Jump to content

10 things you didn’t know you can do with a VPN


Dean213

Recommended Posts

10 things you didn’t know you can do with a VPN

From defeating hackers to stopping your connection being throttled

Source

 

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a remarkably useful tool for anyone who goes online. On a fundamental level, a VPN consists of a tunnel that your encrypted data travels down, keeping you more secure and anonymous when online (head here for a full explanation of how a VPN works).

 

In recent times, there has been more interest in using VPN services, which is hardly surprising in the current climate of increased surveillance, not to mention regulation like the Investigatory Powers Act in the UK, or the legislation passed in the US earlier this year.

 

We’ve also debunked 6 common myths concerning VPNs

 

But what can a VPN really do for you aside from bolstering your security on a basic level? Plenty, and there are some uses you might not be aware of. So in this article, we’re going to highlight 10 specific use cases for a VPN, detailing precisely how the technology works in your favor in each instance.

 

1. Avoid ISP tracking

ISPs are increasingly interested in tracking their subscribers, as we’ve seen with the growing controversy in recent times over in the US. The benign example of what they do with any tracked data, namely targeting advertising, is more than enough reason for users to seek anonymity.

 

However, any previous concerns have become far graver now that ISPs are permitted to sell user data – like your surfing history, location data or app usage – to third-parties over in the States.

 

Whatever level of tracking you’re afraid of, a VPN solution installed on all your devices – including mobile phones – is a reasonable defense against such invasions of privacy.

 

cpxj26JcBjZbU2WJ7mfY49-650-80.jpg

 

2. Online shopping from afar

Let’s say you are traveling abroad, and want to order something from your favorite online retailer to arrive at your home when you get back. Unfortunately, when you go to the online retailer’s site, you end up at its country-specific website. But if you use a VPN server in your home country, you’ll be able to access the UK site as if you were present locally, and use your UK account to ship to your home address. Let the online shopping till we drop commence – via VPN.

 

3. Accessing a home network

Odds are that your primary desktop computer is at home, complete with a diverse collection of files and data on it, for work, personal and entertainment purposes. You might even have a NAS setup with a ton more files on it. Whatever the case, you may want to set up remote access to your PC or NAS to get at all those files – but remember that to keep this access secure, a connection is best made using a VPN.

 

cAdRiWzdJDySUS2z6NsqG6-650-80.jpg

 

4. Public Wi-Fi security

Many places offer free Wi-Fi access, including schools, hotels, libraries, airports and coffee shops to name a few. It is a common scenario to use these wireless hotspots to check your email, which requires your password and other sensitive data to be transmitted.

 

Unfortunately, it is not particularly difficult to intercept this wireless network traffic. At home, routers have a password, and use encryption protocols (like WPA2) to keep traffic secure. However, public wireless hotspots give completely open access to all and sundry, and either use a shared password, or no password at all in many cases.

 

When you’re using such an insecure Wi-Fi network, it’s a good idea to use a VPN so your traffic is encrypted, meaning that even if it is intercepted, your data will be scrambled. The Krack Wi-Fi vulnerability which emerged earlier this week also underlines the fact that even contemporary security protocols such as WPA2 can be hit by serious flaws, and in this eventuality, a VPN connection provides an extra layer of protection.


5. Privacy from website info gathering

There are an unfathomable amount of websites out there, and they all need to produce an income to keep the lights on. One of the most common methods of generating revenue is to use adverts, but unlike the ads that are on TV, internet advertisements are often targeted directly at the user (via their IP address).

 

You’ll probably have noticed that if you search for something on a retailer like Amazon, when you visit subsequent websites, you’ll see ads which are promoting similar products to the one you just searched for.

 

If this type of tracking of users concerns you (and it should), a good counter-measure is a VPN service, which keeps your true IP hidden and effectively side-steps this kind of nonsense.

 

3eT2QYeu9uW5aABHPDDa3M-650-80.jpg

 

6. Anonymous downloads

Peer-to-peer downloads, or torrents, continue to grow in popularity. And of course while these can be used for illegal copyright-violating downloads, there are also plenty of legal use cases, such as downloading a Linux distro, or open source software like LibreOffice (a sterling free alternative to Microsoft Office).

 

These downloads are followed by torrent trackers, monitoring systems that over time can amass a literal treasure trove of info on their users. While the most obvious concern is that this data could be turned over to the authorities, this information might just simply be sold to the highest bidder. As this type of data collection is all based on IP addresses, using a torrent via a VPN is the simplest and most effective solution to prevent any potential issues here.

