Are you a frequent traveler? Do you often find yourself incapable of accessing certain websites just because you are out of the country? Well, do not lose hope – we have a way for you to access geo-restricted websites abroad.
The answer is a VPN. VPNs are purposely developed to enable users to mask their actual IP addresses and log on to certain websites with different IP addresses. However, this gives rise to the most common dilemma – a VPN extension or VPN Client app?
The decision between a VPN extension or a VPN Client app depends on the functionality you wish to achieve. Let us help you understand whether you need a VPN extension or a VPN client app, Let’s dive in:
What is a VPN Extension?
A VPN extension is a small plugin or add-on that you may install on your web browser. However, the privacy offered by that plugin is only restricted to that browser. For instance, you may be using a Chrome VPN extension on the Google Chrome browser, but your IP address is no longer hidden when you switch over to Mozilla Firefox or any other browser.
What does it do?
Like a VPN Client app, a VPN extension masks your actual IP address and keeps you anonymous over the web on the browser you are using. But the anonymity is limited to the browsing session on that browser. If you start using another app or browser on the device, your anonymity will no longer stand.
What are its benefits?
A VPN extension offers the following advantages to the user:
- A VPN extension is a lightweight plugin that may be added to the browser quickly.
- The extensions are often free to download.
What are its drawbacks?
On the downside, this is what you might have to bear with:
- A VPN extension may not always be a VPN at all, as it might not be encrypting your data and merely offering you access to a proxy server.
- VPN extensions are often slower than client apps.
- The protection offered by a VPN extension is only for the browser. The rest of your system and the information on it is still vulnerable.
- Some VPN extensions might even be tracking your data themselves, thus opening you up to a significant threat ultimately.
What is a VPN Client App?
Now, a VPN Client App is slightly different – while it may be fulfilling the exact purpose of keeping you anonymous, it transcends the boundaries of a browser. It is a standalone software that encrypts data transmission between your device and the server you are communicating with. Once a VPN client app establishes a connection, all the internet activity on that device will be encrypted.
What does it offer?
Here is what a VPN Client App has to offer:
- VPN Client apps secure the entire device instead of just your browser.
- VPN Client apps are usually more secure due to routine updates and more robust protocols.
- VPN client apps may be used on several devices with a single account.
What’s the downside?
Now, to the bitter part – this is what a VPN Client app lacks:
- Since a VPN Client app protects internet activity, it often comes with a price tag that may be a one-time expense or even monthly.
- VPN client apps are relatively complex compared to VPN extensions and may cause you to spend some time before completely understanding their functionality.
VPN worth Trusting
There are several VPN services present in the market currently. However, not all of them successfully deliver on the promise of complete anonymity. Fortunately, though, there are VPN services in the mix that do take this promise rather seriously.
A reliable VPN offers useful features like unlimited data transfer, unlimited server switching, and a lot more that make it worth considering. Also, they have dedicated apps, like a Chrome VPN extension to give users greater accessibility.
The Final Verdict
Now that we have elaborated on different aspects of a VPN extension and a VPN client app, it is up to you to decide which best serves your needs. If it is a browser you wish to secure, then the VPN extension is the way to go, and if you wish to secure all activity on the device, the VPN client app should be your go-to option.