The Disadvantages of VPN you need to know about

by Olivia Morelli - -

10 Disadvantages of VPN That You Should Know Before Using It

There are so many VPN[1] service providers on the market and it is so difficult to choose the best one. Some of them can offer you a great encryption[2] level, some of them can offer a wide range of servers across the globe. More and more people every day are using VPN and it makes you feel much safer online due to its encryption and changed IP address, but also it has some drawbacks and disadvantages. In this article, we are going to review the most common drawbacks and disadvantages of using a VPN.

Here are the 10 disadvantages of VPN that you should know before using it.

1. The disadvantage of using a VPN for banking

I remember when I went for the first time on a vacation to Asia, I had my first accident with the VPN. My flight from the U.S. was very long and frustrating. When the plane has landed at Singapore’s airport, the only thing I was dreaming about was to get to the hotel and get some good sleep.

In fact, when you are on the rush and tired, you always forget something. So it happened that I did forget to transfer some extra money to my travel credit card from the main bank account. I use it for every day’s expenses while on the go.

Before this travel, I have purchased a VPN service to secure my browsing data and connection. When I was in the U.S. I checked the settings “Connect to the fastest server” and a VPN finds the fastest server every time I connect to the internet.

I opened the notebook, connected to the airport’s wi-fi using a VPN. That was a big mistake because I forgot to uncheck the setting “connect to the fastest server”. Due to many hacking[3] and phishing[4] attempts, banks are trying to secure their clients' bank accounts. If they see the attempts to connect bank account from the other countries, they block the account. In that case, they prevent to steal money from it.

So, I did try to connect my bank account with Singaporean IP and at the same time, I got the error message on the screen.

“Due to the security reasons, your bank account was blocked. For any further assistant, call our support center”.

Great, I just blocked my bank’s account. So glad I have another credit card with some money on it.

So the first disadvantage of using a VPN is that you can block your bank account if you will try to connect it from abroad. Choose the same country from the VPN list where your bank is located. Otherwise, it will be blocked. Also, 2-factor authentication[5] method might help in this case (if your bank supports it).

2. Poor VPN quality leads to the disadvantage of losing a connection speed

As you might already know, VPN can slow down your internet speed dramatically. Sometimes it can fall five times and it becomes so annoying that we turn off the VPN. It is always worth to read some reviews about the fastest VPN before buying it.

There is no such a VPN on the market which would not impact the speed of the connection. Every VPN slows downs the connection speed, because of the encryption process. The Servers are using various algorithms which encrypts your browsing data in a real-time. Some of the algorithms are faster but not so safe (suitable for online video streaming) while others can make military-grade data encryption and is suitable for banking.

That top-notch security VPN always reduces internet speed and sometimes it is not suitable for online video streaming. Before you buying a VPN, you should understand what encryption protocol VPN provider is using:

OpenVPN

OpenVPN[6] is an open-source software application. It is used to create secure point-to-point or site-to-site connections in routed or bridged configurations and remote access facilities. It is considered to be the most secure VPN protocol providing many mixed and complex security protocol functions.

OpenVPN has up to 256-bit encryption and runs a custom security protocol based on SSL and TLS rather than support IKE, IPsec, L2TP or PPTP. That makes it one of the fastest software on the market.

SSTP – Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol

SSTP[7] offers a high encryption level. Very similar encryption level as OpenVPN (SSL 3.0 + 256-bit encryption). Moreover, high security comes with high connection speed. It works only with Windows and Linux operating systems. It is stronger than PPTP and L2TP/IPsec, but not as good as OpenVPN.

IPSec – Internet Protocol Security

IPSec[8] is also a very popular protocol used by VPN vendors. Site-to-site VPNs are using it, to ensure data encryption on IP and Internet networks. IPSec secures data between routers, firewalls, desktops in many ways directional ways. It runs by Encapsulated Security Payload protocol (ESP) and Authentication Header (AH).

L2TP – (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol)

L2TP[9] was developed by Cisco[10] and Microsoft[11] in 1999. It is also a very popular protocol used by many VPN service providers. It works as a tunneling protocol[12] mixed with IPSec for building the highest security VPN connection. This protocol is also supported by S2S[13] (site-to-site) VPN but rather used by router access.

