To say 2020 has been one rollercoaster of a year would be an understatement. At least rollercoasters can be fun before the nausea kicks in. Anyway, get comfy because we’ll be taking a look at how a US VPN can make your life easier in 2020 and beyond.
We also have some top-notch VPNs with US servers lined up for you. Check them out after you’ve had a chance to see what they’re capable of.
Why Do I Need a VPN in the US?
In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need a VPN to feel safe online. We’re pretty far from that ideal world, so here are three big reasons why a US VPN is essential right now.
Cyber crime is in full swing
According to the FBI, cyber crime has gone up by as much as 300% since the start of the pandemic. Phishing attacks seem to be hackers’ favorite attack method – sending out fake emails that impersonate real organizations, in an attempt to harvest sensitive data from people.
Unfortunately, no software can prevent you from handing out your data like that. What VPNs can help with, however, are attacks that target Wi-Fi users. For example, “Evil Twin” hotspots which perfectly mimic Wi-Fi networks found in public – coffee shops, airports, hotels, you name it. Once you connect to such a hotspot, hackers can easily extract passwords, payment info, and other sensitive info using network analysis software.
Even if you don’t trust free public Wi-Fi (good job!), there’s always the risk of hackers stealing your home Wi-Fi password using security exploits. Even the latest Wi-Fi protocol (WPA3) is vulnerable to such exploits, so you can’t even rely on the next-gen standards for security
Fortunately, a VPN will encrypt (i.e. garble) any data you transmit over the Internet before it leaves your device. Any data recorded by the hacker in either of those cases will simply look like gibberish.
Rampant data logging by ISPs
If hackers weren’t enough, now even Internet providers want a piece of the action. Ever since the FCC repealed broadband privacy rules back in 2017, ISPs can legally sell your personal data. Well, unless the state you live in has its own privacy laws in place. Then you get humorous situations like ISPs suing the state of Maine for violating their “free speech rights” to sell your data.
In any case, VPN encryption saves the day once again. Yes, the same technology that prevents hackers from stealing your data will also halt your Internet provider’s shady plans to profit off your private interests.
The US mass surveillance program is not much of a secret by now, nearly eight years after Edward Snowden’s revelations. And though the courts have recently ruled that the mass surveillance program exposed by Snowden was illegal, we very much doubt that’s going to do much to stop it. Regardless, VPNs will continue to act as a shield against three-letter agencies peeking into your private life.
Not Convinced? Here Are Three Tangible Benefits of a US VPN
Feeling brave? If online privacy and security don’t concern you as much, here are three immediate ways a US VPN can make a difference in your life.
Stop unfair bandwidth throttling
When they’re not busy selling your data and offering terrible customer support, ISPs slow down your streaming speeds. On paper, it’s to deal with network congestion – in practice, they’re most likely doing it to get you on a more expensive plan.
In any case, remember that a VPN prevents them from seeing what you do online. They can’t throttle your speeds at random, so your weekend binge sessions won’t be interrupted by constant buffering.
Watch unlimited video content
Speaking of binge sessions, a US VPN will also help you get the most out of your streaming subscription(s). Connect to a VPN server outside the US and you gain access to that country’s Netflix library, for example. You can also gain access to entire new platforms worth of content, such as the UK-exclusive BBC iPlayer.
Travelling abroad? Then you get to watch all the content from back home as well, from platforms like Hulu. Good to keep in mind for when things inevitably return to normal.
Get cheaper online pricing
Last, but not least, switching your location with a VPN lets you take advantage of cheaper regional pricing, for things such as:
- Flight tickets, car rentals, and hotels
- Online subscriptions
- Virtual goods in online games
Note that it might take a bit of server hopping to see any significant changes in price. Try clearing your browser cookies and setting your system time settings to reflect the region you’re connecting to for better results.