Do I Need a VPN at Home?
The short answer to the above question is “yes.” Why? Well, we’ll get into that in just a bit.
When most people think of using a VPN, they think of safety while browsing on public networks. And yeah, VPNs do stop anyone from using man-in-the-middle attacks while you use Wi-Fi. But there are also many more varied reasons to use a VPN, especially within your home.
Some people have Wi-Fi in their homes, and some don’t, but we’re all vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. Our computers, phones, tablets, etc. can be tricked by an open Wi-Fi with a familiar name. A public “Starbucks Wi-Fi” can trick your device into connecting, because you’ve connected to a Starbucks Wi-Fi before. Or if they want to do the most, they can configure their access point to change their SSID and match it to the one devices ask for.
Most of what the information these attackers collect are pretty everyday stuff, but there can be little pieces of gold buried in there for them such as your banking details, login information, private chats, etc. It’s because of the insecurity of public Wi-Fi that many internet users buy VPNs. But a VPN is also quite useful in your home.
Why do I need a VPN at home?
Your ISP is allowed to see every bit of information that passes through your servers. And right now, they’re allowed to sell it to anyone who wants it. These data are mainly used for advertising and marketing claims, but once the data is sold, nobody keeps track of it. It is now the property of the buyer, to be used however they wish. We might just be paranoid, but this still sounds creepy.
Apart from using a VPN to keep your ISP’s (and anyone else’s) prying eyes away from your information, it can be used for other things.
1) Stream from anywhere
Where do you live? Are you allowed to watch anything you want anytime you want it? Probably not. Even when you live in the US, there are some shows that you can’t watch because your IP address is busy blabbing about your location on any site you visit. These media streaming websites and networks have placed geo-restrictions on their content. Netflix, for example, is not available in certain countries like for example China.
A VPN allows you to bypass these location restrictions and stream any content. Media streaming companies spend a lot of time blocking VPNs, and this is why most free providers cannot bypass these blocks. Only paid, top tier VPNs can access most of these sites.
2) Secure your voice calls
Unless you’re using an encrypted voice-over-IP app, your voice calls will not be private and are vulnerable to anyone who wants to listen in. Most voice calls are unfortunately encryption-less and therefore leave you wide open. If you use Google Hangout, Skype, Apple Facetime, Viber, etc., your calls are wide open and quite accessible to the average hacker.
A VPN sends every bit of your data through its encrypted network, which offers it a high level of protection. No hacker will be able to unscramble the encryption code. Say what you want, how you want, to whom you want.
3) Torrent all you want
Sharing files just became as easy as pie with a VPN. You can download whatever you want without fear of getting caught. BitTorrent is not illegal, but it’s not strictly legal either. It allows users to share information, videos, music, and pictures without any sort of payment. Windows 10 uses P2P sharing to download updates, and some online games do that as well. There are tools to keep your torrenting safe, but none of them is as good as a VPN.
4) Sensitive Information
When researching, sending, or receiving confidential information, whether in written format or with a VOIP chat, it’s best to use a VPN. There are some types of information that you would never even want to think of it falling into the wrong hands.
Any good hacker can steal your information while it’s en route to someone else. If your phone mistakenly connects to a hacker’s Wi-Fi and you’re in the middle of revealing some sensitive data, that data might make it to the hacker’s device before it gets to the original destination. A VPN protected device would prevent cases like this.
5) Bypass government censorship
In some countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc., the government places strict regulations on what sites can be accessed within the country’s borders. If you’re living within such countries, your social media, gaming, music websites, video streaming websites are severely limited. Some states go as far as setting up organizations to watch the activities of citizens on the internet through ISPs. Your network speed can be throttled at times as well.
Some VPNs are able to bypass all these restrictions successfully. They hide your IP address to allow you to browse social media and other websites that you would otherwise not be able to.
6) Save money with a VPN
Thinking of taking a trip? Or getting some brand new clothes? You can save money with a VPN on things like online shopping, hotel prices, and flight tickets. This is a slightly weird and little known VPN trick. Many online shopping platforms, hotel websites, and online flight bookings change prices based on where your IP address places you.
If you want to make sure you’re not getting scammed, you can choose servers in different locations and compare the prices. For many international shopping websites, the price will increase or decrease. You can compare and choose the one which works best for you.
