Why do I need a VPN?

A VPN is a powerful but straightforward tool that lets you experience the whole internet, anytime you want, from wherever you are.
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A VPN, or virtual private network, is an essential privacy tool for your computer, phone, tablet, or any device that connects to the internet. But you may be wondering why using a VPN is so important, and why you still need one even in 2022

From privacy and security to breaking through censorship, here are seven great reasons to use a VPN:

10 reasons to use a VPN

1. Hide your browsing history from your ISP

Although most internet service providers (ISPs) claim not to sell your data, they are often allowed to “share” details of your browsing history with third parties who sell them to data brokers, who in turn sell them to advertisers.

There are several ways to hide your browsing history from your ISP, but the simplest by far is to use a VPN. With a VPN, your ISP cannot see what websites you visit or what apps you use, so they have no useful information to share with third parties.

Watch: Video: What does your ISP know about you?

2. Change your virtual location

Using a VPN gives you a new IP address in another location. That means you can appear to be in a different country, from the perspective of the apps and websites you visit.

Want to view content the way it would appear in another country? Connecting to a new VPN server location should solve your problem.

3. Protect your privacy from Wi-Fi operators

A VPN also keeps your internet activity private from Wi-Fi network operators. If you’re worried about the manager of a school, office, or public Wi-Fi network having access to your browsing history, a VPN is the solution you’re looking for. 

4. Bypass throttling by your ISP

If you’ve ever noticed that your connection slows down while streaming, downloading, or gaming, you might be experiencing bandwidth throttling. This happens when ISPs attempt to relieve congestion by inspecting your traffic and intentionally slowing you down if they see you are engaged in one of these activities.

With a VPN, however, your ISP will not be able to inspect your traffic, so they will not be able to throttle your connection based on your activity.

If your connection is in fact being throttled, you will probably find that using a VPN will speed up your streaming, gaming, and other high-bandwidth activities.

5. Add an extra layer of security on public Wi-Fi

Although encryption is becoming more prevalent on the internet, there are always times when having an extra layer of protection comes in handy, for example: when traveling, using public Wi-Fi in busy areas, or logging into your bank account on an untrusted network.

A VPN wraps your traffic in an encrypted tunnel that protects you from man-in-the-middle attacks, packet sniffing, and other common Wi-Fi security risks.

6. Get a better gaming experience

Using a VPN lowers ping when you’re gaming online. Ping, or latency, refers to the time it takes for information—in this case, packets of data—to be sent from your machine to a server and its subsequent response time. Shorter connection routes between your device and gaming servers are preferable for lowering ping, and using a VPN can help to shorten this route by connecting to a VPN server closer to the gaming server.

Using a VPN can also help to prevent DDoS attacks—a common issue among gamers.

Read more: How to lower ping and improve speeds for online gaming

7. Defeat internet censorship

Whether for political, religious, or economic reasons, many countries use internet censorship to block access to certain apps and websites. It can be incredibly frustrating for citizens—or anyone traveling in that country—to lose access to email, social media, news sites, and other tools that once connected them to the outside world.

That’s why many travelers, expats, and citizens of countries with censorship have come to rely on VPNs to unblock websites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and The New York Times. By changing your IP address, using a VPN allows you to browse the internet as if you were in a country where the internet is free and open. 

8. Avoid price discrimination to save money

Did you know using a VPN can help you find better deals while shopping? That’s because some online retailers change their prices based on your location (whether it’s which country or which part of the country you’re in).

When you use a VPN to change your IP address before searching for plane tickets, hotels, car rentals, or other gifts, you might be able to find cheaper prices than in your home country.

9. Keep your online activity private from governments

It’s no secret: countries surveil their own citizens. Using a VPN adds a layer of privacy, protecting your internet traffic from intruders, including governments. Even if you have nothing to hide, online privacy from government agencies should be considered a right. 

Read more: Nothing to hide? Speak for yourself.

10. Unblocking websites and apps at school or offices

Some school or office Wi-Fi networks restrict access to popular content, such as social media and streaming services. They do this to save bandwidth and reduce distractions.

When you use a VPN, you can bypass school and office Wi-Fi restrictions to access your favorite services and stay in touch with friends and family.

Why ExpressVPN is the VPN you need

Convinced you need a VPN but haven’t chosen a provider yet? Here’s why ExpressVPN is the best VPN for you:

How to get a VPN

Getting a VPN is fast and easy. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Sign up for ExpressVPN

Visit the order page and choose the plan that’s right for you.

Step 2: Download your VPN app

ExpressVPN has apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and other devices.

Step 3: Connect to a VPN server location

Select a location in any one of 94 countries around the world.

FAQ: About using a VPN

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Johnny 5 is the founding editor of the blog and writes about pressing technology issues. From important cat privacy stories to governments and corporations that overstep their boundaries, Johnny covers it all.