To many people, virtual private networks are a concept that they tangentially understand but not really. What everyone should know about VPNs is that they are powerful tools that most Internet users can benefit from. In order to highlight that, we present five surprising things you can do with a VPN that you probably did not know.
1. Avoid ISP Tracking
ISP tracking is not new. ISPs have been doing it for years for a broad range of reasons. More recently, with the debate over Net Neutrality, there are concerns that ISPs can limit your bandwidth based on your activities. Using a VPN can obscure your traffic and thus make it impossible for your ISP to be impede you in a targeted manner.
2. Be Safer Using Public Access
Public Wi-Fi is more available than ever, and it can be a godsend for those of us out and about who don’t want to gobble up all of our precious cellular minutes. The problem with public Wi-Fi is that it is unsafe and your private date can be exposed. However, if you have access to a VPN, you tunnel through it and thus keep your sensitive data away from would-be hackers.
3. Watch What You Want
You may subscribe to Netflix, for instance, but you do not actually have access to the entire library. You have access to what Netflix has made available in your region. A great example of this is Star Trek: Discovery, which Netflix shows abroad but not the in the U.S. With a VPN, you can circumvent that kind of geo-blocking.
4. VPNs Are Essentially Untraceable Firewalls
Using a VPN protects you in many ways. It makes it much hard for viruses and other malware to reach your personal computer. It also makes it much more difficult for a hacker to compromise your system or snoop your data. Likewise, websites have no real way to track you.
5. Shop for Home Away from Home
If you travel across borders for business, then you have undoubtedly dealt with the problem of ordering something for home while you were in another country. Websites want to redirect you to country-specific interfaces, and shops will outright refuse orders based on your IP, payment method, shipping address and so forth. By logging in through a VPN located near your home, you can make those purchases just as if you were home.
This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to what may surprise you about VPNs. Hopefully, this has piqued your interest and motivate you to learn more. VPNs are not difficult to use, and you may be amazed at how they can help protect your privacy and grant you access.