Most Linux OS users, especially beginners, often wonder if they need a VPN on Linux. The answer depends on how and where you use your devices. In some conditions, a VPN is simply necessary, in others it is simply desirable. However, there are no conditions in which private browsing would be unnecessary or even harmful. Here is our vision of the advantages and disadvantages of virtual network security for Linux.
Benefits of Using a VPN on Linux
#1 Access geo-locked content
Using a VPN allows you to set your IP address to any desired location, granting access to geo-restricted content. If you’re like me (not from the US), you’ll encounter numerous online blocks. This is precisely why I rely on my VPN; it enables me to watch US-exclusive content, primarily on YouTube, Netflix, CBS, and NBC. Additionally, I enjoy watching anime, and the UK and Japan offer a wider selection on Netflix. Therefore, I use my VPN to access animes not available in my location.
A VPN allows you to join geographically restricted gaming servers. You can take advantage of location spoofing to enjoy exclusive discounts and better sign-up bonuses on certain websites. Lastly, when traveling to a different country, a VPN can help you bypass localized websites that rely on your IP address, providing an uninterrupted browsing experience.
It should be noted here that not all VPNs can bypass regional restrictions. To successfully unblock websites, you need a large number of VPN servers, VPN leak protection, and a kill switch function. Specifically, VeePN has 2500+ servers with white IP addresses and high bandwidth. At the same time, the service offers Linux compatibility and secure connection, thanks to 256-bit encryption.
#2 Avoid bandwidth throttling
If your internet service provider (ISP) imposes limitations on specific types of data, you might notice that web pages load quickly, but file downloads take an eternity. In this case, your ISP could be the one responsible. By using a VPN, your traffic type becomes unrecognizable, thereby preventing any restrictions based on its nature.
#3 Safe use of public Wi-Fi networks
When utilizing a public/open network, it is highly advisable to employ a VPN. Snooping traffic on such networks is a simple task for hackers, putting your crucial and sensitive data at risk.
That’s precisely why I have an active VPN. I usually use VeePN for Chrome and a router. It is very convenient and easy to set up. Whenever I connect to public WiFi, I always activate my VPN. This practice grants me peace of mind, reducing concerns about my phone activities.
#4 Privacy protection
Sometimes, you may just want the reassurance of being somewhat anonymous online. Like anyone else, I dislike it when websites such as Facebook use my data for advertising purposes without my consent. It’s even worse when internet service providers (ISPs) potentially sell your data, and sometimes you don’t have an alternative ISP to switch to. In such cases, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can be of assistance.
While using the Tor network (or Tails) can be considered a smarter approach to online anonymity, a VPN is also helpful. The best part about using a VPN is the peace of mind it provides regarding the security of your data, as opposed to not using one.
Linux users heavily depend on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks for sharing operating system ISO files. These networks can be somewhat dubious, and the contents of what you download may not always be clear. To maintain privacy and evade copyright infringement notifications, utilize a VPN when downloading files.
The Drawbacks of VPNs
VPNs have their limitations. Here are some drawbacks when using a VPN on Linux:
- Free VPNs may claim to be cost-free, but honestly, the risk of using a “free” VPN outweighs using none at all. On the other hand, Tails and Tor are genuinely free, although their use cases differ greatly from a VPN.
- Certain websites can detect VPN usage and flag it as suspicious traffic, resulting in blocked access.
- VPN installation can pose challenges. While most VPN providers offer user-friendly client apps for easy installation and usage, some do not. Setting up a VPN client becomes even more difficult if you’re using your own VPN server.
- Some VPN providers prohibit torrent usage. Although downloading and seeding torrents can be legal, they are commonly associated with pirated content. Thus, some VPN providers do not permit this. It’s advisable to check with your VPN provider for their torrent policy.
- Slow speeds can be a concern with certain VPN providers. While most deliver decent speeds, there are exceptions. It’s recommended to verify the speed guarantees provided by your VPN provider. Although uncommon, some VPNs can be notably slow.
Many advantages and disadvantages do not depend on the VPN technology itself but on providers. Free solutions from unverified and unknown vendors are even more dangerous than a direct connection. Yes, and the speed of specific providers can be lame. But with a product from a high-end developer, you can get all the advantages and not experience disadvantages. Something like VeePN would be a wise choice in all respects. Of course, it is not the only one, I just actively use it and the reviews are good. You can also find many other services.