You, like me, probably like the internet quite a bit. You also probably depend on it for almost every aspect of your life. What you may, or may not be aware of, is that the internet is changing. And not for the better.
If you prefer the internet the way it is, the time may be right for you to consider a Virtual Private Network (VPN). You might have heard of VPNs before and considered them something that only a hacker or a pirate (not that type of pirate) might use.
You very likely think there isn’t a real need for you to meticulously guard your privacy, but recent changes to the way the internet is regulated may make you reconsider that.
At the moment everything you access on the internet is governed by a principle known as ‘Net Neutrality’. That means that your Internet Service Provider treats all the data that passes through them to you the same.
They won’t charge you differently if you access one site more than another, nor will they charge you extra for data that is streamed. Unfortunately, a lot of ISPs realize that this rule means that they aren’t making quite as much money from you as they could.
For example: imagine your ISP decides to do a deal with Amazon Prime. That streaming service would likely pay them for the privilege but it may also require that your ISP blocks their customers from accessing their competition.
The upshot of this could be that you end up with a vastly restricted internet, your ISP might support Netflix whilst also locking you out of Facebook in favour of Twitter.
If this sounds like a paranoid fantasy, consider that the FCC in the US has already decided to repeal Net Neutrality and the effect of Brexit may well see ISPs in the UK no longer bound by European laws which guarantee Net Neutrality.
If that wasn’t enough trouble on the horizon, the EU has recently decided to push through Articles 11 and 13, amendments to copyright law that will force internet giants like Youtube and Facebook to take more responsibility over the content uploaded to their sites.
It will also mean that anyone using snippets of news articles may have to pay for them. In short, the freedom that we enjoy on the internet currently looks to be seriously in doubt.
A VPN can help to protect from these threats. Websites currently identify users via their IP address. These are assigned in blocks based on geographical location. Every site that you visit logs your IP address and checks where you are accessing the site from.
This is usually for no more serious a reason than businesses liking to keep a check on the type of people who are using their service. If you’ve ever tried to catch up with Eastenders whilst on holiday or tried to watch a trailer for an upcoming TV show not being shown in your country and you have got the frustrating message “this service is not available in your country” it is because the site has twigged your location from your IP address.
A VPN bypasses this by masking your IP address. It’s using this method that a VPN also protects your data by creating what is effectively an encrypted digital tunnel between your computer and the websites you visit.
If anyone unauthorized attempts to access that tunnel, it collapses, making your data extremely tough to access. For a safer, more open internet, a VPN is worth considering. But which VPN is the right one for you?
That’s where BestVPN come in, a VPN comparison website that analyses the performance, security and pricing of the many different virtual private network providers (and trust us, there’s a lot) and picks out the best VPN for your needs.
Whether you’re interested in privacy or simply want to unlock geo-restricted content – the perfect VPN is out there for you.