Explore our comprehensive guide on the best ways to maximize the benefits of a VPN service. Learn how these applications become your silent protectors against cyber criminal attacks.
Virtual private networks (VPNs) go beyond protecting your online activities from monitoring eyes. Although their primary purpose is enhancing online security, these versatile tools offer more than just protection against hackers.
In public Wi-Fi networks, VPNs encrypt your data on your router and even have the potential to improve internet speeds. This article discusses various practical applications of VPNs, where privacy and performance seamlessly meet a top-tier online experience.
What is a VPN? A Brief Overview
In simple terms, a VPN is a tool that establishes a secure network connection, significantly enhancing your online security. It keeps your online activities secure and private by masking your IP address and encrypting your data, even on public networks.
Recently, advertisers and other entities have been relentlessly tracking your online activities. For this reason, a VPN becomes your ally when you visit websites and access content, providing an additional layer of privacy.
Advanced encryption techniques let a VPN protect your online identity from your internet service providers and prying eyes. Generally, a VPN hides your IP address and forges a safe connection between your devices and the internet, fortifying your online presence.
The detailed working of a VPN is aided by a network of strategically positioned global servers placed there by the VPN provider. When you connect to a VPN, your activities detour through one of these servers.
Interestingly, your data moves within an impervious, encrypted tunnel, safeguarding it from prying eyes and potential man-in-the-middle attacks. Now, why does all this tech talk matter? Let’s break it down to the real deal: What can you do with a VPN?
Top Reasons to Opt for a VPN – Quick List
Here are the most compelling reasons a VPN is a must-have digital toolkit:
- Protect your privacy rights: A VPN prevents cybercriminals, government surveillance, and even your ISPs from spying on your online actions.
- Enhance public Wi-Fi security: Even on public Wi-Fi networks, like in hotels, airports, and cafes, a VPN encrypts your online traffic, making it secure and private.
- Save money while travelling: A VPN lets you save money on travel by connecting globally to locate better bargains on flights, hotels, and rentals.
- Access websites effortlessly: Accessing a website can be tricky when traveling because of lags but a VPN allows you to navigate websites abroad, particularly with country-specific website restrictions.
- Unblock geo-restricted content: Many streaming platforms impose geo-restrictions on their content. For example, Hulu is only available in the US territories. If you reside outside the US and want to access it, you need a VPN. A VPN helps you to bypass geographical restrictions and allows you to stream Hulu and other streaming services from any location worldwide.
- Elevate your gaming experience: A reliable VPN contributes to the best gaming experiences, especially if you want multiplayer features. Improve your experience and say goodbye to lags with ExtremeVPN.
- Enjoy unrestricted communication: Accessing VolP services becomes easy with a VPN regardless of your location. As a result, you can communicate with your loved ones no matter where you are.
- Stop malicious and intrusive ads: A VPN not only enhances your privacy and security, but it also acts as a powerful shield against malicious ads and other harmful third parties.
- Multi-device protection: A VPN not only protects your phone but offers protection on all devices, including tablets, laptops, smart TVs, and many more.
- Improve security in file downloads with VPN P2P servers: With a VPN, you can access files and photos from any location globally. Downloading and uploading files becomes easy with P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing.
20 Practical Applications of VPNs – Detailed List
Beyond its primary role in enhancing cybersecurity, a VPN offers additional advantages that can improve your overall network experience. Here are 20 practical ways to use a VPN:
1. Protect Your Privacy Rights
Generally, a VPN serves as a guardian of your right to privacy. It ensures that you can navigate the internet freely without compromising your right to a private online experience. Additionally, a VPN empowers you to regain control over your data—determining who can access it, log it, and derive value from it.
2. Enhance Public Wi-Fi Security
Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network often poses inherent security risks, yet fortifying your security Wi-Fi connection is achievable through a VPN. A common misjudgment assumes that public Wi-Fi demands no additional safety measures.
