Ian Middleton

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5 Good Reasons to use a VPN

By Ian Middleton

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links which, if you click and buy something I will receive a small amount of money in commission at no extra expense to you. In fact, where possible I have ensured you get a discount as part of my affiliation with these companies.

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a technology that establishes a secure and encrypted connection over the internet, allowing users to transmit data between their devices and a remote server as if they were connected directly to a private network. The primary purpose of a VPN is to enhance privacy, security, and anonymity when accessing the internet. It can also be used to seem as though you are working from a different country, thus helping you get around any restrictions on viewing content within the country you are working from. 

What is a VPN used for?

In this blog post, we’ll explore 5 reasons why to use a VPN.

1: Enhanced online security

When you connect to a VPN, your internet traffic is encrypted. This means that the data exchanged between your device and the VPN server is converted into a secure code, making it difficult for unauthorised parties to intercept or access your information. One of the primary reasons to use a VPN is to boost your online security. 

In a world where cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, the need to safeguard sensitive information is paramount. VPNs encrypt your internet connection, creating a secure tunnel that shields your data from potential hackers and cybercriminals. Whether you’re using public Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or navigating the web from the comfort of your home, a VPN adds an extra layer of protection, significantly reducing the risk of unauthorised access to your personal and financial information.

2: IP Address Masking:

Your Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique identifier assigned to your device when it connects to the internet. VPNs hide your real IP address and assign you a temporary one from the server’s pool. This helps in masking your actual location and enhances privacy. VPNs play a crucial role in safeguarding your digital privacy by masking your IP address. 

Your IP address is akin to a digital fingerprint, and by obscuring it, VPNs make it challenging for websites, advertisers, and even your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to monitor and track your online activities. This restoration of anonymity empowers you to explore the internet without constant surveillance, providing a sense of control over your digital footprint.

3: Virtual Location:

VPNs have servers located in various regions worldwide. When you connect to a VPN server, your internet traffic appears to originate from that server’s location. This allows users to bypass geographical restrictions and access content that might be restricted in their actual location. 

Imagine wanting to watch your favourite TV show, only to find it blocked in your region. This is where a VPN becomes your digital key to unlock geo-restricted content. By connecting to servers in different locations, a VPN allows you to bypass geographical restrictions imposed on streaming services, websites, and online content. Whether you’re a global traveller or simply seeking access to region-specific content, a VPN enables you to enjoy an unrestricted online experience.

4: Security on Public Networks:

VPNs are particularly useful when using public Wi-Fi networks, which are often less secure. By encrypting your connection, a VPN prevents potential attackers on the same network from intercepting your data.

If you travel a lot and use Public Wi-Fi networks, then a VPN is a must. While convenient, public Wi-Fi hotspots are notorious for their security vulnerabilities. Using a VPN on public Wi-Fi networks adds an extra layer of protection, ensuring that your data is shielded from potential threats such as hackers and malicious entities that may be exploiting the unsecured network. Whether you’re working from a cafe, airport, or hotel, a VPN provides a secure pathway for your online activities, reducing the risk of unauthorised access and potential data breaches.

5: Remote working

Some businesses use VPNs to provide secure remote access to their internal networks for employees working from different locations. This ensures that data transmitted between the remote device and the corporate network remains confidential and secure.

Which VPN service to use

It’s important to note that while VPNs offer increased privacy and security, the level of protection depends on the service provider and the specific protocols used. Users should choose reputable VPN providers and be aware that using a VPN does not excuse engaging in illegal activities online.

Getting a VPN is much easier these days that it used to be. Many ISPs and companies now offer it at very reasonable prices.

Here are just a few options:

1: Fast VPN:

Provided by the hosting company Namecheap, this is a good cheap option which I use myself. They have an introductory offer of of £14.87 for the first year which renews at £27.22 per year. 

2: Atlas VPN

This is another well priced option with a special deal if you buy 3 years in advance, and you get 6 months extra for free.

3: Nord VPN

Nord VPN offers a variety of security levels from standard to ultra. The Plus option also includes a password manager and data breach scanner. The top two levels also include 1TB of encrypted cloud storage. It’s a little more expensive than the others, but also has introductory offers. Plus, if you are looking for more enchanced security and features then Nord VPN will offer this over the cheaper ones.

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