10 Benefits of Using a VPN
Do you want to know the benefits of using a VPN? As our use of digital technologies expands, so does our exposure to potential privacy violations and cyber threats. While the internet offers tremendous opportunities, our dependence on it also makes us vulnerable to cyberattacks, scams, and data breaches. This is why Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are increasingly becoming popular as a means of improving online network security.
Despite their intimidating name, VPNs are much more user-friendly than you may expect. Whether you’re traveling, using public Wi-Fi, transmitting sensitive information, or simply seeking entertainment options on Netflix, you can reap the benefits of using a VPN.
What Is a VPN?
Basically, a VPN is a software that safeguards your data by concealing your device’s IP address. The software encrypts your information and directs it through secure networks to servers located in distant states or other countries. By doing so, a VPN masks your online identity, allowing you to browse the internet anonymously.
The primary function of a VPN is to provide an encrypted server and conceal your IP address from corporations, government agencies, and potential hackers. By doing so, a VPN protects your identity, particularly when using public or shared Wi-Fi, and ensures that data remains private and secure from any unauthorized access.
Moreover, a VPN bypasses your personal ISP and directs your internet connection to a hosted server, often located in various parts of the world. Consequently, users can “relocate” themselves and access the internet from almost anywhere. Encryption offers an additional layer of protection, particularly for companies that rely on remote access. Additionally, VPNs can be a valuable tool for travel, gaming, and streaming.
When you connect your device (such as your PC, phone, or laptop) to the internet, the data is initially routed through a VPN server that encrypts it. As a result, your internet service provider (ISP) can only view scrambled data. The VPN then employs its network (and IP address) to forward your data request, allowing you to access the internet using the VPN server’s network information rather than your own.
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As a result, if websites attempt to track you, they’ll only see the VPN server’s network rather than your actual IP address. It provides an essential additional layer of security to your network.
See Also: What Is a VPN?
What Are the Benefits of Using a VPN?
Using a VPN provides several benefits, such as:
1. Get extra protection from phishing attacks
A VPN provides additional protection against cyberattacks and tracking. It offers several features for threat protection, such as blocking malware before it infects your device, notifying you if your credentials are leaked to the dark web with a dark web monitor, and using obfuscated servers designed for high-censorship areas to provide maximum security.
Additionally, split tunneling allows you to choose which traffic gets routed via the VPN, while invisibility on LAN makes a computer invisible to others on a local area network (LAN). Finally, an automatic kill switch ensures that if your connection to the VPN server drops suddenly, your internet connection will be shut down immediately to prevent data leaks without the anonymity and enhanced encryption of a VPN.
2. Overcome internet censorship and geo-restrictions
Internet censorship is a prevalent issue globally, with some countries controlling and regulating access to the internet. This restriction limits access to various websites, social media platforms, and streaming services like Netflix.
A significant advantage of using a VPN is its ability to change your IP address, which helps bypass geographical restrictions and censorship. By connecting to a VPN server in another country, you can browse foreign websites as if you’re a local resident.
Whether you aim to access foreign news websites such as the BBC or watch videos on TikTok, where it’s blocked, a VPN helps you get around these restrictions.
3. Data encryption
A VPN encrypts your data traffic using secure protocols when it moves between your device and a VPN server. The additional layer of protection offered by a VPN can help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information, such as account credentials and financial data, by hackers and other malicious actors.
4. Protect your online identity by hiding your IP address
VPNs offer significant privacy and security benefits because they can change your IP address. Your IP address is a unique number assigned to your network, which reveals your real location to ISPs, websites, and governments.
By connecting to a VPN server in another location, you can effectively hide your own IP address and replace it with a new one. This means that your online identity will be protected and you won’t leave an online trail that can be traced back to your real identity.
5. Secure and anonymous file downloads
Downloading files through a secure VPN connection is a safer option since a VPN encrypts your connection and hides your IP address. This is particularly useful for individuals or organizations handling sensitive information. With a VPN, you can avoid third-party access and download files anonymously.
However, it’s important to be cautious and not download any suspicious documents or click on links and executable files from untrustworthy sources to avoid falling prey to scams.
6. Access better deals and prices on e-commerce platforms
Using a VPN can help you save money when shopping online, as prices and deals may vary depending on the location you’re browsing from. For example, a product might be more expensive when viewed from an IP address located in the United States compared to an IP address located in Europe.
By connecting to a VPN server in another country, you can access better deals and prices, and even take advantage of regional sales and discounts. You can also compare prices across different regions to find the best deal. This can apply not only to retail products but also to services such as flights and hotels. A VPN allows you to shop around and potentially save money on your online purchases.
7. Enhance online gaming
Online gaming can be limited in certain countries, but a VPN can provide a solution to this problem. Additionally, if a game is released earlier in a different region, you can use a VPN to play it right away. With a VPN, there’s no need to wait!
Another benefit of using a VPN for gaming is that it can help prevent DDoS attacks. If you’re unfairly kicked off a server, you can quickly change your IP address with a VPN to join again. VPN services also provide an added layer of security, making it difficult for attackers to target you.
8. Prevent bandwidth throttling by your ISP
Using a VPN can also prevent bandwidth throttling by your internet service provider. Bandwidth throttling is when your ISP intentionally slows down your internet connection, resulting in slower speeds. This is often done to manage internet traffic on overloaded servers or to encourage users to upgrade to a more expensive package.
When you use a VPN, your data is encrypted, and your ISP can’t see what you’re doing online. This means they won’t be able to throttle your connection based on your internet activity. As a result, you can enjoy faster internet speeds and a more consistent browsing experience.
9. Gain secure access to the Tor network
Accessing the Tor network, also known as The Onion Router, can provide even more anonymity and privacy, particularly in regions with heavy internet censorship. Tor encrypts your data through several relays, making it virtually undetectable to anyone trying to track you. However, the limited and publicly listed Tor servers can reveal to your ISP, network administrator, or anyone else who knows your IP address that you are using the Tor network.
Using a VPN to access Tor can hide your connection and provide an additional layer of protection and online privacy. This extra security measure ensures that no one will know you’re using the Tor network and keeps you safe from cybercrime on the dark web.
10. Secure multiple devices with a single subscription
One of the benefits of a reliable VPN service is the ability to secure multiple devices using a single account. This means you can simultaneously encrypt the connections of your laptop, desktop, tablet, phone, and other internet-connected devices with ease.
Many VPN providers offer step-by-step instructions on how to set up their VPN on various devices, including iOS and Android devices, and even on your router. By doing so, you can instantly protect everyone who uses your network. With a single subscription, you can enhance the privacy and security of all your devices. This feature is particularly useful for families as it can protect children from online threats while allowing you to access geo-restricted content.
There are several benefits of using a VPN. VPNs are essential for three main purposes: safeguarding data security by encrypting your internet browsing data, protecting internet privacy by preventing tracking or monitoring of your online activity, and providing unrestricted access to content by bypassing censorship and geo-restrictions, thereby allowing access from anywhere.
Check out our best VPN service recommendations if you want to get a VPN subscription plan.