10 Reasons You Should Use a VPN

As a result of the digital revolution, issues like security and privacy are at the forefront. To maintain a great online experience for everyone, privacy and security must become and remain a priority for everyone. As a result, VPN services have transitioned from being a "nice to have" to a "must have." During the past decade, we've seen many countries increase their internet surveillance and censorship. Some examples include the censorship involved in the Great Firewall of China and Turkey blocking access to Twitter during the "Arab Spring." Even in our own backyard, we've discovered that the US government has been watching over us through the revelations of Edward Snowden.

Those are just some of the ways our online privacy have been compromised. There are in fact many other ways that our information gets used in ways we don't necessarily approve. We've addressed some of those in our post, "Who is Tracking Me Online?". Fortunately for us, technology has advanced greatly and we can protect ourselves online through a VPN (Virtual Private Network). In addition to helping protect you online, a VPN can also help you do many other things. Read below to find out 10 reasons why you should use a VPN.

1. Bypass restrictive government censorship

We touched on this earlier, but VPNs are a great tool to overcome online barriers that countries may have set up (like China's Great Firewall). For instance, when I was visiting China a few years ago, I could not access Facebook unless I used a VPN. Facebook was my main way of communicating to my friends and family and without a VPN, it would have been difficult/impossible to do communicate with them that I was alive and well. Unlike FreePN, there are countries that don't necessarily believe in a free and open internet and using a VPN can help get past limiting online barriers.

2. Bypass other restrictive networks (like school/office firewalls)

Often times, schools and offices will restrict the websites that you are allowed to visit while on their network. Reasons for this include protecting online safety or to promote productivity. As a result, social media sites (like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter), torrent connections and many other websites are blocked. While we do not recommend you break the rules of your school or organization, should you need to access blocked websites for any reason, connecting via a VPN will usually do the trick.

3. Access blocked content while traveling (on sites like Netflix)

One of the slight inconveniences with travel is not having access to websites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Sometimes you just want to watch a show and relax after a long day of touring a city. (I've been there.) Because of copyright and licensing agreements, those streaming services can't show all their shows and movies outside of the US. It's the reason many people pirate content. Using a VPN solves this problem and allows you to change the IP address of your computer, making the computer think you're in the US (or whatever country you want to be in). You can unlock a lot of content that you wouldn't have been able to otherwise access.

4. Hide your internet activity from ISPs (Internet Service Providers)

Did you know that in 2017, the Trump administration signed an executive order that repealed the FCC's privacy regulations concerning ISPs? What this essentially means is that ISPs no longer need consent from their customers before selling or sharing browsing data. They can sell your web browsing history to advertisers as they wish! Your ISP has complete access to your internet browsing history and if you want to protect your privacy, it's essential you use a VPN.

5. Use public Wi-Fi with confidence

If you're anything like me, you love free stuff, including free Wi-Fi connection. However, that free coffee shop Wi-Fi may be the reason why your privacy and information gets leaked. It turns out that connecting to such hotspots is not safe for confidential browsing and logins. You wouldn't want your bank information in someone else's hands right? If so, you've got to use a VPN next time you're online at your favorite coffee shop.

6. Share files privately online

If you ever had a need to share files with someone online, then you should consider doing so with a VPN. If you're not doing it through a secure or private connection, then your file or activity of sending that file may end up in the wrong hands. Additionally, there have been a lot of crackdowns with sharing illegal files on the web. While we don't advocate for that, if you choose to send files, legally or illegally, we're sure that you would want to make sure it ends up with the right person and no one else. Using a VPN will help with that.

7. Make secure VOIP (Voice-over-IP) calls

Using VOIP to make phone calls is very affordable and many people do so around the world. Since these calls are made over the internet, they can be hacked by those who have a good knowledge of internet systems & architecture. Using a VPN to secure your calls would be wise in this situation.

8. Stop Google from tracking your activities and downloads

The price of a Google search is actually not free. With every Google search, you are essentially giving your data. If you're an avid Google product user like I was, then chances are Google knows your every search, activity, movement, download, etc... To avoid troubles and embarrassment, start using a VPN, hide your IP and stay more private online. Using alternatives to Google products helps too.

9. Using Torrent Sites like BitTorrent

Let's face the fact that many internet users will use services like BitTorrent for downloading purposes. While we don't advocate using it for illegal purposes (use it to download Linux!), it is a product that many people use and will continue to use. However, using services like BitTorrent can put you on the surveillance list of many governments and copyright organizations. To avoid such surveillance, using a VPN is recommended.

10. If you're a researcher/whistleblower/activist/journalist, please use a VPN!

If you're engaging in activities that requires precise protection of your identity for safety reasons, then you MUST use a VPN to hide your identity online.

At FreePN, we believe that everyone has the right to privacy and that's why we're doing our best to provide free tools that support a free and open internet. If you're interested in learning more about what we do and our mission, check us out here. We offer a completely free, fast, secure, anonymous, and unlimited-bandwidth VPN.

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