Is a VPN Worth It in 2024?

By Novak Bozovic / December 9, 2023

The Web is full of misinformation about VPNs. For instance, if VPNs are banned in your country, your government may want you to believe that such tools are useless. On the other hand, some websites portray VPNs as magic software that can unblock everything on the Web. While claims can be far-fetched, VPNs are still very useful in daily browsing.

So, you may wonder, are VPNs necessary - and is a VPN worth it in 2024? Well, yes, it is worth getting a VPN if you want protection against government surveillance and cybercriminals. On top of that, a capable VPN will let you easily access global content with a single push of the “Connect” button. 

In this article, we will help you decide whether it is worth buying a VPN and discuss the various reasons for getting a VPN. You’ll also learn about when a VPN is not worth it and what to look for in a VPN.

Are VPNs Worth It?

Yes, VPNs are worth it because they let you access global content and safeguard your privacy on the Internet. Not only that, but a VPN also protects you from hackers by encrypting your sensitive information. This encryption is crucial, especially when using public Wi-Fi networks that are often targets for cybercriminals. 

Moreover, a VPN is necessary if you want privacy on the Internet. It safeguards your privacy by hiding your IP address, which is a significant aspect of your online identity. This prevents websites and third-party trackers from monitoring your online activities, thereby maintaining your privacy.

After concealing your real IP address, a VPN assigns you an IP of a server from another location of your choice. This essentially helps you bypass geo-blocks and access websites that are otherwise blocked by your government. So, depending on your use case and requirements, it can be worth having a VPN.

7 Reasons Why VPN is Worth Buying

One common question that Internet users ask is, are VPNs worth it? Well - yes, and there are many reasons for this. VPNs protect you while browsing and torrenting, give access to restricted content, hide your browsing activity, bypass throttling, and more. 

In this section, we will discuss all the reasons why it is absolutely worth getting a VPN. 

1. Protect Your Data on Public Wi-Fi

Despite being convenient, public Wi-Fi networks are notorious for their lack of security. So, hackers exploit these networks to intercept sensitive data from unsuspecting users. One of the most notable benefits of a VPN is that it protects your data on public Wi-Fi. And if you are wondering, such networks are found in public places like cafes, airports, and hotels. 

A VPN protects you by encrypting your Internet connection and turning your personal information into unreadable code. This means that even if someone intercepts your data, they would not be able to decipher it. 

Such a high level of security is particularly crucial if you are working with sensitive information online, such as banking or credit card details. Overall, it is worth paying for a VPN if you frequently use public Wi-Fi networks.

2. Access Restricted Content

Various Web services like Omegle, WhatsApp, and Telegram are banned in countries like the UAE and Iran. Similarly, many streaming services like Hulu and Disney+ are geo-restricted due to limited content distribution rights. This can be frustrating, especially when you travel to a different country or if you live in a region with strict censorship. 

A VPN allows you to bypass these geographical restrictions. When you connect to a VPN, you can choose a server in a different country, which temporarily changes your IP address. This makes it appear as if you're accessing the Internet from that location. 

This capability is particularly beneficial for accessing geo-blocked streaming services. Still, remember that a good VPN for streaming should also have lightning-fast servers because streaming requires high bandwidth.

3. Hide Your Browsing Activity

Your online privacy is constantly at risk from ISPs, advertisers, and other entities tracking your browsing activity. In this regard, a VPN is necessary because it hides your online activity and plays a crucial role in safeguarding your privacy.

By creating a secure tunnel for your internet traffic, a VPN ensures that your browsing activity is invisible to these prying eyes. This encryption not only prevents ISPs from monitoring and selling your browsing data but also keeps advertisers and other third parties in the dark about your online habits. 

If you are wondering what a VPN hides, it conceals your IP address, browsing activity, and location. However, a VPN will not hide any information that you give away voluntarily, such as on social media websites or Internet forums. 

4. Bypass Bandwidth Throttling

Bandwidth throttling is when ISPs provide you with slower Internet speeds during certain activities like streaming or gaming. The main reason why ISPs throttle your bandwidth is to regulate network traffic and minimize congestion. This can be particularly annoying and disrupt your experience.

A VPN can help you bypass such interruptions. It does this by encrypting your traffic, due to which your ISP cannot see your online activities. This means that they cannot selectively slow down your Internet speed based on what you're doing online. 

5. Save Money

Using a VPN can surprisingly lead to significant savings, especially for those who frequently shop online or subscribe to various services. The secret lies in the fact that many websites display different prices based on the user's geographical location.

By changing your virtual location through a VPN, you can explore prices in different regions for the same product or service. This alone makes it worth having a VPN, as you will be able to book hotels, tickets, and a lot more at a lower price. 

6. Better Gaming Experience

Online gaming often suffers from issues like high latency and the risk of DDoS attacks from Internet trolls, which can disrupt your gameplay. By masking your IP address, a VPN makes it harder for attackers to target your connection. 

For gamers, a VPN is not just a tool for privacy; it's a means to enhance the gaming experience. It can help reduce latency by connecting you to servers closer to the gaming servers, potentially providing a smoother and faster gaming experience. So, it is worth buying a VPN if you frequently enjoy gaming.

Generally, the best VPN for gaming should offer gaming-optimized servers, high speeds, and a wide-server network so that you have more location options to choose from.  

7. Safe Torrenting

By using a VPN, your torrenting activity is encrypted and anonymized, protecting you from potential legal issues and cyber threats. It prevents other users in the torrent network from seeing your real location. 

