At this point, many of us have read the news about how Virtual Private Networks (VPN) can help people get around regional blocks on content like Netflix. While this has stirred up a debate in Singapore about parallel imports in the digital world, the discussion neglects the numerous other reasons to subscribe to a VPN.
With that in mind, let’s review some of the reasons why a VPN is a necessary digital tool for the 21st century.
1. Use public Wi-Fi safely
Public Wi-Fi has come under scrutiny for being a dangerous security menace. Connecting to a hotspot at a coffee shop or airport can quickly put your passwords and data at risk. All it takes is for one other person on the network to use some very basic software to inspect everyone else’s internet traffic.
To help protect yourself, you can use a VPN. It passes your data through an encrypted tunnel, meaning would-be thieves monitoring the network won’t be able to scrutinize your data. That can save you from a world of trouble!
2. Get around censorship
If you’re into travel, chances are you might visit a country where major websites are blocked. China is probably the most prominent example, as the Great Firewall blocks Facebook, Google, Instagram, and plenty of other services.
A good VPN lets you access all this and more by routing your traffic through a server in another country, making sure your vacation doesn’t feel like a divorce from the digital world.
3. Prevent throttling
Did you know your Internet Service Provider can track how you’re using your bandwidth and limit your speed accordingly? For instance, if they notice you streaming a lot of films, they might slow things down so you can’t stream as much.
A VPN can help you get around this by encrypting all your internet traffic. That way it makes it harder for your ISP to differentiate between different types of online content, helping to protect your speeds.
4. Keep personal data secure
As previously mentioned, your ISP can see all your internet activity, including your searches. This can reveal a lot of personal information, including medical issues and family problems.
To keep that information private, use a VPN. Because your traffic is routed elsewhere, your ISP won’t be able to follow every search, keeping your data safe from being sold to advertising or insurance companies.
As the world continues to digitalize, the use cases for VPNs will only continue to increase. For those looking to stay ahead of the curve, subscribing to a good VPN now could be a prudent move.
This article was written by David Lang. He is Communications Manager at ExpressVPN, a leading privacy advocate whose core mission is to make it easy for everyone to use the Internet with security, privacy, and freedom. They offer 100+ VPN server locations in 87 countries.