10 Disadvantages of VPN That You Should Know Before Using It

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.

If you don't have time to read all article there is the summary of the best VPNs with the least disadvantages:

  1. ExpressVPN – one of the best VPN on the market, very good connections speed, very strong encryption and no log policy.
  2. NordVPN – great VPN for any user, unblocks Netflix from many countries, great user interface, a wide range of server selection around the globe, great support and no log policy.
  3. CyberGhostVPN – Works fine with Netflix from many countries, good connection speed, strong encryption, protection, and no log policy.

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).

The loss of 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.

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.

Using a Google Account with a VPN

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.

VPN 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.

Does VPN log your data?

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.

What about using a free VPN?

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.

Data protection and leakage

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.

Countries where VPN is illegal

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.

TOP3 world-class VPNs

1. ExpressVPN

expresvpn

Website www.ExpressVPN.com
Available applications available applications
Money-back guarantee 30-days
Rating ratings

 

You might already know, that ExpressVPN is a very popular service around the globe and trusted by thousands of users. Maybe this VPN is not the cheapest, but we can admit that the price is worth quality. With this VPN you can be sure that the connection speed will be perfect from any point of the world.

You don't need to worry about privacy and security. The encryption level is amazing and it does not affect the connection speed at all. You can browse adult websites, unblock Netflix, Netflix, Amazon Prime, do banking tasks without the fear.

Express VPN supports multi-device function and can work on various operating systems and devices: Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux, open-source routers, BlackBerrys, Kindle Fire, Chromebooks, Barnes & Noble Nook tablets, Apple TV, Fire TV, PlayStation, Android TV box and others.

Moreover, there are available add-ons for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari for even better browsing experience.
Also, you don't need to worry about the bandwidth, which is unlimited. No additional fee for every single option.

So this VPN we would consider as one of the best VPN for online streaming (Netflix, Netflix).

 

PROS CONS
Compatible with many devices and platforms High price
High level of security Configuration limits
24/7 customer service No ad blocker

It is also important to mention that you have the choice of 30-day money-back guarantee, so there are literally no risks to the user – you can get your money back if something goes wrong. Read more about ExpressVPN

 

2. NordVPN

nordvpn

Website www.NordVPN.com
Available applications available applications NordVPN
Money-back guarantee 30-days
Rating 4.5 stars

 

Everybody likes NordVPN for a very friendly and modern user interface. It offers a wide range of server locations around the world. NordVPN servers are located in 62 different countries and contain more than 5000 servers.

Nord Virtual Private Network is a great choice for those who want to visit sites that are unavailable in their own country (for example porn websites) and to stream video (Netflix, Netflix).

We are have picked NordVPN as the second best VPN for streaming video online.

The main features of NordVPN:

  • NordVPN secures user internet activity from hackers and malicious software, including Ad Blocker. In order to have the highest possible level of security, this VPN uses double data encryption. In other words, the data that goes between your device and the server is encrypted twice using Double VPN technology. The features include Military-grade Encryption, CyberSec, and Double VPN.
  • Privacy protection features ensure that no one can track users’ online activity. The features include a Strict no logs policy, Automatic Kill Switch, DNS leak protection, and Onion Over VPN.
  • NordVPN allows users to bypass geographical restrictions and censorship. It offers more than 5000 servers worldwide, Streaming, SmartPlay, P2P and speed features.
  • The VPN also offers apps across all the major platforms and multiple devices, as well as extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers.

NordVPN is compatible with Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android TV, Linux. It has browser add-ons for Google Chrome and Firefox. The VPN service also supports Windows Phone, open-source and branded routers.

 

PROS

CONS

Wide geographical reaches

Performance hits and drop connections

Double VPN for twice the encryption

A monthly plan might seem expensive

User-friendly and pleasant interface

Not clear ownership

Read more about NordVPN

 

3. CyberGhostVPN

cyberghostvpn

Website www.CyberGhostVPN.com
Available applications available aps for cyberghost
Money-back guarantee 30-days
Rating 4 stars

 

CuberGhost is another great VPN service which suits perfectly for streaming online video and browsing adult websites. We like CyberGhost for its reasonable price and great quality. It is not worse than ExpressVPN or NordVPN. The main difference is fewer server locations and servers.

Also, we should admit, that the interface of CyberGhost is just great and might be one of the best in the market.

CyberghostVPN has multi-level encryption and you can choose the best for your needs: PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPSec.

 

PROS

CONS

Offering one of the widest geographical reaches

Performance hits and slowdowns

A very informative user interface

Not many personalized options

Easy setup and quick to start

Rough reviews by third-parties

Read more about CyberGhost

Final thoughts

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.

 
  The best Firefox VPN 2019 - expressvpn The best Firefox VPN 2019 - nordvpn The best Firefox VPN 2019 - cyberghost
Download Speed 65.76 Mbps 65.29 Mbps 65.99 Mbps
Upload Speed 29.44 Mbps 28.41 Mbps 31.22 Mbps
Server locations 160 59 62
Encryption protocols OpenVPN, SSTP, IPSec, L2TP OpenVPN, SSTP, IPSec, L2TP OpenVPN, SSTP, IPSec, L2TP
No-log policy yes yes yes
All security option yes yes yes
Price $6.67 $6.99 $2.75
Visit website visit visit visit

 

What else can I do with the VPN?

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

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).

How to set up a new VPN?

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.

Our security team at Reviewed by Pro constantly tests new products in order to provide you with up-to-date information and reviews of the latest Internet security and antivirus applications, privacy solutions, recovery tools, and other utilities, not just for your Windows PC, but also for your Mac and Android devices.

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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