Whenever you go online, you only access a small part of the huge network we call the Internet. Your favorite websites may very well be available at a mouse’s click, but that might not always be the case. This is where a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, comes in handy.
In the past few years, hundreds of VPN services have sprung up across the interweb. There are some that are good and work well, like PureVPN. And there are some that do a very bad job of it, like Hola.
But a few rotten eggs, does not an omelette make. Umm, ignoring that line, let me tell you that there are legitimately great reasons to use a VPN service and here we’ve like highlighted the best 7.
1. Remain Anonymous: Snowden Approved
One of the worst side-effects of browsing on the internet is loss of privacy. If you’re using Chrome (which is the most popular PC browser) and are already logged in to your Gmail account, Google then already is tracking your every move. Sure there’s more tracking on an Android device than a Windows computer, but the truth is – you can’t escape it.
The only secure way to remain fully anonymous while browsing the internet, then, is to use a VPN. Essentially a VPN connection will provide an additional encrypted layer of cloak over your digital activities, making you anonymous. Even Edward Snowden will approve, I’m sure.
2. Bypass Country Restrictions Like a Boss
There are quite a few countries where services like Hulu, Spotify and Pandora aren’t available. India is one such example. So if you’re visiting such a country and don’t want to miss out on your favorite services, it makes sense to invest in a reliable VPN connection.
The best VPN services are able to bypass geo-restrictions that are enforced by certain brands who aren’t confident in working with local authorities of certain countries. After bypassing these restrictions, your local IP address will be masked and you can continue watching Silicon Valley on your HBO Now account, no matter where you are.
Netflix was one such service which had geo-restrictions in certain regions of the world. But a while back, they put a ban on folks using VPN services to access Netflix. To be more specific, they were banning VPN services that let users from any country access the entire catalog of Netflix, even if certain content wasn’t available in their region.
However, if you’re a paying customer for Netflix and go to a region where your favorite TV show isn’t available, you’d be out of luck. Unless you know which particular VPN service works in the region you’re visiting. A little R&D before you even pack your bags might help.
3. Overcome ISP Throttling While Gaming
Online gaming is now a much bigger deal with hundreds and thousands of active gamers all over the globe. But certain ISPs are known to throttle speeds if bandwidth usage while playing is considerably high. And let’s face it, why would the usage be low, if you’re enjoying your DOTA 2 experience with your bros?
Don’t let your ISP spoil your online gaming party.
4. Protect Your Identity While Using Public Wi-Fi
If you’re the kind who’s forced to use the free Wi-Fi in public cafes or libraries, then you really ought to be worried about security. Such free Wi-Fi points are usually easy to crack and get into. Which is why using a VPN in such places is a very good idea. A better VPN service also provides certain anti-malware/spyware features, which can be critical for those who frequently use public Wi-Fi.
5. Download Legally from Torrents, Pirates be Damned
Not everything that can be downloaded from torrents need be illegal. If you’re just looking for the convenience that torrenting software provide, then ensure you always use a VPN. Because most countries have outright put a ban on using torrents while others are restricting its use.
So, before you proceed, ensure that you know the law of your land. Sure, using a VPN might save your identity from common crooks, but possibly not from the law itself.
6. Buy Stuff Online While Partying Anywhere
Another big hassle turns out to be online shopping while on vacation. It’s very easy to see your card being rejected while shopping in a foreign country which doesn’t recognize your credit card. A good workaround for such a scenario is to use a VPN connection and get connected to your own region’s server and enjoy a hassle-free shopping experience.
Not every VPN lets you choose a specific country while browsing the internet. So be smart about which one you pick before making a final decision.
7. See How a Site Looks in Another Country
If you ever wanted to research on anything about a foreign country but were unable to due to geo-restrictions, worry no more. A good VPN connection will not only let you access websites in other regions by masking your IP address, it will also do so without compromising on speed. So that’s one more reason to have a premium VPN in your arsenal of browsing tools.