Which One to Choose?
Whether you are paranoid and think everyone is spying on you, or are just concerned about the security of your data whenever you surf the internet, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is what you need.
However, with the many available options of VPN providers, it can be a little overwhelming figuring out which one is best for you though you can read more about the top-rated ones.
Besides, some require a subscription fee which you may not have therefore prompting you to think of a self-hosted VPN instead. As you weigh which of the two will serve your needs efficiently, there are a few things you should know that can facilitate your decision-making process.
Benefits of setting up a self-hosted VPN
Generally, a VPN, whether outsourced or your own, has numerous benefits such as enhancing security while online, increasing privacy while on the internet and many more. However, having your VPN server has advantages including enabling you to be in control of your data.
Unlike when you hire a VPN service provider to protect your data, having your own server will mean not having to depend on anyone else to protect your privacy. Also, when you are running a small business, you have limited resources which may not be enough to contract out VPN service providers. Still, you may need to access your company computers remotely, and the best solution is to set up a VPN server for guaranteed security.
Moreover, a self-hosted VPN server affords you the luxury of choosing how to route traffic between the VPN server and your devices. We cannot also ignore the money factor since all you need to set up your servers is the kit and access to the internet.
The downside of a Self-hosted VPN
Having your VPN server translates to routing traffic through your local IP which restricts your access to content outside your current country. You, therefore, have to settle for local content which limits your online experience.
Moreover, when you decide to DIY, you may have to encounter a lot of hassle if you use different operating systems. Usually, every time you want to use a new device, you will have to configure the VPN, which means more work for you and hiring someone to do it for you if you lack the skills. Worst of all, if you are trying to protect your anonymity, your attempts may be useless if someone connects your IP address to any of your accounts. The good news is you can change the IP address on your VPN server; the bad news is you will need to put in extra work to do so.
Benefits of VPN service providers
If you want to avoid the hassle of having to deal with installation, daily operations, and many other tasks, getting a service provider is your ideal solution. By outsourcing, you will not have to acquire new skills necessary for a self-hosted VPN, neither do you need to hire expert VPN professionals.
Also, with a service provider on your payroll, whenever you add sites, the provider will offer connections to the new sites making it less costly to manage. Besides eliminating the extra work, a VPN service provider offers reliability.
Self-hosted VPN usually runs over the internet which can mean you will not access the internet when the network goes down. Some VPN service providers on the hand promise an uptime of up to 99.99% since they run the service over their networks using kits such as the Cisco kit which guarantees security and reliability.
The downside of a VPN service provider
Outsourcing VPN makes you lose control of your data since you are giving up your power to someone else.
Also, if dialing up from a different country or part of the country, you may experience some difficulty although you can solve this issue at an extra cost by using roaming services.
Moreover, if you choose a VPN provider offering the service for free, you may have to deal with annoying ads and have fewer exit locations. Finally, you may want to privacy, but the subscription fee that the provider is offering is not within your expense range.
Choosing between the two options depends on a few factors such as the cost involved; obviously, you can only use what you can afford.
Another factor is compatibility of the devices you use; if you have time to keep configuring, then host your servers, but if not, then you better outsource the services.
Also, if you want the total privacy of your data, you should not use a VPN provider who can log your data whenever they please. Instead, a self-hosted VPN will keep you in total control. If you choose to have a self-hosted VPN, you can learn how to set up the server in your home.