The world has become interconnected over the past few decades. We have more freedom than ever before with the internet. You can book flights in a matter of minutes, find a movie to watch from the comfort of your home, and these days even order groceries or fast food without even getting on the phone or giving someone your home address. Accessing any website and having a wealth of knowledge and information at your fingertips is just another advantage of the internet.
Except, you don’t have true freedom on the internet. As it turns out, the world wide web is not so worldwide after all. If you’re a frequent visitor to video content websites like YouTube, sports streaming sites, or even Netflix, you’ll be familiar with the concept of geo-blocking. The only way around it is by using a VPN. But, VPNs also come with tons of other benefits that you should know about — we’ll be covering that shortly!
VPNs might be pricey, but you need to make sure that you avoid those free VPNs, as tempting as they might be! Luckily though, there are some incredible VPN Black Friday deals on their way this year, so make sure you grab hold of them while you still can! Keep reading to find out why you need to use a premium VPN!
What is a VPN
VPNs are also known as virtual private networks, and they are crucial cybersecurity tools that you need to know about in our modern society. The main purpose of a VPN is to encrypt your internet connection, which will prevent anyone else from seeing what you are doing on your device while surfing the internet.
VPNs are so powerful that not even your internet service provider or the government can keep track of your internet traffic if you’re surfing the web with a VPN active. They also can’t keep track of your internet history, which makes this the ultimate tool for privacy and security.
VPNs also allow you to connect to secure global servers in other cities and countries around the world. When you connect to these servers, your real IP address will be hidden, and your device will adopt the IP address of the server that you have connected to. An IP address is a unique string of numbers that is used to identify your device on the internet, and one of its main purposes is to pinpoint your physical location.
This means that when you change your device’s IP address using a VPN, you’re changing your device’s virtual location and tricking websites into thinking that you are accessing them from elsewhere. Let’s look at why that’s useful.
Earlier we mentioned geo-blocking. Geo-blocking is when a website blocks you from accessing content based on your geographic location. Streaming websites like Netflix often do this, which is why you always hear people talking about how the US version of Netflix has a much wider range of content available for their customers even though you pay the same subscription fees as them.
Ever wanted to see the US side of Netflix (or another country) for yourself? Websites use your IP address to determine your geographic location, so, all you need to do is install a VPN on your device, choose your secure server, and head over to Netflix to see what new content you can find!
Some countries use internet censorship to block websites that their religion or political views don’t agree with. If you’re heading to a country that blocks websites you frequently use, make sure to install a VPN on your device before you head over there to unblock them even from within their borders.
One of the lesser-known advantages of having a VPN is that you can get cheaper prices on flights and accommodation! That’s because the websites that allow you to book flights and accommodation will often discriminate against internet users based on their geographic location.
For example, if you’re in the United States, travel websites know that your currency is stronger, and you’re more willing to have disposable income that you can spend. This means that they will push their prices up higher. Whereas if you were to set your location to a third-world country, or even the country you are planning to visit, you’re likely to find cheaper rates because the website is still trying to make sales!
Don’t Use Free VPNs!
While you’re looking for VPNs to choose from, you will run into some free ones. But, overall it’s not worth taking shortcuts here. If you’re using a free VPN you will encounter slower connection speeds, more ads, less security, fewer global servers to choose from, and daily data limits. All of these factors will heavily influence your experience on the internet, and they’re all factors that you won’t encounter if you’re using a premium VPN. So, make sure to grab premium VPNs on the cheap this Black Friday!