A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help protect online activity from hackers and criminals by encrypting and tunneling data from a computer (or mobile) device to a VPN provider’s server. As a VPN provider usually has servers pinpointed in almost every country in the world, a VPN can do much more than just encrypt whatever is emailed, messaged or browsed on the Internet.
A VPN is not a way to increase Internet speed, to the contrary, connectivity via a VPN is always laggy and provides slower performance compared to direct connection through an ISP. Nevertheless, a VPN can be very useful, and here are some scenarios where it is.
Bypass Restrictive Networks At Work/School
Employees and students are often subject to web filtering. These restrictions are sometimes harsh, and employees or students cannot access their social media or email accounts. A VPN can help bypass those filters. It’s also a safe way to do so as the software hides the IP and encrypts all the data and leaves nothing trackable for supervisors. However, is not recommended to violate Acceptable use policies because doing so may get a student suspended and an employee fired.
Securely Use Public WiFi
Public WiFi networks are not always safe. The thing is that public WiFi providers don’t really take privacy seriously, often their signal is not even encrypted, this opens up space even for amateur hackers to eavesdrop. These schemes often involve hackers mimicking legit hotspots and creating what’s called Evil Twin Hotspots. These false hotspots are designed to look like the ones provided by local businesses and have the potential of recording everything signaled by the backend user. A tier 1 VPN can encrypt the signal and secure the transmitted data.
Use Credit/Debit Card When Traveling
It is advisable to notify the bank when traveling to avoid any blocking of financial accounts when they appear being used on the other side of the globe. Sometimes, even when doing so, not all vendors will comply. A VPN can render a connectivity server pointing to your hometown, and every transaction will go on as normal. It is useful when traveling and needing to purchase something for home. As major shipping services route traffic to a local online store.
Access Restricted Streaming Content
Installing a VPN as an app of choice when traveling can be very useful. One good reason for that is access to streaming services. Many popular streaming media providers do not broadcast all of their content outside the United States due to copyright agreements. A VPN can technically make it appear as if the connection is coming from within the US even if the connection point s in another country.
Hulu, Netflix, and Pandora websites limit some of their content for U.S consumption only. Media streamers know about public VPNs and are always on the hunt to block server IPs rendered by them. A paid subscription on a VPN can help as the IPs for paid users are renewed often to avoid such situations.
Bypass State-Imposed Internet Restrictions
In many countries, not everyone has free access to social media and the world wide web. Popular channels like Facebook, Google services, and messaging apps like Telegram are filtered out. Vacations may not be as enjoyable if connection with family back home becomes impossible. A VPN offers the chance to bypass such filters, but this may violate the local laws.
A good approach to this is to avoid involvement in debates that criticize the hosting state (in case of being spied on) and just have short normal conversations.