Is it necessary for online safety ?
Necessary, no. Beneficial, yes
Depends on your use case, if you like using public WiFi for anything more than a Google for the best coffee nearby then you’ll probably be fine
However if you want to remain completely protected against nefarious folks then piping all of your traffic over a VPN will achieve that goal
Depending on your VPN provider it might be noticeably slower! (Although that’s no excuse for unprotected online clicking)
You’re right. My sync speed is 74mb
on my PC i get a mere 10mb with the VPN
on my Firestick i get an acceptable 35mb with the VPN
From what i’ve heard it depends on the processing power
Just being a bit conscious about my privacy and digital footprint- I’ve gone on a bit of a privacy binge lately purging some apps/accounts, getting rid of facebook, installing duckduckgo, using Telegram instead of WhatsApp now among other things. Would say that a VPN is pretty instrumental in that extra layer of protection. However, as @nexusmaniac says
Necessary, no. Beneficial, yes
Not really, so long as you’re using trusted internet connections like your’s or a friend’s domestic wifi with WPA2 enabled and a not the default password. But I’d definitely recommend it for public wifi. Personally I use a VPN which cost around £50 a year as I travel a lot, and some hotel wifi block streaming sites like Netflix, and erm sites that a single gentleman may wish to visit… I consider it value for money as it has never slowed down a public internet connection I’ve used, and has even let me view iPlayer from outside the UK.
Depending on where/who the other end of the VPN is.
That’s odd that the Firestick get’s better speed, normally they cry if you try to run anything in the background, and their wifi capability leaves a bit to be desired
If you’re wanting to use the VPN for all your devices though I’d recommend implementing it at the router if yours has the ability. Or look into one of the cheaper routers that is OpenWRT compatible (if you’re a proper nerd like me you can build your own router with a raspberry pi). You can also play around with settings and VPN providers and probably get as much as 85-90% of that 76Mbps out the other side.
My VPN provider states they recommend the VPN on the 2nd gen, not the 1st.
But yeah it runs smoothly and quickly, no glitching or anything.
Ah that might be it! I’ve only had experience with the 1st, and it was great as playing Amazon Prime stuff, but abysmal at anything else. I’ll have to pick up a 2nd gen next time they’re on sale and have a play.
Yep i have two.
One for the usual going price of £40 and then another from the black friday sales for £25 ( incase i need it in future lol )
Can’t fault it, so quick and easy to use
Have you installed Kodi on yours? I tried it on my old one, and it sort of worked, but if the content was the wrong format it was awful at decoding it and buffered even connected to a local NAS on a gigabit pipe.
Never tried Kodi but i’ve used the legit streaming apps and the work fine.
Fair enough. Tbh with amazon having their own app store I can’t fault the compatibility of the streaming apps on there. But I have a server full of my DVDs and BluRays ripped to digital format I want to watch. Currently I’m using a Chromecast and casting from Plex on my phone. It works, but it’s not quite as sleek as having the remote from the firestick, and nobody else in my house knows what they’re doing so can’t manage it without me there.
No, with a few exceptions.
A VPN will depend on exactly what you think you need one for.
Most people don’t necessarily need one. If you need to bypass geofencing, they can be useful.
A VPN can help hide traffic in transit, e.g. the networks your traffic goes through wont see what the traffic is from. Since most traffic is encrypted already these days, this is really hiding the destination/origin or the remote traffic from the networks it goes over. Some people need this, most don’t. The most useful usage for every day people is for use on public networks, public wifi, hotels, etc.
it does not really do anything to hide you from the servers you are contacting, they can still see the information you send (obviously) and profile you etc.
Mullvad.net is a good one for anyone looking for a VPN. No log policy paired with security audits and its ran in Sweden (better jurisdiction compared to USA/UK). It’s also kept running by privacy nuts that would rather shut the service down than throw their users under the bus (in the case that Sweden changed laws to require malware)
You don’t need one.
Most traffic nowadays uses HTTPS (or something similar based on TLS) so even public Wi-Fi is safe.
VPN providers obviously capitalise on the fears regarding privacy but a VPN won’t actually save you from anything (Facebook can still track you for example). There are only very narrow use-cases for VPNs that don’t often apply to the general public. And even if you are in one of those cases, trusting a random VPN provider from abroad isn’t the best idea either (you’re just shifting the risk from your current network which you deem untrustworthy to the VPN provider, but is the provider really more trustworthy?)
If you’re concerned about privacy a good ad blocker (including on your mobile) will do much more than a VPN ever will. The best advice for privacy is to simply not use shitty services whose business model is to violate your privacy. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Insta or WhatsApp, no random ad-supported apps, etc.
This isn’t very easy considering all my fellow gamers are over on Twitter though my friends won’t move away from Facebook messenger either.
This is easy if you dont have facebook. Your actual friends will message you anyway.
In this case either accept the risk (it’s a tradeoff - you pay for the service with your privacy) or take steps to isolate the “malware” by using a different device on a network separate from your other online activities (otherwise Facebook will still track you).
But this is a perfect example of where a VPN will do absolutely nothing; Facebook will still see that you suddenly logged in from the VPN’s IP and associate that with your account; and since all your other traffic also goes through the VPN they will still be able to figure it out (they can tell the difference between you and the other VPN users using heuristics like which sites you visit frequently or other stuff like cookies).