Despite what VPN commercials tell you, there’s really no reason to use a VPN at home
Whenever you are outside of your home and want to use Public Wi-Fi, especially hotspots which do not require passwords (for example at an airport, shopping mall, school, etc.) you should always be using a VPN. When your mobile phone or laptop tries to connect with the Wi-Fi Hotspot, there is not a beam of radio wave which will connect your device to the router. Instead, the router and your device will blast the signals in every direction while trying to reach out to the nearest Router Antenna for the Internet.
I imagine that this happens most of the time of course since I believe you are reading this post first time right now. Even in the event that a few packets don’t find their way, TCP has you covered. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is an internet protocol that ensures each end of the connection receives all the packets sent to it. If a packet does not arrive, it will not stop and keep sending it in the hope to receive one eventually.
So, how this is related to Virtual Private Network (VPN)? Well, as told you above when the signals are sent in every direction, a hacker can hack into your system, with not much expensive tools and receive all the packets sent by your router without you or your router noticing. In general terms, password-protected Wi-Fi utilizes encryption that ensures that when a hacker tries to get those packets, he actually gets a jumbled and useless data which he cannot reassemble. However, public Wi-Fis are often not password protected, so obviously no encryption and it becomes easier for the hacker to hack into your system.
Although modern VPNs come up with their own encryption techniques to protect user’s identity and usage of internet. Not only does a VPN provide its own encryption, which prevents the hackers from going into your system and knowing what you’re doing online, they usually contain layers of defense to protect the users. Many different VPNS ensure that when the data is sent, it is received without being tempered with. Even if someone trying to inject the unwanted or corrupt data into a packet, a VPN will detect it and will protect you from it.
Suppose if there is a hacker sitting outside of your home or your office and receiving data packets from your network, he/she cannot do anything with it.
I assume that your Wi-Fi is password protected. Even if you are not entirely sure about the Security benefits of Password, having a password restricts people and hackers from using your bandwidth. In simple terms there are unable to use your data. Even if you have an unlimited internet package, you still would not want the hackers or any other outsider to use your internet which will also slow down things for you at home or in office. Setting a password on your router has now been made very easy, and you can setup a new password or reset a previous password in no time.
Since you most likely have a password set up for your Wi-Fi network, you’re getting the protection the encryption offers. Even if a hacker is collecting every single packet that your device is sending, he cannot do anything with it because it is encrypted. The condition is that hacker just don’t guess your password, so for that you should keep a more secured password for your device. (For example: [email protected]#@!year).
One reason for using a VP is that sometimes people do not trust their Internet Service Provider (ISP). Maybe because they believe either the ISP is using the data somewhere else, maybe spying on you and selling your data or maybe blocking some websites so that they can earn more money to provide the users access to those links. Do you think using a VPN will solve all the problems?
Maybe not. Remember, a VPN only tunnel your traffic securely to a server, but after that there is no extra layer of encryption to protect you. Basically, using a VPN pushes the risk down the line from your home ISP to the VPN provider’s ISP.
Whether that situation will put you in a better or worse situation, all depends on your VPN provider. Paid VPNs are most likely secured and trust worthy, since they are already earning from you by paying them the fee for their services. However, VPN providers who provide free services usually rely on selling user data to companies to earn for the expenses.
There is a possibility that your existing VPN provider is honest and earning through other means. Even if you trust your VPN provider, there are still other aspects to consider.
As you know that a VPN adds an extra layer of encryption to your internet, that means the ratio of latency will go up and you will have to face some slow speed issues as well. But this is an acceptable tradeoff, when you are trying to use a public or an untrusted Wi-Fi. But when you are at home and using a VPN, the trade-off doesn’t make much sense. If the VPN server is far from home, then the latency will be higher. So farther it goes, higher the latency rate gets. If you’re lucky enough to have a VPN server close to your house, then you will feel less of the impact.
We would like to give an advice to all the users. If you are at home, using a strong Wi-Fi Password and HTTPS if that’s available, using a VPN will not do any extra protection since you are already secured enough. Wi-Fi encryption will restrict any nearby hacker from seeing what you’re doing and HTTPS will protect you up to the web server itself.