7 Things You Probably Didn t Know You Could Do With a VPN

Contents

When your VPN isn’t working right—or, rather, when it’s working just fine but everything else is blocking you because of your VPN—the first thing you should do is try switching servers. If that still doesn’t work, give yourself permission to turn the VPN off for a while.

VPN uses: 20 ways to get the most out of your VPN

VPN active on a mobile device

You’ve probably heard about VPNs, and ended up on this page wondering what the fuss is all about. What can you really use a VPN for? Well, it’s your lucky day as here we’ve rounded up 20 of the top VPN uses – and it’s not just about staying private online, either.

To kick off we’ll run down how VPNs work, and then we’ll get stuck into our hefty list of real-world VPN uses. If you just want to explore all of the reasons to use a VPN off the bat, simply use the navigation bar on the side of the screen to jump down to a use that sounds intriguing.

So, what can you do with a VPN, and how do they work? You’re about to find out.

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How it works

So, how does a VPN work? In simple terms, a VPN works by encrypting all your information and sending it through a ‘tunnel’ to its destination. It does this by redirecting your internet connection from your internet service provider’s (ISP) servers to its own.

The most impressive VPNs have thousands of servers all over the world – our top-ranked provider ExpressVPN, for example, has around 3,000 servers in 94 countries. This means that not only can you make sure all your data is encrypted and secure, but you can also virtually relocate yourself and surf the web as if you were actually in those countries.

This is great for streaming (click ‘stream blocked content’ to learn more) and avoiding government censorship (click ‘avoid censorship’ to read further on that topic).

If you’re satisfied with just staying on home turf, using your VPN’s secure encryption also allows you to browse anonymously and generally have a more private experience when online – and who doesn’t want that?

So, browse the tabs up top or scroll on to find out more about all of the most popular – and some unusual – VPN uses.

Protect your identity

VPN uses: Protect your identity

When most people think of a VPN, they think of a privacy solution first and foremost – and with good reason. The original primary VPN use is to protect the user and their data, ensuring safe internet use whatever the activity.

A core element of a VPN is tough encryption – usually AES-256 combined with a secure protocol – and this means every last bit of traffic sent through the VPN is unreadable by anyone who intercepts it. That interceptor might simply be your ISP trying to log or limit what you use their connection for, or it could be a malicious individual or program looking to steal your data.

Who or whatever they are, VPNs avoid them by using a ‘tunnel’ that starts at your device and ends at your destination – be that Netflix, a geo-blocked social network or your online banking.

In between your device and your destination is where your data is at risk, so a VPN eliminates that by both encrypting your data and routing your connection through one of its own servers, masking your IP address and any other identifying information. If you’ve chosen a quality, zero-logging provider, you should be able to trust your VPN’s servers more than your ISP’s.

In essence, a VPN removes or encrypts any information that could link you or your device to your activity on the web. It’s a one-stop shop for taking back personal privacy online.

Most private VPN – See which VPN offers the best privacy features

Stream blocked content

VPN uses: Stream geo-blocked content

It’s now the norm to get all our content from online streaming services, and while there’s more selection than ever before, a VPN can expand your entertainment options immeasurably. This VPN use is both great for those on holiday or business trips, and for the more adventurous couch potato.

Netflix has different libraries of content for subscribers in different regions, which means that no one can actually watch everything – there’s always going to be some series or movie that’s blocked in your country. However, with a Netflix VPN, you can connect to a server in a particular country and Netflix will respond by serving you the library of that region.

Other services – like BBC iPlayer or Hulu – are only available to people in particular countries, with those elsewhere not entitled to watch anything on them at all. In the case of an iPlayer VPN, for example, you can change your location to the UK and watch everything available like a true Brit.

There’s a catch, though – all streaming services are consistently trying to stop VPN usage, and only the best can actually get users access to everything they want. Thankfully, though, there are some fast VPN services that consistently stay ahead of the curve and can get you watching whatever you want, wherever you are.

Streaming VPN – explore the most reliable services for accessing Netflix and more

Access sites abroad

VPN uses: Access sites when you’re abroad

Much like streaming services, many other sites serve up different content to users in different countries. However, if you’re on a trip you’ll want to access your regular version, but you’ll be faced with a site that might be totally different – and quite possibly in a language you don’t speak.

If you’ve got a VPN, it’s simply a case of relocating your connection so you appear back home, and you’ll be able to access your familiar site like magic.

This is especially useful for online banking, too. If you’ve gone away on a weekend jaunt and forgotten to tell your bank, you might face being locked out of your account. If this is a possibility, it’s worth flipping that VPN switch on and virtually heading home for a moment just to make sure your account isn’t blocked, leaving you penniless abroad.

Best US VPN – explore the best services for use in the States and abroad

Watch live sports

VPN uses: Watch more live sports

If you’re a sports fanatic, you’ll know that watching live events can get expensive pretty quickly. However, with a VPN and little bit of research, you could save a ton of cash – and perhaps even find a pay-per-view event for free.

This is due to the fact that some sporting events are free-to-air in certain countries, while they’re paid-for in others. In recent times we’ve found cheaper or even free ways of catching the NBA, Super Bowl, Euros and Olympics with a VPN, so if there’s a big event on, it’s well worth checking out global broadcasting options for a better deal.

All you need to do is connect to a server in one of those countries and get watching. Plus, Tom’s Guide runs down all the big events and how to watch them, so check elsewhere on the site for info on where to catch a cheaper (or even free) stream.

Use free trials

VPN uses: Make sure to use your free trial

This one’s not so much a use, but a way of making your money go further. If you scour the market, you’ll see there are tons of VPN free trials available – and if your chosen provider offers one, make sure to use it!

Plus, all our top-rated providers offer money-back guarantees, ranging from 30 to 45 days. If you’re not sure about a service and it doesn’t offer a true trial (for example, our #1 provider ExpressVPN), you can still trial it risk-free. All you need to do is buy a plan, and start using it. If you’re not happy with it, don’t be shy – just about every one of our favorite providers will refund you hassle-free.

Speed up gaming

VPN uses: Speed up your online gaming

When people talk about VPNs, they often mention how all but the best inevitably slow down your internet connection. However, this is not always the case.

Your ISP may ‘throttle’ your connection, meaning it slows down your internet when it detects certain activity – often those that use a lot of bandwidth. Prime suspects are online gamers, and while the same can happen when torrenting or streaming, in those situations a slow connection isn’t a case of life and death.

Whether you’re still playing CS:GO, have moved on to PUBG, Apex Legends and Call of Duty, or prefer to humiliate your friends on the digital football pitch rather than shooting them in the head with an AK-47, a VPN can make sure your connection remains stable and reliable, and help you keep up your winning streak for as long as possible.

Read more about the best gaming VPN services

Stay safe on holiday

VPN uses: Stay safe on holiday abroad

If you’re heading to a different country, data laws may be different and government censorship could be common. In these cases it’s clear you’ll want to use a VPN (for example, a Turkey VPN), but even if you’re heading to a more ‘friendly’ country, a VPN could still be useful.

You’ll be able to access sites as you would at home (no more guesswork if you’re Googling in Japan), and stream content you’re used to back home.

The only issue is that you might not find that you’ve got much of a use for your VPN when you get home. We’d disagree with that (just look at all the reasons above and below!), but if you don’t want to keep paying for something you’ll never use, check out a monthly VPN plan. They’re cheap and require no commitment – perfect for staying safe on a holiday.

Avoid trackers

VPN uses: Avoid trackers

Your data and internet history is just that – yours. So, it’s quite understandable that many people take issue with the fact ISPs and governments collect this data and use it for their own gain.

While many may argue that government tracking is legitimate, the techniques used are like a trawler fishing boat. Yes, they might catch what they need to, but the by-catch is vast. If you want to avoid getting your data caught up in that net without your consent, a VPN is the answer.

However, your ISP’s uses of your data might be rather less noble. While they already make money from your internet subscription, many top up their pay packet by selling users’ personal data to advertisers. If you want to avoid targeted advertising and feel a little more free to search for what you want without people keeping tabs, using a VPN can make that happen.

Spoof your GPS location

VPN uses: Spoof your GPS location

While this VPN use isn’t as well-known as others – and won’t be useful for everyone – spoofing your GPS location can be made extra reliable with a VPN

If you want to get a fake GPS location for Pokemon GO, for example, you’ll need to either combine a VPN with a GPS spoofing app, or use Surfshark, the only VPN with a built-in GPS changing tool.

As the best fake GPS VPN, Surfshark combines solid VPN performance with a GPS spoofer on Android, which means you don’t have to rely on any third parties to change your location. This isn’t just good for Pokemon GO, though, and can be very handy for ensuring your exact location isn’t being tracked by any number of apps.

Save money

VPN uses: Avoid location-based price targeting

Most prevalent amongst car hire and plane ticket merchants, being offered different prices depending on where you are and what you’ve searched is more common than you may think.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a digital product – whether that’s Microsoft Office, a game, or Spotify – taking a moment to check prices from around the world might save you a good wad of cash.

Those in lower-income countries are usually offered a cheaper price, but that’s not always the case. In practice this process is often more trial-and-error than exact science, so having a VPN with plenty of servers worldwide is worth the investment and could end up paying for itself.

This also ties into the earlier benefit of avoiding trackers. If you’ve searched for a product a number of times without purchasing, the seller will often inflate the price to urge you to buy sooner rather than later – this is most commonly seen with plane tickets, but not unheard of with other products. With a VPN, you’ll be seeing the true price and potentially saving yourself serious money.

Cheap VPN – save money on your VPN as well as avoiding price targeting

Protect your mobile

VPN uses: Protect your mobile devices

If you sign up to a good provider, you won’t just get a Windows 10 VPN – almost all top-quality services have apps for Android and iOS, and some even still support BlackBerry.

By using a VPN on your mobile device, you’ll be able to stay protected both at home and when you’re out and about, and considering the device you’ll be connecting to public Wi-Fi the most is likely to be your phone, it’s a sensible decision.

All our recommended VPNs allows at least five simultaneous connections, with some offering up to 10, and in rare cases unlimited connections. So, if you’ve got a lot of devices you want to keep safe, make sure that your chosen provider can offer enough simultaneous connections for your needs.

Avoid ISP restrictions

VPN uses: Avoid ISP restrictions

For those who don’t have control over their internet provider – students, those living with parents, or renters whose utilities are provided for them – a VPN could be the only way to access content that’s restricted. While parental control tools certainly have their place, for many they’re imposed when they really have no right to be.

We’re not just talking about adult content, either – these controls are often heavy-handed in their censorship and regularly block innocent sites. Also, they can limit in-app purchases and impose restrictions on how much time is spent on the web, and when.

Another section of the web that’s usually blocked by ISPs regardless of whether you’re subject to parental controls or not is torrenting sites. We in no way condone the use of torrents for downloading content that breaches copyright laws, but for legal use, VPNs can give you access to torrenting sites and services.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to bypass ISP restrictions – and as long as you’re legally entitled to – a VPN is a simple way to get access to the uncensored internet everyone else can view.

Torrent safely

VPN uses: Torrent safely and anonymously

As mentioned above, we do not condone the use of VPNs or torrenting software to download content that breaches copyright laws.

P2P sharing is an efficient way to share large files with ease, but it also puts users at risk. When downloading or seeding a torrent, your IP address is visible to others who are connected at the same time. Torrents also open ports that are usually inaccessible to outside parties, and both of those things are opportunities for hackers access your data.

While only the best antivirus can protect you from the threat of malware hidden in torrents, a VPN will give you the peace of mind that your data is safe and you won’t be personally identified.

However, while being victim to a hacker is somewhat unlikely, the biggest downside to torrenting is the fact your ISP is likely to throttle your connection speed if it detects P2P activity. That means not only will your torrent slow to a crawl, but your general browsing will also be affected.

A VPN anonymizes all your traffic so your ISP can’t tell what you’re using your bandwidth for – that means it can’t tell when you’re torrenting, and subsequently you’ll have full speeds all the time, no matter what you’re doing

Torrenting VPN – keep yourself protected and avoid network throttling

Safely use public Wi-Fi

VPN uses: Stay safe when using public Wi-Fi

Using unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots is another risky practice that’s rendered harmless by simply using a VPN.

If you visit public spaces like cafes to work, or connect to Wi-Fi in the supermarket, public transport or bars when you’re out and about, there’s a genuine possibility that your data is at risk.

If the connection you’re on is unsecured (possible) and unencrypted (likely), there’s a real chance that data thieves will have identified it and are using it to steal your personal information.

That’s usually done by a ‘Man in the Middle’ attack, which works by intercepting any and all the data you put out over the connection. That could include social media and email logins, credit card details and even your online banking credentials.

If you want to protect yourself from this, using a VPN will encrypt all the traffic going to and from your device – even if your connection is intercepted, the details will be totally unreadable and useless to any criminal.

Maximize your bandwidth

VPN uses: Maximise your bandwidth

Expanding on the torrenting section above, your ISP is quite likely to impose bandwidth restrictions or ‘throttling’ on you at some point.

If you notice your internet speed slowing to a crawl when doing certain things on the internet, or at peak times, your ISP may be reducing your speeds based on your activity. This is easily remedied by using a VPN.

No matter what you’re using your connection for, if you’re using a VPN your internet provider won’t be able to tell what you’re doing, and subsequently won’t be able to make the decision to throttle your connection.

While VPNs can minimally reduce your peak speeds (by as little as 5% for the best, and unlikely to be noticeable unless you have a gigabit line), throttling can be far more severe than that. If you want to be able to rely on your connection 24/7, a VPN can help you get the most out of your internet service.

Avoid censorship

VPN uses: Avoid government censorship

For many, internet freedom might seem like a given, but those living in China, UAE, Iran, Syria and many more have severe internet restrictions imposed at a governmental level.

For citizens of those countries, a VPN is the only way to access sites others take for granted – Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, non-state news sites, Google. However, not every VPN is powerful enough to sidestep these regimes, so it’s worth doing your research.

Also, while those living in these countries are permanently subject to this censorship, holidaymakers, business travelers, reporters and many others spending time in these countries will also find their access to everyday sites reduced. For those that rely on Gmail or Slack to get work done, a VPN is an absolute essential.

Our China VPN list details services that can bypass the Great Firewall, but should also work to evade other government censorship around the world.

Use VoIP

VPN uses: Access free VoIP services like WhatsApp

Strict national governments with huge stakes in mobile networks will often restrict access to free VoIP services like WhatsApp, Skype, Messenger and more because doing so ensures they make more money.

This is a huge reason why you might want a UAE VPN when living or traveling to Dubai or elsewhere, and while rules change frequently, it’s been known for UAE residents to have to use a VPN to even access voice chat on video games.

Paying for a VPN and using free VoIP services usually ends up costing much less than spending money on the monopolized telephone networks. For those who are short on money, a cheap service like Surfshark – less than $2.50 a month – is a great way of saving cash and staying in contact with loved ones.

Keep messaging private

VPN uses: Keep your online chats private

While there are a number of secure messaging apps available (Signal and Telegram to name a couple), many popular apps don’t offer encryption, or require you to opt-in rather than opt-out. If your messaging isn’t encrypted there’s a chance it could be intercepted by an outsider.

By using a VPN you can ensure that your messages are seen only by the intended recipient, meaning you can be as open as you want to be.

Also, while it won’t affect your regular cell signal, a VPN can help protect your VoIP calls. And, even if your service provides encryption as standard, using a VPN as an extra layer of protection will give you the reassurance that you really can speak your mind.

Read more about the best mobile VPN apps available today

Access home networks

VPN uses: Access home networks securely

Unless you take all your hard drives out with you when you go to work or on holiday, your entire repository of files and data likely lives on one computer at home (with a couple of backups, or course).

If this is the case, you might have remote access set up so you can access this machine and the info it contains when you’re away from it. However, keeping that data safe should be a priority, so using a VPN to encrypt your traffic when remote accessing your main PC in a no-brainer.

Access college networks

VPN uses: Access work or university networks

Access to your school, college, or work’s network may be limited geographically, and many institutions formally or informally implement VPNs to allows users to access intranets or other data repositories. This is usually done through the use a static IP, something the best business VPN will offer.

However, we’ve also heard stories of students moving back home – to Canada from the US, for example – and ending up unable to access their school’s networks from outside the country, while others found that their location breached some kind of regulation.

By using VPNs, in this age of remote learning these students were able to essentially have their cake and eat it – they could complete their studies while also living where they wanted to. If this sounds like you, we’d check out a VPN straight away.

7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know You Could Do With a VPN

A VPN is a powerful tool for guarding your online privacy and security, but do you know about the added benefits? Read our VPN tips and tricks to find out.

