Wondering what is a VPN for? Most guides on the topic of what a VPN is for, fail to address the actual real reasons why most people use VPN services.
In this guide, we are clearing it up.
To know what a VPN is for, you first need to know what it does.
Right now, as you are using your device, you have an IP address.
That IP address is unique to your household and can be traced down to your area.
Based on that, whatever you do on the internet can be tracked down as done by you.
Streaming services use it to block you from accessing certain sites. Meanwhile, internet providers use it to know who’s downloading illegal content.
A great example of IP tracking being done is when it comes to buying flights.
If you open a website, a flight might be at €179, but when you opened it several hours later, it can be at €320. If you then remove cookies and change your IP address, that number will go down once again.
To explain a VPN in the most basic manner possible, it allows you to change that IP address so that what you do cannot be tracked as simply.
Those that have never used VPN services often have a misbelief that VPN services are mostly used for illegal reasons.
...When, in fact, most VPN users use VPN services because they want to be able to unblock entertainment services that simply aren’t available.
For instance, Hulu is a great platform that’s not available outside of the US.
BBC iPlayer is only available in the UK. Hotstar is limited to India, Canada, and the UK. Meanwhile, DAZN offers the most content in Canada.
Most VPN users are looking to pay for the services they want to use, but they can’t use them because they are not available in their region.
A VPN service makes unblocking entertainment platforms possible for people.
That the biggest real reason, people use VPN services.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that every VPN service is intended for.
Not a lot of VPN services can unblock top platforms out there.
There are services that come with thousands of servers. Meanwhile, PrivateVPN supports the most Netflix regions on the market, with less than 300 servers.
This goes down to quality over quantity.
It’s without a doubt easier to sell big numbers, but a big number doesn’t guarantee support for entertainment platforms because streaming services have to make efforts against VPN service so that they don’t get in trouble for breaching agreements.
At PrivateVPN we care much more about the entertainment aspect which is why we strive to make the most popular streaming services around the world work, but you can try it out for yourself with a 7-day free trial with no need for a card.
When you use public Wi-Fi, anyone that is connected to it has easy access to intercepting what you are doing.
That’s the price of using free Wi-Fi.
Where VPN services come in this case, is when it comes to encryption.
What that means is that when you are connected to a VPN service, everything you do is encrypted meaning that people around cannot access it.
That, however, does not mean that you are 100% protected. If you write something on Facebook and somebody on the other side screenshots it and shares it with someone, a VPN will obviously not protect you.
This doesn’t apply to everyone, but there are cases where a VPN can speed up your internet connection.
This applies if your internet provider engages in bandwidth throttling.
You might have seen that perhaps your Netflix started slowing down randomly, resulting in super poor quality, in the past few weeks.
That most likely was caused by your internet provider not wanting you to watch too much Netflix.
A way to bypass blocks like this? By using a VPN.
If a government was to ask your internet provider for your internet logs, if you are using a VPN, the internet provider won’t be able to access them. Just as it won’t be able to know if you torrented something.
From that perspective, VPN services offer you freedom on the internet.
This is, however, limited because not all VPN services don’t collect logs. There have been cases where providers have given information to authorities, so it’s important to do your research.
PrivateVPN is based in Sweden with strict privacy laws that prevent us from keeping logs, even if we wanted to store logs.
Spoiler alert: If you are doing some top-notch illegal stuff and think a VPN will protect you by itself, there’s more than one way to catch someone. The likes of browser fingerprinting and other factors exist.
A common question asked is as to why should you pay for a VPN service is if there is a ton of free services already available.
Great that you are wondering this because this is a super important question.
Fully free VPN services have one major issue.
They aren’t really VPN services.
That’s because a VPN service is meant to protect you.
And how does a VPN protect you if it has to pay for the servers while not charging you?
Let’s not forget that people also have to make money to survive.
Fully free VPN services come at the price of privacy. At the price of your privacy being sold.
Of course, there are exceptions to this. There are VPN services that make their money from a premium service while offering a super limited free version. That’s different.
But then there’s also the issue of unblocking entertainment.
If you want to get a VPN to unblock entertainment, free VPN services just aren’t going to do that. Especially considering a lot of paid ones don’t in the first place.
Other guides will tell you that “In general, the more servers, the better.”
In reality, that’s not a great approach.
And we get where that approach is coming from.
Guides are stating that fewer servers = more people using fewer servers.
And that’s true.
But it’s all about quality.
For instance, at PrivateVPN, we’ve spent the last few months investing in our own hardware and installing our own servers with Tier 1 internet access providers instead of just using hosting companies.
What does that mean? That we have full control over the speeds versus when using hosting providers that can promise a certain speed or bandwidth, without ever telling that there are other companies sharing that server.
So it’s not quite as simple and depends entirely on the provider.
Here is, however, a few aspects to look at in a provider:
Is any of these reasons a reason why you are thinking of using a VPN service?
Or do you have a different reason to try out PrivateVPN?
Written by Michael Smolski.