An Entire New World of Content
A Virtual Private Network facilitates an easy-to-use internet connection, while securing your data and identity. A VPN secures your connection by creating an encrypted tunnel (hidden IP address) for online traffic to flow through. When browsing the internet through public networks, you become a target for hackers seeking the chance to seize your data. Hence, the fullproof approach to combat such issues and safeguard your anonymity is to use a VPN. Aside from the primary objective of privacy protection, VPNs add value in a host of other situations, see these below.
At times we overlook sensitive information travelling through the internet and are inclined to think we have nothing to hide. However, when browsing you’ll use your credit/debit card to purchase flights and login to social media and work accounts. With a VPN you’re able to hide such activity as well as unblocking content such as streaming services. In a now truly global world, accessing websites otherwise geo-blocked becomes crucial for many groups of individuals. For instance, those living or travelling overseas, freelancers, International students and businesses operating against the presence of artificial borders. Yet VPNs are as valuable to the less-mobile for matters like online shopping (foreign currency), locating cheaper services and safe downloads.
Personal Use Cases
Firstly, a VPN is essential for a remote project I am involved in, where the company is primarily based in Australia. Secondly, as I frequently use Wi-Fi in Coffee Shops and Co-working spaces, using a VPN is important for safeguarding my privacy. I also use VPNs to find cheaper flights and hotels, along with removing geo restrictions and content blocks on certain sites.
I favour NordVPN due to their extensive amount of city/region specific servers for the countries I require. With less interruptions to connectivity, high speed networks and adequate for HD streaming, I believe NordVPN is a worthwhile investment. My work requires fast and reliable servers, and with 5,400 in 59 countries, Nord offers the most comprehensive coverage I’ve found. The UI is navigable and efficient, and they have advanced features such as Split Tunneling, Dark Web Monitor and Inbuilt ‘Kill Switch’. In comparison to other VPNs, the range appears more extensive, whilst there are additional features like ‘Obfuscated servers‘ which I haven’t tried. Utilising NordVPN I’ve rarely experienced interruptions or inaccessibility, therefore I consider it to offer greater value than other providers I’ve used.
Other Nord Products
- Nord VPN offers additional services of value, namely:
- NordPass (see post) – A secure Password Manager and Digital Vault (generate, store and organise your passwords).
- NordLocker – File encryption software for desktop (encrypt and share your files confidentially).
- NordVPN Teams – A VPN for business (access corporate data remotely and securely).
- NordLayer – Secure access to your business network.
Summary of 7 Main Benefits
Avoid Bandwidth Throttling (slow connection speeds)
An irritating part of the internet is the persistent buffering when watching videos or streaming TV series. Bandwidth throttling can happen to anyone trying to access streaming services, file sharing platforms and gaming websites. Throttling occurs when your ISP attempts to decrease bandwidth congestion which directly affects the speed of streaming and downloading content. Additionally, ISPs restrict users that consume massive amounts of data to provide the same speeds for everyone. A VPN encrypts your traffic so your ISP can’t view or regulate your activity and therefore can’t slow you down.
VPNs save you money on flight tickets, hotels, and car rentals
VPNs like Nord VPN influence currencies and points of sale with the best deals and cheapest rates on your holiday. Erasing your browser cookies or using incognito mode help bypass flight rates which increase through your searches. Similarly, prices vary in different countries but a VPN makes it look like you’re browsing from a country where they’re less. Your IP address discloses your geographical location (geo-blocks) which a VPN disguises in one click. For example, tickets to your chosen destination cost less when booked with a German website than a U.K. one.
VPNs Enhance your Security on Public Wi-Fi
With VPNs encrypting your online traffic, you can feel more assured connecting to Wi-Fi in a hotel, train, airport or coffee shop. Public Wi-Fi networks are not secured meaning it’s extremely easy to get your connection hacked by an Wi-Fi Evil Twin attack. This happens when attackers establish fake Wi-Fi points that impersonate legitimate ones to hijack exploitable personal and financial information. A VPN ensures your data is safe, and even if a hacker intercepts your data, they are not able to use it. NordVPN offers competitively priced, unrivalled layers of protection with its Double Data Encryption, so your information is encrypted twice.
Assist you in downloading and uploading files securely
P2P file sharing distributes and downloads open-source software, public domain videos or generally, large amounts of data on the network. Yet many ISPs are not mad about their consumers participating in P2P activities. Consequently, you can receive slow connections, diminished bandwidth and restricted access to file sharing sites. Additionally, users on the same network can view each IP address causing a significant security threat with extreme consequences. Using a VPN, you can operate P2P without your ISP hindering you while staying secure without interceptions.
VPNs Protect you from Price Discrimination
Say you touchdown overseas and immediately head to the nearest Starbucks for a coffee. At the till you are charged five dollars, while the person in front paid four dollars for the same coffee. Many online stores advertise different prices and search results for identical items based on your browsing location. Therefore, before purchasing clear your cookies to ensure websites forget you’ve visited them previously. Again, launch your VPN and select a country to appear like you’re browsing from this location. In addition, you can switch between locations to see if the prices are less. Nord VPN has the most extensive range of servers of VPNs I have experienced to date.
Keep your Conversations Private and Secure
You’re calling a family member or arranging a business webinar for instance. The likelihood that someone could be secretly listening to your personal conversations is genuine. Despite VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services becoming safer and harder to hack, they are not invincible against eavesdropping. Some services like Skype are commonly prohibited in highly-censored countries, so a VPN is essential, particularly if you are living abroad. Further, a VPN enables you to sidestep geo-blocks and secures your traffic with robust encryption, thwarting snoopers and third-parties from monitoring you.
Allows visits to your favourite Websites when you’re overseas
Using a VPN you can access websites and services that may be limited by your location. These are the two main explanations for geo-blocks and site-restrictions abroad. Firstly, government surveillance: Less democratic countries are notorious for censoring their citizens and blocking websites. When you visit, the likelihood is you’ll be restricted access to social media websites and others that are usually accessible. Secondly, copyright infringements: sites may be blocked due to copyright agreements that are granted by country basis. For example, BBC iPlayer for UK residents, it doesn’t work elsewhere except with a VPN connected to a U.K. server.