So, you hopped onto the cybersecurity train, and now you’re wondering, “what else can I do with a VPN (Virtual Private Network)?” The answer: a lot!
I’m here to share with you that VPN uses don’t just stop at
- safeguarding your information online;
- helping you avoid hackers and authorities from getting your data;
- privatizing your online activities.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of 11 ways to use your VPN beyond privacy and security. Try it out yourself and get the best out of your VPN! Let’s get to it.
- Get cheaper bookings (flights, car rentals, hotels, etc.)
- Enjoy the best deals for online shopping
- Create the ultimate lockdown streaming hub
- Comment and publish opinions anonymously
- Speed up your internet connection
- Get more “free” services and websites
- Unlock social media apps
- Research your competition privately
- Avoid “the list”
- Skype call for free (or cheaper)
- Unblock VoIP services
1. Get cheaper bookings (flights, car rentals, hotels, etc.)
Searching for a specific booking may result in fluctuating prices. Also, it’s common for a Mac user to get higher prices than a Windows user. Crazy right? Well, it all comes down to cookies and your interest in buying this specific ticket, car, room, etc.
My advice – test out different server locations with your VPN on and see how prices differ. Then, you’ll start seeing how much money you can save on your next trip.
2. Enjoy the best deals for online shopping
Depending on your location, some retailers may increase the price of their items. The difference is due to taxes and import costs across countries.
Research done by Pricerunner.com compared the prices of a MacBook Air, iPad, and iPhone combined. The cheapest came out at $2,225 in Tokyo. The most expensive came out at $4,160 in Sao Paulo. A massive difference!
My advice – check different server locations to see which price is the lowest. You could even save money to spend while on vacation!
3. Create the ultimate lockdown streaming hub
A pandemic can bring you to a dead-end in binge-watching — also, rewatching everything gets repetitive. In this case, a VPN lets you access global content that’s usually only available outside of your country, including foreign TV shows, movies, sports, and more!
Also, you can connect all your devices to one subscription. Stream all you want on your phone while surfing the web in privacy on your laptop. You can do all this even without slowing down the speed!
My advice – stop rewatching everything and create your own international streaming hub with a VPN. Don’t have time? Take a look at the one we made!
4. Comment and publish opinions anonymously
When we don’t like something, we recommend others not make the same mistake. What if this results in being harassed or even sued over a negative review? It has happened, and it can happen to anyone who doesn’t protect their online identity.
So, if your online identity is private, tracking you down will be more difficult. The same goes for journalists and bloggers who cover controversial topics.
My advice – hide your IP with a VPN and then post any comments or reviews. In this way, you’ll safely be able to share the truth with others.
5. Speed up your internet connection
If you find yourself waiting for a website or video to load, you may be suffering from ISP throttling. In many cases, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) may purposely be slowing down (throttling) your connection.
My advice – keep your VPN on at all times, and for the best speed, choose a server that’s closest to your physical location.
6. Get more “free” services and websites
Like Harvard Business Review, some websites offer a range of daily news and stories. Most of the time, though, you can only access a limited number of entries before needing to sign up. Other useful online tools like moz.com allow an “X” number of “free” daily searches.
Each time you visit these websites, they track your IP (Internet Protocol) address. That’s how they know when you’ve reached your limit. So, how do you get around this?
My advice – choose a different server from your VPN app every time you reach the limit. Open the website or tool in a new private browsing window, and they’ll see you as a new visitor.
7. Unlock social media apps
According to a study analyzing social media censorship, “almost one in three countries have blocked social media either permanently or sporadically since 2015.” If you happen to travel to one of these countries, you likely won’t have access to social media.
My advice – when using any social media apps in countries where it’s blocked, connect to a server located in a neighboring country using a VPN and browse as usual.
8. Research your competition privately
Thanks to Google Analytics and other tools, a webmaster can see all visitors on their website. They can track your digital trail and see who exactly you are and what information you took an interest in – even when researching your competition.
My advice – stay anonymous while doing any internet research and browsing. Just turn on your VPN, and you’ll be good to go.
9. Avoid “the list”
Downloading and file-sharing may get you noticed by specific agencies – even if it’s legal. These include the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), the NSA (National Security Agency), the GCHQ (The UK’s Government Communications Headquarters), and more.
Though their main goal is to track illegally downloaded and shared information, that doesn’t stop them from keeping an eye on you.
My advice – play it safe by using a VPN for torrenting or downloading anything online. Torrent services have some level of security but may not always be effective, especially when it comes to ID leaks.
10. Skype call for free (or cheaper)
Skype can connect you to your loved ones who are far away. But, calling someone’s landline or mobile phone can get expensive.
My advice – go around this with a VPN (e.g. Surfshark works well with Skype) and choose a server in the receiver’s country and call for free or get cheaper rates.
11. Unblock VoIP services
Want to contact your relatives via VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services, like Viber or WhatsApp, but can’t because of restrictions in their country? You can get around this with a VPN, even in countries that ban VoIP services like the UAE.
My advice – choose a server where the VoIP service is available and enjoy connecting with others hassle-free!
Explore your VPN beyond privacy and security
Though the ultimate goal is to secure your digital life, there are many other things to do with a VPN. As you can see, these eleven tips and tricks can help you save money, stream more content, browse in anonymity, and so much more! If you love surfing the web, getting access to blocked content, and discovering the hidden possibilities online, I definitely recommend always using a VPN.
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