VPN (Virtual Private Network) tools are quite simple to use. Most of them are very user-friendly and designed to be used by users of all skill levels. So even if you are completely new to them, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.
If you are completely new to VPNs, here’s a quick rundown on how to use VPNs.
How to use a VPN
Using a VPN is very easy:
- Download a reputable VPN from an official source and install it.
- If necessary, purchase a VPN subscription.
- Open the installed VPN, and log in/create an account.
- Connect to a server of your choice.
- Use the Internet freely.
5 ways to use a VPN
One of the most common uses for VPNs is streaming. Users who use or want to use streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, etc., often encounter geographical restrictions. It’s no secret that the content users can see (or if they can access a streaming service at all) depends on where they are located. For example, Netflix users located in the US have access to a much larger content library than users in Europe or Asia. This is usually because of licensing agreements. Even if the streaming services do not have full control over this, users still find it very annoying that they cannot watch shows available in other countries even though they pay the same or similar amounts of money. Because VPNs allow users to spoof their locations, they are the perfect tool for streaming.
VPNs are also often used when gaming. They allow users to access video games that may not be available to them because of their location. VPNs also conceal users’ information (e.g. IP address) when gaming online, which is important because the video game scene is not known to be particularly safe. A VPN can help users protect themselves against things like DDoS attacks.
The main purpose of using a VPN is to protect privacy when online. VPNs encrypt users’ traffic and essentially conceal it from all parties, including the ISP or someone malicious. Trustworthy VPNs also do not keep logs of users’ online activities so whatever users do when online, no one can see.
Using the Internet with a VPN is much safer, especially when using free/unprotected WiFi networks. Public WiFi is accessible to anyone, and even if it’s password protected if anyone can get the password, the network is not safe. Malicious actors can be connected to public WiFi, waiting until they can steal an unsuspecting user’s login credentials and information. But when using a VPN, using public WiFi becomes safe because no one can see what you’re doing.
Concealing your IP address with a VPN is always recommended when using torrents. This is especially the case if you torrent copyrighted content. We do not encourage pirating movies, TV series, books, video games, etc., because it’s technically content theft, but if you were to do it, a VPN is a must. Otherwise, it would be very easy to trace you.
- Better Internet speed
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can slow down users’ Internet during particularly busy times when the network is congested. This is called bandwidth throttling. If you are, for example, downloading a very large file when the network is already strained, your ISP might lower your speed.
If you pay for high-speed Internet, it may be annoying if your ISP decreases your speed. If you use a VPN, your ISP will not know what you’re doing so it will not be able to tell when your speed should be decreased.
- Are VPNs legal?
In the majority of the world, VPNs are legal. VPN usage is not regulated in most countries but if you are located in a country with strict censorship, you should check the laws before using it. VPNs are not legal in China, Russia, Iran, UAE, North Korea, Belarus, Tajikistan, Slovenia, Somalia, and Nicaragua, to name a few
- Is using a VPN safe?
VPNs are perfectly safe to use if you use a reputable one. There are plenty of questionable VPNs that collect and sell users’ data, so they are not exactly safe to use. This is why you should research VPNs before downloading them.
- Can you use a free VPN?
Free VPNs are a bit of a controversial topic. Generally, it’s not recommended to use them because their data collection practices are more than questionable. Free VPNs are free for a reason, they make revenue by selling the browsing data they collect. So unless you do not care about your privacy, it’s better to avoid free VPNs.
- Can you be traced when using a VPN?
As long as you use a good VPN that encrypts traffic, keeps no logs of your online activities, and has a kill switch, you will not be traced when connected to a VPN.
- How much does a VPN cost?
Good VPNs with premium features are paid programs, as maintaining extensive networks of servers is expensive. VPN prices start at $10/month if you pay on a monthly basis but you can get a VPN for as cheap as $2/month if you buy long-term subscriptions.