There are many reasons why a growing number of internet users are utilising Virtual Private Networks as an addition to their normal browsing habits.
Users in different geographical locations will use a VPN for a varied list of reasons, but overall, Virtual Private Network usage can be broken down into a selection of the most common reasons.
Access better entertainment content
As research from BestVPN.ie shows, this is by far the most popular explanation for the use of VPNs across the world. This is in response to one of the first booms in public use of VPNs which came about when internet users were made aware that the popular on demand streaming service, Netflix, had a very different catalogue of content made available between countries who have access to the service. Almost half of all VPN users worldwide use the service to access content through companies like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu etc. to enjoy content which is restricted in their country, or simply due to media distribution law.
Access social media networks
Referring to the previous point regarding geographic location, some countries restrict their peoples internet usage to the point where it is impossible to access sites like Facebook, and Twitter, simply because that is the level of control the government has over the flow of information within a country. By utilising a VPN, citizens of countries where this level of restriction is implemented can access social media networks at their leisure.
Maintain anonymity while browsing
The internet has become a place where data is as good as cash to some companies. Targetted ads, location data, and shopping behaviour are valuable to companies which seek to profit from user behaviour analytics. While laws have been put in place to inform the user of any data collection before accessing a website, many people would rather their information is not collected at all, and a good way to do this, is by use of a VPN.
Access sites and services in the workplace
Many places of work which involve the use of the internet to function, often put browsing restrictions in place to prevent their employees from accessing content which is unsuitable in the workplace. By using a VPN, employees can circumvent these restrictions and are free to use the internet as they please.
Access restricted torrent sites
In recent years, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) have been ordered by law, or through their own initiative, to place a block on access to popular file sharing and torrenting sites in an effort to crack down on illegal file sharing and download. When a VPN is used, these sites can be accessed by effectively moving the users location outside the control of the ISP where these restrictions are in place.
Hide web activity from the government
A growing number of people are becoming concerned with their governments interest and recording of the public's internet habits. Agencies such as the NSA are commonly under fire for snooping on their citizens internet activity, and a VPN can help to remove that possibility.