10 Reasons You Need a VPN Right Now
People who connect their devices to unsecure public Wi-Fi networks should consider a VPN. Without a VPN, hackers can access your personal data and browsing history.
Sensitive information like your credit card number and work emails are constantly transmitted online. This is trackable by anyone on the same network, including advertisers, trolls, and cybercriminals.
1. Secure Your Internet Connection
Without a VPN, your personal data is easily viewed by anyone with access to the public network. This includes your Internet service provider (ISP), intrusive snoopers, and hackers.
A VPN secures your connection by creating a virtual tunnel between you and the web, masking your identity, location, and browsing history. This hides your data from ISPs and other third parties who track user activity, and it protects you even on unsecured Wi-Fi networks like those in coffee shops and hotels.
A good VPN will offer a kill switch, encryption protocols, and other industry-standard features to keep you safe. A good all-in-one solution will also let you protect multiple devices, including your smartphone and tablet, with the same account. This is especially important for frequent travelers and digital nomads who use a variety of devices on the go.
2. Hide Your IP Address
A VPN hides your IP address by encrypting your data and scrambling it so that hackers on public WiFi networks can’t read your browsing activity. This keeps your private browsing, online shopping, and email from being tracked by anyone else other than you and the people you connect to.
Your IP address also contains information about your rough geographic location, which some websites and services use to enforce regional restrictions. For example, many online retailers set different prices depending on your location, a practice known as geo-blocking. By connecting to a VPN server in the country of your choice, you can bypass these restrictions and save money on your purchases.
A VPN can also help you get around geo-blocks on streaming services. Simply connect to a VPN server in the country where the content is available to stream or download it.
3. Access Blocked Content
Sometimes websites restrict their content to users in specific countries. This can happen because of copyright, licensing, or other restrictions. But a VPN can get around these restrictions, unblocking sites that would otherwise be blocked by censorship or geo-restrictions.
When you use a VPN, you connect to the internet via a remote server, masking your actual location. Then, when you visit a website, it thinks your virtual location is that server.
This makes it much harder for hackers or other third parties to snoop on your browsing activity. Even if they do manage to sniff out your information, they’ll only see gibberish. This is especially important when using public wifi, where malware infections are common and can steal login credentials or credit card numbers. Using a VPN for public wifi is essential to protect yourself from these threats.
4. Unblock Geo-Restricted Websites
Whether you’re traveling abroad or working from home, VPNs can help unblock geo-restricted websites and content. Some premium streaming services and gambling platforms limit access based on your location. Others do this to protect copyright and licensing agreements.
VPNs can change your IP address to make it look like you’re using the service from a different country. Depending on the VPN you choose, this could be as simple as connecting to a different server or changing your virtual location.
Choose a VPN that offers a large number of servers in multiple locations around the world to maximize your chances of unlocking region-specific content. Also, consider a VPN that offers ten or more simultaneous connections, so you can connect to the VPN from multiple devices at once.
5. Hide Your Browsing History
Many websites, apps and cybercriminals can track your browsing history by tying it to your IP address. This allows them to sell your information to advertisers and hackers. It can also be used to target you with personalized ads. A VPN hides your browsing history by scrambling the data into an unintelligible stream of code.
It also prevents your ISP from selling your browsing history because it only sees gibberish code. This is a big benefit for people who frequently use public Wi-Fi, especially travelers and those who work remotely. Some online marketplaces also display prices differently based on your location, so using a VPN can help you save money. Just imagine buying a cappuccino and paying $5 when the person before you paid $4. That could add up to hundreds of dollars saved over a year!
6. Protect Your Privacy
Whenever you browse the web, your online activity is associated with your IP address, which can easily be traced back to you by hackers and cybercriminals. VPNs protect your privacy by acting as a digital middleman between you and the Internet, shielding your data from others as per this VPN post on Reddit.
For instance, you may notice that hotels and airlines use dynamic pricing tactics to increase prices based on location, currency, and points of sale. By using a VPN, you can mask your location and avoid these price hikes.
A VPN can also protect your privacy when you’re logging into your online banking or credit card accounts on public Wi-Fi connections. This is especially important because hackers are known to target people on unsecure networks. VPNs make it harder for them to steal your information because they encrypt it before transmitting it.
7. Secure Your Privacy
If you’ve ever logged into your online bank account while sitting at the airport or paid for a coffee at a Starbucks, you’ve made yourself vulnerable to cybercriminals on public Wi-Fi networks. Even if you don’t use a public network, hackers can spy on your devices and intercept information through Man-in-the-Middle attacks or fake apps.
VPNs protect your privacy by encrypting your data so it isn’t readable to anyone on the outside. It’s like sending scrambled information through a tunnel and then deciphering it on the other side with an encryption key.
VPNs also hide your browsing history from Internet service providers and other third parties, preventing them from selling your personal information or using it for discriminatory practices such as price discrimination on airlines or hotels. Choose a VPN that doesn’t keep logs of your activity and ensure it uses the highest level of encryption possible.
8. Avoid Internet Censorship
Using the internet can be scary these days. Hackers can spy on your personal information, steal your identity, and do other nasty things. A VPN acts as an invisibility cloak, protecting your data from cyberthieves and giving you peace of mind.
If you use public Wi-Fi (like in a coffee shop or airport), a VPN will protect you from hackers who can infiltrate these networks and set up fake look-alike wifi hotspots. A VPN scrambles your data, so even if a hacker does intercept it, they’ll only see unreadable encrypted data.
Some online services restrict content based on your location, like airlines and rental car companies that change prices to incentivize customers from different countries or websites that offer limited free access and then charge after a certain amount of time. A VPN can get around these restrictions by connecting to a server in a different country.
9. Access Private Networks
Using a VPN is the best way to get around firewalls. It encrypts your internet traffic, so it’s hard for companies to track what you do online and use that information against you. It also helps you avoid location-based pricing, which happens when businesses charge different prices based on your location.
Everyone who uses the internet should consider getting a VPN, especially people who travel or frequently use public Wi-Fi. It’s easy for hackers to infiltrate unsecure networks and expose your browsing activity. Even people who don’t travel often can benefit from a VPN, as it protects them against cybercriminals targeting them for scams and malware. It also encrypts their connection and scrambles web browsing data so it’s unintelligible for unauthorized onlookers. This includes people who work from home or are relocating to another country. This way, they can access their favorite websites and streaming services.
10. Get Around Firewalls
Whether you log into your online bank account or pay your credit card bill from your local coffee shop, you could be at risk for cyberattacks. Hackers can easily infiltrate unsecure public Wi-Fi networks and set up fake lookalike networks and hotspots to steal your personal information.
VPNs scramble the data that travels from and to your computer, making it unintelligible to anyone who snoops. This feature protects you from hackers, your Internet service provider (ISP), and even government agencies that spy on your online activity.
Many companies also use firewalls to restrict certain apps and websites that they think reduce productivity or violate company policies. VPNs can help you get around these firewalls by routing your Internet traffic through a server in another country. A VPN with RAM-only servers, perfect forward secrecy, and strong leak protection can do the trick.