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Are VPN Services Safe to Use in 2021 and at What Cost?

Are VPN services safe to use in 2021? Some sites or videos will in the title tell you to not use VPN services. Others on the other side will tell you that it’s a must. In this guide, we break down whether VPN services are, in fact, safe to use.

The Big “Are VPN Services Safe to Use” Question: Can VPN Services Fully Protect You

VPN services are a crucial part of your safety on the internet, but it’s important to note that they aren’t going to fully protect you on the internet.

Think about it like when playing football. You absolutely need football boots to play, but it’s not enough to have football boots. You need to have abilities and you need to be smart.

VPN services are a crucial part of safety on the internet and forget about it without them, but they aren’t the only element needed for online safety in 2021.

What VPN services will do is that they will mask your IP address so that your activities cannot be traced back to you, and depending on the service, you will get a certain level of encryption to make the transmission of your data safe so that a hacker can’t intercept it as it’s traveling (PrivateVPN uses 2048-bit Encryption with AES-256, the strongest level of encryption available on the market) and that can be exactly all that you need for safety online, but it depends.

Example: You are using a VPN to stay protected, but are in communication with someone that isn’t using a VPN. While the data you send is protected, their device is not protected, and that can lead to issues. 

But of course, without a VPN, you aren’t safe at all, and in the likes of public spaces, you are entirely exposed.

Are Free VPN Services Safe to Use?

The big question when using anything is what is the cost of using it.

When something is free, you may not pay with money, but what are you paying with instead? Often privacy.

That’s because VPN services cost money to run. To run a server, it costs.

And no company is truly a charity.

The issue with paying with privacy when it comes to using a VPN service is that a VPN’s fundamental feature is privacy.

In the past, there have been many cases of free VPNs not holding to their privacy policy.

We, of course, love to mention the most known case of them all, of Facebook’s Onavo VPN which was collecting data on users. Luckily, it’s no longer working as Facebook shut it down.

...But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Even reputable companies like Opera have third-party tracking in their free VPN.

Free VPN services are also very poor at unblocking content, and due to often being overloaded with traffic due to offering a free service combined with not having the best servers possible, often slow down your internet, thus in many ways, being an exact opposite of what a VPN service is meant to be.

Not all Paid VPN Services Are Safe to Use Either Though

And this is where PrivateVPN comes in as a service that doesn’t store logs and that’s the only way to make sure that a VPN is safe. 

When choosing a VPN it’s super important to read the privacy policy to make sure there are no hidden surprises. PrivateVPN’s policy? It’s very clear.

In fact, this is what it currently states:

“PrivateVPN does not collect or log any traffic or use of the Service. If you are browsing our Site, you do not have to give us any identifiable information. We do not track any activities outside of our Site.”

In 2020, it was discovered that over 1.2 TB of data was leaked by 7 VPN providers. Some of those were free, but some, were, in fact, paid VPN services. And that’s not the first time these kinds of issues were reported either. 

It Depends on the Safety Features

VPN’s are only as safe as the features it comes with allow.

If there’s no ability to kill certain apps in an event your connection was to die, or if there’s no IPv6 Leak Protection, then, you are putting yourself in danger.

PrivateVPN offers state-of-the-art safety features to make sure you are protected in an event that you are disconnected from the internet.

...You might be thinking that a VPN should never disconnect, but it only takes you walking into the wrong spot, resulting in you having no connection, for a potential security risk to happen.

That’s where features like Application Guard come in to kill certain apps in the event you are disconnected. That’s where IPv6 Leak Protection and DNS Leak Protection come in to protect you from leaks. And that’s where the Kill Switch also comes in.

Whether VPN services are safe to use in 2021 depends a lot on the features provided to reduce any risks, in the event, there is an issue.

How a VPN Can Protect You

VPN services are safe to use in 2021. But forget about the free ones, and be careful with some of the paid ones. But after that, you are much better off with a VPN on than off.

The best example? When you are connected to public networks which you probably will be at some point soon. Perhaps you already are right now on a bus or in a cafe, because your phone is too slow.

Without a VPN, the data you are sending and receiving on the internet is unencrypted and easy to access by anyone that wants to access it. A VPN prevents that with encryption allowing you to use public Wi-Fi, while still being safe. What a hacker could access with ease is now encrypted to a point that even the most powerful machines in the world would not be able to encrypt it by the time you leave. PrivateVPN comes with 2048-bit encryption with AES 256. AES 256? It would take billions of years to break with current computer technology, so to say that it would be foolish for hackers to try to attempt to break it, would be an understatement.

...VPN services also allow you to change your virtual location.

You can look like you are in the US when in Ireland. Or you can look like in Australia when in Germany. That happens via an IP address change. This protects you because it means that what you are doing isn’t directly traceable to you.

As to the cost...PrivateVPN has been chosen as the best value VPN service for many years, but you can find that out by yourself, or if you need, by first talking to our award-winning customer service.

Written by Michael Smolski.