In this digital age, you might be a bit overloaded by all the different add-ons, software programs, and tech gadgets being hawked in every corner of the web. But before you plug your ears to block out the noise, take a hard look at the reasons for getting a VPN (Virtual Private Network). You won’t regret it.
A VPN for home or public connections can ensure your privacy while online, protect you from malicious attacks, and open up a world of content such as movies and online games.
What is a VPN?
Before diving deeper into the reasons for getting a VPN, let’s take a step back and answer the question, “What is a VPN?”
Think of the internet as a public freeway. The pieces of information you send or request are like vehicles merging onto or off. But on the road, anyone can see your info and where it’s headed. They can even crash into, sabotage, or follow it home. But a VPN is like your private tunnel to and from your home device. No traffic. No snooping. No risk to your device or important information. Just you getting and sending data with no threats.
How do you access this tunnel? You download a simple program or app, called a client, which encrypts your message, meaning it puts it into a secret code that third parties can’t understand.
You are then ready to connect and surf the web anonymously and securely.
Why use a VPN?
The list of reasons for using a VPN is long, but to give you an idea of just how essential they are, imagine this scenario: you flip open your laptop and navigate to your bank’s website. You log in to check your balance, only to find it has been drained to the dregs. Someone got a hold of your bank information.
It’s a scenario that is more likely than you might think. Public Wi-Fi networks, for instance, are notoriously unsecure, and a hacker may be able to access this type of information without too much trouble. A VPN, however, makes this sort of attack nearly impossible. Read on for a few more reasons why having a VPN is in your best interest.
The behemoths of big data are in the news regularly these days for new invasions of privacy. Even governments themselves are catching flack for overreaching with their long and powerful digital arm. But you can use a VPN to protect your identity, information, and online experience.
Some might say, “But I have nothing to hide!” However, even the most innocent information, such as your zip code, could be turned against you. A company might charge you more for a product or service based on your geographical location or use your purchase history to fire off a salvo of targeted ads.
A VPN can mask your location, so your business doesn’t turn into somebody else’s bottom line.
Access to content
Another big plus of having a VPN? It’s like a rabbit hole to a wonderland of content.
For example, many sports leagues have blackout restrictions on live streaming, keeping you from catching your favorite team’s epic win while it’s happening.
A VPN is a workaround that can give you access to the live stream. Popular platforms for movies and TV shows, like Netflix or Amazon, have similar geographic restrictions that limit the kind of content you can watch. Or a new and enthralling online game may only be available in certain areas.
A VPN is often the magic key to unlock this entertainment.
Release the stranglehold of data throttling
Have you ever noticed your internet speed take a sudden dive? It could be because your internet service provider has intentionally slowed it down.
This practice, called data throttling, can be used by internet service providers to pad their profits. Instead of investing in better infrastructure and equipment to handle high volume loads, they anticipate peak traffic times and pick and choose which connections they will give priority and which they will slow.
With a VPN, you can break free from this discriminatory practice and reclaim your right to the internet, where your traffic should be given just as much importance as anyone else’s.