Virtual Private Networks have been used for so many years already that there are few people in this world who do not know what a VPN is. Simply put, the VPN is a platform that enables people to access the internet privately and securely. It routes their connection through a server and hides their online presence from others. The Virtual Private Network first appeared in 1996, when Microsoft’s Gurdeep Singh-Pall invented a method for implementing virtual private networks, now widely known as Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). Since then, the VPN technology has become much more sophisticated and so outperformed the PPTP that it is now considered almost outdated. The problem is that the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol was designed for dial-ups and, compared to the latest VPNs, has the lowest level of encryption. New VPNs are much secure and faster. The best part is that you can use it on all major platforms such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPhone, and whatnot. Windows users can check out CyberGhost Windows VPN and if you’re a Mac user, check our listicle to know your options.
But this is not to say that all new VPNs are equally good. The major distinction between them is the price or lack thereof. Users constantly argue about the benefits and demerits of free VPNs and their paid versions, and the jury is still out on whether paying for this platform is justified. The success of any VPN is measured by the speed it provides. People claim that free VPNs are slow because more users flock to them than to any paid version. Not charging for their services, providers of free VPNs also cannot pay for bandwidth, which is expensive. Only by taking money for their VPNs, can providers pay for bandwidth and offer high speed to their customers.
Bandwidth is indeed expensive. In the North Americas, for instance, people pay a blended average across all the transit providers of $10/Mbps. This means that, with this benchmark, for every 1,000Mbps (1 Gbps), they pay on average $10,000 a month. In Asia, transit pricing is even more exorbitant. It is almost 7 times higher than in North America or Europe, reaching $70/Mbps. It is only because peering is relatively cheap in Asia that the price of bandwidth here is on average $32/Mbps, which is not cheap either. Providers that offer their VPNs free of charge usually cannot afford such pricey bandwidth.
And yet, this does not mean that if you install a free VPN, you will suffer from its low speed and disconnections. Providers of free VPNs now offer as much as 10GB bandwidth a month in addition to eight or ten remote service locations. Some of them also give their users a bonus of 5GB, if they recommend them on Twitter, and add an extra 1GB every time a user’s friend signs up. Such a generous data allowance lets users have the internet without interruptions. It is definitely possible to surf online without disconnections with free VPNs and even binge-watch movies on Netflix, HULU, or Amazon Prime. But it is entirely up to you what version of the VPN to prefer: whether to pay for it or install it for free.
Yet whatever version you ultimately prefer, you will definitely find VPNs helpful, since this platform is designed to solve several practical problems for you. The majority of users install a VPN on their computers because they want to access blocked content on the internet. The VPN allows them to do this by encrypting their personal data and moving faster than their Internet Service Provider. Thus outrun, users’ Internet Service Provider becomes unable to detect their location. The encrypted data goes to the VPN and then moves to the user’s online destination, the blocked website he or she wanted to visit. With the help of the Virtual Private Network, this blocked website sees users’ data as arriving from their VPN server rather than from their computers and their locations. If you are spending your vacation in, say, Dubai, where Wikipedia is banned, your VPN server will provide an American IP address to you and will trick the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE into thinking that you are accessing Wikipedia from the United States.
Armed with the VPN, you can subscribe to any services for a lower price. As well known companies such as Netflix and Amazon Prime offer different prices to people from different geographical regions. If you live in India, you will pay only $1.75 a month for the privilege to watch movies on Amazon Prime, whereas citizens of the United States monthly pay $12.99. Germans and Austrians pay for Amazon Prime’s movies $9.11, and so do residents of Switzerland. The difference in price is palpable and not justified by the different sizes of the libraries that Amazon Prime distributes to different countries. The total size of the American library is 18246 movies and shows, whereas the Indian one contains 2,351 items. Indians do enjoy fewer movies than Americans, but people in Singapore watch only 713 movies for $6.54 a month. If you reside in Singapore, it is understandable that you would want to use the Virtual Private Network to enter the Indian library or a library of any other country where a choice of movies and shows is richer.
The list of benefits provided by the VPN can be continued. Equipped with this platform, you may gain access to Netflix’s American library and use public Wi-Fi securely. Helped by the VPN, you can also buy cheaper flight tickets and avoid ISP throttling. Or you can keep your chats private. If you have not yet installed the VPN on your electronic devices, perhaps it is the right time to look for a suitable Virtual Private Network and make your life freer and more enjoyable.