Lies promoted by the VPN companies
TLDR: VPNs only provide feel-good security, not real security and have serious downsides. Think about what you want to protect yourself against before using them and consider safer options such as Tor
depending on your threats.
A couple of months back I started to see the first ads by vpn companies that tried to sell their services. That was mainly on Youtube where some channels started to promote them. It's pretty obvious that those claims should come with a big warning sign that VPNs may also decrease your security a lot, depending on your circumstances.
During the weekend I got fed up with all of those claims and decided to write a short blog post about that topic.
Yesterday Tom Scott
released a video
that does pretty much exactly what I was writing.
I suggest you watch that video and then carefully consider again wether a VPN really enhances your security.
There are very valid reasons to use a VPN, especially if you live in a country that does have trouble with basic human rights and VPNs solve the issue that people can be spied and censored upon by their own country and trade it against being spied and censored upon by the VPN company. That's probably a good tradeoff. But there are still a lot of better options than a simple VPN. Have a look at what Edward Snowden did. He used Tor
together with the secure operating system Tails
If you live in a country where ISPs would have to expect heavy fines for spying upon their users and you do not have to worry about censorship or other repressions, then that same deal is probably a very bad tradeoff. Without VPN you'd obfuscate your identity every now and then when switching from one wifi to another at home, at work, on the train or at the coffee shop. By using a VPN you literarily attach an identifier to all your traffic, so the VPN provider knows that you have paid them. You just made yourself easily trackable by using a VPN.