How Secure Is a VPN [Find Out How VPNs Can Protect You]


Browsing multiple sites and surfing the internet can be very risky—you might not know who is eavesdropping or monitoring your activity. A reliable and secure virtual private network (VPN) can help you take a step towards safe browsing and internet usage. But how secure is a VPN? Why should you use one? How does it protect you? This article addresses these questions (and doubts) surrounding the use of VPNs.

Why Should You Use a VPN?

A VPN (or a remote access Virtual Private Network) is a virtual network that allows internet users to secure themselves by helping to create a private session for web browsing. It’s an essential tool used to facilitate online privacy. In addition, it prevents your internet service provider (ISP) from monitoring your online browsing activity.

Does a VPN protect you from hackers? A VPN provides a safe mode for accessing the internet (private browsing) and enhances the level of data security and privacy, protecting your system from hackers and other cyber threats. The number of VPN users grows each day. Many people choose to use a VPN for five reasons:

Security and Safety 

Security and safety are the primary reasons behind the increased usage of VPN. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and the host website, which provides online security and allows for the safe transfer of data. So regardless of whether you’re browsing for work or entertainment, VPN security offers end-to-end encryption.


Next to safety, anonymity is another sought-after feature. So how does a VPN protect me and my identity? Using a VPN, you can browse the internet from a different server location, which ensures that your location (as well as your identity) remains masked—you are rendered anonymous to the host site. This feature of a VPN is extremely useful in protecting users from cyber attacks and malicious websites.

Regional Restrictions

Another beneficial use of VPN is its ability to circumvent regional restrictions. For example, you can easily connect to a VPN server in another country, which switches your IP address to that of the new country, which raises a question: will a VPN protect me? Yes, you remain wholly safeguarded when there is a switch in the connection between different countries, which allows you to access everything that may be blocked in your country, such as media entertainment sources, which could be geo-restricted. A VPN, however, permits you to go beyond such restrictions. So, for example, a UK-based user can switch to a US server and easily access Netflix US.

Saving Money

Can a secure VPN help you save money? How secure are VPNs in this regard? And how do I save money? VPNs are very safe when it comes to money transactions. And by switching to a different server, you can get access to better prices while shopping online.

You can even save while traveling by checking and booking flights from different VPN servers because—regardless of the arrival/departure destination—flights show different booking rates from separate locations.

Public Wi-Fi

It’s quite challenging to avoid using public Wi-Fi, especially when you don’t have easy access to a private connection. And security becomes an issue in such cases. A VPN protects users from prying eyes and external attacks. And you can also use it to access blocked websites.

How Does a VPN Protect You?

A VPN allows users to communicate and surf over an unsecured and unencrypted network with essential privacy and safety by establishing an encrypted and secure connection. It routes data from different servers and scrambles it to ensure that it’s unreadable by unwanted parties.

In other words, a VPN encrypts data so that an external party, such as a hacker, cannot tell what you’re doing online. In addition, it creates tunnels to facilitate secure communication and ensure that your transmissions are not viewable by anyone else.

A VPN works by hiding your IP address. It routes your address through different servers operated by the given VPN host and grants online security and anonymity. So how does a VPN protect me? We have noted four safety mechanisms and features that form a part of a VPN solution.

Encryption of IP address

Primarily, a VPN hides your IP address (and ISP) from meddling third parties. You can communicate, browse, send, and receive information without any fear of leaks.

Kill Switch

Consider a situation where your VPN connection is suddenly lost or interrupted, which can leave you exposed to external threats. This feature of VPN kicks in and terminates all the preselected programs for you.

Encryption of Protocols

A VPN also ensures that you don’t leave tracks everywhere with internet cookies or in your search history, which provides online security and anonymity, and protects you from a data breach.

Multi-Factor Authentication

This authentication enhances the level of VPN security by asking users to prove their identity in multiple ways before signing in to any program.

Note: If you want to watch stuff online, check out trustworthy VPNs for streaming.

How Secure Is VPN?

VPNs do an excellent job of protecting you from curious eyes if they come equipped with the aforementioned features. But how VPN protects you depends significantly on your VPN service provider’s level of security and trust.

Privacy is an essential aspect of VPN security issues. Many service providers keep as few logs of user data as possible. As such, they don’t track or monitor your traffic and grant their users the highest level of privacy and security.

How secure is a VPN? The level of security and encryption depends on the VPN’s security protocol. Depending on the protocol you choose to use, you are provided with different levels of security. Your choice of protocol depends on which factor you prefer: speed or security. Consider six popular protocols available today:


This protocol is open source and free to use. It has also been described as one of the most secure options available on the market and has minimum to no VPN security risks. Two basic transport protocols are utilized with OpenVPN: Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP).

The TCP offers a reliable connection, but the UDP provides a faster connection. Together, the two are a strong combination. OpenVPN uses the OpenSSL library for encryption and other custom security protocols that provide up to 256-bit encryption. OpenVPN is also exceptionally adaptable and can be used on any platform.


WireGuard addresses several VPN security risks and provides faster connections with fewer problems. It’s also a free VPN and open-source protocol, which doesn’t differ too much from OpenVPN in terms of security.

WireGuard can, however, provide higher speeds due to its slim code and connection process. This slim code is also beneficial for online security purposes, as it ensures that there is less attack surface area for a data breach.

Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol (L2TP)

This protocol facilitates data transfer from one network to another, but it’s a tunneling protocol only. As a result, it does not provide encryption services on its own. Instead, it has to be paired with another encryption protocol.

The L2TP uses control packets and data packets to establish a connection, open a tunnel, and send packets using the UDP datagram. These packets, however, are not encrypted but are only encapsulated. Therefore, it would be best if you paired L2TP with IPsec to have complete VPN protection.

Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol

Developed by Microsoft for Windows Vista, this protocol can be used in Linux as well. It makes use of the SSL/TLS channel to allow traffic to pass. As a result, it can easily navigate across most firewalls, but it’s also more likely to undergo a TCP meltdown, making VPN not secure.

Under such circumstances, the performance of the TCP connection is markedly affected. While it’s easy to fix this issue in other protocols, in the case of SSTP, it’s complicated and often unavoidable.

Internet Key Exchange Version 2 (IKEv2)

In absolute technical terms, the Internet Key Exchange Version 2 is not exactly a VPN protocol. But it is used to set up the security associated with the IPSec Suite.

This protocol matches the L2TP and SSTP in terms of establishing a private network and providing security. In addition to answering the question: Is VPN secure? Let us look at its speed. The IKEv2 is one of the fastest VPN protocols and is very efficient at reconnecting if the connection is lost.

Point-To-Point Tunneling Protocol

If you’re concerned about security, this is not the protocol you should choose to establish your connection. This protocol does not specify encryption; it’s primarily used to access a company’s internal network externally.

Are Paid VPNs More Secure Than Free VPNs?

Paid VPNs are often found to be more reliable and secure compared to free ones. But how secure is my VPN? The free VPN software will never be as effective and efficient as a paid one. In addition, it can even compromise your security in many cases.

Five Drawbacks of Free VPNs:

  1. In certain instances, free VPN tools have been found to contain malware used to steal sensitive personal information and gain unauthorized access to connection logs and user data.
  2. Free VPN tools have also been used for tracking activity. Unfortunately, instead of serving their prime directive of protecting user privacy and ensuring anonymity, these free VPN tools have been used to monitor and track user activity. They may even sell user data without authorization.
  3. You may use your VPN to get access to data that is restricted in your region. But in such cases, a free VPN tool will highly limit your data usage. It limits the amount of data you can use and the duration of a browsing session, proving to be highly inconvenient.
  4. Free VPN tools have also been known to slow and interrupt internet speed.
  5. Excessive advertisements are another major drawback of free VPN providers, with ads slowing down internet connectivity. In addition, the chances that they contain malware are also high—ads pose a significant privacy concern.

Paid VPNs provide complete and premium protection to users. So what perks do paid VPNs offer?

Five Advantages of Paid VPNs:

  1. Paid VPNs offer genuine protection and online security. They don’t track or monitor your online activity, so you remain anonymous.
  2. These VPNs come equipped with the highest level of network security. They provide end-to-end 256-bit encryption and follow the best available tunneling protocols, thus minimizing VPN security issues. They also come with efficient kill switches for sudden disconnection or interruptions.
  3. Unlike free VPNs, paid tools do not impose severe restrictions on bandwidth and network speed limits.
  4. Paid VPNs also provide increased access to many more server locations, spanning the globe and giving easy access to more restricted content.
  5. Additionally, paid services are also known for their efficient customer service, diligently responding to customer needs and demands. Also, they offer many features and services that have proven to be worth the extra cost.

Can You Be Tracked With a VPN?

Under normal circumstances, a VPN hides your IP address and location. A poorly configured VPN, however, can leave you open to being tracked. There are also some cases where VPNs may accidentally expose your IP address data if there are Domain Name System (DNS) leaks. In addition to DNS leaks, users can be tracked online via malware, IP addresses, cookies, and digital fingerprinting.

The use of free VPNs also increases the chances of your IP address being tracked. Free VPN service providers, in some instances, have been known to track and monitor user traffic. And if your VPN gets disconnected or interrupted for any reason, your real IP is exposed and can be tracked.

Is VPN secure? You can reduce the chances of being tracked and help enhance your security and alleviate privacy concerns by following the steps below:

  • Subscribe to a paid VPN service: Choose the right service provider and access the paid plans to ensure that you remain protected and secure.
  • Multihop: This feature involves the use of two VPN servers at the same time.
  • Obfuscation: This is also an effective method to hide the VPN traffic of a user.
  • Effective kill switch: This helps ensure privacy and online security in the event of a disconnection.

Check out: Best VPN for torrenting

Can a VPN Be Hacked?

Does a VPN protect you from hackers? Can a VPN be hacked? A VPN continues to be one of the most effective methods of ensuring online privacy. But nothing in the world is full proof—a VPN can be hacked. A hacker can break the encryption of the VPN by exploiting its vulnerabilities or stealing its key using unfair and unethical means.

A hacker can access your IP data, connection logs, traffic data, and ‘secured’ information. Most paid VPNs claim that they have the most rigid firewalls and encryption, but there’s no guarantee that hackers will not prevail.


How secure are VPNs? A VPN secures your internet connection and protects your online activity from ISPs and unwanted outsiders. In addition, they facilitate anonymity, online security, privacy, access geo-restricted content, and save money. As a result, the utilization of VPN systems for protection and security purposes has substantially increased. Paid VPN services, however, are much better than the freely available ones.


Can VPNs be hacked?

In line with similar tools, a VPN is also susceptible to hackers in some instances. Even the most popular VPN options are vulnerable if not used properly. But the benefits of installing a VPN are tremendous, with the chances of a hack next to nil.

Does a VPN protect you from hackers?

Yes. Its primary objective is to provide you with a high level of online security. A VPN creates a tunnel and encrypts the transmission to prevent hackers, snoopers, and even your ISP from accessing your information.

What are the security risks of a VPN?

How secure is a VPN? There may be minimal security risks, such as data leaks, shady and vague privacy policies, poorly configured encryption, malware infections, and fewer security features. But the key to avoiding all the above is to choose a reliable, paid VPN service provider.

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