My VPN renews soon, should I renew?

I’ve been using a VPN the last 3 years, mainly on mobile. I tried on the mac, but too many things didn’t work; although I’ve not tried on my mac the last year.

I was reading the thread on whether VPN’s were necessary any longer.

So, should I renew my VPN? If so why and which service is good in the UK. If no, why not?

What do you use it for?

Privacy from tracker, ISPs, etc

No. Never trust a VPN unless you build it yourself. Also, ref: iPhone VPN apps are 'a scam,' security researcher warns–and Apple knows it | Macworld

I’m on record here a tiring (for others) number of times sharing my opinion that consumer VPNs provide little, if any, privacy or security benefit, almost certainly not enough to offset the risks incurred by using them. I have no problem (for example) with doing my online banking over a public, unsecured wireless network. If an activity isn’t safe to do over the Internet without a VPN, it’s not safe to do with one either. People serious about collecting information about you won’t even blink at your use of a VPN; it’s almost completely irrelevant to them.

Context: I work in security, and I don’t use any VPN service other than the one that my workplace requires me to use in order to do certain kinds of things.

(My opinion is an informed one, but it’s still just an opinion and it’s not one that all people in the field agree with, but of the people I know and collaborate with, the majority dislike consumer VPNs)


I use a VPN where there are restricted services or no cellular service.

For example, when I visit China, my VPN lets me use western services blocked by the “great firewall”. I am in China 4-5 times a year, so it’s worth it.

I’m using it right now because I’m in a hotel in Spain that blocks iCloud and all Apple services, so to use apps like Reminders, I need to enable it.

Aside from this, I don’t think there is a significant security benefit.

The best solution is to use a cellular connection (tethering with Macs), and then there are no security worries. I’m in a location without cellular coverage, so I have no choice right now.

The only other time I use it is to watch my football streaming abroad, which I do find indispensable.


Doesn’t that demonstrate that the VPN protects your privacy against the Chinese state?

Yes, absolutely.

There are also day to day cases when I need it. My work block certain sites, and I use it then. So, wherever there are restrictions it’s worth having one.

Another case is sites in the USA that block EU users due to the GDPR. My VPN comes to the rescue whenever this pops up.

I just don’t advocate using it all the time.

1 Like

Why not? What’s the harm in it being on all the time? Does it not also stop ISP’s tracking what you’re doing?

I find it drains my battery when using it - at least with ExpressVPN - and I use other tools to block trackers and ads (1Blocker) that don’t have the same impact on the battery.

I don’t see the point of having two tools running all the time for the same task.

In my opinion, this is the one good reason to use a personal VPN, and…

… this would get you fired :wink: (Not really. If we don’t want a VPN to touch down on a network then it’s for a good reason and we block them.)

1 Like

Lol :wink:

Luckily I’m the one that does the firing in my department!


That’s a good reason in my book. I’ve got an ISP driven by money and seemingly nothing else, because it isn’t service. Why should I put my faith in them to not harvest our data and sell it, when they have the legal right to do so? I don’t want to be monetized by them. Hence, a VPN. The battery draw is obviously increased but it doesn’t seem huge on a Mac in my experience. Using one on mobile is worse in that regard, plus you can have problems with connections changing often. Using a DNS service is a good middle ground on mobile to avoid ISP and trackers but save battery.

1 Like

Apple’s Private Relay solves some of these issues, but possibly isn’t available outside the US. It’s also not compatible with Pi-hole. Another option is using the Brave Browser, where you can select regular-, private- or Tor-based browser windows.
Of course if one is doing nefarious things on .onion sites, all bets are off.

I’m currently using nordvpn and haven’t noticed any difference in battery drain on my iphone.

As I’m up for renewal can anybody recommend a good VPN? I’m in the uk if that matters.

1 Like

It’s available in most countries, but apparently not in Belarus, China, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkmenistan, Uganda, or the Philippines

1 Like

I have a VPN setup up on all my devices to my home router (via wireguard)
This is not so much to protect me from snooping (since iOS does not protect from that anyway even with VPN) but more so I can access all my self-hosted services.

I do use NordVPN when I’m travelling sometimes, but that’s on my macbook running Linux, my iphone just runs the on-demand wireguard vpn.

Even if I don’t primary use it for security, I do not agree with some that not using a vpn is as secure on public wifi. I see plenty of open connections and passwords fly by on my pineapple when I do security awareness sessions. For power users I’d say we have options to take appropriate measures, but “normies” would struggle. I think a VPN does have added security benefit in general.


I agree with this 100%. I would never use any public WiFi without a VPN also.

Back in the early 2000s, I was stung while using public WiFi. Someone hacked my Gmail account. This was the reason I started using a VPN.

These days, I rarely use any form of public WiFi unless I have no choice; I tether my phone or iPad when possible. We are blessed nowadays with unlimited data, which means no more worries when using cellular.


Mac Geek Gab shared an article by Allison Sheridan on how she went through the selection process. She links to Consumer Reports white paper that does a DEEEEEP evaluation.

It’s worth the read. Personally, I use ProtonVPN on all my devices. It works great for my use case and have zero performance complaints.

Noticed that some VPNs offer a dedicated IP. Is there and advantage to getting a dedicated IP?