Are VPNs worthwhile?

Wondering if anyone here uses a VPN for at-home browsing?

I generally consider myself to be pretty secure online but have been wondering recently if I should invest in something like Nord VPN in order to add an extra layer of privacy, but also am aware it might be overkill…

I think only you can answer that. Do you think it would be overkill for your own needs? Is it just privacy you are concerned about?

I think this video is actually very good on this very topic.


In my opinion, this is going to depend on your ISP. How you feel about them, their privacy policy, their traffic management policy, and their censorship policy.

I personally don’t believe there is a privacy benefit to using one at home. A VPN would just be a transference of trust from your ISP to a third party. If that’s your worry, I’d look towards switching ISP.

Some ISPs censor the internet, a vpn can help you bypass that, but some ISPs don’t censor the internet, so you could still just switch ISP. With that said they UK ISPs are bound to U.K. jurisdiction, so a VPN outside of U.K. jurisdiction could have its benefits.

If your ISP is throttling you in some circumstances, a VPN may be able to get bypass that, as they’re often granted higher priority within networks. Again, switching to an ISP that doesn’t do that will solve the issue too.

For greater anonymity when you need it at home, use TOR. But do not trust TOR for activities where you need privacy.

TL;DR if you feel like you need a VPN to use at home, consider switching to a better ISP instead.

Now, if your intentions are on the more illegitimate side of things, such as torrenting illegally, or fooling media services in regards to your location, then yes, a VPN may help you achieve your goals.

Depends what you want to achieve :slight_smile:

I’ve got a Wireguard VPN setup so I can tunnel from my phone / device to my home network if I’m out of the house :link: Saves me forwarding a whole bunch of ports unnecessarily for tasks like managing my NAS or turning on a TeamSpeak server if Discord’s being flaky :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

But then on my main PC I do run PIA (Private Internet Access) - I got a decent deal on it a few years ago and just keep renewing it (on like the 20th of December :joy::sob: thankfully I’ve got it setup as a recurring subscription in Monzo so it doesn’t take me by surprise anymore :grin:

I use this if I can’t access a site particularly quickly, sometimes downloading APKs or firmwares from APK mirror, SorceForge, etc. just behave better from other locations :raised_hands:

Likewise, it’s fantastic for game downloads, when Activision push our CoD Warzone updates, I always find they crawl along at several hundred KB/s when I’m in “Europe” but if I VPN over to New York I can get 10+ MB/s with ease! :zap:

If I’m on a public WiFi network (rarely, especially nowadays!) I’ll try to remember to use PIA on my phone but I keep it around as a nice to have and that’s about it :slight_smile:

I know lots of folks love VPNs for torrenting things, VPN’ing to the USA to take advantage of better Netflix, etc. but those are the kind of things which come with their own risks (like providers blacklisting known IP addresses of VPN endpoints :grimacing:, etc.)

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This is essentially what I do when I’m away from home and connected to an unfamiliar network. Keeps my connection private. On that note…

Why wouldn’t you just use your own Wireguard tunnel into your home network?

That’s an interesting use case that I overlooked and seems to be happening with recent Fortnite updates on Xbox. Any other game will max out my available downlink if nothing else is utilising it, but then Fortnite slows to a few Kbps. I’ll have to try my VPN to see if that’s also a regional server issue if it happens when the next update drops.

Opera browser has VPN built in, handy if you wish to access sites your ISP may be blocking.

The way that I’ve got my Wireguard VPN setup is not as a tunnel - so all of my traffic isn’t routed over the VPN connection, it’s just access to my LAN remotely so there’s no speed penalty (only have a 10mbps upload :see_no_evil:)

PIA is much much speedier and lower latency :grin:

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I routinely use a VPN. I originally subscribed ahead of a trip to China, during which I wanted to use Facebook while connected to hotel wifi. However, I’ve since found many uses that justify the cost.

One of these is watching F1 live for free on Swiss TV (I grew up in French, so no language barriers), and another watching the BBC while I’m away. I clearly shouldn’t need to do the latter, but until the BBC can develop an app that licence payers can use anywhere in the world, it will continue to help.

I use VPN both for work and for personal purpose. I’m sure that this is a good way to keep my data save. Also sometimes I need access to the sites that are blocked in my country. Speaking about the choice, there are many good VPN services. I tried several of them. From my own experience I can say that it is better not to use free services. Btw, if someone can’t make a choice, it is possible to read reviews on VPN sites.

A quick note on VPN review sites is that they are often extremely biased towards whoever pays the most commission via affiliation links.

A few resources I would suggest for researching VPNs:


Considering most of the VPN’s are free after cashback, Nord was 112% a while ago which I use.

Zenmate is 132% with top cashback at the moment.

Personally I only use Nord as it is out of the 5 eyes countries and based in Panama, however I have a few backup VPN providers as well which are all free after cashback.