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Why use a VPN service?

Updated on December 2, 2010

Advanced Internet surfers use a VPN service for many valid reasons

  1. Prevent online profiling -  The majority of people use a VPN service to protect their online surfing activity from the thousands of companies that have an interest in what you do online. Most companies which record what people do online do so to build profiles that they can sell to advertising companies. People using a VPN service believe they should have be able to control who, when and where companies have access to any personal data related to them.
  2. Bypassing geographical Internet restrictions - Due to licensing restrictions, some companies, especially media companies which stream live TV and music over the Internet choose to only allow users within a specific geographic area, usually a country to access their service. Examples of companies with such restrictions are Hulu in the USA and BBC iPlayer in the UK. When you use a VPN service, you can usually choose the country in which the server is that you want to connect to, effectively making you appear to be located in that country.
  3. Bypassing government level censorship -  Some countries, mostly in the middle and far east have chosen to restrict access to certain websites based on their censorship laws. Individuals who are temporarily living in these countries and require access to websites that they had access to before can use a VPN service to bypass these restrictions. Dubai for example has been known to block access to Skype.
  4. Encrypt communications - When connecting to the Internet from an untrusted location such as a wifi hotspot in an Airport or an Internet cafe in a coffee shop, your traffic should be encrypted to prevent eavesdropping and other more sophisticated attacks. A VPN service will encrypt your traffic using advanced encryption protocols such as AES to ensure that any sensitive information remains secure.

VPN Tunnel

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    • profile image

      Lucker 6 years ago

      I use vpn for streaming Netflix from US. www.boxpn.com provides this service with HD streaming.

    • profile image

      hubberholic 7 years ago

      Another great use of VPN is so that your boss can't track what your online activity is, is that right?

    • Maddison81 profile image
      Author

      Maddison81 7 years ago from California, USA

      Hey Grace, No, you can connect from any country where you have Internet access. As long as you have a sufficiently fast Internet connection, you should have no problem streaming live UK television.. In fact this is one of the most popular uses of a VPN service. Hope that helps!

    • profile image

      Grace 7 years ago

      Does it matter which counntry you connect from or can you connect to one of these VPN services from anywhere? I'd love to be able to catchup on my Brit sitcoms from my home in Ibiza. Very interesting information, thank you!

    • profile image

      Andy 7 years ago

      It would seem to me that many people also you VPN services to download copyright material? Is this true? I never knew that you could bypass geographic restrictions using a VPN but I guess if all your traffic is coming from the VPN server then its impossible for the website to tell where you are actually located.

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