Why use a VPN? 10 reasons why it’s essential

Why use a VPN?If you’ve landed on this webpage, you’re probably considering using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and wondering whether it really makes good sense to do so.

Perhaps you’re not very technical but people keep telling you it’s a good idea to use one, but they never quite explain why.

So, let’s consider the issue in detail.

What is a VPN?

Essentially, a VPN creates a secure connection between your computer and the internet.

Think of it as a secure tunnel between your computer and your VPN provider’s network through which only your data can pass and with which only you have access.

This enhances your security, privacy, and anonymity every time you use the internet and is particularly useful when you’re using applications such as online banking where security is paramount.

Take a quick look at this video before you read on.

If you’d like to see more videos on the subject then click the link here and take a look at the ExpressVPN YouTube Channel.

Why use a VPN?

1. Security:

Your VPN will encrypt all data passing from and to your computer through your internet connection. This makes it much more difficult for hackers or cybercriminals to intercept that data.

The use of a VPN connection is particularly important if you regularly use public Wi-Fi in coffee shops, airports, and other public facilities.

Equally when you’re accessing sensitive information online, such as banking, this additional layer of security is insurance against becoming a victim of cybercriminals.

2. Privacy:

Using a VPN will hide your IP address and your location.

Essentially, a VPN changes your IP address, which makes it much harder to determine your identity and real geographic location.

This will make it more difficult for websites and advertisers to track your online activity. The advantage here is that it prevents you from being targeted with advertising, and you can browse online with greater anonymity.

In short, using a VPN will help protect your privacy.

3. Access to restricted content:

If you travel frequently, you may have noticed that in certain countries or regions of the world, you’re often blocked from accessing some websites and services that are hosted in other parts of the world. This is particularly true with streaming services and the like.

It’s also true when you’re trying to access online banking in countries like the USA from geographic locations outside the USA.

Using a VPN will help you access such sites and services by connecting your computer to a server in a different geographic location via a secure tunnel.

For instance, VPN providers like ExpressVPN have US-based servers. Therefore, if you’re trying to access a US-based bank from overseas, by using ExpressVPN the bank’s computers will think you’re within the US. And therefore, you’ll be able to do whatever you need to do without restriction.

4. Protection from ISP tracking:

If you’re unfamiliar with how internet service providers (ISPs) operate, you may not realise that they can see everything you do online. That means they have access to valuable data relating to you and your preferences which, in theory at least, they can sell on for profit.

If you’d prefer to keep your own business private, then using a VPN will help prevent your ISP from tracking your online activity and selling that data to third parties.

That alone must be worth the price of a VPN subscription.

5. Improved online performance:

If you do a lot of video streaming and you regularly download large data files, then you may occasionally experience buffering. And when you do, I’m sure you find it frustrating, yes?

Well, using a VPN can help improve online performance by reducing lag and buffering when you’re downloading a lot of data.

The time you’ll save, again, is worth the price of a subscription.

6. Better search results:

When you use search engines like Google or Bing, they will profile you over time to build up knowledge of your preferences and link this to your location, IP address, and device.

The problem with this is that it results in what is known as search bias.

And the problem with search bias is that this means when you’re searching for things, you’ll get customized results based on what they think you want rather than all the possibilities you might actually wish to consider.

By using a VPN, you can eliminate search bias, thereby giving you access to unbiased search results.

7. Protection from cyber threats:

Internet Safety TipsNetwork security is one of the biggest issues facing internet users today.

Malicious threats are a constant source of danger for internet users and the number of those threats is on the increase all the time.

By encrypting your internet connection using a VPN, you can help protect yourself from malware, phishing attacks, and other cyber threats, as well as prevent you from connecting to malicious websites.

8. Bypass censorship:

Internet censorship is on the increase in most countries, even in those countries that in theory support the idea of free speech.

Increasingly what we’re allowed to see and hear is being controlled through online censorship by politicians and public institutions.

By using a VPN, you bypass such restrictions and potentially access blocked content.

If you believe that you should be able to judge what you read and hear, then using a VPN will mean you’re better able to do so.

9. Protect against surveillance:

Surveillance of individuals is another issue that is on the increase.

