For the ultimate in online privacy and security, many people invest in a dedicated VPN. But is it really necessary? What are the advantages of using a dedicated VPN over a shared VPN?
That’s the question this article aims to answer. It’s time to break down what a VPN really is, how a dedicated VPN is different, and why you might want to choose one over the other? By the time you’re finished reading this, you will have all the facts to make an informed decision.
What Is A VPN?
There are two main parts to a VPN. A client and a server. The client is software on your computer configured to talk to the server. The server is a computer that can be anywhere on earth configured to receive traffic from the client. The two establish an encrypted tunnel between one another. If anyone tries to intercept this tunnel it closes and a new path is made.
Why Do People Use VPNs?
There are a number of reasons. The main one is to watch content that’s unavailable in their region. Another is for the military grade encryption that keeps you safe on public WiFi. It’s also common practice for cheaper ISPs, in some countries, to throttle heavy internet users. Some people just want the peace of mind when torrenting to know that they won’t receive any cease and desist notices in the mail.
How A VPN Hides What You Are Doing Online?
Think of a VPN as a mail forwarder. The client collects all the outgoing mail and wraps it in an encrypted envelope. All the ISP can see is that they are routing your traffic to a remote server. They are unable to look inside of the encrypted envelope. Once the traffic arrives at the VPN server it’s decrypted and rerouted to its intended destination. All the final destination knows is that the traffic originated at the VPN server. If you’re interested, why not try a trial or download Surfshark.
What’s A Dedicated VPN?
When you subscribe to a VPN provider you typically share the server you connect to with other clients, and each VPN server only has one IP address. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but there are a few tradeoffs.
What Are The Advantages of A Dedicated VPN?
There are lists of known IP addresses that belong to VPNs. These IP addresses are blocked by some banks, and other services where identification is mission critical. If all you want to do is stream US Netflix then it’s not that important, because they don’t care if you use a VPN or not.
Another advantage is you won’t be asked to prove you’re human as often or enter 2-FA email codes every time you want to log into an account. If you are working online and living overseas this is immensely useful. Some company services can be restricted so that only specific IP addresses can access them. If you’re using something like this, you really need to get a static IP address.
What Are The Disadvantages Of A Dedicated VPN?
A static IP address is advantageous but there are some drawbacks.
The most obvious one is that they tend to cost more. You don’t need to scratch your head for too long to work out why. It’s a matter of resources, when an entire server is allocated to one person it’s more expensive to provide that service.
A case could be made that a dedicated IP address isn’t as private. When you’re the only person using that address then it’s more clearly linked to you, and it’s possible that you can be identified. If this is a concern, you can always change to a different dedicated IP address every once in a while.
Dedicated VPNs are essential for business purposes and if you are accessing services like your online banking from abroad. For most people who just want to stream content online, expand their Netflix catalog and hide their browsing history from their ISP, there’s no real reason to spend the extra money for a dedicated IP.