Remarkably, surveys show that 81% of Americans routinely use public hotspots, yet merely 1% utilize a VPN server to protect their network activity within these environments. The danger arises when a Wi-Fi connection lacks encryption or has been manipulated by malicious entities.
A VPN protects you by encrypting your online connection and mitigating potential malware and data theft threats while using public Wi-Fi.
3. Save Money While Travelling
A travel hack you might be unaware of is that a VPN can help you secure a budget-friendly vacation. How? You can get the most favorable deals and economical rates for your next gateway by strategically manipulating currencies and points of sale.
Although clearing your browser cookies or opting for incognito mode might mitigate the impact of fluctuating flight rates based on your searches, the game has changed. Currently, pricing models show variations across different countries, needing a more advanced approach.
To get a cheaper flight with a VPN:
- Use an incognito tab or Clear your cache and cookies.
- Change your location with a premium VPN like ExtremeVPN.
- Go on a travel website that matches your new location.
- Compare prices by connecting to different locations.
You must understand that the trick lies in creating an image that your virtual presence originates from a country with lower prices. Your IP address, a giveaway of your location, becomes the focus for concealment. This is where a VPN proves invaluable, hiding your IP address with a click.
Here’s the game plan: if tickets to your dream destination are more affordable when booked through a UK website than a French one, simply select a VPN server in the UK.
4. Access Websites Effortlessly
Navigating cyberspace abroad poses challenges, particularly when faced with country-specific website constraints. In such cases, a VPN is your best bet. Whether you desire to connect with a familiar online service or access websites blocked due to geo-restrictions, a VPN offers a secure pathway.
Imagine sitting on a beach, desiring to watch your favorite TV show or sports game from your home country. A VPN facilitates this by bypassing geographical restrictions, allowing you to enjoy your preferred content securely.
Moreover, if you work or learn remotely, a VPN allows you to relocate virtually, granting access to work or university networks and intranets, even in restricted areas.
5. Unblock Geo-restricted Content
Whether you are on holiday, on a business trip, or simply a homebound enthusiast seeking diverse content, the versatility of a VPN enhances your streaming experience. Imagine a scenario with Netflix: Each region has its rich library, limiting access to specific series and movies based on your location.
With ExtremeVPN, you can connect to a server in a specific country, allowing Netflix to serve you the content library of that region. Beyond Netflix, services like BBC iPlayer or Hulu are restricted to certain countries.
Moreover, you can bypass these limitations by changing your virtual location to the UK, granting access to diverse library content as if you were a local. Admittedly, streaming services continually combat VPN usage, but premium VPN services like ExtremeVPN stay ahead of the curve.
6. Elevate Your Gaming Experience
The thrill of video games as an everyday leisure activity is undeniable. Aside from entertainment, gaming immerses fans in a different world, builds relationships among players, and promotes the collective discovery of new horizons. Multiplayer games, particularly, foster community and provide a practical room for relaxation.
For optimal gaming experiences, establishing a fast, stable, and secure online connection is paramount, especially when seeking multiplayer capabilities.
Players can utilize a VPN to create a remote-encrypted LAN connection, allowing smooth gameplay with friends even when physically distant.
7. Enjoy Unrestricted Communication
In countries where governments hold huge stakes over mobile networks, the accessibility of free VolP services like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Skype is restricted to ensure increased revenue for telecom providers.
This restriction emphasizes the importance of having a VPN, mainly when residing or traveling to such locations. Although regulations in this regard may evolve, instances have arisen where residents need a VPN, even for basic voice chat in video games. Paying for a VPN is cost-effective, allowing users access to free VolP services without breaking the bank.
8. Stop Malicious and Intrusive Ads
Dozens of ads on a website can be a considerable annoyance, especially when all you want is a simple recipe for apple pie. ExtremeVPN and its robust protection functions as a formidable ad blocker to elevate your browsing experience by letting you enjoy the internet without annoying ads.
