Why do you really need a VPN?

A few years ago, a VPN, a virtual private network, was marketed as the only way to protect personal data on public networks. Hackers are said to be squatting everywhere in the café, at the train station, in the co-working space or in the shopping center, just waiting to steal bank and login data via the WLAN offered there.

However, https connections and both iOS and Android apps have long been secure enough that these hacks no longer work. So, what else do you need a VPN for? Below you will find a few application examples.

Thanks to the https standard for encrypted data traffic on the web and higher security standards for iOS and Android apps, VPNs are basically no longer needed in public WiFi networks. But then what for? Here are a few examples of more realistic VPN usage.
Thanks to the https standard for encrypted data traffic on the web and higher security standards for iOS and Android apps, VPNs are basically no longer needed in public WiFi networks. But then what for? Here are a few examples of more realistic VPN usage.

Streaming foreign content

One of the main reasons people download a VPN program onto their Mac or PC, smartphone or tablet is probably because they watch streaming services that are not available in their own country.

Also the cheaper prices for Netflix, YouTube Premium and the like in other countries can make using a VPN worthwhile. Because with the Virtual Private Network you can pretend to be a different, self-selected location in front of websites. And some companies offer a fast enough VPN for HD and 4K streaming.

Bypass geo-blocking or blacklists

A similar use case arises when certain pages or areas of the Internet are blocked by state or institutional reasons. If a totalitarian state excludes social media platforms such as Twitter or YouTube from its Internet offering, enlightened citizens can still use these sites or apps thanks to a VPN.

On a smaller scale, it may also be certain entities that have a blacklist built into the network they provide. Whether it's a dorm, boarding school, holiday resort, hotel, conference center or airport: a VPN can help to circumvent the obstacles here too.

vpn bitdefender photoA real VPN prevents tracking and malware attacks much better than the private mode of the browser (Photo: Bitdefender VPN).

Hiding accessed content from the Internet provider

Anyone who agrees that the VPN company directs the data traffic instead of the Internet provider and may get an overview of the pages visited and the content loaded can use the offer to disguise the IP and hide the content accessed.

Of course, you have to trust that the company's no-log policy is being followed and that nobody is keeping a record of what you're using the VPN for.

So the chance that someone can trace torrent downloads back to you is minimized, but not zero per se. But if the use remains within the legal framework anyway, nothing will happen to users of VPNs anyway.

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