ChatGPT is taking over the world.
If you haven’t already heard of it, it’s the latest AI tool which has been programmed with huge quantities of information from across the internet and can answer just about any question you may have.
So, we thought it would be interesting to see what ChatGTP knows about Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and see how its recommendations compare with the advice our expert team has been sharing with our readers.
In this article, we will explore the top 20 uses for a VPN according to ChatGPT.
We asked it to give us a list of the top 20 uses and below we’re examining those recommendations in detail.
ChatGPT provided the list of 20, but our expert writers with more than 15 years combined in the VPN industry created detailed explanations of each.
From accessing geo-restricted content and online gaming to protecting your privacy and bypassing internet censorship, a VPN can be a versatile and powerful tool in many situations.
So, whether you are a tech-savvy user or a beginner, let’s find out the different ways ChatGPT thinks a VPN can enhance your online experience.
Table of Contents
1. Bypassing Geo-Restrictions
Geo-restrictions are a common practice among streaming platforms and some other content providers to limit access to their content based on the user’s geographical location.
The practice of geo-restrictions is mainly driven by licensing agreements and copyright laws. For example, a movie or TV show may be available on a streaming platform in one country but not in another due to licensing agreements.
Nothing is more frustrating than finding that movie you had your heart set on cannot be streamed in your country.
Most popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer, implement geo-restrictions on their content.
Geo-restrictions aren’t limited to streaming sites and can include gambling, government sites, e-commerce shopping sites and more.
Some are more active in enforcing it than others, but a good VPN can help users to avoid restrictions on all these platforms and more.
It does this by allowing the user to connect to a server in a different country.
This masks your IP address and replaces it with a new one based on the server’s location, which in turn tricks the restricted site or app into thinking that the user is accessing the content from a different location.
VPNs with big server networks, strong security and privacy protections, fast connection speeds, and the ability to unblock services and other such sites are the ideal tool for getting around geo-restrictions and letting you access anything anywhere.
2. Protecting Online Privacy
Online privacy is a major concern for internet users worldwide. People are aware that browsing the internet can lead users to expose their personal information to various entities, such as advertisers, government agencies, and hackers.
Common privacy concerns include data breaches, online tracking, and government surveillance.
ChatVPN knows that a VPN can help protect online privacy by encrypting data and hiding IP addresses. When a user connects to a VPN server, all their internet traffic is redirected through a secure tunnel and encrypted, making it unreadable to anyone who may intercept it.
Additionally, a VPN user’s IP address is replaced with a new one based on the VPN server’s location, making it difficult to track and log the user’s online activities.
Using a VPN for improved privacy will help prevent hackers from intercepting sensitive information, such as login credentials and financial data.
It will also help bypass censorship and restrictions imposed by governments or ISPs, allowing users to access blocked websites and content and enabling online activity that authoritarian regimes and other governments may try to suppress.
That’s why when you ask ChatGPT about how to protect your online privacy, it will invariably recommend using a VPN. It recognises that VPN users can take control of their online privacy and protect themselves from various online threats.
3. Secure Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks are everywhere, and they are convenient. But they also come with significant risks. A recent Forbes survey found that “43% Have Had Their Online Security Compromised While Using Public Wi-Fi.”
This number sounds overly high to us but the fact is a risk remains.
Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured, making it easy for hackers to intercept users’ internet traffic and steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and personal data.
Using a VPN is an effective way to protect against these risks, according to ChatGPT. And it is absolutely right. We have never had a security incident on public Wi-Fi when using a VPN.
A VPN encrypts the user’s internet data, making it unreadable to anyone who may try to intercept it. This means that even if a hacker manages to access the network, they won’t be able to read the user’s data.
When choosing a VPN service for secure public Wi-Fi use, you should consider several factors. Ensure that the VPN service uses robust encryption protocols and a no-logs policy, meaning they do not store any information about users’ online activities.
It is also recommended that users should choose a VPN service with a large server network and fast connection speeds to ensure that the VPN can bypass any geographical restrictions and provides a fast and reliable connection.
Public Wi-Fi networks are great. But ChatGPT recognises that you need to employ the right security and privacy protections when using them. And a VPN is exactly what you need.
