If you are part of the modern world, you most likely have at least one electronic device connected to the internet. You probably have a desktop computer or laptop, at least one smartphone in your household, and maybe something like a tablet too.
These devices all utilize the internet for many tasks and you most likely browse the web or use online services on a daily basis. As a result, there is unfortunately a chance that you could get hacked, or a cybercriminal could commit online fraud against you.
This is where a VPN can be beneficial. A VPN is a virtual private network. VPN providers effectively route your internet traffic through a third-party server and thus hide your public IP address. This offers additional protection but also has some other fantastic benefits that we discuss below.
1. To bypass geo-blocking filters on streaming services and online casinos
One of the most epic uses of a VPN is to bypass geo-blocking filters. Many companies, services and online platforms restrict their content and only allow people from specific geographical regions to access them.
This can be incredibly annoying and in most instances, there really is no reason for a company to do this. The only viable reason for this is when platforms are restricted due to state or national laws.
Regardless, VPN providers typically provide the means to bypass geo-blocking. When you use a VPN, your real location is hidden and you can choose to connect to a server in the location of the site you want to access. For example, if you wanted to use a global poker bonus code but couldn’t because of geo-blocking, a VPN could potentially help. They are also fantastic for accessing streaming content on platforms like Netflix and Disney Plus.
2. To hide your IP address
The main premise of a VPN is that it hides your public IP address. Each computer or internet-ready device has its own IP (internet protocol) address. This is part of how the internet works and how different “nodes” communicate with each other and send and receive data.
However, if a hacker was able to find your public IP address, they could potentially have direct access to your home network and devices.
When you use a VPN service, your public IP address is masked by one of their server IPs. Therefore, it greatly improves your level of basic protection against malicious attacks and online fraud.
3. To view location-specific web content
Similar to geo-blocking for streaming services, VPNs can also help view location-specific web content. For example, when you access Google, you will notice that all your searches and results are specific to your location.
In most instances this is fine, but there may be instances where you don’t want localized results. Google makes it incredibly difficult to turn these features off, so using a VPN to mask your real location helps greatly.
It can also be brilliant when accessing things like social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook. Also, many countries like China have restricted internet access and without a VPN it is virtually impossible to view such websites and content.
4. For improved security
As mentioned, there are many unscrupulous people who would do you harm online and look to use your internet connections and data against you. Of course, an antivirus subscription is the primary layer of defense against this.
However, a VPN also helps and adds an additional layer of protection. Firstly, it hides your IP address, which makes it much more difficult to find your actual location and network. Secondly, many VPN providers like NordVPN offer additional services such as threat protection and encryption.
If your data is encrypted then it is turned into an unreadable form that hackers cannot use.
5. To improve connection speeds
Lastly, VPNs can actually be beneficial for connection speeds. For example, you may be playing an online game and you are based in the USA. Perhaps the most active game servers are in the EU. The long distance could affect your connection speeds and make games laggy.
By using a VPN and connecting to an EU server, your connection speeds should be improved and you should have reduced lag! Most VPN providers have a vast network of global server locations that you can choose from to optimize your connection.
As you can see, in today’s online world, a VPN can be invaluable. Unfortunately, there are many cybercriminals who attempt to commit online crimes, including fraud and hacking. Therefore, you must take your home internet security seriously and be protected. A VPN can help you do this by hiding your public IP address and scanning all your incoming and outgoing web traffic to ensure nothing harmful happens.