Uses of a VPN

What Are Some Common Uses of a VPN?

Virtual Private Networks or VPNs are used today for many reasons, but all of them fall under the same general umbrella – securely connecting your device to devices around the world.

While a VPN served a purpose for businesses to connect employees remotely from all around the world, their goal has revolutionized over the years. Nowadays, VPNs around used in wide-ranging departments to avail great discounts, securely use public Wi-Fi, be anonymous on the web and much more.

Here are the top uses of a VPN and the reasons to use a VPN service:

  1. Avoid ISP Tracking

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is the one that provides you with the internet at your home. Since your ISP powers your internet, it knows your IP address, geographical location, session time, browsing history, downloading history, and so much more of your private information.

A VPN masks your real online identity (IP and location) and provides you with a temporary identification (IP and location). With your real IP disguised, you can conveniently avoid tracking activities commonly done by ISPs as the VPN will route your internet traffic through the server you’re connected to (possibly in another country).

  1. Great Discounts on Online Shopping

A VPN is a perfect shopping hack that will help you get around price discrimination by hiding your geographical location, your IP address and giving you a private browsing experience.

For example, you see a great deal on the iPhone X on Amazon Canada while you’re living in Brazil where the iPhone costs more. All you’ll have to do it connect to the VPN server in Canada which will make you look like you’re present in Canada.

This way, you can avail the discount being offered in the Canadian market.

  1. Streaming Blocked Online Content

Access your favorite TV shows, movies, and other blocked content right on your device. Get instant access to blocked content from around the globe once connected to the VPN service.

A VPN will allow you to connect to multiple countries from where you can access the blocked content. Let’s say your favorite show is Scandal, which is available on Netflix, and you’re living in Hong Kong. The show is unavailable in the Hong Kong region and without a VPN, you will be unable to watch the show.

All you do is download the VPN app, login with your credentials and connect to the country where the show is available. In our case, Scandal is available in the US. Connect to the US server and stream the show right on your device.

Learn How to watch Netflix from Anywhere with VPN

  1. Public Wi-Fi Security

A recent survey concluded that 70% of tablet owners and 53% of smartphone owners stated that they use public Wi-Fi hotspots. Public Wi-Fi networks attract hackers who target these unsecured networks present with loopholes to get a hold of users’ private information (name, address, credit card details, etc.)

Public Wi-Fi is the most dangerous form of connecting to the internet as cybercriminals can eavesdrop on your online activities and amass your confidential information.

A VPN provides you with encryption that secures your online activities with the highest secrecy while disguising your real online identity, hence keeping you anonymous on Public Wi-Fi networks at all times.

  1. Privacy from Website’s Tracking

The websites you visit online use tracking tools better known as cookies to understand your browsing and buying patterns. These websites gather your IP address, geolocation, local time and device details.

You can think of cookies a bit like an event wristband. If you attend a concert and put on your wristband, the door staff will recognize you if you leave and come back.

With a VPN, you can avoid any website tracking as you’re given a temporary virtual IP which changes upon your next connection; hence there is no existence of your online pattern.

  1. Anonymous Downloads

While you might not realize it, any sort of downloading leaves a digital footprint online. The website from where you downloaded a song, video, torrent or any other file, knows your IP address and geographical location – all that a cybercriminal needs to hack your device.

With a VPN, you can securely download files from the internet without leaving any trace. Go around downloading files without worrying about anyone keeping an eye on your downloading activities.

  1. Secure Connection on Your Campus

It’s a common practice for network administrators in schools or colleges to block access to social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat as well as streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO. Torrenting on college Wi-Fi networks is usually something students can only dream about.

While the purpose of blocking these sites is to have students focus on their education, who doesn’t want to get some air online.

With a VPN, students can dodge restrictions placed by their schools’ network administrators. When connected to a VPN, students can rest assured about their online presence and current location, making website accessibility a piece of cake. With encryption in place, all outgoing and incoming traffic is secured end-to-end.

While these are the primary reasons why individuals need a VPN, a business can benefit from making use of secure remote access, a dedicated account manager and much more.

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Ather Owais is a tech and cybersecurity enthusiast. He is a strong advocate for online privacy and security, following technological trends and their impact on today's digital era.

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