VPN more than just content streaming

A lot of the articles and suggestions on our site are in regard to watching content that isn’t available in your country. This is extremely useful for those of you who are travelling for long periods of time, emigrate or for whatever reason can’t get access to TV shows that you want to watch due to region blocking. We have helped thousands of users access content from the US, UK, Switzerland, Australia and further afield. It has also been great opening the world of VPNs up to new users so they can take advantage of watching such things like live cycling, the winter Olympics, the world cup and more.

The process has always sounded like a complicated one but with more and more providers now supplying their own custom software it has made the act of streaming content from abroad a much easier task, even those that don’t have dedicated software usually have extensive and extremely easy to use guides which aid in the connection, so even the most the most technically lacking user can now stream the content they wish.

There is nothing wrong with using a VPN to just stream content but one thing many users are missing out on is the other important aspects or reasons for VPN use. When you sign up to a VPN service you get to make use of the whole package, ie; streaming content is a sideline and sort of by-product of the original intention of a VPN. There are many users who solely connect to a VPN only to watch the latest TV shows from a particular site such as iPlayer or Hulu not realising that now they’ve got the VPN service it can have other benefits along side their original use.

The first and most important secondary use which is actually the more primary function is the fact that when you make connection to a server your internet connection becomes encrypted. How much encryption is employed depends mainly on the VPN provider that you’re using and the protocol you use to connect. Generally though even the lower end of the scale encryption types are rather good and even those are better than no encryption at all. So what does encryption do you may ask? When you are connected to the internet all your data is being passed through your internet provider, or that of the connection you’re using, ie; the coffee shop wi-fi.

This means that most things you do online are sent in an unencrypted format. In the case of the coffee shop wi-fi this means anyone with the basic technical know how can have a look at what you’re up to and even login to your social media and other accounts if they catch you at the correct time. With your home connection it allows your usage to be recorded if required by the laws of your country meaning that even if you’re not up to anything illegal there could be a history of all your web usage, think of some of the more personal or embarrassing searches you’ve made and ask yourself if you really want these details being stored?

So the first thing to remember is you can and in the case of public wi-fi should make use of the VPN service at all times, it encrypts your personal data between your computer and that of the VPN server so anyone in between is oblivious to what your actions are. It isn’t the case that you may be up to anything illegal but just as in the real world your anonymity should be respected.

The next area to understand is the privacy that this introduces. The connection from yourself to your VPN provider introduces a layer between what you do and who you are before it hits the internet. Think of it like this, when you fire up your computer and access the internet it is a two step process, from yourself to your internet provider, all roads lead back to yourself. With a VPN your data usage is from yourself to the VPN server and then out on to the internet. Anyone looking from the opposite side could see that all the requests you made came from the VPN server but not link it back to you. So in this instance it adds that added layer making your online usage more private and less connected with yourself. This not only gives you privacy but also security and peace of mind.

So while content streaming is a huge advantage and definitely a good reason to make use of a VPN service, while you are already subscribed it is worth looking outside of the box and seeing just what else you can do with it. After all, you’re already paying for the product so you may as well make use of all the advantages it can bring.

Christopher Seward

Author: Christopher Seward

After 25 years of using the internet, Christopher launched one of the very first VPN comparison websites in 2013. An expert in the field his reviews, testing and knowledge have helped thousands of users get the correct VPN for their needs.

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