Are VPNs the Solution to Online Privacy?

Following the recent Congressional decision to kill the Federal Communication Commission, many people are wondering what this means for their online privacy. This law would have stopped service providers such as Comcast from selling your personal browser data to the highest bidder. With the increase in sensitivity over online privacy, many wonder what they can do to protect their online data now that Congress has elected not to.This is where VPNs come into the picture. A VPN or Virtual Private Network allows for a user to connect to the internet via a secured private network that will encrypt your internet activity and hide it from your internet service provider. These VPNs also provide protection from hackers while using a public WiFi network.

While this may seem like the perfect solution, it does not come without a few catches. First, VPNs require a monthly subscription and since it does not replace your service provider it becomes an added cost. Secondly, this type of technology requires a large amount of processing power so VPNs usually lead to slower loading times while browsing the internet.

The final issue and the most important one to consider if you wish to use a VPN is that you are giving the VPN the same access to your data that Comcast or another service provider would have. This means that they could just as easily sell your data if they so desire. While VPNs seem to be a good solution for those with a high level of concern for their personal internet data, they do not come without issue. It is important that any presumable user of one does ample research on the different providers so that they can ensure that they are using a reputable VPN.

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