More than a quarter of all internet users have used a VPN at least once, with more than half of them doing so to get better entertainment options.
But streaming Netflix and downloading music aren’t the only uses for these networks. The benefits of VPNs are many with privacy and security at the top of the list.
So, what is a VPN, anyway?
A virtual private network securely connects your computer to another point on the network before sending you to the general internet. Your computer shows its location as being the IP address of the server rather than your computer, and your data is encrypted and protected as it flows.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using a VPN anytime you want to access the internet.
If you travel internationally, you might have noticed different versions of websites pop up when you’re in different countries. You’ll also find content blocked based on your location, whether by the company or the government.
A VPN changes the location as far as the internet is concerned, allowing you to access sites you wouldn’t be able to get to otherwise. It makes it look as though your traffic is coming from a different location so Google thinks you’re in the US instead of Germany or Germany instead of Oman.
Site-to-site VPN types allow your employees to access your system securely from outside the office, an important feature if you’re dealing with sensitive data.
Being able to change your IP location protects your privacy a bit, but the various protocols employed by a VPN also can hide your activity.
A VPN keeps browsers from accessing your connection, so anything you send or receive stays anonymous and secure. It allows you to browse at will without being traced for even the most benign reasons. Your ISP can’t even see what you’re up to as it receives stats back from the VPN server rather than your computer.
Some free VPNs only offer high levels of privacy protection in a limited capacity. Use a site like invpn.com to check reviews of your different VPN options to make sure you get a service that gives you the features you’re looking for.
Because your ISP can’t see where you are when you’re using a VPN, you might find you get better connection performance that way.
Your ISP won’t be able to see how much data you’re using, so you shouldn’t run into a data cap. You can also get around bandwidth-throttling by anyone who controls how your internet connection performs. Throttling is sometimes triggered by the use of certain sites or even during certain times of the day.
Tap into the Benefits of VPNs
Now that you know some of the benefits of VPNs, you might want to try one out yourself the next time you need better privacy and security. Getting the most out of VPN benefits might mean paying for a service, but you can find some free options out there that offer the features you need.
If you’re interested in technology, check out more of our articles on gear, services, and what’s new.