There’s been a lot of talk around VPNs recently, mainly due to the growing focus on cybersecurity and protection whilst we’re surfing the web and connecting to different WiFi networks.
But what exactly is a VPN, what does it do and, most importantly, is it time you decided to invest in one? With the sheer number of strange technology acronyms we have to remember these days, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little confused.
Advantages & Benefits of VPN
Firstly, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s basically a method of extending a private network over a public one that helps encrypt your data and adds a layer of privacy to protect your identity.
Normally, when you access the internet, you do so directly through your service provider. And while this connection may be quick; it’s rarely as secure as it could be. Any unique or confidential data can be easily traced back to your system and, ultimately, you.
With a VPN, you are first connecting to a remote server (which could be anywhere in the world) which then accesses the internet on your behalf. It’s therefore much harder to trace back any data or web activity to your precise location and identity. Got it? Okay, let’s look at a few situations where a VPN could prove very useful.
1] Boost your privacy
Perhaps the most obvious advantage of using a VPN is the extra level of security it offers whenever you access the internet from your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It’s surprising how much sensitive data can build up over weeks, months and years of using different devices – something we should really look to safeguard.
This is even more important if you find yourself regularly connecting to public WiFi networks. Using a VPN in this case will hide your real IP address, mask your physical location and help to protect against potential intruders who prey on people connecting to public networks.
2] Stream restricted content from other countries
Have you ever tried to stream an episode of your favourite show, only to find you can’t access the content from your current location? It happens to the best of us. Fortunately, there’s a nifty little trick around this using a VPN.
By changing the location of your IP address to the necessary location, you can bypass any region locks and start streaming! If you’re still struggling to get through, there are plenty of online guides that aim to walk you through the process step by step. This guide from VPN experts VPNBase is particularly useful if you want to stream live sports broadcasts from another country.
3] Save money on plane tickets
This is a really useful little secret that not too many people know about. Almost every airline operator or reservation center has different booking prices for different locations, often depending on the general cost of living in that area. This is even the case between different states within the US.
If you can find a location with a lower cost of living, there’s every chance that certain service prices will be lower too. You can then use a VPN to connect to the booking site from that geographical location and save money on your ticket! Just think: your new VPN can practically pay for itself!