Using a virtual private network (VPN) solution is vital to secure your online protection from malicious actors and fraudsters, which is the primary reason for its use. But there are several reasons why using a VPN can benefit you that you may not be aware of.
In this article, we explore some of the most common VPN uses as well as some lesser-known reasons to use a VPN solution. If you are someone who takes their online privacy seriously, continue reading to check out some of the best-known VPN solutions that provide you with the features we’ll cover.
15 Things That You Can Do With a VPN
Whether it’s an enhancement of an activity you perform online or unlocking parts of the internet you didn’t know existed, you should find great value with the following ideas.
1. Protect Your Online Communications
The most obvious reason for using a VPN solution is to enhance your security by creating a secure encrypted tunnel for all your online activities. Different protocols and methods can be used to accomplish this, so find out what’s included with each VPN vendor’s offering before purchasing. Don’t get into a contract that doesn’t fully satisfy your needs.
2. Change Your IP Address
When using a VPN, you can mask your internet protocol (IP) address with one routed through one of the servers the VPN solution has in place. Changing your IP comes with many benefits, including privacy, georestriction lifts for streaming, and content unlocking.
3. Change Your Online Location
When using a VPN, you’re routing your traffic through one of VPN providers’ servers located somewhere else in the world before ending up at your destination. By doing this, the observing party ― or any third parties watching your traffic ― sees that you’re coming from the VPN’s server location and not your home location.
Outside of the privacy benefits, you can ultimately bypass any georestriction surrounding content or even legal restrictions by changing your location.
4. Protect Your Identity With Encryption
When performing tasks online that require you to enter sensitive information like your Social Security number or credit card numbers, it’s essential to use a VPN to verify that you’re sending this data over an encrypted tunnel.
Having a VPN in place is the only way to have the peace of mind that your information isn’t being captured and manipulated in any form.
5. Watch Live Sports or Events From Around the World
For many people who love soccer, cricket, rugby, and similar sports, most of the teams that they enjoy watching are located in a different country and aren’t offered as a live option with their cable provider.
With a VPN, you could change your digital location and access georestricted content to watch your soccer games live as they occur. Many sports streaming services have strict geofencing policies set around their websites. These can be bypassed easily with a VPN solution.
6. Increase Internet Speed and Bandwidth
Many internet service providers (ISP) implement speed throttling and bandwidth limiting on your internet services to control all the traffic that flows through their service better. Unfortunately, this can be limiting upon your experience of using the internet.
Using a VPN solution, the ISP has a more challenging time locking down an IP address for you and thus allows your traffic to pass through unfiltered, increasing both speed and bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of data processed in a given timeframe.
7. Protected While Traveling
While traveling for work or pleasure, you can relax knowing that you can have a secure connection no matter where you’re located. Be confident that all your online activity is filtered through the VPN provider you’re familiar with, whether at a coffee shop or when using the hotel’s public Wi-Fi.
8. Block Third-party Tracking
Most websites allow third parties to monitor or collect data about their visitors, including some without your approval. To control this better, most VPN solutions block these onlookers actively and only route you to sites where they are confident of their intent.
9. Mobile Protection
VPNs aren’t only limited to computers. Having a VPN on your mobile device is the best way to get the most out of your cellular experience. Increased performance, access to blocked services, and virus scanning are only some of the features included with a mobile VPN service.
10. Unlock Blocked Content
Depending on your location and the ISP that you use, some online services may be blocked. Some examples include torrenting sites, adult entertainment, gambling, or even certain streaming services like Netflix.
11. Avoid Governmental Censorship
It’s illegal to access certain websites like social media or torrenting websites in some countries. These are forbidden and blocked outright by the government. To bypass this restriction, use a VPN to “relocate” to another country where there are fewer restrictions in place.
By doing this, you can access the content you need and, “technically,” you aren’t breaking any laws as your digital footprint is logged to the VPN’s server location.
12. Access Free Communication Services
Along the lines of blocked content, communication services like WhatsApp are free in certain parts of the world and offer enhanced security benefits for its users. Without these free services, you may be stuck paying for communication services that aren’t even secure.
13. Connect to a Remote Network
A huge feature of a VPN is its ability to allow you to access other networks remotely. This can be used to work securely from home while using a VPN to access your office or to connect to your home office while in the business office.
The main benefit is a strict, two-way tunnel that provides secure unfettered access. Lastly, suppose you’re attending school at a university. In that case, you have direct access to its online library of resources and databases that can only be accessed over a secure channel.
14. Prevent Traffic Policing
Periodically, ISPs gather your online traffic to analyze it to create metrics on sites visited, performance, and more. These metrics are used mainly to help the ISP improve upon its services. Law enforcement can also summon these records to see sites you have visited. By using a VPN, you can limit traffic policing and keep certain prying eyes away from your activities.
15. Online Price Shopping
Many online retailers like Target and Amazon offer their products at different prices worldwide. So, an electronic device you find in the United States might be $1,000, but in Great Britain, it may only be $800 with shipping costs being nominal.
By using a VPN, you can price shopping locally and globally to ensure you’re getting the best available deals for the items that you purchase online.
How Do You Choose a VPN to Use?
The best approach is to determine which of the discussed features are necessities for you in your situation, then check out which VPN solutions offer all the features you’re seeking. Keep in mind that most solutions come with some free trial to confirm if it satisfies your needs.
By using a VPN service, you can see all the possible benefits it brings vs. not having one at all. Overall, it’s better to have a VPN set up when you need it.