Top VPN myths in 2023. That’s what this article will try to debunk or just explain better. Unlike our other articles, this isn’t a review or a “how to” guide. However, reading through this piece will certainly make you a safer internet user in general.
These myths hold true for Windows VPN, Linux VPN, mobile VPNs and basically just a Virtual Private Network in general regardless of its platform.
And no, you do not need to be an international spy to use a VPN. Literally, any and every internet user can and should use a VPN!
I’m sure you already do! Let’s debunk some myths then?
Table of Contents
- VPNs do not store logs [ Myth]
- All VPNs are the same [Myth]
- VPNs result in speed loss [ Truth]
- VPNs are illegal [Myth]
- VPNs add security to your connection [Truth]
- VPNs make you 100% secure against hackers and govt. [Myth]
- Using a VPN to access banned websites makes them legal [Myth]
- Free VPNs are the same as Paid VPNs
- Tor and a VPN are the same [Myth]
- Using a VPN requires technical skills [ Myth]
- VPNs let you access any and all websites [Truth]
- You can unblock regional Netflix content with a VPN [Truth]
- Signing off- Top VPN Myths
VPNs do not store logs [ Myth]
This is “the” biggest, most dangerous and most well-kept VPN myths of the industry.
Just because a VPN promises to be “no log” or even is contractually bound by its T&C to “not store logs” doesn’t mean it’s truly logless.
In other words, even a VPN which promises a “no logs policy”, may actually be logging you.
In fact, PureVPN, one of the most reputed VPNs of its time logged and even assisted the FBI in a certain situation.
Not just PureVPN, another very popular name at its time, HideMyAss too has collaborated with the authorities and lead to users facing jail and worse.
These are just two out of many other similar cases.
Basically, some VPNs log not your IP address, but also your activities on the web. As a result, they can always link your original IP, to the IP assigned to you and unmask everything you’re doing.
So, what you can and should do is verify a VPNs “no log” policy. Only go with those VPNs which have got their “no log” policies audited and verified by third-parties.
ShurfShark, NordVPN and ExpressVPN are some companies with an independently audited third-party “no log” verification.
All VPNs are the same [Myth]
No. They aren’t. There are major and serious differences between VPNs. Some even leading to life-threatening consequences.
In fact, when choosing a VPN, you must pay serious attention to the following points:
- Country/jurisdiction of the VPN: Depending on the country, the level of anonymity a VPN offers differs. In some countries, VPNs are forced to keep logs despite their “no log policies”. British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, Panama etc. are some of the best VPN nations.
- Speed: Almost all VPNs lead to some speed reduction. Good VPNs impact speed negligibly while bad VPNs make it real painful.
- Advanced features: Not all VPNs offer advanced features such as double-hop/ onion over VPN/ antimalware/ split tunnelling/camouflage mode etc.
- Connection protocols: The protocols offered by each VPN differ. These protocols define how secure and fast (or slow) your connection will be.
- No log policy: Not all VPNs truly adhere to their “no log policy”.
- Support: 24X7 live-chat isn’t something all VPNs offer. Then, the quality of support, response time and overall experience differs vastly.
- Simultaneous connections: The number of devices each VPN account can connect to differs vastly for each VPN company.
- Payment modes: Not all VPNs accept Crypto payments. However, it’s a must if you wish to be truly anonymous from step 1.
Point being, not all VPNs are the same. In fact,
“Choosing the wrong VPN is worse than not using a VPN”- Updateland.
VPNs result in speed loss [ Truth]
No matter which VPN you use, some speed loss is guaranteed to occur. This is to be expected because of all the routing and additional security protocols your connection goes through.
However, when you use the right VPN, the speed loss is either completely negligible or doesn’t make a huge difference.
It’s best to always try a VPN’s trial plan and verify speed before committing to a long-term payment plan.
VPNs are illegal [Myth]
Because of what VPNs make possible, a very common myth around VPNs is that they’re illegal.
I mean hey, they let you access what the govt. deems illegal/inappropriate. Hence, the govt. making VPNs illegal is totally an acceptable hypothesis, isn’t it?
However, no. VPNs are completely in most nations. You do not get in any legal trouble for using VPNs.
Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule. You can’t use a VPN legally in Russia, North Korea, UAE etc. Do note that this isn’t legal advice. Check a VPN’s legality in your country before using a VPN.
VPNs add security to your connection [Truth]
VPNs aren’t just for “changing IP address”.
They also add significant security to any connection, primarily against public Wi-Fis. Public Wi-Fi networks are one of the easiest and simplest to hack into.
