The Internet is a uniquely powerful tool that can benefit us in a multitude of different ways. At the same time, the digital world is constantly evolving, and in recent times has become fraught with obstacles that can degrade the quality of our online experiences.
In recent times, economic and geopolitical factors have begun to impact our digital freedom in a significant way. Internet censorship has become increasingly common, with ISPs and government bodies placing limitations on what websites and content we are permitted to view online.
The digital world is becoming an increasingly fragmented place, and this trend is unlikely to fizzle out any time soon. As such, it is up to you as an individual to find solutions that can help you bypass the restrictions imposed upon you. This is where VPNs can be highly beneficial to your online experience.
What is a VPN?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a type of software application that helps you to secure your internet connection. It functions by setting up a secure tunnel through which your traffic can be routed, essentially operating as an intermediary between your device and the website you are connecting to.
When using a virtual private network, your traffic is directed through a remote server and your IP address is concealed, enabling you to browse the Internet anonymously. Moreover, a VPN uses encryption to render your data indecipherable to malicious entities that may attempt to intercept it.
As such, a VPN is a versatile solution that can help you to protect both your privacy and your security while you use the Internet.
How does a VPN help with geo-restrictions?
The rise in popularity of VPNs is in large part due to the fact that they are effective tools for dealing with geo-blocking.
Whenever you go online, your IP address can be seen by your internet service provider as well as any websites you visit. This address acts as an identifier for your personal device, making it possible to monitor your activity. Moreover, it furnishes ISPs and sites with information about your geographical location, and this enables them to impose blocks upon you.
As mentioned above, a VPN masks your IP address and directs your traffic through a server in a different location. This means that when you browse the Internet using a VPN, you effectively appear as a normal user in that location.
The right VPN tool can allow you to bypass any geographical restrictions that you might encounter by changing your server location.
How to choose a VPN
With such a depth of premium and free options available on the VPN market, it can be difficult to know where to begin if you don’t have experience with the technology.
For the uninitiated, a free VPN service is often a good place to start. The following are some useful criteria that can guide your research and help you find the best free VPN for your purposes:
If your main motivation for getting a VPN is to bypass geo-blocks, then server options should be the first aspect you consider when comparing VPN services.
Depending on your specific location, the content you want to access, and the frequency with which you travel, the blocks you encounter may vary. To ensure that you are prepared for all eventualities, it’s best to have a VPN with a wide range of different server locations.
Having access to VPN servers in a variety of different geographical regions means that you can always bypass blocks.
Similarly, speed is likely going to be a real consideration for you, especially if you are trying to use your VPN for business purposes.
With this in mind, it’s best to seek a VPN service that boasts a high server count. As a rule of thumb, the more servers a VPN service provides, the more bandwidth it can offer to users. This corresponds to higher connection speeds and a better overall experience.
Regardless of your initial reason for seeking out a VPN, you are going to want the best possible security you can get so as to protect yourself against cybercrime.
All VPNs use some form of encryption to protect your data while you’re online. However, there are a variety of different encryption technologies, and some provide more comprehensive coverage than others.
There industry standard type is AES (Advanced Encryption System), which provides military-grade protection to users, but there are other useful options available.
With governments and ISPs imposing more and more restrictions on what we can do online, geo-blocking is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid. However, VPN technology offers a convenient solution at no cost. By utilizing a free VPN solution, you can effectively bypass frustrating blocks, allowing you to use the Internet as intended.