VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and while you’ve probably heard of the term, let’s assume that you’re not really familiar with VPN functions. So the question you might be asking yourself right now is – why do people use VPNs? Well, most users deploy them for two reasons:
1) A VPN encrypts and hides your signal completely, and makes your online activities illegible to any possible eavesdroppers.
2) It also manipulates your IP address and makes you appear to come from a different device or location.
And despite all of the benefits of using a VPN, the statistics show that a majority of people still access the Internet without any protection whatsoever. In fact, according to statistics gathered by VPNMentor, less than 5% of Internet users deploy a VPN even once a week. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to start using a VPN, read these five reasons why a VPN is a must-have in today’s day and age.
1. Restricted Content
When you go on a holiday to another country, at some point you’ll just want to lay down and watch a couple of episodes of your favorite show on Netflix. But seeing how Netflix is blocked in a bunch of countries around the globe, you might not be able to watch anything. With a VPN, you can use a USA IP address, no matter where you are, and trick Netflix (or any other streaming service for that matter) into thinking you’re located in somewhere in the States. And don’t worry, if you only use a VPN to access your Netflix account, you aren’t doing anything illegal.
2. Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
I’m not sure how aware you are of the fact that public Wi-Fi connections are quite unsecured. You’ve surely logged into the free hotspot at Starbucks, or at your favorite local coffee shop, but unless you’re using a VPN, you should avoid doing it at all causes. Because when you connect to a free Wi-Fi connection, you run a risk of having all of your personal data stolen by a person that’s connected to the same network. As we mentioned before, a VPN will encrypt all of your information, and make indecipherable to anyone trying to access your device. So make sure that you download ExpressVPN, or another secure provider before you connect to a random, unsafe Wi-Fi connection again.
3. Sharing Files in Private
We’re not saying that you should download or upload copyrighted movies or music, but if you want to send anything to your friends without worrying that someone else is seeing what you’re doing, you need a VPN in your life. Just think about it, certainly, there are times you need to send something that you don’t want other to see. For instance, by using a VPN, you can send a personal photo album, without worrying that your pictures will be leaked for the world to see.
4. Your Search History
Google, Yahoo, Bing and every other search engine out there can and will catalog every web search you have performed in your life – whether you like it or not. Every time you perform a search, the search engine attaches it to your computer’s IP address. Later, your searches are mostly used for customized advertising and future searches for your device. And while these companies don’t log your search history with malicious intentions, most of us don’t want anyone to see it except us. If you get a VPN, you will be able to cloak your IP address and ensure that all of your private searches remain private.
5. VOIP Security
In the last couple of years, many companies have stepped up their game when it comes to encrypting email and chats. However, VOIP security, on the other hand, is still not up to par. VOIP services include video and voice calls made over such services as FaceTime and Skype, and as CNet reports, most of the calls you make over these and similar service are actually pretty easy to intercept. But if you start using a VPN, you will add another layer of security and encryption to your chats, and make almost impossible to be intercepted.
The only downside of using a VPN is the speed of your Internet connection. The truth is, every VPN slows your connection down, and some providers out there will even slow it down by 50%. However, if you do research and choose your provider carefully, your connection speed will stay basically the same, because the best VPNs only slow it down 5% to 7%.
While all of the reasons we listed above are important, I’m sure that you are a firm believer in online privacy, and the right to send and receive data without being surveilled by the authorities. So that’s probably the biggest reason why need a Virtual Private Network. So there is no reason not to spend a couple of dollars each month on a great VPN connection service.