Why VPN? What For?

Why Use VPN

VPN is a very useful tool for a big number of different things such as: avoiding surveillance and censorship, accessing geo-restricted websites and others. VPN is a perfect thing to protect your privacy online. Below you can find a couple of the best pros of using a VPN surfing the Internet:

1. Avoid surveillance

Foe example of the NSA.  VPN protocols like OpenVPN is stilluncrackable (even by the NSA), so VPN is a good protection against government surveillance.

2. No ISPs spying

Internet service providers monitor users’ internet traffic very often. With VPN all traffic is encrypted  so it is impossible to review what the user is doing – although it can tell that VPN is being used (unless measures are taken to prevent this), the IP address of the VPN server they are connected to, and how much data they are using

3. Reliable protection in public WiFi networks

Hacking of private WiFi connections is not a major problem as these are usually encrypted (using WPA2 etc.), but is a major headache with public WiFi hotspots as, (among other devious tricks) hackers can either intercept unencrypted WiFi connections (an all too common problem) or lure unsuspecting victims into connecting to bogus WiFi networks (also known as “evil twin” and “rogue” hotspots or access points – “Free airport Wifi” anyone?)  Because all data is encrypted between a device using VPN and the VPN server, even if hackers are able to access a users’ data, it will just be meaningless garbage to them (even fairly weak encryption will defeat a simple criminal hacker)

4. Evading censorship

With VPN neither ISPs or governments can see what users get up to on the internet, as they can neither  “see” the data, or know which websites a user is accessing (although they can see the IP address of the VPN server).

This makes VPN a fantastic anti-censorship tool, whether for restrictive governments such as Iran, for accessing banning torrent sites, or for accessing Facebook at school! Powerful governments (most notably China) do sometimes try to prevent the use of VPN because of this, but even for China such attempts are only partially effective, and VPN technologies exist to circumvent such restrictions. It should also be noted that even in countries where VPN is banned (which are very few, as VPN remains essential to many businesses) users rarely get into trouble for attempting to use it.

5. Access geo-restricted content

Thanks to complex licencing restrictions imposed by greedy content creators, many media streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and Pandora are only available in a limited number of countries (typically only their country of origin), or offer more limited catalogues to subscribers in some counties.

Because VPN servers act as proxies, and because providers often operate servers located in many different countries (usually favoring countries whose geo-restricted content is popular, such as the USA and UK), VPN is an excellent way to bypass such restrictions. It should be noted, however, that if accessing geo-restricted content is the only concern, then Smart DNS services are usually cheaper and offer slightly better performance. It is also worth noting that the distance electrons have to travel to carry a data signal means that the further away a streaming service is located, the greater buffering issues will become

6. Using Torrent sites

VPN evades website blocking, hides a user’s real IP address (other P2P users will only see the VPN server’s IP address), and prevents an ISP knowing what is being downloaded, making it the perfect tool for BitTorrenters. Not all VPN providers allow P2P, and many will pass on DMCA-style notifications they receive to customers, but many also make a good business out P2P customers, and will shield them from DMCA and other legal threats.