Have you ever wanted to play a video game or watch a movie only available in the US? Ever used public WiFi and felt like someone was watching you? You can solve these problems and many more using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A VPN is a security tool designed to encrypt data and hide your real IP address while browsing the Internet. It replaces your IP address with a temporary address hosted in a server located anywhere in South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, or as far as Canada.
While you can browse the Internet without experiencing any issues, below are some of the benefits of using a VPN in 2021.
Virtual Private Networks use military-grade techniques to encrypt your data while it’s transmitted on the Internet. The best clients use 256-bit encryption, the same algorithm the US government uses to protect classified information.
Besides encryption, VPNs also transmit your data through protocols that can’t be breached. OpenVPN is the most recommended protocol. Choose a VPN that uses this data technique. That said, some VPNs also allow you to switch protocols around because they have different benefits and disadvantages.
L2TP/IPSec, for example, is a complex data tunneling protocols primarily used to secure mobile devices. It uses 256-bit but it has been associated with leaks from time to time. PPTP, on the other hand, is one of the oldest data tunneling techniques out there. It uses 128-bit encryption though and is no longer recommended where L2TP/IPSec and OpenVPN can be used.
2—Unblock Entertainment Websites
One of the most popular reasons people buy VPNs is to unblock entertainment websites. Maybe someone wants to stream anime shows only available on Japanese TV networks. Maybe they want to stream UFC fights on ESPN.
Virtual Private Networks are excellent in unblocking entertainment websites. But they vary in the type of sites they can unblock. VPNs work by hiding your IP address and replacing it with an address located in a city or country that supports the websites you want to access.
However, some entertainment networks like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu have anti-VPN blocking firewalls. And as a result, not every VPN can help you access content on these platforms. This means you should take time to find a VPN that’s great at unblocking your favorite streaming networks.
When you think about it, no one should have the right to intercept your data while browsing the Internet. What’s more, you also deserve some privacy no matter what you could be doing online. Yet, the Internet is full of spies, stalkers, hackers, and websites that follow your digital footprint everywhere you go.
A VPN can shield your identity by masking your IP address. Of course, total privacy comes at the cost of hiding your real name, email address, and location. Many security experts also recommend that you use a safe browser like Tor.
4—Avoid Censorship while Abroad
If you regularly travel to China, Iran, or Turkmenistan, you might have experienced government censorship first-hand. In China, Google and YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all banned. In Iran, social media is illegal while in Turkmenistan, you can’t use YouTube.
Although some people might choose to follow the laws of these countries while on a visit, others cant’s stay off social media for work or personal reasons. You probably don’t believe these sites should be banned too. The best way to unblock these sites without alarming local governments is to use a VPN.
5—Protection while using Public WiFi
These days, nearly every business provides free WiFi to customers. Free connections help you save on mobile data. But they can also be a security risk. See, not everyone using hotel or airport WiFi has good intentions. Some users use the same WiFi to spy, stalk and steal sensitive personal details.
With a VPN, your IP address stays hidden and your data is encrypted. Hackers can always try to find your IP address but they can’t find it. They also can’t intercept your personal information. Some VPNs also protect you from malware and DDoS attacks to swatting and phishing scams.
6—Find Great Online Deals
If you buy stuff online regularly, you might have noticed some companies change their offers based on your location. For example, an airline based in Indonesia might have better offers for people in Jakarta compared to those in Seoul.
With the help of a VPN, you can switch your location to Jakarta to take advantage of the cheaper prices. It’s all legal. The price differences are for promotions only. You can use this trick while purchasing anything online. Switch your IP address around to discover where you can save the most money.
In the past, VPNs had a reputation for slowing performance and Internet speeds. Today, these security tools have advanced so much that they barely make a difference to your PC’s performance and connection speeds. Instead, they can help you get a better experience doing such things are streaming and using torrent sites.
Let’s start with streaming. Many Internet providers dislike streamers because they hog bandwidth. To fight back, they slow your Internet connections purposely. They could also cut your connections temporarily to frustrate you.
When it comes to torrenting, your enemy can be your IP provider, hackers or the government. Torrents are generally illegal. And the websites are rampant with hackers. A VPN can protect you against all these threats, though.
8—Remote File Access
This is a great benefit for people that work away from their offices. Maybe you’re on a field trip to Busan. Or you’re in the office but forgot some files on your home computer. Accessing the files without protection can expose you to hackers.
However, a VPN can provide the security needed to access your files securely. Virtual Private networks secure the data, hide your identity and transmit the files through safe protocols. That said, transferring data remotely is a tad technical but it’s reliable once understood.