If you have been using the internet for a while, then you
know about virtual private networks (VPNs), or at least heard of them. The
tools continue to grow in popularity as an increasing number of online users
grasp their importance. A VPN facilitates safe online access by keeping your
activities and identity anonymous. In an age where governments, ISPs and
businesses thrive on mining customer data, anonymity is appealing. With a VPN,
you can visit different sites without worrying about third parties spying on
you. VPN usage has surged exponentially as the need for privacy grows.
Online entertainment is the biggest driver of VPN sales. The
right software allows you to game, gamble and watch sports and other events
from almost anywhere. International content has become easier than ever to
consume, courtesy of VPNs. You can watch the Super Bowl, Champions League or
Formula 1 races without paying for premium subscriptions. If this sounds like
an advantage you would like to have, then you should know how to make the most
of VPNs. The platforms are simple to install and use. However, there's a lot
more to it than that. Learn how to find the most suitable tool for your online needs
and how to leverage its best features.
VPN Uses Areas
If you are to take full advantage of what VPNs have to
offer, then you should know how to use them. Many people get VPNs but fail to
apply them correctly. What are the different ways a VPN can enhance your online
Access geo-blocked websites
You found out about a Monopoly live casino on Stakefans.com but can't seem to access it because it's only available in
selected regions. A VPN solves this situation. Accessing geo-restricted content
is among the most common uses of VPNs. The internet made it easy to consume
entertainment from different regions. However, some platforms offer content and
products for specific countries and territories. Copyright requirements mean
that some of this material is not available for consumers outside that region.
Or it is, but it requires subscriptions to premium plans. Netflix is a good
example of an entertainment source with geo-specific libraries. Online casinos
do the same as well. You will find operators that have separate bonuses for UK
and Canadian customers. A VPN opens up such options by letting you change your
location. You can choose a server located in the country whose offerings you
want and enjoy your gaming or streaming.
VPN is synonymous with privacy. After all, it was created as
a privacy solution. The internet, as revolutionary as it was, also came with a
special breed of threats. Online platforms pose many threats, from identity
theft to data loss, that users should be aware of. Various basic online
security practices can help you stay safe, but VPN improves your chances
against cyber threats significantly. VPNs have several security features,
including encryption, to hide users' identities. AES-256 plus a secure protocol
is the default encryption standard. It allows you to send data through the
platform without worrying about an unauthorised third party intercepting it.
Additionally, a VPN redirects traffic to one of its servers. Hence, ISPs,
governments and data mining services don't get a hold of your information. The
same goes for hackers and other bad actors. Since your traffic is encrypted,
you can go about your online activities safely without worrying about identifying
information falling into the wrong hands.
Increase internet speed
The problem of ISPs throttling bandwidth is not a new one.
Your provider can monitor your activities and slash the connection speeds when
it notices certain actions, such as downloads. A VPN can help you deal with
this issue. By hiding your online activities, an ISP will have a hard time
deducing what you are doing. Thus, it may go easy on bandwidth throttling. With
a VPN, you can stream HD videos or torrent TV episodes without fretting over
interruptions due to slow internet. Of course, not all products improve speed.
When choosing a VPN, check the speeds provided to see if they suit your
requirements. The best way to ensure you are enjoying a fast connection is to
pick a server closer to your location. Look at the recommendations for the best
location on the server list. Note that VPNs can decrease internet speeds,
although not by much.
Someone is always watching what you are up to online. Your
web activities provide a roadmap to the kind of consumer you are. For this
reason, marketers and companies that rely on big data are quick to pay for this
information, and ISPs are not above selling it. Brands use internet history to
customise their advertising. It's why you will see an online shop recommend
certain products after you visited related pages on a different platform. A VPN prevents tracking.
It masks your IP address and other personal details, meaning data harvesters
cannot find you. Hence, you can surf websites without worrying about ads
popping up everywhere. Another advantage of hidden internet activity is that
you can save money. It's not uncommon for brands to have varied prices for
consumers in different regions. You could pay less for products by changing
your location using a VPN.
Pick The Right VPN
So, you know the different ways you can use a virtual
private network. How do you get the most appropriate one, though? Due to the
high demand for VPNs, the market is full of products that promise the best
experience. However, you can't trust every brand put there. Solid selection
criteria will help you find software that works for you.
Narrow down VPN options by defining your goals. Some tools
are designed for overall use, but others focus on specific needs. Therefore,
understanding your objectives makes it easy to find the right one. Do you want
a VPN to torrent movies? Are you searching for streaming VPNs? What if you
create remote content for international clients? Your requirements determine
which tools best serve your interests. For example, if torrenting is a
priority, then a good VPN should have peer-to-peer friendly servers, and, if
possible, port forwarding. Also, factor in your skills. Some VPNs cater to
beginners while others target experienced users.
Check out the privacy and security features offered. You
need a product that guarantees your safety, especially if you use public WiFi
regularly. Reputable VPNs use military-grade, 256-bit AES encryption. Some
platforms allow you to customise encryption to suit your objectives. Leak
protection and an automatic kill switch are other safety tools you should
expect from a VPN. These features ensure your IP doesn't bleed through in the
event of a disconnection. A company's security protocols are also crucial
determinants because they influence speeds. WireGuard and OpenVPN are the main
options. Remember to find out what a VPN says about its no-logging policy. Any
decent platform doesn't log your online activity. Look at reviews to see how
strict a company is about this matter.
Multiple device connection should be on your checklist if
you have many uses. You shouldn't have to disconnect one device to plug in
another. The number of devices allowed varies across VPNs. So, choose according
to your needs. Alternatively, you can get software that connects to your
router, meaning everything in that connection enjoys the VPN's features.
Look for free trials. Even when planning to pay for a VPN,
always test it first. So, capitalise on free trials. Use that time to test the
different features offered. It's an effective way of deciding if a particular
platform satisfies your needs.
Best Practices when Using a VPN
You could have the best virtual private network and still
fail to exploit its maximum potential. Before buying a VPN, learn how to get the most out of it. Once you install a VPN and open an account, check the
encryption. You might have the option to select between 128- and 256-bit
versions. Next, pick a tunnelling protocol. WireGuard has the best speeds on
the market. Use split tunnelling if you intend to use the VPN with only a few
sites or apps. For instance, you can turn on the tool to watch sports but not
when browsing. Lastly, turn on the kill switch to ensure your traffic remains
hidden even if your internet disconnects.
If you use a router for your network connection, consider
linking it to a VPN. Connecting straight to the router means that all devices
on that network use the same software. However, you require a router that
supports a VPN account. Although you may have to spend money to get a new
router, the payoff is worth it, particularly if you work remotely.
You can save on VPN costs by subscribing to an annual plan.
VPNs come in an array of budgets and payment structures, but they are almost
always cheaper yearly than monthly. Therefore, if your budget allows it, pay
for an annual subscription.
VPNs can change your online experience dramatically. A VPN
serves many roles. It provides access to restricted content, allows you to
visit banned sites, improves your safety, eliminates tracking and protects your
devices, among other functions. With the right product, you can leverage all
these benefits and more. So, learn what to look for in a VPN. Although no
platform is perfect, you can find one that ticks all the right boxes.