In many countries, governments and other organizations and institutions often monitor internet activity to gather information about individuals.

If you encrypt your internet connection through a VPN, you can help protect yourself against this type of surveillance by hiding your online activity.

That’s worth thinking about, surely?

10. Protection for mobile devices:

Now, you might imagine, at this stage, that the use of a VPN only applies to personal computers.

What about that little computer in your hand, also known as a smartphone?

Well, the use of a VPN can also provide security and privacy for your mobile devices too.

This is particularly important when you’re using these devices over public Wi-Fi or if you’re connecting to the internet whilst you’re travelling.

When should you use a VPN?

Ideally, you should use a VPN every time you connect to the internet.

The VPN runs in the background, so it won’t get in your way.

Situations, where it’s particularly useful to use a VPN, include: –

      • Travelling
      • Using Public Wi-Fi
      • Banking
      • Online Shopping
      • Gaming
      • File Sharing

Convinced?

So, dear reader, I’ve given you 10 excellent reasons to consider using a VPN.

The question now is, are you convinced?

If you are, you may be wondering what things you need to consider before you choose a VPN provider.

Criteria for choosing a VPN provider:

1. Free or paid subscription:

There are VPN providers offering free services but ask yourself this, how do they make their money?

There’s an old saying, if you can’t see how they make money from the product then you are the product.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Either they make their money from subscriptions, or they make money from you. And chances are, the way they would make money from you is not in your interests.

So, if you want a decent service, in my experience, you’re better paying for it. Simple!

2. Security and privacy:

The first thing you need to ensure is that you choose a VPN provider that offers strong encryption and has a clear privacy policy.

Specifically, you must look for a VPN provider that does not log your online activity nor sell your data to third parties.

In signing up for a service, you must ensure that this is guaranteed.

3. Server locations:

This issue might not seem important, but it is if you’re likely to need to access content that may be restricted in certain geographic regions.

Given we’re all digital nomads these days and we all like to travel, this means everyone, really.

So, choose a VPN provider with servers in multiple geographic locations.

4. Speed and performance:

There’s nothing more frustrating than a webpage that’s slow to download or a video that’s constantly buffering.

Using a VPN provides additional security, but it’s not meant to slow down your internet user experience. In short, it shouldn’t affect your online performance.

So, look for a VPN provider with fast servers and a good track record for operational performance.

5. Compatibility:

There are so many different devices today. PCs, Chromebooks, MacBooks, iPads, tablets, smartphones, and so on.

They’re all different.

So, make sure the VPN provider you choose is compatible with the devices you regularly use.

You may find that some VPN services may not work on all devices, or they may require some special configuration.

6. Customer support:

Digital services are great, and they’ve added so much value to our lives. However, it’s when they go wrong that they can prove to be challenging.

Whenever you’re considering any digital service, always look hard at how well they do customer support.

Choose a VPN provider with a good reputation for excellent customer support services.

Things will go wrong occasionally, they always do, and that’s when you’ll want effective help quickly.

So, look for VPN providers that offer live chat or email support, as well as comprehensive documentation and guides.

7. Cost:

Once you’ve decided on all the above, then it comes down to who you think offers the best value for money.  And allow me to stress here, it’s not about the cheapest. It really is all about the best value relative to what is being provided.

Which VPN provider should I choose?

There are many good VPN providers but the VPN that is regularly voted the best all-rounder by experts and users, and the one I use personally on all my devices, is ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN offers a choice of 3,000 servers in 94 countries around the world. It’s extremely fast, reliable, and secure and it works with all popular platforms and services. It also offers 24/7 online customer support.

In summary, ExpressVPN includes: –

  • Reliable connection;
  • User-friendly;
  • Best-in-class security and encryption;
  • 3,000 ultra-fast servers in 94 countries;
  • Split-tunnelling;
  • No activity logs and no connection logs;
  • 24/7 customer support by live chat;
  • Unmatched Netflix Streaming;
  • Built-in password manager: ExpressVPN Keys;
  • 30 days risk-free. Not satisfied? Money back, no questions asked.

Next Step:

Given that you can try it risk-free for 30 days, what have you got to lose?

Why not take a closer look? You can LEARN MORE HERE.

Just click the link and check it out.

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