The answer to this question depends on many different factors, such as the reason you purchased a VPN in the first place, how much data you’re allowed to use, the country you live in and more. Nowadays VPNs are already compatible with computers, mobile devices and even routers for an even more extended range of coverage. And yet while the protection that they provide is more necessary than ever, is this also the case when it comes to home connections?
Using a VPN for Streaming Content
The most common reason for using a VPN is to unblock websites, particularly streaming services to enjoy your favorite shows and movies without restrictions. However, if you live in a country where such blocks are not a problem – such as in the U.S. – and you are able to watch whatever you want freely, then a VPN won’t really be a necessity here.
Turning it off will help you save some data and enjoy faster connection speeds, making this a logical decision, right? However, many ISPs are keen on throttling your connection whenever you reach high bandwidth consumption or the limits of your package, which may well happen within just a couple of minutes of streaming. VPNs hide your traffic from ISPs, and so if they cannot see what you’re doing then they won’t see a reason to throttle your speed either. In this case it is advisable to opt for a VPN with unlimited bandwidth and server switches.
Torrenting and VPNs
The same applies for when visiting websites or using services that, while you have access to them, may not be seen in a positive light. Torrenting is the prime example here, as in most countries it is considered illegal, and as such a VPN is crucial to shield you from your ISP and avoid any serious legal implications.
Many VPN providers support – and explicitly mention – P2P file sharing, either providing particular servers in key parts of the world that are reserved solely for this purpose or by enabling it across their entire VPN network. If your VPN of choice uses the latter, then make sure that the company enacts a trustworthy no-log policy or, even better, that its headquarters are located in a country that is relaxed about torrenting or has strict laws on protecting the privacy of online usage.
Combining VPNs With Everyday Internet Use
There are other situations in which there’s not really any need to have a VPN turned on. Assuming that social media services are not blocked in your region and you’re just looking to kill some time checking Facebook or any other social network, then putting your connection through a VPN will only make it slower, especially if you’re using a wireless connection. Likewise, assuming your home network is safe, you don’t necessarily need to manage your bank account through a VPN. In fact, while it’s true that the bank can track your IP address to your front door, they already have your personal records anyway.
However, it’s important to remember cases like social media, since Facebook still is – along with Google – the largest gatherer of user data in the world, typically to use in the form of targeted advertising. VPNs allow you to remain hidden from this as well, not to mention that many of them also include ad blockers – though in some cases these work even if the VPN is deactivated. A lighter encryption setting with a faster protocol is more than enough to prevent this, ensuring speeds you’re happy with while maintaining a secure connection nonetheless.
So, to conclude, it’s really up to you whether you use a VPN at home. Since your home connection can be trusted, the rules surrounding the dangers of public connections don’t apply. However, it’s important to keep in mind that VPNs do more than simply unblock sites, they also provide a high level of anonymity and top security features that are crucial for safe online surfing.
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Have all your VPN related questions answered by checking our VPN experts' answers to frequently asked questions:
- Can a VPN Company See My Passwords and Data?
- Can a VPN Provider See My Traffic and History?
- Can I Use a VPN Service on My Mobile Device?
- Can I Use Multiple VPNs at Once?
- Can The Use of a VPN Be Detected?
- Does a VPN Hide Torrenting from ISPs?
- Does a VPN Protect Against Viruses?
- Does a VPN Service Bypass ISP Throttling?
- Does a VPN Work on Mobile Data?
- How Do I Get Rid of a VPN?
- How Does a VPN Work?
- How Does VPN Encryption Work?
- How Secure is Using a VPN?
- Is It Legal to Use a VPN?
- Is Using a VPN Service Easy?
- Should I Pay for a VPN?
- Should I Use a VPN All the Time?
- Should I Use a VPN at Home?
- Should I Use a VPN on My iPhone, Android Phone?
- What Does VPN Traffic Look Like to My ISP?
- What Happens if My VPN Disconnects?
- What is a VPN?
- What’s the Difference Between a VPN and a Proxy?
- Why Should I Hide My IP Address?
- Why Should I Use a VPN Service?
- Will a VPN Lower My Ping?
- Will a VPN Speed up My Connection?
- Will a VPN Work in China?
- Won’t a VPN Slow my Internet Connection Down?