words Alexa Wang
Do you travel a lot or work wherever there’s a hotspot to connect to? No matter your profession or your passion, the odds are you can benefit from using a VPN when you’re doing your thing away from home. You may even want to use one at home as well for a multitude of reasons.
What Is a VPN?
VPN stands for virtual private network. With a VPN, data that travels over the internet will anonymously go through a network to arrive, encrypted, at its destination. Businesses love VPNs because they allow a connection between disparate work sites.
For example, someone who works from Italy will usually log into their work servers through the best vpn for Italy. The destination knows who they are, but the network that authenticating data travels across should have no idea.
For individuals, however, a VPN offers a level of security that can allow them to use the internet in relative safety. The encryption and anonymous aspect of the way VPNs work offers you a lot of room to carry on with your business without fearing someone may spy, steal, or otherwise compromise your data as it travels across the internet.
What, Specifically, Can a VPN Help With?
Here is a look at some specific cases where a VPN can help or where you should consider a VPN as absolutely necessary.
You Want to Do Some Anonymous Research
If you ever need to do research on a subject that you wouldn’t want anyone to know about, then you absolutely need to use a VPN. Privacy browsers and protocols exist to help with that sort of browsing as well. Still, those types of features work even better when combined with a VPN.
Are you a journalist or working in law enforcement? Maybe you’re a writer who needs real information about a subject that you really wouldn’t want someone finding in your search history. You can use a VPN to protect your privacy while you look for the relevant information you need.
You Want the Benefits of Having No Location Online
Your location can dictate a lot of what you can and cannot do online. Consider these facts:
- Some online stores charge different prices based on location.
- Some websites will not allow someone in if they’re from a specific country or locale.
- Some streaming services won’t stream to certain places.
- Some governments restrict otherwise freely available websites and online information.
Your IP comes with a location. A VPN can help you move around the internet more freely.
A VPN proxy gives you access to many things you cannot get to without one. For example, some streaming services have servers around the world. You may want to see the content they only serve in a specific country, but not yours. A VPN can allow you to use a server in that country that won’t know you’re halfway around the world.
You Want to Add an Extra Layer of Security to Your Sent Data
Since a VPN encrypts your information, you effectively add a seriously high layer of security to all your online activities. You can send messages or data without fear of some third-party viewing, using it, or stealing it.
You Want to Use Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
Even if you’ve never thought about it, this is a very important security feature for people who may need to use unfamiliar networks to do anything online. Don’t ignore the potential dangers associated with using public Wi-Fi.
You can’t guarantee how secure the library or coffee shop’s Wi-Fi connection really is. After all, they’re typically open to just about anyone who may use those connections to do anything. You take on a lot of risks when you open your laptop while enjoying your breakfast at your favorite fast-food spot. A VPN mitigates a lot of that risk.
What Are the Requirements for Using a VPN?
VPNs vary in quality, features, and price. Free VPNs exist for computers, smartphones, and other internet-connected devices. Free options often have strict limits on what servers someone can connect to, how much data transferring they allow, how many devices can use the VPN, and the speed of the connection.
You can certainly try out some free VPNs just to see how they work, but really, there’s no substitute for a paid VPN service. This is especially true of VPNs that come with a lot of added features and value.
As most people use multiple devices, it’s a good idea to use a VPN that allows you to connect with multiple devices and not just one. When seeking a VPN for your own needs, look for aspects such as speed, security, reliability, and ease of use.
That ease-of-use part is important. You don’t want to go through a lot of technical configuration just to log into your online portfolio from a mall parking lot. If you can just press a button to turn on your VPN, then that’s a good start for those professionals on the go who just want things to work without extra hassle.