You might have heard of VPNs — virtual private networks — at some point, and chalked them up to something only “super techy” people or hackers would ever use. At this point in the evolution of online life, however, VPNs have become more mainstream, and anyone may have good reasons to use one. VPNs are beneficial for added privacy when you’re connected to a public wifi network, and you might also want to use a VPN at home when you’re online as well. Here are five reasons to consider using a VPN at home.
Stop your ISP from watching you
Did you know that when you connect to the internet at home through your internet service provider (ISP), it can track what you do online? Even though your traffic is usually encrypted using HTTPS, this doesn’t conceal which sites you are visiting. Your ISP can see every site you visit and track things like how often you visit sites and how long you’re on them. That’s rich personal — and private — information you’re giving away to your ISP every time you connect to the internet at home. The good news is that a VPN at home can prevent your ISP from snooping on you by encrypting your traffic before the ISP can see it.
How do VPNs work?
Secure yourself on a shared building network
Some apartment buildings offer wifi as an incentive to residents, but just like your ISP, anyone else on the network can see what sites you are visiting. Do you even know all your neighbors, let alone know if they’re bumbling true crime podcast fanatics or even actual cyber criminals? Do you know for sure that your landlord or building manager isn’t tracking your internet traffic? If you’re concerned about any of that, a VPN can add extra privacy on your shared network by encrypting your traffic between you and your VPN provider so that no one on your local network can decipher or modify it.
Block nosy housemates
Similar to a shared apartment network, sharing an internet connection could leave your browsing behavior vulnerable to snooping by housemates or any other untrustworthy person who accesses your network. A VPN at home adds an extra layer of encryption, preventing people on your network from seeing what websites you go to.
Increase remote work security
Working remotely, at least part of the time, is the new normal for millions of office workers, and some people are experiencing a VPN for the first time. Some employers offer an enterprise VPN for home workers and some even require logging into one to access a company file server.
Explore the world at home
There are some fun reasons to use a VPN at home, too. You can get access to shows, websites and livestreams in dozens of different countries. See what online shopping is like if you were in a different locale and get the feeling of gaming from somewhere new.