Your VPN is a privacy tool and you can use it as such. While using a VPN is completely legal, you should never engage in illegal activities while using a VPN. By encrypting everything you do online, VPNs allow for completely private browsing, but is this digital security solution too good to be true? Using the VPN may or may not be legal, depending on the country you're in. In the United States, it is perfectly legal to use a VPN.
Without one, Internet service providers, governments and companies can see your data. However, using a VPN in certain countries may be illegal or discouraged. You can still connect to servers in these countries with the right VPN, but this comes with its own risks. If you're using a VPN in a country where it's legal to carry out legal activities, you don't have to worry.
But if you're in a country where VPNs are illegal and you're discovered, then yes, you could be fined or prosecuted. VPNs work by sending the IP address and web traffic of the user's device through an encrypted tunnel before it reaches the Internet. This prevents ISPs and hackers from tracking your online activity. Some VPNs even encrypt this information two or more times, a process called multi-hop encryption.
Once the user connects to a VPN, it will replace the device's IP address with another to hide its location, making it appear to websites that the user is in a different country. For more information, read our VPN guide. Depending on where you are and what you want to do online, a VPN may or may not be necessary. For example, if you're on your secure home network and simply want to view your country's Netflix library, a VPN won't do you much good.
However, if you're on a public Wi-Fi network, want to view another country's Netflix library, or you just don't want your ISP to know your online activity, then yes, VPNs are necessary. Ultimately, it's a personal choice; if you want online privacy, a VPN is the simplest and most straightforward method. Unless you're doing something illegal, using a VPN in the US is perfectly safe and secure. In terms of security, when using a VPN, most providers protect their users with a strict no-logs policy.
This means that your information is not tracked or your online activity monitored. This is so that governments can't obtain your information, even if they state that the VPN provider must report it. It's legal to use a VPN in Australia and the UK as well. However, if you're in a country that prohibits VPNs such as China then yes, you can get into trouble for using them.