Reaching the unreachable is truly the philosophy driving the internet, empowering billions of us to stay connected, no matter what our locations are. However, the risk of exposing too much about ourselves to the uninvited propelled the need for the ability to go anonymous online and that’s exactly what virtual private networks, let us do.
Not just it allows you to grab content that’s restricted in your area but also helps in masking your online activity. This is the need of the hour since 93% of data breaches could have been avoided if fundamental data security initiatives including the use of VPNs were in place. And since all of us are using VPNs while there’s no stopping to more choices coming in, the art to use the facility smartly and safely is what we should be concerned about.
The following are the 5 tried and tested tricks to extract the best out of VPNs.
Setup your VPN on the home router
Installing VPN software multiple times for different devices is time-consuming and sometimes, costlier. Set up your VPN on the home router to get rid of the hassle. To set up all you need to do is open 192.168.1.1 and enter Although most modern routers allow VPN installation if you can’t perform that on yours, change your router. Added cost? Yes, but the privacy benefits can’t be ignored.
However, if you own a Raspberry Pi, establishing a dedicated VPN between your router and the devices can be done instantly. Or if you have access to an open-source firmware for routers such as the DD-WRT, enabling VPN subscription for all devices can be done too.
Explore less costly yet qualitative alternatives
After all, less costly doesn’t always mean low quality. Virtual private networks can help in multiple ways. While masking your online activity is one of them, they also enable you to access restricted content in your geography or watch your favorite sports that are streaming Live in other countries. Therefore, your consumption may not always require a superlative quality of VPN that is way too costly.
Given an adequate number of choices available, it is not a bad idea to explore cheaper deals. While few VPN service providers, mostly those who are new in the business, offer discounts on annual subscriptions, others let you seek additional benefits on payments through debit/credit cards of partnered banks.
However, the most attractive deal is the availability of free VPN services including some of the reputed brands participating. How? Just like all major cloud storage providers allow free usage up to a certain limit, certain VPN brands offer complimentary subscriptions if your consumption isn’t that great.
Try cheaper online shopping through a VPN
Ever noticed a difference in pricing of the same product/service at different days, time or even location? Online sellers implement algorithms to automatically set the prices based on the spike in demand on a particular day or from a particular geographical location. That means flight tickets to a destination cost differently from different locations. Therefore, all you need is someone sitting in the most appropriate location, do the purchase for you. However, VPNs empower you to be by yourself and save lots of money!
The trick is simple – access the network of a country (offering cheapest rates) via the VPN and make the purchase. This isn’t illegal and there’s no way for the seller to track your source. To be able to switch to a server in a different location is a great tool while accessing the best deal is surely one of the perks.
Protect your system’s battery from drainage due to VPN
For those who don’t know, all virtual private networks encrypt the data form your home router to the VPN server and then to the destination website. Sine such encryption is a must to protect your data privacy, your system resources; especially the batteries get the worst hit. Encryptions push your systems to do the heavy lifting and thus, impact their hardware performances including computers, smartphones, and tablets.
To avoid this, enable the power supply to your system until the VPN is being used. Yes, overcharging is risky and to resolve that, pull-off the power supply for a few minutes at regular intervals.
Turn on the Firewall and Kill Switch Feature
Connection drops with VPNs are common and there hasn’t been a revolutionary solution to that so far. However, the greater concern here is the risk of online data leak while the VPN is down. To prevent this, the Kill Switch feature must be turned on. The feature disconnects the whole network when there’s any connection drop in your private network. Subsequently, it sets the things back to normal as soon as the VPN regains connectivity. Not to miss, the firewall must also be kept on to fortify the devices from online threats.
VPNs are a huge market (23 billion USD in 2019) and their explosive growth shouldn’t pull the carpets off your feet. That was expected and that’ll happen. Henceforth, learning about them, just like we do with other hardware and software applications at our disposal is both imperative and exciting.