If you are an internet user, no matter how avid your use might be, you will have probably already heard a few things about VPNs. These are online tools that people can use to hide their identity when they are browsing online. There are a variety of reasons why individuals and companies might want to use them.
When they read about VPNs, some people think that there is something not quite right about them – after all, why would you need a tool that hides your location when you are on the internet? Some people can have quite creative imaginations and they might think that VPNs are for people who are up to no good.
But is that really the case? Are VPNs only for people who are using the internet for not-so-savoury reasons? In fact, are VPNs even legal in the UK today? You might certainly have a lot of questions when it comes to VPNs if you aren’t so familiar with them. In this blog post, we will go over the basics to make sure you understand everything that you need to. You never know, you might even realise that a VPN could really enhance your own use of the internet!
What is a VPN?
First of all, you probably want to know what a VPN actually is. Very basically put, the VPN will create something that is known as a “private tunnel”. The tunnel will be between your own device and the server of the website that you are currently looking at. Even though there will be data transmitted between both the device and the server, it will be very sophisticated encrypted. That means that hackers and anyone who could be snooping on you won’t be able to see what is being sent between the server and your device.
Most of the time, businesses must use these kinds of online tools so that their employees are safe and secure when browsing very sensitive and private documents online. But now, more and more individuals in the UK are becoming more knowledgeable about online security and how VPNs can help them while browsing. Because of this, more and more private internet users are deciding to use them.
Why use a VPN in the UK?
As previously mentioned, there are a number of things that you will be able to do safely and securely once you do start to use a VPN. One of the most popular reasons is simply because it will keep a web user pretty well hidden when browsing various sites online. That can bring different advantages, including a well-concealed location and the fact that search engines won’t be able to track you quite so well.
When you do conceal your location with a VPN, you will be given the chance to choose the country it looks like you are in. For instance, VPNs will be able to conceal you but make other servers think that you are in the country where you actually are. They will just give you a different IP address. However, some will make it appear that you are browsing in a completely different country. This is very useful if you want to see or use some geographically restricted webpages or tools, such as Netflix. You will be able to browse freely and won’t have to worry about any web content being blocked.
Not only that, though, but VPNs can really enhance a business’s overall security methods as well. They give all employees the chance to go online in complete secrecy and very protected from potential hackers and other cyber threats. This means that there is a lot smaller chance (basically none) and risk of any sensitive data being lost or stolen. As well as that, it also means that all of the company’s online accounts will be secure as well, as there is no chance of a hacker getting hold of anyone’s log-in details.
Does a VPN really keep me hidden online?
Some people doubt whether a VPN can keep anyone as well hidden as most of them claim to do. It’s fair to point out that your information won’t be completely hidden by this kind of online tool. For instance, even though you will be hidden to all servers online, there are some VPN providers which will be able to see what you have been doing. Even though it is completely legal to use a VPN in the UK, it’s not legal to do illegal things while using one. So, if the police ever suspect that you have been taking part in illegal activities online under the disguise of a VPN, then they could press your VPN provider into releasing all of the information that they have about you. Some people are worried about their VPN provider knowing their activities for some security reasons, though, not because they have been up to anything illegal. That’s why a lot of internet users choose to use a VPN that has a policy of not logging user’s online movements and activities. Even if they are not doing anything illegal.
What you can legally use your VPN for in the UK
So, as we’ve seen, it is perfectly legal to use a VPN in the UK. That is, of course, if you aren’t carrying out any illegal activities while using the VPN. So, you might be thinking what it is OK to use a VPN for. Thankfully, there are a lot of legal things you will be able to do online while using the VPN. Here are a few key examples that you should be aware of.
Watch American Netflix
Did you know that each country’s Netflix has a different selection of TV shows and movies available? It’s true! If you were to see what was on offer on Netflix in Germany or France, you would see that there are a lot of different TV shows and movies that you might not able to access at home in the UK. This is the case when it comes to US Netflix as well. In fact, Netflix in the US has a very large selection of things to watch, and you will find that there are a lot more shows and films compared to what’s on offer in the UK. Because of this, a lot of UK users set up a VPN and set it to show them as streaming as if they were in America. That way, Netflix is fooled when they log in and shows them the US selection. Even though, technically, you are contravening Netflix’s user agreement, you won’t be breaking the British law by doing this.
Some people are fairly happy to use their VPN for nothing more than browsing the internet. They like all of the extra security that it brings them and that they don’t have to worry quite so much about hackers and losing any sensitive data. Using your VPN for this reason is completely legal.
Listen to geographically restricted audio and music
Sometimes, online music platforms will restrict where you are able to use them as well. For instance, Spotify used to only be available in a number of countries before its success took it worldwide. You should think of this as exactly like watching US Netflix in the UK. You won’t be breaking the law, and at the same time you will be able to use the music platform.
Protect yourself on untrustworthy Wi-Fi connections
When you are out and about, you might want to connect to public Wi-Fi connections on your phone, tablet or laptop. These can sometimes be unsecure connections, so it’s always best to use them with a VPN. Also, by connecting to the public Wi-Fi’s your giving your browsing data to the ad networks, which is then used to provide you with tons of targeted ads. So, using a VPN is something that is not at all illegal.
You won’t be logged while torrenting
If you torrent, you might want to start using a VPN so that you aren’t logged while downloading anything. Of course, you will need to choose a VPN that has a non-logging policy.
How do you know which VPN to use?
It’s important to choose a VPN that suits your needs, so you might want to go through these steps when choosing the right one for you.
- Think about a provider’s qualities and if these match with the results you want from your VPN.
- Take a look at a few different interfaces to see which VPN has the most user-friendly one. This is especially important if you aren’t very good on computers or with all-things tech.
- Find a VPN that offers a reliable customer service.
- For a great all-round VPN, most web users choose to go with NordVPN.
Now that you know that using a VPN in the UK is entirely legal, you might want to look into finding one right now. Hopefully, this blog post can help you decide why and how you might want to use it. And you can do so with plenty of peace of mind knowing you aren’t breaking the law!