A VPN is a great tool that can be used to completely enhance your experience online. Many people can look down on a VPN, attaching a negative view on the tool due to its reputation for hiding one’s online activity, but in actuality, a VPN is a fantastic tool for someone who just wants to maintain their online anonymity and use the internet to their heart’s content, without having their online traffic or personal information tracked and used by third parties.
The main priority and function of a VPN is privacy – it can give the primary user the ability to mask their online activity. A VPN is used to create an encrypted connection between the user, a remote VPN server, and their desired website, application, or more. It can hide your IP address which is something that could be used to pinpoint your exact location, but it can also hide all your online and browsing activity which could be tracked by a third party and used to hit you with targeted ads.
As the world becomes more complex and digital, the more a person’s online privacy and freedom are restricted. It could be something like your ISP (Internet Service Provider) tracking and selling on your browsing activity – something that they do not have to notify you about. It could also be a lot more complex – the current invasion of Ukraine has left Russians without a lot of freedom online, so there is no shock that we have seen a huge Russian boom in VPN use as they seek unbiased news reports.
You can use cheap and easy software and online platforms that allow you to log in for a small monthly fee, they usually have a ton of features or add-ons that make you get total usage out of a VPN service, including many of the benefits that will be listed below. You can also look at purchasing a VPN router, which is a normal router that has been configured and reworked to connect to VPN servers automatically, ensuring that the entirety of your whole network is protected.
A VPN can do so much more than just hide your IP address and encrypt your online activity – if used correctly, it can completely enhance your online experience and make you use the internet to its complete potential. Here are some of the best ways a VPN can boost your online experience:
VPN usage is a surefire way to improve your security and safety while you browse online. A VPN that is reliable and trustworthy can hide your IP address and encrypt your online activity and internet history, keeping away those pesky third-party companies and nosey governments. In essence, a VPN creates a completely private browsing session, meaning that even when you use a public network or one with less security in place, no hacker or cybercriminal can hack into your online activity and log any sensitive or personal information that occurs online.
VPNs also help users protect their online security by hiding their browsing activity away from their ISP, who are actively tracking, monitoring, and collecting your online internet traffic and history to create behavior and sell them onto third parties. This data helps private companies create personalized and targeted advertising for you, so whenever you get that annoying pop-up about something you’re searched for lately, it is likely due to your ISP.
You can make the argument that a VPN is just as effective as your traditional antivirus and firewall, as that security software protects you from malware, ransomware, and phishing scams that occur when you have been exposed online and get targeted. A VPN makes it that it is very hard to be exposed, by keeping you completely invisible and elusive to these malicious sites or hackers.
Certain features of a VPN actively show you whether it makes you safer and more secure. Firstly, does it have IP address leak prevention in place? This would make sure that there is no way a VPN would leak your IP address in case of a data leak. Does the VPN have multi-factor authentication in place? This makes sure that anyone logging into the VPN has to prove it’s them, and not someone who happened to gain access to login details to the VPN. Finally, does the VPN have a kill switch? If a VPN’s connection fails, it wi; sever the internet connection to cut the risk of having data leaked through the application.
There was never a better time to get a VPN than in March 2020. Once the pandemic hunkered everyone down and online streaming boomed, the options for someone to have platforms for content were endless. Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, Disney Plus, and more, there were so many options and so much content to watch. One of the biggest issues watchers began to find was that, depending on your location, some content was completely closed off. It is rightfully frustrating to someone who pays a lot of money every month as to why they could watch something if they were in their UK, but that same TV show was barred to anyone sitting across the pond in the United States.
Netflix, for example, has a directory of content for every country, meaning the viewers for each region get a different selection per place. It poses the fair question: what if I want to watch everything? Thankfully, there exists an answer and solution to this problem. By using a VPN, you can continuously amend your viewing location to access every single show that Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and the likes have to offer. Some region-blocked content can be bypassed easily, so you can watch the BBC iPlayer, which is only for UK residents if you are anywhere in the world. A VPN masks your true location and tells the streaming platform you are wherever you need to be. You can pick from a selection of IP addresses and locations to get to the content you want. Some platforms like Netflix are becoming a bit smarter than this, so you may want to look for strong VPN choices that can confirm it can get past geo-blocking before you sign up.
The bypassing of restrictions doesn’t just end with online streaming content, it goes across to all kinds of content. As previously mentioned, some countries are currently in positions where from a governmental point of view, they block out news sites and blogs that they feel go against the agenda. This can be concerning for a resident who wants to read what is going on across the world. In other scenarios, ISPs can limit, restrict and completely block some websites or content from your feed and, by legal right, you can get past this with a VPN.
Some countries like China, Syria, Iran, Russia, and more have huge restrictions in place, and the only way for people to access sites like social media is through a VPN – it is noted that some VPNs cannot get past this restriction, so again research must be done to make sure you can use the VPN to get on the sites you want.
In the day and age of remote working, a VPN allows you to use it anywhere in the world and access content, and browse anonymously. If you are in a different country traveling and working simultaneously, you must get access to your usual websites and applications that are your native language. A VPN allows you to relocate just like you were home, continuing with your familiar browsing and work without missing a beat. It is essential for doing finances online too. If you are in a different country and do not let your bank know you aren’t in the country it is based, you could be without access or in the process of getting some hefty fees to use. Thankfully, a VPN allows you to relocate back home and get into your back without any fuss or fines.
In the remote working age, many people can take their laptops and work from wherever their heart desires. That could be in their favorite coffee shop, in a different country, or anywhere in between. In that process, it will mean that many public networks are used for the remote worker to keep on track without projects as they travel. It is known that public networks in airports, coffee shops, and the like are very unprotected – they make the perfect target for hackers and cybercriminals, who can sneakily plant themselves onto the weak network and hack into any user, logging their data and financial information.
Thankfully, a VPN protects its user from this fate. By creating an encrypted tunnel on the network through the public network and to the desired website or application, it means that the data and information entered by the user cannot be accessed, watched, or used by the cybercriminal or hacker. Even if someone got access to it, it would be encrypted so be essentially worthless – it would be untranslateable and devoid of any meaning.