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And in the past I’ve mentioned an important tool you can use called a VPN or Virtual Private Network, to encrypt your internet connection and secure it from prying eyes.
So today I’m going to go over a bunch of specific situations for when you could use a VPN that I didn’t talk about before, and look at some examples in action.
And I do really like the service because I’ve found it to be more user-friendly than others, and has some pretty unique features I’ve never seen in other VPNs, such as special Anti-DDOS servers, Double-VPN servers, and Peer-to-Peer servers for things like torrenting.
To start off, the first major benefit to a VPN is the privacy you have when using one.
And because there are many people using the same server, you are effectively anonymous.
Let me show you what this looks like.
In this example we can pick any of the server locations from NordVPN, and whatever one we choose is the IP every website will see us as.
And if you want to switch IPs, you can just pick a new servers, and you can instantly have a new IP address, even from another country, it doesn’t matter, and you can see this page keeps showing the different IP addresses every time.
The way it works, is any connections you want to make are first encrypted, and sent to NordVPN‘s servers, then your connection is made at the other end of this “tunnel” you can think of it as.
Going back to the privacy aspect, this will also mean search engines and other websites won’t be able to track your behavior, and if you’re on a school or work network, they can’t spy on you and see what you’re doing.
And another important think I should mention is you definitely want to make sure the VPN service you use does not keep logs, or else who knows, the government should show up and get your data that way, and NordVPN does not keep logs, so that is great.
So onto number two, this is a very common situation where you should DEFINITELY use a VPN, which is when connecting to an open WiFi hotspot.
If you weren’t aware, open Wi-Fi hotspots, meaning ones that don’t have a password to connect, do not encrypt the data being sent between your device and that hotspot.
So unless the websites you’re visiting are using HTTPS, you are literally broadcasting everything you’re doing for anyone to listen in on.
Like I said before, when you connect through a VPN, everything is encrypted before it even leaves your computer, so it doesn’t matter if you’re on an open Wi-Fi hotspot, because your connction is made secure.
Now I’m not even just talking about your computer here though, because you might use public WiFi on your phone as well, and yes, it is possible to use a VPN on your phone.
So NordVPN does indeed have an app you can use on your iOS or Android phone, along with the Windows and MacOS program.
And you’ll see it’s a pretty similar process, you pick a server, connect to it, and you’re data is secure whether you’re on Wi-Fi or cellular.
You’ll know it’s working because on iOS it will show a VPN icon at the top, and on Android you’ll see a small key icon.
So I’m sure there are some of you out there for whom it’s worth it just to use on your phone, even if you don’t carry around a laptop anywhere.
Alright, the third reason is something I’m sure many of us can relate to, which is a VPN will allow you to bypass web filters that may be in place at your work, school, or university.
Now I’m NOT encouraging you to use this to waste time when you should be doing work, but there are definitely times when you have a legitimate reason to look something up on the internet, and the website is blocked for some reason.
I’ll show you a real life example right now, where I just went into my router settings and put a block on YouTube.com.
So if I try to go to it, no connection, as you’d expect, and you’ve probably seen places that will show you a screen letting you know it was blocked.
Now if we just connect to another NordVPN server, doesn’t take long, instantly have access to YouTube again, the block is gone.
And this doesn’t have to be just for a school or work filter, a VPN can also help you bypass things like country-wide internet censorship, such as the infamous “Great Firewall of China.”
In that case, you might need a VPN to acccess certain websites AT ALL no matter where you are, so this can come in real handy.
Speaking of filters though, a neat thing about NordVPN is a feature called “CyberSec,” which will help filter out malicious sites you might accidentally come across.
It’s optional of course, but I think is worth keeping on to play it safe.
Ok so now we have a fourth reason you should get a VPN, which is it can allow you to bypass location-based media restrictions in most cases.
So for example, how many times have you gone to watch a YouTube article and it says it’s not available in your country?
And the same goes for Netflix which only has certain movies and shows available in certain countries.
Now I don’t think Netflix and YouTube would be very happy if I were to show me actually bypassing their restrictions in this article, but it’s pretty easy.
As you can imagine, you just need to choose a VPN server in a country where the website will allow that content.
You can see here in the NordVPN program you can either click on a country and it will automatically select a server for you, or you can go to the list of countries and pick an individual server.
And as you can see there are a ton of these, theres literally over a thousand.
When you’re connected to that country’s server, you’ll have an IP address from that country, and it will look like that’s where you are.
Ok now a fifth reason you’d want to get a VPN is because of throttling from your internet service provider.
Not all of them do this, but there are plenty of ISPs that will limit your connection based on what program or service you’re using at the time.
A very common example is peer to peer downloading, such as with torrenting.
I’d be willing to bet if you did a search for “Your ISP Name” and “Throttling,” there’s a good chance a lot will come up.
With a VPN, all your data is put through the same encrypted tunnel, so your ISP will never know for sure what you’re doing at any time, so they can’t throttle anything.
Keep in mind though, not all VPN services will allow peer to peer services like torrent, but as you guessed it, NordVPN is one of those that do, which is another reason I was happy with them sponsoring this article.
They actually have specialty servers you can connect to for Peer to peer, so I’m assuming they have some optimizations with those for this purpose.
While we’re in this tab I can show you some of the other cool specialty servers too.
For example there are Anti-DDOS servers, which are resistant to denial of service attacks, and good if you really want an uninterupted connection.
Then there’s the Double VPN servers which I find pretty interesting, it actually encrypts your connection twice through multiple server nodes, so I don’t think you can get much more secure than that.
But there is another pretty unique server called “Onion over VPN,” where you can access the so-called “Onion Router” network or Tor, without having to even download the tor browser.
If you’re not familiar with Tor that’s a bit beyond the scope of this article, but it is a very secure way of connecting to the internet, but usually requires a good amount of time to set up correctly, and this makes it really easy.
So obviously there are a ton of uses for a VPN that you might not have thought of before, and these were just 5 big ones I came up with.
Like you saw it’s easy to use even if you’ve never used a VPN before, but there are features for advanced users as well.
For example if you want to connect using the OpenVPN protocol or others you can do that, you can pay with bitcoin, and there’s an automatic kill switch option, which will kill the connection if the VPN connection drops, so you won’t accidentally expose your real IP.
So, I hope you guys found this article helpful.