However, with a VPN, the hacker gets to your VPN connection instead of the actual connection to the Wi-Fi and hence can’t hack into your system.
VPNs make you 100% secure against hackers and govt. [Myth]
Hackers and third-parties aren’t limited to hacking only via your “IP address”.
Despite you using or not using a VPN, social engineering, phishing, RATs, malware. Digital fingerprinting and many other threats still exist and are just as disastrous.
Moreover, social networks and search engines are major spies these days. They follow you around extensively, to a point where they can almost predict what your next order should be.
To be completely safe, you need to use more anonymous search engines (Duck Duck Go), anonymous OS (TAILS), and more anonymous browsers (Brave).
Using a VPN to access banned websites makes them legal [Myth]
You need to understand that just because you can “access” a website, doesn’t make it a legal act.
In other words, if website X is banned in your country, and you access website X, you’re still very much violating a law.
The only difference is, in this case, with a good VPN, chances of you getting caught are almost nill.
Free VPNs are the same as Paid VPNs
Another major error most commit when choosing a new VPN? They opt for free VPNs. One of the top VPN myths is that free VPNs are the same as paid VPNs. They aren’t.
There’s a very popular saying, that states-
“When you aren’t paying for a product, you are the product”.
And that’s just as true as it can get.
Maintaining a VPN is a very cash-demanding job. So, there’s no way a company just offers you complete anonymity and freedom for free.
In most cases, the companies either store logs by default or very readily help law enforcement if and when required.
Also, free VPNs tend to offer fewer features. And most importantly, I’ve never seen a free VPN offer speeds I can work with.
Then there are ads, limited bandwidth, very limited “simultaneous connections” and other restrictions.
Point being, a free VPN is the same as a paid VPN only on paper. In reality, it’s almost suicide in terms of security or anonymity.
Tor and a VPN are the same [Myth]
A lot of people tend to use Tor as an alternative to a VPN. While it’s “similar”, the actual technology and usage actually differ vastly.
For starters, TOR is a browser while VPN is a software. TOR only changes the IP for those websites which are accessed through the TOR browser. A VPN on the other hand masks and encrypts your entire system, including all the browsers and other software.
TOR is a “node & volunteer” based mechanism. In other words, other people who volunteer to be nodes help facilitate the IP change and anonymity. This isn’t secure. . TOR has been hacked by the FBI in the past.
Moreover, the advanced features a VPN offers such as kill-switch, split tunnelling, protocol choices aren’t really available with TOR.
Point being, TOR can change your IP. TOR can help you access “some” blocked websites. However, it isn’t half as secure as good VPN.
Using a VPN requires technical skills [ Myth]
I understand where this myth originates from. Given what a VPN achieves, the idea that it must be something complicated and hard to use does get attached to it. Then, terms such as “protocols”, “kill-switch” etc. make it sound even scarier.
However, using a VPN is simpler and easier than using most social network sites!
If you know how to read and click on a mouse, you’re already overqualified as a VPN user.
Most VPNs offer you a map as well as a list of countries. You simply have to choose your country. You can either click on the map or this country-list.
Doing so instantly connects you to a VPN from the country you’ve selected. Done.!
Even without configuring any of the advanced options, a VPN is just as safe and fast. The advanced options generally add benefits which do not impact your security/safety vastly.
VPNs let you access any and all websites [Truth]
This is technically correct. One of the few ways any party blocks a website is by restriction the “IP addresses” from specific countries/regions/providers.
Hence, when you change your IP, you can pretty much access anything.
However, do note that there are some anti-VPN websites. Meaning, these websites, from their own end, have banned VPNs. A good example is Casinos, Advertising networks, and crypto exchanges.
You can unblock regional Netflix content with a VPN [Truth]
A secret not known to many is Netflix/ Amazon Prime/ Hulu etc. are regionally-curated. Meaning, the movies/series you see aren’t necessarily “all” of their content.
Rather, they only show you specific content that’s allowed in your region. As a result, a certain season from a certain may not be available to you, but, it’s available to people from a different country/region.
Using a VPN does let you access these blocked Netflix content.
Signing off- Top VPN Myths
These were just the 11 top VPN myths. I’m certain there are a dozen more. These were just the ones most commonly found in people’s heads.
The point of this article was to make you a better VPN user. I hope you’ve learnt how to choose a and how to be safer on the internet.
If you’ve got any other top VPN myths or doubts you’d like answered, the comment box is all yours.