How can you benefit from using a VPN?
The internet has made access to information easier and digitized activities such as financial transactions, and meetings making daily human activities much better.
However, it has come with a cost of privacy and security.
First, it is common knowledge that anything you do online is no longer private. Parties powering the internet collect personal data and use it for many purposes without our knowledge.
Data monetization is one of these reasons and the global data monetization market is expected to increase at an annual growth rate of 24.1% from 2020 to 2027 according to a report by Next Generation Technologies.
Meanwhile, cybercriminals have intensified their activities using advanced technologies to compromise internet users’ security for malicious purposes.
Either way, your digital data is not in safe hands and that’s why you should start using a VPN.
But what are the main benefits of using a VPN?
Let me take you through 10 significant benefits of using a VPN to access the internet.
1. It Secures Public Wi-Fi Connections
Today, access to the internet is almost a basic need for a large percentage of the world and businesses know this.
So they’ve installed public Wi-Fi hotspots in their shops to attract customers and incentivize their spending. Governments and organizations have also made similar efforts to make access to the internet faster and cheaper
The challenge however with these public Wi-Fi hotspots is that they are unsecured. According to a study by Kaspersky, 28% of Wi-Fi hotspots in the world are not secured at all.
Using an unsecured Wi-Fi network is risky. An attacker in the network could intercept your data and read it.
One of the major security benefits of using a VPN to access the internet through public Wi-Fi networks is that it encrypts your internet traffic and passes it through a secure tunnel.
As such, an attacker will have a challenging time intercepting your data and even if they manage to get through, they cannot decipher your encrypted data.
I would recommend you always use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi to secure your data considering the rising cases of cybercrimes evident today.
2. It Prevents Online Tracking
To access the internet, you must pass through an internet service provider.
The challenge with using an ISP is that they can track your internet activities.
In some countries, governments mandate them to collect internet users’ data for security purposes. In other, they have the liberty to collect your data and share it with advertisers and other third parties without your knowledge.
For whichever reason they have to justify these actions, it is still a violation of your privacy. If you had the power to prevent this tracking, would you use it?
So, What are the main benefits of using a VPN?
A VPN gives you that power. When you connect to the internet through a VPN, the internet service provider will record traffic from your VPN server’s location. Hence, it won’t be able to track the traffic back to you.
Even though your ISP has your original IP by courtesy of you being their client, it won’t link your internet activities to your IP address.
As such, your ISP will have no valuable data about you to send to the government or sell to advertisers and other third parties. Your online privacy will have a significant boost.
3. It Provides Online Privacy.
Unfortunately, your internet service provider isn’t the only entity after your personal data. Most of the internet services and platforms we enjoy like Facebook for socializing and Google for internet browsing also collect data.
They do this because of the value of your data. It is within their business model to utilize users’ data to design products and services that are well suited for every individual customer. Yet, it still strikes me as nefarious.
Even websites we access occasionally track your data using cookies without your knowledge to provide a personalized browsing experience. In the hands of a hacker, cookies can be used to hack your devices
With VPN in the picture, you render powerless most of these efforts and secure your online privacy. In fact, it is one of the major security benefits of using a VPN.
Once you turn on VPN software on your device, your internet traffic origin is shifted from your IP address to the VPN server.
A website cannot peg your internet activities with your IP address.
Rather, the VPN server represents your internet traffic. Obviously, you have to log out of these websites if you want to keep your online privacy.
4. It Secures Online Transactions
Besides access to information, the internet empowers us to make online transactions from the comfort of our homes. You can buy an item and have it shipped to your doorstep with great ease.
However, the challenge with online transactions is that if done without a secure framework in place, you’re likely to become a victim of identity theft and lose money
For instance, when shopping, you input your credit card details or other payment information. If an attacker in your network accesses this information including your name, ID, address, etc., they can use it to make purchases at your cost.
Securing online transactions is one of the most significant security benefits of using a VPN.
A VPN uses standard encryption protocols to cipher your data before it passes it through a secure tunnel to the VPN server. There, it’s deciphered and delivered to the destination.
An attacker who tries to intercept your data during transportation will encounter code that makes no sense.
Obviously, without the encryption key only available to the VPN gateways, they cannot decrypt it and your online transaction will be secure.
5. It Helps You Bypass Censorship
Censorship is the restriction of access to certain websites and media platforms by governments and organizations who consider them a threat to their power and influence.
The last decade has witnessed many cases of government censorship across the world. According to a study by Freedom House, 67% of internet users live in countries where criticism of the government is subject to censorship.
Besides the government, institutions can also impose restrictions that limit your ability to freely explore the internet.
One of the major benefits of using a VPN is that it helps you bypass these restrictions.
It encrypts your internet data and passes it to a server located in a different country which then connects to the internet. Your ISP, therefore, records the traffic as originating from a different country that is not censored.
Consequently, you can connect with the internet platforms that were censored and enjoy your freedom to access information.
Although your VPN usage can be known, your online activities will not be known since the IP address tracked belongs to the VPN address while your IP address is only visible to the VPN server.
