Government regulations in the United Kingdom and the United States resulted in a surge of VPN usage in 2017. The Snoopers’ Charter and the ISP rights of the UK and the US respectively grant government intelligence agencies and internet service providers access to the public’s internet usage and collect users’ private information to sell to the highest bidders.
It’s a scary thought, knowing that your country’s lawmakers are keeping tabs on every key you type on your computer and every click of your mouse. VPNs became the hottest selling commodity when these laws took effect. Today, virtual private networks have gone beyond their original purpose, which was for remote offices and the headquarters of corporations to transmit information securely.
Find out what the best uses of a VPN are and, without further delay, get one for yourself:
1. Circumvent internet censorship.
Many countries block internet access to the public. China, Russia and North Korea are only a few of these countries that decide what information or websites people can have and visit. Even if you’re not a resident of say, China, you might be going there for business or personal purposes. Using a VPN ensures you can still go online as freely as if you are in your home country.
2. Play games on a private server.
You’re playing your favorite video game, and just when you’re in for the shot, the game lags and you get killed off. It’s a common frustrating occurrence with ISPs. Playing games on a VPN eliminates slow speed and enhances your gaming experience, so that the price of using a private network is all worth it.
3. Shop abroad online without the hassle.
Many merchants in countries where you don’t live want to protect you from identity theft. They may not sell to clients in certain regions. Or if they do, they’ll ask for proof of ownership of your credit card. While this is a safe practice, it also presents a lot of difficulties, and your purchase could take days or weeks to be approved.
With a VPN, your connection is routed through an international server, allowing you to shop to your heart’s content. A VPN also protects the sensitive information in your credit card, Amazon account or PayPal from being hacked by unscrupulous people.
4. Watch shows on streaming services from anywhere in the world.
Streaming TV shows have geo-restrictions, which means that not all Netflix shows in the United States are available in other countries. This also holds true for other streaming shows like BBC in the UK, or original programming on NBC in the US. Using a VPN for Netflix can change your computer’s IP address, making it seem like you’re in the US, and opens up endless opportunities for watching shows not shown in your country.
5. Protect your VOIP phone calls.
Voice-over-IP calls are cheap but can be easily accessed by hackers with knowledge of internet protocols. If you’re talking sensitive stuff, use a VPN for your VOIP calls to protect yourself from censors and hackers. You can also save on international calls which are quite expensive. By using a VPN located in the country where you call frequently, you only get charges for local VOIP calls even if you’re actually halfway across the globe.
6. Avoid being on the watchlist.
Even if you’re downloading and sharing files that are legal, many torrent services are full of illegally downloaded content. The US and UK intelligence agencies are monitoring users of torrent services and, while you’re totally legit, using these services can still get you on their watchlist. A VPN protects you by keeping your information hidden.