The Amazing VPN Is the Swiss Army Knife of Apps
A Virtual Private Network comes in handy for security, privacy and access to websites and more.
The words “VPN” and “amazing” aren’t normally associated with each other. (It’s too often VPN and “confusing”, or VPN and “too-technical.” And that’s too bad. Because when you add a VPN to your everyday internet life, what results is truly AMAZING VPN.
So instead of taking a drowsy, textbook-type approach to talking about VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), we’re going to keep it simple and upbeat. We’re covering the top ten features of a VPN that everyone should know about.
Important note: We’re talking about VPNs in general terms here. There are hundreds of VPN choices and most them provide the advantages listed above.
The Features of an Amazing VPN!
Because a VPN can help you solve a long list of problems…many of which you might now know about.
We’re going to take on each point in simple, clear, jargon-free language.
A VPN protects you from hackers, especially when using free, unsecure Wi-Fi.
Here’s why that’s important: Unsecure Wi-Fi is everywhere—coffee houses, malls, retail stores, public libraries, co-working spaces and others. Read the fine print as you’re joining the free Wi-Fi! It will tell you upfront that they do not promise (or deliver) a secure network.
So, if their network got hacked, they could say, “we stated it wasn’t secure.”
The fact is, there’s no promise of security whenever you use a free wireless hot spot. With about $25 worth of equipment, a cyberthief can hack into the network and see the traffic flowing in and out, or trick unsuspecting users into making their devices open to a hack.
But with your VPN turned on and activated when your online, there’s no worries. (If you want to know why, you can read more information by clicking one of the links at the end of this article.)
Using a VPN, you can hide your actual/real location from anybody at any time (on demand) by activating your VPN when you’re on the internet.
Here’s something to think about.
When you update your location on a website (typically in response to being prompted), you’re telling a website exactly where you and your device are at that instance, so they can give you pinpoint information about nearby services.
However, you’re also doing something else—you’re giving the entire Internet a chance to also figure out where you are when you’re online… and we mean within a few yards of your front door, sometimes. Truth be told, unless you’re hiding your IP location, any website you visit can see where you’re located. (Just go to our home page and see your IP address and location now.)
When you use an Amazing VPN when you’re connected to the internet, nobody will know where you are (unless you tell them). In fact, you can fool anyone you connect with into thinking you’re online from a totally different country.
A VPN will stop your Internet provider at home from keeping tabs on, and profiting from, what you do and where you go online.
Here’s what you might not know. Internet providers are able track your activity by your IP address (which they assign to you). And although they aren’t necessarily “actively monitoring” you, what you do does interest them—here’s why. They can create “usage” profiles of all their customers and sell that information to third parties who want it. It’s as if they’re announcing to others, “hey, I can tell you what websites our customers visit.”
Most people see that as an invasion of their privacy. After all, we didn’t say it was okay for them to do that.
Whatever level of tracking you’re afraid of, a VPN solution installed on all your devices—including mobile phones—is a reasonable defense against such invasions of privacy.
A VPN thwarts internet providers from slowing down or “throttling” your connection intentionally.
Your internet provider may be slowing you down. Evidently, internet providers can slow down your flow of data, like crimping a hose to slow down the flow of water. At a slower connection, videos you’re streaming and other files you may be downloading will experience slowdowns. Why do they do that? Either to get you to pay for a “faster speed,” or to make websites (Hulu, Netflix) pay the internet providers for a fast connection. They track your activity based on your IP address. And if they’re the only provider available, you’re out of luck.
Use an amazing VPN when you’re using streaming sites and your internet provider won’t know what you’re viewing. The VPN encrypts (scrambles, shields) your internet traffic who the provider can’t inspect and see what you’re watching. They won’t throttle and slow down what they don’t see.
A VPN prevents advertisers from targeting you with messages.
Do you get annoyed by ads hounding you? There are all types of information-gathering about you taking place—behind the scenes—that internet providers and advertisers are involved in. Advertisers want to target you with messages: If you’re searching Hawaiian vacations, they want to know about it. Internet providers sell the usage data on us to advertisers and others. It’s a fact. This is different from cookies…this is following your behavior as it links to your IP address.
When you’re using a VPN, the IP address advertisers (and even your internet provider!) sees is NOT yours! Which means even if they try to target your screen with ads, it won’t work. You stop them in their tracks. (You’ll still get ads, but they won’t be targeted to your web browsing activity.)
A VPN prevents hackers from attacking your devices and the network you’re on.
