What is a VPN and why you need one

As Meta continues to block news in Canada on Facebook and Instagram (and with Google not far behind), now is a great time to subscribe to a VPN service.

A VPN is a virtual private network. It’s an encrypted connection that allows a user to set a location different from where they actually are in order to hide their IP address. This means you can trick Facebook into thinking you’re in the U.S. in order to get news links back in your feed.

Here are three reasons you should subscribe to a VPN service.

Online security

As mentioned above, a VPN is an ecrypted connection that also hides your location. This helps prevent DDoS attacks and also allows you to privately browse the internet.

If you plan on using a public Wi-Fi hotspot, like while working from the local Starbucks, a VPN prevents anyone on that same network from seeing your connection and potentially accessing your device or stealing your personal information.

Access more entertainment

Using a VPN to change your online location also opens up a whole lot more entertainment options on streaming movie services. While Netflix might have ways to try to stop this, using a free movie streaming service like Kanopy or Tubi should work fine.

Another bonus is you might be able to legally subscribe to a streaming service we don’t have in Canada, like Peacock. And if you travel out of Canada and want to watch something on Crave or Hollywood Suite on Demand, you’ll be able to by setting your location to Canada in the VPN.

Speed up your internet connection

One thing most people don’t realize is that some internet service providers throttle your connections at home when gaming or streaming content. A good VPN service, like NordVPN, prevents this from happening and offers up the fastest connection speeds available to you.

For gamers, NordVPN also offers a service called Meshnet that lets you set up secure virtual LAN parties. Meshnet also allows you to safely connect to other devices to share files or access them remotely.

Avoid free options

There are many VPN services out there and some offer free access. We say avoid these as they are usually not as a secure or fast and can do more harm than good.

We recommend NordVPN as our top VPN of choice as they offer great features and are reasonably priced (they also have a great deal on right now). There are many other good paid VPN providers out there, but you should research them before signing up.

Do you use a VPN? Have more questions about using a VPN? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Polina Zimmerman