Last Updated: February 2, 2023
The increased digitization of the modern world requires increased use of the internet, and consequently, increased internet security. One of the best ways of providing online security is through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). But what can I do with a VPN? This article addresses how VPNs work, how they are beneficial, and how they create a better internet experience.
How Does a VPN Work?
VPNs provide secure connections between connected devices to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the internet. When you’re using a VPN, your online activity is seen as encrypted data, which is then routed through an encrypted tunnel. The double encryption ensures that your information and online activity are hidden from anyone who might want to access it, such as governments, hackers, and even your own ISP. So precisely, what can you do with a VPN?
When using a VPN, you access the internet through the private server of a VPN provider. The server masks your IP address, protecting your identity while online. One of the other things to do with a VPN is bypass geo-blocking and censorship and gain access to global content—a feature often utilized to access blocked content on such streaming services as Netflix. (Anyone can learn how to use VPN on Netflix.) If you’re using a VPN to bypass a geo-restriction, you shouldn’t constantly have your VPN on—it’s advisable to turn it off from time to time.
But if online security is your main concern, you should leave the VPN connected at all times when using the internet. If you turn off the VPN, your data won’t be encrypted, and it won’t reroute the IP address, making it visible to all the websites you visit. In addition, even though a VPN provides online privacy, it doesn’t make you anonymous since your VPN provider can still see your online activity and IP address.
|NOTE: 68% of internet users in the US use a VPN, either for personal or work-related purposes. If you’re interested in using a VPN, check out the top VPN currently available.|
What Can I Do With a VPN?
In this section, you’ll find all the ways VPNs can help you.
The most significant service provided by a VPN is security. The virtual network provides secure access to everything on the internet, protecting you from any potential hacking attacks and security breaches. In addition, all of your devices and information you use to access the internet are safe from intrusion.
Many locations with public networks offer unblocked, free Wi-Fi to everyone. Because of unrestricted access, these public networks have very little to no level of protection. Many use these networks to access their emails, which leads to sensitive information you have stored in your email account.
One of the reasons to use a VPN is to be able to safely access anything you want on a public network. Home networks have passwords and encryption protocols to secure your online traffic. Public hotspots, however, either use a shared password or don’t require any password, making them a target of spammers and hackers. So it’s essential to use a VPN on such a network so that even if your data is intercepted, it would be in encrypted form, protecting you from exposing sensitive details.
This bandwidth management technique—also known as packet shaping—is the analysis of internet traffic to determine specific patterns of internet use. ISPs conduct this ‘shaping’ to provide a steady flow of online traffic and ensure good levels of quality and performance by controlling the rate of packets being released.
Traffic policing is a similar technology, which allows a packet to be discarded if the traffic rate exceeds a limit. Unfortunately, even though traffic shaping and policing are identical, they’re often used together for bandwidth throttling—limiting what one user can stream or download. One of the many VPN benefits is that it doesn’t allow this type of analysis and prevents speed throttling.
If you want to have remote access to the data on your desktop computer, you should consider using a VPN. But not many know what to do with a VPN. When establishing a connection between a device and your PC, keep your VPN on. The connection you use to access files on your PC might be vulnerable without using a VPN, even if you use a private browser. So to avoid a data breach, you need to make sure that your VPN is fully functional.
Access to Global Content
Often utilized on streaming services, geo-blocking (or geo-restriction) is the practice of blocking internet content based on the user’s location—restrictions are imposed on movies and TV programs, depending on where you are in the world. When traveling abroad, one of the best uses for VPN is unblocking content you want to watch.
What can I watch with a VPN? Popular streaming platforms, such as Netflix and Youtube, receive a lot of internet traffic. If you wish to watch restricted content on these platforms, you should consider getting the right VPN for streaming.
A VPN service hides your IP address and instead displays the address of the VPN provider. In this way, websites and online platforms won’t be able to track your location and your identity since all that is visible is the disguised IP address provided by the VPN, which is one of the most common uses for a VPN.