 

7. Campus connection

Whether the campus is a college, or a larger workplace, these organizations have a vast amount of computer resources to benefit their students or employees. But the likes of universities and corporations also need to safeguard their precious data, so any off-campus remote access should be suitably protected, with a VPN performing this task admirably.

 

fpBHe9YGXNRBb6sUXk2pRd-650-80.jpg

 

8. Streaming blocked content

Geo-blocking (also known as geo-restriction) refers to when internet content is blocked based on a user’s location. This is often done in the case of TV shows or movies, so for example, access to iPlayer is blocked for those outside of the UK.

 

However, there are times when this can be a real thorn in the side, such as when you travel abroad and are unable to view the latest instalment of the series you’re watching on Netflix because it’s geo-blocked.

 

A VPN with servers located in the appropriate country can solve the issue, and consider these locations based on anticipated usage when choosing a VPN provider.

 

9. Bypass traffic shaping

Traffic shaping (aka: packet shaping) is when internet traffic gets analyzed and then is processed so it conforms to a certain pattern. While that hardly sounds nefarious, traffic shaping is often done by ISPs to ensure a certain level of performance and quality, and the rate at which the packets get released may be adjusted to maintain a steady flow.

 

A related technology is traffic policing. Here, if the rate of traffic flow exceeds a limit, some packets will literally be discarded. Traffic shaping and traffic policing are not mutually exclusive, and are often used together for bandwidth throttling, in order to limit what a user streams or downloads. With a VPN, the traffic is encrypted, so that it defies this type of analysis, and any speed throttling is therefore avoided.

 

h3qR8UKMq6wXR6WHZfxfUe-650-80.jpg

 

10. Beat the hackers

You may be aware that a firewall is designed to keep malicious attackers off your home network, and is located on your router (of course, you can also get software firewalls, which protect just the host device).

 

These hackers find your network from your IP address. As a VPN connects you to a server off-site, and assigns you a different IP address, any attack will therefore be directed against the VPN server, and not your home network. Hence the VPN is effectively an additional layer of defense from hackers and other malicious denizens of the internet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Replies 14
  • Views 1.6k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I love these articles when they automatically assume users didnt know and it also makes for a awesome click bait article.  All of these tips are 1.  no shit 2.  Common sense or 3.  Both.  This is also posted by the giveaway spammer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


19 hours ago, Holmes said:

I love these articles when they automatically assume users didnt know and it also makes for a awesome click bait article.  All of these tips are 1.  no shit 2.  Common sense or 3.  Both.  This is also posted by the giveaway spammer.

 

Not all of us know it all. I didn't know anything about VPN nor how to go about using it, though I'm sure my ISP probably throttles me or whatever, I don't notice anyway. All I know is that costs money that I don't care enough about to pay for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


On 10/21/2017 at 0:53 PM, Dino101 said:

8. Streaming blocked content

 

Not so much, any more.  Amazon (and others) block VPN addresses because of pressure from the studios, even if you're a U.S. customer trying to access the U.S. site.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


On 10/21/2017 at 8:09 PM, Holmes said:

I love these articles when they automatically assume users didnt know and it also makes for a awesome click bait article.  All of these tips are 1.  no shit 2.  Common sense or 3.  Both.  This is also posted by the giveaway spammer.

Gosh you had to edit such an insightful comment!  It is amazing that members occasionally hurl insults at others when the latter is 

unequivocally a violation of the rules of the forum.  I guess what is equally shocking is that despite such hurtful, harmful and potentially 

"bullish" behavior, a complaint to the staff tends to fall on the proverbial deaf ear!:(

Link to comment
Share on other sites


17 hours ago, Ol' Pimphand said:

Not all of us know it all. I didn't know anything about VPN nor how to go about using it, though I'm sure my ISP probably throttles me or whatever, I don't notice anyway. All I know is that costs money that I don't care enough about to pay for.

#6 was the reason i started  a vpn years ago now i  mostly  use a cloud torrent downloader were BitTorrent trolls cant get my real ip  noway . But why you calling out Holmes ? You just said there article  dont change you're mind  and that you don't want too buy a vpn .  Vpn are not so good  at getting you around geo restriction with  video sites like Netflix  and others blocking vpn IPs . And there  no good to buy things with  like what jtmulc said Amazon  will block you're account if you try to buy something from them behind a vpn . So this post is mixed reality and it not really news no way,  some of it is true and some of is not so true .  VPN are only good for things that allow  VPN  and that's  the bottom line .

