VPN 2021 - Do We Still Need VPN

Here is a recent article on VPN’s. I noticed a post from a few years ago in MPU and thought this needs to be reviewed again.
Do we still need a VPN?

There are VPNs and there are VPNs. I’ve had one set up at home for over 13 years now so I can access my home network when I’m out. This sort of VPN, like those that businesses use, are just as useful now as ever.


Did most people ever really need a VPN for personal use?

Do you contact your bank or credit card company while on public wifi or when you are traveling outside of your home country? If so, you may want to use a reliable VPN on occasion.

OTOH, using a VPN may complicate things. Some sites, especially financial institutions, may require additional verification if they determine you are using a VPN. One of mine will not let me connect at all.

In general, I think the article is accurate and correct in the opinion that most people don’t need a VPN.

Do you contact your bank or credit card company while on public wifi or when you are traveling outside of your home country?

What benefit would this provide over connecting directly to a HTTPs site?


A VPN could protect you from a man in the middle attack. Basically the operator of a network has the ability to redirect your connection to a different site.


Doesn’t HTTPS also largely protect you from MITM attacks as long as you don’t ignore the “untrusted certificate” warnings?

A VPN shifts who has the opportunity to MITM you, but the interception shouldn’t be possible to start with.

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I do.

I don’t :slight_smile:

Something, something, something, twenty characters

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I’ve written much more lengthly posts here in the past about this subject, but speaking as someone who does infosec-type-things for a living, and speaking strictly about personal VPNs (as opposed to ones that an employer maintains and requires to be used), almost always, if it’s not safe to do without a VPN, it’s not safe to do with one either.


@dwrs is correct. You would get certificate warnings in that case. A lot of my customers have completely moved away from VPNs. Obviously, there are a lot of cases where a vpn makes sense, but the software defined perimeter, cloud edge security services etc, make VPNs much less valuable…

Interesting article - not one to use a vpn, since https is ubiquitous now.

There’s also Tailscale now to simplify phoning home. May try it sometime when I’m not home :upside_down_face:

I agree those who were just using VPN to hide their browsing data from their ISP mostly don’t need it anymore. The rest of the benefits (whole-computer protection, hiding domains visited from SNI inspection, hiding IP and location from servers) are still valid.

If VICE’s Overlords don’t want you to use a VPN, you definitely should use a VPN. VPN is not used for security, it is used for privacy.

I use a VPN for management of my network when I’m out.
NordVPN is on when I get on public wifi, but I use wireguard to “phone home”

Not sure about a 100% “need” but its another tool in the toolbox