What is a VPN and do I need one?
A VPN is a virtual private network that encrypts data as it moves from one place to another across the internet. Instead of your information traveling across the exposed highways of the world wide web, a VPN keeps your search history, downloaded files, online activities, and geolocation secure in a private tunnel.
The reasons for needing a VPN will vary from person to person, but it's not just ultra-sleuths or spy agencies who benefit from using a vpn. One purpose of a VPN is to protect yourself from hackers and dangerous cybercriminals, but they’re also great for getting unrestricted and anonymous access to the internet.
Benefits and advantages of using a VPN
The advantages of a VPN are numerous. VPN benefits start with cybersecurity and continue on to enhanced user experience. Some readers may be wondering: Is it safe to not use a VPN? That entirely depends on your location, digital activities, need for security, and reliance on unprotected public Wi-Fi connections. The main benefit of using a VPN will always be that you're better off with one than without one.
Here are the main reasons people use a VPN:
Secure public Wi-Fi connections
We all need to hop onto an unsecured public Wi-Fi network from time to time. Whether we're on-the-go at a cafe or connecting to the not-so-advanced Wi-Fi network at our local library or other public space, a vpn software for mac makes connecting to a Wi-Fi network safe.
Stream regionally blocked websites and content
Travelers are all too familiar with this problem. You pay for a streaming service or website access in one region, only to realize you're blocked in another. There are several ways to unblock websites and access restricted content online. Using a VPN is the best and easiest approach.
Some countries limit your ability to freely explore the internet and access information. Censorship most often originates on a national level, but can also occur when connected to a company or school network. A VPN circumvents the censorship problem by giving you easy access to whatever content you want from anywhere in the world.
VPN finds the best server countries to connect to via a vpn apps for mac, with a choice of 50 locations worldwide.
Prevent ISP tracking
Your ISP, or internet service provider, tracks your online activity and can share this data with advertisers, governmental bodies, and other third parties without your knowledge or consent. They do this for several reasons, not all nefarious, but it’s an invasion of privacy nonetheless. Some countries require ISPs to store your digital activity data, while other countries, like the United States, openly allow ISPs to sell your browsing data to advertisers and data brokers.
If that's not enough of a reason to use a vpn unlimited for mac to block ISP tracking, remember that they also have access to your passwords, social media data, and physical location.
Prevent price discrimination
Price discrimination is the practice of pricing products or services differently based on your location, how you typically use and make purchases on the platform (are you a first-time or repeat visitor or customer), and your online shopping preferences (do you tend to shop at luxury stores). Price discrimination has always existed offline, but automated algorithms make dynamic pricing possible online, too.
A VPN can shield you from getting ripped off and being targeted for a higher price based on your browsing and purchasing habits, or assumptions about your socio-econmoical status based on what your IP address is.
Online banking security
Many financial institutions (particularly in Europe) have moved to two-factor authentication to access accounts and sensitive banking data. Worryingly, many banks still do not, and your online banking activity can easily be exposed to hackers on unsecured networks. Some connections are better than others when it comes to the best browsers for security and privacy, but nothing compares to the safety of using your own VPN.
Online shopping security
Everytime you shop online, you share your credit card or other payment details. This information can easily be swooped up by hackers, along with personal data like your full name, date of birth, and address, which can lead to identity theft. A VPN secures your connection https://www.washingtonpost.com/newssearch/?query=vpn apps for mac so you can shop online privately and safely.
Unblock social media
Is your favorite social media platform or secure messaging app at risk of being banned in your home country? Sound familiar, US-based TikTok users? While threats to ban TikTok in the US never came to fruition, there are plenty of countries that restrict or outright ban the use of social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp. A virtual private network lets you select the county from which you access the internet, granting you the same social media access you would have if you were really there.
Stay anonymous when browsing
Finally, one of the most-cited reasons for using a VPN is online privacy and anonymous browsing. There are many reasons for wanting to stay anonymous when browsing online, many of which relate to the VPN
benefits outlined above. Sometimes, you don't even know why you want to stay anonymous online until the fallout of oversharing smacks you in the face