Countless sites and platforms pose as legitimate services or businesses and try to extract personal information or financial details from internet users, which could be used for marketing purposes based on customer profiling or for more serious cybercrimes. A VPN prevents these sites from gathering data based on the location and the identity of the user.
P2P File Sharing/Torrenting
Peer-to-peer downloads (also known as torrents) are becoming increasingly popular. Torrent trackers follow torrent downloads. These monitoring systems can acquire a significant amount of information over time if you’re not using a VPN.
So, can your ISP see what you do on a VPN? A problem arises with torrenting when the ISP notices P2P file sharing and the increased usage of file-sharing sites. So it throttles up your speed, which will affect the torrent and general internet usage. In addition, some countries have constituted torrent downloading as illegal, and downloaders are tracked and prosecuted.
The encrypted traffic provided by the VPN allows users to download anonymously and with no consequences. It then is advisable to get a VPN suitable for torrenting.
You may wonder what to do with a VPN besides protecting location data and keeping your surfing history private. You may want to leave a negative comment or warn other users of certain products or services. But if the company thinks you are potentially sharing damaging information, they might take legal action against you. Using a VPN service, you can hide your true identity and speak your mind without having to face any backlash.
Online Shopping Abroad
Certain products are available from online retailers only on country-specific sites. One of the cool things to do with a VPN is accessing a retailer’s website from the country the product is available in and place your order. With a VPN, you can shop for anything from anywhere.
A stealth VPN is a VPN server or protocol that makes VPN traffic look like regular internet traffic, even if a firewall or network administrator checks it out. Stealth VPNs disguise VPN data packets as HTTPS traffic, securing internet data transmissions. This type of traffic is hard to detect, even by apps designed to block all VPN traffic.
|Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) encrypt your data and route it through tunnels to provide online security.|
|VPNs mask the users’ IP addresses, hiding their location and identity, providing the user anonymity.|
|The most common reason for using VPNs is accessing geo-blocked content—users mostly stream TV shows and movies unavailable in their region or country.|
|A Stealth VPN offers maximum security, allowing invisibility when using a VPN.|
So, what should I use a VPN for? Using a high-quality stealth VPN is necessary to access online content if you live in a highly censored country (China, Russia, India, Iran). Other cases that require the use of such a strong VPN are networks with a strong firewall, usually found in offices, schools, or institutions that restrict access to certain content. Obtaining a stealth VPN is an excellent idea if you’re sensitive about online privacy.
|NOTE: Many streaming providers adjust the prices based on the users’ location. Using a VPN allows you to choose a specific location that offers a cheaper plan and saves money on subscriptions.|
There are numerous VPN uses that provide internet users with a safer, more private internet experience. Data encryption and IP masking hide your real identity online. Even though VPNs don’t guarantee absolute anonymity, they do offer exceptional levels of protection. If you’re using a VPN service, you can rest assured that your private information is safe while browsing the internet.
Virtual Private Networks reroute your internet traffic through a remote server while hiding your IP in the process. This means that your online traffic and activity are hidden from everyone, including your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
One of the essential things to do with a VPN—and the most basic VPN function—is to change IP addresses. Not only does a VPN change your IP, but it can also improve your speed and provide you with a better online experience.
VPNs provide you with online privacy and anonymity by masking the Internet Protocol address, keeping all your online activities and web-browsing history private. Additionally, VPNs provide security for all the data you use via the internet and protect it from leaks.
If the VPN service you’ve selected is poorly configured, your actual IP address might be revealed, and you could be tracked. Free VPNs usually have poorer configurations—so if you want to ensure maximum security, consider using a paid VPN service.
What can I do with a VPN is a recurring question. A VPN allows you unrestricted access to websites, social media, and other platforms, such as Netflix, Showtime, HBO, Hulu, Spotify, BBC iPlayer (outside the UK), and restricted Youtube content.