Interesting ways to use a VPN

Let’s face it – nowadays most of us are dependent on the internet. Though it’s a great tool, it presents security and privacy issues. Fortunately, there are tools that you use to minimize your digital footprint. One of them being a virtual private network, also known as a VPN. For those of you who are not familiar with VPN’s functionality, think of it as a technology that creates a secure and private tunnel linking your device (PC, smartphone, tablet etc.) and the Internet. In turn, that prevents indiscreet eyes from spying on your online activities or stealing your data. VPNs not only encrypt all the data that travels through the digital tunnel but also ensures your anonymity by actively masking your IP address.

Though initially developed to improve and secure communication within the corporate environment, massive security and privacy threats have turned VPNs into fundamental security tools alongside an Antivirus suite. However, the usefulness of VPNs goes well beyond virtual security. Watching or downloading geo-blocked content, securing public WiFi connections, avoiding censorship are only some of the benefits you will enjoy if you decide to use a VPN service. Here are some interesting ways in which VPNs can enrich your overall online experience

Stop bandwidth throttling

Have you ever wondered why your Internet connection slows down when streaming or downloading online content? There’s a simple explanation for that: bandwidth congestion. Bandwidth throttling is your ISP’s solution to decongesting and regulating network traffic. If you are using a VPN, your ISP will no longer be able to observe your online activities. As a result, you’ll get to enjoy the most of your internet speed!

Bandwidth throttling affects everyone; individuals and companies alike. During the recent fire in California, Verizon throttled the fire department’s wireless data speed. Because of such intrusive activity, the fire department was not able to respond promptly and provide essential crisis services.

Circumvent geo-blocks

Copyright and licensing agreements force many streaming services to provide limited libraries of content to the user based on that user’s geographical location. For example, viewers outside the U.S do not have full access to the Netflix’ US library. The same applies to users outside the UK, who use BBC’s iPlayer services. By using a VPN, you can change your virtual location, which in turn allows you to circumvent any geo-blocks.

Save money while shopping online

Whether we are talking about booking a flight or your overdue vacation, local licensing agreements cause prices to vary depending on one’s location. The same product or service can have different prices on a country by country basis. Moreover, most online retailers offer different rates depending on your browsing history and online footprint. Clearing browser cookies and using your VPN will allow you to compare prices from different locations.

Torrent freely

Peer-to-Peer sharing allows users all over the world to access and share all data on the go, bet it software, music, books, photos, etc. Unfortunately, this method of sharing has a downside. Since your IP address is evident during a p2p session, you might become a target of an internet scam. What’s more, IPSs are known to limit connection speeds and even restrict access to file-sharing networks. With the help of a VPN, you will not have the ability to torrent safely, but you will also mask your web traffic from your ISP, preventing it from slowing down your connection.

Improve your overall gaming experience

It’s no secret that ISPs tend to throttle the connection speed of avid online gamers. The issue is prevalent, and gamers are desperate for a solution. The VPN industry heard the voices, and nowadays you can see VPN services offering gamer-specified services.

The good news is that using a VPN will prevent your ISP from throttling your connection and spoil your game experience with a nasty lag. VPNs can, in fact, speed up your connection and reduce ping time in some instances. But there’s more to it:  since a VPN allows users to change their virtual location, you can be among the first to play a new game by purchasing it from a country with an earlier launch date, join geo-locked servers, and even gain access to geo-restricted games.

VPN – the new cyber Swiss army knife that is here to stay?

Ensuring that your data stays private and safe while browsing the Internet in itself is a reason good enough for using a VPN. However, as we have already seen, there is more than when it comes to using a VPN service. A VPN can not only open up a new world of geo-blocked or censored content, but it can also enhance your overall browsing experience and even save you some money.

About the author

Andy Stewart

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