Security is one of the primary concerns of internet users today. Hacking and data theft are among the worst fears of everyday people who work and play online. In addition to concerns over these threats, internet users are often plagued by too many targeted advertisements, restrictions, and bad connections.
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, offer a solution to many of these problems and are used by people all over the world. VPNs encrypt your web traffic, making it invisible to anyone besides you and your VPN provider. This keeps your searches private and prevents websites from collecting your location or data. It also allows you to access content from anywhere in the world.
Some may prefer to secure their online activity through other methods, and this could be for a number of reasons. VPNs can slow your connection speed by up to 50%, and that alone can deter people from using them. However, the benefits of using VPNs far outweigh the risks and small annoyances for many users, and you may decide that a VPN is a good fit for your lifestyle as well. Here are some of the top reasons you might want to start using a virtual private network.
As mentioned above, VPNs can increase your security while using the internet. This is especially useful if you use hotspots or Wi-Fi in cafés, hotels, and airports. It prevents people from accessing your information such as passwords, conversations, and browsing history. It also secures any internet phone calls you may make over Skype, WhatsApp, or Google Hangouts, for example. It also keeps websites from tracking your activities and offering suggested content based on what you do online. This can eliminate small annoyances and even alter the price of certain items such as airfare and hotels.
Unblocking Geo Restricted Content
If you get Netflix Australia but want to unlock the content provided to subscribers in the U.S., a VPN can help you access the shows and movies you want. This also works for Hulu, HBO, Pandora, online games, and other services that are restricted to certain countries or continents. If this is your main reason for wanting a VPN, make sure your VPN provider has servers in the country of the content you are trying to access. Otherwise, it won’t work.
Illegal downloading is not encouraged, but people who do it like to use VPNs to remain anonymous and avoid any legal repercussions. P2P or peer to peer file sharing is one way for people to get access to the books, films, and games they’re looking for without going to the main vendors and buying them directly. Using torrents to download content can result in fines and it is strictly prohibited in many countries. VPNs are a good tool to use to prevent detection and penalties.
Bypassing Network Restrictions
Workplaces, schools, and many other institutions and facilities prohibit access to certain websites while using their networks. This may be for security purposes and also to keep employees and students focused on more appropriate tasks. They may prohibit websites such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, for example, along with any others that are deemed irrelevant to the institution’s needs. With a VPN, however, students and employees can easily access the blocked websites. If your heads of administration are watchful they may be able to detect that you’re using a VPN, but they won’t know what you’re using it for. This may get you in trouble, so keep in mind the potential risks as you weigh the importance of bypassing these network restrictions.
Blocking Government Surveillance
Just as VPNs are used to bypass work or school network restrictions, they can also be used to prevent government surveillance. This can be useful if the idea of someone spying on you and tracking your activity makes you uneasy. However, it’s not a good idea to use VPNs if using them is a punishable offense in your country. Your activity won’t be revealed to government security agencies, but the fact that you’re using a VPN will not be hidden. This can result in serious consequences, and it’s important that you do some deliberation and legal research before deciding to use a VPN for this purpose.
VPNs can slow down your connection speed a considerable amount, but in some situations, they are useful for strengthening your connection and reducing lag time. This is particularly useful for people who like to play online games. If you find that your ping is really high, a VPN may help you get a faster and more direct route in connecting you to certain games. It’s not always 100% effective, but it can work for some people depending on where they are and what they’re trying to connect to.
Keeping You Safe
VPNs are useful to have even if you’re not a gamer or someone who wants to bypass network or security restrictions. The best thing a VPN can offer is better protection and safer internet access. Most people use Wi-Fi and hotspots more than they realize, and keeping activity hidden from potential predators makes having a VPN worth it. Your VPN provider may also offer additional protection for a low fee, making your online security investments go even further.
How to Connect to a VPN
There are several ways to connect to a VPN, and many of them fit well into most budgets. You can either set one up yourself or you can purchase one from a provider. The first option is a little bit more complicated and doesn’t provide any additional benefits that providers can offer, however many people prefer to use this method.
Setting Up Your Own VPN Server at Home
Hosting a VPN server at home is free and easy if you have the right equipment and the proper instructions. If you have more upload bandwidth than average, setting up a VPN server shouldn’t be a problem for you. For more information on how to set up your own server, check out this guide.
Purchasing VPN Service from a Provider
Each provider will offer different services at different prices. Some VPN services cost as low as 5 USD per month and others are as high as over 30 USD per month. Whatever you can afford to pay for a VPN, make sure it’s capable of delivering the services you need.
Originally posted 2017-03-21 21:32:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter