10 benefits of VPN you might not know about

A VPN or virtual private network can be key to achieving online privacy by cutting out eavesdroppers like hackers, your internet service provider, or governments.

A VPN connection encrypts your online activities and helps keep you safe on public Wi-Fi networks in places like coffee shops.

At a basic level, VPNs provide two key benefits.

  • Privacy — by masking things like your IP address, location, and search history, to keep them from being tracked by websites, internet browsers, cable companies, internet service providers (ISPs) and others.
  • Security — by helping protect you from anyone trying to access your personal information and other data you send and receive.

But that’s not all a quality VPN client can offer.

Keep in mind it’s important to first check your service agreements and applicable laws in your region to make sure these benefits can apply to you.

That said, here are some of the benefits you may be missing out on even if you’ve already got a VPN service. Some of the benefits can also help protect your business.

Assert your right to online privacy

Websites and apps can constantly track your activity, analyzing the data they collect. A VPN prevents web browsers and others from accessing your data, helping to keep your information anonymous and secure. Some VPNs also offer military-grade 256-bit encryption of your data.

Escape data-throttling

With a VPN, not only will your data be free from the prying eyes of ISPs and others, but you also won’t be subject to a data cap. ISPs can place caps on data to maximize Internet speed for some of their customers.

Escape bandwidth-throttling

If you’ve experienced slower internet speed on certain websites and at different times, you may have experienced bandwidth throttling. ISPs — or anyone with administrative controls over your network — might be responsible for the slowdown. A VPN can help. It can thwart such sluggishness by encrypting your device’s internet traffic. This prevents anyone on the network from seeing the content of your web traffic and disguises its destination.

Access region-blocked services like Netflix*

Some VPNs may be able to access geo-blocked content such as Netflix and other providers. How? A VPN can change your IP address to make a content provider think you’re browsing in another country that allows access. Note: Always check your service agreements to find out what’s permitted and follow those guidelines.

Avoid censorship when traveling abroad*

Some VPNs can help you bypass geographical restrictions. For instance, some countries restrict or forbid access to certain websites such as social media platforms or censor certain content. A VPN, however, may help grant you access by making your traffic look like it’s coming from a different location. It is the user’s responsibility to identify whether their use of a VPN is legal or not, and to check the country’s laws before using a VPN.

Access regional sports coverage unavailable in your location*

VPNs can help give you access to sports coverage that’s geographically restricted. For instance, a television network such as NBC may not be available for viewing if you’re outside the United States. A VPN may be capable of making viewing possible. Even so, check your streaming service agreement for its Terms of Service, and also be mindful that some countries may have penalties for using VPN to circumvent its rules.

Offer cheaper leased-line alternatives

A VPN can offer certain savings for businesses, in particular. For example, through VPNs, businesses could bypass renting expensive network capacity lines that achieve connectivity between office locations. Instead, they could connect via public infrastructure through cheaper local leased lines or broadband connections through a local ISP.

Offer cheaper long-distance telephone charges

A VPN can reduce long-distance phone charges. For example, instead of connecting via remote access servers and dial-up networks to access a company's intranet, you could connect to your local ISP access point.

Provide network scalability

As organizations grow, so do the costs of building a dedicated private network. Internet-based VPNs allow businesses to tap into network lines and network capability already available, giving remote and international locations in particular better reach and service quality.

Reduce support costs

Using a VPN can help reduce the cost of maintaining servers, because support can be outsourced to third-party service providers--that can support a lower cost structure due to their many clients.

Choosing a VPN

There are a lot a VPNs on the market. The best VPN? That’s will depend on your needs and what you want to pay. Free VPN services may not offer all the features you need, and some services may offer free service in exchange for access to your data.

Here’s the choice. If VPN providers don’t charge user fees, they may pay for their costs through advertising or from gathering and selling your data to third-parties.

Choosing the right VPN for you might mean paying for one, if you value your online privacy.

Remember, a VPN gives you the ability and control to add additional layers of online privacy and security to your online activities.

If you’re considering VPN providers, consider Norton Secure VPN. It offers an easy-to-use and secure private network that will help keep your personal information and data safe from cybercriminals and anyone else who might attempt to intercept your data.

Once you’ve chosen a VPN that’s right for you, you can start enjoying some of the benefits of VPN you might not have known about — that is, before reading this article.

Help take back control of your online privacy.

With the Norton Privacy Manager app, it’s easy to be smart and secure about what information you share online.

*Disclaimer: The subject of the legality/illegality of VPNs in certain areas throughout the world is an ongoing discussion, and what’s legal today may not be next month or year. Further, this article (1) is not comprehensive and (2) should not be relied upon as legal advice to consumers, and (3) is focused on the U.S. only.

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.

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