Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Use a VPN
VPNs are growing in popularity and decreasing in cost every day. A VPN has many uses, from protecting your privacy, preventing identity theft, to saving you money. Below we list the Top 10 best things we like to answer when we are asked, “why use a VPN?”
Top Tip – Given the many great ways you can use a VPN, everyone should be using one. They are super value for money, costing as little as $3.08 per month; that’s less than a cup of your favorite coffee!
For newbies wondering, “what‘s a VPN?”, a VPN is an online service you access through a small app installed on your computer or device that re-routes your Internet traffic. The VPN acts as an intermediary (“middle man”) for your Internet connection, encrypting your online traffic, masking the IP address of your online activities and preventing you from being detected online.
1) Wi-Fi Hotspot Security
A VPN can protect your passwords, banking data and other sensitive information from eavesdroppers and criminals at airports, cafes and anywhere else you use open or public wireless (Wi-Fi) Internet hot spots.
2) Preventing Online Tracking & Profiling
A VPN can stop third parties from detecting your online presence, tracking your activities and profiling you. When many hundreds or thousands of other VPN customers are sharing the same IP addresses with you, this “confuses” Internet profiling firms and hides your activities from online detection, monitoring and tracking.
If you don’t think online tracking and profiling is a big deal, take these online privacy checks to see just how easily you and your activities can be followed across the Internet.
3) Unlimited TV Streaming
A VPN lets you watch the online TV shows, movies and live webcasts anywhere and anytime you want. This is because a VPN lets you choose (and change) the geographic locations of your Internet connection. This means you can use a VPN to dissolve national boundaries when it comes to watching streaming online content, especially for live sporting events and entertainment.
4) Hiding your IP address (Mask your Online Presence)
You can hide behind a VPN when engaging in sensitive activities on the web, whether checking topics you want to keep private (health, financial problems, sexuality etc.), conducting research on rivals or competitors, when mass downloading from websites, or any other circumstances where you would rather not leave behind a trail of your IP address “breadcrumbs”.
A VPN makes your Internet connection seem like it originates from somewhere else, helping protect your identity and your activities from any adverse disclosure, whether now or in the future (for example, if records are being kept and saved for later).
5) Anonymous Torrent File-sharing
Another reason to why use a VPN is that it can keep your torrent file-sharing private and safe from snooping whether by your ISP or third-parties. Increasingly, torrent file-sharers are coming under scrutiny and their torrenting activities are subject to monitoring and surveillance.
The right VPN can even anonymize your torrent file-sharing and protect you from these invasions of your privacy.
6) Preventing ISP Slow Downs (Throttling & Shaping)
A VPN can also protect and hide all of your online activities from your nosy ISP. Without a VPN your ISP can see, monitor and know about everything you do online. This makes sense as essentially all of your Internet traffic is travelling through the ISP on its way to and from your computer or device. This exposes you to a number of risks, some of which we already mentioned above such as activity monitoring and profiling.
However, ISP’s are also prone to throttling and shaping (slowing down) their customers’ Internet connection and speeds based on your activities. ISP’s also issue warnings and in some cases cancel accounts if they don’t approve of your online activities. With a VPN, all of your activities are sent via an encrypted tunnel, which even your own ISP cannot see inside of, protecting you from these potential outcomes.
7) Circumventing Censorship
A VPN allows you to access sites and content otherwise blocked from your location. Perhaps you live in a place where the authorities don’t believe in free speech and government censors limit your ability to access certain websites. Or perhaps you are travelling and want to access websites or content located “back home” that are blocked from where you are currently staying.
With a VPN you can get around this kind of censorship and access blocked websites and censored content. Choosing the right VPN can even let you enjoy the censor side-stepping benefits of Tor (the Onion Router).
8) Enjoying Price Bargains and Other “Geo Shifting” Benefits
You would be amazed to learn how much prices and selection for the same goods and services vary by location. This happens because many businesses charge different prices and rates depending on where you live.
With a VPN, you can choose your country location and make it seem like you are based somewhere else. By doing this you can access better prices and rates, and/or a wider selection of online services and goods.
For example, you can use a VPN to obtain preferential prices for airfares, hotels, VOIP providers and software apps. And you can use a VPN to obtain a better and wider selection from premium streaming services such as Netflix, HBO and Hulu.
9) Anonymous Sign-ups and Purchases
If you use the right VPN (one that doesn’t log its customers activities) together with a non-traceable email address and payment method such as Bitcoin, gift cards or temporary credit cards, you can pay for goods and services that can’t be linked back to you. Read more about Anonymous Payment Methods.
10) An Extra Layer of Protection
A VPN also acts as a virtual firewall that provides you with further protection against attacks from hackers and malware. Because your traffic is being routed via the VPN, you benefit from the extra security afforded by your VPN provider’s superior and often cutting edge hardware equipment and software.