3 Things I use a VPN for That Aren’t Security
A virtual private network is often used for security reasons, as the name implies mostly for privacy of some kind. The way VPNs work have advantages in other areas and I’ve often found to be critical for things I want to do, especially as someone that works remotely with bases in different countries.
Traffic Shaping by ISP
The first thing I used VPNs for is to get around restrictions of the internet service provider I am using. This isn’t necessarily about deliberate rules, it can just simply be down to bad management or failures in the ISP where for some reason they may slow down or even block altogether certain types of traffic or sites. One ISP I used one day simply slowed down access to all Amazon AWS traffic to being useless, which was critical for my work. A VPN gets around this as it’s all treated as the same type of internet traffic.
Region Locked Sites
Another use has been for any kind of site that’s locked by region, i.e. it just shows up as failed or not available outside of the country it is based in. It’s supposedly done in the name of security to not allow any IP addresses outside of the country to access the site. It mostly just disrupts genuine customers who happen to be outside of the country. I’ve had to do this to set up utility billing and accessing certain financial accounts.
For me the first two were all about work and accessing critical life accounts and information although, streamed services on the other hand such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, it’s simply about accessing different catalogs. With Amazon Prime (a service I pay for) especially I can’t access almost anything without a VPN since my billing address isn’t same as my current living address.
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