By Max Eddy
Lead Security Analyst
My Experience

Since my start in 2008, I’ve covered a wide variety of topics from space missions to fax service reviews. At PCMag, much of my work has been focused on security and privacy services, as well as a video game or two. I also write the occasional security columns, focused on making information security practical for normal people. I helped organize the Ziff Davis Creators Guild union and currently serve as its Unit Chair.

January 25, 2019
https://www.pcmag.com/news/7-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-do-with-a-vpn

For the past few years, I’ve spent the bulk of my time enumerating the many reasons you need a VPN. They are many and manifold, but generally boil down to protecting your privacy from spies, crooks, and advertisers. But now that you’ve got a VPN, what can you do with it? Settle in, gentle reader, as I reveal the deeper mysteries of the secret VPN tricks.

Use a VPN to Access Blocked Content

Besides protecting your web traffic from advertisers, spies, and crooks, the next most common use for a VPN is to circumvent content blocking. Depending on where you live, Netflix may prevent you from watching certain shows. Connecting to a VPN service in another country may unblock those shows for your viewing pleasure. That’s also true for Hulu, Sling, and other streaming services.

The chart above shows the best VPNs for accessing Netflix in other countries from the US. If you’re looking to stream Netflix but stay connected to a VPN located in the US, we have another guide for the services that play nice with Netflix.

This is a bit of a slippery issue. It’s not piracy as I’ve come to understand it, but it does feel similar. That said, if you’re traveling overseas and are shut out of your favorite shows just because of where you happen to be at the time, that, to me at least, seems like a justifiable reason to unblock some content—content that you have actually paid to see.

While my views on this subject may be complicated, Netflix’s are not. The company’s terms of service make clear that you can only access content in the region where your account was “established.” As such, Netflix works hard to block all VPN access, even when you’re connecting from a VPN server within your home country. It’s a cat-and-mouse game, where the VPN that works with Netflix today, won’t work tomorrow.

I’ve talked a lot about Netflix, but I’ve experienced being blocked by several streaming services while using a VPN. Whether you’re trying to access Netflix, Hulu, or Sling, you should expect some roadblocks along the way.

VPNs Can Circumvent Censorship

Sometimes, what’s unavailable online isn’t because of licensing agreements and unchecked capitalism. Sometimes, it’s purely political. The best known example of internet censorship is probably the Great Firewall of China, which greatly restricts what citizens can see and even say online.

A VPN can help in these circumstances. By tunneling from a restrictive country to a VPN server in a less restrictive one, you can effectively subvert local censorship. Even if that doesn’t work (and some countries are working hard to ensure that VPNs can’t be used in this way), VPNs may still be useful within a country with oppressive policies. If you’re a country that restricts the internet and connect to a VPN server within its borders, you won’t be able to access restricted content but you may get some modicum of a protection from domestic surveillance.

A big asterisk to this discussion is that I am unwilling to suggest specific VPN services to circumvent censorship. That’s not because I don’t believe that every person on earth deserves unfettered access to information and the right to self-expression without fear of repression—quite the opposite. My concern is that the consequences of my getting it wrong are far too high for me to be cavalier. I leave it to those better versed in such matters to make those recommendations.

Experience Better Sports Commentary With a VPN

You learn a lot about a person by living with them, and what I learned about my partner is that she loves women’s gymnastics. A lot. And as such, she has very strong opinions about how the sport is covered in the US, which is to say she thinks it’s awful. Instead of tolerating terrible commentary and overly glib coverage (and a certain broadcast company’s stranglehold on Olympic coverage) she uses a VPN to watch coverage from other countries. Other countries, she tells me, have far more in-depth coverage of the sports and far more knowledgeable commentators.

This means that we often run into broadcast companies blocking our access because we’re using a VPN. And that means fiddling around with different servers and settings, try to tunnel our way in. It also means that we sometimes have to forego watching events on our TV because Chromecast doesn’t work with a VPN. But for my partner, it’s worth it.

If you’re living outside your native country, you also might just want to hear commentary in your native accent or language, too, or commentary that centers your country’s teams or athletes rather than those of the country from which you happen to be watching.

