Using a VPN has many benefits, from letting you stream more TV to keeping you safe from snoops and hackers.
In these days of constant connectivity and ever-increasing internet use, reports of security breaches, identity theft, financial fraud, and unauthorized personal data sharing are a significant concern for everyone. A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a valuable tool that alleviates these concerns. VPNs come with several other outstanding (and often unexpected) benefits as well.
VPNs were originally developed to allow remote workers to safely access corporate networks when away from the office. Obviously, the corporations didn’t want hackers to get access to corporate records, so the Virtual Private Networks were developed to serve as a separate little private internet for its users. Over time, individuals recognized that these exceptional privacy benefits could be extended to their own internet activities as well. In fact, the VPN service for individuals has been so successful, the term VPN is now almost exclusively used in reference to a service that provides private internet usage for anyone surfing online. A once obscure corporate initiative is now a $70 billion industry.
Since the ordinary internet user doesn’t have an corporate IT guy on demand, VPN services had to evolve to make VPNs easier to use. Thankfully, the VPN companies have answered the call, and for the most part they have made VPN usage extremely simple. Even an inexperienced computer user can be up and running with a VPN in minutes. Not only are VPNs now easy to install, but competition among VPN providers has made them very affordable as well. For just a few dollars a month, a good VPN service will not only protect your privacy, but will also open up a whole new world of TV, movies, music, gaming, and more for users.
The Many Benefits Of Using A VPN
While most people know a VPN is a must-have for online privacy and protection from hackers, these handy tools also offer so much more. When first learning about VPNs, people are often quite surprised by these other benefits.
Bypass online censors: For example, a VPN will allow its user to avoid censorship blocks online. As a result, restricted political discourse and non-mainstream news reporting are available to people otherwise subject to government and corporate propaganda.
Access TV channels, sites & apps worldwide: On a lighter note, a VPN will allow a resident of one country to get unrestricted access to the TV broadcasts of other countries. Prior to VPNs, access to another country’s television channels, sporting events, news, movies and music was almost impossible. So, if you’re tired of US television, a VPN will get you access to all the great free TV in the UK. (And vice-versa if you’re in the UK.)
Stream more sports: Unrestricted access to TV sites and services has a lot of benefits for sports fans. Think of the possibilities: A soccer fan in the US can stream European League matches, or a US expat can get complete access to NFL football again. In fact, the viewing options offered by the NFL, MLB and NHL to residents of other countries are better than what’s offered in the US. As a result, NFL fans living in the US, for example, use VPNs to get access to these better viewing options!
Enjoy online poker and sports betting: Living in the US, but want to play poker online or do some sports betting? A VPN will get that done for you as well.
Watch more on Netflix and Amazon Video: Did you know that Netflix and Amazon have significantly different streaming libraries depending on what country you live in? A VPN will get around these content blocks as well–giving you so many more shows and movies to watch.
Use Torrenting sites and Kodi safely: Do you torrent music and movies, or use Kodi? The extra security protection of a VPN is essential to stay secure and anonymous.
Save money on VoIP calls: Ever use Skype or other VoIP services and get hit by big charges for international calls? With a VPN you can appear to be in the same country as the person you’re calling, and avoid costly bills.
Keep sensitive online activities private: If you do online banking or other sensitive activities, a VPN will give you a safe zone, and protect you from spies, hackers and rogues.
Avoid online ads and tracking: Sick of seeing annoying online ads, and getting tracked by marketers online? Many VPNs block ads and trackers, as well as malicious malware.
Block unwanted surveillance: Disgusted by Facebook’s privacy breaches? Tired of Big Brother and government agencies doing blanket surveillance of your internet usage? A VPN will allow you to appear as if you are in another country. (And yes, VPNs are legal in the US, Canada, Europe and most of Asia.)
Best VPNs 2018
While NordVPN is our favorite, ExpressVPN and IPVanish are popular as well. Here’s a brief comparison of these top VPN services.
|#1|| Total privacy & security
Unblock ALL sites & apps
Unlimited bandwidth & fastest speeds
Apps for all devices
Perfect for beginners
30-day money-back guarantee
How To Get Started
Sometimes people get the impression that using a VPN is complicated. Nothing could be further from the truth–using a VPN is extremely simple. For more on actually using a VPN, be sure to check out our post on ‘How To Use A VPN’.