There are some neat hidden benefits to using a VPN in the US, aside from enhancing your privacy and security. Let’s start off light, and show how you can unblock content with a US VPN – whether it’s Netflix’s international libraries, foreign streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer, or more.
Unlock More Shows and Movies
Funnily enough, one of the privacy benefits of a VPN also allows you to get more out of your Netflix subscription. When you connect to a VPN server, your real IP address is masked and replaced with a new one from the country you’ve connected to. If you didn’t know, your IP reveals your real life location – so using a VPN is a great way to keep your privacy intact.
Now, let’s get back to Netflix. Any streaming platform can block you from its international libraries based on your IP. However, you can bypass these filters with a VPN and enjoy streaming whatever you want. Sure, the US has the biggest Netflix library – but it’s still missing smash hits like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which is only available in the UK. And that’s just one example.
Most of the shows you can find on BBC iPlayer are also UK-exclusive. By using a VPN in the US, you never miss out on quality entertainment because of “licensing issues.” And let’s face it; we need the distractions now more than ever.
Cheaper Online Shopping
Did you know you can get better deals online depending on where you live? This is called geographic segmentation, and it’s most common when you buy airline tickets or book hotels online. If you use a VPN in the US and “switch locations” to an area with less purchasing power, you might notice prices drop significantly.
In fact, you could technically just switch to a different region in the US and see price changes as well. For example, you could connect to a server in California or Florida and save money on swimwear for the summer. Same with Midwest or northern US servers for winter wear. Just make sure your VPN provider has plenty of servers to go around (they’ll usually list them on their website.)
Do note that this is mostly a case of trial-and-error. If you don’t notice price changes at first, you might need to switch servers. In addition, these following tips will help you get around some other filtering methods on online stores:
- Clearing your browser cookies and using another freshly installed browser.
- Syncing your local system time with the time zone of the VPN server.
- Using a PC instead of a mobile device to avoid GPS location tracking.
Avoid Shady ISP Practices
US ISPs tend to garner a lot of criticism, especially regarding their poor service and nightmarish customer support. But did you know they’ll also stop at nothing to sell your data to advertisers? If you care about your privacy at all, then it’s a good reason to use a VPN in the US.
Since your online traffic is encrypted (i.e. obfuscated), your ISP can only see that you’re connected to a VPN and not much else. Obviously, that’s not much use to advertisers who need to spy on your browsing habits just to sell you products.
Encryption can also help you get past bandwidth throttling. Depending on your subscription plan, ISPs may slow down your connection to services that use up a lot of your traffic – say, video streaming. Your ISP can’t determine that you’ve been binge-watching The Office again, so they can’t throttle your connection. Simple enough.
Stay Safe from Hackers
Finally, we can’t forget how vulnerable we’ve become to cyber attacks now that many are working from home. More people are keeping valuable company data on their home devices, and that means new attack avenues for cyber criminals.
You don’t need to be stuck at home to be a target for hacking, either. Public Wi-Fi is a hotbed for hacking activity, especially with how wild things are at the moment. Fortunately, a VPN will encrypt any data before it leaves your device, making it virtually impossible for any shady third parties to get their hands on it.
Whether you’re doing some online banking on your phone, logging in to email, or shopping online – all your valuable info can be safely transmitted over any network. Use a VPN in the US and you’ll never get caught off-guard by hackers, or greedy ISPs and online advertisers.