An IP is the identity of a device on the internet. Every device that can connect to the internet — a cell phone, a gaming console, a laptop, a desktop PC, a smart TV, even a smart refrigerator — all have an IP address attached to them. This IP identifies every device over the internet.
Why You Should Use VPN
Entities Exploiting User Activity
Search engines, ISPs, and advertisers all use the IP of a device to track and identify users. They then use the information to either show targeted ads or sell the information to third parties for a profit. These third parties can also employ this information for malicious intents.
Search engines are also famous for showing targeted ads to users who are much more likely to fall for them. They often use IP to track their users all across the web, creating a profile to be sold to advertisers. This profile contains the user’s location, interests, buying and browsing habits, device info, and so much more. Some of this data comes directly from the IP address, for example, the location. Browser fingerprinting, cookies, and other means are also used to track user activity.
Gathering all this data is a serious violation of privacy, and several services have sprung up in retaliation to this privacy violation. It is essential to hide your IP and limit tracking for a safer and more fulfilling experience across the web.
Creating a Wall Against Exploits
There are many services and tools a user can employ to hide their IP address from prying eyes. Proxy services and the Tor browser are a couple of examples. But none is better (or more convenient) than a quality VPN service. For those asking “what is a VPN,” here is a brief definition from Wikipedia:
“A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.”
A VPN can hide a lot more than just the IP. It encrypts the traffic between the user’s device and the internet destination, so no third party could access it even if the network connection is compromised.
VPN Against Targeted Advertising
Marketers use IP addresses to track users across the web. They follow users wherever they go and log their activity. They also employ cookies for this purpose.
This tracking is also why users see targeted ads and ads for the same product again and again, no matter which website they visit. By tracking online activity, they figure out the interests of the user and then use it to show questionable and shady ads.
Using a VPN throws off such marketers and messes up their algorithms. Of course, they have other means to follow users around too. That’s why it’s also crucial to disable third-party cookies and avoid logging into services that track user activity, including Google.
VPN Against Unsecured Hotspots
Sometimes it’s necessary to stay connected to the internet even if it means taking the risk of connecting to an unsecured public hotspot. It makes an easy entry for hackers to monitor online activity. In some cases, hackers can even get access to login details for social media or bank accounts.
Connecting to a public hotspot does not have to be this risky. Using a reputable VPN not only hides your IP but also encrypts all data going in and out of your device. It means that even if hackers compromised the public hotspot, they would see nothing but undecipherable encrypted data.
VPN Against Geo-blocking
Geo-blocking exists everywhere. Streaming services block some shows in specific locations, government websites are blocked outside of their country, and even online stores use geoblocking. What’s more, airline companies use dynamic pricing to show different prices for the same flight based on the users’ location.
A VPN provides an easy way to get around geo-blocked content. By using private servers placed all around the world, VPN tricks such websites into thinking that the traffic is coming from elsewhere.
VPN Against Network Restrictions
A VPN provides a safe pathway against network restrictions. The network can be restricted for various reasons, but limiting the use of the internet in any environment can also have negative effects.
By using a VPN to mask the IP address, it becomes possible to work around most of the network restrictions in place. It makes a VPN the ultimate companion for any internet user.