4. Remote Work
Remote work has become increasingly important in today’s digital age, allowing employees to work productively from anywhere in the world, avoid the grinding daily commute, improve their work-life balance, as well as providing companies with access to a global talent pool.
However, remote work also introduces security risks, as employees need to access company resources from outside the office network.
ChatGPT recognises that VPNs provide a secure way for remote workers to access company resources, such as email, files, and applications.
By encrypting data and creating a secure connection to the company’s network, VPNs ensure that sensitive information remains protected, even when employees are working from insecure public Wi-Fi networks or weak domestic internet connections.
When choosing a VPN for remote work, it’s important to select a provider that offers strong AES-256 encryption and secure VPN protocols, such as OpenVPN or WireGuard. Additionally, a VPN should offer fast and reliable connections and a large number of servers to choose from.
For less tech-savvy employees, a good remote work VPN should be user-friendly, with simple installation and configuration processes, to minimise unnecessary disruptions to employees’ work routines.
But these are easily found, and with a VPN, companies can ensure that their remote workers can work securely and productively from anywhere in the world.
5. Online Gaming
VPNs can improve online gaming experiences in several ways, as ChatGPT knows all too well.
One of the biggest benefits of using a VPN for online gaming is reduced lag. When gamers connect to a VPN server, their internet traffic is encrypted and routed through a different server, which can help reduce the latency or delay in online gaming.
VPNs also provide access to different servers, which can be beneficial for gamers looking to play games that are not available in their region.
For example, some games are only launched in certain countries initially, but a keen player can use a VPN to connect to a server in that country and start playing as soon as it is released there.
When selecting a VPN for online gaming, it’s important to look for providers that offer fast and reliable connections with low latency and minimal packet loss.
Additionally, users should choose VPNs with servers located in the regions they wish to play in and look for VPN providers which offer apps for their preferred gaming console or device.
We are big fans of Call of Duty and have used a VPN to play COD: Warzone Mobile, which is currently only available in Australia. It works, and it was amazing fun. You can try it now too!
6. P2P File Sharing
P2P file sharing allows users to share files between each other online without the need for a central server. This type of file sharing is popular among users who want to share large files quickly and easily, such as music, movies, and software.
However, P2P file sharing can also pose risks to users, such as exposing their IP addresses.
This is where VPNs can be helpful, as ChatGPT knows all too well. A VPN can protect users during file-sharing activities by encrypting their traffic and hiding their IP addresses. In this way, users can torrent or file-share content with each other easily and safely.
When choosing a VPN for P2P file sharing, it’s important to look for providers that allow and support this type of activity (some don’t) and for VPNs that offer fast and reliable connections to ensure that file-sharing is fast and dependable.
Additionally, users should look for VPNs that offer strong encryption and a no-logs policy to ensure the highest level of privacy and security for their file-sharing activities and features like a kill switch.
7. Accessing Censored Content
Internet censorship is the practice of restricting access to certain websites or online content. This practice is often used by authoritarian regimes, but it is also practised by other organisations such as schools, colleges, and workplaces to control what people can access online.
VPNs can be an effective tool for bypassing internet censorship and accessing blocked content from anywhere, including the most brutal dictatorships like China.
By connecting to a VPN server located in a different country, users can bypass geographical restrictions and access content that may be censored in their own country.
VPNs can also help users evade government surveillance and censorship by encrypting their internet traffic and hiding their IP addresses. Even China cannot prevent people from using VPNs to circumvent their rules.
When selecting a VPN for accessing censored content, it’s important to choose a provider that has servers located in countries with free and open internet policies.
It’s also important to choose a VPN that offers strong encryption and a no-logs policy, to ensure maximum privacy and security as well as features like a kill switch to ensure your VPN connection doesn’t drop out.
Additionally, users should look for VPNs with fast and reliable connections, to ensure that they can access content quickly and easily and make sure your VPN provider’s no logs guarantee is 100% reliable.
8. Online Shopping
We all shop online these days, and Chat GPT knows well that staying safe while doing so is imperative. That’s why it suggests that using a VPN while online shopping can offer a number of benefits for consumers.
VPNs can help protect sensitive financial information when shopping online by encrypting users’ internet traffic and hiding their IP address. This makes it more difficult for hackers to intercept credit card details and other personal information during transactions.
