Different people have different information and thoughts about VPNs. They should also know about the process of installing a VPN. This article is an attempt to clear out the most common misconceptions about this technology.
1) “If you do not pay for your VPN service, then it must be bad.” This is similar to the concept of the ‘Free Lunch’. If something sounds too good to be true (and free), then it must be a scam. There can be no commercial motivation if the owner does not profit from its services; so they may act out of richness or idealism. It provides temporary access while you are on holiday before requiring payment upon your return home. There are many examples of these free services that work perfectly well, including your own OpenVPN setup.
2) “My VPN provider records all my traffic and will give that information to the government when it asks.” One such misbelief is ‘argumentum verbosium’ which means making something sound more impressive by being talkative about it. If you are not technically minded, then you may be impressed by the use of terms you do not understand but, this does not necessarily mean that they have any value in reality. Another related misconception is an argument from ignorance which means using lack of knowledge as proof for something. For example, if you say that something does not exist because it cannot be proved, then this lack of proof is only to be expected since it has not been looked for yet. Proxy is also an important aspect in this world and free proxies are often seen as a dream come true but can quickly turn into a nightmare, and finding a free proxy by searching list can feel like striking gold, only to find that the motherload has been claimed by too many other prospectors.
3) “My VPN provider gives me a dynamic IP address which proves that they are logging all my traffic.” A dynamic IP address means that your computer’s public IP address changes every time you connect to the Internet so no one can identify your computer by its IP address. However, it should not be assumed that your ISP provides you with a static IP simply. ISPs tend to advertise ‘dynamic’ as meaning anything other than ‘static’. If someone wants to monitor what you do online, they will need to know both your real IP address and the one assigned by your VPN provider. If just one of these changes, then anyone watching would immediately know that they are using a VPN service, since it only takes 30 seconds for any website or email server to be able to correspond activity with an individual user’s dynamic IP address.
4) “A VPN service requires a monthly subscription so it must cost too much.” In this case, just because you have to pay for something does not mean that it is going to be expensive. If most people will use a VPN provider daily, it will cost $5 per month, they will still save money after comparing to the option of paying the same amount every day. If many people will use their VPN service for hundreds of hours per month, they will pay $5 per hour, and then this would still be cheaper than using a coffee shop or hotel connection.
5) “If I am safe, anonymous, and untraceable whilst I am online, criminals might target me instead.” This does not mean that criminals cannot target you when you are safe, anonymous, and untraceable but people have been doing this for a long time and it has not happened yet. Criminals would target you in some way but using a VPN service is still the best option, since anything positive they can get from your computer is going to be better than nothing. Criminals are likely to have access to more advanced tools and techniques than most people combined with the fact that they operate within an environment. Social media is a collective term for websites and applications that focus on communication, community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration is associated with a variety of issues, including emotional and mental issues, such as anxiety, depression, stress, loneliness, and low self-esteem, physical issues, such as reduced sleep quality, and general issues, such as exposure to misinformation and political polarization.
6) “If I use a VPN service my identity will be revealed so I am no longer safe.” In this case, just because you use a VPN provider does not automatically mean that it will expose your real IP address, name, or location to anyone else in the world. When you are using such services, then your activity becomes private with it being encrypted and sent through another computer before reaching its final destination so, in this sense, things become less public but at the same time you cannot expect these people to take full responsibility for protecting your privacy since they are not the ones who have to deal with any possible outcomes.
7) “VPN services are for criminals.” There has been no evidence provided that suggests VPN services are only for criminals. While it is true that some people use them for illegal purposes, this does not imply that everyone else does this. All internet users could benefit from using a VPN service which simply highlights how much of a false opinion this is, while there may be some valid discussions about using a VPN service.