An interesting fact is that this protocol does not encrypt data by its own. It works together with PPTP as an improvement. It would be not the smartest way for hackers to use it alone while doing some activities. For this reason, L2TP is paired with IPsec very often. Paired L2TP and IPsec becomes safe VPN, but don’t forget to choose a VPN provider with no-log.

PPTP – (Point to Point Tunneling Protocol)

PPTP[14] as was developed in 1995 by Microsoft and today it is considered as an old and not very safe protocol for private and secure browsing. Due to its low level of encryption, it is a very fast VPN. It could be more used for streaming video online (Netflix, Hulu), but not suitable for hacking.

Some VPN service providers offer all encryption level methods and you can switch it between, depending on your current needs. In this case, your internet connection will remain as fast as possible.

ExpressVPN is a great example where this possibility is implemented in the software.

3. Your connection might look suspicious to a shopping systems if you are using a VPN while shopping online

Let’s imagine that you have decided to order a new TV from the online store. You did read many reviews on the internet, compared the prices and found the best deals on the internet. The only step what you need to do is complete the order, but something is going wrong.

During the process, you have chosen to pay by PayPal[15] and your account appeared to be blocked due to the security reasons. It is a very similar situation that was described before (banking and VPN from abroad).

PayPal is also trying to secure their clients and blocks suspicious login attempts. If your connection before was made from the same American IP address and know it comes from Russia or China, PayPal reacts and blocks it.

Another situation is when you complete the order from Russian IP, but your delivery address is in the United States. Many online store managers would cancel this order and it would be a marker as a fraud. Likely, your account to this e-store will be blocked as well.

So if you want to use a VPN for shopping, connect to the local server. In this case, your connection would not look suspicious to the online stores and your PayPal account won’t be blocked.

If you are on the go, use the VPN server from the same country where you want to make an online order.

Sometimes the best solution is to disable a VPN while purchasing online. We do not recommend to do it on the public wi-fi hotspots, because the hackers can steal your bank logins and money.

4. Using a Google Account with a VPN gives you the disadvantage of constant account verification

Millions of people are using various google services across the globe and many of them are using it with a VPN. Everybody VPN users know that if you will switch a server location (for example, from the United States to Vietnam or Australia), Google will warn you about the suspicious attempts to connect to your account and temporally locks it.

Then you need to unblock it by verifying your identity. Google will send you the SMS with the verification code, which must be entered during login.

google verification

This process looks to be very annoying, especially for those who travel a lot. In this case, we would recommend to use a dedicated VPN with static IP or just use one server location or use 2-factor authentication methods to login.

5. VPN also may cause a security vulnerabilities

As every IT product, VPN also has some security vulnerabilities. Those vulnerable solutions are used by many VPN service providers. We concerned it to be as a disadvantage of using a VPN which might be vulnerable.

  1. Pre-shared keys[16] – Some of the VPN vendors are using a pre-shared key (PSKs). If the hacker has access to the same VPN network you use, they also can retrieve PSKs keys and decrypt your browsing data, placing the man in the middle attacks.
  2. Forward secrecy[17] – Another VPN security vulnerability is, that many VPN service providers are not using forward secrecy method. This term may sound kind of strange, but we will try to explain it briefly. It is also known as perfect forward secrecy (PFS), is a feature of specific key agreement protocols that gives assurances that session keys will not be compromised even if the private key of the server is compromised. Many VPN vendors are not using it. VPN network traffic can be saved by Hackers. If the encryption keys or algorithms are compromised, it can be decrypted later.
  3. DNS Leakage[18] – Whenever a web connection is made, a computer will first translate a domain name into an IP address. This lookup is done via DNS servers. Thus, DNS lookup[19] records also contain a log of all websites visited. While VPN services usually will protect web traffic, many do not protect DNS lookups, meaning that user’s browsing history can still be reconstructed from DNS lookups.

