1 out of every 3 internet users relies on VPNs every day as they browse the internet. That number may seem inconsequential to those of you that are reading this post unsure of what a VPN is.
Believe us when we say though that VPNs matter.
For the uninitiated, a VPN is a digital tool that allows you to reroute your web traffic through a private server rather than connecting you directly to whatever content you’re trying to engage with online. This routing process creates a shroud over your internet activity and gives you several advantages over people that are browsing the old fashion way.
So, what does a VPN hide? Does a VPN protect you from hackers? Should you really invest in one?
These are questions we answer below as we break down reasons why you absolutely should be using a VPN any time you play on the World Wide Web.
1. Privacy From Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
Do you want the company you buy internet services to know everything you’re doing online? Probably not.
Even people that have nothing to hide from their ISPs may not want to be broadcasting their online habits to them. With questions swirling around net neutrality, ISPs could legally impact the way you engage with certain social sites, download sites, and any other place you browse regularly.
With the help of a VPN, all ISPs will be able to see is that you’re connecting to a private, external server. What content is being exchanged between you and that server remains private.
2. Insulation from Authorities
You never know when laws will change. You never know when authorities may try to extort you with your browsing history.
The best way to keep what you look at online out of authority’s hands is to lean on a VPN.
The same way that ISPs can’t see what you’re doing online when you’re using a VPN, the authorities can’t either. They can try to subpoena your browsing records from your VPN but smart VPN providers do not keep logs so there is no information for authorities to pull.
3. Protection From Data Interceptors
Data transmitted through VPNs are usually encrypted. That makes it nearly impossible for people to intercepting passwords and banking information on public WIFI to access your data.
If you use public routers often at coffee shops, schools, and airports, you need VPN protection. This is particularly true if you’re managing sensitive data like things pertaining to work or your financial life.
4. Better Deals on Goods
You don’t have to be an economics major to know that demand impacts the price of most goods in the market. While there may be high demand for a product that costs $50 in a big city like Los Angeles or San Francisco, people that are buying things in smaller, less income-flush towns like Idaho might not be interested in goods at that price.
To maximize sales, some companies have picked up on that variable demand and offer flexible prices based on where online users are accessing their website.
With a VPN, you can spoof your location to your server’s location and potentially get lower prices on goods than you would have gotten if the seller had known you were shopping from your hometown.
5. Circumvention of Company Firewalls
Have you ever been in your work’s lunchroom, were desperate to check something on social media but were blocked from accessing the site due to a company firewall? If you have been in that situation, taking a moment to set up VPN can get you out of it.
Since VPN’s hide what sites you’re accessing, most firewalls won’t be able to block data you’re exchanging with restricted pages. That opens up the whole internet to you!
6. Access to Foreign Media Content
Unbeknownst to many, when media companies buy and sell movies/shows, these deals are done on a territory by territory basis. Given that, if you’re watching Netflix content in the USA, you may not have access to the same library of content you’d have access to if you were watching content in England.
If you were to leverage a VPN before singing onto Netflix and changed your location to England though, you’d gain access to content that’s been earmarked for that territory. That would vastly open up your viewing options and make it so your house becomes the premier place to binge-watch all sorts of exclusive content!
7. Complying With Site Rules
There are a handful of websites out there that require you to use a VPN to browse them. These sites usually trade in content that has been deemed unpopular by the government or the general public.
If you’re a believer in not having your access to any corner of the web obstructed by elected officials or your neighbours, a VPN will unlock access to the web’s “dark pockets” so you can shape your access to information in a way you deem fit.
A VPN Preserves Your Privacy and Freedom
When people want the elevator pitch on why they should invest in a VPN, we say that a VPN preserves one’s privacy and freedom online. In our opinion, those are benefits that are worth investing in, particularly when you consider that some VPN’s cost about a dollar per month.
If you’re still not sold on the virtues of browsing the internet privately or have other pressing technology questions, we welcome you to check out more of the content we have available on our blog.