Beyond mere annoyance, intrusive ads can contain malware capable of damaging your device. Likewise, fewer ads mean fewer interruptions in your internet connection, resulting in faster loading times and an uninterrupted online journey.
9. Multi-device Protection
You don’t secure a single device when you opt for a reputable VPN provider like ExtremeVPN. It protects your tablets, laptops, and smart TVs. Most premium services offer dedicated apps for Android and iOS, and some even still support BlackBerry, ensuring comprehensive coverage across various mobile platforms.
Using a VPN on your mobile device is wise, offering protection in your home and when on the move. Given that your phone is likely the device frequently connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, this decision becomes sensible in enhancing your cybersecurity stance.
You should also note that ExtremeVPN allows 10 simultaneous connections. This flexibility ensures that regardless of the number of devices you wish to protect, ExtremeVPN can accommodate your needs.
10. Improve Security in File Downloads with VPN P2P Servers
Engaging in P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing allows for sharing digital content across networks, including books, music, software, videos, and extensive data sets. However, many ISPs prefer to avoid when their customers partake in P2P activities, often resulting in slow connection speeds, bandwidth restrictions, or barriers to accessing designated file-sharing platforms.
It is worth mentioning that the ISP isn’t the sole adversary in this case. Within the network, all users can expose each other’s IP addresses, creating a vulnerability that cybercriminals could exploit.
With a VPN, your IP address remains hidden, and your online traffic is encrypted, making it inaccessible to potential interception and monitoring eyes.
11. Eradicate Online Price Discrimination
Imagine getting off a flight craving a cappuccino at the nearest cafe. At the counter, you are shocked to discover the cafe charged you $5, while the person before you paid only $4 for the same coffee because they are local. Sounds unfair, right? Well, this same discrepancy occurs online far too often.
Recent research shows that UK holidaymakers, for instance, may end up paying up to 97.5% more for booking than others. Many online platforms display different prices for similar items based on the user’s browsing location.
For instance, a holiday deal might cost less for someone with a German IP address than a Swedish IP. How is this even possible? The culprit is your IP address. It reveals your location, allowing businesses to tailor search results and pricing accordingly.
Before you swiftly purchase that monthly music platform subscription or the latest sci-fi book, please pause for a minute. Initiate a two-step maneuver: clear your browser cookies to erase traces of previous visits, then activate your VPN app.
We also advise that you choose a country strategically, toggling between locations to discover the optimal shopping deals and thwart online price discrimination.
12. Bypass Bandwidth Throttling
Engaging in bandwidth-intensive online activities, like gaming or streaming services, may attract your ISP, leading to targeted bandwidth throttling tactics. Bandwidth throttling is the ISP’s attempt to reduce congestion and regulate network traffic, directly impacting internet speed.
When ISPs selectively impede users from consuming substantial data, deliberately slowing them down to maintain uniform speeds for all users, a VPN encrypts your online traffic, rendering your online activities untraceable.
While network-wide restrictions in your area may still affect your data speed, a VPN is effective when you are singled out for throttling because of high data usage, such as gaming or streaming.
13. Protection Against Phishing Attacks
Email phishing is a common cyber threat that uses deceptive emails as its primary modus operandi. In such cases, the recipient is manipulated into clicking malicious links, downloading harmful software, or unwittingly providing personal information to malicious parties.
To fight against phishing attacks, a VPN is your crucial line of defense. Notably, ExtremeVPN offers an additional layer of protection. This feature scans files during a download process and blocks malware from infiltrating and compromising your device.
14. Restrict Tracking Cookies
Did you know that private browsing mode offers a limited shield that stops to protect against trackers once you close your browser? Contrary to this, a VPN is an active and continuous tracker blocker, stopping third-party trackers from gathering your data as you explore the internet.
