Advantages of VPN connections
AS we know what a VPN connection is and what it's for, it's time to summarize a list of the advantages and disadvantages of using this technology. First, the positive side:
- It works in all applications because it routes all Internet traffic, unlike proxy servers, which you can only use in your web browser, and a handful of other applications that let you set up advanced connection options.
- It connects and disconnects easily. Once set up, you can turn the connection on and off as you please.
- Additional security on WiFi access points provided the connection is encrypted, of course
- Faking your location, as we've seen in the previous section, a VPN connection is an effective way to avoid censorship or access to content limited to a certain region.
- It allows playing games without restrictions, for example, lost ark vpn is necessary for players from CIS.
- Your Internet provider can't know what you do online - don't you want your Internet provider to know you spend hours watching kitten videos on YouTube? With a VPN, they won't know what you do, but the company that runs the VPN will.
Things to keep in mind
So far everything is very nice, using VPN connections seems to be full of advantages: more security, improved privacy, jumping of geographic blocks... Before you go ahead and buy a VPN service or register for a free one, there are a few things you should consider:
The price. Although there are free VPN services, you obviously can't expect much from them, as they will often be very limited, very slow, or not very reliable. There are some exceptions, however.
Speed suffers. The difference between connecting to the Internet directly or having your data follow a route that crosses half the world can be overwhelming. If your VPN server is too far away, you'll experience a lot of latency when surfing the web. In addition to latency, it's normal for your maximum download and upload speeds to be limited.
Your security is not foolproof. We have already said this several times, but it never hurts to repeat it. Just because the connection icon has a lock does not mean that the connection is secure, especially if we are talking about VPN connections based on the PPTP protocol.
They can't always spoof your location. Especially on mobile phones, there are more and more technologies by which you can triangulate and approximate your location beyond your IP address.
They do not provide you with anonymity. Using a VPN does not make surfing anonymous. The winning combination for greater anonymity, if we listen to Edward Snowden, is to use both a VPN connection and Tor.
Use a third-party VPN... or set up your own server
The fastest way to start enjoying the benefits of VPN connections is to register with one of the many companies that offer VPN services. You pay a monthly fee that can range from a couple of euros to more than 10 euros and you get the credentials to log in to their service and often an official VPN client of your own that makes things much easier.
However, if you want full and complete control of your connection or don't trust anyone, you can follow the philosophy of "if you want something done right, you should do it yourself". The problem with this is that it's rare that you have access to a PC in another country with which you can enjoy some of the advantages we discussed earlier (avoiding censorship, geographic blockages).
There are some exceptions, such as world trotters who travel frequently and by installing a VPN on their PC at home they find they can still access their files wherever they are, also enjoying the services that were only available in their country, such as Netflix or Spotify.
If you want to create your own VPN server, whether it's on your Windows PC or on a remote server under your control, OpenVPN is probably your best option. You can download it from here, although you're warned in advance that installing a VPN server isn't as easy as clicking Next - Next - Next.