Misunderstandings about VPNs lead to security risks. Virtual private networks (VPN) play a crucial role in your own security on the Internet and in improving your own anonymity. However, since the introduction of VPNs is increasing rapidly and VPN providers are experiencing a real boom, especially when it comes to "remote learning", we would like to help eliminate common misunderstandings that VPN users have with regard to the introduction, implementation and use of VPNs. So here are 5 VPN myths that are simply not true.
Myth 1: VPNs offer complete anonymity
Because VPNs are designed to obscure user information, many users assume that virtual private networks provide complete end-to-end anonymity. This couldn't be further from the truth.
“There's no such thing as anonymity for VPN users” - Brad Tilley, director of security architecture at Virginia Tec
Tilley continues: “In order to connect to a VPN, users would have to authenticate. This authentication can take place via username and password, certificates, keys, etc. In any case, the user or device that establishes the connection is known and assigned to a person or department within the organization. "
Myth 2: VPNs don't collect data
Because VPN tunnels are designed to protect information, users can also assume that VPNs are not collecting data. This is also incorrect in many cases. Since VPNs work on the IP level, they record IP addresses, dates, times and duration of connections. Some may also track the number of bytes sent and received over the connection.
Extended VPN agents can also collect and share client data, e.g. B. Operating system versions, anti-virus status and information about patches and software.
Myth 3: Free and paid VPNs are equally good
There are tons of free and commercial VPNs out there. In fact, more and more users are leaning towards free solutions. A partly fatal decision. It's worth noting that while the basic building blocks for paid and free VPNs are the same, free VPNs are not always informed in advance of their guidelines for data exchange. Some less reputable versions may even contain malware.
According to Tilley, commercial services also offer more extras such as the ability to customize key functions and control certain conditions. In combination with more transparent data usage agreements, commercial VPNs tend to offer significantly better protection.
Myth 4: VPNs are "switch on & forget"
VPNs can encrypt traffic and disguise user actions. Be aware, however, that potential structural problems may arise. Full tunnel VPN connections allow all connections to run completely through the VPN via an additional server. This can lead to slow connections.
Especially if you want to use the VPN for streaming, you should make sure that it doesn't slow down your internet connection too much. Even if you want to play online games, a VPN can lead to unwanted lags. In these cases, unfortunately, the only thing that helps is to switch off the VPN or one faster VPN provider to find.
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Myth 5: Virtual private networks are impenetrable
VPNs certainly improve security on the internet. But this can lead to the widespread misconception that VPN users have impenetrable protection.
Tilley makes this clear: “The security of a VPN connection is only as high as the credentials used to access the VPN. For example, if an organization allows weak passwords, the VPN and its organizational data will be compromised, ”he says. Of course, this also applies to your VPN at home.
In other words, VPNs can only serve as a layer of security. In addition to strong passwords and authentication controls. We hope we could help you with our 5 VPN Myths About the Most Common Misconceptions Around VPNs enlighten.