While VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are great for keeping your data and internet usage private, they become increasingly slow the more devices are connected to them due to your increased bandwidth usage. Every device you add can have an impact on your potential internet speeds.
How many devices should you have connected to your VPN? That’s an open-ended question and one which we’ll explore in order to help you make an informed decision on what devices should take priority and how to keep your data safe.
- A VPN lets users connect to the internet from a secure, encrypted server that hides their internet protocol (IP) address and prevents snoopers and hackers from finding information about their internet usage.
- To truly remain anonymous, you need to have all your devices connected to a VPN — preferably one that doesn’t log data.
- Identify how many devices you can connect to your account, then download the VPN to each device and log in to your account.
- Turn on the VPN every time you go online or turn on the kill switch to ensure no users are allowed into the network unless their VPN is switched on.
What Does a VPN Do?
A VPN lets users connect to the internet from a secure, encrypted server that hides their internet protocol (IP) address and prevents snoopers and hackers from finding information about their browsing habits, the websites they visit, and their actions online. It also helps to unblock geo-restricted content and access video streaming sites.
Accessing the world wide web through a VPN is a simple act you can do to keep your browsing anonymous but to fully hide your identity online, you need to be using a VPN across all your devices, at all times.
Why is it Better to Have a VPN on All of Your Devices?
Let’s say your business has 10 workstations, all connected to the office network. You’re a responsible manager, so you ensured they all have a VPN installed. You’ve even set a kill switch so that, on the rare occasion that the VPN times out, no one in the office would be able to go online without reconnecting the VPN.
That’s all great, but if your employees are using their personal phones or laptops on the office network, those devices may still be visible to outsiders. The last thing you want is for team members to have to switch the VPN on and off because they can only use it on one device at a time.
Perhaps you’ve gone as far as installing a VPN on your router, ensuring that everyone on the office network is routed automatically through a secure, encrypted server. But if team members are also using public Wi-Fi to access work files or send work emails, and they don’t have a VPN on those devices, they might still be risking your business data.
For example, a small online clothing brand recently had its Instagram account hacked. Their social media manager, a digital nomad, was using her mobile phone on public Wi-Fi when she suddenly got locked out of the account. The password had changed, and a new company bio was composed to contain a ransom demand in return for freeing up the account.
Another user on the network can easily do this kind of attack, and the attacker was likely sitting in the same room with her while doing it. This is just one of many examples where using a VPN could have prevented much trouble.
An employee’s home network is potentially vulnerable if someone accesses malicious or illegal content without a VPN.
To truly remain anonymous, you must connect all those devices to a VPN.
How Many Devices Can You Connect to a VPN?
While all major VPN providers support multiple devices, the number of devices allowed per account ranges from one provider to the next. Free VPNs usually allow only one connection, while paid VPNs offer between five and seven devices per account. Some VPNs, such as Surfshark and Windscribe VPN, offer unlimited connections, making them ideal for a business setup.
Before you buy a VPN subscription, you should make sure it covers every single one of the devices that your team is using to do their job. If you’re planning to expand your team, it might be wise to also think about the number of devices you’ll need connected in one year from now and choose your provider accordingly.
Which Devices Can You Connect to a VPN?
Most VPNs support multiple types of devices and operating systems, such as Windows, Android, iOS, and Linux. If you’re using a relatively old operating system like Windows 7, you may find that some VPNs don’t support it, so be sure to check that before placing your order.
Additionally, some operating systems, such as Apple Watch, Sony PlayStation, or Amazon Fire TV Stick, may not be available by default and require special configuration. The same goes for router VPN, which is only available with specific router models that are generally more expensive.
If you accidentally purchase a VPN which isn’t compatible with one of your devices or operating systems, cancel your subscription before the trial period ends, and find a different provider that supports that device.
How Do You Connect All Your Devices to a Single VPN?
- First, find out how many devices you can connect to your account.
- Download the VPN to each of your devices. Make sure you download the right files as different versions are probably available for each operating system.
- Insert the license key you got from your VPN provider into all devices so they connect to that same account.
- Be sure to turn on the VPN every time you go online or turn on the kill switch to ensure no users are allowed into the network unless their VPN is switched on.
What Should You Do Next?
Now that you know the importance of having a VPN on all your devices, browse our list of the best VPN services to find the one that’s right for you. Use our VPN installation and configuration tutorials to help you with the onboarding. A VPN may not solve all your problems, but having one will always be safer than not having one.
Frequently Asked Questions About VPNs
How do VPNs work?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to create a secure connection to a different network over the Internet. This network encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a remote server operated by a VPN provider. This makes it difficult for anyone to intercept your internet traffic and see what you’re doing online. VPNs are commonly used to protect your online privacy.
Do VPNs track my internet usage?
A VPN provider can track your internet usage if they keep logs of your activity. However, most reputable VPN providers have a strict no-logs policy, so they don’t keep any records of your online activity. It’s important to choose a VPN provider with a no-logs policy to ensure your online privacy.
Will using a VPN slow down my internet speed?
Using a VPN can slow down your internet speed because your internet traffic has to travel further to reach the VPN server and then back to your device. However, the amount of slowdown depends on several factors such as the distance between your device and the VPN server, the quality of the VPN service, and the level of encryption used.
Some VPN providers offer faster speeds than others. If you’re concerned about speed, it’s important to choose a VPN provider that has fast servers in locations close to you.
Will connecting multiple devices to my VPN slow down my internet speed?
Connecting multiple devices to your VPN can slow it down because it increases the amount of data that has to be encrypted and decrypted. However, the amount of slowdown depends on several factors such as the quality of the VPN service, the level of encryption used, and the number of devices connected.
Are there any devices that don’t have to be connected to the VPN?
If you’re concerned about privacy and security, it’s important to connect as many devices as possible to your VPN. This will help protect your online activity from prying eyes and keep your personal information safe. However, some devices are more important than others. For example, phones and computers are high on the list while things like smart TVs and other internet connected smart devices won’t necessarily pose as much of a risk.