VPN is a virtual private network that extends a private network across a public network, thereby allowing users to both send and to receive data across shared or public networks as if they were directly connected to a private network.
A virtual private network enables users to access region-restricted sites, limit hacking risks when using public Wi-Fi, and safeguard their privacy and personal information.
In the age of cyber attacks, cybersecurity and cryptography are of utmost importance. As a security measure, internet users should make sure they visit HTTPS encrypted websites, which can help protect data exchanged with a website. However, using HTTPS encrypted websites won’t keep an Internet service provider (ISP) from knowing which URLs are visited.
Although many users may be tempted to use the internet without a virtual private network, especially at home or in a public hotspot for free, there are many reasons to use a VPN when browsing.
In this article, we will answer the question, “Why use a VPN?”
Firstly, a virtual private network can provide an encrypted, secure network, making it nearly impossible for internet service providers to keep track of a user’s online browsing habits. Beyond that, let us explore the many other reasons why we should use a VPN.
Reasons To Use A VPN
Now that we have established the risks that shared or public networks pose, we can look at the following reasons why users should use a virtual private network in their day to day online activities:
1. Hide Internet activity from ISP
Why use a VPN? Without a VPN, an Internet service provider can have access to a user’s entire browsing history, which can hinder your privacy and anonymity. When connected through a VPN, an ISP can only see indecipherable code that is sent back and forth between a device and a VPN server. Although an ISP may be able to see if a user is connecting to a different online address, they cannot see what the user is doing. A VPN ensures all connections between devices and remote resources are shielded.
2. Connect to public Wi-Fi without risk
Despite the convenience of free Wi-Fi at cafes, restaurants, airports, and other public spaces, these hotspots often do not ensure confidential browsing and logins. Therefore, mobile users should use a reliable VPN to ensure privacy and safe transactions.
3. Secure Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone calls
VOIP, or Voice-over-IP, such as Skype or Wire, is an affordable way to make internet phone calls, yet VOIP services are vulnerable to hacking by attackers who are well-versed in internet architecture. There, a dependable VPN service can provide heightened security.
4. Prevent Google tracking
Though the expediency of Google is undeniable, its free service comes at a cost. The browser keeps track of every search, download, activity and movement, therefore, a reliable VPN can provide privacy by hiding a user’s IP and ensuring confidentiality.
5. Safeguard research or investigations
Though involved in sensitive research or complex investigations cannot afford to browse the web without a dependable VPN, which allows users to hide their activity, manipulate their IP address, conceal their internet traffic, and execute their work without risk.
6. Ensure right to privacy
The use of a VPN is becoming increasingly popular as a means to ensure basic internet security. All citizens, regardless of online activity, should be entitled to the right to privacy, therefore, a reliable VPN is a no-brainer when performing most online activities.
Using a VPN Abroad
When browsing the Internet or attempting to download content abroad, users may either experience limitations or outright restrictions. The following are the limitations and restrictions that may exist abroad, and how a virtual private network can allow users to freely and securely use the Internet:
7. Avert government censorship
Since many countries, such as China, do not provide free and open Internet to citizens, certain websites can be blocked, thereby limiting a user’s Internet access. A reliable VPN allows citizens to bypass these restrictions.
8. Access full streaming content abroad
Streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime don’t allow users unrestricted access to content outside of the US due to copyright agreements. However, by using a VPN, users can change the IP address of a computer while traveling, allowing users to unlock all content.
9. Bypass institutional restrictions
Users at an office, school or university are often only allowed to browse select internet websites. Since institutions often choose to block social networking websites, torrent downloads, and streaming sites in order to improve employee productivity, a VPN is convenient in order to bypass institutional restrictions.
10. Use BitTorrent
The Internet usually uses BitTorrent to download content, both legally and illegally. Given that different internet service providers don’t support torrent downloading in countless regions, therefore a VPN can bypass these restrictions. Also, using BitTorrent can result in users being put on the surveillance list of governments or copyright organizations, a VPN is recommended.
In the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the US Constitution clearly protect privacy against unreasonable searches and against self-incrimination, which in turn protects the privacy of all personal information. Regardless of online activity, the right to personal privacy and the right to send and receive information confidentially without being surveilled or put on a list by government authorities is reason enough to use a VPN.