VPN is a padlock for your digital life. In this article you will get to know 10 reasons why EVERYBODY should use a VPN
- Anonymity: VPNs keep all your online activity and communications secure, along with your identity, making them a must have for anyone who is concerned about hackers, snooping or their privacy online. They also prevent your ISP from tracking your activities and allowing you to visit websites that aren’t allowed in your country, like Pirate Bay or streaming sites.
- Different IP Addresses: You can browse the web from different IP addresses, which is great for when you’re traveling. For instance: say you’re a British national in the US and you want to watch the BBC. Simple, just login in with a UK IP and VOILA. And it works the same in reverse, giving US citizens access to US content from outside of the US.
- Wi-Fi Security: If you’re logging onto public Wi-Fi networks like the ones used inside of airports and coffee shops, a VPN will keep your details secure, hiding you behind a layer of encryption and making it impossible for hackers to access your personal data.
VPNs used to be just something that was reserved for corporate employees, allowing them to securely log into their company intranets safe from prying eyes. But if the news about increased hacks from nefarious individuals and even governments continue to increase, more and more people are turning to personal VPNs to up their digital security.
But what is a VPN, you might ask? It stands for “virtual private network” and the VPN is just a secure connection of networked computers. “Networked computers” simply means “the internet” and a “secure connection” means that digital security keys are sent to between the two computers talking that ensure no other computer can pick up the data being sent between the two. In other words, the data is encrypted.
Why do you need a VPN in your life? The most obvious reasons are as follows:
A lot of people in the past few years have become familiar with VPNs thanks to Netflix. How it works was simple: you install a VPN
, activate it and, BOOM, you’re watching US Netflix. Netflix in the US, in case you didn’t know, is VASTLY superior to what we have here in the UK. And by vast, I mean like the difference between a petrol station garage shop and Tesco Extra.
But then Netflix did a very uncool thing; it started blocking VPN access.
This angered A LOT of people. I actually canceled my subscription. Still, Netflix aside, I would not have a VPN setup on my home network and the main reasons for this are detailed below.
As we put more and more of our real lives online, encryption is more important than ever. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 10 reasons you need a VPN:
- There are as many legitimate, legal reasons for downloading torrents as there are torrent users who download pirated movies. The problem is ISPs have a very hard time distinguishing between the two. That means they sometimes block users who are using torrents for legitimate reasons. A VPN would make it much harder for your ISP to see you are the one downloading torrents.
- From our photos to our personal health records to our finances: most of our lives are online nowadays. Using a VPN will provide extra encryption and security when you are transferring your personal data between your computer and institutions.
- Live in the US, but traveling in France and don’t like the content Netflix offers while out of the country? Using a VPN could allow you to make it look like you are still in the US, thus giving you access to Netflix’s US catalog.
- For many, most email services provide sufficient privacy when transmitting emails. But journalist and researchers send messages containing data that, more often than not, some people might want to try extra hard to intercept. Using a VPN will provide extra encryption for your message and even make you look like you are sending or receiving them from a location you are not in–helping to protect your physical safety if you are researching or reporting on a story someone doesn’t want to get out.
- While companies have stepped up their game encrypting texts and emails, they still lag behind on VOIP security. That is calls and video chats made over Skype, FaceTime and similar services. Using a VPN will add extra security and encryption to your video chats, making them harder to be intercepted.
- Public Wi-Fi hotspots like those found at most cafes are notorious hangouts for hackers. That’s because these hotspots generally have very weak security to the public can get onto them with little effort. Using a VPN will add the security to these hotspots that they should have.
- Online storage solutions like Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive do a decent amount of work securing your files on their servers. However, when the files are in transit, that’s another issue altogether. Use a VPN to add extra encryptions to your cloud storage upload and downloads.
- If you play a lot of MMORPG or other online games using a VPN can create a direct and secure connection between you and your friends. This means there will be fewer data from other players flowing down your network, which should increase game load times as well as limit any buffer overflows.
- Most companies store cookies on your computer or they track your ISP (or both) to see what you do online and what you click on. They then use this information to show you ads. Amazon is notorious for doing this. But you can stop Amazon and other similar sites from building up an anonymous database of your clicks by using a VPN as each time you surf the web it will look like it’s a different computer because your IP will change each time.
- If you have a small business and are checking out competing businesses in the area, those businesses could actually find out you are looking into them relatively easily by looking at their Google Analytics data. Use a VPN to hide your true IP and ISP and location and that marketing firm across the street will have no idea your startup is checking them out.
Last modified: March 3, 2018