A VPN is critical for anyone. That is the complete sentence – it is that critical. But more precisely, why? To begin, online security. Without a Virtual Private Network or VPN, you are currently going online naked, allowing anyone to view your data and even your location.
That was a bit of a scare, to begin with, but it is the reality of online browsing these days, whether from mobile apps, desktop browsers, or even through intelligent speaker requests. A VPN is designed to help you conceal your personal information, including your location. This means your data cannot be easily stolen and sold, nor can you be easily hacked. It ensures that your online anonymity remains precisely that: anonymous.
However, a VPN is excellent for accessing geo-restricted content, such as US Netflix, while traveling outside of the country. Therefore, why should you invest in a VPN?
Why would you want to use a VPN for security purposes?
When you connect to the internet, your computer is assigned an IP address, a numerical identifier for your connection. This enables websites and other third parties to see from which computer you’re connecting and, in some cases, accessing personal information about you.
By using a VPN, you can mask your IP address. You’re connecting to another server located elsewhere in the world, which acts as a proxy between you and the content you’re accessing. Thus, if you access a website from the United States but connect via a VPN server in the United Kingdom, the website will believe you are located in the United Kingdom. It will be unable to access your data, ensuring your anonymity.
If nothing else, this is an excellent way to avoid advertisements popping up constantly after you’ve purchased a gift for someone online and don’t want ads for that item to jump out at you in the future continually.
How secure is a VPN connection?
Almost every VPN service employs encryption security. This means that any information about you — typically limited to your location — is stored in code form. There is a key used to encode it in code and another key used to decode it. Therefore, even if we intercepted the data in the middle, it would not be significant without the code key. Encryption is so robust that it is used to secure data by the military, banks, and government organizations. As a result, it is unquestionably something in which you can place your trust.
How can a VPN assist me in watching geo-restricted content?
If you’re traveling for work or vacation and want to watch your latest Hulu or Netflix shows, for example, you may encounter difficulties. Netflix’s servers will detect that you’re in another country and will grant you access to only that country’s content – which means you may be unable to watch US content.
You can appear to be located in the United States by using a VPN, regaining access to all your favorite US videos. Of course, this could also enable you to access BBC iPlayer, which is currently only available in the United Kingdom, while in the United States. However, we are not condoning this; instead, we are stating that it is possible.
A great example is watching Studio Ghibli films on Netflix in the United States, Canada, and Japan by connecting to a server in another country.
Is a VPN suitable for public Wi-Fi?
When connecting to a new Wi-Fi network, it’s a good idea to use a VPN. Unless you are confident that the connection is secure — which is difficult to determine, even at a friend’s house, for example — a VPN is a good idea.
A VPN is an excellent way to ensure your security for airport and hotel Wi-Fi that is susceptible to being hacked. This prevents your data and devices from being compromised and any data on them, mainly banking information, from being accessed or intercepted, as they could be if you logged on without the layer of security provided by a VPN.
Which VPN service is the best for me?
ExpressVPN is the best VPN in our tests, as it provides:
- International server coverage.
- Excellent 24/7 live chat support.
- Fast connection speeds.
- A large number of device connections.
If you’re looking for a completely free option, Hotspot Shield is an excellent way to test the service, though you’re limited to 500MB of data per day. Surfshark is the most secure option, as it offers a double-hop VPN, which further masks your traffic by routing your requests through any two different locations you specify.
How much does a virtual private network (VPN) cost?
The average monthly cost of a VPN service is around $10. However, this decreases significantly if you commit to 12 months, with prices starting at about $5 but as low as $3.33 for more extended commitment periods.
Numerous VPN providers offer free trials and money-back guarantees, so it’s worth trying one out before you buy to determine whether it’s the right fit for you.
We evaluate and review VPN services for legal recreational purposes. For instance:
1. Using a service provided by another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Safeguarding your online security and enhancing your online privacy while traveling.
We do not support or condone the use of VPN services for illegal or malicious purposes.