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Why you should be considering a VPN for your internet usage. Why? Here's Why!

By Ashley Liddell

Need to watch the latest Netflix shows or films that aren't readily available in your area? Worried about how your data is shared or utilised by your ISP? A user of public Wi-Fi networks?

If your answer to any of the questions above was "yes", then you should consider a VPN. What is a VPN?

"What is a VPN?" you ask. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service that is responsible for two main jobs. Ultimately, it encrypts your data and hides your IP address. VPN's send your network activity and usage through a truly secure chain and then sends it to a server in a different location in the world. VPN's allow you to browse and enjoy the internet, whilst manipulating your online identity, obscuring it in the process. They also allow you to browse securely, safely and ultimately, anonymously.

There are several reasons why a VPN may be a MUST for you as an internet user. We've covered the absolute basics of a VPN, now let's take a look at the usage cases.

1. Secure use of Public Wi-Fi Connections.

Whether you're cramming in some work at the airport before a trip, connected to Wi-Fi at a football stadium or Shopping centre or just answering emails over a morning coffee at Starbucks, someone could be tracking your online activity. Public Wi-Fi is a convenient connection solution but it is made possible at the expense of true security.

By using a VPN your data, such as passwords, banking information and browser history are all withheld from the connection you are utilising, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of public Wi-Fi, without the security drawbacks it offers.

2. Data Privacy from your ISP

Internet Service Providers can see how you utilise the service they provide. And whilst this offers very few security risk factors, you have every right to prevent this from happening on your connection. Usually, the information obtained is sold to advertisers etc but by utilising a VPN you can prevent this from happening. VPN's achieve this by scrambling your IP address from your ISP. Very Clever!

3. Protect your Data while using Apps and Online Services.

ISP's aren't the only ones looking to generate profit on your data. It has been well publicised that Apps and Services like Facebook are also looking to sell your data to advertisers etc.

By using a VPN, you can prevent these Apps and Services from attributing your online activity to an IP address. it's then extremely difficult for an Apps and/or Service provider to utilise.

4. Access Content.

Accessing content via the use of a VPN may be frowned upon by service providers like Netflix and Amazon, possibly due to them not being able to track your usage, but their use is perfectly legal (In most Countries - Including the UK). VPN's manipulate your location, meaning you can act as though you are browsing from another area of the world, enjoying all the Netlfix goodies that country has to offer!

5. Remote Working... Safer.

Encrypting data so that its true meaning is hidden and obscured allows users to keep confidential information truly safe. One benefit for business users is that employees can access data on your business' office network from their smartphones or devices whilst away from the office directly. And this is all achieved by a VPN. In a world where remote working has a real place in the jobs market, a VPN could be a sound investment for business users looking to keep data secure in an off-site setting.

VPN Limitations:

VPN's are a fantastic tool to help separate you and your location from your data. However, not every snippet can be manipulated. Some activity on apps like Facebook can still utilise your behaviours to dictate which advertisements are shown to you etc. So, whilst these apps may not know where you are browsing from, they can still track your behaviour upon their applications.

Similarly, if you enable cookies upon a website, that company can follow your behaviour upon their site and after you leave, depending on which cookies you enable on the individual site.

Furthermore, just as is the case with other software or programs, VPN's are susceptible to malware and similar online attacks if not protected appropriately. If a VPN becomes infected, its security benefits are nullified. Free VPN services are particularly at risk of such attacks as businesses who offer Free VPN services look to recoup the costs of delivering a free service, they instead sell your data themselves. We would therefore recommend a paid VPN service that is virus-monitored.

So there we have it, a look at the benefits of a VPN laid out for you to assess and decide whether or not you can take advantage of a VPN service in your online usage cases.

Need a change in ISP to go along with your new VPN service?

Quickfire by Quickline is a 'symmetrical speed', gigafast connection that delivers the best-in-class internet connectivity for every usage case. Whether you are a gamer, streamer, remote worker or even content creator, Quickfire has you covered!