Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are an excellent tool to get around pesky barriers. By that, I mean anything from work and school firewalls, to using it to unblock video streaming in regions where it may not be legal. As you may know, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and others, are all very strict about what content can be viewed where, due to possible copyright infringements. Then, of course, there are the countries where streaming content is illegal due to censorship from the government.
So, many people who use VPNs are doing so purely to gain access to content they’re technically not allowed to view.
But that does not mean you have no use for a VPN if you use the web as you are “supposed” to.
This is why you should use a VPN, whether or not you need to unblock video streaming.
You share A LOT online
Whether or not you intend to, you share a hell of a lot online. Firstly, there’s your home and identification details. Secondly, there’s your credit cards and bank information. Thirdly, there’s literally everything else you do online, whether uploading photos or doing a simple Google search.
Think about it. Even the most innocent Google search can be used against you if the information is accessed by the wrong people. If you’d rather your employers, friends, or anyone else not know about your chronic medical condition, you won’t want them knowing that you researched information all about it.
Of course, we don’t only use the internet for savory purposes, and there is little scarier than someone knowing what you did in incognito mode.
VPNs encrypt your data, keeping it safe from prying eyes. Whether those eyes are malicious hackers trying to blackmail you, or the government keeping track of your activities.
You’re more vulnerable than you realise
You might think it’s unlikely that hackers are going to go after you, John Smith, with very little web presence and no public persona. Surely they won’t waste their effort on someone so absolutely vanilla.
But there’s the thing. It’s not much effort at all. You might be targeted at random, just for being in the wrong digital place at the wrong time. Or you might be targeted because you’re using unsecured public wi-fi.
Public wi-fi is incredibly unsafe. Because it’s openly available, it offers no encryption security, and any hacker can pick up on your signal with relative ease. You’ll end up being targeted simply because you’re an easy target.
A VPN will encrypt your data, even when you’re using unsecured wi-fi. Because we all want to have easy access to the internet at all times, we all use public wi-fi, and this is one of the most compelling reasons to pay for a VPN.
They’re not expensive
Although the prices vary, most VPNs won’t break the bank. There are free options, which at least offer some security, if not an unbreakable barrier. But even the paid options start at around $5 a month, which is almost certainly affordable.
It’s worth every cent, to protect yourself in an age where everything, including your identity, is at risk of being stolen.