People use VPN services for different reasons. According to GlobalWebIndex, the main reason why North Americans use VPNs is the added privacy. Meanwhile, this technology is more prevalent in Asia Pacific countries for accessing online media.
But VPN services also provide different benefits that are worthwhile to their users. Here are seven examples of why VPNs are a brilliant idea in today’s digital world.
1. Gain Anonymity and Online Privacy
The most well-known advantage a VPN brings to the table is privacy. Sure, staying anonymous online is nearly impossible, even with a VPN. But most people don’t need pentagon-level security to hide their search history or keep websites from tracking them. A VPN will keep data exchanges online, including video and audio calls, safe from snooping outsiders.
They’re also a must in peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing since everyone on the platform can see each other’s IP addresses. And some other outside entities, like ISPs and media companies, can see them too.
Connecting to a VPN server first will circumvent this issue since the IP address of the VPN server (https://nordvpn.com/servers/) replaces your real IP address. It makes it hard for outsiders to track you down, even if they wanted to.
2. Keep Watching Shows While Travelling Abroad
Traveling to another country usually means giving up one’s favorite shows for the trip. It is due to geo-blocking, which means the same streaming services aren’t available everywhere. Or when they are available, the library often differs from what’s available back home.
VPN services allow their users to set an IP address from a particular country by connecting to a server in that country. So someone can be in Russia but still access their American Netflix account by connecting to a VPN server in the US.
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3. Safely Send and Receive Work Files
Most employers worry over the safety of sensitive work files falling into the hands of cybercriminals. And these concerns aren’t unfounded. There was a significant increase in data breaches and enterprise-level hacking attempts. It’s an especially huge problem for remote workers and anyone who stores work-related data on a device they take home. That’s right; smartphones count too.
So many opt to use VPN services to ensure that their data stays safe and encrypted. Whenever one sends anything over the internet, hackers can only see an indecipherable jumble of characters and symbols.
4. Hop Onto WiFi Networks Without a Worry
Connecting to an open or public WiFi network is a risky business. Criminals can set up fake WiFi spots of their own, and there are plenty of reports on people’s data being stolen through cyber attacks.
VPNs offers a way to deal with this problem and many people install one for this very purpose. Don’t connect to any open WiFi networks without a VPN.
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5. Get Cheaper Travel Deals
You can also get better deals on flight tickets and accommodation for your next trip if you connect to a VPN server before booking any. Travel agencies take into account your location (based on your IP address), and then show different prices based on perceived value.
For instance, Germans are generally seen as well-off, so they will need to pay $200 per night’s stay in a hotel. People from Uganda, meanwhile, will book the same hotel for a $120 per night instead. Thus, those who don’t want to pay more based on where they live should use a VPN to get lower prices.
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6. Say Goodbye to Price Discrimination
Shopping sites track your visits and search history to adjust their rates based on anticipated demand. But they can’t do that if the person looking at their offers has an IP address that they don’t recognize. It’s not fair, but price discrimination is real. At least those using a VPN can avoid those types of unfair price hikes.
7. No More ISP Throttling
The fight for net neutrality is ongoing, but ISPs have been throttling their clients for a long time now. There have been reports on ISPs slowing down the connections of people when they do certain things online, for example, stream movies.
VPNs keep that from happening because they hide your traffic from your ISP as well. ISP knows that use a VPN, but they don’t see what you do after you connect to a VPN server.
That utopian vision of a neutral and borderless internet that the world wide web pioneers had envisioned might never come to fruition. And VPNs might not offer solutions to all problems on the web today. But they do help curb some of the more pressing privacy and geographical pricing and blocking issues.