OK ... But What Can I Do With It?
The first thing most people think when they hear VPN is "that's the computer doodad that lets me watch Ukrainian Netflix, right?" And it's true. VPNs allow you to reap all the benefits of an on-demand international IP address so you can chill out in your New York apartment and watch Portuguese Top Gear or The Great Spanish Lobster Bake, or whatever is hipster vogue that day.
But where a VPN really shines is by protecting you from your own internet service provider. Your ISP can and will use your browser traffic against you, whether by narcing on you for copyright infringement when you pirate music or by throttling your download speeds when you hit your completely unnecessary bandwidth cap. And because of our deeply entrenched regional telecom monopolies, this is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Why Is This Suddenly Necessary?
Because so many critical services have moved online, there's more personal information being shared than ever before. You can manage money, apply for jobs , or reopen your 1998 Neopets account at a moment's notice. But any poorly secured website could put your address or social security number on blast. Even if you have nothing to hide, your mere online presence gives away location details and all kinds of metadata. They know about your Neopets. They know.
That's because your internet service provider can see everything that comes through its pipes. And thanks to the recent rollback of online privacy protections by Congress, nothing can stop them from selling your data to the highest bidder. And even worse news, we have it on good authority that internet companies are staffed solely by pig-demons who spend their days wringing their hooves together in maniacal laughter. What are they laughing at?
Probably your poorly curated Neopets account.