A VPN is a Virtual Private Network and the name does give a clue as to what it offers. It offers a private network to help you remain safe online via an encrypted virtual tunnel and by masking your own IP address and taking on an alternative one. This may sound boring but we are going to show you 5 cool things that you can do when you take out a plan with a VPN.
If you are deciding whether it is worthwhile to sign up with a VPN, the multiple uses of a plan will show you why it is definitely worth it. With a Virtual Private Network, you can:
- Remain anonymous
- Bypass censorship
- Put a barrier between you and hackers
- Torrent safely
- Overcome geo-restrictions.
You can see a nice infographic about this here: https://the-bestvpn.com/why-use-a-vpn/
Now let’s check them out one by one in more detail.
You can remain anonymous online
The term Big Brother is watching even applies to your online activities. The ISP, legal authorities, and even governments have eyes on whatever you do online. They can find out what websites you visit, any downloads you undertake, messages and emails sent, and more.
There has never been a better time to ensure you are anonymous online. A VPN can offer you the tools needed to become a ghost online so that no one can see your online activities.
With a VPN, your own IP address is masked, while you take on a new one from one of the many servers offered by the provider. You also have the protection of encryption.
You could take a server from your home country or even choose one from a country halfway around the world. By doing so, you fool everyone into thinking you are located many thousands of miles away from your actual location.
If you use social media or forums to post online, you cannot be tracked down by your IP address if you say the wrong thing, even if you say it by accident. A VPN gives you back freedom of speech online as you remain anonymous, which is one good reason why you might want to use the service.
Bypass censorship in strict countries
For people who live in countries with high censorship, a VPN is an indispensable tool to have.
If you have the luxury of living in a country with internet freedom, you will have no idea what we are talking about by censorship. However, for people in countries such as China and Russia, the internet is not the same place as for those using it in say, the USA or the UK.
In restrictive countries, many thousands of websites that millions of people around the world take for granted are censored.
This includes popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram messaging app, and even the Google range of apps.
Countries with high censorship even frown upon the use of VPNs. They try to ban the servers providers’ offer to stop people using the service, and many countries block the websites of providers. If using a VPN to overcome censorship, you should take out a plan in your home country.
If you are planning to visit a country with strict censorship laws, a VPN is essential to overcome censorship.
With a plan, you have an encrypted virtual tunnel in place between the internet and whatever device you use online. Thanks to the encryption, the ISP cannot read the requests you send, so they have no idea what website you want to visit, so they cannot block you.
Stop hackers from obtaining your personal details
You might think that if you have malware and virus software installed on your device, you are safe when browsing the internet and downloading. Wrong! While malware will protect you to some extent, and virus software will eradicate any viruses found on your computer, it cannot stop hackers.
Hackers can access your data, and more so if you use free public WiFi. When you send data, which might include bank or credit card details, user names, and passwords for online accounts, you are at risk.
A VPN stops hackers from gaining access to your information. First, you take on an alternate IP address while your own is masked. Second, you are behind a virtual tunnel protected with military-grade encryption.
Hackers cannot read any data you send over the internet as it is scrambled, so they cannot get hold of your personal details.
Torrent and download without your ISP knowing
Did you know that when you download files online, your ISP knows exactly what you download? They also know when it was downloaded and even the name of the file you downloaded.
If you use torrent clients to download copyrighted content, you put yourself at risk of being caught out. Eventually, you will be on the receiving end of a warning letter from your ISP. If you continue to download illegally, you might even end up in court.
With the encrypted tunnel in place and a change of IP address, the ISP cannot track what you do online, so there is no risk of them finding out what you download.
This is a really cool feature of using a VPN, don’t you think?
Finally, but by no means, the least reason to choose a VPN is to bypass geo-restrictions.
Geo-restrictions are put into place when you visit a country outside of your own country, and you want to stream content from your own country.
As the ISP knows where you are located based on your IP address, you cannot access all the sites from your home country.
For example, if you live in America but visit the UK on vacation, you cannot tune in to US Netflix. Instead, you will be taken to the UK version. The UK version does not offer the full catalog of the content offered in America, so the chances are you cannot continue watching your favorite TV shows.
Netflix is just one example. You will also be geo-blocked from streaming HBO, ABC, or any other US TV channel unless you have a VPN.
With a VPN, you can connect to a server in the USA, and the ISP believes that is where you are located, so you bypass the geo-restrictions.