Using a VPN is pretty common these days. One great advantage is that it allows you to access region-specific content and blocked websites. It also enables you to anonymously surf the web. However, what we might not be aware of is that using a VPN has its drawbacks as well.
So before you get a long-term subscription to a VPN service, I would like to highlight some disadvantages of VPN. Or, at least some annoying things you may face when using a VPN.
In this article:
1. Directed to The Wrong Website
Using a VPN can land you on a website different from the one you want to visit. For instance, if you type in amazon.com on your web browser, you will be directed to the Amazon Store of your country or region. This makes perfect sense because Amazon wouldn’t want to show you products that do not ship to your country.
Image: Amazon.com and Amazon.es display differently.
But if you are using a VPN connection to, say, Denver / United States, and you are from Spain, then you will be redirected to amazon.com, instead of the correct one – amazon.es.
While this is not the biggest problem of all, the extra effort needed to pause VPN to get to the correct landing page can sometimes be annoying.
2. Subscription Perks Disabled
VPN allows you to view certain geo-restricted content, but the flip side is that it may also cause you to lose some of the advantages you previously had.
Take YouTube Premium, for example. As a premium user, you enjoy the benefits of no ads, video playing in the background, etc. But if you are accessing YouTube via VPN, these benefits may be temporarily disabled, and you will be given a notification (see screenshot below).
Image: YouTube Premium disabled.
3. Annoying Search Engine Robot-check
When you use a VPN, it tends to connect users to the fastest possible server by default. This results in many users connecting through the same IP or VPN location.
And when these users, including you, search for something, it creates abnormally large queries to Google coming from the same IP causing it to suspect you as a robot.
Image: Google’s ReCaptcha challenge.
This is especially true for mobile users who connect to a VPN and search for something on Google. They’re almost always served with a robot check or CAPTCHA which is very annoying.
4. Inaccuracy of Search Results
When you’re connected to a VPN and try to search for something on Google or any other search engine, chances are that the search results you’ll get will not be based on your own country or region but the location of the VPN server that you’re connected with.
Image: Inaccuracy of search results due to connected VPN location.
So if you’re located in the US, and you’re connected to a VPN location somewhere in France, then searching for “pizza places” might give you results based in France and probably even in the French language.
5. Media Becomes Unavailable
While VPN may open up movie tiles not available in your country/region, it may do the opposite, too, like causing certain streaming media to be unavailable to you.
For instance, consider the following scenario. You’re watching a movie on Netflix (or any other streaming platform) with a VPN connection. The movie that you want to resume watching may become unexpectedly unavailable.
Reason? It’s not being supported where your VPN server is located.
Image: Media not available after connected to VPN.
To get the title back on your streaming service, you’ll have to turn off the VPN and refresh the page, which is certainly a time-wasting and frustrating activity.
6. Internet Disconnected, Stop Working
Almost all VPN users face frequent internet connectivity issues. This usually happens when a VPN server faces a problem and disconnects all connected users where the VPN tries to reconnect or connect you with another server location.
Image: VPN connection unavailable or unstable.
All of this happens in the background, but in the foreground, you face no internet connectivity issue without knowing the reason. Checking the VPN app does help in highlighting the connectivity issue but offers no way around it.
Thousands of people all over the world are using a VPN, and you would like to use it too for personal or professional needs. The reason for writing this post is to highlight the disadvantages of using a VPN, so you know what you’ll be getting into.