VPNs are private servers that encrypt your data. But they’re even cooler than that! If you’re wondering, what can I do with a VPN, here are 7 cool ways to use your VPN server.
We’ve all heard of the Dark Web, the Deep Web, etc. The type of computers and software that only extremely adept hackers have any use for. The casual user’s first question would be “What can I do with a VPN?”
However, Wombat Security found that 65% of American have used a VPN (virtual private network) to keep their data secure. The UK is also catching up at 44%.
As data becomes cheaper to produce and easier to collect, there’s more need than ever to protect your information. Read on to discover 7 awesome things everyone can easily do with a basic VPN.
1. Dodge ISP Tracking
We’ve all experienced this annoying little phenomenon. You’re shopping on a website. You decide not to buy anything and hop to another website. Only, as soon as you start browsing, you suddenly see header/footer advertisements for the website you were just on.
What the heck?!
Turns out, that’s due to a pesky little thing called ISP (internet service provider) tracking. In the US, ISP’s are permitted to collect your data, browser history, and more to sell to third parties. That means more targeted advertisements wherever you go.
Having a VPN will prevent this entirely. Since websites can’t see your computer’s IP address and your data is encrypted, companies can’t collect your “cookies” to sell to other companies. You’ll be completely hidden as you hop from site to site without leaving a trace.
2. Access A Home Network
If you do a lot of work from home, chances are you have a desktop at home along with your laptop or tablet. Accessing your files and information is easier than ever with Google Docs and the Cloud. However, it also leaves you vulnerable to those who are trying to intercept you as you access your home base.
Most VPN companies offer complimentary apps that you can use to add your phone to your secure network. Now, you can use at-home login’s and passwords from your phone without jeopardizing your connection.
3. Secure Your Public Wi-Fi Access
The same concept above can apply to public wi-fi spots. Whether you’re at a coffee shop or a public library, public wi-fi has its risks. If you have access to the “public”, then the “public” also has access to you.
However, a VPN will secure you here as well. In order for a person to hack your device through public wi-fi, they need to have your correct IP address. Sice the VPN hides that, no outside party will be able to find your specific phone on the network in order to hack it.
This is also extremely useful for those who work remotely from their laptops.
4. Unlocking Geo-Restricted Content
This perk is more applicable to the casual techie. Certain websites that provide massive amounts of content like Netflix, Pandora, Spotify, and Pandora will limit certain users based on the location of the IP address.
For instance, a lot of BBC shows won’t show up on the US Netflix, and Youtube videos that were created and released in South Korea won’t ever pop up on someone’s feed down in Chile.
Whether you’re traveling and want access to your country’s content or at home and want access to other countries’ content, this is all possible with a VPN. Simply change your IP address, and the country’s network will think that you live in that country.
This is also handy for shopping online from abroad. Some companies charge extra for outside customers, so changing your IP address to a local location can save a lot of money.
(While no secure VPN is ever completely free, they aren’t nearly expensive as you might think. VPNExplained for a more intensive Q & A, and get a basic VPN for as low as $2.75 a month!)
5. Deflect Hackers
Most casual internet users don’t understand how susceptible they are to hackers. Just because you don’t have anything incriminating to hide, doesn’t mean you don’t have anything worth stealing. On top of that, most viruses are created for the sheer purpose of being malicious, and that means everyone is vulnerable.
The first step a hacker has to take when breaking into your computer is getting your IP address. Without that, they have nothing.
When they sneak up and try to grab it, they’ll bounce off your VPN and be directed to the VPN server. That keeps them frustrated and your information safe.
6. Preventing Throttling
A lot of people haven’t heard of network throttling, but it often can make or break your internet speed. When you send or request information, it has to go through your ISP before arriving at its designated destination.
To keep networks at a certain speed, service providers will often keep these “packets” of information on hold for a certain amount of time before sending them on. If traffic becomes too clogged, they may choose to discard of certain packets altogether.
This is why you might pay for a faster internet speed and receive a speed much slower. Using a VPN eliminates that risk. Since ISP’s can’t see inside private networks, they can’t see what “packets” they can catch. Therefore, they legally have to run your internet at full speed.
7. Use A Stealth VPN
Countries like Iran and China try to oppress their citizens by limiting what they have access to on the internet. Some social media sites like Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook are completely banned. These countries do this by monitoring and restricting the networks that their citizens use to access the internet.
A lot of these networks have programs that block VPN’s, but putting yours in “stealth” mode with disguise it as a regular SSL address. Once you’ve done this, you can zip to any website you want and even sidestep the “Great Firewall of China”.
What I Can Do With A VPN
Well, there you have it!
Keeping your computer’s activity and address private have more uses than just keeping out hackers. There’s no limit to what I can do with a VPN. Everyone from the Netflix binger to the CEO of an online advertising company has every reason to start using a VPN today!
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