They can also help consumers save money by allowing them to compare prices across different regions and be sure they are getting the best possible deal and save money on their purchases.
Our best example was a team member who was shopping on Oxford Street and, after finding a much cheaper deal on a suit online, ended up getting it shipped from Hong Kong at a huge discount.
When choosing a VPN for online shopping, it’s important to look for one that offers strong encryption and a no-logs policy, is good for public Wi-Fi networks, and which offers servers in a variety of different countries to ensure that users can access prices and deals from around the world.
Additionally, users should choose a VPN provider with fast and reliable connections to ensure that they can browse and shop online without any interruptions.
9. Streaming Services
Streaming services have revolutionised the way we enjoy entertainment, but many are restricted to specific regions due to licensing agreements.
This means that users may not be able to access their favourite content when they are travelling or living abroad.
As we have already touched on, VPNs can help users avoid geo-restrictions on streaming services by connecting to a server in a different location. This allows them to make the most of their expensive streaming subscriptions.
When choosing a VPN for streaming services, it’s important to select one that is compatible with popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney +, and Amazon Prime Video.
We know from experience nothing is more frustrating than getting a VPN set up and then finding it can’t unblock what we want to use.
Additionally, users should look for a VPN with fast and reliable connections to ensure smooth streaming without buffering or other connection issues.
It’s also important to choose a VPN with strong encryption to protect user’s data and privacy while streaming online, and which offer servers in the countries you think you might want to stream content from.
10. Bypassing ISP Throttling
ISP throttling is a practice where internet service providers intentionally slow down internet speeds for certain activities such as streaming or downloading. It is extremely prevalent in the USA but can also be an issue for internet users in the UK and elsewhere too.
Throttling can cause frustration for users who experience slow loading times and buffering at peak hours or when doing certain things online. However, by using a VPN, users can avoid ISP throttling and boost their connection speeds.
VPNs encrypt traffic and hide online activities from ISPs, making it pretty much impossible for them to identify which activities to throttle. This allows users to access content without interference or slow speeds, as ChatGPT will tell you.
Choosing the right VPN to bypass ISP throttling is important. Users should look for a VPN provider that offers strong encryption, fast connection speeds, and has a no-logs policy.
It is, however, also important to note that while a VPN can help improve speeds, it may not be a complete solution for all cases of throttling, especially if the throttling is caused by network congestion or other technical issues rather than an ISP trying to control what you are doing online.
11. Secure Communication
Secure communication is critical when dealing with sensitive information. In today’s world, where most communication takes place over the internet, it’s essential to use secure channels to protect personal and confidential data.
For some professions and activists, it is vital to have a safe and secure online communication channel.
A VPN can provide an extra layer of protection for your online communication, ensuring that your data remains secure, as ChatGPT is well aware.
VPNs encrypt your data, including emails, chats, and online voice and video calls, by creating a secure tunnel between your device and an external VPN server.
This encrypted tunnel protects your data from cybercriminals, hackers, government spies, and even your internet service provider.
It makes it almost impossible for anyone to intercept your communication and access your sensitive information. Using a VPN makes a secure communication channel even more robust.
When choosing a VPN, it’s essential to ensure that it has strong encryption standards, with a minimum AES-256 military-grade level of encryption. This is the highest level of encryption currently available and is virtually uncrackable.
Additionally, look for a VPN that uses secure protocols such as OpenVPN and WireGuard. Avoid VPNs that use outdated and insecure protocols like PPTP or L2TP, and always opt for one with a verifiable no-user logs guarantee.
12. Online Anonymity
Online anonymity is the ability of internet users to hide their identity and activity online and go about their business anonymously.
This is important for people who value their privacy or want to access content that is not available in their country due to censorship or geo-restrictions.
When you connect to a VPN server, your internet traffic is routed through a remote server, and your IP address is hidden and replaced with the server’s IP address.
This makes it extremely difficult for websites, advertisers, and governments to track your online activity and link it back to you. However, it’s not possible so it’s important to understand that a VPN alone isn’t a solution to total online anonymity.
Additionally, VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, making it almost impossible for anyone to intercept or monitor your online activity.
