VPNs have become quite popular — and not only in mainland China. Chinese citizens indeed use these nifty tools to get past the great firewall, but they also have many other uses. And no, it doesn’t only relate to watching American Netflix from a hotel in Brazil or torrenting anonymously. VPN services have a few hidden features and amazing tricks that many people may not know about.
Take a look at these five ways to make the most of a VPN service and get the best value for that subscription price!
5 Ways to Getting the Most from Your VPN
1. Save Money While Shopping Online
There were around 848 million cross-border shoppers (people who buy from foreign online stores) in 2019. Those shoppers often bought items from other countries because they were cheaper. But problems can arise when shopping on international e-commerce stores.
Some e-commerce stores hinder or even outright block purchases from other countries out of credit card fraud fears. No one wants their online shopping excursion to be a constant uphill battle. VPNs solve that problem by letting people choose which server (in which country) they connect to. So, connect to a server in the country where the online shop is located and purchase away!
2. Play Games and Stream Without Getting Throttled
Online gaming and streaming are high-bandwidth activities. ISPs usually hate to cater to these activities because they hog resources. Hance, many providers tend to throttle those types of connections to keep people from taking up bandwidth.
Even though it’s not legal to throttle connection speeds for uncapped connections, some ISPs still do this. Those who use VPNs don’t have to worry about this happening. A VPN shields a person’s activities from their ISP. If the ISP can’t track what someone’s doing online, then they won’t throttle specific connections like online gaming.
3. Protect Everything With a VPN on Router
Some routers come with VPN settings pre-installed while others allow VPNs to be installed in a process called “flashing.” The latter means adding new custom firmware to the router, so it supports VPN technology. But keep in mind that flashing a router can cause it to get bricked if you don’t do it carefully.
Whether someone decides to buy a VPN-ready router or add a VPN to their current router — the outcome is the same. It allows people to protect every device they connect to that router since the VPN is permanently turned on. It’s more convenient in many ways and can save money since you only need to connect the VPN to that one device. That said, it does make things a little harder to turn the VPN on and off at will.
Here’s a guide on how this process works for anyone who wants to know.
4. Special Features Add Convenience
VPNs come packed with different features, some shared and some unique to every VPN. Standard features that many VPNs offer (but some people may not know about) include split tunneling, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection.
Split tunneling is particularly useful because it allows people to choose which traffic they want to route through the VPN. So let’s say someone wants the VPN to encrypt their browser connection but not their gaming apps. Then they use a split tunnel.
But the best premium VPNs add even more handy features on top of that. For instance, NordVPN has a tool called CyberSec that protects users from online threats, malicious websites, and ads. It’s like an adblocker but on steroids.
There are more unique VPN features out there to discover, so those who have yet to get one should look out for these as well.
5. Make the Connection Faster By Switching Servers
Any VPN worth it’s salt will have a good deal of servers spread throughout different locations. Naturally, people use it to their advantage by connecting to a random server to mask their location and provide anonymity. But connecting to the right server could also make one’s connection faster.
Of course, it only applies to some situations. For example, when gaming, the player might sometimes experience a high ping due to the connection being routed through many servers/countries. When that player connects to a VPN server in a nearby country, it can force a direct connection, removing all those middlemen.
That’s a Wrap!
One of the main reasons many people decide to get a VPN is to secure their connections and protect their online privacy. That’s still the best reason to download a VPN. But don’t ignore all the other perks this remarkable technology has to offer. It can make life much more convenient in a couple of cool ways.