 

 

https://s7d5.turboimg.net/sp/02ba348fd9a2dbf692eb28fce146e2e4/3990032.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Now, I just need help getting my VPN to connect on ubuntu 17.10.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


59 minutes ago, BookCase said:

Now, I just need help getting my VPN to connect on ubuntu 17.10.

i  downloaded ubuntu-budgie-17.10-desktop-amd64  just not got around too installing yet   My vpn has  software for ubuntu i hope it still works not tested it yet  i had it working on  17.04 OK  and they improved it.

 

10 hours ago, Dino101 said:

 I guess what is equally shocking is that despite such hurtful, harmful and potentially 

"bullish" behavior, a complaint to the staff tends to fall on the proverbial deaf ear!

Best too ignore  this most likely he forgot too take his meds again . I use  to   let him get too me and i just  started ignoring him because the staff cant do nothing  about someones states there opinion if he don't learn nothing  from a post  and thinks its click bait  it's his right too say so.   I just know this is not news and post like these  go in  Security & Privacy Center. 

 

If you have a problem with someone on here best too talk the staff about it  but at the end of the day i can tell you it not going do much good so best too ignore it  . I'm not going report the post for not being news because it not my job but if it was i would  move it. They need too get  more mods but getting them too stick around is a different story . It's hard too get good people to work for nothing 24/7 . And if they hired the wrong Mods that were  too mean then they would  lose most of there members.   :tooth:

Link to comment
Share on other sites


3 hours ago, steven36 said:

i  downloaded ubuntu-budgie-17.10-desktop-amd64  just not got around too installing yet   My vpn has  software for ubuntu i hope it still works not tested it yet  i had it working on  17.04 OK  and they improved it.

 

My VPN is IPVanish and I had it working on Ubuntu Gnome 16.04 X64 and now that I upgraded, I got it all configured but, it just refuses to connect. I do not know why. I even found a simple tutorial HERE and I still cannot get it to work. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


38 minutes ago, BookCase said:

 

My VPN is IPVanish and I had it working on Ubuntu Gnome 16.04 X64 and now that I upgraded, I got it all configured but, it just refuses to connect. I do not know why. I even found a simple tutorial HERE and I still cannot get it to work. 

I went ahead and installed Linux i got mine working but having a font problem  with the vpn client  so its pain too change ips i have  re-run the client in the terminal  to change them  but better then nothing  i also got my IM  setup  .:)

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


First of all I edited my original post to correct a spelling error and was I being confident not sure I always try to be confident doesnt everybody?  Also I was hurtful and harmful?  What comment of mine was hurtful I called you out for being a giveaway spammer you spammed a bunch of giveaways and someone complained about it thats why I called you a giveaway spammer.  As for the rest I figured all of the information was well no shit man or common sense (I was only trying to be a smartass here hahahaha).  I use cyberghost vpn and dont use it to do anything but watch movies online sometimes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Well that is off topic m8  talking about giveaways in this topic unless you got a  a vpn giveaway are something too test  a vpn . Giveaways are not bad in fact i got a quite a few free cyberghost vpn keys from giveaways here . What is bad is key hoarders who abuse  the giveaways and cause  vpns and other software  to block keys and to stop doing giveaways. Just because someone else talked shit about giveaways don't mean you have too. :lol:

 

This is not the only site that post giveaways and if they don't get posted here  we will just have to go get them elsewhere .:tooth:

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I went off topic and then went back on topic.  I have looked for giveaways on this site from various products that im interested in and I have no problem with the giveaways on this site or the posters of them unless there spammed.  Anyway back on topic again well with me anyway Alot of the tips suggested here most know some may not but Im pretty sure these tips have been posted on this site before I remember someone else posting about them so I guess you can use this post as insight for users that didnt know the information and a reminder to those that do or did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Yes they all been posted 100 times before  somewhere else   the title was misleading  is all , there is nothing  some others don't know vpns can do . If it was not already known the author would not even  been able  to had this info if it were not public knowledge already .  it should of been  titled  10 things you  may not know you can do with a VPN .  But some of it  is outdated  and don't even work good for vpns anymore . The stuff listed is the reason people buy vpns  and they just didn't start selling  them yesterday .. Vpns are one of the best selling software on the market .

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...