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Popular Uses For A Secure VPN
Those considering investing in a VPN should consider these other popular uses for them.
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Popular Uses For A Secure VPN
VPNs have become more common in the last few years. At this point they are frequently advertised and recommended, and a growing number of people are actively using them on a day-to-day basis.
For the most part, VPNs are typically pitched as a means of protecting browsing activity. People are well aware that the public networks they use to connect to the internet aren’t always secure, and turn to VPNs in order to reassure themselves that their information and data is not falling into unseen hands. This however, only describes the core benefit that is most widely understood about VPNs.
Those considering investing in a provate network for the first time would also be wise to consider other popular uses for them.
We discussed the benefit of secure browsing above, but it’s also worth mentioning that many now use VPNs specifically for secure work as well. With more people working remotely, reliance on company Wi-Fi is falling by the wayside. Thus, one of the the most widespread uses for VPNs is now getting work done without concerns about exposing business-related data. That said, it is also important when using a VPN for any purpose to actually look into the privacy and security it offers.
As discussed in the post How to Tell if Your VPN is Secure, there are tests you can conduct to make sure that the security being promised is actually protecting your activity.
It is widely believed that using VPNs actually slows down your internet activity, and this can indeed be the case in certain instances. But there are also ways in which a VPN can specifically be used to boost your speed- at least with regard to certain kinds of activity.
Tom’s Guide explains that this all relates to something called “network throttling”. For those unfamiliar with the term, this is essentially a practice by which an internet service provider (or ISP) slows down your connection in order to discourage certain activities or save bandwidth.
As an example, someone streaming a HD movie or downloading a large file might have his or her connection intentially slowed, simply because these are demanding activities. With a VPN however, activity can be shielded entirely-such that not only your IP address but also what you’re actually doing is unknown to the ISP. As a result, your internet usage will not be throttled.
Access To Subscriptions
One simpler benefit of VPNs, particularly for those who travel regularly, is that they guarantee reliable access to subscriptions. On occasion, when you have paid for a subscription already- to an online journal, a streaming service, or anything similar- you may find that you are unable to access your account when attempting to do so from an unusual place.
For example, it’s possible that a U.S. Netflix subscriber may have trouble accessing his or her account from certain parts of Europe. This occurs simply because you aren’t browsing from the country or region the service recognizes as belonging to your account. With a VPN however, you can essentially route your connection through your home country and avoid this problem entirely.
Access To Gaming Sites
Another use for VPNs that has become popular is the international access of gaming platforms. In some cases, and particularly with regard to casino gaming specifically these platforms are only meant to be available in certain areas. With a VPN however, a given gamer can get around these restrictions. Nevertheless, we should caution that this practice can be problematic.
A Poker.org post on how to play poker online, outlines that some gaming platforms now require fairly specific identification for profiles (including social security numbers in some instances), and a lot of more arcade style gaming sites function similarly.
Thus, you may be identifable regardless of your IP address. It is not ultimately a particularly advisable way to put your VPN to use. But it should still be mentioned as an appliaction that has helped lead to the boom in private network popularity, given the sheer number of gamers around the world.
Saving Money On Travel
There are some instances when you can find better deals for travel costs such as hotel bookings or flight tickets by virtue of where you are.
If you’re traveling to Europe for instance, and seeking to book train tickets in advance to use while you’re there, it may be the case that you can find more options and better deals by routing your internet activity through Europe.
It’s not a guarantee, but many today do use VPNs for this purpose when planning trips.
There are a lot of ways to block different kinds of ads while using the internet. But as CNN Underscored helpfully pointed out in an overview of VPNs, private networks have become particularly helpful tools for avoiding targeted ads.
Typically, ISPs sell and release user data, which in turn allows companies to create and distribute ads built on your taste and meant to attract your attention specifically. Granted, many people find these targeted ads more pleasant than the random pop-ups and banner ads of the past. But for those who would still like to avoid them, a VPN keeps data from being associated with any specific user, and thus reduces the potential for this sort of advertising practice.
Privacy and security are still, ultimately, the most sensible reasons for using a VPN on a regular basis. But the additional uses discussed here are also responsible in part for the spike in private network popularity.
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