Who Needs a VPN?
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) route all your traffic through a private server in order to encrypt your data and provide a safer and more secure connection. As well as being a fantastic way of protecting the information you’re transferring online, VPNs allow you to bypass region-blocked websites and generally offer better performance speeds. In this article, we’ll explore the many reasons why VPNs are becoming so popular and the times when you might be required to use one.
Who Needs a VPN?
The reasons for using a VPN differ from person to person. Maybe you live in a country such as China where internet activity is censored and heavily monitored or maybe you’re employed by a company that handles sensitive data that requires more vigorous security methods. Sooner or later, you may find yourself in a situation in your personal or work life where you’re required to use a VPN.
Understanding the benefits a VPN can offer will help you learn how to properly protect yourself online. By knowing the best times to use a VPN, you can lower the risk of your information being compromised by online hackers and exposed to ISPs. For those of you living in countries with less progressive policies, knowing how and when to use a VPN can actually be a life-saving skill.
The Best Times to Use a VPN
We’d recommend using a VPN every time you connect to the internet, regardless of your location. There are times when your personal information like social media logins, online banking information, and card details are at risk if you’re not connected. Keep reading to see the best times to use a VPN below.
To Protect Yourself on a Public Wi-Fi Network
We’ve already explained the dangers of public Wi-Fi networks and why it's time to stop using them here. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you’re forced to connect to a public Wi-Fi network, using a VPN is absolutely essential. Hackers love public Wi-Fi networks since they provide an opportunity to expose anyone. Since they’re usually free, they’re entirely unsecured and come with no encryption at all, making them a hotbed for hacker activity.
If you’re logged into guest Wi-Fi at a hotel, cafe or any other public location, your information isn’t safe. There are a number of different methods that hackers can use to access information such as your email logins credentials, your bank account and even personal photos and videos. These methods vary from simple malware injections to Evil Twin attacks, where the network you believe you’re connected too is actually the hacker’s network.
By connecting your devices to a VPN, you’re encrypting the data that you’re transferring over a public Wi-Fi network, which will render nearly all of the most common methods used by hackers completely useless. Be warned though: you can’t connect to your VPN until you’re connected to the internet. While this connection gap might only be for a brief couple of seconds, that could be all the time that cybercriminals need to compromise your devices. VPNs can protect you against most of the dangers you’re exposed to using a public Wi-Fi network – but not all of them.
To Access Geo-Restricted Content
There’s nothing worse than getting excited about the release of a new TV show or film on Netflix, only to discover that you can’t access it because you live in a different country. Geo-restricted content is what’s only available in certain regions, whether that’s a website or the latest shows on Netflix. Thankfully, using a VPN means you can bypass geo-restrictions and access content all over the world.
VPNs allow you to connect to private networks all over the world. While your choice of VPN provider will determine precisely how many cities and countries you’re allowed to connect to, you’ll struggle to find a VPN provider that doesn’t grant you access to at least 50 countries. If all of this sounds too good to be true, there’s no need to worry. Many countries consider the use of a VPN completely legal, which means you won’t be getting any knocks at the door for accessing too much Netflix content.
You can connect your video game consoles to a VPN too. Prices for digital games and DLC can fluctuate dramatically depending on which country you live in. If you’re sick of paying ludicrous prices for digital video games when the rest of the world is getting them for substantially cheaper, simply use a VPN to change the location your console is set to.
Changing your location using a VPN couldn’t be any simpler. Simply download and install your chosen VPN, log-in with your details and then follow the instructions to connect to any country you like.
To Improve Online Gaming Speeds
Are you really serious about online gaming if you aren’t using a VPN? The strength of your internet connection in online multiplayer games can often determine whether you’re a winner or a loser. Not only does using a VPN allow you to access digital gaming content, but it also reduces your ping and improves your download and upload speeds. As VPNs choose a more direct route to networks than your standard network connection, you’ll benefit from a faster and more reliable internet connection. Think of it this way: there are numerous routes your connection can choose to travel and a VPN can help choose the quickest one.
To Protect Your Identity
No one likes the idea of being constantly watched. Unfortunately, the truth is that when you’re using the internet and not using a VPN, anyone can find out what websites you’ve been visiting, how long you’ve been there for and in some cases, read the messages and information you’ve been transferring. For many people, this won’t be a problem, but it becomes a problem when you live in a country that enforces tyrannical measures to monitor how its residents are using the internet, especially when this enforcement is followed up by direct action.
While many Governments such as those in China and Russia are cracking down on the use of VPNs, they’re one of the safest ways of protecting your identity online where such measures haven’t yet been introduced. For added protection, always use a VPN alongside TOR. If you live in fear that somebody is always watching what you’re up to online, using a VPN helps to provide reassurance.
Ready to Start Using a VPN?
If you’ve read through the reasons above and have realized that it’s time you started using a VPN, you’re ready to decide which VPN client would be best for you. There are lots of different VPN clients to choose from. Thankfully, the experts at VPN Pros have spent enough time with each of them to help you find the best VPN for your specific requirements. Simply visit our homepage for an in-depth summary of the best VPN clients that are out there.