Until recently, VPN was quite a niche tool utilized mainly by users concerned with their privacy on the Internet. Today, it’s becoming a standard. Let’s take a closer look at all its functions.
The times of unregulated Internet are fortunately long gone – but still, regular users are vulnerable to the violation of their privacy and exposure of their data. That was the first reason behind the increasing popularity of VPNs that would prevent these issues from occurring.
Nowadays, the number of VPN users is impressive – mainly due to the growing consciousness of dangers related to data exposure. Some browsers have it built-in (even though most of the time, the functionalities of such VPN extensions are quite limited. But VPNs can do much more than just protect your privacy!
How do VPNs work?
Before analyzing its functions, let’s try to understand how VPN really works. Without getting into details, a virtual private network encrypts your data traffic, making it much harder for unauthorized parties to access and monitor it. Devices accessing the network via VPN will appear to connect from different places around the world than their actual locations. Contrary to common conviction, VPN doesn’t change your IP but provides it with disguise.
What can you use VPN for?
VPNs can be free or paid, and the spectrum of their functions varies. Some enable you to choose the VPN servers you’re going to connect to, while others don’t (you can find 100% free VPN with unlocked location choice, but it’s rare). But all can serve such purposes as:
#1 Protecting your online privacy
Due to the encryption, VPN service allows you to browse through the Internet safely, making your payments more secure and preventing vulnerable data like passwords and logins from leaking. It’s particularly useful when you’re using open networks that are usually not protected against attacks.
#2 Tricking the geoblock
The subscription-based services have become a standard, but anyone who travels often may struggle to enjoy them due to geoblock. Netflix, HBO-GO, Prime, Hulu – all these platforms restrict access if the user is logging from another country than usual. If you would like to use them freely, a fast VPN is a must.
#3 Getting access to information
In the age of information war, VPN is becoming an essential tool providing the access to unbiased information sources and unrestricted content. In authoritarian regimes with limited freedom of the press and governmentally controlled Internet, societies can use VPNs to break through these barriers.
VPNs are as common as antiviruses now but note that not all of them will provide you with the same level of protection. Some may also affect the connection speed while browsing. Take a closer look at all its functionalities before investing in a paid or free VPN.