You would be surprised by how much information these malicious actors can gather about you — IP addresses, device details, browser usage, time spent on websites, political views, familial connections, food preferences, etc. In the case of such potential intrusion, a dedicated tracker blocker is your go-to option.
15. Improve Remote Access
We are in the era of storing photos, crucial school or university documents, and large files on our home desktop computers. The need to access this content remotely. Whether on a holiday or in another location, a VPN allows you to tap into your home computer’s resources.
ExtremeVPN allows you to connect to your devices and local networks from anywhere. In this case, security is paramount, and ExtremeVPN becomes a crucial asset. This P2P mechanism ensures the safe exchange of files between connected devices, reducing the risk of third-party intrusion.
The advantages are numerous: securely access your files while on the move, test web applications on various platforms without leaving your comfort zone, and configure this file-sharing mechanism in a few minutes.
16. Enjoy Live Sports Streaming
For ardent sports fanatics, the cost of watching live events can add up quickly. However, with a VPN and a touch of research, substantial savings and even access to pay-per-view events at no cost might be within reach.
The rationale is that certain sporting events are free to air in specific countries while requiring payment in others. Recent instances have shown that a VPN offers a more economical or free way to catch significant events like the NBA, Super Bowl, Euros, and Olympics.
So, when a significant event is on the horizon, it is worth checking global broadcasting options for better deals. Simply connect to a server in one of those countries, and you are set to enjoy the action!
17. Maximize Value with Free Trials
A smart approach to make your investment go the extra mile involves capitalizing on free trials and money-back guarantees. The market is filled with VPN providers offering trial periods, and utilizing them is in your best interest.
Even for services that don’t explicitly offer a traditional trial, reputable providers often extend money-back guarantees, ranging from 30 to 45 days. One best example is ExtremeVPN which offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to its customers.
The strategy is simple: purchase a plan, start usage, and if the service doesn’t meet your expectations, rest assured that the VPN provider is committed to hassle-free refund.
18. Enhance GPS Spoofing
Although not widely recognized, one interesting application of a VPN is enhancing the reliability of GPS spoofing. This approach might not be universally applicable but holds significant use for specific cases.
For instance, you can combine a VPN with a GPS spoofing app to obtain fake GPS locations for games like Pokemon Go. The benefits extend beyond gaming, as this capability becomes invaluable for protecting your current location from tracking by various applications.
19. Overcome ISP Restrictions
In cases where individuals lack control over their ISP — such as students, those living with parents, or renters whose utilities are managed on their behalf — a VPN becomes a crucial tool for accessing restricted content. Parental control tools, though serving a purpose, can sometimes be imposed without merit.
This isn’t solely about accessing adult content; these controls often display overzealous censorship, blocking innocent websites and imposing restrictions on in-app purchases, online time limits, and browsing schedules. Moreover, torrenting sites are commonly blocked by ISPs, regardless of whether parental controls are intact or not.
Irrespective of your reasons for wanting to overcome ISP restrictions or gain access to legitimate content, a VPN offers a straightforward solution.
20. Fortify Chat Privacy
Although secure messaging apps like Signal and Telegram offer robust encryption, many popular apps may lack encryption by default or require an opt-in rather than an opt-out approach. Without encryption, there’s a risk that unauthorized parties could intercept your messages.
A VPN only guarantees your communication’s visibility to the intended recipient, allowing you to express yourself freely. Moreover, a VPN doesn’t directly impact your regular cell signal; instead, it enhances the security of your VolP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls.
This offers additional reassurance, ensuring your conversations remain private and protected from eavesdroppers.
Common Uses of a VPN: A Brief Overview
Here are some of the major reasons why people use VPNs:
- Private and secure browsing.
- Online presence control.
- Protection of IP information.
If you want a VPN, try a premium provider like ExtremeVPN. While free VPNs may be appealing, they have certain limitations, potential privacy concerns, and fewer security features. On the other hand, ExtremeVPN offers reliable performance, excellent security measures, and a commitment to user privacy.