6. Many VPN service are logging users data and we think it is a big disadvantage

We use a VPN to hide our online presence (hide IP and browsing data). But did you know, that many VPN vendors are regulated by the international laws and they must log all the users’ action?

vpn log

Instead of privacy, all your actions will be logged on the VPN server. Many countries are joined to the cybersecurity alliances which is called “Five Eyes”. It consists of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The purpose of this alliance is to control terrorism, cyber-crimes, protect author rights and so on. To achieve those goals, special agencies are monitoring users’ online activity and sharing it between the countries. Later one five eyes alliance was extended by adding more countries to it.

Today it consists of 14 countries and is called “Fourteen Eyes” alliance:

  • Five Eyes alliance[20] – US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand
  • Nine Eyes alliance[21] – US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, France, Holland, Norway
  • Fourteen Eyes alliance[22] – US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, France, Holland, Norway Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Spain

In the case of the cybercrime, the government agencies will ask a VPN service provider to give the logged data of the certain user. So it means, that your real IP address, name, surname, an address will be exposed with all the action log to the cybersecurity agencies.

VPN Provider Collects Browsing History Data and Bandwidth Count
Collects IP Address

Hola VPN

Yes Yes Yes

Safe Connect VPN

Yes Yes Yes

Hotspot VPN

Yes Yes Yes

AVG VPN

Yes Yes Yes

Seed 4 Me

Yes Yes Yes

Psiphon

Yes Yes Yes

Hoxx VPN

Yes Yes Yes
PureVPN Yes Yes Yes

Unlocator

Yes Yes Yes

We would recommend using VPN service which is situated not in the United States, Europe, Canada or Australia. The VPN companies which can offer a service with a no-log policy are based in offshore countries like the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas and so on. Check the list of the best no-log VPNs.

7. Free VPN services gives you a bunch of negative disadvantages

The worst thing you could do is to choose a free VPN service. After installing VPN software on your computer, it might become a member of a VPN community. In other words, your computer will start work as a botnet for P2P[23] file sharing and services for other users. The resources and internet speed of your computer will be shared with other network users.

FREE VPN

Moreover, those kinds of free VPN services are not encrypting your browsing data. It means, that it can be accessible to the hackers.

It is worth to mention, that all your browsing data is logged and will be shared or sold with third-party companies (advertising agencies, marketing agencies, other data trading companies).

There are more disadvantages instead of advantages by using free VPN.

Options free VPN paid VPN
Changes your IP
Unlimited bandwidth
Fast internet connection
No-logs, no tracking
No annoying ads
Millitary-grade encryption
Wide range of server selection
Customer support

8. VPN without a Kill-Switch functions also provides minuses to your online privacy

In some countries, things that are common to all are considered illegal and are under the control of government agencies or Internet service providers. For example, in some Asian countries, watching porn is a crime and can be punishable by imprisonment, while in the United States it is acceptable.

KILL SWITCH

The same situation with Torrenting. In many places, this is considered legal or out of control. Canadians and Americans can face huge fines for sharing files, infringing on a copyright.

Many VPN services do not offer a function called “Kill Switch[24]”. It turns the internet connection off if the connection to the VPN server was lost. In this case, it would not let your PC to reconnect the internet automatically by exposing your online activity to ISP or governmental agencies.

9. Before using a VPN find out is it legal in your country, otherwise, you may face the problems from your authorities

Before starting to use a VPN, you should know that there are some countries in the world where VPN is illegal. You should check if your country is not on the list, otherwise, you are going to pay a big bill or go to jail for making the crime.

Some countries like North Korea, Egypt, Bahrain, Cuba, Vietnam, Turkmenistan, and Myanmar have very strict laws on internet censorship. So using a VPN in those countries might be concerned as the law breakage. You should use it very carefully.

COUNTRIES WHERE VPN ILLEGAL

Syria and Libya have banned VPN traffic totally and there it is illegal 100%. Don’t use it there.

The countries where you should not use VPN or use it on your own risk: Belarus, China, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Russia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela.

So we concern it as the disadvantage of using those countries where it is banned or monitored.

