Too many people seem to think that no one would ever want to steal their data or hack them. If you think you’re nobody and that no one would be interested in you, think about your online banking, your passwords, your online shipping, and the access you have to the iTunes store. Those are all points of attack for a hacker.
All those reasons, and many more, will be explored in this article on 10 reasons to use a VPN service provider.
1: When doing P2P and file sharing
If you’d rather not have a DMCA notice showing up from your ISP, and a possible ban from their service, a VPN is a must have. I am in no way condoning illegal file sharing, but there are plenty of reasons to legally share files online with your friends. Use a VPN provider to hide your IP address and P2P file sharing. Be sure to use a VPN that allows P2P, see our list of the best VPNs for torrents for more.
2: Public Wifi in hotels, convention centre, and coffee shops
That’s a narrow view as any public WiFi poses a potential risk to you through man in the middle attacks. This is when a hacker sets up a fake WiFi access point and spies on your activity. A VPN will encrypt your activity. If you’re doing any sort of sensitive surfing you’re a fool to do it on public WiFi networks without VPN encryption.
3: You don’t want to be part of Spy vs. Spy
It’s no secret that the GCHQ and NSA are spying on citizens in their country, and across the world in conjunction with other governments. While the NSA have claimed to be able to break VPN encryption, they can certainly not do it live. You’d have to be a very special case for them to want to crack it. If this is a big concern for you, be sure to sure a VPN which doesn’t log user data.
Travelling outside of your home country can be a problem as different countries have different censorship and geo-blocking restrictions. We wrote our Best VPNs in China for a reason, they are the worst example of censorship online at a country level.
Other countries have different levels of restrictions, having a VPN will give you a server and IP address in your home country. Our list of the best VPNs for geo-unblocking will help you here.
5: Because school networks suck
This is related to the point above about international travel geo-blocks. Here the problem is with your school, or even employer, putting blocks on websites. Say you want to check MLSSoccer.com on your lunch break on your own phone over your work WiFi, but you can’t because of a block on that website. A VPN can get you around this issue.
If the school wifi blocked Pokémon I'm going to be livid
— Zaria Guignard (@zariaG_) August 1, 2016
Don’t mess with people’s Pokemon Go…
6: For online gaming
Do you and your friends like to get together and play FIFA online together? A VPN can help you make for a faster connection if you all get yourselves on the same server. Be sure to choose a VPN provider with a server nearest to all of you by distance. It can also help you access games you may not otherwise be able to access.
7. Because you’re not online just to be advertised to
Every search you do online is logged according to your IP address. More and more companies are getting in on harvesting this data and selling it to advertisers so that they can advertise to you.
I don’t know about you, but I’m more than tired of always feeling like I’m nothing but a consumer. A VPN will hide your IP address and keep your searches private.
You may be an employee doing research on a competitor. You could be a reporter researching a story. Either way, you may not want certain websites to know your IP address and be able to track you down. A VPN will make sure that you’re protected from this, and could save you from enemies you make who want revenge on activities of theirs you expose.
9: Because your VOIP calls should be private
If you use Skype, or any other VOIP tool, it can be pretty easy to listen in on your conversation. A VPN’s encryption ability will protect you and keep you conversations, and the video on your screen, private.
10: Because privacy is a basic human right
Despite the efforts of totalitarian governments the world over, your privacy as a free human is a right you should have everywhere you go. Yes, they claim again and again that it’s for your own good. That it will help them catch bad guys. But you can make the same argument that cameras in every bathroom will help them catch bad guys doing things in bathrooms. Do you want cameras there?
Out of all the reasons to use a VPN service provider, my favorite is: “Just because I want privacy, it’s none of your business why.”
Feature image via Shutterstock / Imagentle.