Even if you’ve never used a VPN yourself, it’s likely that you’ve heard of others who do use them. It’s common that top VPNs on the market sponsor online content creators, and these advertisements have exposed millions of people to the idea of the virtual private network. However, it’s not always clear exactly why using a VPN is so worthwhile. If you’ve ever wondered, “why use a VPN?” here are the answers.
Why Use a VPN: The Basics
A basic explanation of what a VPN is; it’s a program that allows you to alter the data you send and receive when using the internet. There are two elements to the process by which a VPN changes your data. First, it redirects your traffic to emerge from a different location than your actual IP. This location might be down the street, across the state, or on the other side of the planet, and virtually all VPNs allow you to choose the nation you want to place your VPN in.
Simply acting as a proxy wouldn’t be enough to protect your data, but any good VPN also includes robust encryption. When it passes through the virtual private network, it encodes the data to make sure that prying eyes can’t see what you’re doing. The most fundamental reason why to use a VPN is the way that it prevents corporations, governments, and malicious individuals from intruding upon your right to privacy.
Protect Your Privacy
When you use the internet without any protective mechanism in place, your ISP and other actors can ascertain everything that you do. Deleting your history does nothing to prevent them from spying on you, and many organizations have taken to gathering consumer data as if they’re entitled to it. However, the only entitlement when it comes to your personal data is your right to keep it private.
Besides maintaining your right to privacy in the face of the legal spying that pervades modern society, VPNs also have valuable and absolutely practical applications.
Stay Safe When Using Public Wifi
Keeping your data away from the prying eyes of your ISP is mostly a matter of principle and peace of mind. However, public wifi in cafes, airports, and other locations is often fraught with hazards. Scammers can run fake networks that are meant to resemble reputable ones, and logging in risks compromising any data you run across the network.
This is where the value of a VPN’s encryption function really shows. Even if you access an unsafe network, it will still protect you from many forms of data theft and hacking. While there’s no replacement for exercising due caution when accessing public wifi networks, using a VPN provides a second layer of protection that can prevent an oversight from becoming a disaster.
Why Use a VPN in Your Professional Life
When people think of reasons why to use a VPN, privacy and entertainment are often the most prominent. However, information workers and other professionals can glean a great deal of value from VPN usage. Being able to change your location and protect your data dramatically expands the flexibility with which you can work while also providing useful means of research.
Businesses often use their own, secure servers for email, communications, and other work. Traditionally, this meant that it would be impossible to work without being present at the office as to access the server. This is more and more of a problem today, as teams consist of individuals across the globe and rely on remote working more each year that passes. This doesn’t mean that your organization needs to give up on the unparalleled security of a private server for work purposes, however.
While VPN’s allow you to use one of their IPs for your purposes, most also allow you to remotely connect to the IP of your choice. While making use of this function is slightly more technically demanding compared to standard VPN usage, tech support and online tutorials can walk people through it step-by-step. Furthermore, once a team figures it out they’ll each be able to connect from the office server and work at full efficiency whether they’re at the office in New York City or a bungalow in Laos. Thanks to the encryption function, the data will remain completely secure.
VPNs for eCommerce
When it comes to successful eCommerce operations, it’s invaluable that you have good, area-specific SEO that ranks effectively. Normally, you can only gauge the success of SEO outside of your area by sluggish metrics that don’t respond quickly to changes in your strategy. Using a VPN with a large number of IPs available for use means that you can get immediate feedback on the success of your search engine optimization.
It’s as simple as changing your IP to the locality you’re attempting to market your product in and running the relevant web searches. Google and other search engines will treat you as if your queries originate from your virtual IP, which means that you can instantly check the performance of your region-focused web content.
Why Use a VPN for Gaming, Streaming, and Entertainment
People are often drawn to using a VPN for entertainment-oriented reasons. While it’s easiest to use a VPN on your PC, it’s also possible to run your console gaming and streaming through a VPN in various ways. In these cases, privacy is appealing, but the main benefits of using a virtual private network are practical.
Access More Active Servers
Many online games use region-locked servers in an attempt to minimize latency, but this can leave some people trapped in dead servers. If you have sufficiently fast internet and want to join in the fun overseas, a VPN can allow you to access more populated servers and find games more easily.
Enjoy More Streaming Content
Streaming services almost always region lock much of their content, as the licensing rights for streaming become more expensive the more regions that they involve. If you’re traveling or live abroad and want to watch the latest shows, you’ll often find the programs you want to watch locked away on a region-oriented basis.
Of course, Netflix and other top streaming websites want to enforce region locks, so they’re constantly working to crackdown on VPN-based viewership. However, the industry leaders are often able to stay ahead and provide unrestricted streaming access.
Find Interesting Content Sooner
Even when content isn’t necessarily locked out from a given region, release timetables often vary. One region might get access to a show or game before others; this is particularly common for Japanese videogames. However, Australia also often gets access to the latest releases almost a day ahead of American and European audiences. If you’re waiting for a new release, using a VPN can allow you to complete the latest and most exciting content before your friends have even gotten started.
Prices for the same products and services can vary wildly depending on geographic location. In many cases, it’s possible to save a bit of money by using a VPN to take advantage of these savings. Of course, this possibility comes with many caveats. Besides the cost of using your VPN, currency conversion fees and related expenses will bite into your margin of savings.
It’s also questionable how consistently you’ll be able to find these opportunities to save by using a VPN. Companies may also take measures to make it more difficult to take advantage of these opportunities via methods such as barring consumers from using overseas bank accounts, attempting to spot VPN-related IPs, etc. Nonetheless, there is a real potential to save at least part of the money that you spend on your VPN service by paying less for other services.
Learn More About Using VPNs
Why use a VPN? The answer is clear; using a VPN has many advantages in the realm of personal privacy, work efficiency, data security, and entertainment access. If you want to find out more about how to use a virtual private network and why data security matters in the digital age, you’re in the right place. Follow me and the work we’re doing at VPN.com to keep up with the latest trends of the information era.