You probably know that Virtual Private Network (VPN) usage has increased globally over the last three years if you’ve read the joint report by Top10VPN and GlobalWebIndex. The latest news is that VPN usage has spiked even more during the COVID-19 pandemic, with different types of people using the service.
To understand what kind of people, use VPNs, you first must know how they function. So, what does VPN do to protect you? Well, a VPN creates a private network between your device and the Internet by routing your network traffic through a secure tunnel to a VPN server.
A VPN protocol is the set of instructions that shape the VPN connection’s security, speed, and stability. A VPN protocol like OpenVPN or WireGuard that uses 256-bit encryption can take even the best computer today millions of years to crack.
Additionally, a VPN allows you to use the VPN server’s IP address instead of yours, which is critical for two reasons:
- A threat actor can use your IP address to trace you to your home, uncover information about you, dox you, frame you for a crime, commit identity theft, start scams, or other cybercrimes. Masking your IP address goes a long way towards protecting your privacy.
- With another IP address, you can bypass geo-blocks. Streaming websites, gaming platforms, and even shopping pages use geo-blocking technology to block users with IP addresses from certain countries. For example, PayPal uses geo-blocks to stop users from certain countries from accessing its platform. Likewise, Netflix uses it to enforce copyright protection.
Isn’t VPN technology for Criminals? What Type of People Use VPNs?
Indeed, some criminals use VPNs to hide their tracks. However, such people usually use free VPNs. It’s a good idea to avoid free VPNs because they attract bad actors. Additionally, free VPNs can carry malware, are overcrowded, and spy on you. Some free VPNs are counterproductive to use if you’re concerned about privacy because they’re run by states that regularly spy on others.
Here are some types of people that subscribe to reputable and fast VPNs that use cutting edge technology:
- Journalists: Reporters, news anchors, and other types of journalists constantly face threats from trolls, state-sponsored actors, and more because they’re in the business of telling the truth. A private VPN protects
- Activists: People who like to organize against draconian states use VPNs to hide their locations and encrypt their data. Activists can also use VPNs to organize on social media platforms like Twitter that are often banned in less democratic countries.
- Gamers: Video gamers use quick VPNs to bypass geo-blocks and access restricted games. For example, they may use the technology to buy an action game in a country that doesn’t allow its citizens to play first-person shooters. VPNs can also protect their privacy from trolls that can’t stand losing and resort to deadly tactics like swatting.
- Shoppers: Fans of online shopping can use VPNs to access deals unavailable in their countries. They can also mask their locations to shop on air travel websites that gouge repeat visitors.
- TV and film aficionados: As mentioned above, someone with a VPN can consume new TV shows and films.
All types of people use VPNs. Whether you’re concerned about security, privacy, or just want to see your favorite film faster, you can use a top VPN service.