5 Common VPN Myths and Why You Shouldn’t Believe Them

Jackson Chung 27-09-2017

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a decades-old technology that allows any computer to securely connect to a remote server in distant location, yet appear as though it’s connected locally.


However, in today’s world, VPNs are probably used to circumvent geo-restrictions, engage in P2P activities, or otherwise remain anonymous online. Although VPNs have been around for a while, there are still several damaging myths about them that could potentially negate the benefits of the service, or even confuse you when looking for the best VPN provider The Best VPN Services We've compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers, grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. Read More .

In this article, we’ll take a look at the top five myths about VPNs and why they’re simply not true.

Myth #1: I Don’t Need a VPN If I’m Not Doing Anything Illegal Online

One of the most common misrepresentations about VPNs is that it’s only needed when the legality of your online activity is in question. For instance, when accessing geo-restricted video content that’s otherwise not available in your region, or circumventing legal roadblocks in your country. Although a VPN might help in these cases, it’s not really the most important reason for using one.

vpn myths illegal online makeuseof

VPNs are designed to encrypt your communication, thereby securing your data. So anytime you feel like your data security could be jeopardized, use a VPN. A good case for connecting to a VPN is when you’re conducting online banking using a public Wi-Fi network. In fact, you should always use a VPN whenever you’re connected to public Wi-Fi.


Myth #2: VPNs Slow Down Your Connection

You’ve probably heard that since VPNs route all of your data through another server in some far off land, that using one will slow your browsing speed significantly.

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That’s not entirely true.

First of all, the speed of the VPN is limited to the speed of your connection to the internet, which it will not be able to exceed. Secondly, it also depends on the location of the server to which you’re connecting — usually the further the server is from you, the greater the latency.


That’s why it’s important to choose a VPN service provider with lots of well-maintained servers in a variety of locations to help you get the connection speeds you’re used to.

Myth #3: A Free VPN Is Good Enough

While free is usually good, there’s an old economist rule: there’s no such thing as a free lunch. You’re usually giving up something to get something else in return. In this case, you could be giving up quite a lot.

First of all, while free VPNs The 10 Best Free VPN Extensions for Google Chrome Here are the best free VPN extensions for Chrome to block trackers, bypass region blocking, and much more. Read More are able to offer you service at no cost, they’re usually accompanied by a few restrictions. Speeds are usually severely limited, and bandwidth usage per month not entirely generous. Unsurprisingly, that’s quite normal.

However, it may shock you to learn that you may be voluntarily offering your browsing data, email address, and other personal information in order to use a free VPN service. Think about it: the free VPN providers have to pay for their server fees. There are costs to bear, and something’s got to give.


To understand what you’re getting yourself into, always read the terms and conditions carefully. And remember, you get what you pay for.

Always go with a premium VPN provider that can guarantee optimum connection speeds and never log your activity.

Myth #4: All VPNs Are the Same

Not even close. If you’re using a VPN, it means you have decided that it’s worthwhile to secure your online data transmissions, so that what should be private, remains private.

For that purpose, you should understand that a crucial part of a VPN service is to encrypt your communications as you connect via their servers; but that level of encryption How Does Encryption Work, and Is It Really Safe? Read More can vary across VPN services. Some will offer weaker encryption, while others offer industry-leading secure encryption systems. Strive to pick a VPN provider that offers OpenVPN; avoid PPTP at all cost.


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As far as privacy goes, you should most certainly make sure that your VPN provider doesn’t keep logs 6 Logless VPNs That Take Your Privacy Seriously In an age where every online movement is tracked and logged, a VPN seems a logical choice. We've taken a look at six VPNs that take your anonymity seriously. Read More . Some VPNs do retain minimal logs, and they will explain what’s included. In any case, you should always check that no personal data is stored, and that the activities you were engaged in while using their VPN service are not stored in any way.

Myth #5: I’m Using a VPN, so I Can Do Anything I Want Online

This last myth is important to dispel: VPNs can’t provide you with absolute protection while you’re engaging in potentially risky activities. When visiting dodgy websites — even while using a VPN — there’s still a good chance you’ll encounter malware such as keyloggers or phishing attempts After the Massive Tumblr Leak, It's Time to Talk about Phishing The vast majority of the 68 million hacked Tumblr accounts are perfect targets for phishing emails. But how do these emails work, how can they be stopped, and can you avoid phishing emails? Read More .

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You must still remain vigilant while you’re online. That means staying safe while you’re connected to free public Wi-Fi, being cautious about suspicious emails How to Spot a Phishing Email Catching a phishing email is tough! Scammers pose as PayPal or Amazon, trying to steal your password and credit card information, are their deception is almost perfect. We show you how to spot the fraud. Read More , and employing other measures such as using an adequate firewall, anti-virus Why You Should Replace Microsoft Security Essentials With A Proper Antivirus Read More , anti-malware; in addition to being savvy.

Plus, not every VPN provider will cover your tracks if you use it for illegal downloading of copyrighted material. So before selecting a VPN provider, try and find out if P2P activities are encrypted or even supported.

Your safety and online privacy are important. Therefore, understanding the truth about VPNs and signing up with a good VPN provider The Best VPN Services We've compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers, grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. Read More can help alleviate any worries you may have about your security online.

Are there any other myths about VPNs you know to be false? Or do you have any lingering questions about the service? Let us know in the comments below!

