Should you use the VPN that's included in antivirus software?

Strongvpn Lifestyle Android
Strongvpn Lifestyle Android (Image credit: PlaceIt)

As cybercrime grows at a rapid speed, you may be looking for ways you can protect your devices from a range of online threats.

When it comes to improving the security and privacy of your devices, there's a wide variety of solutions available. Antivirus software and virtual private networks are two of the most popular cybersecurity tools. And with these in mind, you might be wondering which to choose.

Some cybersecurity companies actually provide antivirus software with built-in VPNs, promising to add even more security to your connected devices. But given that individual VPN services also exist, are they a good option and which is better?

Maybe you should use that included VPN

Let's start with the good points. Anyone browsing the web and using internet-connected services is at risk of cyber threats like malware, viruses, phishing, web trackers, intrusive adverts, and more.

If you're worried about these and want to stay protected from hackers at all times, then investing in a good and reputable antivirus application is definitely a great idea. These programs will automatically scan, identify, and mitigate online threats like malware.

Just like antivirus software, a VPN is another tool that aims to keep you safe online. A lot of antivirus programs include these as an added extra, effectively killing two birds with one stone. With both antivirus and VPN tools combined in one piece of software, you'll always be safe and secure online.

So, which antivirus solutions actually come with VPNs? Well, there are lots of them on the market. Norton, Avast, Avira, AVG, Panda, Webroot, Bitdefender, Bullguard, and many other cybersecurity firms have integrated VPNs into their antivirus programs.

But maybe you need something else

But there are downsides to antivirus programs that have their own VPNs. The biggest thing to bear in mind is that one of these is not going to be as powerful as a dedicated VPN app. While an antivirus VPN will take steps to ensure your internet connection is private and secure, it will lack many capabilities of a standalone VPN service.

For example, most antivirus VPNs don't offer the large server networks you'd get with an individual service like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark, or IPVanish. Because of that, they won't be as good for unblocking websites and streaming platforms.

What's more, these services often don't include security features that are pretty standard for individual providers, such as kill switches, and may underperform when it comes to speed. Some antivirus VPNs will actually put your privacy and security at risk as they'll track and record internet logs. This is something you wouldn't expect with the likes of ExpressVPN.

Overall, bundled VPN services are only suited for the basics. If you want to protect your privacy, find a way around geo-restrictions, enjoy a faster gaming experience, get cheaper online deals, and lots more VPN benefits, you should download one of the best VPN services

Of course, antivirus programs are still great cybersecurity tools. And you could always use one alongside a dedicated VPN application. That way, you'd get the best of both worlds but wouldn't have to make any compromises.

We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:

1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).

2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.

We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

Nicholas Fearn