A VPN is a Virtual Private Network, which allows you to create a secure connection to a server (or servers) in another location. Surf, the creators of VPN, describe the service as being for people who want to “get work done while traveling or accessing content from a different country.”
It’s a great tool for people who need to work remotely, but don’t want to have their computers stolen or destroyed by cyber-criminals. Or who want to access content that’s restricted in their country.
Why Use A VPN?
There are many reasons why you might want to use a VPN, and many great services to choose from. Here are just a few:
To Unblock Websites Blocked In Your Country
If you live in China and try to visit Twitter, for example, you’ll see that the site is blocked. You won’t be able to access it directly, and you’ll have to go through a VPN to get around the block. Some providers, such as Tunnelbear, allow you to select a server in a different country and connect to it instead. When you do this, your computer will act as if it’s located in that country, so any websites blocked in your country will be accessible. This is an easy way for countries to censor the internet.
This is also useful for people who want to access content that’s only available in a specific country. For example, you might want to visit the UK Music page on Wikipedia, but be afraid that it’ll get you into trouble with the Chinese government. Or if you’re traveling in a country where YouTube is banned, you could use a VPN to get around it.
To Geo-Restrict Your Internet Usage
You can use a VPN to stop your internet connections from being leaked to neighboring countries. This is especially useful for people who use public Wi-Fi while traveling, since the hotspots sometimes aren’t secure and can be accessed by anyone. A VPN allows you to set specific locations for the server and computers that you connect to, so even if someone does manage to steal your connection, they won’t be able to use it outside of those boundaries.
Some VPN services, such as Nord VPN, will even give you a new IP address when you login, which means your internet traffic is no longer associated with your home address. This could protect you from retribution if your traffic is ever investigated by the police or some other authority.
To Prevent Your Computer From Being Hacked
Using a VPN will protect your computer from being hacked. A VPN prevents hackers from being able to access your personal information, including email addresses, billing information and other private data. When you use a VPN, your computer acts as if it’s located in a safer location, which in turn makes it harder for any hackers to break into it. Most companies that create VPNs do so because they want to protect their users’ personal data. It’s also worth noting that some VPNs, such as PureVPN, offer the highest level of security and protection for your personal data.
To Work More Productively While Traveling
It’s not always easy to get work done while traveling, especially if you’re in a strange city or country. A VPN allows you to connect to your office network or home network when you need to, as opposed to having to always use public Wi-Fi, which is often unreliable or free, but open to the public. This could mean accessing sensitive or private files without worrying about people nearby seeing your activity. It could also mean getting work done on the go, without having to wait for Wi-Fi to load or for the server at home to respond.
To Access Restricted Content
One of the cool things about a VPN is that it allows you to access content that’s restricted in your country. Netflix, for example, isn’t available in many countries, so you won’t be able to access it directly unless you’re outside your country of residence. You can get around this by using a VPN to access a different country’s version of Netflix. Or if you’re in the UK and want to view a German TV show, you can use a VPN to access the German version of Netflix instead. This could be useful for people who want to view content that’s not available where they are, or who want to access a specific platform that’s not allowed in their country.
To Stay Anonymous
It’s always good to keep your personal information as private as possible, especially when you’re traveling. Most people use VPNs for this very reason, so that no one can steal their identity when they’re using the service. If you’re going to use a VPN to keep your identity private, make sure to pick one that offers two-factor authentication, since it adds an extra layer of security when combined with a password. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection when confirming your identity, since it uses both a password and an authentication token, which can be sent to you via text message or email. This way, even if someone does get access to your password, they won’t be able to use it without the verification code, thus keeping your identity secure.
There are many reasons why you might want to use VPN, but one of the main reasons is to get past the firewall. With so much content being blocked in various countries, it’s worth having a secure connection to a server in another location, just to be able to access the content you want to view.