Why you should consider using VPNs when trading Forex
By Nick Anderson 5 minutes
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) enables the user to access region-specific websites by changing the location of the user’s IP address. This can be beneficial for a number of reasons; you can watch YouTube videos you usually wouldn’t get in your country, and you can gain access to new and even vital information.
In essence, a VPN can free you up from the general constraints imposed on the internet by various countries. However, while there are loads of amenities that can be afforded to those seeking to employ such services, it also needs to be noted that not all VPNs are created equal. If you don’t know how to safely trade Dollars for Euros, then perhaps it’s best to try a broker demo account before you consider the services of a VPN provider.
However, if you’re already versed in trading and you want to make use of a VPN, then there are a few things you’ll need to consider, mainly with regards to opting for a paid service or a free one.
Free VPNs – The Risks
Nowadays there are quite a few VPN services to choose from. In the old days, VPNs were referred to as proxy servers, a term that for some reason has been phased out. However, as with any commercial product that proliferates, making a choice that suits your needs can prove challenging. These days it’s a lot easier to come by a free offering that also claims to provide the same services of a paid offering. One needs to practice caution and vigilance when it comes to a free service, and for a number of reasons.
Quite often the providers are sketchy on the details of how they generate a profit. If one just applies a bit of logic to the concept of a free VPN service, then the big question reveals itself: How does a company that needs specialized hardware and software to provide their services pay their bills? Let’s not forget about staff and management.
Very often the answer is you; you are their payment method. By revealing your details to the free VPN service provider, personal data gets collected and then sold to third parties and/or partner companies.
But how do they get away with such practices? Well, quite often the devil is in the details, and those details are part of the terms and conditions that you agree to. Malware is another issue that needs to be brought to your attention. A recent study revealed that roughly 38% of free Android VPNs harbour malware with the ability to cause damage to your device, and the problem with malware is that it’s not always immediately detected, thus increasing its harmful potential. In addition to the issue of malware, many free VPNs bombard the user with annoying ads and pop-ups that can remain within one’s gaze for up to 30 seconds.
Things to Consider Before Using a VPN
Ideally, your broker of choice should be able to provide their services to your country, thus eliminating the need for a VPN. These days the online trading market is quite competitive with daily trades averaging a collective amount of $5 trillion. So, it really shouldn’t be an issue to find a trader that doesn’t require the use of a VPN. However, if the broker you’ve chosen calls for a VPN, then it’s best to choose wisely.
Firstly, give the T&Cs a thorough reading; scrutinise the document and if the services are from a free VPN, then make sure they don’t share information or work with third parties. If you’re lucky enough to come across such a free VPN, then know that there will still be a catch likely in the form of an ad-heavy offering, but at least your data won’t be shared – privacy and security is vital.
Another type of VPN to consider is that of the “freemium” range. The implication of this hybrid description is that some of the services are free while others are paid for. What this means is that the company is generating an income from its paid users and can thus afford to offer a better free service. This type of free service is ideal if you’re only occasionally using your broker’s website. However, if you’re going to really put in the work, then it’s best that you choose the premium subscription. It needs to be noted that while a premium subscription will solve many problems, there is still no guarantee that your data won’t be sold.
In conclusion, a VPN can prove to be a valuable tool in letting you access broker sites that you typically would be incapable of. The pitfalls of any VPN service is that the potential for a data leak is very real. Along with malware and irritating ads, it’s best to steer clear of any free products and better yet, to rather choose a broker that is regulated and allowed to provide their services to your region.