Image Credits: old book by Ksenia Palimski via Shutterstock, Stressed hispanic woman having some connection problems, Photo of the new Pirate Bay homepage on a ipad monitor screen through a magnifying glass, Network administrator working on cabling in a server cabinet, Hacker in Work

Related topics: Online Privacy, VPN.

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  1. Becky
    April 1, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    My computer repair shop tells me I don't need a VPN, because VPNs don't protect while browsing the internet. Rather, they are networks for end-to-end security, like a salesman sending sales report data to the company office. He said the VPN only protects when one "end" of the network is communicating with the other "end" of the network.
    What protection is there for browsing websites?

  2. Ernest
    January 22, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Wonder why almost all VPNs only cover the common apps but not the system ones like Tor. Even legal system apps can spy on you..

    October 30, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    if congress really wants answers about CLINTONS e-mails then imimunity should be given to a couple of the assholes that have plead the fiith amendment to avoid saying anything

  4. JF Messier
    July 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Quick explanation about VPN's. Net one would interesting to see would be the one that explains the IP addresses changes, as well as the endpoint being in foreign countries and such implications.

  5. Simon
    June 16, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Why didn't you include TorGuard?

  6. David Omen
    June 15, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Tor is insecure!

  7. Dan
    June 14, 2016 at 10:54 am


    Well in my experience i tried 6/7 VPN providers before choosing one
    The fact is that in every case and in a very significative way the connection slowed down (at least 50% and up to 80%) of my 200MB speed line, and the best speed is when im connecting near me so......

    Ill enjoy a VPN that gives me full speed of my 200MB

  8. malcolm marshall
    June 14, 2016 at 10:01 am

    All of you have failed to mention that service provider for Email doesn't always know where you are long in from, yahoo been the one, but who give a damn anything to disrupt info Harvest practise done by all Service provider then sent to the NSA in the US
    Anonymous member

    • Josh
      October 29, 2016 at 2:11 am

      Hey so are you saying i should get a vpnfor both e-mail and isp separately?

  9. VAS
    June 13, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Avoid PPTP at all cost ! ? Nice of you to publish thst now, after gloriously promoting a special offer of a VPN that uses PPTP service only :-))
    I purchased one of your offers a few months ago, none of the reviwiews I found warned about PPTP! Now, whenever I activate this VPN on my ipad or iphone I get a warning that it is not save to use. May be Make use of should review what they offer before they offer it instead of telling customers afterwards that they wasted their money !

    • Jackson Chung
      June 21, 2016 at 6:03 am

      Sorry about that, VAS. Which deal are you referring to?

  10. Jean-Francois Messier
    June 13, 2016 at 1:46 am

    I would also add that although a VPN can hide your real IP, it my not work for geographical restrictions in all cases. For example, if my Google account is opened, say, in Canada, I will not be able to access US-Only content, even if I am using a VPN that is exiting in Texas. My account is marked as Canadian.

    • VAS
      June 18, 2016 at 4:03 am

      Google snd Hotmail seem to store your location. When I try to access my google or hotmail account while running the VPN exiting in a different country than I'm located I get security alerts

    • eric
      November 20, 2016 at 8:03 am

      Google uses more than just IP address location to determine your location. There are other tracking methods they get from your web browser, among other things.
      if you want to know if your location is truly hidden, go to Google maps and click the current location icon.

  11. Meryalpes
    June 11, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    I am not able to access some websites, Kindly recommend which VPN to use.?

    • Anonymous
      June 13, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      Try Some Free Extensions Before Wasting Your Money.

      If You Are Using FF Or Any CHROME Clone Browser, You Can Install Several Of Them From Their Collections.


  12. Andy
    June 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    I take exception to Myth #2. VPNs use tunneling to pass data from the remote location to the server location. And they encrypt. Both actions are inefficient and pretty wasteful in terms of bandwidth. The exception to this is the DNS variety, but they don't encrypt either.

    Look at this way. Your data gets put inside of another TCP packet to be transported to a remote location. All of that data is encrypted, adding even more overhead. So it looks like this (Here, "->" indicates encapsulation):

    Your data -> Original TCP Packet -> Encryption -> VPN Packet -> Transport over Internet

    So, what was formerly a typical PPP TCP packet is now wrapped in TWO OTHER PACKETS, with all the addressing, header information, checksums, etc. That's lots of traffic that holds no actual data, just routing and encryption information. Link efficiency plummets because of all the overhead. These days, with broadband connections so common, it isn't a huge issue - the limiting factor is more likely to be the processor speed of the local computer responsible for decrypting and rendering the data.

  13. Anonymous
    June 11, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Myth #5 should mention sandboxed browsing,which protects your harddrive from malware. I use one religiously.

    • pasca
      April 7, 2017 at 10:44 pm

      Additionally: use Firefox with add-ons WebRTC, NoScript, and uBlock Origin to prevent Firefox browser information being leaked over VPN. Also, regularly test for leaking DNS, which obviates the use of a VPN entirely. If you are using Chrome and IE, you might as well save your money and browse without a VPN.

  14. Mike
    June 11, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Myth #5 should mention sandboxed browsing,which protects your hard-drive from malware. I use one religiously.

  15. Anonymous
    June 10, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    My college blocked all VPN sites and services and college can track our activity. So is there any option to use VPN or hide my activity from college?

    • Screaming_Goat
      June 10, 2016 at 10:01 pm

      You could rent a VPS and install openVPN on it yourself.

    • Doctor0710
      June 11, 2016 at 1:00 am

      You could try using TOR, although your college may be more suspicious of you trying to hide something, than what it would be necessary. You may also try some SSL proxies.