With so many VPN services available, it’s clear that there are benefits to using VPN for private browsing, but what exactly are they?
Technically, a virtual private network connection accomplishes two goals:
- 1. A VPN encrypts and cloaks your signal, while keeping your online activity absolutely undecipherable to prying eyes.
- 2. A VPN changes your IP address to make you appear to be from another device, location, or country.
Even though using a VPN can reduce your internet speed by 10 to 20% (source), there are several reasons to hide your activity and alter your IP address. Find below our top reasons, in no particular order.
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1. Because you believe that privacy is a fundamental human right
You are a firm believer in personal privacy and the freedom to transmit and receive without being monitored or cataloged by authorities.
This is possibly the most compelling philosophical reason to pay $15 per month for a reliable VPN connection provider.
2. Use search engines without your searches being tracked
Whether you like it or not, every web search you make is recorded by Google, Bing, and other search engines.
Your online search preferences are then linked to your computer’s IP address, which is then used to tailor advertisements and future searches for you.
Don’t allow Google & co. to save your search history. Consider purchasing a VPN to mask your IP address and keep your searches private.
3. Log into a public, hotel or free WIFI safely
Most people aren’t aware of it, but that McDonald’s hotspot or that hotel wifi isn’t secure for sending and receiving sensitive email or browsing.
Users of public wifi are not protected by encryption, and their signals are broadcast to anybody with the ability to listen in. Even a beginner hacker may easily intercept your unprotected wifi signal.
If you connect to your private VPN after connecting to a free wi-fi network, your hotspot web surfing will be properly encrypted and shielded from any prying eyes.
If you’re a frequent traveler or someone who uses public WiFi frequently, a VPN is a smart privacy investment.
4. Download P2P files anonymously
The MPAA, as well as other movie and music organizations, loathe peer-to-peer file sharing.
The MPAA and other authorities aim to prohibit consumers from sharing movies and music online for a variety of reasons, including profit and legality. They catch offenders by impersonating other file sharers or listening in on your internet service provider’s signal.
While a VPN connection may reduce your bandwidth by 10 to 20%, it will encrypt your file downloads, uploads, and IP address, making you untraceable to authorities.
The privacy and anti-surveillance safeguards of a VPN are well worth the $15 monthly fee.
5. Get access to streaming content when outside the USA
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other streaming media companies are unable to broadcast all content outside of the United States due to copyright agreements.
This means that numerous movies and series are blocked outside of the United States.
You may change your machine’s IP address to one from the United States and so gain access to additional Netflix and Pandora streams by utilizing a VPN service.
You’ll have to set up your TV movie player or mobile device to use the VPN service, but if you enjoy streaming, the time and expense of a VPN are well worth it.
6. Make your VOIP calls untraceable
Eavesdropping on Voice-over-IP (internet telephony) is quite simple. Even hackers with just rudimentary skills can listen in on your VOIP calls.
Consider using a VPN connection if you use Voice-over-IP services like Zoom, JustCall, or Grasshopper on a regular basis.
With a VPN, the monthly fee will be higher, and the VOIP connection will be slower, but online privacy is priceless.
7. Break free from limiting work or school network
As a corporate employee or a student at a school or university, you will be restricted by an ‘Acceptable Use’ policy when surfing the Internet.
Many organizations will place extreme limits on you, such as preventing you from accessing your Facebook page, viewing YouTube, browsing Twitter, using instant messaging, and maybe even using your Gmail.
A VPN service will enable you to “tunnel out” of a limited network and connect to websites that are otherwise restricted.
More significantly, the network administrator cannot gather any documented evidence regarding your specific web activity since your VPN surfing traffic is encrypted and unreadable.
Note: We do not encourage breaking Acceptable Use regulations on a regular basis, but if you have good cause to circumvent your network’s limitations, a VPN connection can assist.
8. Avoid retaliation for your online research
Maybe you’re a celebrity, or maybe you’re a company employee conducting competitor market research.
Perhaps you’re a reporter or writer who covers delicate themes like war crimes, domestic abuse, or human trafficking.
Maybe you’re a law enforcement officer looking into cybercriminals.
To avoid retaliation in any of these or similar situations, it is in your best interests to make your computer untraceable. And a personal VPN connection is the most effective way to change your IP address and make yourself undetectable.
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