Virtual private networks (VPNs) play a critical role in protecting your online security and privacy. They are affordable and easy to use, and they have a lot of useful features. To make sure you are fully protected when using your computer or mobile device to connect to the internet, it is recommended to have a VPN installed, along with your antivirus and firewalls. This ensures that every minute you spend online stays private.
What Is the Use of VPN?
Aside from protecting your online privacy, VPNs have other features and uses that are definitely helpful. VPNs can let you access blocked content, speed up your streaming, enhance your online security, and so much more.
If you’re still having second thoughts, check out our list of top reasons to use a VPN to understand more about what it does.
1. Get your dose of videos and movies that are otherwise banned in your country.
Video streaming services like Hulu and Netflix provide content according to your location. If you’re outside the US, you might not be able to access some of their content due to copyright reasons. This means that the content they broadcast to users in the US is different from what users in other locations (South America, Asia, Canada, Europe, and Australia) can access. The type of content delivered by these streaming services is dictated by the IP address you are using, which gives away your country of origin.
When you use a VPN, your IP address is masked and you can make it seem as if you are browsing from the country whose content you want to watch. For example, if you want to access Netflix USA, you can use a server from the US so the VPN can give you an IP address that matches your desired location. But if you’re using a smart TV or a mobile device for your VPN connection, make sure to configure it correctly to avoid errors.
Will a VPN improve streaming? Of course. Using a VPN hides your activities from the monitoring of your ISP provider, avoiding bandwidth throttling. Keep in mind that to achieve this, you need a secure and fast VPN, so it is recommended that you subscribe to a paid VPN service and not a free one.
2. Share media files privately.
Media regulatory organizations, such as the Motion Picture Association of America, strongly prohibit the sharing of content via peer-to-peer or P2P communications. This is mainly due to copyright restrictions and profit reasons as well. These organizations catch file sharers by monitoring your usage or eavesdropping on your ISP.
If you’re an avid fan of P2P, then you can rely on a VPN to mask your activities. Although using a VPN reduces your upload or download speed by half, it hides your IP address, allowing you to download and upload files anonymously. Are VPNs really anonymous? Just as with other services, you need to shell out a couple of bucks if you want premium services. This means that paid VPNs provide more security compared to free ones.
3. Connect to a public Wi-Fi network safely.
Not many people realize this, but public Wi-Fi networks are insecure and not safe to use. Public hotspots do not have security features to protect those who connect to them. This means that when you connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot, everything you do is broadcasted within the network and it wouldn’t take much effort for attackers to eavesdrop on your activities. They can easily capture your login information, access your profiles, and steal sensitive data. So if you use a public Wi-Fi network regularly, consider investing in a secure VPN service to hide your activities. If you have no idea which VPN service to subscribe to, check out VPN Review Pro to see a list of reliable VPNs.
4. Bypass restricted websites or networks.
School networks often restrict internet access. This is the same for company networks and some cafes. When you connect to these networks, you need to follow the rules and abide by their policy for web browsing. In most cases, you’ll find that some websites, such as social media and video streaming sites, are often blocked.
But with a VPN connection, you can bypass these restrictions and access all the websites you want to visit. What’s more, your browsing activities remain hidden from the network admin and they have no idea you are accessing restricted websites. We don’t really advise doing this all the time, but if you have a justifiable reason to access these restricted websites, using a VPN would help.
5. Bypass geographic-based censorship.
Some countries, such as China, Egypt, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Syria, and Belarus, enforce unreasonable nationwide internet censorship regulations. They limit their citizen’s access to the internet, which can be extremely annoying.
If you live in a country where your internet access is restricted and you want to break free from these suffocating policies, you can do so by using a VPN. When you connect to the internet via VPN, your activities will no longer be tracked by government agencies or other authorities. You might notice a drop in your bandwidth connection, but that’s a price most users are willing to pay just to be able to tunnel out of their country’s censorship.
6. Hide your VoIP communications.
Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP is one of the most efficient ways of communicating via the Internet. However, most users are not aware that it is so easy for other people to eavesdrop on a VoIP call. It doesn’t take advanced technical skills to listen in on your conversations. So if you use VoIP services, like Skype and Google, consider using a VPN to hide your conversations. Using a VPN might cost you a few dollars, but the cost is worth it when your privacy is at stake.
7. Browse the Internet with confidence.
Search engines automatically remember and catalog your web searches, as well as your IP address, without you even knowing it. This is so that the next time you go online, they can quickly pull out your information and show you ads relevant to your previous searches. Other search engines even sell this information to marketers to be used for their targeted campaigns. If you don’t want your searches to be tracked by search engines and marketers, invest in a VPN service to keep your online queries private.
8. Watch your favorite shows even when away from home.
If you’re away from home, watching your favorite shows can be impossible, particularly if you’re traveling to another country. Using a VPN allows you to watch your favorite flicks or series wherever you go.
9. Make your online activities untraceable.
Whether you’re a celebrity posting on your social media account or an employee conducting research on your competitors, it is crucial to keep your activities untraceable to avoid problems. If you don’t want other people knowing what you do or where you are located, using a VPN is the only way to make your online presence invisible.
10. Personal privacy is important to you.
If online privacy is a huge deal for you, then using a VPN is a must.
The list above shows that VPNs do a lot more than just protecting your privacy. But what makes a good VPN? A good VPN doesn’t need to have a lot of fancy features or a hefty price tag. As long as it does what you want it to do in an efficient and reliable manner, then that’s good enough.