With a VPN, you won’t need to worry about visiting unsecured websites, downloading malware, or having personal information exposed.

VPNs are great, though their reputation can precede them. Links to unlawful activity and offensive content have become synonymous VPNs, and people often overlook the positive attributes. In this article, we debunk the top 5 common VPN myths, to help you better understand this useful technology.

Top 5 common VPN myths

1 I Don’t Need a VPN If I’m Not Doing Anything Wrong

Possibly the most popular myth is VPNs are used solely by hackers and cybercriminals, and if you’re not doing anything illegal, you don’t need one. Maintaining online anonymity should be important for everyone, not just the illicit. The benefits of a VPN affects many people including those in censored countries, transmit and store sensitive data, navigate restrictions, find better online deals, and more. If wanting to find cheaper flights is a crime, many of us are guilty. The common encryption level is AES 256-bit used by government agencies like the NSA and the U.S. military, as well as tech giants Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Strong security will help protect you from malware, viruses, and hackers.

2 Free VPNs Are Just as Good as Paid VPNs

There are many instances in which having something for free is better, but not when it comes to VPNs. Free VPNs can provide you with some features that a full-service VPN offers, there are some restrictions that. Speeds and bandwidth are usually limited, while other features may not be fully accessible. Typically, free VPNs offer just 128-bit encryption, which can be secure but not unbreachable. If it’s free, you’re not the customer, but the product. If you consider nothing in business is free, you’ll understand these providers need to make money somehow. It’s possible for them to sell your information, like browsing history, email accounts, usernames, etc to third-parties. This is unethical.

3 VPNs Are Too Complicated

Before you choose a VPN service, do your research and find those with a user-friendly interface. There are VPNs on the market that are more technical and allow you to make sophisticated changes which aren’t relevant to the average user. If you choose the right service, you can download, set up and be running on your device in a matter of minutes. CyberGhost, NordVPN, and ExpressVPN are great providers that offer excellent service and clear, straightforward user interface.

4 All VPNs Are the Same

If you believe that all VPNs are the same, you haven’t done enough research. There are various factors to take into consideration when choosing a VPN:

Encryption level Some providers secure your date with military-grade 256-bit encryption whereas some offer a less secure connection. Server count Some VPNs offer more servers than others across a multitude of countries. For example, NordVPN offer 5,000 servers in 62 countries while Speedify has only 170+ servers in 50+ locations. Supported devices The majority of VPN services support most major platforms and devices, but there are some – especially free VPNs – that only support specific devices. Speed Typically, the more premium VPN services offer higher speeds and better performance. Cost The price of a VPN service can vary between provider and level of service. Generally, VPN providers offer promotions and money-saving subscriptions. For example, the service is less expensive if you subscribe for a year, rather than a one-month rolling subscription.

5 A VPN Allows Me to Do Whatever I Want Because I’m Completely Safe

Using a VPN while accessing and sending sensitive information can be essential for working abroad or bypassing geo-restrictions. However, you must not rely on a VPN alone for complete security. There are steps you can take to ensure safety over online beyond the capabilities of your VPN. For example, you should regularly change your passwords and combine numbers, letters, and symbols to make them more complicated.