10 simple reasons why EVERYBODY needs to use a VPN on their phones and computers – and, no, it’s not just about privacy and protecting your data. There is a myriad of benefits associated with using VPNs…
The #1 Reasons To Use A VPN In 2019 & Beyond
1. You Download Torrents
There are as many legitimate, legal reasons for downloading torrents as there are torrent users who download pirated movies. The problem is ISPs have a very hard time distinguishing between the two. That means they sometimes block users who are using torrents for legitimate reasons. A VPN would make it much harder for your ISP to see you are the one downloading torrents. Plus, VPNs like NordVPN let you access overseas versions of Netflix and P2P networks like PirateBay safely and securely.
2. You Want Extra Digital Security
From our photos to our personal health records to our finances: most of our lives are online nowadays. Using a VPN will provide extra encryption and security when you are transferring your personal data between your computer and institutions.
3. You Want To Watch Geo-Restricted Content
Live in the US, but traveling in France and don’t like the content Netflix offers while out of the country? Using a VPN could allow you to make it look like you are still in the US, thus giving you access to Netflix’s US catalog.
4. You’re a Researcher or Journalist
For many, most email services provide sufficient privacy when transmitting emails. But journalists and researchers send messages containing data that, more often than not, some people might want to try extra hard to intercept. Using a VPN will provide extra encryption for your message and even make you look like you are sending or receiving them from a location you are not in–helping to protect your physical safety if you are researching or reporting on a story someone doesn’t want to get out.
5. You Communicate via VOIP Services
While companies have stepped up their game encrypting texts and emails, they still lag behind on VOIP security. That is calls and video chats made over Skype, FaceTime and similar services. Using a VPN will add extra security and encryption to your video chats, making them harder to be intercepted.
6. You Log Onto Public Wi-Fi at Cafes & Airports
Public Wi-Fi hotspots like those found at most cafes are notorious hangouts for hackers. That’s because these hotspots generally have very weak security to the public can get onto them with little effort. Using a VPN will add security to these hotspots that they should have.
7. You Use Online Cloud Storage Solutions
Online storage solutions like Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive do a decent amount of work securing your files on their servers. However, when the files are in transit, that’s another issue altogether. Use a VPN to add extra encryptions to your cloud storage upload and downloads.
8. You’re a Gamer
If you play a lot of MMORPG or other online games using a VPN can create a direct and secure connection between you and your friends. This means there will be fewer data points from other players flowing down your network, which should increase game load times as well as limit any buffer overflows.
9. You Don’t Want Amazon Keeping Tabs on You
Most companies store cookies on your computer or they track your ISP (or both) to see what you do online and what you click on. They then use this information to show you adverts (free VPNs do this too, so always use a proper VPN like NordVPN). Amazon is notorious for doing this. But you can stop Amazon and other similar sites from building up an anonymous database of your clicks by using a VPN as each time you surf the web it will look like it’s a different computer because your IP will change each time.
10. You’re Checking Out a Competitor
If you have a small business and are checking out competing businesses in the area, those businesses could actually find out you are looking into them relatively easily by looking at their Google Analytics data. Use a VPN to hide your true IP and ISP and location and that marketing firm across the street will have no idea your startup is checking them out.
Why You Need A VPN In Today’s Digital Age
The UK passed a bill that will allow the government to surveil the public’s internet history – this bill is known as the Snooper’s Charter. It will require ISPs to store 12 month’s worth of search history per account and, at its core, is basically the most Orwellian piece of legislation passed in modern history. Make no mistake: this is a huge deal and a massive kick in the nuts for anyone that believes in freedom, liberty and the right to privacy.
If you haven’t used a VPN before, now is the time to get one – now is the time you NEED one. Making sure all your internet activity and communications are end-to-end encrypted is now more important than ever before.
For this reason, everybody should use a VPN.
A simple Google search reveals that more and more people are turning to VPNs in order to access the internet as it was designed to be accessed. Take this post from Quora, for instance:
“In the contemporary digital world, it has become a necessity to use a VPN for all those who want their online activities private. There are many laws that invade people’s privacy by monitoring their online activities and keeping their tracks on the internet. Plus, the geographical restrictions on the internet are another big reason, because the internet is supposed to be borderless, but unfortunately, it is not. These are the two most important reasons to use a VPN.”
