A VPN, or virtual private network, is a great way to keep your online identity anonymous and your data secure. This is especially important when using your iPhone where so much of your personal information is stored.
One way that your information or identity can be accessed is via an insecure open Wi-Fi connection. Since an iPhone is something you always have on you as you move about, it’s a device that will likely connect to a lot of open Wi-Fi networks. From hotel and airport Wi-Fi to coffee shop and bar connections – they’re all a potential portal into the darker depths of the internet.
On a lighter note, a VPN can help you gain access to geo-restricted content like U.S. Hulu or Netflix content while abroad.
So why is a VPN important and how can it help on your iPhone? Let’s take a look at the advantages.
A VPN keeps your iPhone hidden
When you connect to a new Wi-Fi network you’re given an IP address that identifies you. From this, information about you can be attained, like your location and even details like your address. If you’re on an open Wi-Fi connection potentially malevolent entities can get to that. This is where a VPN comes in and protects you.
A VPN will pass your signal through a set of private servers, dotted about the globe. These then make the request to the website, say, and return the answer to your phone. By acting as a middleman the VPN is able to make you appear to be an IP you are not, in a location you aren’t. This effectively keeps your identity and data safe. Most of them allow you to pick the location of the server you connect to as well, giving you even more control of your privacy.
A VPN will secure your data
On top of that, a VPN will use encryption to pass those data messages along without exposing any of the content. This means that only the person with a key, at either end of the transfer, will have access – in this case only you at the receiving end. That means that even if someone were to somehow find a way to intercept that data, it would be unintelligible as they could not decode it without the key.
So a VPN will actually make your internet experience more secure than going online naked without one where your data flows freely for anyone to grab.
Access geo-restricted shows from your favorite streaming services
Since a VPN bounces your signal through international servers, it makes it possible for you to appear somewhere you’re not. So if you’re looking for a streaming VPN to use while abroad to access your U.S.-only Hulu account, you can do just that.
A VPN will allow you to log into the server in the U.S. so you appear to be on U.S. soil. As such you can log in to your Hulu account as if you were in the U.S. to view all your favorite shows. You can, technically, view other country’s shows too, like the UK’s BBC iPlayer content, but we’re not condoning that here since it’s against the service’s terms.
Avoiding ISP and apps throttling
Throttling is the practice used by your internet service provider (ISP) for deliberately restricting your internet bandwidth or speed. This happens without you being aware of it. This may happen if you have consumed a specific amount of your available data or when you access certain websites.
A VPN can help as it has the ability to avoid data cap. That’s mainly because your ISP cannot even see how much data you are using. If you have a business or or the need to engage with a big amount of data, a VPN service is the tool you want for carrying on your online activities without any limitations.
Bandwidth throttling is when your internet speed is intentionally slowed down. This mainly happens when you engage in certain internet activity, like torrenting for example. Using a VPN service, your traffic is encrypted so that not your ISP nor wireless network cannot see what you are doing online.
VPN prevents price discriminations
Based on your location, products and services are offered at a different pricing. Price discrimination comes in practice even according to how many times you make purchases on that platform or your online shopping habits.
A VPN can prevent this from happening as it hides both your browsing activities and purchasing preferences. This is particularly handy for some type of products.
Let’s say you want to buy a cheap flight ticket, for example. We’ve seen reports that you could jump on a foreign VPN server and compare prices against the ones you’re seeing where you live.
A similar principle applies to reduce long-distance phone charges. Just connect to the local server of your receiver and enjoy domestic-phone rates.
Safely shopping online
Online shopping means that, with a couple of clicks, you can buy everything you need without even leaving your home. Although it will save you time and in some cases even money, your security is again at stake.
With every transaction you do on the net, your sensitive data – like your name, address and banking details – are inevitably exposed. Online shops can retain your data and selling to third-parties for commercial purposes. Hackers may access them to steal your money. Sometimes this can lead also to identity theft.
Using a VPN on iPhone is then the best bet you have for safely shopping online, preventing your data to be exploited for any of these circumstances. Plus, hiding your location you will be able to access local websites that are most convenient for your purchase.