VPNs are a hot topic right now. They’re popping up in tech news articles, and everyone is talking about them on social media. But what do they do?
A VPN is a virtual private network. It creates a secure connection between your device and the VPN server, allowing you to browse the web anonymously and protect your data from snooping third parties.
But there’s a lot more to VPNs than just anonymity and data protection. Here are some reasons you might use a VPN:
Why Use a VPN? Stay Safe on Public WI-FI
One use for a VPN is to anonymize your browsing. While you’re at the coffee shop, it’s easy to see other patrons checking Facebook or sending emails from their laptops and smartphones while they sip on triple-shot lattes.
But what are those people putting in their devices? Do you really want just anyone watching where you go online when you use public Wi-Fi?
A VPN creates a secure connection between your device and a server controlled by the VPN company, encrypting all of that data so that hackers can’t intercept it en route to its destination. So even if someone else tries to access information sent through an open network like Starbucks’, they won’t be able to read it because their computer only receives encrypted code—which, to them, looks like random gibberish.
You Hide Information From Your ISP
When you use a VPN, it’s more difficult for your ISP to see what sites and services you’re using. That prevents them from gathering information about which websites you visit—or where they can find that valuable data about you online.
So, if an ISP wants to sell anonymized user data or use it as part of targeted advertising campaigns, they won’t access those records. All of the traffic will appear as though it comes from the VPN server instead of your device.
This is a great way to keep your browsing habits from being monitored or even sold to the highest bidder.
Prevent Private Data Collection By Apps
But it’s not just your ISP that you need to worry about when it comes to data collection. Apps on your phone can also grab sensitive information without your knowledge or consent.
For example, the popular flashlight app Brightest Flashlight collected user data and sent it back to third-party companies. That data included things like your location, contact list, and device ID number.
VPNs can help prevent this by hiding your identity and encrypting traffic from the apps on your device. So even if an app does manage to collect some of your personal data, it won’t be able to use or share it without first decoding the encryption—a process that would be very difficult for most hackers.
Access Region-Locked Content
Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services are great when you’re traveling, but sometimes the content that’s available in one region is different than what’s available in another.
For example, if you’re a US resident trying to watch Netflix while on vacation in the UK, you’ll be disappointed to find out that many of your favorite shows and movies are unavailable.
But a VPN can help get around those region locks by routing your traffic through a server located in a country where the desired content is available. So, instead of seeing the standard “Sorry, this title is not available in your location” message, you’ll be able to stream all of your favorite programs without any restrictions.
VPNs can also be used to get around government censorship. If you’re in a country where certain websites or services are blocked, you can use a VPN to access them without any trouble.
For example, the Chinese government blocks many popular Western websites like Facebook and YouTube. But by using a VPN that has servers located in countries outside of China, it’s easy to access those sites without any restrictions.
This is why many journalists and political activists use VPNs to help protect their identities when they’re in countries where speaking out against the government is dangerous.
Click here to see how you can unblock YouTube videos.
Stop ISP Throttling
ISP throttling is another way that your Internet service provider can interfere with the speed and quality of your connection.
When you use a VPN, it essentially routes all of your traffic through one point, where it then connects to the rest of the internet. Your ISP doesn’t know which website or app you’re using because they only see encrypted data passing through its servers.
So, everything gets equal treatment instead of slowing down certain websites based on what kind of content their server might be sending (like downloading movies).
That means less buffering time for streaming video, better game performance without lag, and even faster file downloads when you use torrents or P-to-P services like Dropbox.
However, keep in mind that while a VPN can help improve your online experience in some ways, it’s not a magic bullet.
There may be some instances where the quality of your connection is still affected, especially if you’re using a free or low-quality VPN service. But for the most part, a good quality VPN will give you a noticeable boost in performance.
Is Using a VPN Illegal?
There’s a lot of debate surrounding the issue of VPNs and online privacy, with some people arguing that using a VPN is illegal. But the truth is that there are no laws in place that specifically make it illegal to use a VPN.
However, using a VPN to commit a crime (like stealing someone’s identity) would be considered an illegal activity. So if you’re planning on using your VPN for anything other than protecting your privacy, make sure you’re aware of the risks involved.
Why Should I Use a VPN?
The answer is definitely yes—there are plenty of reasons why having one can be helpful. But remember that not all VPNs are created equal, so do your research before signing up for one.
We hope this post has answered the question: “Should you use a VPN?” For more interesting articles, keep following our blog.