6. It Protects You From Price Discrimination
Price discrimination involves charging customers differently based on personal information such as location, age, and occupation.
There are different levels of price discrimination that exploit physiological impulses to optimize profits. Although it’s common in offline selling, algorithms have made dynamic pricing possible online.
Often you’ll check the pricing of a product and realize different prices depending on location. Why pay more for a product that could cost less in another country? Isn’t it unfair? You’ll think.
But what if I told you there’s a way to circumvent price discrimination and pay less?
One of the major benefits of using a VPN is that it can shield you from being charged more based on your location, purchasing habits, or assumptions of your economic status.
These factors of price discrimination are contingent on insights from the data collected on online activities pegged on your IP address.
The function of a VPN is to dissociate your IP address from your online activities.
By shifting your internet traffic from your device to a VPN server located miles away, a website cannot track your data and use it to make price discrimination decisions.
7. It Enables Anonymous Downloading
Peer-to-peer downloading services, also known as torrents have grown in popularity lately.
While they are notorious for providing avenues for illegal copyright-violating downloads, they are also used for downloading open-source software such as LibreOffice, an alternative to Microsoft Office.
The challenge with using torrents to download any files is that they have trackers and monitoring systems that over time can collect a lot of personal information about its users.
This data can then be sold to corporates and in some cases turned over to authorities to facilitate criminal investigations
Either way, you wouldn’t want your downloading data tracked by anyone, would you?
Using a VPN can help you stay anonymous when downloading torrents or open-source software and is one of the best security benefits of using a VPN.
Since this data is mostly based on IP addresses, using a VPN will enable you to hide your IP address and use the VPN address as the source of your internet traffic.
With your IP address well encapsulated, you’ll have little to worry about your downloading data being pinned back to you no matter whose hands it gets on.
8. It Gives You Access to Restricted Content
Media content providers often block internet users in various countries from accessing content due to various reasons, the main being distribution rights.
They aim to distribute the content solely, having bought distribution rights from the companies that created them in order to sustain a profitable business model.
You’d expect content providers to make content accessible across the world for an increased customer base. However, global broadcasting companies have emphasized content distribution copyrights which force content providers to implement geo-blocking.
If you’re located in a country where the content is restricted, you’ll not have access to movies, and live content that you enjoy.
One of the major benefits of using a VPN is that it can help you bypass geo-blocking and access content that’s not available in your country.
A VPN will act as an intermediary between your and the media content distributor. Your traffic will appear to originate from the VPN server’s location.
As long as the VPN server is located in a country where the content provider offers its services, you can access this content indiscriminately.
Hence you’ll be able to stream your favorite entertainment content from any location.
9. It Boosts Your Business performance
Cybercrime is on the rise and businesses are the most heavily impacted entities in this development.
Data breaches are happening more often as attackers use advanced technologies and strategies to hack existing cyber security platforms.
According to a Data Breach Report by Ponemon Institute and published by IBM, global data breaches cost companies an average of $ 4.24 million based on a study involving over 500 real threats.
As a business owner who has embraced digital transformation, you’ll be taking a huge risk for failing to set up powerful security measures to protect your data. A single cyber-attack could cost you your entire business.
The question of what are the main benefits of using a VPN especially in business operations comes down to data protection.
Using a VPN to enhance your data security is essential in ensuring business continuity in an era characterized by numerous cybercrimes.
First, a VPN secures remote access to your office network. Your employees working from home can access your network without compromising its security
Secondly, it gives you access control. You can authenticate and verify users accessing your network to keep unauthorized access at bay.
Lastly, it allows you to create your own private network to conduct secure communications.
A business performance boost is one of the most significant benefits of using a VPN to access the internet.
10. It Helps You Circumvent Internet Throttling
Internet trotting occurs when your internet service provider deliberately restricts your internet connection without your knowledge. It comes in 2 forms; data and bandwidth throttling.
Data throttling occurs when your ISP slows down your internet speed after you have reached a certain amount of your data.
Meanwhile, bandwidth throttling is simply a restriction of the amount of data that your internet connection can process at a time.
Throttling is done to limit internet usage to cut costs. It’s discriminatory since ISPs restrict internet connections for some users to boost other users’ internet speed. It has a significant impact on your internet browsing experience.
Bypassing internet throttling is one of the major benefits of using a VPN. A VPN will encrypt your device’s internet traffic and thwart sluggishness.
Your IP address will be hidden and your data will pass through a secure tunnel; the ISP cannot monitor your internet activities. By hiding your internet activities, the VPN prevents the ISP from targeting you for streaming or downloading large files.
Essentially, a VPN lets your experience premium internet access regardless of how you compare to other customers.
What are the main benefits of using a VPN?
Of the ten significant benefits of using a VPN to access the internet, we’ve discussed, one or two should have tickled your fancy.
Or rather, the atrocities happening behind your back because you use an unsecured internet connection should make you stop and think again about going online recklessly.
Either way, we can agree that VPN can play a huge role in making our browsing experience better and ensuring our online data doesn’t fall in the arms of privacy-violating corporations and cybercriminals.
With VPN at your disposal, you can take full control of your digital activities and enjoy extended internet freedom