VPNs, or virtual private networks, have become significantly more popular and talk of them is growing more widespread over the past few years. Not only are business owners finding them tremendously helpful for securing their business, but they have plenty of use for everyday private users, as well. Here, we’re going to take a look at some of the major benefits of a VPN and why you should consider equipping yourself with one, whether it’s one of the free options out there or a premium tool to help you be as protected as possible.
They secure your connection from eavesdroppers
If you’re looking for ways to secure your internet connection, then you should recognize that VPNs have offered one of the single best revolutions in online protection since the first use of anti-malware software. Virtual private networks essentially emulate a connection to a different terminal than your own device. Your device connects to the private network, which then encodes all of the data that you upload and download, and this private network then connects to the net for you. As such, no one can eavesdrop on your connection, so to speak. If anyone was able to access your internet connection, all they would be able to glean is encrypted data.
Make better use of insecure networks
If you’re constantly on the move, such as having to travel for your work, then you may be wary of public or even semi-private networks. By semi-private, we mean networks that have a password to protect them, but this password is ostensibly available to anyone who looks for it, such as a cafe with free WiFi access to its customers. You should always be somewhat wary of these connections but, with a VPN, you can make use of them knowing that your connection is encrypted, which adds a certain level of safety to them. Of course, you should make sure that you’re still making good use of anti-malware and anti-spyware software to keep it as safe as you can.
They allow you to access region-locked content
If you’re like many people, then you may well believe that the internet should remain as open a market as possible. Having private resources kept online is all well and good, but a lot of the time it can seem like content is arbitrarily gated based on what location you’re in. With a VPN, you can emulate a connection to the net from almost any country that you want. For instance, if you want to learn how to watch BBC iPlayer in the US, you can connect to it through a VPN using a UK server. Similarly, if you’re booking hotels overseas, did you know that you can get offered much better prices for tickets if the hotel believes you’re booking from within the same city or town?
Get more privacy while you download
Whatever the reason, most people do not want third parties to be able to see what they’re doing online or what they’re downloading. Many organizations and individuals capture a staggering amount of data about the average internet user, and there are many who object to this, especially since not every instance is going to see that data anonymized as it should be. To that end, a VPN offers you true online privacy, which is hard to get on the internet. There are some bodies that may still be able to get some access to your browsing history, such as your internet service provider, but you can make sure that it’s not widely available for all to see.
Getting around online censorship
We live in an increasingly complex online age where governments are looking at how heavy a hand they should play on the content they regulate on the internet. While we may be able to trust that some content can be regulated, there are increasing instances of entire portions of the internet that are relatively benign being blocked due to very real censorship, such as entire news websites, social media channels, and so on. If you’re worried about the censoring role that the government or even your own ISPs might start to make use of to gate you off from certain portions of the internet, then a VPN can help you get through them.
The above five benefits and uses of VPNs are not the only value that they have to offer, but they are the predominant reason that they’re used by most. Hopefully, you can see the role they have to play in your online life, too.