Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are becoming gradually popular in an age where your privacy online is being watched, hacked, and sold. However, many people still contemplate VPNs to be overkill; if they have nothing to hide, why worry about confidentiality at all? It’s a common argument, but it’s beginning to sound like it came from someone looking to make money off of your Privacy.
Here are several reasons why you should be using a VPN
- Protected messaging
Online communications have evolved from simple text-based emails to robust cross-platform messaging services – including Whatsapp, Skype, Snapchat and messenger to name a few of the more popular ones. The concern is that not all of these are encoded, and therefore there’s the potential for messages to be interrupted and read.
Placing these messaging services through a VPN provides a higher level of safety with the inherent encryption, and keeps these discussions where they belong – in private.
Security is the ability to keep your internet browsing private. Because your activity goes through that VPN, which is not only located in a separate location but also encrypts your data before sending it out into the wild west of the internet, it’s nearly impossible for your ISP or the government to trace your activity back to the computer you were using. That’s not to say it’s impossible, and as a rule, we don’t recommend committing any international crimes, but using a VPN does make it harder for snooping eyes to spy on your online business.
- Secure public Wi-Fi
When out and about, staying connected is often essential, and free Wi-Fi has become a vital service for staying in touch with family members, as well as business colleagues. The added bonus is that using Wi-Fi won’t chew through your smartphone data plan.
Though, using public Wi-Fi can also be tense with hazards. These include packet sniffers, falling into phishing scams via fake Wi-Fi connections, and being hacked or infected with malware. The good news is that a VPN with a modern encryption protocol will help protect you and your precious data from these types of attacks.
Even when you’re on a hasty vacation halfway around the world, some evenings you just want to Netflix and chill, unfortunately, not all streaming shows or other entertainment are available everywhere around the world. The solution! Set your VPN to connect to your home country and you should be able to access your preferred flicks as effortlessly as if you were sitting on your own sofa. There’s another travel benefit, too: jet setting usually involves connecting to lots of unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks, nevertheless with your VPN security tunnel, you don’t need to worry about international hackers stealing your Tinder login.
- Carry out Sensitive Research Without Interference
Many types of research can be considered “sensitive”. Following on from some earlier points, if you have an unfair government, researching their activity may well attract attention, as might looking up censored material or movies.
Equally, if you’re in business, and you wish to assess the quality of your competitors, then keeping your activity private will stop them from catching on.
With a VPN installed and activated, you can protect yourself from observation. It’s worth selecting a server in a distant and safe location, however.
If you’re an addicted gamer, you may be propelling the brakes right about now. A VPN For gaming isn’t that a recipe for awful ping times and inactive performance? Hear us out: Gaming has all the pitfalls of other online activities, such as geo-restrictions against certain games and the risk of hacking and DDoS attacks. And if you get the right VPN, you may not see any difference in performance. For example, in a 2019 rundown of the best gaming VPNs, Desire Athow of Techradar wrote, “Hotspot Shield gave us some amazing performance, one of the best we’ve seen. You’ll hardly feel any slowdown even on long-distance servers.”
- End Google tracking
There are times when the ‘Do no evil’ firm, Google seriously starts to resemble ‘Big Brother’ as it seeks to track what every user does online, including searching their Gmail accounts to better target ads – although the firm has promised to stop this practice. Although Gmail aside, Google has plenty of mined data from other sources; it is a search engine giant, after all.
A VPN allows the user to stop Google from being the ‘camel that sticks its nose under the tent,’ and to take back control of their privacy. Without a VPN, users are literally tracked in just about everything they do online with Google’s suite of products from email, search, to G Suite apps, and when using the popular Chrome browser, among other contemplations.
- Save Money Shopping Online
Amazing as it might seem, some online stores will display different prices for the same item, based on which country you’re browsing from. This could be anything from a handbag, shoes, a new car, or even hotel rooms.
This is clearly intolerable for a consumer to have to contend with. The way out, therefore, is to search for prices carefully, methodically switch VPN servers with each attempt, until the lowest price can be found!
It might take a bit longer, but if we’re talking about saving hundreds of dollars (if not more) then it will be worth the struggle.
- Location-based charge targeting
Companies not only target their ads at customers, but they also modify their pricing as well. We can (regularly) accept the fact that a superstore chain may amend the price of a certain item at different locations due to ‘local competition’. However, this sort of practice gets more painful when it occurs over the internet, as in essence, it should be a level playing field.
Well, a VPN can even those odds right up. By being able to choose the VPN server’s location, you can change where the online shopping site will think that you are, and therefore benefit from the best price, as opposed to the one you’d have got from your real-world location.