Though there is a lot of buzz about the need for a good, reliable VPN service and its accompanying advantages, it pays to know that there are also a few common pitfalls that one needs to be wary of. Any technology will always have advantages as well as some disadvantages and understanding these limitations will only help you to put the technology in a position where it can function effectively rather than abusing its functions beyond what was originally designed.
In the case of VPN service providers and the service itself, here are some of the limitations, areas to watch out for, and potential hiccups of using VPN that one has to be aware of right at the outset before you even sign up to a specific service:
- Despite the effort of VPN providers to make VPN as simple as possible, the system still requires an intrinsic understanding of public network security issues, installation and configuration requirements, device compatibility, and technical information on data security, anonymity, and tunneling procedures in order to make an informed decision on which provider is best. Without this information, it is not hard to imagine how people end up second-guessing which brand is better simply from the ads they see on the web or from equally uninformed reviews by other clients who also have limited knowledge of VPN.
- Regardless of how good your chosen VPN provider is, it does not completely hold the fate to your data security. A big fraction of the service reliability and performance of a VPN provider is dependent on your ISP. You need to make sure that your ISP supports the protocols that you need to run via your VPN provider. Without doing this, you are essentially paying for a service that adds no value to you because you will not be able to run your preferred VPN protocols.
- Technical glitches generally occur when you try to match VPN solutions of different vendors resulting in poor quality of performance. Therefore, it is a bad idea to try to apply VPN solutions from across multiple brands. Simply put, when you are using IAPS, you should work within the framework of IAPS systems. When you try to apply best practices from Hidemyass to IAPS networks, it will only result to technical difficulties that will worsen your VPN’s performance.
- VPN links do not offer end-to-end throughput guarantees sometimes resulting in packet loss. At times, packets are delivered in an out-of-order, fragmented manner. Watch out for this pitfall because it is the most common reason for bad data transfer results. If the recipient is getting fragmented data, your VPN is most likely to blame.
- The VPN server first links to a POP on the public network system before connecting to a remote server to form a private tunnel. When it first makes the connection to a POP, sometimes unsolicited data enters the tunnel exposing your data to attacks. A quick remedy is to close all your web browser tabs while loading the VPN connection. Do not launch any sensitive application or send confidential data unless you are sure that the tunnel is secure.
- Bandwidth transmission is difficult to guarantee specially in case of inbound traffic. Even if you signed up for unlimited bandwidth services, it is not inconceivable to think that you are getting less than “unlimited” service because of incoming traffic limitations.
- Use of VPN increases reconnection time for dial-in users. In case of L2TP VPN protocols, the user has to go through two authentication process; one at the POP level and the other at server gateway level. This is important for security but delays your connection time. Again, the solution is to not launch any application unless you are sure that the authentication process is completed and that the tunnel is secure.
- Due to the complexity of setting up a VPN tunnel and the accompanying network issues, there can be some problematic issues pertaining to data security. In many cases, VPN providers put the blame on the ISP. To avoid this, check back with your ISP for compatibility before deciding to purchase a specific package from a provider.
- A long list of connectivity problems can arise with VPN. At the most basic level, overhead will increase for dial-in users. The process of encrypting data will also affect and slow down the performance of your system. Authentication latencies, poor PPP and IP compression performance and modem compressibility are other areas that might cause your network to stall. With VPN, expect to see a drop-off in how well your network is performing because the extra steps almost always slow down data transmission.
- Multimedia applications like video conferencing sometimes do not perform efficiently.
- In a VPN network two-way calling capability is not possible. The recipient has to also be connected to the same VPN service for two-way calls to work.
Taking all of these into consideration, the advantages of using a VPN services still significantly outweigh the cited limitations and pain points. A good paid VPN like IAPS, Hidemyass, PureVPN, or ExpressVPN will help you limit the problems not to mention provide round-the-clock customer support to assist you in troubleshooting connectivity problems. These are the brands to trust if you want to effectively juggle the benefits and sensitive areas for VPN services.
About the guest author: Sam typically writes about VPN services. If you are looking for more information on the best VPN service, you can visit the author’s blog for extensive information on VPN UK and other useful guides.
This is an original article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.
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