Switch Servers Before You Switch Off

Sometimes, your VPN just won’t work the way you want it to. None of your pages will load, or all your downloads will hang, or every site you visit blocks you. It’s incredibly frustrating and not unheard of. In these circumstances, you’ll probably just switch your VPN off. That’s fine, but try switching servers first.

One of the things you’re paying for with a VPN subscription is access to a lot of servers. That’s partly to provide better coverage for users all over the world, but also so that you can find a server that works better when things go sideways. In fact, checking the server count and geographic distribution of servers is an important part of our VPN testing.

Switching the VPN off and on again will force the client to reconnect and perhaps choose a different server, but some apps let you manually select specific servers to use. So before you switch off in frustration, try another server in your area, or close by, and see if that helps.

Don’t Fight a Losing Battle

When your VPN isn’t working right—or, rather, when it’s working just fine but everything else is blocking you because of your VPN—the first thing you should do is try switching servers. If that still doesn’t work, give yourself permission to turn the VPN off for a while.

Some security wonks would say that I’m a rube for suggesting this, but you’re not doing anything wrong by not using a VPN. Without a VPN you’re using the web the way the vast majority of people do, and, really, the way it’s intended to be used. And it’s okay to do that sometimes. Part of practicing smart personal security is building good habits, but good habits can be bent or broken. That’s the point. If you’re using a VPN nine times out of ten, you’re doing a great job already—better than most PCMag readers.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use common sense. Don’t use public Wi-Fi without a VPN if you can’t help it. Be conscious of which tasks you’re performing, and how desperately important they are. Do you absolutely have to enter that password right now? But if it’s the difference between completing an important task and not, just grit your teeth and do it. And then try to get back online with a VPN as soon as possible.

Ascend to a Higher Level and Install a VPN on Your Router

Generally speaking, VPN companies do a good job providing easy-to-use apps for just about every platform. Using a VPN on your phone is just as easy as using it on your laptop, and just a few years ago using a VPN wasn’t easy at all. But while some VPNs provide apps for use on streaming devices, you almost certainly can’t convince your smart fridge, smart thermostat, or friendly home robot to connect via VPN.

But keep in mind that you may encounter some incompatibilities with this setup. Perhaps your Roku will no longer be able to play Netflix videos, or your thermostat may no longer be able to get online at all. Or maybe it will all work just fine today and then stop working tomorrow. Installing a VPN on your router is definitely not for the faint of heart, and probably best left to the DIY hobbyists.

See the Web From a New Point of View

While the metaphor of the internet as a “global village” has dropped out of favor, the idea persists that the internet is the same experience for everyone the world over. That’s just not true. Some countries censor what its citizens can see, and most companies provide a localized experience depending on where you are. Google Doodles, for instance, vary greatly by country. Some people insist that you can get better deals on things, such as airline tickets, if you spoof your location with a VPN. We haven’t been able to demonstrate this, but if you’re curious, it can’t hurt to try.

With a VPN, you can see how the web looks from the country of your choosing. Perhaps it would be eye-opening to experience censorship, or enlightening to see what other countries deem as newsworthy. Simply choose a different VPN server, and experience the web in a new way.

Top 7 VPN Tips & Tricks for Advanced Users : Get the Most Out of Your VPN

VPN tricks

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are effective tools for protecting your privacy while using the internet, but that isn’t the only thing they’re capable of.

That’s right! From streaming unavailable content to avoiding online price discrimination, there’s so much you can do with a VPN on your device.

Interested? Read on as we share some of the best VPN tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your VPN subscription.

7 Amazing Things You Can Do With a VPN

Here are some cool uses for a VPN that you might not have known about:

VPN Trick #1 – Dodge Bandwidth Throttling

VPN tips and tricks - Dodge bandwidth throttling

There’s nothing more annoying than experiencing endless buffering when watching YouTube videos or torrenting files. Bandwidth throttling could happen to anybody engaging in online activities like streaming, file sharing, and gaming. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) commonly use throttling to reduce bandwidth congestion and manage network traffic.

A VPN lets you bypass bandwidth throttling and enjoy faster connection speeds. Since your traffic is encrypted, it can no longer be seen or controlled by your ISP.

VPN Trick #2 – Access Geo-Locked Content

VPN tips and tricks - Access GEO Locked Content

You’ve probably noticed that you can’t access the entire library on Netflix. Due to copyright agreements, certain movies and TV shows are unavailable in certain countries. With a VPN, you can unlock any country’s content for your viewing pleasure by switching your IP address. That’s also true for Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other streaming services.

