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Who Benefits From Using A VPN Service?

09 July, 2021

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Virtual Private Networks encrypt data and hide user IP addresses by routing their online activity through remote servers all around the world. VPN services are very popular.

Roughly 31 percent of all internet users have used a VPN at some point in their online lives. Interestingly, there has been a huge surge in VPN use during the coronavirus pandemic, with a 124 percent rise in use in the USA between March 8th and March 22nd 2020.

There are many possible reasons why this might be the case. Generally speaking, internet use has risen during the pandemic. This has led in turn to greater awareness of how vulnerable data is on the internet, and therefore led to more widespread use of Virtual Private Networks. So, who are the people using them? This article takes a look at some of the most common users of VPN services.

Torrenters

Torrenting is an extremely popular form of peer-to-peer file sharing. Although some torrents are illegal, many are not. It is simply a way of exchanging files online. Unfortunately, internet service providers take a rather ‘one size fits all’ approach to torrenting. Torrenters can find themselves the recipients of letters threatening legal action from their internet service providers, and some have even been taken to court. Virtual Private Networks obscure a user’s real IP address, as the VPN will host the user on a virtual server, which in turn makes it hard for websites to figure out the details of your device. This is the basics of how VPNs work and you can click here to learn more. Due to how they disguise your IP address, VPNs make it much harder to track down or incriminate torrenters.

Netflix Bingers

Netflix and Amazon Prime both restrict access to their content based on location. If, for instance, a show is available in the United States, it will not necessarily be available in the United Kingdom. Streaming service use during the pandemic understandably took an upwards turn. This might explain the rise in VPN usage to a large degree. Because VPNs allow users to route their internet through servers all around the world, they are a good way of ‘country hopping’ to find programs that are only available in certain regions.

Political Activists

All around the world, governments are keeping a watchful eye on dissenting voices and organizers online. Political activists are encouraged by their peers to communicate through encrypted channels and to hide their IP addresses wherever possible. VPN services are a must for anybody sharing information online that could lead to an arrest or conviction. China, Russia, Britain and the United States all identify dissenting actors via their online presence.

The Tech Savvy

Tech savvy internet users are well aware of just how exposed their data really is. VPN services offer encryption as part of their subscription deal if they are worth their salt. Encryption essentially scrambles a person’s data. The only way it can be unscrambled is if a person or program provides a correct decryption key. Theoretically, a good encryption service can prevent data being stolen in transit. Hackers and agencies can easily crack old fashioned decryption keys, so more and more complex methods of encryption keep being developed.

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