Is a virtual private network enough to keep malware and viruses at bay?
There has been a lot of talk about virtual private networks lately. Certain countries are adopting a policy of censoring the internet, and all this talk about Net Neutrality in the United States have made everyone look for a solution. It has become clear that you need a way to avoid this censorship to enjoy what the internet has. Otherwise, it will be pointless to continue using it if there are only specific features available.
While these private networks are great at keeping things private, individuals have been asking plenty of other questions. Some of them include the likes of “does a VPN protect you from viruses?”, “can I avoid mobile data usage or limits if I use a VPN?” and so forth.
As far as the mobile data goes, there have been plenty of different suggestions. Unfortunately, the ultimate conclusion is that you will not have a lot of luck if you are trying to get over a cap. But what about viruses?
One would think that a virtual private network is a great way to keep malware at bay, right? Well, in all honesty, you should rather look for a reliable anti-virus software instead of trusting everything to a VPN. The main purpose of the network is to encrypt protocols which secure your personal information, making it inaccessible to hackers. Combine it with an anti-virus program, and you are ready to go.
Does a VPN protect you from viruses indirectly then?
You could make a case for this question. Those that have a reliable VPN provider will likely discourage people who are looking to infect your computer with malware and viruses. Breaking through all the security of a VPN will simply be too much of a hassle for these people. They will likely look for easier targets. It should be obvious that combining VPNs and an anti-virus software will prevent most, if not all the bad guys from trying to access your information. However, do not attempt to use a free VPN. Those will not be sufficient.
What are other advantages of a VPN?
Now that we have determined that virtual private networks are not there to keep you safe from viruses and malware let us take a quick look at what other benefits they have to offer. Besides the already mentioned data encryption, it allows users to surf using a public Wi-Fi safely. Hotspots that provide free internet access tend to be prone to exploits. Individuals who know their way around public networks can turn this to their advantage and get private information of everyone who connects.
A VPN also allows you to hide IP address and location. Overcoming a firewall in countries like China or Qatar will not be a big issue.
Finally, your internet provider will not see your history, and it will be like you are not using the internet at all.
What is the bottom line?
Since we can now answer a question “does a VPN protect you from viruses?” it should be clear what the right course of action is. Combining a virtual private network and decent software that blocks potential threats from viruses and malware are what we recommend.