Nearly a quarter of the UK (23%) understands the need for a VPN. That’s 4% more than the US, where only 19% of the population knows how a Virtual Private Network works. Interestingly, 44% of Internet users interviewed in a recent study in the UK have used a VPN for personal or business reasons.
Why are VPNs getting popular so fast? For starters, people are more wary of data privacy after the launch of the Investigatory Powers Act in 2016. In case you’re wondering, this new law allows the UK government to spy on its citizens and visitors with uncontrolled freedom.
Below are more reasons why VPN subscriptions are increasing in the UK.
#1: Data Encryption
Virtual Private networks encrypt your data while you surf the web. In doing so, VPNs prevent Internet spies like ISP providers, hackers and governments from getting access to your sensitive personal or financial information.
The best VPNs use Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), a data protection technique used to secure classified files in the US and the UK. As such, your data is entirely safe when using a top-rated VPN.
However, you you’re not totally safe when using many free VPNs and operators whose policies including logging your data or working with governments. The primary problem with many VPNs is that they don’t used advanced data encryption methods. Also, many of them collect your data.
#2: Surfing Anonymously
VPNs hide your computer’s IP address while you browse the Internet. What’s more, they give you temporary IP addresses located in remote servers spread out across the world. When using the Internet, your data is tunneled through the remote servers so that no one can detect your exact location.
Although many VPNs tunnel your data through one remote server, some operators have a feature that tunnels your data through two servers. It’s called a double VPN and provides twice the security you get from regular VPNs.
#3: Find Great Deals Online
One attractive quality of VPNs is that they can help you find great deals online. Think of flight deals, shopping discounts and casino bonuses. Without a VPN, businesses track your data and decide offers to give you based on where you live among other factors.
With a VPN in use, online businesses have little information about you and therefore, give you their best deals. This trick works best if you can switch your VPN location around to determine which cities attract the best offers.
Let’s say you want to buy Holiday gifts. Set your VPN location to Cardiff and discover the deals you get. Then switch to Glasgow, Liverpool and London. In many cases, you’ll get varying offers based on your exact location.
#4: Access Geo-Fenced Content
Ever wished you could access BBC iPlayer while on your African Safaris? Or are you interested in watching Netflix US shows while in Cardiff? A good VPN is all you need. Then you’ll have the freedom to access websites, apps and streaming networks based in any part of the world.
For many VPNs, Netflix US is the hardest website to crack. So, look out for an operator that breaks Netflix’s Geo-fencing security and you’ll have a good VPN. China’s Great Firewall can also be a hard nut to crack for many companies.
As such, don’t put your faith on just about any VPN on your next trip to China. Instead, subscribe to a highly rated VPN for a great experience. That said, VPNs slow your connections a little bit, so check for a VPN with fast uploads and downloads.
#5: Avoid Bandwidth Throttling
ISP providers have a lot of power when it comes to throttling your network connectivity. For example, they can slow your connections while streaming content on some websites, say video game’s Twitch.
They throttle your network because they want to lower the amount of data you use. And that’s despite the fact that you pay for Internet transmission. Of course, they could also lower your network for valid reasons, like when you meet your data limit.
All the same, a VPN allows you to hide the websites you visit so that ISP providers don’t throttle your network. VPNs can’t help you if you’re slow Internet is a result of poor services from the ISP provider. But they can help you when ISP companies target your transmissions for selfish reasons.
#6: Protection from Public WiFi Risks
Using the Internet without a VPN is a risk. Browsing the net using public WiFi is an even bigger risk because your data is available to a lot more people. If you can’t avoid using public WiFi, though, a VPN could be your best line of defense.
As we mentioned earlier, VPNs not only hide your IP address but they also encrypt your data. Some of them also block malware and viruses. Additionally, they can provide dedicated servers for downloading stuff from risky places like torrent sites.
The standard advice is that you should use all security resources available to you for the utmost protection. In other words, don’t put your entire security faith on a VPN. Use an antimalware program too and Tor browser when you want better anonymity.
#7: Reduce Targeted Adverts
If you’re like many people, you don’t really like the way online businesses bombard you with ads. You can’t type anything on Google without seeing related adverts all over your feeds. VPNs can put an end to targeted adverts.
No more pop up adverts. No more getting followed around on YouTube, social media and websites. You can use the Internet without online companies reminding you to buy their products for days.
Of course, you could also turn off cookie-tracking through browser setting. It can help reduce targeted adverts to some extent. Unfortunately, many websites fight back by blocking you until your allow cookies.
In that case, the most convenient way to fight against online advertisers is through a VPN. As we mentioned, you also get the added benefit of viewing the best shopping deals by switching your location.