5 Reasons Why You Need a VPN By Will Wisser Posted on January 3, 2019 2 min read 0 14,161 The best way to ensure that your data is kept safe and secure is to use a VPN, or virtual private network, on the devices you use to access the internet. To help you understand why you need a VPN, let’s take a minute to think about how much of your life is transmitted over the internet. Think about it, you probably have your name, age, and birthdate displayed somewhere on your social media profiles, and you likely do some of your banking online. Then, there are all the different accounts that you use, and their passwords, and your home address, and the list goes on and on. When you put it all into perspective, it’s amazing how much of our personal information is transmitted over the internet, without us even thinking about it. So, the best way to ensure that your data is kept safe and secure is to use a VPN, or virtual private network, on the devices you use to access the internet. Not only will a VPN keep your data private, but it also ensures that you remain entirely anonymous while surfing on the net. But, before we get into our reasons as to why you need a VPN, let’s explain what a VPN is and how it works. What is a VPN? In simple terms, a VPN protects your information by creating an encrypted pathway between your device and a remote server owned and operated by your VPN service provider. Therefore, all your internet activity is routed through this encrypted tunnel, which keeps your data safe and secure when you’re connected to the internet. Essentially, a VPN masks your IP address and makes it appear to have the same address on the VPN’s server. This way, whether the site you’re visiting uses HTTPS or not, your data will still be protected by the VPN’s server. And even if your data was intercepted, it would be extremely difficult to trace it back to you, since your IP will appear to be coming from the VPN’s server, as opposed to your actual location. Now that you know what a VPN is let’s take a look a five of the most important reasons to use one. Learn more about VPN provider reviews here. 1. Using Public Wi-Fi Hotspots To understand the value of using a VPN, let’s imagine using a public Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop or restaurant. Usually, you wouldn’t think twice about connecting to the network. But, since it’s an unsecured network, how can you know if anyone else is monitoring the network or spying on your internet activity? The key takeaway is that it can be extremely difficult to tell whether or not a public Wi-Fi network is actually what it appears to be. Remember that just because it’s called McDonald’s Free Wi-Fi, doesn’t mean that it’s actually a network owned by the restaurant. It could be a hacker who called their network, “McDonald’s Free WiFi”, just to lure in unsuspecting victims. 2. Protect Your Valuable Information Think about all the personal data that you could be transmitting over the internet when you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi source. Anything from your name and date of birth, through to your location and your credit card information could be vulnerable to anyone else who is using the same public network as you. However, when you connect to that very same public Wi-Fi hotspot with a VPN, you can have peace of mind knowing that your data is being kept completely safe and secure. 3. Accessing Geo-Restricted Sites or Services Another reason to use a VPN is that they allow you to easily access sites or services that are otherwise blocked in your area due to geo-restrictions. In some countries, governments have decided to block access to certain websites by all members of their population. So, by using a VPN, an internet user can mask their IP address’ true location, creating a completely safe and anonymous way for them to access geo-restricted websites no matter where they’re located. 4. Avoiding Threat Letters With torrenting and downloading being more popular than ever, internet service providers and government agencies are now starting to crack down on people who download or upload content that’s rightfully protected under copyright law. In most cases, when your ISP catches you downloading content illegally, they will send you a warning letter in the mail, threatening to either throttle your service or pursue legal action if the activity continues. Cases like these usually fizzle out pretty quickly, however, downloading illegal content is illegal, and by doing so, you’re putting yourself at risk of being caught breaking the law. 5. Improve Online Gaming Speeds There’s no doubt that online gaming requires a fast and reliable internet connection. However, not all networks are suited for this type of activity, especially when multiple people are using the same network at the same time. That being said, you can improve your online gaming speeds by using a VPN. The VPN will route your traffic through one of its private servers, giving you access to a private server with much less congestion and significantly faster speeds.