A VPN or a Virtual Private Network has become somewhat of a necessity nowadays. With cyber-crime rates growing rapidly, these programs allow us to protect our privacy online. While this might be one of the more significant features of a VPN, these programs can do a lot more than this.
Not only do they keep you safe online, but they also help you stream anonymously and unlock all types of content. From your favorite TV shows to restricted websites, there is nothing that a VPN can’t fix.
How a VPN works?
For those who are unaware of what a VPN is, here is a short introduction. The way a normal browsing session works is that the user’s IP address sends a request to the server of the local internet service provider. This is processed and sent to the server of the website which needs to be accessed.
However, there is a catch. ISPs are known to keep logs of browsing sessions. Everything including the websites visited, time spent on each web page, information entered, etc. is tracked and stored. We don’t need to explain what this information could mean in the wrong hands.
Even if the user’s worst nightmares don’t come true, there is a high probability of specific information being compiled and sold to marketing companies. Ever wondered how all that advertising spam ends up on your email address and text messages? Well, now you know.
VPN and what it can do for you
Virtual Private Networks provide users with the ability to browse the internet without leaving any trace whatsoever. This and a lot more besides. Here are some of the most interesting things you can do with a VPN:
1. ISP tracking and avoid ISP throttling
One of the first things which an ISP can gain access to is user location. With the help of latest techniques, this location can be tracked, and a lot of sensitive information can become accessible. This information can then be used in whatever way the service provider wills.
With the end to net neutrality last year, these people have the authority to regularize the internet as they wish, putting users at risk. With a VPN, the original IP address is first sent to the secure servers of the program. These servers are spread across the world and therefore, determining the exact location of the user becomes almost impossible.
Moreover, the ISP’s have limited servers and in order to optimize bandwidth for all the connected users, they regularly throttle speeds. While in a normal browsing session this is barely noticeable, it becomes severely annoying when you’re streaming your favorite episode on Netflix.
And this is the most common instance of throttling because numerous users are watching these programs at the same time. A VPN can effectively deal with this problem for you by helping you connect to dedicated servers around the world where congestion is low.
2. Online shopping + Cheap Flight tickets
Online shopping not only requires you to enter your credit card or PayPal account details on the connection being monitored by your ISP but also puts you at risk for marketing profiling. This is how customized ads end up on the websites you browse.
A VPN can help secure the connection for you by making your location and browsing data completely untraceable. This way you can be sure that your personal information remains safe.
Also, you may have heard that clearing browsing data and using incognito mode on your browser will impact flight prices. There is another trick which can cause the prices to fluctuate too. Try installing a VPN and connect to a low-income country.
Not only will flight prices drop but the rates for hotels and other travel related services will also go down. This is a neat way to get a hold of more affordable fares for your travel plans and make those vacations more feasible for you.
3. Public Wi-Fi security
Most of us are unaware of the fact that public Wi-Fi networks are hubs for the leak of information. All we see when there is a free Wi-Fi connection available is the opportunity to browse the internet more freely. This freedom can sometimes come at a significant cost.
This is particularly a problem with open Wi-Fi connections where there is no password, or the security key is easily available to everyone. Professional hackers and spammers connected to the same networks can use attacks like man-in-the-middle or simple phishing to fool users into entering their personal information where they shouldn’t.
VPNs offer public Wi-Fi security features too so that users can browse the internet without having to worry about anyone invading their privacy or stealing their information.
4. Privacy from websites gathering data
There are several forums, surveys, websites and applications which use certain methods to extract relevant information from users. These can range from simple email addresses to more personal data like buying preferences or even bank account details. Obviously, users are vigilant in giving out their financial details anywhere on the internet.
So, these platforms use several cunning tactics, for instance, the page seems like a reliable interface for a bank or secure portal when it is just a decoy. Information collected through these channels is used either for customer profiling and marketing or more elaborate cyber-crimes.
As a VPN masks the identity of a user, it blocks these websites from gathering any data from users through the location of their IP addresses and browsing sessions. Although, keeping a lookout for unreliable websites seeking personal information is a user’s personal responsibility. Here a VPN can help secure browsing sessions to help them avoid such websites effectively.
5. Netflix Streaming
What does Netflix streaming have to do with a VPN? The answer is “A lot actually”. The problem of throttling and slow speeds has already come under discussion in the previous sections. What’s more, is that these media channels have now resorted to limiting content access based on geography.
Some shows and movies which are available in the US are not accessible outside its borders. This makes it hard for fans to enjoy their favorite content without interruptions. VPNs go a long way in solving this problem.
All you have to do is connect to a server/location of your preference where your favorite shows are available. Voila! You now have the ability to stream as much as you like without having to worry about lagging connectivity or content availability.
6. Beating Hackers
An unmasked IP address is like a jar of candy which if left unprotected, will attract all kinds of insects. Hackers looking to cause harm can also use IP addresses to ascertain a lot of information about the users.
These individuals usually have sinister intentions and want to cause financial harm. They are best at what they do and the tools they use are sophisticated enough to beat the security systems of some of the most secure companies in the world.
A VPN offers a certain level of protection against these elements by fooling them through covering up user IP addresses.
7. Download and Upload securely
With a VPN installed, no-one knows your current location. Therefore, browsing sessions are completely secure. What you upload and download leaves no traces on the internet. This is simply because, with a VPN in place, user location is being sent through secure servers over the internet.
As a result, there is no entity which can know the exact location you are accessing the internet from.
8. Keep your chats private
Amongst the many drawbacks of tracking IP addresses is, social media sessions of users are open for spying. Anyone from the ISP to any hacker who has the respective resources is able to gain access to your accounts and can take a peek at your chats.
This is something that bothers a large chunk of the public because chats are something we like to keep private at all times. Through unprotected browsing sessions this is not possible but with a VPN, this threat becomes neutralized. You can use social media as much as you like without having to worry about any of the information going out into the open.
Yes! there are a lot of amazing things a VPN can help you do. The Singapore-based platform provides consistent speeds at packages starting from as low as $2.25 a month.
Alongside its affordable prices, there are a plethora of other features. A 256-bit encryption protocol, more than a thousand servers in a hundred locations around the world, public Wi-Fi security and an internet ‘kill switch’ to terminate all internet traffic when a VPN is not connected.
These are just a few of the benefits you get when you sign up for Ivacy.