure method.

Can someone see my internet history if I use their WIFI with incognito

Does Incognito Mode Hide My Activities from Wi-Fi Owners Unfortunately not. When you switch to Private or Incognito, your browser won't record your activity, but your router will, so network admins can still retrieve your information. Incognito and Private Browsing aren't as watertight as they're made out to be.

Is using VPN legal in USA

Yes, VPNs are completely legal in the vast majority of countries worldwide, including the United States. While some countries impose restrictions or bans on VPN usage, they are perfectly legal in the majority of countries. VPNs play a crucial role in ensuring digital security and protecting your privacy online.

What is the most legit VPN

ExpressVPN retained CNET Editors' Choice Award for best overall VPN after its 2023 review.

Does iPhone have VPN built in

Do iPhones come with VPNs pre-installed No, iPhones don't come with pre-installed VPNs. iPhones only have a built-in VPN client allowing you to connect to a VPN server if you know its details. Otherwise, you need to use a separate VPN app to stay secure over the internet.

Does VPN affect text messages

VPN services encrypt all data sent through the tunnel regardless of type/origin. regular text messages won't be encrypted because they are sent through your mobile network, however this also means nobody can intercept these using a public WiFi network.

Can the WiFi owner see what sites you are doing with a VPN

VPNs establish a protected connection, meaning no one can see what you are doing. So, for example, a WiFi router or Internet service provider only sees jumbled data when you're browsing on a VPN. Not only that, but with a VPN server, you can use IP addresses from other countries.

How do I hide my IP address from the police

You can hide your IP address by either using the Tor browser, a proxy server, or a free VPN. You can also join a public Wi-Fi network. Is hiding your IP address illegal In the U.S, hiding your IP address is not illegal.

How can I tell if I am being monitored at work

Signs Your Employer Is Monitoring YouUnknown Programs Installed.Slow computer Performance.Your Webcam Light Is On.Examine Your Productivity Applications.

How do I hide my location on employer VPN

In order to hide your location from employer, you'll need to:Sign up for a secure VPN service with a vast server base.Download the app for your operating system and install it.Launch the app and sign in using your credentials.Choose one of many servers and click Connect.

Do you really need a VPN at home

Yes, you need a VPN to protect your online activity, hide your IP addresses, and keep your data safe. A VPN should be the cornerstone of your online privacy and security at home, work, or public places.

Can VPN see my card details

Well, much like the security that an SSL-enabled connection provides, a VPN creates a 256-bit AES encrypted tunnel between your devices and the VPN provider. This means that the only parties who would ever be able to see your information are you and the intended online shopping portal destination.

Why is my card declined when using VPN

Fraud detection.

This usually happens when you try to make a payment while connected to a VPN or when using a proxy. Having an unusual IP address (such as an IP address of a country different from the one where your credit card was issued) may also be the cause.

How do I stop WiFi owner from seeing my history

5 ways to hide your browsing history from ISPsISPs are known to collect and share user data.Use a VPN.Browse with Tor.Change your DNS settings.Install HTTPS Everywhere.Use a privacy-conscious search engine.Bonus tip: Don't rely on incognito mode for privacy.Extra bonus tip: Don't forget about Wi-Fi operators.

Why are VPNs being banned

While no specific law banning VPNs exists, the government is known to hack and eliminate content that it deems a threat to national security or public order. Individuals caught using VPNs to access restricted content may face severe penalties, such as fines worth $1,300.

How much does a VPN cost per month

A good VPN often costs around $5 to $10 per month. This pricing could vary depending on each VPN service provider, the types of features you want included, and the subscription plan you choose. Choosing an annual plan that you pay for upfront typically reduces the overall cost.