Let’s quickly list a few benefits that you can get from a VPN server installed on your computer, laptop, iPhone or iPad.
Obviously, the main benefit is to keep your data secure by encrypting your goodies while you work in public places where people might be watching. They can also protect from viruses (more on that later).
• Anonymity and Privacy
Ever since it was revealed that certain Governments might be looking at our data sales for VPNs have gone through the roof. They allow you to change your IP, hide your location and browse the net completely anonymously. This is NOT so you can do bad things but rather so you can have some remaining privacy.
• Location Changing
Can’t afford to go on a holiday? Well, with your VPN you can browse the net from a foreign country. This is useful if you’re into things like SEO and want to go to the USA or UK to look at results.
• Share Files
A VPN service can be used if you have a group that needs to share files for a long period of time.
• Reduce Costs
Once a VPN network is created, the maintenance cost is very low. More than that, if you opt for a service provider, the network setup and surveillance is no more a concern.
Why You Need a VPN, or How You Can Benefit from Using One
What you choose to do with a VPN is a different story. Usually, VPN users fall into a few separate categories:
This person has responsibilities to attend to, and uses a VPN provided by their school or company to access resources on their network when they’re at home or traveling. In most cases, this person already has a free VPN service provided to them, so they’re not exactly shopping around. Also, if they’re worried about security, they can always fire up their VPN when using airport or cafe Wi-Fi to ensure no one’s snooping on their connection.
Whether they’re downloading legally or illegally, this person doesn’t want on some company’s witch-hunt list just because they have a torrenting app installed on their computer. VPNs are the only way to stay safe when using something like BitTorrent. Better safe than trying to defend yourself in court or paying a massive fine for something you may or may not have even done, right?
The privacy minded and security advocate
Whether they’re a in a strictly monitored environment or a completely free and open one, this person uses VPN services to keep their communications secure and encrypted and away from prying eyes whether they’re at home or abroad. To them, unsecured connections mean someone’s reading what you say.
This person wants to watch the olympics live, without dealing with their crummy local networks. They want to check out their favorite TV shows as they air instead of waiting for translations or re-broadcasts (or watch the versions aired in other countries,) listen to location-restricted streaming internet radio, or want to use a new web service or application that looks great but for some reason is limited to a specific country or region.
Some combination of the above
Odds are, even if you’re not one of these people more often than not, you’re some mix of them depending on what you’re doing. In all of these cases, a VPN service can be helpful, whether it’s just a matter of protecting yourself when you’re out and about, whether you handle sensitive data for your job and don’t want to get fired.
Even if none of the above really sound right to you, you can still benefit from using a VPN. You should definitely use one when you travel or work on an untrusted network (read: a network you don’t own, manage, or trust who manages.) That means opening your laptop at the coffee shop and logging in to Facebook or using your phone’s Wi-Fi to check your email at the airport can all potentially put you at risk.