All of us, on average, spend about six hours a day browsing or chatting on the Internet. Virtual private networks, or VPNs, are a secure way to protect sensitive information when posting on social networks or sending work emails, including our physical location, the pages we visit, and the passwords we use.
VPNs are also useful for:
- Accessing blocked or censored web pages.
- Protect browsing history and our online activities.
- Use public Wi-Fi safely.
- Create a secure connection to work remotely.
- There are many highly rated VPNs that offer multi-device plans that cost less than a monthly subscription to a streaming service.
Why should you use a VPN?
There are situations and circumstances in which you can benefit from using a VPN, such as when you want to:
Protect sensitive data
VPNs prevent third parties from accessing your sensitive information, including your IP address and browsing history. Also, when performing online tasks that involve sensitive data, such as your bank account or credit card information, a VPN’s encryption prevents that data from falling into the wrong hands.
Access geo-restricted content
A VPN can help you access websites or content that is restricted to certain geographic areas, such as a sports match that is not broadcast on local TV stations or a movie that is not broadcast in your country. Additionally, some stores or brands offer geo-specific sales that may only be accessible to customers in a specific region. A VPN allows you to change the apparent location of your internet access to access said content as if you were there.
Bypass government censorship
Likewise, you can access government-censored websites or platforms by changing your location to another country. For example, if you work in Iran, where some social media platforms are blocked for citizen use, you can go to a server in Australia or the United States and access the website. However, keep in mind that accessing government-censored content can have severe penalties, and some countries do not allow citizens to use VPNs.
Connect securely to public Wi-Fi
VPNs are also recommended for connecting to public Wi-Fi, such as at a coffee shop, airport, or hotel. Hackers monitoring these networks can often access activity on public Wi-Fi. Using a VPN encrypts your data, providing an extra layer of protection between your device and hackers and data sniffers.
Create a safe work environment for working remotely
Many VPNs allow remote workers to securely access and process sensitive company data, even when working from home or on their own devices over public Wi-Fi. Companies can also connect their network to a partner’s network and control what sensitive data partners can access while maintaining a smooth workflow. This means companies have the freedom to hire remote workers to get jobs done better without putting sensitive customer or company data at risk.
Avoid tracking by third parties
Internet service providers record your online activity by tracking your IP address as you browse or communicate online. In turn, they often sell information about you to third parties, such as advertisers. In addition, they may disclose this data to government agencies that request it. VPN providers often have strict no-logging policies, which means there are no activity or browsing logs from your VPN sessions to hand over to third parties.
What is the best VPN?
The best VPN for you will depend on how you plan to use the service and how much you’re willing to pay. When looking for a VPN, make sure it’s compatible with your devices and that any limit on simultaneous connections still covers all your devices. You should also prioritize security features like 256-bit AES encryption, add-ons you need like dedicated IP addresses, and anonymous browsing features like no-logging policies.