Many online services and websites have content restrictions based on your location. A VPN will allow you to bypass these restrictions by connecting to servers in different countries.
In addition to securing your data, VPNs also obfuscate your internet activity so websites can’t track or sell your data. They’re also a great solution to avoid data throttling when traveling abroad.
Protect Your Privacy
Most VPN services will encrypt your data, making it impossible for cybercriminals to access it. This is especially important when using public Wi-Fi because identity thieves can easily eavesdrop on your activity over insecure connections.
If you want to keep your browsing private even when using trusted Wi-Fi, look for a VPN with split tunneling. This feature lets you choose which apps go through the VPN and which don’t. This way, you can still use a slow, local connection to stream content from region-locked services like Netflix or Peacock TV while gaming on a faster, low-latency connection that doesn’t require the VPN.
A VPN also protects you from companies that track your data for marketing purposes. For example, Google can track your search history and correlate it with other information about you to create targeted ads. If you’re looking for treatment options for a specific medical condition, they may send you ads about your diagnosis.
A VPN can also help you maintain account access when logging in abroad. Some banks are on high alert for suspicious activity and will freeze your account if they detect you’re connecting from a different country. A VPN with obfuscation technology can prevent this by masking your location. It’s worth mentioning that VPNs might make your internet connection slightly slower because of the encryption process.
Hide Your Location
You may not realize it, but when you connect to the internet, you share information about your location with every website or app you use. That’s because your device (and often the network you’re connected to) has an internal protocol (IP) address that can pinpoint your exact location accurately. That’s much information for hackers, advertisers, and other data collectors.
With a VPN, however, your IP is replaced by one from the server you’re connecting to. While it can still determine your general location, the server isn’t as quickly able to link your activity back to you. This makes it much harder for cybercriminals, ISPs, and government to track your online behavior.
If you’re an Apple user, a free feature called Private Relay built into Safari on iOS and macOS is another good way to keep your device’s data private. However, it only covers information sent outside Safari, so a VPN is still a solid choice.
Many services, like streaming platforms, limit access to content based on your current location, and some ecommerce sites that use location data to charge higher prices (like hotels or airlines). Using a VPN to hide your area can help you beat those shady pricing tactics and save cash.
Access Blocked Content
Many people use VPNs to access content otherwise unavailable in their region. This is often due to licensing restrictions that prevent entertainment companies from offering the same shows and movies everywhere. For instance, Netflix’s UK customers can’t watch the same content as their US-based counterparts. But by connecting to a Windows VPN server in the United States, you can fool the service into thinking you’re in a country with different licensing restrictions.
VPNs are also helpful for bypassing geographic restrictions on streaming services and gaming platforms. Using a VPN that has servers in a wide variety of countries can help you avoid data or speed throttling and can also help you log in to your accounts without raising any red flags that could lead to account freezes or other adverse actions.
Besides geo-blocking, VPNs can help you keep your data private on public Wi-Fi networks. This is important because public Wi-Fi is a risky place to enter sensitive information online, such as credit card numbers, banking details, and account passwords. And even if you’re using your own home Wi-Fi, your internet service provider can still see how much bandwidth you consume and track your online activity. Using a VPN when using your private network can protect you from malicious actors who may be on the same Wi-Fi as you.
Secure Your Data
When you use a VPN, all of your data is encrypted. This makes it impossible for identity thieves and cybercriminals to intercept your personal information or browsing history. This is especially important when using public Wi-Fi networks, where hackers can easily eavesdrop on your connection and steal passwords, credit card numbers, and other private information.
A VPN can also help you avoid price discrimination when shopping online or booking travel. Some online retailers and services use your purchase and browsing history to target you with higher prices or discounts. A VPN will prevent these companies from being able to identify your location or browsing habits, and it will protect you from price discrimination by keeping your data anonymous.
In conclusion, a VPN can help you protect your devices from malware and viruses. Many VPN providers offer a range of security features, such as encryption and kill-switch protection. Looking for a provider with these security features and a good reputation based on customer reviews is essential. A good option is to get a router with a built-in VPN, which will help you secure all your home devices simultaneously. This is a great way to protect your router, smart TV, and gaming console, which can be vulnerable to attacks if not covered.