VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are frequently used by companies for remote workers making a connection to the office network. But there are companies that rent out VPNs to anyone. Learn about VPN pros and cons.

These rented VPNs provide a secure, encrypted pathway/tunnel between you and the company renting the VPN, thus hiding your IP address. This is due to the VPN server that acts as an intermediate between you and the site you visit.

When your Web pages are loaded, e-mail messages, instant messages, they are decrypted and dumped onto the Internet just like everything else. The encryption is only between you and the VPN server, not end to end.

The important aspect is that VPNs do not use a proxy and anonymizes and encrypts all activities.

VPN Pros

  • VPNs are very effective in hiding your IP address.
  • They can be used to anonymize all kinds of applications: browsers, chat clients, torrent clients, etc.
  • VPNs provide a high level of security, using advanced encryption and authentication protocols. VPNs safeguard your data from snoops, data thieves, and other unauthorized parties.
  • Because there is no proxy server involved, transmission speeds are generally not slowed from the actual connection speed.

VPN Cons

  • They may slow down your Internet connection. This is one of the most common disadvantages of a VPN.
  • More difficult to install and set up products based on proxies. You have to create a separate internet connection.
  • You got a limited number of IPs (from the same location), unlike proxy-based products. For example, IP Hider allows you to use proxies from the US, UK, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, etc.
  • You don’t know what is logged by the service provider. Usually, the provider stores your real IP address and your activities for a certain period of time in order to prevent any illegal activities.
  • VPNs are more expensive than other hide IP tools (except Hotspot Shield which is free).

Here is a list of top VPN providers that I recommend:

VPN ProviderPrice
HideMyAssfrom $11.52/month
ibVPNfrom $4.95/month
NordVPNfrom $10.95/month
IPVanishfrom $10/month
PureVPNfrom $9.95/month
ExpressVPNfrom $12.95/month

Do you use VPN services to hide your IP address?

Do you use a VPN? What do you think are the pros and cons of VPN services?