The internet can be a dangerous place where anything goes. We often hear horror stories of identity theft, credit card fraud, and government surveillance. At any point, sometimes through little doing of our own, we can find ourselves falling victim to any of these transgressions. Let’s face it. The internet is pretty much a modern day Wild West.
On the flip side, the internet can also be a very restrictive place. Companies and governments can and often will restrict your online activities. They can impose control on what anyone does based purely on that person’s physical location.
So it seems that, depending on what you try to do, the internet can be both risky and wild but at the same time very tightly controlled. Thankfully, there is a single solution that can take care of both problems. That solution is a VPN.
In previous posts, we have talked about how to pick a VPN, and how to improve its performance. But so far, we have not addressed probably the most basic question: do you even need a VPN in the first place? To answer that, let us look at a few scenarios which show the usefulness of using VPN service. Walking through these should open your eyes to the types of dangers and dirty practices that it can solve.
Even though it may not be as pervasive as it is in China, the American government undeniably spies on its citizens. It employs several techniques, including monitoring activity metadata and gathering information from ISPs (which they are legally required to provide) to track your online habits.
As mentioned, in other countries, of course, the problem can be much worse. Governments will monitor and even prevent access to entire sections of the internet in an attempt to control its citizens.
You can protect yourself from censorship and surveillance by using a VPN. The encrypted tunnel through which your data will pass will ensure you get back your online privacy and your right to express yourself freely.
Do you sometimes wonder why certain videos take ages to load or why certain files take forever to download? The answer could be your internet service provider throttling your bandwidth based on your activity. To accomplish this, they have to intercept and inspect your data transfers, and that’s something they can do with ease. A scary thought indeed.
Much like in the case of government snooping, because using a VPN will send all your data through an encrypted tunnel, it will make it impossible for the ISP to know what you’re up to. Welcome back privacy and internet speeds actually matching what you pay for.
Have you ever noticed how ads you see online are strangely related to search engine queries you have recently made? It’s no accident. All the key search engines, from Google to Bing and Yahoo, tie any searches you make to your IP address. Those companies can then use that information to target you with ads.
Some of us may not mind this practice. After all, if we search for something we must be interested in it. Well, what if my wife decides to do some hair product research using my computer? I’m not all that interested in seeing Pantene Pro-V ads for the next three weeks. Using a VPN will make sure that does not happen.
Public WiFi Security
Think how often you end up using a public WiFi network. If you’re like me, the answer is as often as you can. It’s a good way of staying within your phone data plan, and an excellent way to keep in touch with the world when you travel. Unfortunately, using a public WiFi can be quite treacherous.
On larger networks, like those at airports, hundreds of other users can be sharing the network with you. Given just a bit of know-how, any one of those individuals can be intercepting and looking at the information you send and receive. The same goes for the company providing the WiFi service.
Using a VPN will stop both in their tracks. Although it can’t prevent anyone from intercepting your data, the secure encrypted connection a VPN provides will make sure that any data that is intercepted is useless.
These were but a few example cases where using a VPN can be very useful if not vital. Just remember to pick the right VPN service for your needs. Visit Fastest VPN Guide and find all the information you’ll need to make that choice right on their site. Also remember that using a VPN will slow down your internet connection. But, with our recent post on how to improve your VPN speed, however, you will be well taken care of.