At the same time, it also encrypts your data packets to prevent others from snooping on them. This anonymity is crucial for safe torrenting, as it shields you from being directly targeted. For this reason, a VPN for torrenting should have strong encryption like 256-bit AES along with secure protocols, preferably OpenVPN.

When Are VPN Services Not Worth It?

VPNs may not be worth it if you want to speed up your Internet connection or acquire foolproof privacy while voluntarily exposing your data and preventing malware and viruses. Let’s take a look at the situations when a VPN may not be ideal.

1. For Total Online Privacy and Security

VPNs enhance online privacy and security but cannot guarantee absolute anonymity. They effectively mask your IP address and encrypt your Internet traffic, making it difficult for third parties to track your online activities. 

However, note that VPNs do not block in-browser tracking methods like cookies and fingerprinting. On top of that, if you're logged into social media accounts tied to your real identity, the effectiveness of VPNs in protecting your privacy diminishes significantly. 

2. To Speed Up Your Internet Connection

Contrary to some misconceptions, VPNs do not inherently speed up your Internet connection. However, they can prevent ISPs from throttling your connection based on your browsing activity, which can increase your speed. 

Overall, if you're experiencing ISP throttling, you can stop ISP throttling with a VPN. But if no throttling is occurring, a VPN will likely slow down your connection due to the encryption process and the additional data routing. 

3. Preventing Malware and Phishing Attacks

While VPNs offer a layer of security by encrypting your internet connection, they do not generally provide protection from malware and phishing attacks. VPNs can help hide your IP address and secure your data from hackers on public networks, but they do not replace the need for dedicated antivirus or anti-malware software

These specialized programs are designed to detect and remove malicious software and protect against phishing attempts, something a VPN alone cannot do. Therefore, for complete protection, it's advisable to use robust antivirus tools along with a VPN.

4. Depending on the VPN You Choose

The effectiveness of a VPN largely depends on the quality and features of the service you choose. Not all VPNs are created equal; some offer higher levels of security, better privacy policies, and more reliable connections than others. 

A VPN that keeps no logs, uses strong encryption, and has a transparent privacy policy is more likely to protect your privacy and security effectively. Therefore, it's crucial to research and select a VPN provider that aligns with your security needs and privacy expectations.

5. Your VPN is Leaking Personal Data

A VPN that leaks your personal data defeats the purpose of using one for privacy and security. Data leaks can expose your IP address, browsing history, and even personal information. To ensure your VPN is effectively protecting you, regularly test for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks

There are various online tools available for these tests. If your VPN is leaking data, it's not providing the security you need, and it may be time to consider a different provider. Overall, a reliable VPN should safeguard your data consistently without any leaks.

What to Look For in a VPN Service?

When selecting a VPN, it's important to focus on features that ensure your online activities are secure, private, and unrestricted. Here's what to look for:

Among the various VPNs that we have tested, NordVPN stands out as the best overall VPN. We recommend NordVPN because it excels in all the essential features, from robust security and a strict no-logs policy to a vast server network and excellent customer support. Nevertheless, all the best VPN providers fulfill the criteria mentioned in this section. 

Is Buying a VPN Worth It?

Yes, getting a VPN is worth it. A premium VPN enhances your cybersecurity and protects your privacy, making it a valuable tool for safe Internet use. Whether you're connecting to public Wi-Fi or accessing personal data, a VPN provides a secure and encrypted connection, safeguarding your information from potential cyber threats.

But can’t you just use a free VPN? And are free VPNs safe? Well, free VPNs lack robust security features, leaving users vulnerable to data breaches and cyber threats. Also, many free VPN services log user data, compromising privacy and anonymity. This data is often sold to third parties, further endangering user privacy.

If we compare a free VPN vs. paid VPN, a paid VPN will definitely be the winner because free VPNs have very slow speeds, no capability of unblocking global content, and unreliable connections. Such limitations can significantly hinder your online experience, especially when streaming or gaming. This makes it absolutely worth it to buy a capable VPN.

Final Thoughts

So, is a VPN necessary for Internet activities? Technically, no. But is a VPN worth it? Yes, especially if you’re on public Wi-Fi because those connections aren’t usually secure. Even on a private home connection, it is worth getting a VPN as it secures your data, lets you access global content, keeps you safe from surveillance, enhances your privacy, and a lot more. 

We have thoroughly tested a wide range of VPNs, and after comparing their features, we recommend NordVPN because it checks all the right boxes. It has advanced security features like double-hop and split-tunneling, along with unbreakable encryption and high-speed servers. 


Is a VPN Worth It for Gaming?

Yes, a VPN is definitely worth it for gaming. It enhances your gaming experience by reducing latency, protecting against DDoS attacks, and enabling access to geo-restricted games or servers.

Is a VPN Worth It for Streaming?

Absolutely, a VPN is worth it for streaming. It allows you to bypass geographical restrictions, offering access to a broader range of content from various regions.

Is a VPN Necessary at Home?

While it is not necessary to use a VPN at home, doing so is highly recommended for enhanced security and privacy. It protects your Internet activities from being monitored. 

Is It Worth Getting a VPN?

Yes, it is worth getting a VPN. It significantly improves your online privacy and security, enables access to restricted content, and safeguards your data on public networks.

Is There a Downside to Using a VPN?

No, there is no major downside to using a VPN, except the fact that your Internet speeds can become slightly slower. Another downside is that a VPN can't provide 100% security and privacy. 

We hope that this article helped you determine whether a VPN is worth it for you. If you have any comments or experiences to share, feel free to write them below.

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