To select a VPN service that prioritises user privacy, we recommend that you should choose a service that does not log user activity or keep records of any personal information.
Avoid VPNs that are based in countries with strict data retention laws or have links to the 5, 9, and 13 eyes groups of countries. Look for VPNs that are based in privacy-friendly jurisdictions, such as the British Virgin Islands or Panama.
The ability to conduct secure and private research access is important for academics, journalists, and anyone else who values their privacy.
VPNs can help protect users’ online activity and browser history during research by encrypting their internet traffic and hiding their IP address. This makes it difficult for anyone to monitor or track researchers’ online activity and, so ensure their work remains private and confidential.
VPNs also allow users to access content that may be restricted in their country due to government censorship or other reason, such as academic journals or news articles that are banned by the government.
As a researcher who has been based overseas, I know all too well how challenging this can make our work.
When choosing a VPN for research purposes, researchers are advised to select a VPN with a strict no-logs policy. This means that the VPN provider does not keep any logs of users’ online activity, including browsing history, IP addresses, or timestamps.
As such, you can be sure that your online activity remains private and secure.
You should also look to choose a VPN with strong encryption and plenty of servers in free and open countries where all the information you want to research is available.
Travelling can be a big problem when it comes to accessing online services. As we have already noted, many countries have restrictions on certain websites and services, while some online services use geo-restriction to stop users in different countries from accessing content.
This can make it difficult for travellers to stay connected to their favourite websites and streaming services when they are overseas. Additionally, using public Wi-Fi networks can put travellers at risk of cyber-attacks and identity theft.
As ChatGPT will tell you, a VPN can help solve these challenges. VPNs allow users to bypass restrictions and access content that may be blocked in certain countries.
If that wasn’t enough, they also encrypt users’ internet traffic, making it almost impossible for cybercriminals or government spies to intercept your online activity.
The best VPNs for travellers are ones that have a large server network to ensure that you can access websites from multiple countries.
Additionally, choose a VPN that offers fast connection speeds (to avoid any lag or buffering while browsing) and that offers strong encryption and a no-logs policy to ensure your online activity remains private and secure.
Security and privacy really matter, but our view is that speed is next on the list. When you are on the road, being able to get what you are doing online sorted asap with no connection problems really is worth its weight in gold.
15. Digital Activism
Digital activism is an important aspect of modern society, providing a platform for individuals and organisations to raise awareness of issues that matter to them and advocate for social, political, and environmental causes.
However, on certain issues and in some countries, digital activism can also expose activists to surveillance and other serious repercussions.
VPNs are a vital tool to help protect digital activists’ privacy and security, as ChatGPT will tell you.
VPNs will encrypt digital activists’ internet traffic and hide their IP address. This makes it difficult for governments, law enforcement agencies, or other organisations to monitor their online activity and punish them for what they are doing online.
Another way that VPNs can help activists is to bypass online censorship and access restricted content, as well as ensuring that their message reaches a wider audience.
A privacy-focused VPN is essential for digital activists, and that means finding one located in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction and which has a strict no-logs policy.
The right VPN should also offer strong encryption and security protocols to ensure your online activity is secure. Additionally, choose a VPN that has a kill switch feature, which will disconnect your internet connection if the VPN connection is lost, preventing any of your online activity from being exposed.
Digital activism is increasingly vital to upholding our freedoms and democracy around the world. And VPNs play a vital role in enabling this to happen.
16. Network Testing
Network security testing is essential for organisations to ensure the protection of their systems and data from potential cyber threats.
However, testing from internal locations may not provide an accurate picture of the organisation’s security posture. However, as ChatGPT recommends, VPNs can be used to test network security from external locations, providing a more comprehensive analysis.
Because a VPN can allow users to connect to servers located in different geographic locations, it can also be used to simulate external access to an organisation’s network.
This enables security professionals to identify vulnerabilities and test the effectiveness of their security measures from an external perspective.
When choosing a VPN service for network testing, look for a provider that offers a large server network with servers located in multiple countries, including the most likely origins of cyber-attacks.
You should also choose a VPN that supports multiple security protocols and provides strong encryption to ensure secure communication during testing.
17. Protecting IoT Devices
The increasing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in homes and workplaces presents a growing security risk.
