Internet browsing has reached an all-time high especially with how digital spaces have evolved in recent years. Aside from social media sites which we use to keep in touch with our loved ones and stay up-to-date with news and trends, the internet has also made doing everyday tasks more convenient -- from managing finances, ordering food to online shopping. However, as the internet continues to grow, along comes several risks.

Reports from media outlets suggest that Data Privacy will be the biggest issue in the next decade. This is something that everyone should be careful with given that almost every website requires us to provide personal information such as our name, email address, even birth date. The majority of websites also have cookies which is a way to know if a guest has visited the website prior and also gathers information about each guest's visit. Considering the number of websites we visit every day, who knows how much information these have already stored about us.

As threats to online privacy continue to grow, there have been various solutions developed to address the issue. One of these is VPN or Virtual Private Network. You may have tried to search for the best Netflix VPN, but here's another important question that you need to raise -- is VPN safe? 

Let's discuss some of the important facts that you should know about this online solution to see if VPN is worth it.

1. Hides Your IP Address

NordVPN A safe and secure browsing experience. Photo: NordVPN.com

Every device used to surf the internet has a unique Internet Protocol or IP address that distinguishes it from other visitors. Think of it as your online address that identifies where the connection or browsing request is coming from. For data privacy purposes, you may hide your IP address to avoid your online activity from being tracked by companies. A VPN can do this by creating a virtual private network before connecting to any website. The VPN acts as a middleman that hides your real address and prevents your data from getting accessed.

2. No Data Collection

One of the most important aspects of VPN is that it does not collect nor share any type of information while you're using it. No one can track your login credentials, browsing history, even which files you have downloaded. It gives you anonymity as you browse online, even from the VPN provider. Browse all you want without fear of getting tracked or your data getting leaked. Think of it as a safe and secured private online room. 

3. VPN Is Self-Executing

SurfShark One Secure all your devices. Photo: SurfShark.com

One of the biggest concerns about VPN is what if your connection suddenly drops? Does this mean that you'll get exposed to data threats online? Not exactly. Some VPNs like Surfshark and NordVPN have an automatic kill-switch function that exits you from the pages you're browsing. It may exit you from programs or websites but at least there is no risk of getting your data leaked. You can reload your websites without using a VPN, but for security purposes, VPN enables you to enjoy safe and secure browsing.

4. Multi-factor Authentication

Another layer of security that VPN provides is that it assures only authorized users are the ones who can gain access to their browsing. Some VPNs require users to prove their identities through username and password or SMS authentication. This makes it harder for any third party or hacker to try and gain access to your secure browsing network.

5. Access to Location-limited Browsing

NordVPN Features NordVPN gives you all-around browsing protection. Photo: NordVPN.com

When it comes to Netflix and Hulu users, one of the frequent struggles is getting access to titles that are available only to particular countries/regions. Limited access is disappointing especially when you want to watch a movie or show but it's not available in your region. VPN has a solution for this. NordVPN has more than 5,100 servers across 60 counties while Surfshark has 3,200 around the globe. With a VPN, you can enjoy unlimited access to all streaming content.

6. Easy To Install

For a tool that has special functions, you'll be surprised by how easy it is to set up a VPN connection. Just download a VPN software and install it in your device. If you're using a VPN web extension, you may not even need to download the software as it directly attaches to your browser. Once done, simply activate it and you're instantly protected. 

7. Avoid Using Free VPN

SurfShark Pricing A 24-month plan starts at $2.49 per month. Photo: Surfshark.com

You may be tempted to use Free VPN, but it does not offer the same protection as premium or subscription-based VPN. Studies from the ICSI Networking and Security Group points out that 38% of the 283 Android VPNs contained in the study had a form of malware. The same research also found that 78% of these VPNs have 3rd party trackers. If you want to protect your data, you don't need to risk it. NordVPN's rates start at $3.30/per month for a 2-year plan while rates for  Surfshark start at $2.49/per month for a 24-month plan. It's very affordable given the many benefits.