What is a VPN – What Does It Actually Do?
But what is a VPN, you might ask? It stands for “virtual private network” and the VPN is just a secure connection of networked computers. “Networked computers” simply means “the internet” and a “secure connection” means that digital security keys are sent to between the two computers talking that ensure no other computer can pick up the data being sent between the two. In other words, the data is encrypted.
Why do you need a VPN in your life? The most obvious reasons are as follows:
- Anonymity: VPNs keep all your online activity and communications secure, along with your identity making them a must-have for anyone that is concerned about hackers, snooping or their privacy online. They also prevent your ISP from tracking your activities and allowing you to visit websites that aren’t allowed in your country, like Pirate Bay or streaming sites.
- Different IP Addresses: You can browse the web from different IP addresses, which is great for when you’re traveling. For instance: Say you’re a British national in the US and you want to watch the BBC. Simple, just login in with a UK IP and you can. And it works the same in reverse, giving US citizens access to US content while outside the US.
- Wi-Fi Security: If you’re logging onto public Wi-Fi networks like the ones used inside airports and coffee shops, a VPN will keep your details secure, hiding you behind a layer of encryption thereby making it impossible for hackers to access your personal data.
A lot of people in the past few years have become familiar with VPNs thanks to Netflix. How it works was simple: you install a VPN, activate it and, BOOM, you’re watching US Netflix. Netflix in the US, in case you didn’t know, is VASTLY superior to what we have here in the UK. And by vast, I mean like the difference between a petrol station garage shop and Tesco Extra.
I’d like to say this is the main reason why VPNs are so popular, but the truth is they have been around for a lot longer than Netflix. The benefits of using a VPN to access different regional versions of Netflix, however, did push the idea of VPNs into the mainstream – hell, even my mum has one!
Just make sure you DO NOT USE free VPNs – they track your data, sell your data, and are totally unsafe and not fit for purpose.
This angered A LOT of people. I actually canceled my subscription. Still, Netflix aside, I would not have a VPN setup on my home network and the main reasons for this are detailed below. But most VPNs can now get around this; NordVPN can access US Netflix from the UK, for instance.
If you want my advice on which VPN provider to go with… well, I’ve been using NordVPN for a few years now and have been very impressed with its awesome service, great prices, and brilliant customer service.
The Best VPN Providers
|ExpressVPN||100%||ExpressVPN also boasts very impressive speeds, making it an ideal choice for those wishing to watch Netflix in 4K. Out of all the VPNs inside our top three picks, ExpressVPN is the newest. It is also one of the best too – VIEW ALL PLANS||[maxbutton id="26"]|
|NordVPN||100%||On top of its excellent security, NordVPN is also devilishly quick too; you’ll hardly even notice you’re running it. Add in that it is great for accessing services like Netflix and bypassing geo-restricted web content and you’re basically looking at the best VPN package on the planet right now – VIEW ALL PLANS||[maxbutton id="25"]|
|SurfShark||90%||SurfShark isn’t quite as fast as NordVPN. Still, if you’re after a VPN solely for torrenting and P2P, then SurfShark is definitely worth a look, as it is one of the best in the business right now for this kind of thing – VIEW ALL PLANS||[maxbutton id="27"]|
When it comes to getting yourself a VPN, you really are spoilt for choice. There are literally hundreds of cost-effective options out there and all of them do much the same thing. Choosing one isn’t difficult, but narrowing down the competition can be a little, um, tiring if you’re looking online.
I personally use NordVPN for my personal and work-related VPN needs. NordVPN is a big player in the space with plenty of experience and excellent pricing and while there are cheaper players out there, I tend to believe that you get what you pay for when it comes to VPNs.
I’d rather use a service like NordVPN and know EXACTLY what I am getting than some cheaper, unknown entity. This is your data, after all, so it stands to reason that you will want it in trust-worthy hands, or else… well, what’s the point of having one in the first place?
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.