Similarly, if you’re traveling outside your country, you can use a VPN to get around geo-restrictions and watch your favorite content from back home.

VPN Trick #3 – Download & Upload Files Safely

VPN tips and tricks - Download & Upload Files Safely

P2P file-sharing has plenty of benefits, but many ISPs frown upon the practice. This results in slower connection speeds, bandwidth caps, or restricted access to The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, and other file-sharing websites. Due to the nature of P2P file sharing, your IP address is also visible to other individuals, which poses a serious security risk.

If you want to indulge in P2P activities safely and without your ISP slowing you down, a VPN is your best bet. It’ll conceal your IP address and encrypt your traffic so that nobody can intercept or see it.

VPN Trick #4 – Keep Your VoIP Conversations Private

VPN tips and tricks - Keep Your VOIP Conversations Private

Whether you’re calling your mother or organizing a teleconference with your colleagues, you wouldn’t want your conversations to be snooped on by outsiders. While VoIP has become more secure than before, the truth is, it can be eavesdropped upon by hackers. Furthermore, VoIP services are blocked in some countries, so you might not be able to access them during your travels abroad.

VPNs not only allow you to use VoIP services from anywhere in the world but also prevent third parties from monitoring your communications using robust encryption.

VPN Trick #5 – Connect to Public Wi-Fi Securely

VPN tips and tricks Connect to Public Wi-fi Securely

Even though public Wi-Fi hotspots are very convenient, they typically offer little to no protection, making them attractive targets for cybercriminals. For instance, they can use tools like packet sniffers to capture your traffic and steal personal information. With a VPN protecting your traffic, you can securely connect to any public Wi-Fi network at a café, hotel, or airport.

Since your entire connection is encrypted, the bad guys won’t be able to get their hands on your data and use it to their advantage.

VPN Trick #6 – Beat Online Censorship

VPN tips and tricks - Beat Online Censorship

Many nations around the world are known for practicing censorship on the internet. Take, for instance, China’s Great Firewall that restricts users from being able to access most western sites, apps, and social media networks. If you happen to be in such a country, you can get around censorship and use the internet freely by connecting to a VPN.

Just choose a server in a country with no online censorship, and you’ll be able to access the services you want with your new IP address.

VPN Trick #7 – Book Car Rentals, Hotels, & Flight Tickets for Cheap

VPN tips and tricks - Book car rentals, hotels, & flight

Did you know that airline, hotel, and car rental websites use your location to determine the prices you’ll be shown? Visitors from affluent countries might get charged higher as opposed to those from less affluent countries.

Using a VPN, you save some money by making it seem as if you’re connecting from a country where the rates are lower. You can also take advantage of specific discounts available to other regions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the disadvantages of a VPN?

A slower connection is one of the biggest disadvantages of using a VPN. This is because of the encryption and decryption process that takes place. However, most reputed VPN providers will have workarounds in place to ensure you get the fastest possible speeds.

How can I increase my VPN speed?

If your VPN speed isn’t up to the mark, fret not. There are a few things that you can do to improve it, such as:

  • Selecting another server
  • Changing your VPN protocol
  • Tryingsplit tunneling

Should I have my VPN on all the time?

It comes down to what your needs actually are. Generally speaking, though, you’re better off leaving your VPN on most of the time as it protects your personal data from interested third parties like ISPs, hackers, and the government.

So, Get Yourself a VPN Service!

And with that, we’ve come to the end of our VPN tricks guide. Hopefully, now you have a better idea about what VPNs can be used for. Not only are they ideal for protecting your privacy, but also they help you book cheaper vacations, bypass geo-restrictions and censorship, and more.

If you don’t already own a VPN, it’s the right time to get one. PureVPN secures your traffic using bank-grade encryption, comes equipped with must-have features like a kill switch & DNS leak protection, and doesn’t keep logs of any kind, making it a worthy choice.

Got any questions? Feel free to use the comments section below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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October 13, 2020

PureVPN is a leading VPN service provider that excels in providing easy solutions for online privacy and security. With 6500+ servers in 78+ countries, It helps consumers and businesses in keeping their online identity secured.

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