IoT devices are often vulnerable to cyber-attacks due to poor security practices, leaving them susceptible to hacking and data breaches. VPNs can help secure smart home devices by providing an encrypted tunnel between the devices and the internet, protecting them from cyber threats.
Most IoT devices are not compatible with VPNs directly, so the way to protect them is to use a VPN-enabled router to ensure that every device in your home is protected by your VPN.
When you have done this, the device’s IP address is hidden, making it harder for hackers to identify and target them. It will also encrypt the device’s data, ensuring that all communication between the device and the internet is secure and hidden from view.
When selecting a VPN service that is compatible with IoT devices, look for a VPN that supports your VPN-enabled router and which offers robust encryption and supports multiple security protocols.
Privacy protections are important too, and we know from experience that it’s also important to choose a VPN that offers good customer support in case you encounter any issues, especially with setting your VPN up with your router, which will usually have to be done manually.
18. Accessing Home Network
Remotely accessing your home network offers a variety of benefits, such as accessing files, printers, and other devices while you are outside.
I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve needed to print my son’s homework in a hurry while rushing between appointments.
However, remote access can also pose a security risk if not properly secured.
VPNs can allow secure remote access to home networks by creating a secure and encrypted connection between your smartphone or another remote device and the home network, preventing any potential cyber-attacks or data breaches.
Once you have connected to your VPN, you can securely access files, printers, and other devices without the need for a physical presence. In fact, you can do it from anywhere in the world. This is particularly useful for those who travel frequently or work remotely.
When setting up a VPN to access your home network, ensure that your VPN provider supports remote access and has a dedicated app or software that is compatible with your home router.
You’ll also want to ensure that your router has VPN support enabled, and you might also need to set up port forwarding if necessary.
Check out NordVPN’s meshnet that allows you to create a private network across the wider internet with ease.
Your VPN should provide guides for all of this. You should also make sure to choose a strong VPN password and enable two-factor authentication for added security.
Like digital activism, journalism plays a vital role in modern society by reporting on issues of public interest and holding those in power accountable.
But journalists these days face many of the same challenges as online activists, with things like protecting their sources and research increasingly hard due to potential surveillance and threats to their safety.
VPNs can help journalists to ensure confidentiality and some anonymity for themselves and their sources by providing secure and encrypted connections to the internet and keeping their online data private.
This is especially important when conducting sensitive research but is also increasingly important at all times. VPNs can also protect journalists from government censorship and internet restrictions, enabling them to access information and report on stories freely.
When journalists are choosing a VPN service, privacy and security features are of paramount importance. ChatGPT will rightly recommend that they look for VPN providers that offer strong encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and have a strong reputation for protecting user privacy.
Other features, such as a kill switch, which automatically disconnects the internet connection if the VPN fails, and multi-hop connections, which provide an extra layer of encryption, are also tools which journalists value.
Recently, ProtonVPN has set up dedicated servers to allow free access to Deutsche Welle (DW) in countries where the broadcaster is blocked.
Proton VPN’s chief technology officer Samuele Kaplun explained that DW approached Proton in the autumn last year “to see if we could help them make their independent reporting available all around the world.”
Such cooperation sees VPNs and journalists working hand in hand. And long may that continue.
20. Online Banking
Last, but by no means least, on our rundown of the top 20 uses for a VPN according to ChatGPT is online banking.
Online banking is ubiquitous these days, but it also poses significant risks, particularly when conducted over public Wi-Fi networks.
Hackers can easily intercept personal and financial information, such as credit card details and login credentials, leaving users vulnerable to identity theft and financial fraud. Most of us will know someone who has fallen victim to an online banking scam. I certainly know more than one.
VPNs can provide a vital extra layer of security for online banking by encrypting your data when it is sent between a user’s device and the bank’s servers. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to intercept and access sensitive financial information.
When choosing a VPN service for online banking, it’s important to select one that provides robust security features. Look for a VPN provider that offers strong encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and additional features such as ad-blocking and malware protection, which can further enhance your security and privacy.
There is nothing worse than finding your online bank account has been emptied out, or, worse still, scammers have run up debt in your name.
Why take that risk when a VPN can go a long way to helping prevent it?
Did ChatGPT miss out an important use? We would love to know so drop us a comment below.