5 major advantages of using a VPN

NordVPN vs. IPVanish VPN
NordVPN vs. IPVanish VPN (Image credit: Windows Central)

We've been talking a lot about Virtual Private Networks (VPN) lately, mostly thanks to eroding privacy and increased restrictions imposed by internet providers and, in some cases, governments. VPNs are becoming increasingly popular, but they still aren't commonplace. If you're on the fence about whether or not you could benefit from a VPN, this list of advantages should help you make up your mind once and for all.

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Who It's ForEveryoneEveryoneEveryoneEveryone
Free Version?7-day Money Back3-day Trial30-day Money Back7-day Money Back
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VPNs provide increased privacy while online

Keep your phone data private as well!

When you're in public, you wouldn't walk around with your personal information hanging out. The same should be true while you're online; perhaps even more so. It's best to think of the internet as a lawless den where there are hidden eyes watching you at all times. Spooky!

Instead of walking around without any help, why not put on your invisibility cloak? Sure, your foot might poke out now and again, but for the most part, you're hidden. This is analogous to a VPN.

A lot of information can be gleaned from the bits of data left around the web, so why not make that data appear to be coming from the VPN provider instead of you? If you're at all worried about the current state of privacy online, or what might be coming in the future, a VPN can help set your mind at ease.

IP Vanish

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VPNs provide enhanced security while online

I can't connect to a VPN server

While there are measures in place to keep you somewhat safe while browsing the internet, they are hardly enough in our current reality. Whether it's hackers, spammers, spoofers, or anyone else who's looking to extort you, a VPN can help keep you secure.

Say you travel a lot and stay in hostels and hotels. The Wi-Fi you connect to without thinking could be set up by someone looking to steal your information. Every day there are high-profile hacks and leaks that make people wonder what they can do to protect themselves.

With a VPN, you generally know where your data is headed, and along the way, you can be sure that it isn't being intercepted thanks to heavy encryption.

Some VPNs provide ad and tracker blocking

Some VPNs, like Private Internet Access (opens in new tab), offer a built-in ad, malware, and tracker blocker. While there are plenty of ad-blocking options out there already for your browsers, it's a hassle to configure everything the same way between browsers and between devices.

With an ad and tracker blocker built right into the VPN, you'll see fewer ads in general, and especially fewer targeted ads. Blocking is usually handled at the DNS level where there's a long list of domains associated with ads, trackers, and malware.

Having a VPN do the blocking for you is a huge boon to anyone who hates seeing a week of ads targeted at you because you accidentally typed something embarrassing into Google.

VPNs help you bypass geo restrictions

NordVPN app server map (Image credit: NordVPN)

Geographical borders do not only apply to the physical world — they also apply online. Have you ever attempted to watch a video on YouTube, only to see that the uploader hasn't made it accessible in your country? Sometimes you can find an open mirror, but other times you're out of luck.

Not only can a VPN unlock that video you're dying to see, it can also unlock more sensitive, important content. Say you're a journalist working in an oppressive country and you want to know about what's really happening to the government. A VPN will not only hide your activity online, it will also open up avenues of information that were locked up tight.

Because good VPN providers have a wide range of servers all over the world, connecting to a server in the right country (read: one that doesn't block information) should be as easy as clicking a few buttons.

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VPNs allow you to bypass ISP bandwidth throttling

Internet Service Providers (ISP) are in the game to make money, and one way to boost profit is to throttle your internet speed when you're connecting to certain sites, including plenty of streaming services like Netflix. These streaming services do take up a lot of bandwidth, and ISPs want to keep their networks clear. This also usually means you're going to watch your shows load more often than you're going to watch your shows.

A VPN hides your activity online, so your ISP cannot see that you're trying to stream video. You're less likely to have your bandwidth throttled, resulting in a smoother browsing or streaming experience.

There are plenty more reasons why an ISP might be throttling your bandwidth, but one thing remains the same: a VPN should get you around it.

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We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:

1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).

2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.

We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.

13 Comments
  • Nice information, all isp in my country implemented data capping (on YouTube, DailyMotion and other video streaming site) this should help me a lot :) I'm glad touchvpn is working now
  • I want a very good one with a supported app on W10M.
  • You can use VPN Unlimited. It support all platforms.
  • Long time user and loving it.  Works great and often updates with new features.
  • All are almost offering the same service, don't know the best. But ivacy vpn is the best and cheapest as far as i know.
  • I'm a fan of VPNs, but one potential drawback a lot of users don't discover until they implement one is that they generally do not work with Windows 10 UNIVERSAL apps that require network access. This includes both the Windows Store and the Edge browsers. But again, any UWA requiring network access will not work with a VPN.
  • Can you explain this more?
  • Never had any issues with UWP apps and VPNs.  Edge, Mail, feed readers, and everything I've tried have had no problems.  Not sure what you mean.
  • how about setting VPN on your router? This will ensure all your traffic gets encrypted.....
  • Re: aka laevanay,
    Tell us more. How?
  • Some VPN providers allow connecting to their servers via common protocols like openvpn.  Some routers or open source firmware for routers allow connecting to VPNs via these protocols.  When setup, every device on the network goes through the VPN. Remember to check for DNS leaks though as ISPs can still track you through their DNS servers.
  • Excellent blog! Really informative. There are more advantages than just five like VOIP security, torrenting etc... I am sharing a website where you can find the best VPN deals. www.bestvpndeals.com 
  • Though I did have some knowledge on VPNs, this provided lots of other good, informative details.