These are just a couple of reasons why you’d want a VPN at home, though. Depending on the one you choose, you can get some pretty great benefits. We like to look out for our readers, so we’ve recommended our three favorite VPNs for home use. And we’ll tell you why we love them, too.
Top 3 VPNs to Use at Home
- Number of servers: More than 3,000
- Speeds: Unlimited
- Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
- Maximum devices supported: 5
- 24 live chat: Yes
- 30 day money back guarantee: Yes
- Fastest VPN out there
- Strict no logs policy
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Few discounts
This VPN has become our favorites with its all-round specifications. It provides best-in-class AES-256 encryption technology. It has over 3000 servers in 160 locations across 94 countries. Now, ordinarily, the more servers and coverage a VPN has, the more server choices the user has and the faster the network speed. This is because the customers are spread more thinly across each server so they can work optimally.
And in case you decide you don’t need a VPN for absolutely everything, you can use ExpressVPN’s split tunneling feature. It allows you to choose what apps you’d like protected and what apps don’t need protecting. You’re also in for a good time when it comes to torrenting and streaming. ExpressVPN doesn’t impose any restrictions on what you torrent, and their speed make for easy, painless downloads.
When it comes to unblocking geo-restricted content, ExpressVPN doesn’t fail. This VPN can unblock many, many streaming websites. Customer service is ready and able 24/7 to answer any questions. They can even provide you with the best servers to stream whatever media you want. You’re allowed to pay your subscription fee through various means with this provider. You can even use Bitcoin. You can use your ExpressVPN account on up to five devices at a time. Admittedly, the price is a little bit higher than most, but if you pay for quality, you get quality.
- Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: 6
- Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
- Servers: 5342 in 58 countries
- Lots of pricing options
- Netflix support kept up to date
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Slow app
Out next favorite VPN is NordVPN. This provider takes the cake for the sheer number of servers it has – over 5200 servers spread over 59 countries. NordVPN used to have about sixty countries, but it recently had a disagreement with the Russian government over sharing its logs. NordVPN refused and deactivated its servers in Russia. How’s that for dedication?
NordVPN protects its users with some very unique features. It has an automatic kill switch. This kill switch is different from other VPNs because you cannot turn it off. Last year, NordVPN verified its zero-logs policy with an audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, one of the Big Four auditing companies.
You can route your data through two VPN encrypted servers with the Double VPN feature. Tor servers are also available, and their DNS has absolutely no leaks. CyberSec allows you to have a browsing experience free from ads, malware, and malicious websites.
Because of its many servers, NordVPN has excellent speed for streaming and torrenting. It has dedicated servers for P2P sharing. It also unblocks restrictions on sites such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, CBS, HBO, and others. You can hook up six devices on one account with apps for all major platforms, browsers, and routers. The pricing for NordVPN becomes less as you commit to longer durations.
- Free trial? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: unlimited
- Ad blocking? Yes
- Servers: 1000+ in 61 countries
- No footprints
- Allows torrenting
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Not the cheapest around
This is our cheapest VPN on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less of a great product. Surfshark has only around a thousand servers, but it’s spaced them cleverly in over 61 countries. Compared to the other providers on this list, Surfshark is rather young, but it is strong and packed with features.
Surfshark has an impressive feature called Camouflage Mode. It gives you the privacy of Surfshark but without letting anyone know that you’re using a VPN, even your ISP. This provider also has its split tunneling feature called Whitelister and a double VPN called MultiHop. CleanWeb allows you to browse on a clean network without malware, ads, or phishing attempts. A kill switch, hidden IP, and leak-proof DNS all further protect your traffic.
Surfshark is also a master at unblocking geo-restricted content and websites. It has a steady, high speed, which makes it great for streaming and torrenting. Like ExpressVPN, you can ask their customer care for a list of the best servers to watch any show you want. You can share Surfshark’s with anyone at all because there’s no limit to the number of devices you can connect your VPN to. They’re around 24/7. We mentioned that Surfshark’s plans are cheap before. Just like most other providers, they get less expensive if you commit to a more extended period.
There you have it. These are our top reasons you need a VPN at home. Remember, when buying a VPN for home use, it’s better to look at the paid ones. Free VPNs don’t have the security paid VPNs provide, and most of them aren’t capable of unblocking restrictions. When choosing a VPN for your home, choose one that can give you both security and entertainment.