Full Stream Ahead! Your 2020 Guide to Cord-cutting
How VPN Puts You on the Fast Track
In today’s dynamic, content-rich digital world, asserting control of your cyberspace is key. Whether you’re concerned about privacy from censorship or just want the freedom to binge-watch entire seasons of The Office from anywhere, a VPN subscription is just the ticket.
Before we go over how a VPN lets you go full stream ahead and overcome any pesky geo blocking tactics, let’s take a closer look at what a VPN does and how it operates.
What is VPN and How Does it Work?
Traditionally, when you connect to the internet, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) assigns an IP (Internet Protocol) address to your device.
When you enter a website into a browser, your request to access that site is sent from your device to your ISP’s server. Your ISP acts as a gatekeeper, either granting or rejecting requests based on your IP address.
Your IP address is a unique number and identifier that is linked to all your online activities. Think of it like an envelope with a return address.
It contains information about your geographic location, websites you visit, search history, purchases you make and more. Your online activity is out in the open. If this makes you a little uneasy, choose to connect via a Virtual Private Network or VPN for short.
A VPN provides a tunnel between your device and the internet, routing your device’s connection through an encrypted server rather than your ISP’s server. VPNs shields your IP address from any prying eyes, even more so with a no-log VPN. Et voilà, your envelope now has no return address.
Now that we know how VPNs work, let’s explore a few of the reasons why those in the know won’t surf without one.
Access Your Favorite Content From Anywhere
Picture this: It’s the Game of Thrones series finale. You’ve watched diligently since episode one. As a loyal and responsible HBO subscriber, you’ve invested 9 years of your life. Seventy-two episodes later, it all comes down to this.
Now imagine you’re in the Netherlands for business. Stroopwafel in one hand, you navigate to HBO’s login screen. With shock and horror, you receive a “Not In Service Area” error. You’ve been geo-blocked. Niet goed.
Geo-blocking restricts access to the internet based on your geographic location—even if you’re a paid subscriber. This situation is avoidable with a VPN. Just log onto your VPN, select the US as your server and re-enter your HBO details. As you can imagine, the ability to mask your actual location means you can unblock content from around the world completely free of charge.
Hooked on Australia’s The Block? Set your VPN to down under, create a free-view account on the Nine Network and you’re free to watch as much free TV as you like.
Reduce Your Exposure to Cybercrime
When you use a VPN, your connection to the internet is encrypted. The IP address you’re assigned is garbled from third parties and your ISP.
You’re more protected from hackers, identity theft, malware, and spyware. It’s particularly crucial when accessing public wifi networks such as those in airports or cafes.
Protect Your Right to Privacy
Whether you love or hate whistleblower Edward Snowden, one thing is certain: he has instigated a long-overdue debate about privacy rights in the digital age. To many, protecting one’s privacy is one and the same as protecting one’s liberty.
While the internet has directly engendered greater global collaboration, economic growth and instantaneous access to information, this same open door has also given rise to an unprecedented level of surveillance by governments and other entities.
The digital domain has become a double-edged sword. However, through VPNs, citizens are better armed to preserve their rights to privacy and the freedom to express themselves without fear of reprisal.
While you might initially use a VPN to avoid cable fees and watch your favorite TV from anywhere, the knock-on effects include better personal security and online anonymity. It’s a win-win situation in our book.