10. The last downside we found is that VPNs drain your device's battery faster

While we were testing various VPN, we did notice that some of the VPN applications are draining device batteries by 40% faster. It is essential to choose a trustful VPN service provider that has developed an app with broad configuration options. Otherwise, you will not be able to switch unnecessary functions that drain devices batteries much faster. Of course, if you are using a VPN on a simple PC, it is not an actual thing, but for those who are using a VPN on tablets and mobile phones, it is crucial.

The possible ways of using a reliable VPN

VPN could be using various reasons and it can help you:

  • While you are on the go by securing your connection in public Wi-Fi hotspots;
  • For entertainment watch IP TV, unblock Netflix, Instagram
  • Using for torrenting;
  • Protect home devices, like smart TVs;
  • Watching privacy sensitive websites for adults.

Before we didn’t even hear about the VPN, but nowadays many users cannot imagine their internet without a VPN service. Especially those people who live in the countries where laws are very strict and content censorship is in the first place (China, South Korea, Iran and so on).

Setup a VPN with the least number of drawbacks

To set up a VPN it is a simple process and you don’t need any special computer knowledge. You just need to pick up a desired VPN provider and do the following steps. You are not risking, because of 30 days money back guaranty.

1. Go to VPN service provider website.
2. Subscribe to service. You will receive a username and password.
3. Press download the VPN software.
4. Install it on your computers or smart devices or router.
5. Enter username and password.
7. Press Connect to the VPN server.
8. That’s it, your privacy is increased
9. Enjoy your privacy and security.

This process will take for you around 2 minutes. You will have 30 days money back guaranty if you will not be satisfied with the service. I think that you will be satisfied because we have picked only those VPNs which are trustful and worth attention.

Recommended VPN with least disadvantages
nordvpnlogo

NordVPN is a fast and secure VPN service with the least number of disadvantages that we did find.

get it now NordVPN with a special discount
Try it 30 days

The final thoughts about the VPNs that can ruin your privacy and security

So as you can see from the article, using a VPN can cause you many problems if you don’t know some technical factors and the laws in your country. Using a poor quality VPN does not mean, that all your browsing data is safe and you will get many advantages.

As a rule, free VPN product is a “cheese for the mouse” and not suitable for safe browsing at all. Moreover, it can make even more harm to your privacy and lead to financial loss.

If you want real advantages from the VPN, follow the rules mentioned before and choose only trusted VPN service providers.

We have tested more than 200 hundred various VPN service providers and have picked TOP-3 VPN services which give you more advantages than the drawbacks. Of course, for the best privacy and security, you need to sacrifice some connection speed, but we did pay attention to the best security and speed ratio.

Our picked VPNs do not log the browsing data and are out of the “Fourteen Eyes” alliance, which means that your privacy is 100% secure. Furthermore, they do have all the required encryption methods for various life situations: from video streaming to banking.

The main recommendation is to use your country VPN IP for online shopping and banking, otherwise, your account might be suspended or banned.

Recommended VPNs

Options expressvpn nordvpn VPN 2019 - cyberghost
Location B.V.I. Islands Panama Romania
Servers 3000+ 5000+ 3500+
Countries 160 60 60
Supported devices 5 6 7
Torrenting
U.S.Netflix
Encryption and protocols
AES-256
OpenVPN
PPTP
L2TP
SSTP
IPsec
Internet connection speed
Download speed 83.15 72.33 71.10
Upload speed 35.18 48.18 36.45
Security features
SSL
No-Log
Kill Switch
Ad-Blocking
Double encryption
IP Leak protection
Operating systems
Windows
Mac
Android
Linux
iOS
XBox
PS4
Browser extension
Chrome
Firefox
Other features
Router support
Free version
Accepts Bitcoins
Money back guarantee 30 days 30 days 45 days
Read a review review review review
Paid version from $6.67/month $3.49/month $2.75/month
Try

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Senior Media writer

Olivia Morelli is a senior media writer on Reviewedbypro.com. Her favorite topic to write about is ransomware attacks and how to deal with them, but she also enjoys covering the topics of other types of malware and VPNs.

Contact Olivia Morelli
About the company Esolutions

References



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