In the Douglas Adams book, A Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy the most useful thing to ever exist was a small fish that, when inserted into one’s ear, would translate any language in the world so the host could understand it. This ‘Babel Fish’ was, in fact, so useful that the book comically claimed it proved that God exists.
If there is an equivalent in modern technological terms then surely it is the VPN. The Virtual Private Network has now got so many uses that it has become an integral part of the online life of many.
We have taken a look at some of the most common, and not so common, uses of VPNs and how they have
become the ‘Babel Fish’ of techies everywhere.
Protection from Public Wi-Fi
We all use the internet when we are out and about and most of us think nothing of it. Yet there are some pretty big risks when using open-access Wi-Fi which are quite concerning when you look at the detail.
The ability for people to steal your personal data or your business data by setting up rogue networks (essentially a
network that disguises itself as a legitimate open-access Wi-Fi). Once you connect to them, they can access all your personal information which poses a real threat.
Worm attacks are also a danger when using public networks and the increased risk of receiving malware also needs to be
kept in mind. So, how to protect yourself?
Using a VPN will create a secure private network that encrypts the data and makes the risk of using public Wi-Fi a lot
smaller. This is now one of the primary reasons business get a VPN subscription. Added to that, this is not necessarily an expensive solution to your data privacy needs and there is also plenty of VPN providers that offer a free and unlimited VPN that no requires a credit card. These often present the chance to upgrade to a paid service if you decide you want more
protection and capabilities.
Viewing Experiences When Abroad
There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to access your favorite shows when you are out of the country
especially if you are on a business trip. And, adding 9 million paying subscribers during the final three months of 2018 alone, it’s unsurprising that viewers don’t want to relinquish their current series while they’re away. If you are stuck in a hotel in Europe or Asia
and want to watch the newest sit-com to hit the platform at home, you will be restricted by the fact that you are not in the right country.
Geo-restrictions are a part of modern life but using a VPN can get you around this issue and have you watching your favorite shows again in no time. Simply turn on the VPN and select the location of the country whose programs you are trying to watch. Once you have done this you will be able to enjoy top-quality streaming right to your device.
If you have ever tried to watch a YouTube video and ever had the message ‘The uploader has not made this video available in your country’, you’ll be happy to hear there’s a quick solution. Like the example above, a VPN has the answers. You can simply download the app or software and then connect to the countries required to watch the videos in question. If you live in a country where YouTube is blocked altogether then the VPN should be able to allow access to the website and service.
Using online banking services
The advent of online banking has really helped people manage their money more easily and without the need to rely on brick-and-mortar branches with limited opening hours. In fact, such is the popularity of online banking that Monzo built one that ‘lives on your smartphone’ back in 2015 and has since been allowed to offer customers current accounts as a result of licensing regulations
being lifted. This is brilliantly convenient but also means you have to use the internet to access your account. Using a VPN is the perfect way to boost your security when conducting online banking. Although mobile phones are harder for hackers to crack than
computers, a VPN offers further security. It should stop ‘eavesdroppers’ getting hold of any of your personal data such as passwords or login codes. A vital measure to keep your money safe online.
So there you have it, just a few of the reasons why the VPN has become one of the most useful inventions of modern times. There are
plenty of other uses for them but hopefully, this list will give you a bit of insight into why they are so popular.