VPN Services in 2013 – Are The Still Useful?
As the new year dawns, I see more and more news stories about privacy invasion from companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and of course most recently, Amazon. Apparently customer private-data is one of the most prized commodities of the online world, and private companies as well as our government will do anything to get their hands on it.
Can VPNs still protect us in 2013?
Yes, and No.
The real answer is that you must be super vigilant in your quest for privacy online. Yes, VPNs can help you gain privacy, but if you are signed into your Facebook account when browsing, chances are that Facebook is going to get a hold of whatever you “like”. Google will still see what ads you “Click” if you're signed into your Gmail account (or Google + profile).
Furthermore, you're limited to what you can purchase online, because you've still got to use credit cards, your physical address, and/or other forms of identity verification.
Is there a way to escape all the privacy invasion?
I think so, but it's tough nowadays.
You've got to have fake names on all your accounts, not use any social networks, and basically not do any actions that can be linked to your physical address, phone number, or other forms of identification. Only then will the privacy part of a VPN be truly effective.
As far as security goes, I think the security features of virtual private network connections are still very applicable now, if not more so than in the past.
It gets easier all the time to hack or eavesdrop on the internet, and as more people get access, that just opens the doors to larger numbers of malicious individuals. All it takes is a search in YouTube to find out how to hack your neighbors wifi. The situation is much worse in public.
So although I have a negative outlook in terms of privacy online, I think that more and more people will get wise to the security features of VPNs. As the number and size of public internet connections grow, security will come to the forefront of the publics attention. I think that eventually, there will be city-wide wifi (like cell phones and 3g/4g networks are now), and individuals will need to connect to VPNs.
If you're thinking of getting a VPN service for privacy or security, be sure to check out list of Top 10 VPN services, or you can browse by continent over on the right.