What is a VPN?
VPN is short for ‘Virtual private network’, allowing you to access the internet safely and privately whilst hiding your actions online. With a wide variety of reasons as to why individuals may choose to use VPN’s, the main concept is simple, to grant access to sites or opportunities not available without one, for example accessing specific blocked sites whilst at work, searching for better online television content from different countries or communicating with friends or family abroad through different services. 25% of internet users have used a VPN within the last month on devices such as desktops, smartphones and tablets, all for a variety of different reasons.
Let’s get into the different reasons as to why people use VPN’s and how this can benefit them and even you. According to the infographic from Best VPN UK, 50% of VPN users reportedly use VPN’s to access better entertainment content, frequently through online television not available in their country. 34% of users access social networks or news services either not available, or unable to be accessed on a certain network, such as school or work. A further 31% wish to keep anonymity whilst browsing, allowing their search history to be untraced. 27% use VPN’s to access restricted torrented sites, 25% to communicate with friends and family abroad which may not be possible without one. There are various other reasons as to why individuals may choose to use a VPN listed below:
Why do individuals use VPN’s?
- 50% access better entertainment content
- 34% access social networks or news services
- 31% Keep anonymity whilst browsing
- To access sites, files and services whilst at work
- 27% to access restricted torrent sites
- 25% to communicate with friends/family abroad
- 18% to hide web-browsing from the government
- 17% access a torrent browser
- VPN users big consumers of online tv
How does the VPN’s actually work?
VPN’s work by encrypting your data before the internet provider or internet service are able to see what you are searching, this allows for a fake location to be established allowing access to different content whilst being untraceable. For example, watching Netflix in the UK allows for certain television shows with a wider range available in the US, therefore, individuals may use a VPN in order to bypass the system and gain access to watch American Netflix too, giving them access to a wider range of entertainment content through Netflix. In fact, 40% of VPN users are more likely to be watching subscription services weekly. It is important, however, to note that 77% of VPN users are buying their digital content, surprisingly more than you’d expect.
Connecting to the internet without a VPN allows people to see what you are looking at, this would include the local service provider and the internet service company. For example, if at work and you want to browse Facebook but it was originally blocked, using a VPN would restrict your work from being able to see what you are on, granting you access and providing information to nobody.
VPN’s are commonly used for bank transfers, private emails and further sensitive information, which is understandable.
Who uses VPN’s?
With VPN’s being widely used for a variety of different reasons, who exactly uses VPN’s? It is reported that 62% of VPN users are male and 38% female. 45% of these users are categorised within the middle-range income bracket, 24% within the top 25% of earnings, 23% within the bottom-range income bracket and a further 8 who prefer not to say. 35% of VPN users are within the age range of 16-24, with a further 34% within the 25-34% range with a decreased in users after this age range.
Is the use of VPN’s legal?
Yes, mostly. As long as what you are doing is legal, then you cannot break any laws. If, however, VPN’s are abused and used to reveal content which should not be revealed, or the planning of illegal acts this is when problems are run into. It is important to note that although VPN’s do a pretty good job of masking your location, they are not completely anonymous, information can still be discovered from the likes of the government and third parties.
What devices do VPN’s work with?
VPN’s work with a wide range of devices, including desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets. With the exhaustive list of different reasons as to why to use a VPN, it is good to know you have access to the majority of devices available. VPN’s can be downloaded as mobile apps through the likes of the google play store and the app store, granting you further privacy. VPN’s, however, can often make your browsing and internet experience slower due to the advanced connection, therefore, may not be advisable if fast internet speeds are of top priority.
Although VPN’s can be used with an extensive list of devices, and for a wide variety of different reasons, it is important to note that illegal activity, is still illegal. VPN’s are not for illegal acts, instead set up to create privacy for the average user.
How to get a VPN?
By doing a quick internet search you’ll be able to find access to a variety of different options regarding VPN’s, often priced differently. VPN’s, however, are relatively cheap, costing on average $5 or less, emphasising the wide use of them. It is uncommon to find VPN’s to be priced greater than $10, a $5 VPN should suffice for your needs, however, higher priced ones may be worth looking into if you regard greater privacy or in general are concerned with leaks.
The majority of VPN services will offer discounts if signing up for a longer period of time, for example, an annual or monthly membership. This can help reduce costs and also have present the opportunity for extras on your VPN, including additional information on what it’s best used for. Some VPN services are actually free, but often nowhere near as reliable as paid ones. We recommend a paid VPN for the best experience, best support and privacy for protecting details such as bank information, passwords and private emails.