Hackers are tricky, clever and devious people. One of their favorite tricks is to attack computer networks—the “lines” of communication where our data travels from computer to computer and to websites, coming and going. One hacking trick is known as a “man in the middle” attack. Computers on a breached network are extra susceptible to being attacked individually.
When you activate your VPN (whether at home or on the road, on a computer, phone or tablet), it changes the transmission of your digital communications. The VPN, working behind the scenes, and unknown to your internet provider, reroutes your traffic its own protected, encrypted, virtually hacker-proof network tunnel. You’re safe.
A VPN can help stop the government from spying on your private life.
We live in uncertain times. So, it’s no surprise that a national U.S. survey by Pew Research from 2017 said that nearly all Americans (from all walks of life and age range) feel it’s very or somewhat likely that their government is monitoring their communications, including online activity. Some people are okay with that—others, however, are very concerned about it and would like to take steps to prevent it. Believe it or not, younger people (under 30) are more worried about it.
A VPN is the best way to stop the government and others from spying on your internet life. The government (or any outsider) can’t track activity tied to your IP address if you’re hiding it. Your IP address (at home or work) is like an “address” to your computer and location. A VPN hides it from the real world, so you leave no traces of where you’ve been online.
A VPN works on computers, phones and tablets, and all other types of internet-connected devices.
Better yet, most VPNs lets you connect from 5 to 8 devices on a single account—computer, phones and devices of family, close friends or a small business.
Here’s what you might not know. Tablets and phones are just as susceptible to attacks as a computer. After all, what are they but internet devices with a handy phone thrown in! Most people use their phones, iPads and Surface Pros to bank, buy and sell stuff, and share photos—probably more often than they do on a laptop. Do you think hackers don’t know that, and aren’t trying to corrupt our devices too?
You bet they are.
And in case you aren’t aware, wirelessly-connected devices such as baby monitors, watering systems, lighting, and game stations are also susceptible to hacks. (Isn’t that crazy)?
Wouldn’t it be great to KNOW that all your devices were hack-proof because you installed a VPN with a solid reputation for security? (Hint: The answer is yes!)
A VPN allows you to download huge files (torrenting) anonymously and safely.
If you don’t know about torrenting, read this anyway. You’re likely not going to jump into torrenting anytime soon. But so you know, torrenting is a way to download large digital files (most often movies) from different sources that each have part of the file. Though torrenting itself is not illegal, downloading copyrighted and legally protected files (movies) is very illegal. Copyright police are on the lookout for lawbreakers, which means they look at torrenting closely.
And guess how they track it?
If you guessed “by your IP addresses,” you are right. As Express VPN says on its website, “If that IP address is your true IP address, your metadata and location will be exposed to strangers who could track and monitor everything you download.”
Torrentors, listen up! If you use an amazing VPN that supports torrenting (and has good speeds) you don’t have to worry about being tracked down, because it masks your actual IP address with that of a secure server far from you—the IP address and server are shared by many, so your individual activity is untraceable.
A VPN gets around website restrictions and content blocks. (Think Netflix!), so you can watch what you want when you want.
It’s called geo-blocking and geo-restricting. Nothing is more frustrating than to be locked out from content that you want to see…and that you feel you have a right to see! Soccer matches and various pro sports games get blocked to online viewers based on where they live. Then there’s NETFLIX, which is notorious for not allowing users to access their accounts when they’re away from home. Aaaggghh!
There’s another version of blocked content. Internet filters that block content at work, school and sometimes home. These filters deny access to certain types of content to whoever is on the network. When a country controls the internet and denies access to content to its citizens, that’s known as censorship.
A VPN tricks websites (the ones that block you based on your location) into letting you watch the content you want. They can’t block you because you don’t match the IP profile of those they want to block. You win.
We’ve made it simple.
The only thing that could be a little tricky with VPNs is choosing one that’s right for you.
Some are free and they can do most of the amazing things above, but not all free VPNs are alike. We wrote an article about that and if you’re interested, you can read it here.
However, the best and most versatile VPNs will only cost you a few dollars per month. We’ve done the research and narrowed it down to the top three VPNs in the categories that matter most to our readers. We made it easy to choose the right VPN for you within seconds. It’s called the VPN Simplifier™. Try it out.
It’s truly the best way to find an amazing VPN.
Want more information on VPNs? Read this: What Is A VPN?
- Easy Prey Podcast
- General Topics
- Home Computing
- IP Addresses
- Online Privacy
- Online Safety
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