Are you thinking about using a virtual private network (VPN)? VPNs have become increasingly popular. Research shows that over one-third of all U.S. adults use them. VPNs are tunneling services consisting of an encrypted private network that extends to a public network. In other words, you can use them to create a secure connection to the internet. To determine whether a VPN is right for you, you should weigh its pros and cons.

Pro: Hide Your IP Address

You can hide your Internet Protocol (IP) address by using a VPN. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) assign IP addresses to their customers. When you connect to the internet, other users may see your ISP-assigned IP address. A simple solution is to use a VPN. The VPN will conceal your ISP-assigned IP address. Even if bad actors try to look at your IP address, they’ll see the VPN’s IP address.

Pro: Work Remotely Over a Secure Connection

You can work remotely over a secure connection by using a VPN. It’s estimated that one-quarter of the U.S. workforce works remotely. Working remotely, though, poses security concerns. If your connection is breached, the bad actor may intercept your data. Fortunately, a VPN will offer a secure connection. You can work remotely over this secure connection so that your data isn’t exposed to bad actors.

Pro: Easy to Use

VPNs are easy to use. Some of them have different features, but they typically work automatically. You just need to connect to the VPN, after which you can visit websites and perform other online activities over a secure connection.

Con: May Impact Speed

While using a VPN has several benefits, it also has some drawbacks. Using a VPN, for example, may have a negative impact on your internet speed. You may experience slower download and upload speeds while connected to the VPN. This is because a VPN is an intermediary service. It sits between your own internet service and the internet. Therefore, all of your traffic must go through the VPN. If the VPN becomes congested, you’ll experience slower speeds.

Con: Blocked By Some Websites and Services

Some websites and web services block VPNs. VPNs are identified by their IP addresses. If a website or web service doesn’t want its users to mask their IP addresses, it may block the IP addresses of VPNs. Most websites and web services don’t block VPNs. Nonetheless, some of them do, and this is a potential disadvantage of which you should be aware.