You’ve probably heard the term ‘VPN’ many times but you may not be sure why you should use one and what it can do for you. A VPN – virtual private network – is essentially a secure connection between your computer and a specific network on the internet. When your computer connects to a VPN, it behaves as if it is on that specific network, even if you are really located somewhere on the other side of the world.
Understanding the Value of VPNs
VPNs were originally a way to maintain exclusive business networks and to enable workers to log into their company’s networks remotely. They are still used for this purpose but are put to other uses as well. People often use them to bypass geographic access restrictions and to get around certain other internet security functions too – uses that can be applied for both legitimate reasons and more shady ones – the latter of which shouldn’t bother you at all.
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The Benefits of Using a VPN
A VPN is an extremely handy tool for your daily internet operations and one that we would encourage you to adopt. Now that you know what a VPN is, let’s get specific about what it can do for you. Here are the main reasons why you need a VPN:
You Can Bypass Geographic Restrictions
This is handy for some streaming media applications which are intended for use in specific territories. Let’s say you’re in South Africa but need to access content from a US site that hasn’t yet been opened up for overseas markets. A VPN will enable you to gain access to that network.
You Can Protect Yourself Against Prying Eyes
More than ever, people are working remotely these days, which means they often access the internet by means of a public WiFi network, such as in a coffee shop. The problem with these networks is that they seldom offer the kind of security that a business or home network would provide. Using a VPN will enable you to provide your own protection while using these open networks, shielding you from any potentially prying eyes.
You Can Increase Your Anonymity
The internet is an increasingly wide-open space where almost everything is traceable. For the average user, this doesn’t really matter. There is some safety in being a needle in a haystack. However, there is no harm in maintaining security and anonymity just in case. A VPN can hide your location so that other internet users can’t track you. Cybercriminals abuse this function, but that shouldn’t stop you from making use of it to protect your privacy.
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